Excerpts from Townsend Whelen's
The American Rifle


I read recently Whelen's 1918 book on rifles, and I enjoyed seeing how little has changed in this sport in the last 80 odd years.

Three sections caught my attention. The section on the effectiveness on game of various rifle cartridges is relevent yet today, for the majority of the hunting bullets sold continue to be jacketed soft point bullets of cup-and-core construction. These have a gilding metal or a copper case into which a lead alloy is either pressed or poured, and these first came into use in Whelen's lifetime. I should note that in the chapter titled "Cartridges," some are given a more favorable rating than found in the summary section copied here. For instance, there the .25 Remington automatic is deemed "excellent" for deer and black bear, but here it is rated suitable only for coyotes and smaller.

The section on chamber casts is intriguing, but I think I'd go with one of the commercial, low melting point metal alloys. I also have included his thoughts on slugging a bore; I had scanned one page more than needed and decided to leave it in.

His section on the finishing of rifle stocks also interested me. As noted below, I cannot recommend his procedure, but it may explain why many old guns found at gun shows have rather black stocks.

According to information on the site of the U.S. Copyright Office, this book should have passed into the public domain a few years ago, and I have shamelessly copied these sections verbatim. I have not changed the original's punctuation, which to the modern eye looks a bit busy, nor have I corrected some obvious grammatical errors and typos.

Those wanting to read further can now find in the Google library an entire copy of The American Rifle along with many of the other great early works on shooting.


It often happens that one wishes to measure the chamber of his rifle to determine its exact size and dimensions, and to determine how these compare with the measurements of the cartridge and bullet. The best method of doing this is to make a sulphur mould of the chamber, and then measure the mould with a pair of micrometer calipers reading to thousandths of an inch.

First, wipe the bore of the rifle, and the chamber as well, perfectly dry and clean, using gasoline and then dry patches. If any metal fouling is present, use the regular metal fouling solution. Then run through a patch saturated with kerosene, until there is a thin coating of this oil covering all portions of the bore and chamber. Next, melt powdered sulphur in an iron dish with a lip of some kind from which a small, thin stream can be poured. This is best done over a gas flame or alcohol lamp. Have at hand a cover of some kind for the dish so that the flame can be smothered in case the sulphur catches fire. Put a tight wooden plug in the bore of the rifle just ahead of the chamber. Then pour the fluid sulphur into the chamber from the breech. As the sulphur cools a hole will form in the center. Keep on pouring slowly until this hole is filled up. Allow it to stand a short time to cool and solidify, then push it out carefully by means of a cleaning rod inserted from the muzzle. It may start rather hard at first, in which case try a few very light taps on the cleaning rod with a hammer, being careful not to hurt the mould. The mould will make a perfect cast of the chamber, and the shape and measurements of the chamber can be determined from it. A sulphur mould will not change for the first 48 hours after it is taken out, but after that you may expect it to shrink about .001 inch, and the surface will change until it has a rough appearance.


Throughout this work the "groove diameter" of the bore has been frequently referred to, meaning the diameter of the inside of the barrel, measuring from the bottom of one groove to the bottom of the opposite groove. This diameter is quite important when working up an accurate load for a rifle, because it indicates the exact size and fit of the bullet which will do the best work as a rule. The groove diameter of a barrel varies considerably, even in rifles chambered for the same cartridge. This is due chiefly to speed of manufacture, and wear of drills and cutters. I have measured a number of .30-caliber barrels which have measurements running all the way from .308 to .311 inch, the standard being .308 inch. It is always desirable to find out the exact diameter by actually measuring the bore, and not to trust too implicitly that it is exact standard.

In selecting a barrel one of the things we should look for is evenness of bore. The bore should have no tight or loose places. A rifle will do its best work if it is a perfect cylinder from breech to muzzle, not of course taking into consideration the grooves. Some riflemen think that a very slight taper from breech to muzzle, tighter at the muzzle than breech, is even better than a straight cylinder, and at least it can do no harm if it is not too pronounced. Such taper, except in Pope muzzle-loading barrels, is always accidental; all our barrels being designed to be a true cylinder.

To determine the size and evenness of the bore it is necessary to push a lead bullet through it, and then to measure that bullet with a micrometer caliper which reads to thousandths of an inch or finer. For this purpose a soft lead bullet is best, and it should fit the bore rather tightly. For the .30-caliber a lead bullet for the .32-40 cartridge does excellently, as it is .003 larger than the standard .30-caliber size, and is made of almost pure lead. The barrel should first be well cleaned, and then lubricated with a thin oil like "3 in 1" or sewing machine oil. The bullet is then inserted point first into the chamber, and very carefully seated in the rifling a little ahead of the chamber. Then place the rifle in a very heavy vise, like a carpenter's wood vise, fastened to a heavy bench. Take a strong cleaning rod almost the diameter of the bore, and with a powerful, but very steady pressure, push the bullet through the bore with one motion, noting the pressure which it takes to send it through. After a little practice one can tell by the pressure whether there are any tight or loose places in the bore. As the bullet emerges from the muzzle, catch it carefully so that it will not be in the least deformed, and measure it carefully with the micrometer, measuring the maximum diameter where the bullet has fitted down into the grooves. This will give the groove diameter of the barrel, usually the diameter near the muzzle. To obtain the diameter at the muzzle and breech insert a bullet into either end just a little way, place the end of the cleaning rod against it, and give the rod a sharp blow with a hammer so as to fully expand the bullet to fit the rifling at this point, but not to drive it far forward. Then insert the cleaning rod at the opposite end of the bore and carefully push out the bullet, and measure it. To determine whether the bore is choked or not, force a bullet through in one direction and note the force and feeling, and then reverse and force one through in the opposite direction. All this takes a little skill, but it is easily learned. The main thing is to see that the bullet is not deformed as it leaves the bore. A little fall, or jam will considerably alter the dimensions of a soft lead bullet.

In using a micrometer caliper do not use any force in screwing it up. The tool usually has a ratchet click to the screw handle, and the correct pressure is being applied to the screw to give the right reading when this ratchet has clicked once or twice. Before starting in to measure, standardize the micrometer by measuring something of known diameter. The .30-caliber, 150-grain, United States service bullet, for example, should measure just about .30825 inch.


The ordinary stock on the straight American factory rifle is not polished. It is simply varnished. Some high-grade stocks are likewise varnished with a glass-like finish. A varnished stock is an abomination. It looks well when new, but a few weeks of field service covers it with scratches which cannot be obliterated by any amount of rubbing with oil. And when the varnish is worn off such a stock it absorbs water and warps badly. The best stocks are finished or polished simply by repeated rubbings in of raw linseed oil, this finish being given the trade name of "dull London oil finish." Well done in this manner, the stock shows its grain beautifully, has a dull, rich, velvet-like surface which persists, resists dampness splendidly, and if it becomes scratched the scratches can be almost entirely obliterated by a rubbing with raw linseed oil. This is the finish which all stocks and forearms should have.

It is an easy matter for anyone to repolish a stock in this manner, and it adds much to the appearance and serviceability of the rifle. Go to a paint and oil shop and purchase half a pint of varnish remover, and a pint of raw linseed oil. Also get several sheets of medium, fine, and very fine sandpaper. Remove the stock and forearm from the rifle, and take off butt-plate and all metal parts. With a brush or cloth wet the stock all over with the varnish remover, and let it soak in for half an hour, then rub off. One or two applications of this will suffice to remove all the varnish. Then scrub the surface of the wood all over with water, wetting it thoroughly. This will raise the grain of the stock, making it look "fuzzy." The wood should then be dried quickly by holding it over a stove, or passing it over a lamp. This will help to raise the grain still further. Then sandpaper off the raised grain or "fuzziness," using the medium-grade sandpaper. Repeat this process of wetting, drying, and sandpapering four or five times, the last time or two using the fine and very fine sandpaper for the polishing. The object of this is to get a permanent, very smooth, velvety surface on which the grain will not raise up when the wood becomes wet. When you can no longer raise the grain by wetting the wood and drying, dry it thoroughly, give it a fine polish with the very fine sandpaper, and set the stock away over night in a dry place.

We are now ready for the oil finish. Pour about a teaspoonful of raw linseed oil on the surface of the wood, and polish it with the palm of the bare hand, rubbing the oil well into the wood, and continuing the rubbing without stopping until the oil is all rubbed in, and the wood becomes dry and warm from the friction. Repeat this rubbing with oil time after time on every part of the stock and forearm until the finish desired is attained. The excellent finish seen on very expensive stocks is attained in this manner, sometimes as many as thirty or forty coats of oil being rubbed in by hand. Once the stock and forearm have been polished in this manner all they will need to keep them in perfect condition and appearance is an occasional polish with the raw linseed oil. This should be done every time the rifle gets wet with rain or perspiration. The checked portion of the stock and forearm, and the cuts into which the metal work of the receiver and barrel fits, can be polished by oiling with a tooth brush. Do not rub hard enough on the checking to dull it. Before assembling the stock and forearm to the rifle, it is well to coat the cuts which the tang and guard fit into, the surface of the wood under the butt plate and the inside of the forearm with beeswax or some very heavy grease like Winchester gun grease or Corol. Walnut has become so expensive and scarce lately that many ordinary stocks are now made of other woods. These may require the application of a dark walnut stain before the oil is applied.

I must note that today a finish of raw linseed oil is thought to be a poor choice. This excerpt, from the site of the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory, in Wisconsin, explains why:

Linseed oil is obtained from flax seed. Raw (unprocessed) linseed oil is a mixture of several fatty acids, which have two interesting properties. First, these acids are natural products and as such are "food" for many organisms. Just as mold can grow on leftover potato salad, mildew grows very well on surfaces that contain linseed oil. Second, the chemical makeup of some of these acids makes it possible for them to react with oxygen in the air to form a solid. For raw linseed oil, this reaction is extremely slow. When linseed oil is boiled, changes occur in the chemical structure of the fatty acids that enable them to react with oxygen more quickly. The term "boiled" also includes linseed oil that has catalysts (also called "driers") that make it react with oxygen more quickly. Boiled linseed oil can be used to make finishes. However, in most modern finishes, linseed oil is modified to form an "alkyd" resin, which makes the finish less prone to mildew.

Still, this method of finishing a stock will likely give many years of good service, else Whelen would not have thought so highly of it. It is certainly inexpensive. A top coat of a good wax might be prudent. I cannot recommend using "boiled" linseed oil with Whelen's technique; some of the driers which can be used are a bit dangerous.


The discussion as to the killing qualities of the various cartridges when used on big game has been going on for many years; in fact, it is probably as old as is the use of the rifle on game. As far back as 1886 sporting papers devoted columns to the subject, while in the English press we have records of discussions of this character ninety years ago. And still sportsmen disagree. First we had the "big- vs. small-bore dissussion," then the "high- and low-velocity discussion"; next we were treated to a dissertation on energy and foot pounds, and today it is all "explosive effect." We even see many men waxing eloquent in print on this subject who have never killed or seen killed a single head of big game in their lives. Therefore right at the start of this subject I had better qualify as to my right to discuss it by stating that as near as I can count up I have to date (August, 1917) shot with my own rifle seventy-two head of big game. I have killed all the big game of North and Central America except bear, caribou, white sheep, musk-ox, tapir, puma, and jaguar. In addition I have been in at the death of, and have examined the wounds of, at least one hundred and fifty head besides those I have killed myself.

What we should look for in a big-game cartridge is one that will cause the least suffering by killing as instantly as possible. While not sacrificing this killing power, we also need accuracy, so that we can surely hit a vital spot on our game; and flat trajectory, so that we can hit that spot at a distance, taking into consideration our error in estimating the range. What to look for in a big-game cartridge is, therefore, first killing power, second accuracy, third trajectory.

Probably the mightiest hunter who ever lived was Sir Samuel Baker, an Englishman, who hunted for many years during the middle of the last century in India, Africa, and also in North America. He killed every species of big game in these countries, his bag numbering many thousands. Rifles, and particularly their killing power, was a hobby of his, and he has left a lot of interesting literature on the subject. He had many special rifles made to his order in England. An extremely large and powerful man, he could handle arms of very heavy weight and extreme recoil, which would have been absolutely out of the question for the ordinary sportsman. The largest rifle which he used on game weighed 20 pounds and had a barrel 36 inches long. It shot a bullet weighing 1/2 pound and containing a bursting charge of 1/2 ounce of fine-grained powder. The propelling charge was 16 drams of black powder. This was a veritable cannon. His favorite weapon for all game except buffalo and elephant was a .577 double-barrelled rifle, carrying a solid lead bullet of 648 grains, and a charge of 6 drams of black powder. He always was very strong in his condemnation of the light, hollow-point, express bullet. He states that after many years of experience in all the game fields of the world it is his opinion that the most killing missile that one can use against game is the largest bullet of soft lead that one can fire with comfort from the shoulder. Our own experience in black-powder days was exactly similar to this. We found that the large heavy bullet was always the better killer, and that light, hollow-point bullets could not be depended upon except for thin-skinned, easily killed game. What was needed was a bullet that would surely drive straight through into the vitals, in no matter what direction the animal was facing. Light bullets would often go to pieces and be stopped by a heavy bone, thus failing to reach a vital part. Most any rifle would kill if one got a fair, standing, broadside shot, and could aim accurately so as to reach the heart, but game cannot always be found standing in this position. Indeed the usual target one has will be a rear shot at game running away, and what is wanted is a bullet with a charge behind it that, in such a position, will plow right through into the chest vitals without being deviated or stopped by striking a heavy bone. The experience of our older hunters has been that by all odds the most killing rifle that was made in America in black-powder days was that shooting the .45-caliber bullet weighing 500 grains. This bullet was a much better killer than the .45-330 hollow-point bullet, or any of the lighter or smaller caliber bullets. It is to be understood that in the days of black powder the velocity varied only from about 1300 feet per second to about 1500 feet per second. All lead bullets expanded on hitting game to about double their diameter. The light, hollow-point bullets expanded a little more than the solid bullets, but were liable to break into several small pieces, lacked penetration, and were liable to deflection by bones. They were therefore not as reliable as the long, heavy bullet. These lead bullets at low velocity did little damage to tissue that was not directly in the path of the bullet.

Upon the advent of smokeless powder and small-caliber rifles, sportsmen evinced a desire to use them as sporting arms, believing that their flat trajectory would be of great advantage in game shooting. Catering to this demand, the factories turned out experimentally some soft-nose bullets; that is, bullets on which the metal jackets did not extend clear up to the point, but left from one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch of lead exposed at the nose. Upon trial it was found that such bullets were excellent killers on large game. The bullet expanded well, held together, and, moreover, seemed to "pulp" the tissue for several inches around the bullet hole. An extended experience proved that even here the long, heavy bullet had a decided advantage over the light bullet, the latter often being deflected and going to pieces on very large bones. For example, it was found that the long 220-grain bullet used in the .30-40 Krag cartridge was a much better killer on all game above deer than the light 160- or 170-grain bullet of the .30-30 rifle. The first small bore, smokeless, high-velocity bullets were all of .25 or .30-caliber, and sportsmen gradually came of the opinion that such rifles, and particularly the .30-40, exceeded in killing power any of the larger bores, even the .45-70-500. I cannot say that I personally share this opinion. I have killed many head of game with the black powder arms, and of course in late years with the small caliber, high-velocity arms, and with the latter arms I have never gotten the large proportion of clean kills that I used to get with the heavy black powder rifles. With these latter rifles time after time the game has dropped so quickly to the shot that I did not see it go down on account of the view being momentarily blotted out by the recoil. With the smokeless arms the game seems to stagger around for several seconds before going down, or else runs madly for from 50 to 100 yards before dropping. In this opinion I am backed up by quite a few sportsmen of extended experience, and particularly by Mr. James H. Kidder of the Boone and Crockett Club, the first sportsman to hunt the Alaska brown bear extensively. On these bear Mr. Kidder used both a .30-40 Winchester Model 1895 rifle and a .45-70-405 Winchester Model 1886 rifle. Mr. Kidder's experience was so extensive and so fortunately comparative as to leave no doubt whatever that on large bear the .45-70-405 with a muzzle energy of 1560 foot pounds was a much more killing cartridge than the .30-40 which has a muzzle energy of 1950 foot pounds.

An occasional failure of the small bores on the largest game led to the placing on the market about 1903 of such cartridges as the .35 Winchester with 250-grain bullet and the .405 Winchester with a 300-grain bullet, and these calibers proved to have much greater killing power than the first small-bore, high-velocity arms.

I do not wish it to be considered that I believe the old, heavy, blackpowder arms to be better game guns than the high-velocity, smokeless arms. As I said at the start of this chapter, there are other things to consider besides killing power; and the absence of smoke, the light recoil, the superior accuracy, and the high velocity of modern arms make it a much easier task to surely hit in a vital part, which fully makes up for the slightly superior shocking qualities of the large, heavy, soft-lead bullet. When the factories began to give us high-velocity, smokeless rifles of larger bore and using heavier bullets, we began to come nearer to the ideal big-game rifle, for we retained the lack of smoke, the light recoil, the accuracy, and the flat trajectory, and at the same time we got back some of the qualities of the old, big, blackpowder rifles -- the shocking power and the ability of the bullet to penetrate straight through in the direction in which aimed, no matter how the animal faced. Our heaviest rifle, the .405 Winchester, particularly excels in this respect.

About 1906, rifles with the extremely high velocity of 2700 feet per second began to appear. These were first brought out as military arms, and had a light, extremely sharp pointed, full-jacketed bullet. At first it was thought that such a bullet would penetrate cleanly, making only a very small hole. On trial, however, it was found that they had an explosive effect on tissue, and that they made extremely bad wounds and had good killing power. On striking they seemed to spin around on their points, often penetrating sideways, and the high velocity apparently gave an explosive effect to their blow so that the tissue for a considerable distance around would be completely blown to pulp. This effect, as stated, occurred with the full-jacketed, light, sharp-point bullet. Such bullets were used considerably on game, but it was quickly found that they had one undesirable quality. They were found very frequently to glance off at a considerable angle when striking a bone, instead of penetrating into the vitals in the direction in which aimed. There are on record a number of instances where such bullets, aimed at an animal standing broadside, have struck a rib, and, glancing, have almost encircled the animal just under the skin, inflicting a painful, but not at all a killing, wound. The light, 150-grain .30-caliber, pointed bullet was a particular offender in this respect. The 170-grain bullet of the same caliber seems to have been a much better killer. The factories took the matter up and quickly placed on the market soft-point, sharp-nosed bullets intended to be used in these rifles at extremely high velocity. Rifles firing these bullets at 2700 feet per second and upwards have been found to be extremely effective on large game. The explosive effect is retained, even increased over the full-jacketed bullet, and there is no longer the tendency to glance. Undoubtedly such bullets are the big-game missiles of the future. At the same time we find that the old principle holds true, that the light, short bullet is liable to be deflected or to go to pieces on a very large, heavy bone, and fail to do its damage in the vitals, while the heavy bullet smashes right through in the direction in which aimed. It is my opinion that in .30 caliber, the 150-grain, sharp-pointed, expanding bullet is a little too light for such game as moose and large bears, and that much better success will be had with a similar bullet of 170 or even 180 grains. A .30-caliber, expanding, pointed bullet of 170 grains, driven with a muzzle velocity of 2700 feet per second, is certainly a most killing and satisfactory charge for all game found in North America, and experience has shown that it is also excellent on all African game with the exception of elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros, and hippopotamus. These largest of all living animals require a much heavier rifle, and the experience of African hunters has shown that nothing less than a .40-caliber rifle, shooting a 400-grain bullet at 2000 feet per second can be considered as suitable for such game, and the standard weapon for such hunting has come to be a .450 or .465 rifle, shooting a 450-grain, jacketed bullet at from 2000 to 2200 feet per second. Such rifles are almost always double barreled, and are made in England.

In the last two years there have appeared on the market several rifles of extremely small bore (.25 caliber), shooting light bullets varying from 86 grains to 123 grains, and with velocities running from 3000 to 3300 feet per second. It is claimed that the explosive effect of such rifles is so great that they are suitable for all American game. I have tried such rifles on deer and am willing to accede to their killing qualities on such game, but I have my serious doubts as to their suitability for our largest game. There seems to be a desire, almost a madness, among some hunters (I will not call them sportsmen) to seek after the tightest and smallest bore rifle possible. It always seems strange to me that this is so, but it is undoubtedty a fact. I would like to go on record as being strongly opposed to the use of such arms on game larger than deer from a humanitarian point of view. Such a course is bound to cause much needless suffering. I grant that such rifles will kill quickly if the bullet chances to penetrate intact into the chest cavity near to the heart, but this is not possible half the time with such arms because they have not the penetration. The bullet explodes when it hits, it fails to penetrate through any amount of tissue. It causes a bad wound where it hits, but the striking point is not half the time in such a location that the damage will reach into the chest cavity and to the heart, and when such is not the case there is inflicted an extremely painful, dangerous wound which does not at all cripple the beast at the time, but which usually causes death after some days of extreme suffering. A man who will hunt moose and elk with a 6-pound, .22-caliber, high-power rifle has very little regard for the suffering of dumb beasts; at least so it seems to me, and the .25 caliber is going it only a little better. On the other hand, we know that rifles like the .30 caliber using a 170-grain bullet at 2700 feet per second, and the .405 Winchester, will, nine times out of ten, if the game be hit fairly near a vital point, and eight times out of ten if it be hit anywhere in the chest or abdominal cavity, kill almost instantly. The game does not suffer, and the conscience of the hunter is as clear as it can be.

There has come in recent years a tendency to regard the energy of a cartridge as a correct measure of its killing power. I do not share in this belief. Only when the weight, shape, and construction of the bullet is the same would this hold true. Energy itself is no indication of the killing power. The .250 Savage high-power cartridge has a velocity of 3000 feet per second and uses an 87-grain bullet. Its muzzle energy is 1740 foot pounds. To say that this cartridge is as good, better, or anywhere near as good a killer on big game as the .45-70-500 cartridge with its energy of only 1602 foot pounds is to my mind simply ridiculous.

I append herewith my own opinion as to the killing qualities of a number of our cartridges. This list is the result of my experience of twenty-five years of hunting. I have talked this matter over with a number of sportsmen of international reputation, and also with a number of guides of great experience in game shooting, and have found that almost invariably their experience leads to exactly the same conclusions as mine. The cartridges are divided into several classes according to the class of game they are suitable for, and they are given in each class in what I consider their relative degree of killing power at ranges under 200 yards, beginning with the most powerful. The numbers in parenthesis give the relative degree of killing power (opinion) at ranges exceeding 200 yards. The figures after the name of the cartridge are the bullet weight, the muzzle velocity, and the muzzle energy. The letter "S" after the name of a cartridge indicates that it is a special, hand-loaded cartridge, and cannot be procured from factories loaded to secure this ballistics (these cartridges are described in the chapter on "Cartridges"). An asterisk (*) after the name of a cartridge indicates that it is not recommended for shots at a range of over 150 yards.


The following cartridges will be found perfectly satisfactory for all American game, including Alaska brown bear, grizzly bear, and moose. They are needlessly powerful, but otherwise perfectly satisfactory for deer.

                                      gn    fps    ft-lb

(5) .405 Winchester                   300   2204   3236
(2)  9 mm Mauser (S)                  280   2200   3009
(1) .30 Model 1906 (S)                170   2700   2752
(6) .35 Winchester Model 95           250   2200   2687
(3)  8 mm Mauser                      236   2129   2375
(4) .30 Model 1906                    220   2204   2374
(7)  9 mm Mauser                      280   1850   2090
(8) .45-70 United States government   500   1201   1602  

The following cartridges will be found perfectly satisfactory for all American game except perhaps Alaska brown bear, grizzly bear, and moose. On these three species they can not be relied upon to give a large percentage of clean kills with the first shot.

                                      gn    fps    ft-lb

(1) .30 Model 1906                    150   2700   2428
(2) .30-40 Krag                       220   2000   1950
(3)  7 mm Mauser                      175   2300   2056
(4)  6.5 mm Mannlicher                157   2313   1960
(5) .33 Winchester                    200   2056   1877
(6) .35 Remington auto.               200   2000   1776
    .45-90 high velocity *            300   1992   2644
    .45-70 high velocity *            300   1888   2375  

Deer cartridges. Often used for larger game, particularly by professional hunters, trappers, and Indians, but larger game than deer usually requires a number of shots to kill. This class are popular on account of cheapness, weight, and rifles and ammunition can be procured almost anywhere.

                                      gn    fps    ft-lb

(1) .303 Savage                       195   1952   1658
(3) .32 Winchester special            170   2112   1684
(3) .32 Remington auto.               170   2112   1684
(2) .30-30 Winchester                 170   2008   1522
(2) .30 Remington auto.               170   2020   1540
    .401 Winchester auto. *           250   1875   1952
(9) .250 Savage                        87   3000   1739
(4) .38-55 high power                 255   1700   1635
(5) .32-40 high power                 165   2065   1558
(6) .38-55 high velocity              255   1593   1437
(7) .32-40 high velocity              165   1752   1124
(8) .38-55 regular                    255   1321    988
    .44 Winchester *                  200   1300    751
    .351 Winchester auto. *           180   1861   1385  

Varmint cartridges. Suitable for coyote, fox, woodchuck, Western ground squirrel, etc.

                                      gn    fps    ft-lb

(1) .25 Remington auto.               117   2127   1175
(2) .25-35 Winchester                 117   1978   1175
(3) .25-36 Marlin                     117   1855    893
    .22 Savage high power *            70   2700   1132
(4) .32-40 regular                    165   1450    770
(5) .28 Stevens 120                   120   1405    526  

Squirrel and turkey cartridges. Also suitable for smaller varmints.

                                      gn    fps    ft-lb

(1) .25-25 Stevens                     86   1551    459
(2) .25-20 S. S.                       86   1468    412
(3) .25-21 Stevens                     86   1440    396
(4) .25-20 repeater                    86   1376    362
(5) .22 Winchester C. F.               45   1541    237
    .25 rim fire *                     67   1180    208  

Grouse cartridges. Will kill grouse neatly without mangling.

    .25-25 Stevens          When loaded with light, sharp pointed
    .25-20 S. S. and Rep.   bullets weighing about 77 grains, and
    .25-21 Stevens          with a light charge of powder.

                                      gn    fps    ft-lb

    .22 Winchester C. F.               45   1541    237
    .25 rim fire *                     67   1180    280
    .22 Winchester rim fire *          45   1107    122  

For indoor gallery shooting, rats, and English sparrows.

                                      gn    fps    ft-lb

    .22 long rifle rim fire *          40   1103    108
    .22 short rim fire *               30    900     54  

Many American cartridges have been ommitted from this list because they are seldom used and have almost become obsolete. The reader should also consult the chapter on "Cartridges" in connection with this list.

In many cases the point of view of the sportsman very properly enters into the choice of a cartridge. For example: Perhaps a sportsman has been longing for years to take a moose hunt. At last the time comes when he can get away from business. The hunt will cost him, say, $500. On this trip he may get just one chance at a bull moose, and it is perhaps the only trip he will get in years. The success of the trip depends greatly on his getting the coveted trophy, and everything possible should of course be done to insure the success of the trip. He has, we will say, a .33 Winchester rifle. It should appear foolish for him to risk the success of this trip by using this rifle when for about $40 additional he can procure a rifle like the .405 Winchester, with which the chances for a successful kill, particularly if he should get but one shot, are so much greater.

On the other hand, a man who has already killed every species of American game can afford to be independent. The procuring of a trophy is no longer absolutely necessary to the success of the trip. I believe that such a man will obtain more satisfaction from an "all-around" rifle of fine accuracy, one like the .30-40 Winchester single shot, which will shoot both high power and reduced loads with great accuracy and with practically the same sight setting. With such a rifle he will take pride in skillful stalking, and in clean kills with the first shot, and such kills will bring him as much satisfaction as did his first, well-earned trophies.

We find that throughout the whole of northern Canada, except perhaps in Yukon Territory, the .30-30 Winchester is the most popular rifle, and is almost always seen in carbine form. There are several reasons for this. The rifle and cartridges are the cheapest of the high-power variety. Almost all dealers carry them in stock. In the far north the Hudson Bay Company and its rival traders handle only this rifle and cartridge. The ammunition can be obtained anywhere, whereas ammunition for other rifles is extremely hard to get at any price. The preference of the carbine is indicative of the power of this cartridge. For large game several shots are almost always necessary to kill, and a carbine is handier and quicker for rapid fire, particularly in brush, than the rifle with longer barrel.