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The Shotem' and Caughtem' Blog is the place to find the latest reviews and commentary on gear, destinations, conditions, events, and general knowledge to inform our readers and give our opinions to anyone listening.

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Monday, 08 July 2013 23:06

Shopping for your First Hunting Rifle

So we at Shotem and Caughtem have been watching and hearing a lot of people talk about how many days are coming before hunting season.  It is quickly taking over many hunters brains.  So we decided to revisit the time when we went shopping for our very first hunting rifle.  What is the best gun caliber for the money that will give a first time hunter the most versatility for the long term should they get the inevidible bug to take to the sport.  Our top pick for North America would be the very trust worthy bolt action 30-06.  We will not list one specific manufacturer as we can make a case for many solid 30-06 platforms we will just discuss the caliber and why we like it so much for medium to large sized game hunting.

The .30-06 is the most versital round, you can get loads ranging from a 110 grain varmint load to a 220 grain solid capiable of taking buffalo. Horse power wise, it has the most knockdown and better ballistics.  Most factory loads will push a 150 grain bullet (the most common load) somewhere around 2850 FPS depending on the bullet type and manufacture. Trajectory wise it is no slouch either, a shooter that takes the time to learn his rifle/scope/load combination should have little problem connecting on deer sized targets at 400+ yards.

Besides the simple fact that it’s a great cartridge, the .30-06 offers advantages in its longevity and its popularity. Every major firearms manufacturer throughout the world chambers to this cartridge…and anywhere in the world where rifles and ammunition are available at all, you will find the .30-06. There are more than 130 .30-06 factory loads, from Remington’s 55-grain sabot Accelerator to Federal’s 220-grain loads. We have a century of handloading data, thousands of recipes for getting the best performance from the rich array of .30-caliber bullets.

The.30-06 is hardly a cutting edge cartridge—but because of its popularity it will be on the cutting edge of any new load development. A good example is Hornady’s new Superformance line, using new propellant technology that increases velocity without raising pressure or increasing load density. The first loads seen in this new line were, you guessed it, in .30-06—and they increased the velocity of the tired old warhorse very close to standard .300 Winchester Magnum performance (as Federal’s High Energy and Hornady’s Light Magnum loads have also done).

If you want a hunting rifle for a specialized purpose, whether it’s pronghorn, mountain game, Alaskan brown bear, or three-toed gazork, then there are specialized cartridges that are probably ideal. But if you are going to own just one centerfire hunting rifle, make it a .30-06. It is the versatility king, short of thick-skinned dangerous game the ultimate jack-of-all-trades…and, as generations of riflemen have learned, it works!  Let us know your thoughts on the most versitle caliber in your experiences in the comment section below.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013 21:55

Skull Hooker Trophy Mounts

While touring the Shot Show in Vegas we came across a neat way to dress up your European mounts.   It also gives you the capability of swapping skulls out should you not have enough room to display all the mounts you might have to showcase.  A company called Skull Hooker has come up with a wall mount that not only compliments your mount in its design but since you do not need to anchor your skull to the mount it allows you to swap out mounts when your room needs a change.  These stylish euro skull brackets are powder coated with two colors to choose from (black and rustic brown) and are fully adjustable (up and down) to accommodate different species' horns or antlers and more importantly providing a natural upright look. The Skull Hooker comes in two different sizes and has a starting price of 34.99 for their Little Hooker and 59.99 for the Big Hooker.  To find out more or to order one go to www.skullhooker.com.