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5 Most Ignored Rifle Calibers

5 Most Ignored Rifle Calibers

Posted by Arthur Adler on May 12th 2023

The ammunition market has been in disarray for about a year and half now. With the overwhelming cost of the most popular kinds of ammunition coupled with panic buying the likes of which have never been seen before, buying conventional calibers is almost impossible without luck. The most popular calibers like the .223/5.56 and 9mm are in as high demand as ever so you are lucky to get them even if they have a restock date. The thing is, most people don’t know or don’t think to look to the past for ammunition that might be even better than what you currently run.

Calibers are designed intuitively for specific rifles, which are designed around a certain purpose. Whether its for range, impact, etc., the kind of purpose a particular caliber is designed for matters for the kind of shooting you want to do. At the end of the day researching more types of ammunition only helps you to understand ballistics better. This will definitely help you if you are looking to reload your own ammo, although the information on that is widely accessible on the internet.

The History Of Ammunition.

While we won’t question how obsolete more archaic types of ammunition like those used in muzzleloaders, taking a look back in the history of ballistics might do you some good when looking for another type of ammo that may suit you even better than other more modern calibers. When the birth of the smokeless powder cartridges came with the lebel 1886, a revolution in the firearms industry had taken place. Calibers could be shot faster and farther than ever before, and many of them were created for battle. At a time when war was in demand, the early half of the 20th century and on, a great deal of innovations had been made. Manufacturers developed rifles and the ammunition that would be shot from them with heightened understanding of ballistics and the physical phenomena of projectiles.

Listen, no one here is telling you to go for milsurp ammo, but there are a few cartridges still in production today that you may not know about because they simply are not as popular anymore.

Read More: The Differences Between The M16 And The AR-15?

What Guns Take Older Rounds?

You would be surprised to know that many older milsurp firearms are refashioned into more modern sporting rifles. Many milsurp firearms were made with the intent to be easily manufactured so many things that competition shooters and especially hunters, would not be present on them. There are some more popular rifles whose ammunition is still widely accepted, like the 7.62x54R, like in the mosin nagant and the dragunov sniper rifle, and getting into sporterizing rifles is not as hard as you might think. Here is a list of 5 rounds that are not popular, but are still good.


This round is definitely not as popular as the more modern rounds we have talked about, but is still a great round that can go in a relatively cheap rifle. That is the mosin nagant 91/30. A variant has been made, called the ArchAngel which is a sporter kit made for the platform, the bolt and the receiver/barrel. If you want a very cheap rifle with an equally cheap caliber, go for the 7.62x54R

.338 Fed

The .338 Fed is known for its very blunt nature. That is to say, while many might go for a smaller, faster round, the slower, heavier rounds are still capable of doing a fair share damage. 210 grains producing 2,630 fps and 3,225 ft/lbs of muzzle energy and roughly 23 ft/lbs of recoil in an eight-pound gun. It’s a perfect round for hunting any game in the United States.

.280 Rem/.280 Ackley Improved

If you are going the route of .280 remington then you might want to just head up, for no extra cost mind you, to the .280 Ackley which boasts 200 fps more than its predecessor. This round provides performance nearly identical to 7mm Magnum with a much lower recoil penalty. This is a function of efficient use of powder. The Ackley doesn’t use nearly as much powder to produce the same effect using a 140-grain projectile, pushing 3,200 fps and 2,800 ft/lbs of muzzle energy and a MPBR of roughly 310 yards.

.243 Winchester

This caliber is a necked-down .308 Winchester. It has a lower recoil because of this, even compared to the 7mm – 08 by at least 20%. It is a great varmint hunting round in this instance, however, the grains will get you to hunt even deer.

6.5×55 Swede

This round is a beauty, still manufactured today by a few companies, and is one of the best rounds I have ever fired. It was a round standardized by the manufacturers in Sweden and Norway who came to produce the Swedish Mauser and the variations of the Norwegian krag rifle. The round fell out of favor due to the better performing 6.5 Cm and 6.5 Grendel. However, while the muzzle velocity is about 50 fps slower, it comes with a very soft recoil. Plus who wouldn’t like to shoot such a round out of a prewar rifle.

Ammunition is scarce. Getting into new forms of ammunition may be just what you need to fuel your hobbies even more. And with what more conventional calibers cost now, doing your research and choosing a different ammunition may even keep you from breaking the bank.