The PSA inbox is often filled with questions and comments from our readers. On many occasions we are lucky to find responses from our shooting friends that have an affinity for hunting. Andrew W. from South Florida wanted to know what we thought about the best center-fire cartridges for hunting small game. Well Andrew….as you know, we’ll always give it our best shot!!
Andrew had several questions regarding hunting smaller game with center-fire cartridges….of which we will share with you guys a couple of his most interesting inquiries.
In your opinion, what is the best center-fire cartridge for hunting small game? Well Andrew….when you enter the world of hunting small game with center-fire cartridges, all conventional thought about these types of rounds is shot out of the window! Normally, center-fire cartridges are concerned with terminal ballistics, but in small game this will all but destroy any edible meat. In this game, accuracy trumps terminal ballistics and there’s only a couple of cartridges that we suggest using.
.38spl ammo is one of the best center-fire rounds that we can think of to hunt smaller game. Many manufacturers make rounds with soft tips that are perfect for disabling smaller game. The velocity is usually just right in the 158-grainers and this round is accurate enough to take down any sneaky squirrel or rambunctious rabbit! If semi-automatic pistols are your flavor of the month for hunting smaller game, the 9mm cartridge is our other ideal suggestion. The 147-grainers are more than likely the best suited round for hunting these small critters, but be sure that you have a round gassed for lower fps velocities.
If I am reloading my small-game, center-fire ammo…what kind of bullet is the best to load? In high-school science class our teacher would always tell us the best answer was: “It depends.” In this case, it most certainly depends on the velocity pressures that you are loading. With hunting small game, PSA always suggests ammo loads that travel 1200 fps or less. In this case you can most definitely go with a round nose bullet. This will go easier on the meat than any other round that we can reasonably suggest. If velocities will exceed that threshold, you will need a jacketed bullet.
Andrew, we want to thank you for your interesting inquiry as we rarely get to post about hunting and our hunting proclivities. Thanks again!!!
***Before you actually engage in hunting activities please check with your local law enforcement agency to ensure that harvesting these animals is legal with either kind of firearm.***
*** If you are unfamiliar with firearms and/or their accessories, and want to learn more, PSA strongly suggests that you find, enroll, and attend a comprehensive and reputable firearms safety course. Firearms safety is all of OUR responsibility.
We want to thank you for taking out the time to stop by our lane at the shooting range!! We hope that you enjoyed your stay and hope that you stop back by early and often to catch up on all PSA updates! We truly hope that we were able to hit the target, and if you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to shoot them our way!! We look forward to shooting the breeze with you soon again!!
And as always….remember to watch your six and stay low!!!