Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 40

medium-bore .35 calibers, with a great
part of that fondness being that every one
I've ever owned was extremely accurate,
never finicky, and easy to sight-in, year
after year. A current favorite that epitomizes the brush-gun profile is a Remington 600 from 1965 in .35 Remington that
I recently restocked. Others I've hunted
with extensively include a couple of .358
Winchesters, several .350 Remington
Magnums and the awesome .35 Whelen.
Internationally, big-bores are usually defined as .40 caliber and up, but in
Pennsylvania, the medium-bores often are
regarded as big-bores. I really enjoy the
.444 and .450 Marlin cartridges, but my
favorite is the .45-70. All of the ones I've
used shot ragged, single-hole groups at
100 yards that look as if they were chewed
by a meadow vole.

BRUSH-BUCKING MYTH
At one time, a brush cartridge was
a slow, heavy slug that was thought to
unfailingly plow through brush of any
composition and find its mark. Let's
begin, though, by stating right off that it is
unsafe and unethical to shoot at any game
obscured by brush, as it does nothing but
invite disaster.
The exaggerated brush-bucking capabilities of certain big, slow cartridges that
began as campfire lore, became fuel for
advertising. Then, as the popularity of
new high-velocity calibers and magnums
in new bullet designs grew, marketing
people began to tout the virtues of those
cartridges as being not only superior at
longer distances, but also effective brushbuckers.
When many hunters began to complain
about the modern, smaller calibers blowing up on brush, older cartridges were
pitted against the new.
40

What followed was eight decades of
gun-writers and gun-cranks conducting field tests to determine which bullet
designs and calibers were most effective
in thick cover. This made for a lot of ink in
books and sporting magazines, and debate
lingers even to this day.
I gleaned two gun libraries in search
of every brush-cartridge test I could find,
reviewed many archived magazine articles
and ads and spent hours online where
gun-writers, bloggers and gun-cranks on
forum threads posted data and videos of
their tests.
Middle-school students prepping for a
science fair will tell you that reaching any
conclusions about a hypothesis requires
employing some iteration of the seven
steps of the scientific method. A brushpenetration test is the experimental step
of the scientific method, but where all
these tests failed - some miserably - was
in the control variable - in this case, the
composition, layout and density of brushy
obstructions.
Inconsistent control variables always
result in skewed results, steering the
conclusions in many tests to be more an
exercise in persuasive salesmanship.
Some testers gathered brush and other
natural growth and placed it in front of a
target, while others just set up a target on
the other side of typical live brush. Some
attempted to institute a more consistent
variable by shooting through a box of
hardwood dowel rods of varying thicknesses placed into equidistant holes. The
density, size and dimensions of brush
varied widely, ranging from a few feet
thick to tangles more than 20 feet deep.
In some tests, the target was set directly
in or just behind the brush, while others
placed it all the way up to 50 yards from
the same. Results ranged wildly. In one



Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 29
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Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 38
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Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 41
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Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - Cover4
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