THE all-round effectiveness of a bullet depends upon its penetration and the shock it imparts. Penetration is determined chiefly by the length of bullet in calibers and its resistance to deformation. Other things being equal, the longer the bullet the deeper it will pierce. Shock depends upon energy spent in the blow and upon area and nature of wound.

In comparing the killing power of different charges we have one definite datum to start with: the muzzle energy of the bullet. Energy is expressed in foot-pounds, which means the force required to lift so many pounds one foot from the ground. Energy varies directly as the bullet's weight and as the square of its velocity. Speed, then, is of greater consequence than weight of bullet. For example:

 Weight of bullet. Muzzle velocity. Muzzle energy. 150 grains. 1,500 feet a second. 750 foot-pounds. 300 grains. 1,500 feet a second. 1,499 foot-pounds. 150 grains. 3,000-feet a second. 2,998 foot-pounds.

In this instance, doubling the weight only-doubles the energy; but doubling the speed quadruples the energy. Notice that caliber has nothing to do with this. Weight and velocity determine the resulting energy, no matter what the caliber may be.

But game is seldom shot at the muzzle of the gun. The energy we are interested in is energy at point of impact, wherever that may be. Bullets differ very much in the degree to which they maintain or lose speed and energy. The 200-grain bullet of a .401 self-loader (very short and bluff) loses thirty-five per cent of its energy in going only one hundred yards; the 300-grain .405 (medium length and taper) loses twenty-six per cent; the 150-grain .30 sharp-point U. S. bullet (relatively longer, and with fine taper) loses but sixteen and one-half per cent energy in the same distance. Here is another reason for observing critically the length of bullet in calibers (i. e., length in proportion to diameter) when choosing a cartridge.

Let us now compare the muzzle energies of the leading hunting cartridges, this being the first step toward estimating their relative efficiency in hunting. I have selected fifty or more standard ones, ranging from the weakest to the most powerful that are used in magazine arms at the date of this writing. Just now we are entering a new era of military and sporting firearms. Improved ammunition of American design will probably be on the market before long. Meantime, in order to be up-to-date, I must use a number of foreign ones for illustration of recent progress in ammunition for big game.

In classifying cartridges under the three heads of big game, medium game, and small game ammunition, I have drawn the dividing lines at two thousand and at seven hundred foot-pounds muzzle energy, respectively. Judging from results observed in the field, I think this rating is as fair as any arbitrary standard can be. Much, of course, depends upon local conditions and the method of hunting. The .25-35, for example, is an excellent little cartridge for all-round use in a country where turkeys or geese and small mammals are the commonest game, yet where deer and black bear are met now and then. If deer and bear were plentiful enough to be the main object of chase, one would prefer a cartridge of greater energy.

When a man is hunting sheep, goats, or elk, with possible grizzlies as a side issue, the .30 U. S. could be recommended without question. If he were making a specialty of grizzlies, or of the more formidable Alaskan or polar bears, he might do well to accept the burden and kick of a .333 or a .425. The largest game on this continent has been killed by thousands with rifles using ammunition that I class as " medium game." I have known an Arkansas hunter who was credited with having killed over five hundred black bears in the brakes and cypress sloughs surrounding his own plantation, and he would scarcely touch any other rifle than the .32-20 Winchester model of 1873, which is here rated as for small game.

Three weeks ago, one of my hunting partners, while trout fishing, came upon a two-year-old bear in the thicket. He knocked it down by a lucky throw of a stone no bigger than a billiard ball, hitting the beast at butt of the ear, and finished it with his pocket knife. Some years earlier, another partner of mine, within a mile of this same place, shot a small bear in the head with a .44-40 and jumped into the scrimmage to kick his dogs loose. The bear was practically unhurt and turned on him. " Doc " conquered, but he came to me in a condition that he described as " nigh breechless." One can draw his own inferences about proper weapons for bears.

The ballistics of this or that cartridge vary somewhat according to the factory loading it. Where this variation is considerable, I give the data supplied by different ammunition companies. The following abbreviations are used: U, M. C, Union Metallic Cartridge Co.; U. S.9 United States Cartridge Co.; Win., Winchester Repeating Arms Co.; B., blunt headed bullet (whether rounded or flat tipped) ; S., sharp-point bullet. Ballistics of foreign cartridges are those of foreign, not domestic, loading. Length of bullet may be judged from its weight, as contrasted with others of the same caliber.

Big Game Cartridges

Bullet M.Vel. M.En. grains, ft.secs. ft.lbs.

 Caliber, inch. Cartridge. .256 (6.5 mm.) Mauser and Mannl____ .157 B. 2313 1960 .256 6.5 mm.) Mauser and Mannl.. .. 139 S. 2887 2585 .256 (6.5 mm.) Mannlicher-Schoenauer. 12& S. 2592 1845 .278 (7 mm.) Mauser and Mannl..... .173 B. 2231 2025 .278 (7 mm.) Mauser and Mannl..... .154 S. 2740 2568 .278 (7 mm.) Mauser and Mannl..... .139 S. 2920 2632 .280 Ross........................ 140 s. 3150 3095 .280 Ross........................... .160 s. 2950 3088 .30 Krag, '98 (.30-40)............... .220 B. 2005 1972 .30 Krag, Hudson-Thomas............ .202 s. 2160 2094 .30 U. S., '06, service................ .150 s. 2700 2429 .30 U. S., match..................... .172 s. 2580 2540 .315 (8 mm.) Mauser and Mannl..... .236 B. 2034 2221 .315 (8 mm.) Mauser and Mannl..... .154 s. 2882 2823 .315 8 mm.) Mannlicher-Schoenauer.. 244 B. 2165 2540 .315 (8mm.) Mannlicher-Schoenauer.. .170 S. 2411 2199 .333 Jeffery-Mauser.................. .250 s. 2600 4200 .35 Win., model 1895................. .250 B. 2200 2687 .350 Rigby-Mauser ................. 225 S. 2572 3306
 .355 (9 mm.) Mannlicher....... .....281 B. 2100 2700 .401 Win., self-loader.............401 Win., self-loader............ .....200 B. 2142 2038 .....250 B. 1875 1952 .405 Win., model 1895........... .....300 B. 2204 3237 .413 (10.5 mm.) Mannlicher..... .....309 B. 2230 2935 .425 Westley Richards-Mauser.... .....410 S. 2350 5022 .441 (11mm.) Mauser........... .....322 B. 2461 3969

Medium Game Cartridges

 .22 High Power Savage...... 68 B. 2800 1200 .25-35 Win. and Savage........ 117 B. 2030 1070 .25-35 Rem., Stand., Stev..... 117 B. 2127 1175 .25-35 Rem., Stand., self-load ing ..................... 101 S. 2275 1158 .25-36 Marlin................ 117 B. 1855 893 U.M.C. .30-30 Win., Marl., Sav...... .170 B. 2008 1522 .30-30 Rem., Stand., Stev..... 170 B. 2020 1540 .30-30 Rem., Stand., self-load ing ..................... 151 S. 2020 1450 .303 Savage.................. 195 B. 1952 1658 U.M.C. .32-40 Win., Marl., Sav., H.V..165 B. 2065 1558 U.M.C. .32-40 Win., Marl., Sav., H.V..165 B. 1752 1125 Win. .32 Special Win. and Marl.... 165 B. 2112 1684 .32 Rem., Stand., Stev........ 165 B. 2057 1550 .32 Win., self-loading..........33 Win..................... 165 B. 1392 710 200 B. 2056 1878 .35 Rem., Stand., Stev........ 200 B. 2000 1776 .35 Rem., Stand., self-loading. 170 S. 2050 1585 .35 Win., self-loading..........351 Win., self-loading........ 180 B. 1396 779 180 B. 1861 1385 .38-55 Win., Marl., Sav., H.V..255 .38-55 Win., Marl., Sav., H.V..255 B. 1700 1635 U.M.C. B. 1593 1437 Win. .40-65 Win. and Marl., H.V____ 253 B. 1790 1800

Small Game Cartridges

 .22 short, rim-fire............ 30 B. 900 54 U.M.C. .22 short, rim-fire............ 30 B. 975 63 U.M.C. .22 long, rim-fire............. 30 B..22 long-rifle and armory, rim- 1000 66 fire ..................... 40 B. 1100 108 .22 long-rifle, smokeless, rim-fire 40 B. 983 86
 .22 automatic, rim-fire........ 45 B. 1036 107 U.M.C. .22 automatic, rim-fire........ 45 B. 1000 100 U.S. .22 automatic, rim-fire.........22-7 Win., rim fire model 1890.. 45 B. 903 82 Win. 45 B. 1150 132 U.S. .22-7 Win., rim fire model 1890.. 45 B. 1107 123 Win. .22-7 Win., rim fire model 1890.. 45 B. 1036 107 U.M.C. .22-13-45 Win., center-fire..... 45 B. 1541 237 .25 Stevens, rim-fire.......... 67 B. 1161 201 .25-20 Win., single-shot........ 86 B. 1468 412 .25-20 Win., & Marl., repeater. 86 B. 1547 457 U.M.C. .25-20 Win., & Marl., repeater. 86 B. 1376 362 Win. .25-20 Win., & Marl., repeater, H. V.................... 86 B. 1711 560 .32-20 Win., & Marl...........32-20 Win., & Marl.......... 100 B. 1325 390 U.M.C. 115 B. 1222 382 Win. .32-20 Win., & Marl., H. V.... 100 B. 1575 551 U.M.C. .32-20 Win., & Marl., H. V.... 115 B. 1640 690 Win.

One material fact that shows conspicuously in these tables is that caliber alone is no gauge of power. Let the novice rid himself, once and for all, of the notion that a big bore necessarily means a powerful rifle and a small bore means a weak one. This never was true, even in the days of round bullets. As far back as the American Revolution our frontiersmen of the Alleghanies discovered and adopted the "express" system of driving small bullets at very high speed, thus getting the maximum efficiency out of a given weight of lead.