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Cartuchas Los Viejos by Larry Weishuhn

Cartuchas Los Viejos

by Larry Weishuhn

“The .30-30 Winchester is the best deer round there ever was, or ever will be!” stated the grizzled Mackinaw suited hunter, albeit with his backside to the campfire and those huddled around it to ward off the chill of the November, hunting camp night.

“You’re crazy!  I’ve shot more deer than all of you. The .45-70 is the only really good, REAL, deer gun!”  proclaimed the hunter who poked a stick at the coals sending skyward glowing embers as offerings into the night.

“You old coots, you have no idea what you’re talking about, the .270 Winchester and .30-06 are the only way to go these days. What’s amatter with you, don’t you read!” Exclaimed Uncle Herbert who then continued, “And what about my favorite, the 7x57.  Those Spaniards surely taught Roosevelt’s boys a lesson with their Mausers. If you’d spend your time trying to learn a few things and read something besides “Ladies Home Journal” you’d know about ol’ Karamojo Bell and how he used that round to shoot hundreds if not thousands of elephants.  If that round was good enough to shoot elephants, it’s darn well should be good enough for whitetails.”

“Ahhh you’re full of it and I ain’t talking safe water this time!” came the response from across the fire….

The scene was one I dearly loved, a gathering of friends in the mid-1950’s, the night before the opening of the Texas whitetail deer season, back then November 16th.  

I, yet to achieve an age that required two numbers but who had been hunting deer almost half of my life kept hoping someone would ask me my favorite deer round.  Of course my personal choice would have been my Remington .22 rimfire single-shot loaded with Long Rifle hollowpoints.  I had not yet shot a deer with it, but no doubt I could and would if an opportunity presented itself! I leaned back and dreamed of taking my first buck.  Off in the distance a coyote serenaded the rising Hunter’s Moon.

Fast forward several decades, same hunting camp.  Different generation, but with the same passion and love for deer hunting as their great grandfathers and many forefathers that came before them, and still discussing the same subject!

“I’m convinced the 6.5 Creedmoor, shooting Hornady’s Precision Hunter ammo, is without a doubt the finest and best whitetail round ever was or ever will be!” Is how the nightly discussion started that evening by those surrounding the campfire dressed in synthetic hunting clothing as opposed to wool.

“I beg to differ…gotta be a .300 PRC, I shot a couple of deer with mine using Hornady’s 212-grain Precision Hunter, as well as two monstrous-bodied wild hogs. Dropped all four in their tracks.  Impressive!  I’ve been shooting it long range, and with the Trijicon Ten Mile scope on it, I can put five rounds into less than six inches at a thousand yards.” Said the tallest of the grandsons.

“I’ve been shooting the 6.5 PRC lately and I’m convinced it’s got to be one of the best deer rounds there ever will be.  With Hornady ammo it has long range capabilities, extremely flat shooting, and great downrange trajectories…” chimed in the grandson who flies military drones.

I sat back and listened, noticing our campfire discussion had been joined by three young women who were special to my grandsons.  They listened intently, nodding at the appropriate times regarding comments about ballistic coefficients, trajectory and downrange performance.  Undoubtedly, they knew about such things.  I was impressed to say the least.

The discussion slowed when I poked at the coals sending glowing embers skyward to the star-filled sky night.  

“Papo..You’ve been pretty quiet. What’s your favorite?  I know you’ve shot cartuches Los Viejos but also the new and current rounds the guys are talking about.” Questioned the one fluent in both Spanish and English.  All around the fire turned to look in my direction.

I smiled, “Thanks for asking.  I have shot a lot of different calibers and rounds while hunting deer and other big game, guns from old to new and .22 rimfires to shotguns, to muzzleloaders to all sorts of centerfire handgun/rifle calibers and rounds.”

“Like your reference to the Los Viejos cartridges. Having shot a lot of the new “zip, zam, zoomers” they certainly are excellent rounds when it comes to hunting, especially deer, and even bigger game.  But that said I do have some old favorites I keep coming back to.  Those which have been around about a hundred years or more.  I am really glad Hornady produces commercial loads for them. Truly proud of Hornady doing so!”  

I hesitated briefly then continued, “For this hunt I brought a 6.5 x 55 Swedish, which in many ways is very similar to the 6.5 Creedmoor that’s been all the rage the past few years. The Creedmoor is the first 6.5 that’s been extremely popular in North America, even though the one I’m hunting with this trip had been the rage in Europe for a very long time.  But it never seemed to catch on here in the States.  The one I’m using here is a pretty wood stock, Ruger M77 African topped with a Trijicon 2.5-10x40 Huron scope, shooting Hornady’s Superformance 140-grain SST.  I shot a couple of does with it a few days ago, loved what it did.  Now, I’m anxious to shoot a buck with it.”

“I brought two other guns with me as well.  Both are Ruger Number 1s topped with Trijicon scopes, one a Huron and the other an AccuPoint.  One is a No. 1 RSI in .257 Roberts and the other a .275 Rigby, same as the 7x57.  Both are two of my all time favorites.  The Roberts is a round I have been hunting with for 50 years.  This No. 1 like other rifles I’ve had chambered in .257 Roberts  loves Hornady’s Superformance 117-grain SST.  I’ve used it a bunch in the past year. That combination has never let me down.  I can say the same about the .275 Rigby using Hornady’s Custom 140-grain Soft Point. Those two rifles with the Hornady ammo will shoot less than 1-inch groups at 100 yards.  Used it in Spain on ibex and roe deer, a bit over a year ago.  I feel comfortable shooting out to 400 yards, although I much prefer getting as close as possible before taking a shot.  Love all the long range shooting at steel and targets, but when it comes to hunting my goal always is to get as close as I possibly can before squeezing the trigger.”

“I too, really like the .270 Winchester, .280 Remington, .30-06 and .300 H&H Magnum.  All those are pretty close to being a hundred years old, or older. Using Hornady’s ammo and bullets when I used to do a lot of handloads, I have taken a lot of deer and other big game with those rounds both here in North America and other countries around the world.  To me there is something about being tried and true. Don’t get me wrong I do like a lot of the recent rounds, but I gotta say the cartuchas Los Viejos have never left me wanting.  Long as I did my part, they did theirs…”

All got quiet.  I stared at the glowing embers and wondered what sort of discussions about hunting rounds would take place around the campfire fifty and more years hence…

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