A firearm is only as accurate (or innaccurate) as the person firing it. The accuracy of the rifle above and beyond the skill of the shooter is irrelevant. For example, a 2 MOA shooter firing a 1/2 MOA rifle will still only produce 2 MOA groups.
Our current emphasis on ultra magnum hunting cartridges seemingly rates a shooters skill as secondary to bullet velocity, as if game animals are killed by sheer velocity alone. The fact is, the fastest bullet in the world cannot kill an animal unless the shooter is accurate enough to ensure the bullet destroys vital organs and tissues.
I firmly believe that many hunters would be better served with a more moderate cartridge such as a 30.06 Springfield rather than their current magnums. First and foremost in the list of downsides to magnum cartridges is their incredible recoil and muzzle blast. Despite our rugged, macho self-image, very few of us tolerate this additional recoil well. This leads to flinching, jerking the trigger, and other problems that destroy accuracy.
The extra recoil often leads many shooters to practice with their hunting rifle less often than if they had a rifle in a more moderate caliber. Add to this the fact that some magnum cartridges cost twice as much as their 30.06 counterparts and it's not hard to imagine that many rifles only come out of the gun safe for a week or two each fall. If a magnum cartridge's cost or recoil limits your time at the range practicing with it, the net effect is likely to be a net reduction in your effective range rather than increasing the long-range effectiveness as touted in the manufacturer's advertising propganda.
A bullet with an extra 1,000 ft lbs of bullet energy does not kill an animal any deader. Many modern cartridges loaded with a good controlled expansion bullet will do just as good of a job converting a game animal into BBQ fodder as their magnum counterparts. Similarly, a poorly placed shot will result in a wounded animal no matter which caliber was used.
In summary, it's more important to shoot a cartridge you're comfortable with than an ultra powerful rifle that you don't shoot as well. Jerking, flinching, and a lack of practice (because of recoil or cost) from magnum cartridges are a good indication that a more moderate caliber would suit you better.
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