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Today my favorite sporting cartridge dare the .22 Long Rifle, 22 Hornet, 30-30 Winchester, 45-70 Government and the 20 gauge. These are based on a couple of factors. First the effectiveness on game that I normally hunted, and second, the firearms I chose to hunt with.

I have a strong like of the pump actions. The first "real" gun I used was PawPaw’s Winchester pump action 22. I have fond memories of being given a handful of 22 shorts and the rifle and sent out into the fields and woods of the farm to bring back rabbits and squirrels for the pot.

When it became time for me to fund my own firearms, the pumps were out of the question. I just could not afford them. A Marlin 336 was actually the first non-military surplus Rifle I bought. Chambered in 35 Remington. I still like the cartridge, but I soon sold the rifle. I just could not afford it’s counterpart in 22 Long Rifle.

A H&R Shikari in 45-70 caught my attention. It was affordable and became mine. An H&R 158 combo in 30-30 and 20 gauge followed not too far behind. A H&R Topper in 22 Jet was for varmints, but it was soon replaced with a like rifle in 22 Hornet. The Jet cartridges were just too hard to find. I found the 20 gauge to be adequate for most everything I hunted. Except ducks and geese. I did not like the 12 gauge because it kicked so hard. If I am going to get pounded the 10 gauge was the way to go and it proved very effective on ducks and geese over the lake, but for flooded timber, ponds and puddles it was always the 20 gauge.

Hence, my favorite cartridges, the 22LR, 22 Hornet, 38-30 Winchester, 45-70 Government, and 20 Gauge.

My day finally came. I had scraped and scrounged and finally had the funds for my beloved pump actions. The Remington Gamemaster, Wingmaster, and Fieldmaster. 30-06, 12 Gauge, and 22 Long Rifle. A second Gamemaster came along a bit later in 6mm Remington. That was my groundhog gun.

My time with the Remington pumps was short lived though. They were all destroyed in a house fire just a few short years after I got them. Interesting that I followed nearly the same path in rebuilding my hunting battery. I started out with a Marlin, this one an 1895 chambered in 450 Marlin. It was also sold a short time after I bought it and I went back to the H&R’s, and the rimmed cartridges I so favored.

Had it not been for the house fire, I dare say that my favorites today would be the Remington pumps and the 22 Long Rifle, 12 gauge, 30-06, and 6mm Remington.
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