Fave Rifle Round?

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Mak
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Well, just sort of wondering, what are some of your favorite rifle rounds, and why????????
I'll start off...

Just about bet that few will agree with me when I mention one of my top rifle rounds, the 30 WCF, aka the 30-30.
I once read a rather popular gun writer state that no one really liked the 30-30, they just liked the light, fast handling carbines they were chambered in. Well, I do like the Winchester 94 carbine quite a lot, and the Marlin 336, but I also happen to be quite happy with the blend of performance and recoil/muzzle blast I find with the 30-30. In Germany, they know the 30 WCF, they call it the 7.62mmx51mmr, or some such thing, and they chambered it in their multi=barreled combination guns. Seems like it worked in Europe, just like it worked here.

To those who like to point out that the 30-30 is a mild cartridge by today's standard, I like to respond with-and thats' a bad thing? With the premium bullets available today, the 30-30 is better than ever. Its won't make you deaf, won't bruise your shoulder, and won't detach any retinas. It will just keep doing what its always done, harvesting deer and bad guys as the need may be.

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great subject

My favorite is the 44. Have a Ruger auto, a henery big boy, and a couple of 94 carbines in the 44 mag and got to say, I have rifles from 22 to 458, gotta love the 44

admin
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308

Next in line...

Chris3755
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The One......

.....I have in my hand when I see a deer! In my case it was usually an old Springfield 03 chambered for 30-06. Lately I have taken to keeping the little Spanish Mauser 308 nearby as it is a lot easier to shoot than the 375 H&H I adopted a few years ago. Times change, people change and so does choice of caliber. Chris S.

cowdog
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Another 30-30 vote

Like Mak, I vote for the 30-30. I have more rifles than I need, but the two 30-30's get carried and shot more than anything else.  I don't have real big fields (All my fields are broken by woods and hills) and use it for most shots on groundhogs with the Speer 110 Grain hp.   Lever guns fit in the scabbards attached to my tractors.  I just cant decide whether the 336 or the 1894 is the better platform for the cartridge. The 336 is a bit heavier, so it wears the scope. and the 1894 is stock iron sighted for handiness.

30-30 is an economy minded handloader's delight. I can choose everything from cheaper cast flat nose to the little 110 Grain hp to LeverRevolution. I am getting good case life, and have never seen a store run out of ammo. 

Chris3755
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You Guys!

I feel bad now, you guys had to get me going on "Thurdy-Thurdy's" I gave mine (Winchester 94 of 1950's vintage) up to my brother years ago and have always kind of regretted that even though I only shot one deer with it. Later I did quite a bit of hunting with a near twin in 32 Special and fell in love with that little gun. That too went away to my regret. Just points out what I always say "Don't sell any guns, you'll regret it sooner or later". Chris S

mworkmansr
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Here's my 2 cents

For old single shots, I love my 1870 vintage 9.5X47R on a converted Mauser. See, they even did sporterizing back then. I suspect some army guys kept theirs when they mustered out, sent them to Suhl, and had them converted by apprentices. Anyway, I use an old Winchester mold for the 38-55 that throws a 255 gr. bullet of 0.379" diameter. No sizing, and lude with liquid Alox. Works great for everything from armadillos to deer or hogs.
For repeaters, my Schultz and Larsen M60 in 7X61 Sharpe&Hart rules. By the way, MAK, the 7X61 is noted in one of the first three Handloaders as having the perfect case/bore volume for 7mm. And neither of these calibers are listed in the new Lyman manual. Mostly a bunch of garbage that ends in WSM.
Just started reviewing the early Handloaders and Rifles. They are invaluable in their picturing the real basics of loading. And, most of the scope mounts don't look like plumbing hardware.
 
Poke, poke.

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Mak
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OK, OK!

Well, Mike makes sure I don't get too big of an ego here-a good thing, I'd wager!
The point is well taken, that the new Lyman manual is pretty much only for folks who shoot popular cartridges. For people like Mike, who like little known, arcane, and mysterious wildcats stuffed with a strange alchemical brew to make them go bang-well DON'T BUY THE NEW MANUAL, just spend that money on fast women!

mworkmansr
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Ain't nuthin' like a fine rifle

Most of the time I buy a rifle or handgun because of its quality or charisma. Sometimes it's because of a distinctive caliber. With the Schultz & Larsen 7X61, it was both. Beautiful rifle, great cartridge. The only bullet I use is the Nosler 140 gr. Partition. I have never had an animal take a single step after hit by a Partition in any of the calibers I shoot. And the S&L action is so slick that almost everything else feels like dragging a rock... except the Sauer 90. Another story.

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Mak
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Euroguns

I don't have much experience with European rifles. It seems that Europe is fond of the bolt action both in straight pull and turn bolt form. I've also seen a few over & under rifles, combination guns-which is what a drilling is, and some semi-autos.
Even now, I'm not at all certain how I feel about bolt actions. I guess I never quite understood why they took over in America. People who can't shoot, still can't shoot with a bolt gun, and people who can do. The average hunter is unable to put either the much acclaimed accuracy, or the longer range to much use, and as a personal defense item, they are practically useless. Try to imagine taking on bad guys with your sightless scoped 7mm mag in your home, and you see what I mean.
This is part of the utility of the 30 WCF. In a good carbine, it works just fine as a personal defense item, and will put food on the table as well. Chalk it up to human infatuation with specialization, but most bolt gun cartridges today are created with one concept in mind-the hunt. No doubt, the 300 Win mag, for example,  is a great hunting cartridge-but that's all it will ever be.
In my opinion, the best rifle cartridges offer a blend of capabilities, and do so with aplomb.

cowdog
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Good thoughts Mak

I like my bolt guns, but they are specialized tools. If I am actually going hunting, I might take a .223 or .270 bolt, but they are just not handy.  For a hunter in the suburbs who only takes his rifle out to sight it in and hunt two weeks a year, I guess that works (that is maybe also why they cant shoot very well unless its off a sighting bench!)  I live on the old family farmstead. I have a few cows and chickens, an orchard, and a  lot of woods. I am lucky enough to live in a place where I can carry a rifle most of the time without raising eyebrows. I might go cut wood all morning then hunt a couple hours. I also like having a rifle nearby for the protection of the livestock or the pesky groundhogs.  Some days I just like to take a break from what I am doing and shoot.  Lever guns fit my life by being easy to carry and durable, so they are close by when I need them. I messed with milsurp bolt actions for a while to fulfill the same role of a working gun.  Nothing beats a lever action.

Mak
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I hear ya

I think you got it, when you mentioned bolt guns and lots of space together.
The bolt gun is all about reaching out over large distances. I daresay, the bolt gun is purely an offensive weapon, and was originally conceived as such. Maybe thats why it has taken over the hunting fields. After all, hunting is the quintessential offensive activity. I might as well admit that I have gone all google eyed over a beautiful Mark X Mauser, and the Win. model 70 in various incarnations. Simply beautiful weapons...

Conversely, today, everything is getting shrunk. The hot deal today is the M-16 knockoff, and the basic caliber is now 22. Now, I've heard of a number of people who use 22 centerfires on critters up to Deer, but it seems like that is stretching the capability of both caliber and bullet to me.

Then again there is the unsung 22 mag...a great rimfire indeed!

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I still have to say the .270

I still have to say the .270 Win is my all time fav....but I do have a soft spot for the Henry in .44 Mag...handy to carry, great for taking
to the bonnies and handles so easy.

mworkmansr
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Groundhogs?

Cowdog; let me get this straight: you're protecting the pesky groundhogs? 
I used to shoot them in Maine with my trusty Schmidt-Ruben converted to 308W. When I moved to Montana, I used 220 Swift and 257 Roberts on them. Shot lots of big game with my 300 Win Mag Model 70. I am sort of desirous of instant kills with game. I always loaded a 200 gr. Partition and never had an animal take even one step. 
Killed one big muley buck with a 223, however, and he never wiggled either. This year, I plan to use one of my AR15's for deer. I think they are quite capable with good bullets. They are easy for an old geezer like me to carry. My Windham Weaponry Carbon Fiber model weighs 5.8 pounds loaded. Besides, my Winchester 1892 would look silly with a red dot sight.
I go through phases though. Mostly out of curiosity. Next year, I'll probably go back to the Sharps Borschart 45-70. I can cast bullets for that one.
Mike

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Mak
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ARs 'n' Deer

I never really understood the ARs against big game thing. I guess, ARs are interesting enough, and they sure are popular, but it just strikes me as making Deer hunting unnecessarily ridiculous.
I'm sure somebody, somewhere will lecture me on the virtues of 30 round magazines in the Deer fields. No doubt I'm un-American for suggesting that there is no need to shoot deer more than once. I lost all interest in Elk hunting in the San Juans when some old timers told me that the younger, "smarter" generation started carrying military semi-autos there, and shot the Hell out of anything they saw. One old timer got himself a good bull, only to see its antlers shattered, and its pelt ruined by idiots with lots of round to expend.
The 30 WCF is all you need for Deer. Even the bolt rifles thusly chambered are light, handy, and accurate little numbers. Recoil is minimal, even for geezers, and bullets from Barnes, Winchester, and Nosler make the more iffy shots possible.
However, folks being what they are, I guess it was inevitable that the AR would be shoehorned into a hunting rifle.
Such is life. 

mworkmansr
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Love it

MAK;
I can't wait until you get an AR15. You'll love it.

Mike
PS; I still pack a 45 SAA loaded with shot for the large, fat cottonmouths we have infesting the ranch here.

Don't worry. Be happy.

Chris3755
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Not to Butt In BUT...

I will anyway cause that's how I am! Mak, you have to remember that quite a few of the younger generation served in the military and the only weapon they really know is an AR type. The popularity of an AR rifle is in direct proportion to that. Semi-autos have been around in the hunting realm for many, many years, Browning Auto 5,  Bar semi-auto, Remington 740 and 7400 series and of course the good old 1100  to name a few and an AR is only a variation of that old technology that has been updated to match the times. I don't  own an AR but I certainly won't be mad if a hunter bags his or her deer with one, in any of it's caliber variations (.308 for one). So I am done butting in now and my best to all. Chris S

Mak
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"ARrrrrr Tom"

Thus spake Long John Silver.
Chris, and Mike;  maybe I would love them, maybe not, and maybe thats all hunters know, and maybe not. In my experience, there's nothing keeping anyone from learning more except maybe themselves. I don't really care what platform somebody uses, as long as they follow some essential ethics when using it. 
I guess I must be different, because I like real wood and blue steel, rather plastic everything, and dull black finish. Yeah, I know, everythings modular today, and that what sells, and so on. Sure, if I was in a fight I'd rather have 30 rounds than 6. But if I draw a bead on a Deer, I'd rather shoot him with a beautiful gun, than some butt ugly nightmare from the black lagoon.

mworkmansr
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Ecumenism

Oh, well, we old-timers seem to be non-discriminatory about rifles and handguns. But, I have to admit that I never thought of using a "butt ugly nihtmare from the black lagoon" as a deer killer. Of course, since Mississippi leads the world in obesity, I could enlist many of those types of weapons from the local Walmart.
I think it was T.S. Eliot who said that there are no more intolerant people than recent converts. I imagine that in 1878 there were a number of people who looked at the Sharps Borchardt rifles and said, " WTF - thar ain't no hammer. Ah ain't gonna shoot no deer with that butt ugly creature from the black lagoon." 
I am still a stickler for cold steel and pretty wood for handguns, and all of my rifles are wood and steel except for the two AR's. But, the AR's remind me of an Erector Set; the can be made into numerable styles. I was qualified as an armorer for the M16 in the USAF, but I was not really interested in shooting them. However, the new ones compare to the '70's versions as Peking Man compares to an American from the 40th parallel.
I'm on this forum because I love single action revolvers, but like the old guy said as he ogles the Swedish Bikini Team, I ain't dead yet.

Mike

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Amityslim
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Two More

I'd have to list as others did the .30-30 and the .44 Mag, along with the great lever rifles they come in. And the 7.62 for its  yeoman service and the M1A and converted Garand platforms for it, which may be dated,  but so what? One I still miss a bit is the .358 Win. The BLR was a little awkward but it seemed SO dependable a quick killer on deer. Another is the .348, but as usual I can't fully separate the cartridge from the rifle.  The Winchester and Browning lever actions for that number are such beauties and the cartridge was so impressive out to 200 plus yards.

Keith
NRA Patron Life

WesinND
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Favorite Rifle Calibers

.30-30 Win  I have four rifles chambered for the .30-30;  two Winchesters and two Marlins, (one is a J.C. Higgins).
.30-06 Springfield.  My first deer rifle, I've owned two of them.
.17 HMR  a fun little rifle, very accurate at surprisingly long ranges.
.22lr of course

Wes

Mak
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Better 'n' a bazooka

Well, difference of opinion is what makes us individually minded.
I suppose I could be persuaded to try out an AR-if it was in a caliber that is more than marginal. Funny thing is, this being a sixguns forum, it is all about a kind of gun most of the world views as obsolete. Maybe I'm just wrong, but it seems the same thing is now going on with rifles, where even useful, competent game getters are placed aside by the jet setting crowd.
Well, for my part, I'm no recent convert, nor a universalist. I'm just a guy who experienced some good years with traditional guns, came to appreciate their lines, their history, and their usefulness.
Someone above called out the 44 mag., and in a levergun under 100 yards its a hammer. But wait, there I go again on all that boring, over the hill traditional stuff...

mworkmansr
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Well, now that we have philosophy out of the way

I can finally reveal my true love rifle caliber: .535 Round Ball. The rifle: a long, slim Whitworth target model I built myself. Instead of a conical bullet, I used a 1:72 twist barrel I won from John Buhmiller in a shooting match. I find that round ball has a much flatter trajectory inside 200 yds. I used beautiful tiger stripe maple for the stock, turned the barrel half round, hand my friend, Dick Hanson built the lock and furniture, my friend, Tom Stevens checkered the stock, and turned an old Redfield Olympic reciever sight into a windguage front sight. I already had a nice old Lyman Tang sight with Merit eyepiece.
That 225 round ball sails nicely to 200 yds and packs a wallop. Since it is pure lead, it doesn't break up; it sticks together like a booger and plows on through. Using the correct powder charge, I get the red berries at the muzzle that show clean burning. Thus, I can shoot it all day without swabing.
Gibbs 54 3Gibbs 54 Tang 2
If I had to hunt with just one rifle, this would be it. But maybe I would put a laser sight on it.

Mike

Don't worry. Be happy.

Chris3755
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Good Lookin!

Mike, looks like a winner. And I forgive you for showing us rifle pictures. I appreciate all kinds of weapons, even knives and slingshots and they can be one handed or two handed weapons like an old English broadsword. I do truly love fine walnut or any other pretty wood but my sloppy weather 35 Brown-Whelen wears a synthetic stock purely for that sloppy weather. The best handgun I have is a Colt NF 45 and it is blue steel and wears a walnut set of grips at this time. Chris S

Mak
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Specialization is for insects

Nice work, Mike.
Your gun exhibits what certainly appears to be a certain sensuous charm, and it is that sensuous charm that is so essential in finding a gun to be more than a workmanlike, cold device.
Chimps, most politicians, and other lower reptilian forms do not expend effort toward developing a philosophy. Theirs is a basic survival world where sex, food, and power define all that needs defining. Higher levels of existence are only viewed as necessary by those who appreciate potential, exploration, and self knowledge.

mworkmansr
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WOW

To think that I had something in the vault that met MAK's approval. And it ain't even a Colt. 
Just to balance it, here is one of those dastardly bolt actions: a 1903 MS with custom stock and barrel in 6.5X54 MS. A fantastic cartridge. Got two others, but they are not as pretty as this one. Note the 1920's style bolt knob receiver sight. I designed a built a new trigger to replace the two-stage military one. Also, Griffen and Howe side mount.

65X54MS
And here's something to make your teeth chatter:
Patton SAA
And it is a Colt. I know I shouldn't do stuff like this, but we were started on philosophy.

Mike

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Chris3755
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It's a Colt ???

OK Mike, what kind of Colt is it? I think I need new Glasses! Chris S
P.S. It looks hand carved!!!!!!!

mworkmansr
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Ah. Busted

I was told it was a prop from the movie. Quien sabe?

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Chris3755
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No Espanol

I refuse to learn, old timer can't change my ways...Sounds good to me, great piece to start a conversation I bet. Chris S

mworkmansr
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Conversation starters

I seem to have lots of conversation starters. When I was in college in the early 60's, I bought tons of stuff from Martin B. Retting Guns in NYC. Most of them were $40 or less, and a great many truly interesting things. Such as the Webly Fosbery Automatic revolver, the British cattle killer that used 45 blanks, the Ross 1910, and the Winchester Hotchkiss 45-70 bolt action that loaded from the rear like a Spencer, and the Schmidt-Rubin carbine in 308 Win.
I always had the $40, but rarely more.

Mike

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Mak
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Mannlicher Schoenauer

Yes Mike, you do have something in your vault that not only meets my approval, but makes me wish I lived closer so I could at least work the bolt, and shoulder that fine specimen-perhaps even put a few rounds down range. I do not currently own even a single part from those wonderful Mannlichers, sad to say, but I do believe they are superior weapons, finely made.  
The 6.5 x 54mm has long had a low profile following here across the pond. It doesn't generate revenue for the gun magazines, who always gush over stuff that reinvents the wheel, but that little Mannlicher round did a lot back in the White Mountains, before the government decided to burn them down for whatever reason the psychopaths do what they do.
If anything, the 6.5 x 54mm is even more obscure than the Swedish round; 1mm longer, and a completely different design. The folks who used the Mannlicher for Arizona Elk, Mulies, and yes, even varmints never wrote for the hunting press-or if they did, it was in hushed terms, but it brought home the bacon. In the era where everyone can't wait to have a computer fused to their anatomy, few can comprehend exactly why one would head into the forest without a supermagnum, range finder, and dozens of fossil fuel operated devices, but the Mannlicher was about woodcraft, about the track, and the stalk, leading to the final well placed shot that didn't steal a third of your hearing for a month.
I personally miss the days of working through the woods searching for sign, waking up before dawn to stoke the stove with some ready Ponderosa. Shouldering the burden, and heading out silently on foot underneath the stars. This is what the Mannlicher was about for me.

mworkmansr
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manly mannlicher

MAK:
I'm stoked that you approve of my little bolt action carbine. And it's push feed. This one was built by some old guy in the 1920's. It had to be then because after the 1920's nobody ever used a cocking piece peep. They were popular on the Griffin and Howe cusom rifles of all kinds. The onlt think I did to it was to have a new Doulas Premium barrel installed that matched the contour of the original and build the trigger. I found an old G&H QD side mount at a gun show and put on an old Weaver K2.5 post reticle scope. It carries very nicely, but I have never shot anything but targets with it.
The first one I had was a Greek 1903 that I bought the day I graduated from university of Maine. A really cute carbine that I used a Lee Loader to load for. At 30 feet, the Sierra 120's hit sideways, so it went to the back of the closet. When I got assigned to Amarillo, I had Brooks Robinson rebarrel it with a medium weight 24" Douglas Premium barrel with a middle weight profile. I added a Kuharsky Brothers side mount and an old all steel K10. It still shoots like a lightning bolt 47 years later. I use mostly Sierra 100 Gr. in it. A lot of rockchucks never heard the bullet that smacked them from 400 yds away. Almost no recoil.
My third on, I inherited from my Dad. He shot a few midget Texas deer with it and a few turkeys. It is a model MCA carbine in 30-06. Redfield side mounts and a Redfield Widefield 2-7X. 
They are slick operating, and the rotary magazine keeps the bullet noses pointy. Even slicker is the Sauer 90 in 300 Wby. The lugs are at the rear of the bolt and retract into the bolt body when the handle is lifted. So the bolt is fitted in the receiver with honing. No wobble whatsoever. A little tilt will slide the bolt in and out. Really sweet design. Yes, I have heard all the worries about case stretching, but George Nonte tested one when they first came out and got no stretched cases after a host of reloading with full length sizing.
But there's still nothing like a good sixgun in a leather holster to make the heart pump.

Mike

Don't worry. Be happy.

Mak
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Col. Cooper

Col. Cooper once said something about a man with a rifle is a citizen, and a purveyor of power.

Old world craftsmanship once built very fine hunting rifles because that was how things were done right.
If you ever get tired of that ol M-S from the 1920's, think of me, ok?

I got to thinking, which can be dangerous, to be sure. My thoughts took me to acknowledge that for a specific task, modern rifles like the AR 15 are well suited. Specialized though they are, they do indeed have some versatility. Yet their true value lies in configurations unavailable to the average citizen.

Then I considered, what indeed are the virtues, if any, of the more traditional sporting rifles I find a magnetic attraction to? Is it simply a case of a gentleman preferring Blondes? Is it some overly romantic notion that makes good copy, but no real practical sense?
I think I have found, if nor answers, then some tangible conclusions. I'll cover some of these in my next post.

tonyyork
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favorite rifle round

My favorite rifle round is and always will be .22lr, by far the most useful round ever created.

Tony York