Is there such a thing? One Hunting Rifle for the Planet?
Big or small, Cape Buffalo or whitetail deer, This rifle must do it all, and do it well!
Many an outdoor writer has written on the mythical best all around cartridge and rifle for the money. These authors, like me have to make some assumptions about what you want in an all around rifle. Here are my assumptions:
The hunter wants to either hunt Alaska or Africa some day for Brown Bear or Cape Buffalo/Plains Game and Elephant in Africa; but more than not, hunts deer, moose, Bison and bear whenever possible. And you can only use one rifle/cartridge to do it all and be happy with your choice!
Does this Rifle and Cartridge even exist? Let me throw out some hurdles for this rifle cartridge to overcome as well…
The cartridge is available at larger retailers and can be hand-loaded by the shooter/hunter.
Use bullet heads available on the market from several manufacturers.
Can be used on game from whitetail deer without damaging meat to cleanly kill Cape Buffalo and Elephant when solids are used.
Shoot low recoil hand loaded 225 grain rounds for deer or bear that a teenager could shoot e.g. 12 ft -lbs recoil energy as compared to 17 ft-lbs for a 30-06.
Shoot a range of delivered energies from 1800 ft-lbs to 4500 Ft -lbs
Shoot bench rest 3 shot groups at 100 yards at 1 MOA or better with all bullets types and weights.
Uses a standard action only.
The rifle must cost less than $900 dollars
Can shoot flat enough and with ample punch to kill an Elk at 500 yards.
Shoot flatter than a 30-06 Springfield/180 grain heads and do it with a 225 grain bullet with 1000 ft-lbs more energy than the 30-06.
There is only one rifle on the planet that meets this criteria!
The Answer is the .375 Ruger Cartridge (a proprietary Hornady case) in the Ruger’s M77 Hawkeye Rifle. And is made right here in New Hampshire.
I have the pleasure of owning the .375 Ruger M77 Hawkeye African, and have owned it for several years. I have shot 3 1/8 groups at 600 yards (prone position on grass) with Nosler 260 grain AccuBonds. It shoots 1/2 inch groups at its best at 100 yards and sub-MOA groups for most all bullet types and styles and is not finicky over its diet. VX Gold Ring Leupold Scopes are a must on this rifle with dual erector springs to absorb the recoil day after day.
Cases from Hornady
At the Range
The Ruger M77 Hawkeye is better than any rifle I have ever owned or shot for the money in nearly 50 years of hunting and shooting. I would rather sell all of my other hunting rifles first before selling it.
I bought the rifle new and had it shipped to my FFL dealer. It was not shiny like some other rifles it was beautiful however with good rifle lines and was specifically made for the Hunter. Me! I have taken Moose and Bison Buffalo with this rifle. The Buffalo was a difficult shot at 150 yards quartering away. I had to place a 260 grain AccuBond just behind the last rib and drive the bullet up through the chest cavity, lungs and heart. Not only did it do just that but it broke the far shoulder too and then exited. The Buff fell in less than 20 yards.