Stopping Power and Accuracy – Campfire Fodder


Great stuff to talk about after dinner at the campfire. What your skill level is, the game you are hunting, the distances you expect to see and shoot at game play a part in what cartridge and bullet you use to hunt with and kill game.

It has been my experience and those of millions of veteran hunters that accurate bullet placement is the beginning discussion of stopping power. Accordingly, without good bullet placement in a vital area the discussion simply evaporates into the smoke rising from the campfire. First things first, shoot accurately!

Having said that it is important to understand the elements of Terminal Ballistics when discussing big game such as large northern whitetail deer, bear, bison,and moose. If a bullet has sufficient energy to damage vital organs it will kill cleanly, some cartridges do this better than others.  I believe it is better to err on a moderately larger rifle cartridge if you can shoot it accurately especially if you are a hand-loader.

Cartridges that are adequate in stopping power for deer abound. I believe the 6 mm/ .243 is an excellent starting place as long as bullet construction and weight are designed for deer where the shot is broadside and distances are known. Clean kills for this caliber are well documented to 300 yards with a 90 to 105 grain bullet and recoil is very low. Those who are veterans and can handle recoil better may prefer a cartridge that has more power/kinetic energy and bullet weight such as the .308 Winchester, 7mm08,  .270 Winchester, and the 30-06 Springfield. Most of these do well in the 120 grain to 180 grain weights. Jack O’Connor created worldwide fame of the .270 Winchester with a 130 grain bullet because it had moderate recoil and packed tremendous downrange energy but Jack hunted mostly out west where trees and branches were not in the way. Still the .270 Winchester and the 30-06 corner the market for most adult hunters. Those of us that hunt in brushy areas may want a heavier bullet that deflects less in brush such as the 35 Remington,444 Marlin or .375 Winchester for quick examples. The .338-06 and .338 Marlin are great for hunting game in brush too but can reach out when needed. Of Course if you hand-load you can make some big bore rifles shoot slower or faster as there are loads and bullet combo’s that can achieve this, like my .375 Ruger which replicates the .375 Winchester and the old 38-55 Winchester when hand loaded for deer and bear. At full power the .375 Ruger shines for Bison and Moose. There are time when hunters may want more stopping power for the game they are hunting because either the game is potentially dangerous at close quarters or of such size that they want to anchor the animal right there or both. I anchored this 800 lb small Bison with one shot from my M77 Hawkeye African in .375 Ruger with a single 260 grain Nosler AccuBond traveling at 2600 fps.



The bullet entered the last rib and drove forward through the chest cavity wrecking the heart and lungs and exited the far shoulder. The bull collapsed in just a few steps.  Stopping Power is a nice ally in that situation as there was ample hydro-static shock and penetration.

Where “stopping power” by definition seems to have derived its roots is the effect of “hydro-static shock” effect on blood and tissue, so fast and severe that it can rupture tissue far away.  It is not just speed of the projectile that  produces the effect of “Stopping the animal in its tracks”  it is a combination of speed and penetration that does it.  Penetration has a lot to do with bullet speed and weight, its cross sectional area, shape and momentum.

A bullet that travels faster than the speed of sound for example carries with it a bow wave as it travels.

Bow shock wave image from Wikipedia:

I believe that this wave may be responsible to a large degree for hydro-static shock that can damage tissue and organs not near the wound channel. In some cases via hydraulic effects in arteries this wave can induce shock as far away as the brain especially if speed is sufficient with penetration.   The shock wave in general disrupts tissue to such a degree as to turn it to a jelly like mass. The liver can be an organ that is inedible if it encounters hydro-static shock as it has happened to me.

The cross sectional area and shape of the bullet face and bullet weight known as Sectional Density (SD) contribute to penetration and momentum that continue to provide damage to vital organs

From Wikipedia:

“Sectional density is the ratio of an object’s mass to its cross-sectional area. It conveys how well an object’s mass is distributed (by its shape) to overcome resistance. For illustration, a needle can penetrate a target medium with less force than a coin of the same mass.

Sectional density is often used in gun ballistics where sectional density is the ratio of a projectile weight, to its diameter. Sectional density is important to understand when selecting a cartridge bullet combo.”

Here is more on its value from Chuck Hawkes

To find the SD of your rifle bullets:

I found the SD for the 90 grain .243’s I am testing to be very adequate for deer.

Further there is discussion of the Controlled eXpansion (CXP) Performance Rating System developed by Winchester is here.

Bullet Construction can be Lead, Copper sheathed spitzer and round nose, Partition/A-frame, solid gilding metal that can flare like the Barnes and Nosler E-Tips. Note: a round nose bullet or flat point must use more energy up front to enter the skin and tissue and provide more of this shock wave value at entry.

As an example all Dangerous Game bullets are round nosed or flat-point of sufficient SD and mass that it is like getting hit with a fast moving barn door instead of a knife blade.

Further that if we assume that a higher SD bullet that grows in diameter (mushrooms)  as it penetrates tissue, providing a larger wound channel.

If you skipped the Chuck Hawkes articles go back and read them. There is a lot of Campfire Fodder there. Good Hunting!©

Buying new 22 Long Rifle Ammo- and shooting the old stuff

Velocitor Ammo

When you can get some; The 22 Long Rifle Cartridge is perhaps the most popular rifle ammo in America today and it is in short supply at your retailer as I have written before.But is the old stuff you and I store at home for years just as good? Read on!

If you are just target shooting then standard velocity is just fine at around 1050 fps in a bolt action rifle. In a semi-auto you will lose some of the velocity as the gas ejects the spent round and a new one is chambered. Today sub-sonic 22 LR are great to have for pests in the back yard but they will not eject in a semi-auto. I have seen these recently on shelves along with CCI 22 short ammo so the stock is coming.

My Marlin rifle loses perhaps 50 or so FPS from published velocities. My father always kept a good supply over the years and I followed suit. Dad has passed away but his legacy lives. Dad bought it when it was on sale for 3 or 4 dollars per 100 rounds.

If stored correctly in a dry safe and secure location, this ammo is likely just as good as when it was made. Since I have access to a chronograph, I decided to check out the velocities of some major brands that have been kept for 10 years or less in the family ammo can. Most brands that say High Velocity are typically 1200 or so FPS for a 40 grain round nose. Since I hunt with them I want a faster bullet like the High Velocity type.

The first 5 shot batch I tested were Remington HV that have been around for 10 years since my Dad had them. The average velocity was 1123 the spread was 56 fps. One round dropped to 1043 fps and pulled the average down.

The second 5 shot batch of Winchester Super X HV 40 grain heads I shot was as old as above. The average velocity was 1130 with the spread at 58 fps.

The third 5 shot batch was CCI Mini-Mags with 40 grain heads and were the same age. The average velocity was 1177 with a spread of 38 fps

The fourth 5 shot batch was newer 1-year-old Federal 38 grain Hollow Point. The came out at around 1180 fps with a spread of 30 fps.

The total variation was less than 30 fps.

I have some older stingers but honestly the packaging was so good that they look brand new, bright and shiny.

If age of 10 or so years has caused a degradation, at all, it is appears minimal in my small sample.

This is a very small sample study for sure but the data trend is goods. It is important to get bullets that are plated to some degree as they are resistant to oxidation.

So when the shortage is over and it will be, then over time stock up so you don’t get caught in the same situation. I ran into a fellow today that has built stock of 22 LR ammo of 10,000 rounds but is holding them like gold bullion. Personally for the average occasional shooter buy a brick of 500 rounds and when it is 1/2 gone buy another brick. It is important to buy what shoots well in your guns so don’t rush out a buy irrationally. Test what works best in your pistols and rifles. Patience is the key! Happy shooting and Hunting! ©




Hunting Cartridges for New Deer Hunters


Photo from Wikipedia Rifle Cartridges

“Various Cartridges Left to Right:

1) .17 HM2; 2) .17 HMR; 3) .22LR; 4) .22 WMR; 5) .17 SMc; 6) 5mm/35 SM4; 7) .22 Hornet; 8) .223 Remington; 9) .223 WSSM; 10) .243 Winchester; 11) .243 Winchester Improved (Ackley); 12) .25-06; 13) .270 Winchester; 14) .308 Winchester; 15) .30-06 Springfield; 16) .45-70 Govt; 17) .50-90 Sharps”

This list is missing many cartridges but an example nonetheless.

I grew up as a youth in a household that made summer shooting in the back yard a priority mostly with a .22 caliber rifle, a single shot with open sights. We grew up fast and jumped to the 30-30 Marlin which has moderate recoil and also to the old lever action 38-55 with a metal buttplate. These are not in the list above but we learned to shoot them well at 50 yards or less.

These rifles were a significant jump from the .22 caliber but a given because that was what was in Dad’s gun cabinet.  These were not bad choices at all as recoil was not overwhelming and accuracy was just fine with open sights out to 50 yards. Better accuracy if we had a tree nearby to brace the rifle. The key here for the dad finding a new or existing rifle for a son, daughter or wife for that matter to shoot where:

  1. The rifle is light enough to carry in the deer woods and fits the shooter. The length of pull for youth is around 12 inches and adults a bit over 13 inches on average.
  2. The recoil is manageable to prevent flinching
  3. The cartridge and bullet have enough energy with a well structured bullet to cleanly kill a northern whitetail deer.

The ubiquitous 30-30 Winchester in a lever action is one of the best northern deer cartridges as its recoil is low and good for close hunting to 150 yards but is not a varmint rifle for long range. It will put out the lights of a Coyote in a hurry though. A fine choice.

The .308 Winchester has similar recoil and has much more versatility in a bolt action rifle and when hand loaded it has the versatility that makes this cartridge shine. An excellent choice for a 12 year old with state of the art recoil pad. I would also strongly consider the 7mm-08 which is a necked down .308 Winchester to shoot 7mm bullets and if hand loaded can be shot with  bullets and less recoil but later can be pushed up to 175 grain bullets and hunt Elk as the .308 can do. Hornady makes a Customlite™ Cartridge with a 120 grain SST® for a reduced load

I have written here about the .243 Winchester recently in NH Rifleman in particular because it’s recoil is very low.  In fact, recoil is lower than the above cartridges. When coupled with a 90 to 100 grain bullet the .243 Winchester can kill a deer or antelope out to 300 yards with a 90 to 100 grain bullet.

See this 10 yr old drop a nice buck with the .243 Winchester. 

The .243 Winchester is a 6mm bullet and is also a great target cartridge, great for varmint and predator and deer alike.  And when the twist rate of the barrel is equal to or faster than 1:10 twist where the heavier 90 to 100 grain bullets are used, it is deadly on deer The 243 Winchester or the similar shooting 6mm Remington is a great all around cartridge for any shooter young or old.

A good bullet for deer in .243 Winchester is a bullet and jacket that has been bonded together, or a partition type bullet such as the Nosler or the newer all gilding copper bullets that I have tested here such as the Nosler E-Tip. I think the E-Tip is an ideal bullet because  it flares, and stays together maintaining most of its original weight.

For larger calibers such as 30 caliber and higher, the Partition and AccuBond made by Nosler are fantastic as they expand and stay together driving the bullet in and through the vitals.

Next above the .243 is the 257 Roberts, a fine light recoiling cartridge that make the jump to big game easily like the .308 Winchester but not as popular today. Today there are reduced loads that can be purchased for youth hunting too.

Other bullet manufacturers abound such as Hornady, Sierra,Speer, Barnes and more. What about the 30-06 and .270 Winchester for youth?

There is no set rule here you see. The problem becomes complicated when the shooter dislikes the recoil and fears the kick. Once that has happened you have a shooter with a flinch and it takes time to get the flinch to go away with proper training. It takes away from  the hunt too.

It is best, with say a 10 to 12 year old to be a keen observer of recoil issues and alway train them with a state of the art recoil pads such as the Pachmayr Decelerator or the Sim’s Limbsaver. They come in slip on varieties too. You may have to shorten the stock to fit the younger shooter too. Bottom line is to train with ample recoil protection. Out in the field the shooter that pulls the trigger often did not feel the recoil when a deer is in their sights as adrenaline is pumping into their body.

Good Hunting! ©

The Bushmaster BA 50 at a 150 yard Range – With Video Updated



The Bushmaster BA 50 was a visitor to my local club yesterday. I was asked ” Would you like to shoot it?” Well you don’t have to ask twice. Just so happened that I had my Nikon camera and I-Phone for video.

According to Wikipedia: “The Bushmaster BA50 is a bolt action, magazine fed rifle designed to shoot the .50 BMG cartridge. It has a 22 (carbine)or 30 inch, match grade Lothar Walther free-floating barrel with a 1 in 15 inch twist rate (standard for the .50 BMG cartridge). The rifle weighs 30 pounds (without a magazine or ammunition) and has a muzzle brake to help tame the recoil.Bushmaster literature says that the rifle recoils like a .243 Winchester. The barrel has a MIL-STD-1913 rail (Weaver style) for mounting a rifle scope.

The BA50 was the original design of Cobb Manufacturing. Bushmaster purchased the design and upgraded it and released it as the Bushmaster BA50.

Bushmaster states that the rifle is capable of shooting 1 MOA with M33 ball ammunition, indicating that accuracy can be improved with match grade ammunition.”


So lets shoot it!

Erin, a club friend had his Bushmaster along. He shoots it in my NH Rifleman video below.

Luckily I was far away from the horrendous muzzle blast.

Next, I get to shoot this baby! Can you say FUN!!

The bullets are in the 650 to 750 grain range and can deliver over 13000 ft-lbs of energy at the Muzzle.

There are more than 2000 shooters across the USA that are registered participants  in 50 BMG competitions according to my Hornady Manual. Hornady produces the 750 grain A-MAX® bullet for handloading to deliver 2700 to 2800 fps at the muzzle. This bullet when put into the Hornady ballistics calculator is an eye opener if you use the advanced setting where you can select the drag function G1 drag is for a standard bullet that does not maximize bullet shape for long distance such as a spitzer without a boat tail. The 750 grain A-Max utilizes its length and boat tail specifically for LR shooting so the G7 drag function is used. Go to for more on G1 vs G7 Function.  The Ballistic Coefficient for this bullet is 1.050. Wow! Most bullets in the 30 cal family never exceed .600 BC and more normally at the .400 BC. So here is the Hornady chart for this round using the G7 Drag function to 1800 yards it still has 2000 fps and 7148 ft-lbs energy. If you sight this in for 1000 yards the bullet only raises up 62 inches at 600 yards but after the 1000 yards the bullet drop correction is 23.1 MOA or 92 inches in nearly a mile, 5100 ft of travel. Wind drift at 10 mph is 55 inches. At MOA the bullet can hit a target 180 inches across. and if you take wind drift into account add 55 to 180 and you get 235 inches or almost 20 feet. You would need a rifle that shoots 1/2 moa to cut the 180 in half. Of course we took altitude, temp and pressure into consideration too if you have a walking weather station. The variables are significant at that distance. A shooter needs to see where the shot went to correct for the second or third shot. That is why a spotter is used in target shooting as well as military.

Screenshot (54)



In contrast the venerable 30-06 Springfield considered a great long-range rifle shoots a 165 grain bullet at nearly the same speed.

The 50 BMG has definitely got some whump!

This round when shot in a bolt or semi-auto is legal to own and shoot. The cost of this gun is around $5000 or so without the scope so not alot of folks are running to buy them. At about 6-7 dollars a shot you can go through some serious money in a hurry. For example: 10 shots is 60-70 dollars. Out west on the plains this round and rifle are at home at over 1000 yards. If you get a chance to try one, give it a go!! ©






600 Yards at Nashua F&G with the Savage 10/110 Predator in .243 Winchester

Range_regional2The 600 yard Rifle Range at Nashua Fish and Game was the place to be yesterday.  The day began bright and sunny with little wind and the temperature was in the 60’s, ideal for long range shooting.

While setting up the Savage 10/110 Predator in .243 Winchester , I photographed some of the custom target shooting rifles (Below) that were too heavy to handle. Note the white strip above the barrel is a heat diffuser to reduce scope distortion. This rifle is likely shooting 6mm (.243) or .308 ammo. The Scope is set up for ultra long range beyond 25x. I think the shooter said this scope can crank to 50x if he wanted it.




The camo rifle below had no scope just a sophisticated peep and front site.DSC_0035


Back to my story, I had just proven some loads a few days before for the Nosler 90 grain e-tips using an accurate starting load of IMR 4350 using CCI Benchrest Primers.

The new Savage 10/110 .243 Winchester shot sub-moa groups of around 3/4 inch with a trigger pull of 2lbs 2 oz. I could likely do better if I fussed with the powder or seat depth of the bullet but this was satisfactory at the get-go. Below is the Savage 10/110 Predator.

Savage Model 10 Action, trigger and scope best image on bench


I switched out the Nikon Coyote Special scope with circle reticles to the Leupold VX-1 I was testing. The Leupold had the crosshairs I needed for such a long distance. So in the rainy downpour yesterday I got the scope and rifle to bullseye the Nosler’s at 100 yards.

Being such a stickler for details, I did not want to go the 600 yard range and guess at how many clicks up on the Leupold to get me to 600 yards so I calculated it. Here is how I did it.  Using the Hornady Ballistic Calculator in my web header above, I entered the caliber, speed of the bullet from the Nosler loading book and the ballistic coefficient for that bullet, in this case I chose the G1 drag function is for a standard bullet shape. I could have chosen the G7 Drag Function for a Long range boat tail but didn’t know enough about these functions to mess around.  I chose the range to 600 yards in the Calculator and hit the Calculate button.  Reading the resulting upclicks for 600 yards it read 14.9 MOA (Minute of Angle). To calculate the upclicks multiply that number times 4 for a scope with 1/4 inch MOA per click at 100 yards, the answer was 55 clicks up. I knew it was not perfect because I was not able to Chronograph the bullet speed but the data in the Nosler manual was good enough to get me on paper and in the black. I shot the first one at about 15 inches high and adjusted the scope down 5 clicks after 5 shots and that put me in the 10 ring where I was happy to just shoot for group.  I watched the flags for when to shoot between small gusts of wind and was pleased to place all but one in the 10 ring and 2 in the x-ring. The group of 7 shots is estimated to be less than 6 inches vertically. That is excellent making the group sub- Minute of Angle.  Note: A five mph wind can blow the bullet sideways 10 inches at 600 yards.  The combination of the Savage Rifle , Leupold Scope, bullet, powder was a good match RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX.

Screenshot (52)


After the shoot, I went back to my club range and cranked the Leupold dial back down 50 clicks and shot a 3/4 inch group in the 100 yard bullseye. The Leupold VX-1 is a fine scope   indeed for a hunting scope and proved itself today. The LR Long Range Reticle is explained below (it is a bit pixelated sorry) but at 600 yard they were too short for my use and would have to be proven in with each load. I believe you need access to a range that allows you to experiment with loads to get the Reticle to work properly at long distances. My club rifle range is only 150 yards.

leupold lr reticle chart


This rifle is a top long distance rifle. I would take this out west for antelope at 300 yards with the load I was shooting or 400 yards (1000 ft lbs) with the Nosler Custom Factory Loads for the 90 grain e-tip that drive the bullet to 3200 fps. Expansion on game is ideal!!

etip image 3

Good Hunting and Good Shooting! ©

Prep for Safari – Dedication to the Bow



As many of my close hunting friends know, I am a Bowman as much as a Rifleman. I have spent many years shooting a recurve and longbow in my youth but was never better than average with them despite winning Traditional Trophies with them. When I picked up the Compound Bow my skill level skyrocketed. It was not uncommon for me to regularly win 3D shoot trophies as you can see above my workbench.

In my Book African Safari – Rifle and Bow and Arrow I was able to cleanly kill a Gemsbok and Red Hartebeest a culmination of my shooting skill and patience in a blind. Of the two I am most pleased with the Gemsbok. I was shooting a High Country Sniper Bow back then set at 74 pounds. I had to set it lower to hunt with. I competed with it set at 82 pounds. The reason I lowered the poundage was because the roll-over of the cams at 82 pounds was too jerky with too much movement. At 74 pounds the rollover was controlled. Both kills were full penetration and exit making tracking a no brainer. If you get a chance to check out  my e-book in the header above, you won’t be disappointed.

I love rifles just a much as my bow and have dedicated time to Rifles,Pistols and the Second Amendment especially in these times where the leftists in our government want to take those rights away. I enjoy hunting and shooting my pistols and rifles and will work support them forever.

The No Spin Zone – Effects of Twist Rate on your Bullet


Above is a photo of the micro-groove twist rate of this 35 Marlin barrel.

First and foremost bullets that do not spin or that do not spin fast enough have no long-range accuracy. Accuracy is a relative term. If you are happy with your bullets accuracy at the distances you shoot, then all is well in the world.

On the other hand, lets say you want to elk hunt out west so you work up a load for your pet .338 Winchester Magnum shooting 250 grain bullets and you can’t get a one inch group out of any load. In fact your best load is 2 inches. Using the 6 inch rule of thumb for a kill zone that would restrict you to a 300 yard shot. True? Yes. But first let us understand why your rifle shoots the 2 inch groups with the 250 grain bullet no matter what you do with powder, bullet seating depth, bullet manufacture etc.

The fundamental question is:

Do you understand what bullet twist rates are doing to the bullets you want to shoot?

I did not for years.

What is the twist rate of your rifles? Don’t know? The truth is most of us don’t know what the twist rate is for the rifle you shoot. For those of us who are experimenters and want to understand what and why, this article is for you!

My reloading manuals talk little about twist rates and resultant effects perhaps because they are trying to sell you bullets and powder.

For years I just accepted the twist rates and tried to reload bullets and use powders to maximize or tighten my groups. In some cases, no matter what I did the groups would not shrink. Enter Sir Alfred George Greenhill.

From Wikipedia; In 1879, Greenhill developed a rule of thumb for calculating the optimal twist rate for lead-core bullets. This shortcut uses the bullet’s length, needing no allowances for weight or nose shape.[3] Greenhill applied this theory to account for the steadiness of flight conferred upon an elongated projectile by rifling.

If I can calculate twist rate for a given bullet then I can match those bullets to my rifles twist rate.Or get another barrel to shoot the bullets I want.

If you are not sure of your rifles twist rate you can measure it with a cleaning rod and the distance it takes to rotate one full turn. You can do this by placing a tight fitting patch and rod in the muzzle end, making sure the rod spins as the patch is pushed is key here. Before pushing, take a marker and place a mark on the rod near the handle. As you push the rod the mark will begin to rotate. When the mark has made one full rotation stop and place a mark on the rod where it enters the barrel. Remove the rod and measure the distance to the patch, say ten inches. This means that your barrels twist rate is 1 in 10 inches and is displayed as 1:10 twist rate.

Armed with this knowledge in hand you can use Sir Alfred George Greenhills formula to determine what twist rate is needed to shoot the bullets YOU want to shoot.

A classic case in point is the shooter that owns an AR-15 and his groups get worse as he goes above 55 grains to either shoot long distance or hunt larger game. Finally the 70 or 80 grain bullet spin so slow as to key hole in the target.

The shooter knows the twist rate is 1:12 and finds out by using the Greenhill Formula what twist rate is needed to shoot an 80 grain bullet for his .223. 

Twist = \frac{C D^2}{L} \times \sqrt{\frac{SG}{10.9}}



  • C = 150 (use 180 for muzzle velocities higher than 2,800 f/s)
  • D = bullet’s diameter in inches
  • L = bullet’s length in inches
  • SG = bullet’s specific gravity (10.9 for lead-core bullets, which cancels out the second half of the equation)

To make it easy on ourselves click on the red Greenhill Formula above and enter the data for an 80 grain bullet length, diameter and velocity. Lets enter 1.17 for bullet length, .223 for diameter and 2900 fps for speed and hit enter. Twist rate recommended is 1:8 twist

From the website for the Greenhill formula we enter the data.

A Calculator for Barrel Twist Rate

inputs outputs
bullet length  in twist  in
bullet diameter  in
muzzle velocity  fps errors
bullet SG
bullet SG values:
11.3  lead   
 8.9  copper 
 8.5  brass  
 7.8  steel

So that is why there are AR 15 barrels for sale at 1:8 twist.

Now you know! Me too, it was a learning experience. I hope this was helpful to New Hampshire Rifleman readers!  Shoot straight and have fun. Ed ©


TC Dimension in .243 Winchester Review – Out of the Box

Out of the Box, this TC Dimension is a cool looking rifle.




The TC Dimension uses a system of LOC™, Locking Optimized Components, that allows the interchange of four caliber families. Innovative engineering genius? You Bet! The barrel, bolt and magazine are all marked with an LOC™ letter.

Dimension Caliber Families:
A – .204 Ruger, .223 Rem
B – .22-250 Rem*, .243 Win, 7mm-08 Rem, .308 Win
C – .270 Win, .30-06 Sprg
D – 7mm Rem Mag, .300 Win Mag
LOC stocks, receivers, bridge scope mounts and hand tools can be
used with any Series A, B, C and D components



Weight        7 lbs

Stock          Composite

Barrel          22 inches Floating

Twist Rate  1-10 inches

Pull Length 12.5 – 13.5 inches

Mag Cap    3 rounds

OAL           41 3/4 inches

Check out TC’s Video Introduction:

As I said earlier in a post that you can switch barrels easily from .204 Ruger all the way up to 300 Win Mag. In putting the bolt in the rifle it is not as easy as it looks because the high cheek of the stock interferes with the bolt installation. In fact there is a small cavity in the stock to allow the bolt to move into it. But once the bolt is in, all is well. The bolt lift to open the chamber is very short making it fast for a follow-up shot.   The .243 barrel looks to be so small that it floats high above the stock. I did find the stock comb shape to aid in my view through the Leupold VX-1 scope which mounted easily to the provided Weaver Base. The adjustable trigger measured 4 lbs 5 oz pull weight out of the box.

Online research revealed that the .243 barrel with a 1-10 twist rate tends to shoot lighter bullets well and that heavy bullets such as the 90 grain and heavier to (I don’t consider 90 grains heavy) can become unstable as they are not spinning fast enough.  I handloaded 55 grain Nosler Ballistic tip below that came out of the TC .243 barrel screaming at around 3700 fps and shot a sub-moa group at 100 yards out of the box. Nosler bullets are simply the best in class!



The Leupold Scope was set at 9x and adjusted for focal point at 100 yards. It was a terrific companion for the TC Dimension Rifle. The Leupold VX- 1 Scope retails for around $220 dollars and is worth every penny.

From the website below: There’s much to tell about our new VX®-1, but here’s how the story ends: No other scope in its class comes even close the the quality, performance, and value of VX-1. With our revolutionary Quantum Optical System, with lead-free glass and Multicoat 4 lens coatings, the result is up to 92% total light transmission, and a sight picture that is incredibly bright, clear and razor sharp. Better have one atop your favorite rifle.


My TC Dimension test rifle is a B designation which allows me to change barrels to 22-250, 243, 7mm-08 and 308 at any time without the need to change the bolt or other parts. If I want to change to a C designation for the .270 and 30-06 then the bolt,magazine and barrel must be changed/purchased. Retail cost of the Dimension is less than $600 dollars. Barrels are $200 each. If you want to move out of your LOC letter then you must buy the new bolt for $140 and magazine for around $27 dollars as long as they are in stock.


In summary the rifle flexibility as a shooting platform and accuracy is fantastic when joined with Nosler and Leupold Products. I did find that shooting heavier bullets reduced the accuracy thus I would say that this 243 barrel with 1-10 twist rates is not a great all around barrel for deer but great for coyotes and varmints.  The 308 and 7mm-08 barrel for $200 each adds serious flexibility to the rifle and is better with heavier bullets. The 7mm-08 is perhaps more ideal for all around varmint/deer use than perhaps the .308 or the .243 Winchester and can use lighter bullets for use by recoil sensitive folks such as children and first time hunters. 243 calibers with twist rates below 1-10 such as 1-9.25 provide increased stability for bullets in the 90 to 105 grain and work well on deer and mid-size game. My rating 1-10 is a 9. A real buy for those who want flexibility and accuracy all the time every time. A 9 out of 10 is terrific in my book. ©

Big Jake

turkey best small density image

As strands of light reached earth at sunrise, I stroked the box call at first light of opening day. The quiet morning woods were interrupted by distant Tom’s announcing their presence.

The sky was getting more blue by the minute and the weather was exceptionally clear and calm. Big pine trees surrounded me, in a small Red Oak Flat of land.

Earlier, all was well with the world as my hunting friend and I made our way into the woods of a large NH farm where we were friends of the family.  We separated  and gave distance between ourselves. My friend was new to Turkey hunting but considered himself as one who could call them in as he did with the Turkey’s in his backyard calling them every few minutes incessantly. Bringing my New England Accent to bear, I thought, it was good my friend was way, way over they’ah!

I think that Toms like the quieter ones!

I may be wrong but the Tom coming to my periodic calls seems to like my soft purrs and clucks just fine.  I could see his head and a partial of his display dance at that distance. It was a thrill to see him. Come closer, I said by softly clucking… and purred… and putted on my call like a whisper in the woods. Immediately he gobbled back in response.  All of a sudden In parade fashion three Jake Gobbler’s ran in front of the Tom as if to say… me first boys!  I was sitting with my back to a tree in Turkey hunting fashion in full camo and face mask.  The Jakes (all the same size with 3/1/2 inch beards)  were excited as all get out and standing just a few feet or so from each other and coming at me like a dog coming to a dinner bell.

They finally separated so I could squeeze the trigger on my 12 gauge 870 Remington Pump with a full choke goose barrel. I was waiting for the one that gave the best kill presentation. Yes! I wanted the mature Tom , I thought momentarily, but did not have the vacation time to spend in getting him to shotgun range.

With the head of one of the the Jakes in my sight, a sure thing,  I squeezed the trigger, and sent number 4’s at him like a buzz saw.  All the pellets struck his head and neck with such force that  he was knocked over by the dense blast. Lights Out! Wings still flapping from nerves for a moment or two. The other Jakes did not leave at first they walked around the downed Jake trying to figure out what happened but finally melted into the tree line. My hunting partner came over to see and gave a congratulatory hand shake and took pictures as I tagged the bird.

I had to wait for the local check in station in Chester, NH to open.  At 14 pounds with nary a pellet in his body he will be a tasty addition to the dinner table. I skinned him, salted his gut cavity and place him in the freezer. I will likely bake him as I did the last one with Thin sliced tart granny smith apples and Hickory smoked bacon covering his body as his new found skin. Wow! Thank God for Hunting in New England!! ©



Pistol Self Defense – Best Practices

The best practice for home defense with a Semi-Automatic Pistol (my Kimber 1911 45 ACP) is to become a  member of a Club with either Action Shooting or IDPA International Defensive Pistol Association. I have advanced from a wanna be Home Protector to someone who has much greater confidence in caring for my family with the help from my Club; Chester Rod and Gun, in Chester NH. It is not an easy task to become skilled at home or self defense with a Pistol and is a work in progress. It is fun too. Look at the previous posts I have written on the subject.  I will begin weekly shoots that move me up the Curve. We shoot 75 to 100 rounds at each shoot using IDPA rules that include a holster that can be on your side in a conceal mode or exposed with a jacket that keeps your pistol hidden .We do not just stand and shoot, we move and engage the target/threats and the targets move too. This is the most realistic endeavor you are likely to encounter except the real thing.  More next week. Confidence in your skills and Safety is key. Give it a try, you will be glad you did. Ed