Ruger American .243 Winchester with 55 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip Varmint Ammo

I recently took a walk scouting deer sign with a friend in very hot New England weather, about 90 degrees in the sun to be sure. I carried my Ruger American .243 in case a coyote stuck its nose out.

Ruger American


Nope nothing happening! However I wanted to see the real drop rate of the bullet I was shooting, a 55 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip Varmint. I chronographed the bullet speed at 3500 fps so I knew it was cookin’ along for speed. These, I had hand loaded.


I spotted a log end that was 16 inches in diameter at 234 yards according to my laser rangefinder. I pinned a target on it and steadied the shot with a Harris bi-pod. My face was dripping with sweat, and salt in my eyes so all was not perfect for the shooter. With the trigger pull adjusted to three pounds the Ruger American trigger was crisp and fired with a resounding crack but little recoil. I put a second one in and fired. Off we went to see where the bullets hit.

One 55 grain Nosler was 2.75 inches from dead center high at 12 o’clock. The other shot, my first, was 1.2 inches high and right 4 inches at 3 o’clock.  On a Coyote? Lights out!  The bullets peak in trajectory at 2.75 inches high at 150 yards and 3 inches low at 315 yards. Thus my max point-blank range MPBR for that setup is 315 yards and delivers 750 ft-lbs at that range. Enough to flatten a coyote from zero to 315 yards without changing my point of aim.

A note on the wind: At 10 mph a crosswind will blow that bullet 5 to 6 inches off course at 234 yards. At 300 yard it would have been 8.5 inches off.  There was little wind to bother my shot that day.

Those Nosler Ballistic Tips for Varmint are deadly! That was one dead log for sure.

Did I mention LL Cote’s in Erroll, NH have the Ruger American on Sale for 329.99. Wow!©

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About Ed Hale

I am an avid hunter with rifle and Bow and have been hunting for more than 50 years. I have taken big game such as whitetail deer, red deer, elk, Moose and African Plains game such as Kudu, Gemsbok, Springbok, Blesbok, and Impala and wrote an ebook entitled African Safari -Rifle and Bow and Arrow on how to prepare for a first safari. Ed is a serious cartridge reloader and ballistics student. He has earned two degrees in science and has written hundreds of outdoor article on hunting with both bow and rifle.