Many are aware that I like the Ruger American in .243 Winchester as I tested it and bought it a few years back. See my article on Rifle Tests. I shot it out of the box with Nosler 90g E-Tip deer loads and they shot sub-MOA at 100 yards and retails for under $400 dollars.
Since then I have toyed with 55 grain heads from Nosler and shot MOA groups at velocities in the 3500 fps class making it an outstanding Coyote rifle. But I also wanted a deer rifle with which the 90 grain e-Tip, as great as it is, wasn’t the only bullet that I could shoot. I was aware that with 100 grain heads and a 1 in 10 twist rate is a not so great combo for bullet stability e.g., that bullets could be unstable and even keyhole on the paper. I am here to tell you that I shot several 100 grain bullets with Speer’s Spitzer Boat Tail and every shot was true. I pushed the round with AA 3100 powder and RL 19 and they both shot well at 2500 fps which I think is slow yet adequate for deer out to 150 yards. I pushed the round today to nearly 2700 fps and the cartridge and standard CCI 200 primer did the job in stride and with room to spare. So I will look for the limits on this bullet, powder and rifle combination. Every rifle slightly different, even in the same model. But while I was at it, loading the Speer at 41 grains of AA 3100, I shot a 3 shot group at 50 yards that was basically touching each other. I just shot not knowing the group size and I was pleasantly surprised. See below. One thing you have to remember well is that this rifle cost less than 400 dollars and shoots like a $2000 rifle.
If I were target shooting for score at 600 yards in F class Competition this would be my load. For deer hunting you want power, reach, accuracy to a minute of angle at 100 yards, penetration and mushrooming this combo makes it harder to find that perfect load. But I found one none the less.
This load is perfect out to 200 yards which is most of the shooting on the east coast that most will do unless you are bean field hunting in the Carolina’s, then you will need a big power and accuracy too maybe out to 400 – 600 yards. I hope to write next month about the Nosler 26 as my Nosler friends are trying to get me a rifle and ammo to test.
For the money, this Ruger American is a keeper! Check them out at your local retailer! And start reloading too! © 2104