Taking the Rifles for a Walk at the Range.

Its early spring, March 25, 2015, the weather is sunny at 40 º F and the wind is 5 to 10 mph, a great day either walk your dog or take your rifles to the range. Today I am taking two rifles out for a walk as it were. These rifles sat in silence for a few months while old-man-winter dumped a record amount of snow on us here in southern New Hampshire.

First Rifle out, is my Ruger American in .243 Winchester.

ruger american bench rested

The Ruger American is a highly cost effective solution for deer and bear hunters. At last look it was under $400 bucks. It has a Leupold 2-7 power VX-3 on it. I really like these scopes as a long term investment!  Also, I like my Ruger American in .243 Winchester too as recoil is very light and delivers lots of accuracy and energy for the investment. Over the last fall I have worked up hand loads shooting Sierra 100 grain spitzers that are just tack driving accurate at top speeds for deer hunting out to about 300 yards (for a southern bean-field deer hunt)  keeping the long range 300 yard energy near to 1000 ft-lbs for adequate penetration and velocity in the 2000 ft-sec for mushrooming of the bullet on impact. This I know because I used JBM Ballistic Software on the web at http://www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmtraj-5.1.cgi

So I shot a three shot group at 150 yards at bench rest and kept the groups at 1 inch. Wow! Very Impressive! Two of the shots were clustered at 1/4 inch. These are near max loads and were shot at a temperature of 40 degrees F. As summer comes on and temperature rises I need to pay closer attention to case inspection for signs of slight over pressure, though I think the loads will be fine, it is best to be a good observer.  In the fall when temperatures drop back to 40 or below this load will bring meat to the table and with some luck, something with antlers too. Little wind and the kind of steady rest are critical for shots beyond say 150 yards. My trigger breaks at just under 3 pounds on the Ruger American so I can more easily predict near the break of the trigger.


Next Rifle out is my M77 Ruger African in .375 Ruger with a Leupold VX-3 in 3×9 with a Pachmayr Decelerator® slip on recoil pad. http://www.pachmayr.com/home/deceleraton-slip.php . With this Pad, the rifle shoots like a 30:06 instead. Very nice indeed.

375 Ruger and Leupold VX-III side view

I knew that it was shooting the 235 grain Speer Hot Core well at just over 2400 fps as I chronographed them this past fall.

I took a shot and made a slight adjustment and then two more shots nearly overlapping placing them at 5/8 inch apart at 150 yards a half inch above the bullseye, looking like a pair of eyes and smiley face with the bullseye looking more like a mouth just below the eyes.


This is a deer, bear or moose load, a light load for this cartridges capability.

This rifle is sub-moa accurate for many of my pet hand loads.

Ok, nuff of a walk and very happy. © 2105

Full Circle – The .308 Winchester

I have been stewing on this for some time so here goes. Many of us have purchased the AR-15 or similar rifle. Unless you have lots of money to spend on ammo, it sits in the gun safe after the first 500 rounds and is a great varmint rifle but as a big game rifle it is a waste. If you are just concerned with home protection,a second amendment rifle, good for competitive shooting,  it is a great choice, don’t get me wrong.

If you hunt too, the better solution for some is perhaps the M1A in .308 Winchester perhaps if you want a semi-auto and want to hunt too.

Fact is, the more I study the .308 Cartridge the more respect I have for it for home and hunting. I have hunted Africa for plains game and believe the .308 Winchester is just fine out to 200 to 300 yards for almost all except giant eland. (no big five). Why? It is about shot placement not just power. The recoil of the .308 is considered mild to moderate and with a state of the art recoil pad it is easy for a young or newer shooter to shoot accurately.

Alas, we have been brain washed a bit, me included, to shoot bigger more powerful cartridges. I took a .338 Winchester Magnum to Africa, still a medium bore cartridge,  however it takes practice to master it’s heavier recoil. I do love the bigger bore rifles however, they deliver punch, in spades like my .375 Ruger that I hand-load. The ubiquitous and classic 30:06 is a great middle ground and it can be shot in an M1A semi-auto too.

As a reloader,  the .308 Winchester cartridge design is highly efficient and cost-effective in powder usage for reloaders. These facts when coupled with the accuracy of the .308 cartridge and bullet selection for hunting big game make it a great selection as a deer and black bear rifle at ranges out to nearly 500 yards or so or as a long-range target rifle at 1000 yards. As a simple hunting rifle that can be tack driving accurate, easy on the shoulder, ready to reload inexpensively, can be shot as a semi-auto as in the M1A, I believe the .308 is poised for resurgence.

I shot one the other day at the range out of a Remington 700 with a Leupold scope at 100 yards. Groups were astounding, just like the groups I shot out my son’s Savage .308 at 1/4 inch a few years back. Yesterday I shot consistently less than 1/2 inch groups, in fact, if the trigger was adjustable as I suggested and set at around 3 pounds, the groups would merge into a ragged hole and put a real smile on  my face. ©2015

Get the Rust Out!

Are you getting Rusty waiting for the snow to disappear. Hey, the weather is sunny and well above freezing so get your rifle, shotgun or pistol out and head to the range. A few days ago I took my Kimber 1911 45 for a walk. Yea the range was cold but the 45 spit out hollow points and barked quite nicely at the range just the same. It made me smile!

I arrived and had to wait 30 minutes as there were two shooters ahead of me. Great minds think alike. I like to shoot the metal drop plates for accuracy and speed. Not bad for 3 months away. The slide moved like silk as it ejected a spent casing and loaded a new round. My readerships is aware that I hand load and have the components for many visits to the range. If you have the cash, stock up if you can before the spring gets in full swing.


223 Ammo Ban Averted..For Now




From Website above: Fairfax, Va. – The National Rifle Association (NRA) was instrumental in stalling the Obama Administration’s initial attempt to ban commonly used ammunition for the most popular rifle in America, the AR-15. The announcement that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) will suspend its proposed framework to ban M855 ammunition validates the NRA’s assertion that this effort was nothing more than a political maneuver to bypass Congress and impose gun control on the American people.