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

This entry was posted in Recoil and Flinching, Rifle Tests, Uncategorized by Ed Hale. Bookmark the permalink.

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.