Best Deer, Bear, Moose, Bison, Cartridge for Handloaders with .375 Ruger in a Ruger M77 Hawkeye

Years back  I needed a versatile reloadable cartridge for all game, at all distances and all conditions for that someday hunt for brown bear, or a cape buffalo or bison yet can hunt deer too.  If you are not and have not dreamed of a brown bear hunt then this article is not for you.

If you have, then I would consider the .375 Ruger to be such a reloadable cartridge in a Ruger M77 Hawkeye rifle made here in New Hampshire. The new African model comes with a removable muzzle brake. Check it out.

It is a hunters gun with a soft less reflective finish that will not spook game. I have killed moose and bison as well as red stag with this cartridge and the African model rifle.

It shoots 1/2 inch groups at full power and 1 inch groups with most all other bullets down to 220 grain and loading’s for deer. With a Pachmayr Recoil pad I can shoot it in my t-shirt while standing as it cuts felt recoil in half. A full power load with 260 grain Nosler AccuBond bullets out of the barrel at 2615 fps produces almost 4000 ft-lbs at the Muzzle and 2500 ft-lbs for Moose at 275 yards at a velocity of 2100 fps for perfect mushrooming. For an elk it can reach 450 yards with 1800 ft-lbs at the bullets mushroom design speed. It is a CXP4 cartridge with CXP2 and 3 capability if handloaded.

If you are traveling far, check that the local shop’s where you hunt have 375 Ruger rounds in case you loose your baggage. It is the main reason for years that hunters used the 375 H&H because it was like dirt, it was everywhere. But the 375 Ruger has made some dents in that theory.

If I was hunting a  really large Wild Boar up close, I would use the .375 Ruger as they have been known to charge when wounded and it is very difficult to take away its credit card with those 5 inch tusks sticking out of its mouth.

Check out my other .375 Ruger Hawkeye article

Hand Loading the .375 Ruger for Deer, Bear, Moose and Cape Buffalo

© 2017

Good Hunting!


Memorial Day, the Mystic Precision MPOD Bipod, and the Leupold Gold Ring Competition Scope for F-T/R Match

First, a reminder for this Memorial Day weekend, which is likely to be full of barbecues, parades and perhaps a frosty beverage: Never forget!  Just a reminder dad, I will never forget.

Image courtesy of Associated Press

My kids and I are looking forward to the parade this Memorial Day weekend to honor our soldiers, but it means so much more than that.  I did not serve, but my father along with the rest of my family, has a rich history of putting on the uniform for this country since the American Revolution.  I take these holidays seriously, as that was how I was raised.  With my kids, I do my best to explain the meaning of remembering those that, when their country called on them, ran towards harm instead of away from it.  Some of whom made the ultimate sacrifice.  It’s because of them that I get to punch holes in paper for fun and nothing is headed back in my direction.  Thank you, thank you, thank you dad and those who have served this country.

Mystic Precision MPOD Bipod

Load testing will continue with the Nosler bullets, but in the mean time, I have a match coming up this weekend and will be using my current match load of the Sierra 175 TMK’s which I have to use up.  I started long range rifle competitions using my standard Harris S 6-9″ Bipod.  It worked well to start out, but one of the downsides to using this basic bipod was that you couldn’t track your shots and the bipod would often sink into the position (dirt/grass/sand) which lead to fighting elevation changes in the middle of a string of fire.

I decided that it was time for an upgrade for future competitions. 

After a lot of research on F-Class bipods, I settled on an economical lightweight design from Mystic Precision.

It’s a Canadian company, but the bipods are actually manufactured right here in the USA,  at Evolution Gun Works in Quakertown, PA.  I have my first match this weekend.  I will report back on what the differences are with this bi-pod.

From Mystic Precision’s website:

MPOD Design:  Make a super light bipod with the stability and tracking of a pedestal rest

A winning design: Winner of the 2013 Individual FTR World Championship used the MPOD.  Multiple NRA records in Team and Individual set.  Several Members of the US National FTR team currently shooting with the MPOD

Improved geometry to reduce the effects of torque during recoil for consistent tracking and follow through despite the chambering. Has been successfully used on larger caliber boomers including the 50BMG

Easy to operate with large range of movements to account for varied terrain.  The lowest height is 4 1/2 inches suitable for bench work and raised berms when shooting prone. At full elevation, you have 7 3/4 inches to the mounting lug.  This range is wider then the Harris 6-9 bipod.

Cant feature is now added for quick leveling on uneven ground.  And the Cant will not shift during recoil as is common with most other bipods.

Easy to install and remove – Solid with great repeatability and accuracy potential.

Stability increasing with increased pod height which is opposite to a number of designs.

Keep finished weight as low as possible – 12.8ozs installed, yet strong enough to support heavy rifles and big boomers.  Easily supported rifles weighing 50lbs.

I’ve also mounted and plumb leveled the Leupold Gold Ring VX-6 7-42 X 56mm scope with 34mm tube for it’s first test.

I am excited to have the target fill up more of my scope at the higher magnifications.

I’m used to no higher than 25X magnification and First Focal Plane reticles that obscure the target more than necessary, so this should be a real treat.

Having that much magnification can be a real benefit if mirage isn’t too bad.  Local range conditions for the match look good, mid 60’s and 2 mph winds from the south.  We’ll see if that holds; field conditions could be completely different.  I’m going to re-zero and confirm my come-ups for dialing to 600 yds the morning of the match.
I will post my scores for this weekend’s match, share a few thoughts, and post a few photo’s of the bi-pod and scope mounted at the range.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!!

See you at the range.

© 2017


Savage Ashbury Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor – Just Arrived


The Savage® M10 Ashbury Precision Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor is said to be a great starter long range Competition Rifle with low recoil. It is part of Savages Law Enforcement series. We will put it through its paces. What is clear hear at the get-go is that the Magpul CTR® stock appears too low when a scope is mounted. We recommend adding a cheek rest and we are seeking a Magpul PRS 25 M110 or similar cheek rest stock to add to it ($240.00) or the simple Magpul CTR® MOE® Riser for 20 dollars on line. The Ashbury is also offered in .308 Winchester. Below is a Savage Video on the Accutrigger™


  • Series: Law Enforcement
  • Magazine: Detachable box
  • Stock Material: Synthetic
  • Barrel Material: Carbon Steel
  • Barrel Finish: Matte
  • Barrel Color: Black
  • AccuTrigger: Yes
  • AccuStock: No

New Nosler RDF Bullet Initial Testing Begins by Jason Hale

In my previous article, I explained my intent with regards to load testing I wanted to complete in my current economy match rig, which is a Savage 10 repeater action, re-barreled with a Criterion 28” Stainless Select Match bull barrel chambered in .308 Winchester

Nosler supplied us with some brand spanking new .308 caliber 175 grain RDF bullets to review. Nosler intends to make this bullet a premier Competition bullet.

Quote from Nosler website

RDF Bullet – ( Reduced Drag Factor )

Flattest Shooting Match Bullet On The Market

For those wanting to squeeze the most performance from their competition rifle, Nosler’s new RDF (Reduced Drag Factor) match bullet line is the ideal choice. 

Nosler’s RDF line was designed from the ground up to provide exceptionally high BCs, which create the flattest trajectory and least wind drift possible. The keys to the RDF’s outstanding performance are Nosler’s meticulously optimized compound ogive and long, drag reducing boattail, which make handloading a snap and create an incredibly sleek form factor.  RDF bullets also have the smallest, most consistent meplats of any hollow point match bullet line, so there is no need to point or trim tips. 

Highest B.C.’s, smallest meplat, tighter groups – Nosler RDF.



I was excited to see if the bullet would fit seamlessly into my current loading diet of Varget powder.  The accuracy results were pretty good, but at velocities that were a bit on the slow side unsurprisingly; great bullet, but as the data demonstrates, the bullet/powder combination choice may not be as accurate in my barrel.  I’m pretty sure that if I continue to experiment with powders that I would find one that would be extremely accurate with the Nosler RDF with my barrel.

175 Nosler RDF with Hodgdon’s Varget

Charge Weight Group Size Velocity
40.0 0.784” 2445
41.0 0.435” 2491
41.5 0.756” 2546
42.0 0.943” 2591
42.5 0.851” 2629

Bullet distance to rifling: 0.015”

Following this first test I decided to back off further from the rifling and at 0.045” off and way off loaded at mag length, and repeat some of the testing.

There was no discernible increase in accuracy. But what was missing here was speed! I needed a faster bullet to buck the wind. I an searching for a combination in my rifle to deliver a faster bullet too.

Testing with other powders is needed to fine tune the bullet and barrel combination and that is getting under way. Case in point, I had a bullet from another top manufacturer and was having a tough time getting sub-moa or better groups when I tried a certain powder it was like magic and the bullets grouped extremely well.


More to Come!

Pennsylvania Long Rifle Build Update

To date I have 60 hours into the build of this so called Custom Kit Rifle and I have made my  share of minor headaches but each time I get through a given situation I come out with a smile. The rifle is coming out very well so far but haven’t got a photo for you yet. My appreciation for the German Master Craftsmen of the Pennsylvania Rifle in the 1700’s has grown substantially. I can only imagine the tools they used and I have a large portion of the work done already for me and a video to aid me. So why does it take so long? First, get rid of time. Moving the project faster increases risk of a major mistake. One major mistake can cost me this expensive project. Patience is a virtue I must master here along with creating and learning things that help improve your work. If you are skilled at working in a wood shop or metal shop then this project will be much easier. Things I have learned include inlay of brass to wood. I have not mastered it just learned it. Fitting and pinning down a barrel to 44 inches of wood when the barrel is thicker on each end and thinner in the middle was a huge undertaking as I could have easily destroyed the wood by scraping too much off or a slip of the chisel. But I didn’t. Getting the barrel in the right position for the lock assembly and where the touchhole should be was a learning process for sure. Shortly I will be adding the lock and its thru bolts and then inlaying the patchbox and release mechanism. Then I can show pictures of progress. Still a long way to go…

That is the update! Photos soon!

New Hampshire Rifleman Announcement

Welcome to my son Jason Hale as a Contributor and Editor here at New Hampshire Rifleman Magazine. I welcome his talent with rifles, reloading and marksmanship and his skills as an editor and video specialist as we strive to deliver a fun, educational and entertaining experience to our worldwide readership.

Ed Hale – Editor-In-Chief

Things I Learned From Just One Season of Long Range Competition that can be useful as a Hunter and Reloader by Ed Hale

Is LR competition easy? No! It is a fun challenge however and that makes it worth while for many. But it can be expensive the more you get into it. Most any rifle can be good starter but once bitten it is hard to stop. As a result, I know more about quality hand-loading bullets, powder, brass and primers. So it was a valuable experience of calculating my bullet’s Standard Deviation and Extreme spread. What I found was that my brain was becoming its own calculator of holdover in minutes, and how that translated to inches of crosshair movement. I deepened my wind knowledge to predict lateral bullet placement and when to let game pass by because I could not predict the proper bullet placement for a clean kill.

Most of all I was more confident in my rifle and how to dial up my scope…a key ingredient in long range hunting.  Also use of on line software to determine the ballistic profile based on bullet velocity via a chronograph and the BC of your bullet. So competing can be helpful as a hunter by deepening your knowledge. Truth is, to win you need to spend time shooting and money.  For those like me that are hunters, it is a great learning experience to have competed. I am better for it! Who knows you may get bitten by long range F Class Rifle Competition or use of Military 308 or .223 competition such as F-TR (target rifle). My son Jason is really into it as you can see from his writing.

The key to hunting is to become more of a woodsman knowing your quarry and how to read sign and food sources and ways that your game may react. Just don’t get cocky in the deer woods because you shoot well in the prone position at 600 yards.Eh!

There are trees and the animals move you see and don’t wait for you to breath and squeeze forever. If you can, get closer to your game animal? Do it! If you are strictly a competition type you will have much to learn to be a good hunter.

© 2017