Handloading Resources Abound
Q: I want to load 180 Grand Slam Speer bullets in a Remington .300 Ultra Mag., but I'm having trouble finding any loading data for it. The Speer book doesn't even have the Ultra Mag. listed. Do you have any recommendations on where I might find this info?
-Arthur Nuthak, Butte, Montana
A: I checked with Alan Jones at Speer and due to some technical problems they have not yet developed .300 Rem. Ultra Mag. handloading data for the Grand Slam bullet. He suggests you use the starting load data for other "conventional" construction 180-grain bullets and work up your loads from there.
Data for the .300 RUM is available from a lot of sources, as most of the powder and other bullet companies have current data on this cartridge. It can also be found in almost any handloading book published recently. You can also find a lot of data online. For more information, visit www.huntingclub.com and click on the "Featured Links" icon (www.hodgdon.com). - Bryce Towsley
Best Cartridge For Big Game?
Q: With hunting season fast approaching, it's time for me to decide what type of rifle I want to buy. So far, my big game hunting has been limited to whitetails and mule deer on the open prairie of southern Saskatchewan. I would, however, like to try elk and moose hunting, and would like to know which gun would be best for these animals.
I like the 7mm Rem. Mag., but the ammo is too expensive. I've narrowed my choice to either a .270 Win. or a .30-06. I like all the bullet weights with the .30-06, but am under the impression that the .270 won't kick as much. Any thoughts?
- Dominique Liboiron
A: As long you've included elk in the mix I will exclude the .270 Win. It's a fine cartridge for deer and antelope, but in my view it lacks bullet weight and diameter for serious elk hunting. Both the 7mm Rem. Mag. and the .30-06 would be excellent choices for your style of hunting. The 7mm has a slight edge for any long-range hunting, but will have more recoil and as you stated the ammo is more expensive.
I believe that regardless of your choice it's important to practice, and the higher cost of ammo might limit the amount you will practice with your new rifle. While all three are good cartridges when used properly, I don't think you can ever go wrong with a .30-06. -Bryce Towsley
Bullet Velocity and Range
Q: I have a Thompson/Center .50 caliber Black Diamond muzzleloader. I shoot 150 grains of Pyrodex with a Barnes 250-grain bullet. Can you provide information on the velocity of the bullet? Can you also tell me at what range to sight the rifle in at? Presently it is sighted-in dead-on at 50 yards and shoots a 2-inch group at this range. -Dale Journagan, Miami, Oklahoma
A: Dale, velocities vary a bit from one muzzleloader to the next, but your bullet is leaving the barrel at roughly 2,000 fps, and generating about 2,200 foot-pounds of energy. I generally sight-in my muzzleloaders 2 inches high at 50 yards. That way I can hold dead-on out to 150 yards with only about an inch of drop. If you sight-in dead-on at 100 yards, you'll be shooting about an inch high at 50 yards, 4 inches low at 150 yards and 12 inches low at 200 yards.
You didn't mention if you're shooting a scoped rifle. If so, I'm not sure I'd be satisfied with a 2-inch group at 50 yards. This could open up to 6 inches or more at 150 yards. You might want to experiment with different powder/bullet combinations to see if you can tighten up your groups. Shooting two 50-grain Pyrodex pellets might be a good option. Some rifles respond better to the lighter load. With two pellets sighted-in at 100 yards, you'll see a 6-inch drop at 150 yards and 171/2 inches of drop at 200 yards. -Gordy Krahn
Q: I'm searching for information on two rifles. They're both Ruger Model 10/22 carbines in .22 Long Rifle. They have natural light stocks made of 28 thin strips of wood laminated together. They also have black plastic butt pads, and the barrels and trigger are black. The serial numbers are 237-71771 and 237-71803. I wrote Ruger and all that they told me was that these rifles were made one time only for a manufacturer in the United States.
-Brian Tambourine, Harrison Township, Michigan
A: Ruger fitted some batches of 10/22 autoloading rifles with distinctive stocks for sale through specific Ruger distributors. The stocks gave each distributor a unique model, though in other aspects each rifle was just like any other 10/22. Ruger ran a series of gray laminated stocks for Walmart. Natural-color laminates like you describe appeared in another run for CSI, a Minnesota distributor. For more information on special Ruger products, call the company's records department at (603) 863-3300.
-Wayne van Zwoll