A hunter wanting to push the limits of long-range shooting with more room for error needs a flat-shooting rifle. Remington’s .300 Ultra Mag, launching a 180-grain bullet at over 3,200 feet per second, is one of the flattest-shooting cartridges available.
But let’s say a .300 RUM rifle owner is going on a black bear hunt in Canada, where he will be sitting in a treestand overlooking a bait pile at 50 yards. The longest shot he can expect is about twice that distance.
Remington recognizes that every time a hunter uses a .300 RUM rifle, he doesn’t need all the power, muzzle blast or recoil. Nor can most hunters afford a gun and scope for every type of hunting. The solution to both problems is three power levels of .300 RUM ammunition.
Just prior to the 2007 SHOT Show in Orlando, Fla., Remington’s Eddie Stevenson asked me to evaluate the Power Level ammo. I fired all three .300 RUM loads into The Bullet Test Tube, using a Remington 700 CDL rifle.
The first load tested was the 150-grain Power Level I Core-Lokt with a muzzle velocity of about 2,900 fps. The cartridge’s performance mirrors that of a .30-06, making it an effective choice for deer and other big game up to around 400 pounds.
Next up was the Power Level II load. Results duplicated the performance of 180-grain Core-Lokt Ultra bullets fired from a .300 Winchester Magnum. Bullets bullets exited the barrel of the CDL at 2,960 fps, typical .300 Win Mag velocity.
The Power Level III ammo also fires a 180-grain CL bullet, but faster at 3,250 fps.
If you’ve never shot a .300 Ultra Mag, I’ll answer the obvious question: Yeah, it kicks! The upper end of my recoil tolerance is between .30-06 and .300 Win Mag. The Power Level III Ultra Mag rifle jumped like a young donkey, breathed fire and sounded like an M-80 going off in a high school locker room. (I refuse to comment on how I know what that sounds like.)
Three power levels, one rifle. It requires no barrel switching, handloading and just as important, no re-zeroing.
When I was told all three of the loads would shoot to the same point of impact, I was skeptical. While I own some rifles that will shoot cartridges with different bullet weights and styles to the same point, they are custom guns firing handloads. Remington claims hunters can switch between Power Levels about re-zeroing, but that was something I had to see it for myself.
I fired several groups at 75 and 100 yards, two shots from each load for a total of six shots. The largest group was just over 2 inches, but included a flyer that was caused by shooter error. This is not sub-MOA accuracy, but some factory rifles can’t shoot 2-inch groups with a single load, much less three loads with different bullet weights and powder charges.
Granted, these were pre-production ammunition samples, and I only had access to one box of each load. But I assure you they were not tuned to the rifle. And though they will impact at the same 100-yard zero, each load has a unique trajectory.
I left the range with an appreciation of three things: the Power Level concept, the tolerable recoil of the Power Level I ammo and the wickedness of the full-power load. This ammo should appeal to hunters wanting to use one rifle for all their big game hunting. Power Level I is for hunting deer at normal ranges and under common conditions. Power Level II is ready to take on any elk at reasonable ranges. Power Level III will handle anything North America has to offer.
Eight different loads are available, with bullets ranging from 150 to 200 grains and in five styles: Core-Lokt, Accu-Tip, A-Frame and Scirocco. Remington says the loads can be distinguished by different rings on the bullets.
Three rifles for the price of one. Now there’s a practical concept.
This article was published in the August 2007 edition of Buckmasters GunHunter Magazine. Subscribe today to have GunHunter delivered to your home.