"Tell the CEO": Logical Cartridge Chamberings
By Chuck Hawks
19 January 2009
Since you have requested input from Ruger customers via the "Tell the CEO" program, I thought that I would respond with an article about a subject that I have long found perplexing--the quixotic availability of different cartridges in different rifle models. Sometimes the Company's cartridge offerings seem to have been made almost without consideration of the cartridge's requirements in terms of ballistics and barrel length, rifle weight to tame recoil, or even the anticipated purpose to which a given model of rifle will presumably be used. Thus, I would like to start by suggesting the following general guidelines.
Now for some specific cartridge suggestions for the individual models of Ruger hunting rifles included in the Ruger 2009 Catalog. I will restrict my suggestions to cartridges for which Ruger chambers in 2009 or has in the past. In other words, cartridges for which Ruger can chamber without a large additional investment.
M77 BOLT ACTION RIFLES
M77 Hawkeye Standard, All-Weather and Sporter: .223 Rem., .243 Win., .257 Roberts, .25-06, .260 Rem., .270 Win., 7mm-08, 7mm Rem. Mag., .308 Win., .30-06, .300 Win. Mag., .338 Federal, .338 Win. Mag., .358 Win., .350 Rem. Mag.
M77 Hawkeye Ultra Light and All-Weather Ultra Light: .243 Win., .257 Roberts, .260 Rem., 6.8mm SPC, 7mm-08 Rem. (Note: these rifles should be supplied with 22" barrels.)
M77 Hawkeye Compact and Laminate Compact: .223 Rem., .243 Win., .257 Roberts, .260 Rem., 6.8mm SPC, 7mm-08 Rem. (Note: these rifles should be supplied with 22" barrels.)
M77 Hawkeye Compact Magnum: 6.5mm Rem. Mag., .300 RCM, .338 RCM (Note: this rifle should be supplied with a 22" barrel)
M77 Hawkeye African: .375 Ruger, .416 Ruger, .458 Win. Mag. (Note: this rifle should be supplied with a 24" barrel)
M77 Hawkeye Alaskan: .338 RCM, .350 Rem. Mag. (Note: this rifle should be supplied with a 22" barrel)
M77 Hawkeye Predator: .223 Rem, .22-250, .220 Swift, .243 Winchester
M77 Hawkeye International: .257 Roberts, .260 Rem., 6.8mm SPC, 7mm-08, .308 Win. (Note: this rifle should be supplied with a 20" barrel)
M77 Target Rifle: .204 Ruger, .223 Rem., .22-250, .220 Swift, .243 Win., 6.5mm Creedmoor
M77 Magnum Rifle: .375 H&H, .416 Rigby, .458 Lott
No. 1 SINGLE SHOT RIFLES
No. 1 Light Sporter: .223 Rem., .243 Win., .257 Roberts, .260 Rem., 6.8mm SPC, 7mm-08, .308 Win.
No. 1 International: 6.5x55, 6.8mm SPC, 7x57, .308 Win.
No. 1 Standard and Stainless Standard: .25-06, 6.5x55, .270 Win., 7x57, 7mm Rem. Mag., .30-06, .300 Win. Mag., .338 Win. Mag., 9.3x75R, .375 Ruger
No. 1 Medium Sporter and Stainless Sporter: .338 Federal, .338 RCM, .358 Win., .350 Rem. Mag., 9.3x74R, .45-70, .450 Marlin.
No. 1 Tropical: 9.3x74R, .375 Ruger, .375 H&H, .450/400 NE, .416 Ruger, .416 Rigby, .458 Win. Mag., .458 Lott.
No. 1 Varminter: .204 Ruger, .223 Rem., .22-250, .220 Swift, .243 Win.
MINI-14 AUTOLOADING RIFLES
Mini-14 (all models): .223 Rem., 6.8mm SPC
In closing, you will notice that I have dropped the big bore revolver cartridges from the No. 1-S Medium Sporter and substituted rifle cartridges. It is, unlike a revolver, capable of chambering physically longer and far more effective cartridges than any revolver. A rifle weighs more and is longer and heavier than a revolver, so if a hunter is willing to commit to carrying a rifle, it only makes sense to take advantage of the long gun's capabilities. (Conversely, it makes no sense to carry a big game hunting rifle chambered for cartridges that are commonly available in far lighter and handier revolvers.)
In addition, I have suggested international cartridges for use in the International version of the No. 1. In any case, its barrel is too short for efficient use of long range cartridges such as the .243 Win. and .270 Win.
Yours in cyberspace, Chuck Hawks
Copyright 2009 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.