ULD Decision Time

After weighing all the options, I purchased the ULD Boomershoot gear as follows:

  • Caliber:  .300 Win Mag.

This was the easiest choice, given my own experiences at Boomershoot and hunting in Scotland with Mr. Free Market and the gang.  In adverse conditions (rain, sleet, snow, strong winds) the .300 Win Mag beats all other chamberings by a day’s march.  As I’d made the caliber choice early on, I went ahead and ordered some boxes of “test” ammo, which I’ll be comparing to each other over the next couple weeks.  I got Spendy, Medium-Spendy and Budget (the latter, actually, is Sellier & Bellot because despite its lowly price, I’ve found this Czech ammo to be amazingly consistent in other chamberings.  I’m kinda hoping it does well, because I have a line on an amazing deal — less than $1 per round).

Whichever  gets the best grouping, however, will be purchased in Boomershoot-type quantities, and what doesn’t get used up in Idaho will be shipped to the lucky winner of the draw (because I don’t own a .300 Win Mag rifle, so I won’t be tempted to hold some back as “tax”).

So much for the cartridge.  Next, the boomstick:

  • Rifle:  Ruger M77 Hawkeye Long Range Target.

The choice was between this rifle and the Savage 110FCP, and to be honest, I couldn’t make up my mind.  Ultimately, I let availability drive the decision — and while the Savage was on back order / out-of-stock everywhere I looked, the Hawkeye was actually in stock at one of my local gun pushers FFLs nearby.  Hello, Mr. Gun Pusher.  Of course, I always have Buyer’s Dread after dropping over a grand on an untested (by me) rifle… but then I read this review of the Hawkeye, and I didn’t feel too badly about the decision.  I hate the Technik durch Plastik  appearance of the stock (I know, it’s painted laminate, which makes me feel better, but it’s still pig-ugly).  As long as it shoots better than I can shoot it… which brings me to the glass.

  • Scope:   Zeiss 6-24x50mm Conquest V4 30mm with illuminated reticle #65 and ballistic stop turret

(the crosshair is actually finer than pictured — I just enhanced it to make it clearer)

The combination of Zeiss glass plus the illuminated reticle might make all the difference to an average rifle shooter like me at distance, in crappy weather.  It’s a serious long-distance reticle (as opposed to a “pure” hunting one), and I can’t wait to get it up to speed.

Finally, the thing what holds it all together:

  • Rings:  Warne Skyline 30mm

Because the Hawkeye has an attached Picatinny rail, it makes the choice of rings quite easy.  Unfortunately, most scope mounts designed for this configuration are, to my mind, not geared towards handling hard recoil — let’s face it, 90% of the time, they’ll be holding onto a semi-auto gas action AR-15 firing the poodleshooter cartridge.  But a bolt-action rifle sending off a blitzenthumpenboomer  .300 Win Mag bullet?  It’s gotta have beeeg mahsells [/Arnie].  So I’ll be going with the trusted Warne scope mount because of its multiple-screw locking setup — and this does not look like it’s going to be jarred loose anytime soon:

I know, I know:  “But-but-but Kim, what does it look like when it’s all assembled?”

So there it is, complete with a post-boresighting gin:  now it’s time to get this show on the road.  Range report to follow, as soon as Doc Russia can find some spare time.  (He too has a new .300 Win Mag rifle to shake down.)


  1. Excellent choices and I think they represent the best value (I almost said “bang for the buck” , but didn’t)
    I have a Zeiss Conquest and it is a fabulous optic for the money. Ruger has always been a good value as well. They make their own barrels as you may know, and do a good job of it.
    Good job of shopping.

  2. Outstanding choices, all, lack of classic wood stock notwithstanding.

    Funny story about my winning in these types of lotteries. I’ve won one of these things exactly twice in my 63 years. As a young Lieutenant in the Air Force, early ’80s, I attended a fundraising Beef ‘n Beer for a local lady with cancer. Won 6 nice steak knives.

    Almost exactly one year later, attended a raffle at my local church and won again.

    You guessed it, six MORE steak knives.

    Haven’t won anything since, but happy to have supported the cause.

  3. There is one downside to assembling such a sweet, select rig such as you’ve displayed here.

    That being, if perchance you miss, it gets kinda dicey to blame it on the gear!

    *flips through shooters book of “other” excuses*.. GUST! That’s it, there was a random GUST of WIND!

    I’ll have to do some more research on some other excuses, too. Odds are, I’ll be needing ’em. *sigh*

    In all seriousness though, I’ve just taken delivery on a Vortex Razor, 27x60x85, angled eyepiece spotting scope. I also bought the MOA reticle, fixed (non-zoom) eyepiece for it, which gives it ranging ability. Affixed atop a Bogen Manfrotto 3040 tripod, it is a VERY capable piece of glass.

    If you haven’t as yet filled the niche for a quality spotting scope for Boomershoot, I’d rate this one as a strong “Buy”.

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  4. Great choices! Now I’m looking up .300 Win Mag reloading data in the extremely unlikely chance that the shooting gods would smile on me. Kim I hope that you enjoy the rifle at Boomershoot and I pass on my congratulations and best wishes to the ultimate owner.

      1. The expended cartridges will be sent on to the lucky winner, should he want to reload…

  5. Ruger M77 is hard to beat.

    Zeiss has been making good glass for a long time.

    Look forwards to the range report. Lead on 1 dollar a round for 300 win mag would be good. Especially if good ammo.

  6. Nice rig! Now to solve those pesky items so artfully stated by Col. John Henry Thomas “Windage and elevation, Mrs. Langdon; windage and elevation.”

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