Remington's 300-Yard Muzzleloader

The new Remington Model 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader is one serious smokepole, but will it really let you reach out to 300 yards?

One of the showstoppers at the 143rd NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits was the Remington Model 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader. The company unveiled its new smokepole in front of a crowd of more than 75,000 attendees, calling the gun's Accelerated Muzzleloader Performance (AMP) ignition system a "jet engine of progress" and claiming it brings "300 yard performance to muzzleloader season."

I tested the Model 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader for several weeks before the show, and I have to admit there is much truth in Remington's marketing campaign. You can read about some of my findings in the May 2014 print edition of American Hunter, or watch the Gun of the Week video. But now let's take a closer look at this 300-yard claim. That's a fairly long shot for a centerfire rifle, let alone a muzzleloader.

The reason why Remington is able to tout the gun as a 300-yard muzzleloader mainly lies in its AMP ignition system. Most modern muzzleloaders rely on a 209 primer to get things started, but the Ultimate Muzzleloader uses a large, magnum rifle primer contained within a modified cartridge case instead. The hotter flame of the rifle primer allows the Ultimate Muzzleloader to ignite, and burn within its 26-inch barrel, four, 50-grain pellets of blackpowder substitute. That's not a typo. Four pellets; 200 grains of powder by volume.

With a 209 gun, "magnum" performance is limited to three pellets or 150 grains of powder by volume. In my testing, the fourth Hodgdon Triple Seven 50/50 pellet in the Ultimate Muzzleloader added almost 250 fps to the muzzle velocity of a 250-grain bullet. Remington says the Ultimate Muzzleloader will produce a muzzle velocity of 2450 fps with a four-pellet charge behind a 250-grain bullet. I didn't quite get that kind of velocity when I ran that load through the chronograph; three shots averaged 2372 fps. Since that's a proven muzzle velocity under field conditions, let's use it to determine the trajectory of a 250-grain Parker Productions Ballistic Extreme bullet (the one I used in testing).

With a 100-yard zero, the bullet will be 24.4 inches low at 300 yards. Hold a foot over a deer's back at 300 yards, and the bullet will drop into its vitals. That's a reasonable holdover, but to zero the Ultimate Muzzleloader at 100 yards would be foolish if you intend to take full advantage of its performance. Instead, zero it at 225 yards to maximize the bullet's point-blank range. Assuming a deer's vital zone measures 10 inches in diameter, a 225-yard zero will let you hold dead-on out to a bit beyond 250 yards. At 125 yards, the bullet will be 4.7 inches high, resulting in a high lung shot if you hold on the center of the deer's vitals. With the same hold, the bullet will be 2.9 inches low at 250 yards, impacting the heart or very close to it. At 300 yards, the bullet will be 11.1 inches below the point of aim. Hold on the deer's spine, and it's dead. That's completely doable. (These figures are based on a bullet's flight at sea level with an ambient temperature of 60 degrees. Adding altitude and/or temperature will flatten trajectory a nominal amount at 300 yards. The opposite applies for a decrease in temperature.)

All the above assumes you know the exact range to the target, which isn't difficult to determine with a rangefinder. It also assumes no wind, which is rare in the field. With a breeze, you must make a proper wind call and adjust accordingly. This is the toughest part. At 200 yards, the 250-grain Ballistic Extreme bullet will drift almost 7 inches in a full-value, 10 mph wind. Drift increases to more than 16 inches at 300 yards with the same wind. Blow the wind call by 5 mph in either direction at 300 yards, and the result will be either a miss or a marginal hit. You're looking at an 8-inch difference in drift between a 5 and 10 mph wind, and between a 10 and 15 mph wind. Dealing with wind, of course, is dependent on the shooter--not the gun.

At 300 yards, the 250-grain Ballistic Extreme bullet is still traveling at about 1550 fps and will have more than 1,350 foot-pounds of energy at impact. It's up to you to put it where it belongs. The gun is accurate enough; it shot sub-MOA groups at 100 yards when I tested it. Know your load's trajectory and wind drift, and the Remington Model 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader will let you reach out to 300 yards--and maybe even beyond.

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7 Responses to Remington's 300-Yard Muzzleloader

Lance wrote:
May 07, 2014

This is a great ML rifle; another accurate and beautiful model 700. That having been said, so many states limit muzzle loader technology such as 'traditional muzzleloader' seasons, this wont be legal in numerous jurisdictions. What was the point again?

Jon Edwards wrote:
May 07, 2014

Modern rifle designs like this just seem like cheating in the muzzleloading arena. This type of rifle should be allowed only during the regular rifle season.

Hovey Smith wrote:
May 07, 2014

Remington's previous ventures in the muzzleloading market with the Model 700 ML required the use of a special subchamber to hold the 209 primer. These guns were accurate, but the bolt had to be stripped and cleaned after each shooting event. This was an SOB, and the reason that this attempt failed. Using a brass cartridge case to hold a primer works, just as Tony Knight and others discovered decades ago. The new thing here is enabling the gun to utilize more powder to flatten the gun's trajectory. There was another Remington branded muzzleloader that was made by Traditions that used a swing to the side breech, like the British Snider .577 cartridge gun. This gun lasted for about two years on the market. If you want one of these new Remingtons, get it quick. Its shelf life may be very short, judging from past experience.

Charles Murphy wrote:
May 07, 2014

I regretfully traded my 700 MLS several years ago. Looks like I need to reinvest.

buckbuster wrote:
May 06, 2014

The Savage smokeless has been used on deer sized game out to 500 yds. One an push a 209 primered, 200gr SST with 60+gr of 4198 2700fps. As to the charge in this gun, I don't even want to think about four pellets pushing a 250's effect on my shoulder.

Larry Cowden wrote:
May 06, 2014

What is the sense in using a muzzle loader of this caliber and ability? I shoot muzzle loaders, but only traditional cap or flintlock. Those take skill and commitment to learn and use in the field. This new one is nothing better than a cartridge rifle that anyone could master in a half hour. This totally detracts from the intended spirit of the hunt with a muzzle loader as intended and the spirit of our ancestors that lived and died by them.

Jeff vaughan wrote:
May 02, 2014

I'm very interested in the ultimate. I own several Remington 700 rifles, looks like this may need to be part of the family. I have owned Remington rifles since I started humting