Ruger No. 1 "Kudu" - .300H&H
Well as if I haven't had enough load development projects over the last couple of years, I've added two more. This past spring I added two more rifles to my arsenal. I'm still working one of those and will share more about this later.
The other rifle I added was a Ruger No.1, one of the Craig Boddington series of No.1's. It is the "Kudu" model which is calibered in .300H&H. I had a chance a couple of years ago to shoot a No.1 in .300H&H and loved it. But I wanted the CB version, and I finally found one NIB. Price wasn't that great, but I wanted it.
I finally had chance last week to shoot some first loads. My first go around was with 180gr Nosler Partitions. The loads shot well, not spectacular but good. With the max loading giving right at a one inch group. Good enough for a leopard load which I hope to use this rifle on some day.
This past weekend I decided to give some 168gr TTSX's a go. As much as I keep trying to get away from the TSX/TTSX's, I keep trying to get them to shoot well. While I have found accurate loads in various calibers for the Barnes', what I've consistently run into is that they copper foul my barrels so quickly the groups will quickly go away. I'm certain that the tolerances of these barrels comes into play, but what can you do? Reem the barrels a little wider to make them work with the bullets...I think not.
So I loaded up H4831SC behind these at 69, 70, 71, 71.5, 72 and 72.5 grains. Bullets seated to 3.515" per the Barnes manual, well short of 3.6" SAAMI max. The 69gr load gave a 2" group, the 70gr about 1.25" group and every load thereafter was at 1" or better. The max load had two touching and the third had about one bullet diameter of paper between it's edge and the edge of the other two, nice group.
For first time out, I was impressed. I haven't even played with the seating depths yet. What also encourages me is that typically here in AZ when the temps hit 90 or higher, accuracy goes down. With the exception of my son's .308, all of the rifles I shoot open up a bit in the heat. It was 90 by 7:30am this past Sunday when I got to the range.
What makes me feel best about this is that after 18 rounds, the copper fouling from what I can see at the muzzle is no more than with any other bullet I shoot. What I normally see with these in other rifles is bright shiny copper like a new penny in the rifling.
So we'll see how this goes. I hope to use this rifle the next time I hunt with HartzView in the Kalahari. With an expected 3000+ fps muzzle velocity, it'll be nice and flat for those longer shots there, but should be good medicine for a Gemsbok.