August 29th, 2007

Ruger 17 Mach 2 Rifle on Sale

If you are looking for a great little rimfire, bolt-action squirrel gun for under $400.00, check out the Ruger 77 on sale at CDNN Investments for just $399.00 (Item RUG 07030). It is chambered in 17 Mach 2, a 1″ OAL round that pushes a 17gr plastic-tipped, jacketed bullet at about 2100 fps. The Ruger features a handy 10-round rotary mag, a 20″ heavy barrel, and a nice gray laminated stock. The rifle even comes with free 1″ rings that fit the top of the dovetailed receiver. As of 8/29/2007, CDNN had 38 of these 17m2s in stock.

Ruger 77 in 17 Mach 2

Why the Mach 2 rather than a 17 HMR? First, the 17 Mach 2 has more than enough “punch” for small varmints (ground squirrels and crows) out to 130 yards or so. Second, 17 Mach 2 ammo is currently much cheaper than 17 HMR. While most 17 HMR ammo costs at least $8.50 per box (and sometimes much more), you can get 17 Mach 2 ammo from a variety of sources for as little as $3.79 per 50-round box.

We’ve done a lot of testing with the 17 Mach 2 in both factory and custom rifles. What we’ve seen is that factory rifles will often shoot 1/2 MOA or better at 50 yards and 1 to 1.5 inches at 100 yards–provided the ammo is good. Typically, however, you’ll get one “flyer” out of five, but that’s usually caused by variations in the ammo (excessive runout, or a bad crimp, or flawed bullet tip). Even in a fully-accurized, custom 17 Mach 2 rifle, a single round with .010″ runout can expand a 1/4 MOA group into 1 MOA. Still, for a carry-around varmint rifle that’s excellent accuracy. We wouldn’t hesitate to go on a “Squirrel Safari” with this little Ruger. The trajectory is much flatter than a 22LR, the ammo is relatively inexpensive now, and the accuracy is more than adequate for the task.

17 Mach 2 Ballistics

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August 29th, 2007

More Positive Reviews of March Scope

The March Scope–it’s pricey, exclusive, and more than ever is found on top of winning Benchrest Rifles. Made by Koto in Japan, the 40X March has set new standards for clarity and resolution among benchrest scopes. By most reports, this $2100.00 scope with ED (low-dispersion) glass has the most reliable tracking and best resolution ever offered in a scope with magnification of greater than 30X. The March can resolve bullet holes at long distance well enough that some owners dispense with expensive spotting scopes altogether. In North America, March scopes are sold exclusively by Kelbly’s, (330) 683-4674. Currently, the warranty on the March 40X scope is five years and limited to the original purchaser only–something to consider given the hefty cost of the unit.

Forum member B. Harvey of Patriot Arms in Atlanta reports: “Today was my first chance to shoot (long-range) since getting the March and it performed perfectly. At each distance, 600, 800, 900 (not 1K though) we shot steel targets that are sitting on top of 55 gallon drums. Before the mirage got really bad, and when I say really bad, I mean you could barely see the steel targets, the March was able to resolve bullet holes in the drums at 900 yds. You could actually count the holes! The holes in the 800 and 600 drums were even easier to see. The contrast and clarity of this scope is outstanding and I am now trying to figure out how to get another one.”

Lynn Dragoman reports: “I got a chance to compare the March to the [Nightforce] 12-42X Benchrest model at the NBRSA 600-yard nationals. I shot next to Lou Murdica who had the March and who also shoots 100-200 benchrest. He could tell me where every hit landed on the paper. I looked through it and, sure enough, you could see 6mm holes at 600 yards. With the Nightforce you could only see holes in the white when conditions were perfect.”

March BR Scope

Lou Murdica, who worked with Koto on developing the 40x fixed-power March scope, is now involved in preliminary design “brain-storming” for a zoom March. Right now all the critical specs (max magnification, parallax adjustment, weight and price) remain to be determined. And it’s not at all certain that a variable-power (zoom) March will ever make it into production. In the meantime, Schmidt & Bender plans a North American release of its new 12-50×56 PMII Zoom scope in early 2008. The S&B 12-50 will probably cost about $2700-$2800, given current exchange rates.

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