as I mentioned in one of my posts I was able to get in contact with many individuals who are using the 300 Varminter that was devloped by Richard Franklin of Franklin Custom Rifles
. For those who are new to the sight, the 300 Varminter is designed around a Tightneck .337 Diamter 300 WSM
Match Chamber designed around Norma 300 WSM Brass and is specially set up to shoot the 125grn Ballistic Tip bullet at a velocity of 4000+fps. The 300 Varminter is designed around a custom Action such as a Nesika or BAT and uses the Bartlien 30", 1-15 twist barrels to obtain the 4000+fps. It is very important to understand, a normal 300 WSM Factory rifle WILL NOT obtain these velocities. The 300 Varminter is a rifle specifcally designed around the 110grn V-Max and 125grn BT.
Anyhow, I was able to meet one of the fellows who owns one of these bad boys, and he took me out on a squirrel hunt here in California. This would be my first hand account to see how the 300 Varminter performed. First thing first, the rifle was absolutely beautiful! The fit and finish were awesome. Here are the specs on this gentlemens rifle;
1. BAT 8.5 Action
2. Bartlien 30", 1-15 twist barrel
3. Richards Low Rider stock
4. Jewel 2oz trigger
5. BAT 20MOA scope base
6. Burris Signiture series 30mm Rings
7. Nightforce NXS 8x32x56mm with MLR Reticle
8. Total weight of rifle is 22 pounds
He is running the 125grn BT at 4050fps out of his rifle. He is using Norma 300 WSM Brass turned to a neck diamter of .333 with loaded round, 74.6grns of VV-N550 with a Federal 215 Match Primer.
We went to an area where we could shoot at ranges from 100 to 900 yards. The day was beautiful. It was about 70 degrees with a sight left to right wind, I would say between 3 to 5mph. Our tagets would be the small California ground squirrel.
The first group of squirrles we came upon were out at about 350 yards. The scope was zeroed at 200 yards so we put in 1MOA of elevation. He took the first shot and it threw the squirrel into the air about 10feet and into millions of tiny peices. I have been on many of varmint hunts and have seen my fair share of red mist. I have never seen RED MIST like this in all of my years of varminting.
We moved on to a group of squirrel that ranged right at 505 yards. It was my turn for the first time to shoot the 300 Varminter. I dailed in about 4.25 MOA for elevation and about a .25 MOA for windage. Took the shot and nailed it on the first shot. Once again, the varmint was easley thrown into the air about 10 feet and in millions of tiny peices. I have never seen a bullet deliver so much destruction at that range. I have never seen that type of RED MIST at these extended ranges. We took many shots from 500 to 550 yards all day because there were so many squirrels in this one area. It was very easy to hit these varmints at this range with this set up.
We decided to move to a spot that allowed us to shoot out to about 900 yards, however, the squirrels we were able to range were sitting between 780 to 810 yards. The wind was still very calm and blowing about 3 mph, We dailed in 9 MOA on the elevation and put a 1MOA in for windage. He took the first shot at a squirrel sitting on a mound at a range of 800 yards, it went right under the squirrel but still made the little bastard jumb. He put in another 1/4 of MOA in the elevation for a total of 9.25MOA. His second shot was dead on. It blew the squirrel into the air and into tiny parts. Once again the red mist even at 800 yards was like nothing I have ever witnessed in my varmint hunting years. It was my turn to take the next shot, the squirrel I found was sitting on an old oak tree and the range finder spotted him at 815 yards. I kept everthing the same in regards to elevation and windage adjustments, however, I decided to hold a tad bit higher. Boom, the bullet was on its way, WAAAM!!! nailed it and blew it to pieces. Wow!!! what a set up.
It was an awesome day, and I was able to test the 300 Varminter first hand before I receive mine. My overall impression of the 300 Varminter, it is the perfect set up for it's intened purpose which is to absolutely obliterate large and small varmints with awesome killing power at ranges out to 1000 yards. From what I see so far, and from what the other owners have informed me, the 300 Varminter is best for shots between 100 to 850 yards and if the wind is calm it works great out to 1000 yards too.
There were no signs of pressure and the rifle functioned beautifully. We did not shoot any groups with his rifle. However, he informed me his rifle will shoot .1 and .2 shot groups at 100 yards all day long.
The 300 Varminter built buy Richard Franklin is a very very accurate rifle. It is with out a doubt a super accurate long range varmint rifle. When I receive my 300 Varminter I will shoot groups and post pictures. I will also try to post a video of the 300 Varminter in action on the small squirrels. You have to see how destructive the 125grn BT at 4000+fps is. My rifle will be set up set up using a Nesika Model K 1.470 Dia. Action, Bartlein 30", 1-15 twist barrel, Richards Model #8 Stock, Jewel 2oz trigger, Vias Muzzle brake
, Nesika 20MOA Rail, Burris 30mm Signiture Series Rings, topped with a Nightforce NXS 8x32x56mm with MLR reticle. After shooting my friends 300 Varminter with the 8x32x56mm Nightforce NXS with the MLR reticle, I decided this is a great reticle for my needs. It will work perfect when I need to make quick adjustment when using the 125grn BT in windy conditions.
I know there are set ups that would be better for varminting out past 1000 yards. However, for small and large varminting out to 1000 yards, the 300 Varminter is perfect and hard to beat if you want to shoot a poly tipped bullet fast and accurate that will provide the RED MIST factor and knocked down power that we varmint hunters love.
One more thing, the 300 Varminter is showing excellent barrel life even with these types of velocities. It must have somthing to do with the design of the 300 WSM case.
Also, many benchrest shooters are reporting the same excellent barrel life with the 300 WSM case. The 300 WSM could be the new 1000 yard competition cartridge king. Many 300 WSM Benchrest shooters are reporting they are getting 3000+fps with the 210grn Bergers with excellent accuracy. Anyhow, it sounds like the 300 WSM is beginning to make a name for itself in the varminting world and long range benchrest competition.