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Why the Remington Ultimate is the Best Production Muzzleloader You Can Buy Today

Remington has lowered the MSRP of its new Model 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader to under $1000 just before it begins to ship. It is, as far as I'm concerned, the best muzzleloader on the market today. To explain why it is, I'll mention why it isn't.

Long distance muzzleloading isn't a new thing. The first Creedmore match of 1874 included shooting the 800 yard and 900 yard relays in the morning and the 1000 yard relay in the afternoon. The Irish team used Rigby muzzleloaders. One of the best shots on the Irish team, J. K. Milner, a 24 year old wool merchant, scored a bullseye on his first shot at 900 yards — only to discover that he had fired on the wrong target. His shot was scored a “Miss,” and cost the Irish the match that was finally won on the very last shot of the match by the American team.

The use of a primed firing module in a centerfire rifle is anything but new. My friend, Henry Ball, original patent holder of what became the Savage 10ML filed for patent US 5511334 in October, 1994, and it was granted April 30, 1996. Not only was Henry's firing module extracted, it was ejected as well. Although so-called "sabotless" rifles are somehow considered new today, Henry Ball pioneered them back in the 1990's, I've shot them with Henry, and they were superb, long available as custom rifles (your choice of action, barrel, and stock) from Bill's Custom Guns in Greensboro, North Carolina.

It isn't because it uses large rifle primers, for that approach was used back in 1996 as the “Posi-Fire” ignition System, by Knight Rifles, in the Knight MK-95 Magnum Elite. An eighteen year old idea, used by the biggest name in muzzleloading at the time is anything but new.

High velocity production inline muzzleloading rifles aren't at all new at all, either, for the Knight Super 45 of over a dozen years ago clocked an average of 2639 fps with 150 grains of Pyrodex pellets with the Knight Red Hot 45/150 saboted bullets.

It isn't because it is built like a real rifle, not a tinker-toy, from a real rifle company. Ruger in their 77/50 series, Remington in the 700ML, and Savage Arms in the 10ML series all used their respective short action rifles as the basis for these muzzleloaders.

It isn't strictly because of velocities, for I've been shooting 300 grain projectiles at 2300 fps or so for many years: about the limit of what I care to enjoy. It wouldn't be because of the excellent user-adjustable trigger, either, for the Savage 10ML-II had the Accu-Trigger back in 2004 or so. It wouldn't be because of its 1:26 rate of twist barrel, either, for barrel twist rates from 1:20 to 1:28 have been common for decades, although 1:22 is about as tight as practical with sabots.

It certainly wouldn't be from whence it came, for the Ultimate Firearms “BP Xpress” is one of the most comedically, shamefully, over-hyped, and over-priced muzzleloaders ever perpetrated in recent times. It was and is the “Pet Rock” of a muzzleloading marketing crime: irritatingly nose-bleed priced for its billowing cloud of hot air and clumsy concoction of blatantly false promises.

The Remington Ultimate is the first time all of these things have come together, though, competently and affordably. Some may wonder “What's wrong with the Savage 10ML-II?” What's primarily “wrong” with the Savage is the same thing that's wrong with the T/C Omega . . . they aren't being made. The Savage was and is, an excellent muzzleloader. While the 10ML's use of smokeless cleaned up the barrel, much of the public couldn't get used to the “mysterious” smokeless used in every other firearm. Additionally changing vent-liners and drilling out breechplugs took a small amount of getting used to.

Remington has an additional advantage by having Barnes as their sister company, for Barnes has an long track-record of muzzleloading successes. Three of the last four bears we've taken were with Barnes T-EZ 290 Flat Base bullets, the fourth was with a Barnes Original 300 grain semi-spitzer soft point. Barnes all-copper bullets essentially have no velocity limitation with muzzleloaders and the green sabot from Remington / MMP is the first I'm aware of to actually be stronger, not just easy to load.

Variations in 209 primer tolerances have created headaches for years in several models. With Remington supplying their own primed brass, the stuck primer syndrome that has long plagued some muzzleloaders is no more.

Aesthetically, the 700 Ultimate has great appeal as well, particularly in the laminated version: keeping the magazine floorplate, the jeweled bolt, the fluted stainless barrel, adding a Monte Carlo Cheekpiece to the laminated stock are premium features that make the 700 Ultimate look like a premium rifle. And, it will touch two bullet holes in the wind at 100 yards.

After reviewing the Remington 700 Ultimate laminate, I really liked it at the originally announced suggested retail price of $1295, and who wouldn't? Now that it is actually released at $999 MSRP for the composite stocked version, and a sticker price of even less, $949, for the tested laminate version, I'm loving it. That is quite hefty price drop in favor of the consumer.

The Remington is the only production muzzleloader on the market built like a centerfire bolt-action rifle, with a superior 2.6 millisecond locktime, an excellent zero take-up trigger, and the capability of "200 grain" class propellant charges. It is one of the softest-shooting muzzleloaders with standard "100 grain" class propellant charges, it has the cleanest breeching system of any muzzleloader, and it is the easiest, most hassle-free muzzleloader to use. The Remington Ultimate ignites Blackhorn 209 blackpowder replacement perfectly as well as all other blackpowder subs. It is the first essentially "zero maintenance" production frontloader. It also looks great, and sells for thousands of dollars less than custom muzzleloaders that use the very same action. It has all the desirable features of the Model 700 action: the easy bolt lift, the large loading port (in this case for primed brass), and the large recoil lug.

S & W is going to sell a lot less T/C Encores this year, so is everyone else in the premium production muzzleloading arena. The Remington 700 Ultimate is, as far as I'm concerned, the industry-leading muzzleloader of 2014 by a comfortably substantial margin. The only problem Remington is going to have, with this eleventh hour 2014 release, is filling demand. But, that's not a bad problem to have, by any means.

Remington is in a unique and enviable position among muzzleloading manufacturers: they not only make the action that is the first choice among custom rifle-builders, they make the barrel, and the primed brass as well. Not only that, as Barnes Bullets has long been an industry leader in muzzleloading projectiles, they offer top-notch bullets and true high-performance sabots in addition to that. No muzzleloading manufacturer has spent the R & D and tooling necessary to come up with a stronger sabot until now: in this case, 25-30% higher tensile strength than all previously available sabots. It is the opposite of prior, piece-meal, cobbled together type product, for here (for the first time) the entire system is made under one umbrella: from primer to brass to action to barrel to sabot to projectile. It is an industry first, and it shows.

The Top Ten Reasons to Buy the Remington Model 700 Ultimate:

1) The Remington 700 Ultimate is the strongest, safest, production muzzleloader in the world.
2) The Remington 700 Ultimate is the most powerful production muzzleloader in the world, the only production muzzleloader that is engineered and proven to be able to use 4 pellet ("200 grain") loads as a standard working load, a load that would damage or destroy lesser muzzleloaders.
3) The Remington 700 Ultimate works well with Blackhorn 209, Pyrodex, Triple Se7en, IMR Red Hots and offers complete reliability with all of these propellants, whether loose powder or pellets: your choice.
4) The Remington Ultimate offers a faster rate of twist than other muzzleloaders, and higher velocities. As a result, the Remington Ultimate can stabilize longer, more aerodynamically efficient projectiles where the others cannot.
5) The Remington Ultimate has the cleanest action of any production muzzleloader ever made.
6) The Remington Ultimate has the fastest locktime of any production muzzleloader.
7) The Remington 700 Ultimate is the easiest muzzleloader to use, for there is no more struggling with loose 209 shotshell primers.
8) Although the Remington 700 Ultimate's breechplug is user-replaceable, it is not necessary to so much as clean it, much less remove it during normal use. Breechplug hassles are a thing of the past.
9) The Remington 700 Ultimate is essentially maintenance-free, requiring nothing other than cleaning the barrel after use. No take-down of the Remington 700 Ultimate is required.
10) The Remington 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader sells for thousands of dollars less than custom rifles that use the very same action, and sells for less than many popular run-of-the mill muzzleloaders, from T/C and Knight.

 

Copyright 2014 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.


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