Ruger Frontier--.308 or Short Mag?


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Cosmoline
March 14, 2006, 05:30 AM
I'm planning to buy a new production rifle for the first time in many years. Right now I'm eyeing the "scout" style Ruger Frontier. I've looked them over and my only complaint has been the lack of a stainless option. Now Ruger is producing them in stainless and I'm thinking about ordering one in the next few months.

My initial feeling is to get one in .308. It's cheap and easy to find, and is very flexible. It's also a good performer out of a short barrel. However Ruger is also making these rifles in .300 and .325 short mag. I have no experience with any of these new stumpy magnums, but on paper at least they're very impressive. The .325 in particular looks like excellent short range bear medicine. But then again I don't really like the idea of shooting it out of such a light rifle.

Anyone have experience with the short mags out of a compact rifle?

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guidosarducci
March 14, 2006, 02:31 PM
I have a Savage model 10 in 7mm Rem SAUM and it shoots softer than the 7mm Rem Mag, and the accuracy is good. I got the Savage for it's 24" barrel. I just think magnums are not living up to their potential in shorter barrels.

Soap
March 14, 2006, 02:37 PM
I'm planning on buying a .308 version soon. The short mags look great on paper but I don't think the extra power of one would significantly factor into any shot made in the field.

ArmedBear
March 14, 2006, 02:54 PM
From what I've read, in a short barrel like that, the .308 will be a superior round. And it will cost a lot less, too. 7mm-08 would be another good alternative.

I believe that with the SAUM you will see velocity that is hundreds of fps below the rated velocity, which is for a 24" barrel. AFAIK all Remington claimed velocities are for a 24" barrel, except a few brush rounds.

You may not get a lot of responses, because people who've researched this generally purchase a long-barrel gun or a round better suited to carbines.

I'd love to get a nice little rifle that shoots a real round, though... My 24" full-sized boltie is a beast.

duckslayer
March 14, 2006, 03:46 PM
I've got a Remington Model 7 chambered in 300 SAUM, and it kicks like a mule that just got hit with a hot shot:D . But I guess there is a compromise to be made in trekking around Alaska with a light rifle that won't weigh you down and still having enough juice to take out a bear.

It is accurate however, for the 3 shots I can stand to shoot it. Then I develop quite a flinch.

ArmedBear
March 14, 2006, 03:53 PM
Note that the Model 7 Magnums have a 22" barrel.

Oops... The Ruger comes in WSM's, not SAUM's, but the ballistics and barrel issues are similar.

The Ruger has a 16.5" barrel.

duckslayer
March 14, 2006, 03:57 PM
With a 16.5" bbl, I agree with ArmedBear that the only thing you would gain with the WSM is more expensive ammo and a sore shoulder.

If you load your own, you might be able to use a little faster burning powder to recoup some velocity, but pressures are already pretty high.

Skofnung
March 14, 2006, 07:02 PM
I've got a Ruger 77 Compact in .308, which is just like the Frontier save the Scout type scope mount.

Stick with the .308 and shun the WSSBBSMs. (WinchesterSuperShortBarrelBurnerShort Magnums :neener: )

Factory .308 has quite a muzzle flash coming out of the short tube. This translates into wasted powder. The Short Mags would just waste more powder.

That, and I think that most WSM type cartridges will fade away in the coming decade.

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