by Frederic Franklyn Faust
Just in time for autumn hunting we review the Remington Arms Company Model 700. And, despite the Model 700 nomenclature, it is not a centerfire rifle, but instead a .50 caliber muzzleloader. In fact, some would say the Model 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader qualifies as the most technologically advanced in-line muzzleloader available on market today.
The first thing you need to know is that the Ultimate Muzzleloader relies on a closed breech system, a method renowned for its cleaner, hotter ignition. Which of course means the rifle can be loaded with high performance black powder substitutes like Triple7. How the light off of the powder works is as simple as the sea is salt. This rifle is founded upon a lightly modified, short action, Model 700 Receiver fitted with the The Ultimate Muzzle Loading System (UML).
The UML ignition system features a uniquely-sized brass case machined to accept a Remington 9 ½ large magnum rifle primer. Said primer push feeds into the breech plug creating a gas seal in the flash hole of the primer. I like the way the primed brass is so easy to handle compared to 209 shotshell primers. Even better, spare, primed cases store conveniently in the floorplate compartment below the receiver.
When fired the magnum rifle primer produces a longer, hotter flame than a 209 primer, and sets fire to as many as four, 50-grain pellets of blackpowder substitute. The maximum charge of 200 grains of Triple Seven® Pellets pushes a Barnes’ Spit-Fire T-EZ 250-grain bullets at a muzzle velocity of more than 2400 fps. So what we have here is centerfire-like performance and accuracy out of a mere muzzle loader. Obviously, loading up to 200 grains of powder pays big dividends in higher muzzle velocity, longer range and particularly potent hitting powder. So it could reasonably be argued this is a centerfire muzzleloader.
According to Remington, its .30 caliber brass and breechplug stay clean, accumulating no spent primer crud. In fact, Remington says its breechplug does not need to be removed at all for normal cleaning. Finally, you get 24 brass cases and projectiles with the rifle, a hard case and of course, the prerequisite, aluminum ramrod replete with a brass jag.
Heart and soul of the Remington M700 Ultima MuzzleLoader is its propellant: Hodgdon Triple Seven pellets. With this black powder substitute clean up is a breeze. Both rifle and hands scrub-a-dub clean with nothing more sophisticated than plain water. Moreover, the place where you cleaned the rifle wipes down with a damp paper towel.
Stack one or more Triple Seven 50/50 pellets (.50 caliber - 50 grains) to tailor loads. Besides 50 grain pellets, there's also Triple Seven 30 grain pellets (50/30), which may be used in combination with 50/50 or other 50/30 pellets in charges totaling up to a maximum of 100 grains. Pellets are packed 100 to the box, or 24 Pellets to the card. Important to note, both Triple Seven pellets, and in granular form, are intended for use only with 209 shotshell primers, except in the case of the Remington M700 Ultimate which uses Magnum large rifle primers.
|Specifications:||Remington Model 700 Muzzleloader|
|Barrel Length||26 inches|
|Barrel Twist||1 in 26 inches|
|Trigger||Single-stage X-Mark Pro
6.1-lb. pull weight
|Sights||Aperture rear and fiber-optic front.
Drilled and tapped for scope base
|Stock||2-Position Bell and Carlson composite w/raised comb
|Finish||Stainless steel receiver and barrel|