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Ranger TM 300
This particular model was called the Texas Magnum, and was the larger of the two actions offered by Ranger. A smaller model, the Maverick, was able to chamber the .308, and other similarly sized cartridges. The Texas Magnum action was longer, and could chamber the 30-06, and 300 WM cartridges. Both actions were turned into some fine custom rifles, and were of relatively good quality. The quality of the wood, and of the blue finish are both excellent. This is particularly striking to a person, like myself, who primarily collects military style rifles, with their parkerized, synthetic, or enamel finishes. The trigger is so light, fast, and crisp that it breaks almost before you even notice you have begun to squeeze. The only trigger that even comes close to this, is the set trigger on my Ultra Match AR-15. The gun has a removable floorplate 3 round magazine, and a crossbolt safety, both easily accessed by controls set into the guard of this marvelous trigger. Working the smooth bolt, has the solid certainty, of closing a bank vault door. Taken as a whole, all of these features begin to make me understand the more than hundred year old allure of the classic bolt action rifle. The one piece bolt, and lockwork were of a new design, somewhat unique, and rate a brief description.
This is a classic bolt action, which uses three locking lugs, and has a 60 degree throw. The lockwork is incredibly fast, and does not use a conventional spring to drive the firing pin. Instead, it uses a a series of washers. The action was designed by Homer Koon, who held several firearms patents. This is the most powerful rifle I own, and at present is my only bolt action centerfire rifle. The combination of a flat shooting cartridge mated to a very accurate rifle, makes it a great tool for long distance work. The .300 Winchester Magnum cartridge is second in power only to the .300 Weatherby in the thirty caliber range. It has more power at 1000 yards than a full load .44 Magnum has at the muzzle. John Pliaster, author of The Ultimate Sniper, recommends it above all others.
The rifle itself is finely crafted, with a nice contrasting wood stock, and a Monte carlo cheek piece. This was actually pretty typical for this rifle, though with so many custom builders basing their work upon this action, there is not really anything that can be called a factory standard here. List price of these guns, back in 1970, was $325 to $425. This was back when a Browning BAR sold for $174, and a Remington 700 went out the door at $134. An ar-180, back in those days, cost $237. Using these prices as a guide, that Ranger would probably sell new for something like $1200 - $1500 today, or perhaps a bit more. The rifle has a rather distinctive looking bolt, the shroud resembling that of the Weatherby, and is held together by allen screws, rather than the more traditional slotted type.
I have recently replaced the Bausch and Lomb tapered crosshair scope with a Tasco mil-dot scope. This is not the top of the line Tasco, and Tasco is not the most respected name in scopes, but this is a mil-dot scope, and it is an improvement over the dated B&L scope which formerly sat atop this rifle. I plan on giving the mil-dot technique, and this scope, a write up of their own. A rifle like this is capable of extreme long range. The .300 Winchester magnum With a 200 grain bullet is probably the best long range cartridge in the world. There are cartridges that start out with more energy, but the .300 Win Mag holds it energy well out past the 1000 yard mark. The mil-dot scope will allow me to calculate range and bullet drop out to the extreme distances that this rifle is capable of hitting at. I do not yet reload for this rifle, but plan on getting a large single stage press which takes standard dies and is capable of reloading some of the longer rounds which some of my rifles fire. The rifle also has a real sling instead of a carry strap.
The photo to the right shows the 300WM flanked by the 223, and the 44 Magnum. The reason for the heavy construction and bank vault security become pretty apparent here. There are few semi autos capable of handling a round of this power, and none which do the job with the finesse of a quality bolt action rifle. Shooting a gun of this quality, in this caliber, is a joy, and reminds the military minded collector of the true definition of a fine sporting arm. A rifle like this could turn me into a bolt gun enthusiast in short order.