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Thread: reloading Ruger Compact Magnum (RCM), now that its manufacture is discontinued

  1. #1
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    Default reloading Ruger Compact Magnum (RCM), now that its manufacture is discontinued

    My favorite rifle is my .338 RCM Ruger. Mine is synthetic/stainless. With its 20 inch barrel, great iron sights, under-7-pound weight, and not much kick, its far and away the best rifle I've ever owned or shot. I like its flat shooting characteristic, its low weight and barrel length, and it sure does not kick too much for me. Everyone is different when it comes to kick, but a round like the 7mm mag is just too much kick to for me to enjoy.

    I was a bit dismayed when Ruger discontinued the rifle, and later (recently) when Hornaday, who had been the only manufacturer of the ammo, announced that too was discontinued.

    The last day or so I've come to realize that I'm not alone in my love for this round and rifle. I learned that over on this thread:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...-Compact-Rifle

    On that thread we keep coming back to the reloading issue, which is paramount since its inventors and manufacturers have abandoned it. So reloading is pretty darned crucial to its owners' futures in shooting the RCM round.

    Some questions raised on that other thread/forum that are more appropriate for this one are:

    1- Which non RCM brass can be converted to RCM? (I know there's at least one)

    2- What powders, if any, can reproduce the great performance that the factory Hornaday rounds enjoy? Member "travelers" mentioned on the other thread that he was able to find one after some amount of experimentation. I know many RCM owners would really like to know what he has found does, and does not work well.

    Mentioned on the other thread is a link to some presently available brass at non-horrible prices, $420 for 11 boxes:
    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=373643386

    This forum is much more appropriate for these reloading issues. RCM enthusiasts are definitely a minority, but I'm starting to understand that they're (we're) very enthusiastic about continuing using this round despite its short life within the product lines of both Ruger and Hornaday.

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    If you are primarily using it for a hunting rifle, without tons of target shooting and load development, I would buy 300 pieces of brass and some dies. That amount of brass should last joe average hunter a lifetime, even with a terrible attrition rate of 3 loads per case before they wear out, which is not likely as my Savage 99 doesn't wear out cases that fast, that is 900 shots before you are out of obsolete hard to find ammo.

    If you can't find enough brass to suit you and just really like the rifle's handling qualifier you could have it rebarrelled to one of the wsms or a 350 rem mag. Of course the 350 isn't exactly mainstream either but ammo is available.

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    Default 180 Nosler AB 338RCM

    Well here are a few loads I have tried.
    All these loads are set at .025" to the lands. This is important, You'll get too much pressure if you don't have a way to measure
    bullet jump.
    Brass is trimmed too 2.005"

    180 Noslers AB
    RL-17 fed lr primers
    61 2635
    62 2666
    63 2732
    64 2754

    BL-C2 fed lr primers
    58 2650
    59 2721
    60 2783
    61 2824
    61.5 2879
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    Default 200 Nosler AB 338RCM

    coming soon
    "The older I get, the better I was."

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    Quote Originally Posted by travelers View Post
    coming soon
    ......waited too long to edit...

    OK, how about some Nosler 200gr AB.......The factory 200 chrono'd @3500'...70d f...2789fps
    All these loads are set at .025" to the lands. This is important, You'll get too much pressure if you don't have a way to measure
    bullet jump.
    Brass is trimmed too 2.005"

    All these loads shot from a 20" Ruger @3500' ele. 70d f..........


    WW 760 cci lr
    60 2501
    62 2554
    64 2672
    64.5 2672
    65 2715
    65.5 2732 Hornady MAX...65.3 w/200 hornady 200 SST..( the Hornady manual shows 2840 fps. from 20" barrel)

    RL-17 cci lr RL-17 is not from reliable source..............
    59 2544
    60 2583
    61 2635
    62 2693
    62.5 2732

    BL-C2 cci lr
    59 2677
    59.5 2737
    60 2721
    60.5 2737
    61 2789 Hodgdon MAX with 200 GR. HDY SP.. (shows 2870 fps. from a 24" barrel)
    61.5 2824

    The 61gr BL-C2...200gr Nosler AB is the load that was the most accurate in my rifle. (3/8" 3 shot groups).
    "The older I get, the better I was."

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    225 Hornady #3320.......The factory 225 chrono'd @3500'...70d f...2604fps
    All these loads are set at .025" to the lands. This is important, You'll get too much pressure if you don't have a way to measure
    bullet jump.
    Brass is trimmed too 2.005"

    All these loads shot from a 20" Ruger @3500' ele. 70d f..........

    BL-C2 fed lr
    53 2339
    54 2450
    54.5 2415 MAX from Hornady 2600 fps. 20" barrel.
    55 2428
    55.5 2415
    56 2460
    56.5 2501
    57 2510
    57.5 2530
    58 2588 Max from Hodgdon 2689 fps. from 24" barrel. same bullet as Hornady load data.
    58.5 2578

    RL-17 fed lr NOT from reliable source............
    58 2446
    59 2534
    60 2549
    60.5 2569
    61 2599

    V V-550 wlr primer
    57.5 2478
    58.5 2554 MAX from Hornady 2650 fps. 20" barrel....
    59 2569
    "The older I get, the better I was."

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    250 gr.......Nosler PT and Sierra Gameking as noted
    All these loads are set at .025" to the lands. This is important, You'll get too much pressure if you don't have a way to measure
    bullet jump.
    Brass is trimmed too 2.005"

    All these loads shot from a 20" Ruger @3500' ele. 70d f..........

    250gr gameking
    BL-C2 cci-lr
    53.5 2368
    54 2402 ..... Hornady MAX w/#3335 bullet, 2450 fps.
    54.5 2406


    WW-760 cci-lr ...250gr ...Gameking
    54 2256
    54.5 2259
    55 2287
    55.5 2300
    56 2306........ I stopped here sticky bolt....could have been long brass or bullet too close to lands...
    ...........57.9.................. Hornady MAX 2450 fps.

    250gr..Nosler PT
    BL-C2 cci 250
    53 2331
    53.5 2364
    54 2393..... Hornady MAX w/#3335 ...2450 fps.
    54.5 2437


    250gr Nosler PT....V V-550... wlr
    54 2351
    55 2380
    55.5 2398
    56 2411
    56.5 2435..... 56.7gr..Hornady MAX w/#3335..... 2500 fps
    57 2501
    "The older I get, the better I was."

  8. #8

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    My understaning is 300 RCM and 338 RCM are by products of the 375 Ruger; The case is shortened to Compact lengths. However the reforming of the 375 to the 338 would require severel steps as the case walls would be too thick to make a usable neck. The 300 RCM cases could be reformed to make 338 RCM brass, BUT it's not as simple as just running through a neck sizing die. The 300 RCM and 338 RCM have different length cases with the shoulders in different places to prevent some lug-head from dropping a 338 RCM in the 300 RCM chambered rifle and blowing his nose off. Hornaday hasn't discontinued manufacturing the brass yet, I don't think, just loaded ammo. Brass will however see a moderate jump in cost (I BELIEVE) due to it's single source and limited sales. I'm glad to see that BLC-2 works well in the 338 RCM since I have a can or 2.........LOL
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    The Hornady Reloading Manual says: Recoil is significant and bullets should be crimped at the cannelure to prevent moving in the case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    The Hornady Reloading Manual says: Recoil is significant and bullets should be crimped at the cannelure to prevent moving in the case.
    I shortened my stock (plastic factory one) and added a Limbsaver or kickezz , don't remember which one.
    More better than the slim jim Ruger thingy.

    Haven't had any bullets getting shoved back into the case.... I checked....

    I use a Lee Collet Neck die....I sent a fired case to them and they made one for the 338rcm.........I turned the mandrel down .002"

    I adjust the collet die to cam-over at "just the right time". Very uniform neck tension......

    Makes nice and straight ammo......001" to .002" runout.....most of the time....
    "The older I get, the better I was."

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    Got a new .375 Savage AK bush hunter and just scored a nice used SS Ruger .338 RCM. Real glutton for punishment. Anyone have a brainstorm on how to step form the .375 RCM basic to .338? The neck looks to be about .500? And of course when trimmed back to .338 RCM length, it will have to be inside, outside,/ both ? neck reamed?? Called Redding and they said it would take a few expensive custom forming dies, that they could not even make now.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by 180pilot View Post
    Got a new .375 Savage AK bush hunter and just scored a nice used SS Ruger .338 RCM. Real glutton for punishment. Anyone have a brainstorm on how to step form the .375 RCM basic to .338? The neck looks to be about .500? And of course when trimmed back to .338 RCM length, it will have to be inside, outside,/ both ? neck reamed?? Called Redding and they said it would take a few expensive custom forming dies, that they could not even make now.
    NOT sure what you have on your mind. Making a 338-375 Ruger or a 375 RCM. ???
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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    If you read my entry, I have two rifles, both stock RCM's I would need to make brass for both, no wild-cat involved. I know the brass length difference and have been reloading since I was 15, now 70. Sorry for your confusion..on this and my other post. Perhaps you know, the .375 RCM basic case made by Hornady is .375 RCM length, but not necked and has no headstamp.



    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    NOT sure what you have on your mind. Making a 338-375 Ruger or a 375 RCM. ???

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by 180pilot View Post
    If you read my entry, I have two rifles, both stock RCM's I would need to make brass for both, no wild-cat involved. I know the brass length difference and have been reloading since I was 15, now 70. Sorry for your confusion..on this and my other post. Perhaps you know, the .375 RCM basic case made by Hornady is .375 RCM length, but not necked and has no headstamp.
    I believe you are refering to 375 Ruger Basic brass made by Hornaday. It can be used for the 375 Ruger or the 416 Ruger or used to manufacture wildcats; basically on long actions. The Ruger Compact Magnum rounds are 308 length cartridges built for a short action. The 375 Ruger Basic brass can be modified/shortened to fit the RCM short cartridges with a LOT of work.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    I believe you are refering to 375 Ruger Basic brass made by Hornaday. It can be used for the 375 Ruger or the 416 Ruger or used to manufacture wildcats; basically on long actions. The Ruger Compact Magnum rounds are 308 length cartridges built for a short action. The 375 Ruger Basic brass can be modified/shortened to fit the RCM short cartridges with a LOT of work.
    Feel like I'm going in circles here,..............Exactly my original question in this thread, about that "Lot of work",..... anyone figured it out without making custom progressive forming dies?

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