Modernizing the Muzzleloader: The New Remington Model 700 Ultimate
October 13, 2014
Just about any in-line muzzleloader is more than capable of punching lethal groups in targets well beyond a stone's throw. The right powder and projectile combination in any respectable scoped in-line should deliver reliable death to most big-game animals out to 100 yards. Mix the perfect cocktail and pay your dues on the range, and 200-yard confidence is achievable with many of today's inlines. But Remington recently introduced a new muzzleloader that was designed to break those boundaries.
The Remington Secret
According to Remington, this new frontloader makes it possible to spit bullets across three football fields with a remarkably flat trajectory and enough energy to ensure a short blood trail.
The secret lies in Remington's proprietary new "UML Priming System." It's a thoughtfully engineered ignition system that allows you to cram 200 grains of Triple Seven pellets down the throat of this fire-breathing beast. Instead of slipping a standard 209 primer into the breech plug, the Model 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader uses a brass rifle casing fitted with a magnum primer. The result is a more powerful, complete powder burn compared to in-lines that use a 209.
The 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader is built on Remington's time-tested Model 700 bolt-action receiver. Push your favorite powder and bullet blend down the barrel, then all that's left is to drop the brass casing onto the feed ramp and close the bolt. The casing is designed to interface perfectly with Remington's unique breech plug to create a super-tight seal. Squeeze the trigger and the primer sends its flame through the flash hole.
The idea is, all 200 grains of powder ignite and send a saboted bullet, such as a 250-grain Barnes T-EZ, downrange at 2,450 fps from the muzzle. With a 100-yard zero, these ballistics equate to a 22.43-inch drop at 300 yards, with the bullet traveling at 1,349 fps and drilling the target with 1,011 foot-pounds of energy. That's an acceptable equation for killing deer-sized game at that distance, so long as the shooter is capable of making the shot count.
Of course, you are welcomed to experiment with your own powder/bullet combo — that's half the fun.
The first version wears a gray laminate stock and factory-mounted rifle sights. The second option is dressed in a composite Bell and Carlson stock, minus the iron sights.
Both are drilled and tapped, giving you the ability to top the Ultimate Muzzleloader with your favorite optic and more effectively capitalize on its long-range capabilities. Each version is equipped with a 26-inch stainless-steel fluted barrel, measuring 46 inches from nose to tail. Finally, both come with a hinged floorplate. Pop it open and you'll find a foam insert to store extra primed cases.
Additionally, Remington is shipping the Ultimate Muzzleloader in a hard case with 24 pieces of primed brass and 24 250-grain saboted Remington Premier AccuTip bullets.
I tested the Ultimate Muzzleloader at the range shooting from the prone position with a stock-mounted bipod. A 10-15 mph crosswind blew with no end. From 100 yards, our best three-shot group formed a one-hole cloverleaf. Backing out to 150 yards, we saw 1- to 2-inch groups.
John Geiger, Game&Fish/Sportsman senior editor, also shot the Ultimate and reported consistently hitting 12-by-18-inch steel plates at 250 yards. The accuracy is impressive, and the energy is there to make this an effective long-range gun.
Whether or not this is a 300-yard hunting gun is strictly up to the skills of the hunter behind the rifle. The muzzleloader has two important traits that go a long way to making it an accurate gun: weight and trigger.
Both models of the Ultimate Muzzleloader weigh approximately 8 1/2 pounds — add a scope and any other frills and it will end up in excess of 10 pounds. Admittedly, carrying such a beefy rifle isn't ideal for intense treks, but the low recoil and stability of this inline are attributes that will contribute to accuracy. A heavier gun is, generally speaking, a more accurate gun.
Regarding trigger, each model sports X-Mark Pro user-adjustable trigger. Add the crisp XMP trigger to the equation and you might be one step closer to victory in the long-range game.
If this fresh frontloader trips your trigger, you'll need to choose between two different configurations, both offered at an MSRP of $1,295. Visit the Remington website for more information.