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Field Test: Remington Premier Long Range Hunting Loads

Designed for extended shots on game, this load performs across all distances.

Field Test: Remington Premier Long Range Hunting Loads

Remington Premier Long Range field test. (Photo courtesy of Remington)

It had taken us all day to find the blacktail buck bedded on the side of a hill rising from Alaska’s Kodiak Island. I was lying prone on an adjacent hill, a light wind quartering from right to left. The range was 284 yards, and my rifle was steady when I squeezed off the shot. The buck took one bound from its bed and rolled down the hill until it stopped on the edge of an alder patch. It never moved again. Thus was my introduction to Remington’s Premier Long Range load, a performance that didn’t really surprise me given the top-end components the company has put in its new line of big-game ammo.

Bullets built for long-range hunting have to possess three primary features. First, of course, they must be accurate. Second, they should have a high ballistic coefficient to minimize bullet drop and wind drift. Third, they have to expand at the lower impact velocities that come with long shots.

Remington Premier Long Range hunting ammo
The Speer Impact’s jacket is chemically fused to the lead core to prevent separation on impact, while the Slipstream tip promotes expansion. (Photos courtesy of Remington)

The latter two requirements work against one another. Heavy-for-caliber bullets typically have better ballistic coefficients than their lighter counterparts, contributing to a longer, more streamlined form. However, heavier bullets have lower muzzle velocities and therefore lower impact velocities at long ranges. Remington balances these two factors by loading the Speer Impact bullet in the Premier Long Range line.

The Speer Impact bullet has a patented, polymer Slipstream Tip, designed by engineers at sister company Federal, that helps initiate expansion at lower velocities. The tip is hollow yet has a solid meplat, or front end. While the solid meplat improves aerodynamics and decreases drag during flight, it breaks off at impact to expose the hollow channel in the tip. This allows media to enter the tip, initiating expansion. Federal says the tip design extends the range at which the bullet reliably expands by a few hundred yards.

The Slipstream Tip also increases ballistic coefficient, and it is made of a material that resists the high temperatures that act on a bullet due to drag while in flight. These temperatures can cause some polymer tips to deform in flight, decreasing ballistic coefficient and leading to erratic bullet flight. The Slipstream material doesn’t start to soften until it reaches a temperature of 434 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring consistent performance downrange. Other features that improve aerodynamics include a boat-tail base and rear-adjusted center of gravity that assists in bullet flight.

While the Speer Impact bullets Remington loads in Premier Long Range are heavy for caliber—175 grains in the 7 mm Rem. Mag., 172 grains in the .308 Win. and 190 grains in the .300 Win. Mag., for example—the Slipstream Tip promotes expansion at the lower velocities that come with such heavyweights. In fact, Remington engineers have tested the loads to 1,000 yards and recorded reliable expansion.

hunting bullets from Remington
The Speer Impact bullet is designed for reliable expansion at extended ranges. These upsets were recovered from gel shot at 300 (top left), 500 (bottom left), 744 (top right) and 1,000 yards (bottom right). (Photos courtesy of Remington)

Another noteworthy feature of the Speer Impact bullet is its bonded core. The bullet’s jacket is chemically fused to the lead core to prevent separation on impact and ensure high retained weight. This allows engineers to “program” the bullet to expand at low impact velocities but not break apart at high ones. It’s another balancing act that makes Premier Long Range an excellent big-game load at all ranges. For example, should a hunter stalk to within 75 yards of a buck, he can rest assured the Speer Impact bullet will retain enough weight to ensure adequate penetration even on quartering shots at hard angles. If he must take a shot at an extended range, say 500 yards, he can be confident that the Slipstream Tip in the bullet will cause adequate expansion to create a devastating wound channel.

I used the Remington Premier Long Range .308 Win. load to take two blacktail bucks and a caribou on Kodiak Island. None required more than one shot, and none went more than 100 yards from the spot of impact. While the farthest shot was the one on the bedded buck I described earlier, I would not hesitate to use this load at my maximum effective range. In the Savage 110 Ultralite rifle I took on the hunt, the Premier Long Range ammo was a solid sub-MOA performer out to 300 yards, the farthest distance at which I tested the load.

Remington offers Premier Long Range in 10 loads, from 140-grain 6.5 Creedmoor (MSRP: $70.99 for 20 rounds) to 215-grain .300 PRC (MSRP: $82.99). While “long range” is in its name, Remington Premier Long Range works at all ranges. It’s a versatile load that will serve deer hunters in the East just as well as elk hunters in the West.




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