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Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3177
Eastern and western rifles.

Those of you that live in the Willamette (Will-lam-met) Valley or the coast range know how thick the brush can be. Yet everytime I read about rifles for the area, if is consumed with cartridges. Same for the east side where you can see a long ways in places.

I think that the most overlooked factor in rifle selection for an area is in fact the rifle. Without a doubt a Model 94 will work pretty much everywhere and it's pretty well proven. But the choice of rifle can be better for different areas and then for each type of rifle, there's a whole bunch of cartridges to select from, except for the Model 94 which only comes in an adequate cartridge!

The choice of actions is real personnel. My cousin uses a Rem 760 because he also uses a pump shotgun. He says he'sreal familure with the action. A lot to be said for that.

But in heavy brush, handling qualities of the rifle become more important than cartridge selection. I've found my old Rem 600 with it's 20' barrel to be extreamly well handling in close quarters. It is a short action but I doubt that gives me any edge in hunting situtation's, only as a sales point!

The choice of sights is also critical. Open sighs ain't all that great for old eye's like mine. In fact they ain't all that great for young eyes either. The only advantage I find is that they handle being dropped better than a scope. In low light they can be hard to see and line up. Add dense cover and dark just gets darker.

The best option is a scope of low power. Low power works real well because 2 3/4x scopes seem to manfacture their own light and give a huge field of view. They also give enough magnification for shooting at game at greater distances than we ought to. Can be challenging to sight in tho but a larger bulls eye really helps. Lots of people use 3x9 or 2x7 power scopes and keep them on the lowest power for hunting. That sort of works as you get a much better field of view than at higher powers but they still don't collect the light all that well. More important, they get mounted on something like a Rem 600 and they change the handling qualties of the rifle. That's especially true if it's a scope that needs high rings. A 2 3/4 or a 1x4 power scope will sit in low rings real well and keep the whole thing balanced well.

Go over the east side, where I live now, and the picture changes. Over here a longer barrel will make better use of most cartridges. It will swing better with a bit more weight forward on running game (I don't do running game). With a bit more weight, it will sit in your hands better when shooting but, also is more in need of better rested shooting positions. It's not the type of rifle that lends itself well to snap shooting.

The compromise is the rifle with a 22" barrel in a cartridge that uses it well. Thats those on 308 size cases and 27 cal and up on 30-06 cases. I have tried barrel lenght's up to 26" and they all have a place but over 24" doesn't make all that well a handling or carring rifle.

Sights are also different out here and scopes are the king. But I see many people come out with far more scope than they need. 3x9's are ok but really are not necessary on a hunting rifle. I'm a fan od fixwd power and really love 4x but try and find them. The 2x7 is small enough to mount fairly low and keep the whole rifle well in balance. Balance is a important factor even in eastern Ore rifles.

Many, maybe most, come out here with magnum rifles with some preconcived notion thay they'll have some advantage at longer range's. Those magnums usually come in larger lesser handling rifles. They also come in heavier rifles that lend themselves better to sitting than carrying. Many, make that few, use these things enough to be good shots with them. Another rifle type I see at times is the "Sendero" type. I like them but not for carrying around. They are just to heavy and good field shooting requires some type of rest, most use a bi-pod. Just one more potato to hang on a rifle to add weight and throw the rifle out of balance. I even know of a couple guy's using that type rifle that carry sand bag's with them filled with either plastis pellets or kitty litter. It would seem that the rifle and a knife would be enough to carry!

After the rifle is chosen, the cartridge can be what you like. Anything on the 308, 8mm Mauser and 30-06 case if fine for east or west rifles. The hot short magnum's and regular magnum cases are better at hame on the east side.Add the 25-06 to the east side too. Of course all will work in any situtation, east or west, but then you could also get enought material home to build a house in a Corvette; a Kenworth would be a better choice!

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Location: Washington State
Joined: 04/09/2006
Posts: 9
Eastern and western rifles.

Basically, two hunting rifles fill all my hunting needs. For my hunting in all areas east of the Cascades I use a Winchester Model 70 Featherweight 30-06 topped with a 2.5 X 8 Leupold scope. For hunting in all areas west of the Cascades I use a Marlin 1895 Guide Gun in 45-70. The Guide Gun currently has iron sights but I plan to eventually add a low powered scope. I especially appreciate the short 18+ inch barrel on the Guide Gun in the thick woods west of the Cascades.

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Joined: 12/03/2005
Posts: 1691
Eastern and western rifles.

Remington 700 BDL (LH) in 270 win under my old Bushnell Scopechief 3 -9 x 38 wide angle with BDC(bullet drop compensator) & RF(range finder).
Marlin 25M( 22 mag) Bushnell 3-9 x 50 scope.

Don:
A friend has a Remington 600 Mohawk 308, I beleive it has a 18.5 inch barrel. I always liked that rifle.
My eyes are getting old too. Problem is the rest of the body is the same age Cry

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Location: Washington's Back Country
Joined: 06/25/2005
Posts: 316
Eastern and western rifles.

I geuss you could say I use one gun for it all...but....I would have to say that my .243 win is the #1 rifle for me...do to no longer elk hunting...I belive that it's all shot placement while hunting..My .243 is a Ruger M77..with a bull barrel and a Leupold 3X9X40..I shoot 100 gr winchester balistic tips for deer..works wonders on white tails...never been coastie hunting for black-tails but planning on it soon...any idears for good state or public land??

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Location: Washington State
Joined: 04/09/2006
Posts: 9
Eastern and western rifles.

You have some nice whitetails where you're at (I'm originally from Spokane and my hunting buddy has a Clayton address). As for blacktails, there's plenty of public land on the westside of the state. The problem, though, is locating those sly devils. Truth is, I'm still trying to figure out blacktails. However, I'd begin by looking at some of the areas around Mount St. Helens. Check the harvest results of westside units on the WDFW website and it will give you a good idea where you might get started.

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Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Eastern and western rifles.

When I'm hunting modern rifle. There's is one rifle I grab. A quaint little 7 lb. rig in 300wsm with a 22" barrel. It's great for the west side of the Cascades and also works good for the east side.
It can handles any of the hunting I'll be doing. Be it Elk, Deer, Bear, Cougar, etc....
Mounted with a 2x-7x 32 Leupold, of which this is the fourth rifle it's been mounted on. Can and does satisfy every hunting situation I run into, east or west of the Cascades.

I do have another rifle, I like to use. I had it built for the open plains and desert, such as we have east of the Cascades. It isn't much for carrying around in the thick, dense forest on the west side. It's a bit on the heavy side at 9-9 1/2lbs but, it's a great shooter. Totally custom job in 270wsm. 26" #5 contour Douglas premium air gauged barrel. Montana action. Birdseye maple stock with purple heart accents and caps, fitted to me. 10x 40 Bushnell Elite scope with target towers. I like it for the long open range hunts because I can hold this rifle as steady as any rifle I've ever shot. At 100 yds it puts three 130gr Hornady Interbonds into one hole.

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