I will admit to being a rifle nut. I have owned a large number of rifles over my lifetime and have killed big game (mostly deer) with over 45 different rifles in a lot of different chamberings.
Fri, 2010-12-24 14:56
Hunting with a Classic Rifle
Even though I have owned and hunted with a good number of different rifles, some have been nicer (as you can well imagine) than others. Among my all-time favorites are some no longer made and ones that have not been made for 30-50+ years.
As with many other avid hunters the M70 Winchester is among my all-time favorite rifles and perhaps even #1 in my book. I've been lucky enough to own several very nice pre '64 M70s and I rank them among the best rifles I've ever handled and hunted with. I also own several post '64s and rank them high on my "like meter" as well.
Some of the other rifle designs I enjoy and still hunt with are an old Sako Mauser made in the mid 1950s, older Belgium BARS and both the M88 and M100 Winchesters. I happen to have three old M98 Mausers, one a simple (but very well done) sporterized version and the other two are complete custom rifles one of which is a very fine example, without any doubt.
There is just something very special about a day afield carrying a M99 Savage in .300 Savage, a 1952 M70 bolt gun in 30/06, a Sako from the mid 50s, a Mauser originally made in the '30s or '40s or any other of a myriad of other older rifles that just feels right. Taking game with a rifle that's older than you are also feels pretty neat, at least to me.
I hope that some of you that own older rifles understand what I'm trying to say. How about some of you that own rifles from your Grandfather or maybe his grandfather? Don't you think some of them are pretty special? My opinion is that one of my Grandsons may not be overly excited about being left, in my will, a Remington M770 in 30/06 with it's fine synthetic stock and "combo packaged" 3-9x40 scope. No offense to anyone, but I like a real rifle made like a rifle was supposed to be made.
Others may be impressed with newer designs and models but I like a rifle that handles well and was built to high standards. I'm simply not overly impressed with some of today's assembly line rifles with exposed rifle nuts, plastic parts and other "stuff". Call me a traditionalist, that's fine, because I've been called much worse than that already, trust me on that one.