8 replies [Last post]
Tndeerhunter's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Tennessee
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 1110
Hunting with a Classic Rifle

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.


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a day afield carrying a M99 Savage in .300 Savage, a 1952 M70 bolt gun in 30/06, a Sako from the mid 50s, a Mauser originally made in the '30s or '40s or any other of a myriad of other older rifles that just feels right.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. Yes   

Don Fischer's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3190
I've only got one classic

I've only got one classic rifle left but have had a few. I ve got a 1903 Springfield built by Paul Jaeger in 1945. I am the second owner as it was left to me by a guy that was like a dad to me. He had it made for himself when he got out of the service. spent his last days in the Walla Walla Military Hospital. He was wounded in the Pacific. It has the origional barrel and it's pitted pretty bad but the thing shoots great! On it is a set of Redfield vertical split rings and a veru old Denver 2 3/4x widefield scope I bought new about 1971. The stock is nice walnut and is a work of stock making art. Have no idea what will happen when I'm gone, my son doesn't appreciate what it is. Maybe a grand child will, hope so.

groovy mike's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2524
Win 70

I'm a fan of the Winchester model 70 and prefer classic rifles over most anything new too.

Don Fischer's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3190
Funny but the most repulsive

Funny but the most repulsive thing I find about modern rifles is plastic stocks and stainless steel! I love walnut stocks and blued steel!

Joined: 05/17/2009
Posts: 32
My grandpa gave me his old

My grandpa gave me his old savage 99 in .308 with a rotary clip.  it was my first centerfire rifle and I took my first few deer with it.  sadly it never seemed to fit me just right, it seemed to small for me and my big frame.  a buddy of mine borrowed it, built a stock extension for it just for a temporary use and took a nice 50" moose and a beautiful cinnamon phase black bear.  When i get old i am going to leave it to my oldest son.

WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
me to

I too would rather not have any plastic on my rifles, especialy some of the ill fitted stocks I've seen on factory rifles today.  I want well fitted walnut and all forged carbon steel.  I don't like stainless either.  If I want more corrosion resistance I'll simply have the steel bead blasted and parkerized.  But overall I've never had an issue in the elements with blued carbon steel, it just required a bit more vigilance.

With that said my go-to rifle is a modern New Haven, Conn made Winchester M70 with a CRF action (remake of the pre-64 action).

Critter's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4080
I have been all over the

I have been all over the place on what I liked in a handgun and or a rifle.  From a blued finish to stainless to parkerized.  All my hand guns except for one has wood grips or panels.  All of my rifles and shotguns except for two of them have wood stocks and all of them have a blued finish except for my one stainless rifle.  That stainless one is a .340 Weatherby.  It is a stainless rifle in a fiberglass stock and except for my .22-250 is my most accurate rifle in the safe. 

Now as for hunting with them I still remember the first time that I took my Ruger Red Label 20 gage out and put a scratch on that beautiful stock.  It was a lot like the first dent in a brand new car.  But when I look at that scratch I remember that pheasant hunt and the birds that I shot with it. 

Now as far as hunting with a classic rifle, depending on what I draw out on this year I plan on using my dads .300 Savage Model 99.  It hasn't been shot in over 50 years but I plan on taking it out to the range and see just what this old time rifle will do with its peep sights.  Now if I happen to draw a coveted muzzle loader tag in Utah I'll just clean it up and put it away until next years hunt.  But, it could be interesting if I decide to take it elk hunting here in Colorado this coming fall.  It all depends on the draws. 

WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
scratches and nicks

Yeah I know what you mean Critter about the first scratch you get on a sporting arm.  It's all just part of hunting.  We can do our best to take care of our guns in the field but it's inevitable that they do get scratches or rubs on them.  Blued steel or phosphate finished steel wears over times and wood stocks get small nicks and scratches. But that's what these things were made for, to take out into the field. They are first and foremost hunting tools.

I never ever have liked high gloss varnish finished on wood stocks.  They just don't age well and the actually look like hell once they get scratches dings in them.  Actually many of those coated wood finishes tend to yellow, haze, and then flake or peel with age.  I think an impregnated plain Linseed oil finish is the way to go when it comes to nice walnut wood stocks.  If it was tough enough for the military on those '03 Springfields and M1 Garands on the battles fields, then I doubt anything I take a rifle through will even come close to duplicating those harsh conditions. Just take a look at any vintage military issue rifle from that era, even those that saw battle, and with the exception of dents and scratches those old stocks are in great shape probably better shape than many commericial rifle stocks from the same era.

 Nice thing about Lineed oil is that on walnut it required no staining to get that rich brown color seen on so many vintage rifles.  The linseed oil alone gives the wood that color once it seeps into the wood fibers and cures.  Even better is the fact that if and when you get a scratch or nick in your stock it can easily be colored in by simply rubbing another coat of boiled linseed oil into the wood, leaving the indentation there to remind you that your rifle actually gets used.  Plus Linseed oiled walnut just tends to develop a nice character to it with age and handling.  Something that can't be replicated on these modern factory spray-on polymer varnish finished stocks.

tim
Offline
Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 611
sounds like a bunch of old

sounds like a bunch of old men. lol

 

synthetic, stainless and breaked. Big smile

 

to be honest, there is some nice looking older rifles.  but there is also some very nice looking new rifles.  If you buy a starting price point item, it will be that.  But if you buy the top of the line rifle of today.  It will be every bit a classic 50 years from now as the classics are today.

What amazes me is what you can get for, so cheap.  Some of these new rifles perform pretty fricken good.  But it also depends on what there use is for.  A week long sheep hunt will be a different gun, than an antelope hunt on a gentlemens ranch. 

 

As far as ole jack.   He was just one of those extremely lucky men in life, who made a good life into a great life.    In todays world it seems to be craig boddington.

Related Forum Threads You Might Like