May 25, 2011
What Rifle Would You Bring Back To Life?
By David E. Petzal
To celebrate its 50th Anniversary, Cabela’s is offering its public a series of commemorative guns that are re-creations of firearms that were built in 1961. This presently includes a Browning, an S&W, a couple of Rugers, and Winchesters. Rich Robbins, who works on this project for Cabela’s in collaboration with Winchester, sent me the following, which I found so interesting I run it here:
Model 94 (pictured above): For the Model 94 we wanted something really different, and the big thing on this gun is the button magazine, which I don’t believe they’ve used since the early 1950s. It also has an octagon barrel with double gold bands at the muzzle, Grade 4 walnut, a crescent buttplate, and is chambered in .38/55.
Model 70: To make these as authentic as possible we researched on the Internet, purchased instruction manuals and hang tags from the period, and even purchased an authentic 1961 Super Grade African in the original box.
The Model 70 African comes in .458 Winchester. It has a standard-grade Monte Carlo stock, checkering that wraps over the pistol grip, flip up rear sight, all-matte-finished metal, and Super Grade swivels.
The Model 70 Deluxe is in .300 Win. Mag., stocked with Grade 3 walnut, with the original barrel taper, flip-down sights, and the classic sight saddle. The one thing we did change was the barrel bedding. These are free-floating; the originals had a screw that ran through the fore-end into the underside of the barrel. (Thank you. DP)
The Model 70 Featherweight Super Grade is a little heavier than we wanted. It has Grade 4 or Grade 5 walnut, very bright blue finish, the original barrel contour, but steel bottom metal in place of the original alloy, which flaked badly.
All the metal work is done at the FN plant in South Carolina. The barrels are all target-crowned, and everything we’ve tried has shot extremely well. Two .300 Win Mags have shot close to ½” groups with factory ammo.
We think we’ve nailed it, and this is just the beginning of a long-term Cabela’s Classic Guns series. —Rich Robbins
To which I can only add, which rifles would you nominate to be brought back to life?