October 04, 2013
Gun Fight Friday: 7mm Magnum Showdown
By Phil Bourjaily
This week’s Gun Fight pits two 7mm mags against one another. We have Jason Moore’s 7x61 S&H vs Tom Govin’s Remington 700 in 7mm Rem Mag. The 7x61 S&H was loaded by Norma and rifles for it were sold by Denmark’s Schultz and Larson, but it was a loser in the 7mm mag “format wars.” Of course the 7mm Remington Magnum was the big winner.
Both of these rifles have nice family stories. Moore’s was built by his grandfather, while Tom Govin’s 700 has been loaned out to the entire Govin clan to fill their freezers. One is pretty, one is not. Here they are:
Tom Govin’s Model 700
This is a Remington 700 in 7mm mag. It's from the first years of production with the stainless barrel. I glass bedded it in a Kevlar stock dug out of Cabela's returns and topped it with a Leupold 2-7 vx II and Redfield mounts. Someone removed the blueing and the barrel was shiny so one boring day I got after it with bow paint as a temporary fix. That was about 25 years ago. This is my loaner rifle and six nephews and a couple other people have used it to take a truckload of deer and half a dozen elk including a massive 7x7. I used it on a B&C Caribou but it's seen a lot more use in the hands of others than in my own. Nephew #3 named it "The Assassin" and claims it shoots itself and whenever it goes off there's meat on the ground. The goal was a rugged rifle. It worked. This rifle has never lost zero and it has had its share of abuse.
Jason Moore’s 7x61 S&H
7x61 S&H with a 2.5x8 Bushnell Scopechief IV. Wonderful hunting rifle. One of the early 7mm mag cartridges from the 50's that got beat out by Rem 7 mag due to supply and demand. It is just as effective as any other. Custom rifle made by Jay Moore of McAllen,TX. I use it for hunting. It was made my my grandfather for his best friend sometime in the early 70's. This rifle has been on expeditions throughout Texas, British Columbia, and Africa. It's partial to sheep.
“It’s partial to sheep” is one of the most wonderfully understated lines I have read in a long time. If you think for a minute about where sheep live, Jason Moore’s rifle has likely seen a lot of hard use despite its custom good looks. On the other hand, it’s pretty hard to argue against a Remington 700 in 7mm Remington Magnum, especially one named “The Assassin.” This is Gun Fight Friday so you are welcome to make your case for either rifle. And, keep sending in gun pictures to FSGunnuts@gmail.com.