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Petzal: How to Buy a Rifle

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April 21, 2010

Petzal: How to Buy a Rifle

By David E. Petzal

I got an e-mail last week from a budding gun nut who owns a factory .30/06 in the low medium-price range. He’s dissatisfied with it, not because it doesn’t work, but because like every gun nut he’s an inveterate tinkerer, experimenter, and worshipper of the Great What If. He asked about a replacement stock, a new barrel, and a trigger job, and I pointed out that he was, in effect, throwing out the original purchase price of the rifle because the only thing he was keeping was the action. I used to do this all the time.

There are only three rational courses to pursue when buying a rifle:

1) If all you can afford is a cheap gun, get a good cheap gun, get it a trigger job if it needs one, and let it alone.

2) If you want something classy, but don’t have the $3,000-plus that it takes to buy a true custom working rifle, save up your pennies until you have about half that amount and get a Kimber Model 84, or a Weatherby Mark V, or a Nosler Model 48 Trophy Grade, or a Sako Model 85, or three or four others that I can’t call to mind right now. Are these rifles really worth twice as much as guns that cost, say, $800? Yes. Will you be tempted to “improve” them? Only if you’re brain damaged.

3) If you want to go whole hog and get a rifle from Ed Brown Precision, or New Ultra Light Arms, or the Remington Custom Shop, or Montana Rifles, or anyone in that exalted company, then you will want to think very long and hard before you even start saving, because much of what you are buying is intangible, and we will get into that part of it in a future post.

Comments (88)

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from kolbster wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

or you can just buy a action and build you own. that is what i prefer.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

Dave I am curently trying to tell my wife that I do indeed need to buy a Cooper. So far its not working.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from AmericanWaterSpaniel wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

I tend to think there is a difference between a cheap rifle and a kimber, perhaps some middle ground you might find with the venerable remington 700 or winchester 70? This is no doubt a short article with very little specifics, which is fine

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

My vote is with option 2). If you need a better rifle than a Weatherby Mark V or Sako 75/85, you might need to see the doctor before Obamacare kicks in. I can't comment on the Kimber because I have zero experience with them. Then go piss the rest of the custom rifle money away on a good piece of glass for the rifle.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from AmericanWaterSpaniel wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

"Will you be tempted to “improve” them? Only if you’re brain damaged." This comment is hilarious!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from tjfslaughter wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

Dave,

Thank you for mentioning the Sako line of Rifles. Most people do not know what they are missing. I have 3 of them and they all shoot well under an inch. My 300 win mag shoots 1/2" groups when using 180 grain bullets and 3/4" when using 220. I also love the way the scope mounts are on them. It seems once you get them tight they never budge. Not once have I flown and the gun needed adjustment after the baggage handlers atempted to adjust the scope.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

DavidPetzal;

As you have pointed out in several posts recently on the Shaw rifle and the various Savages, factory rifles are at a point now where the only shooters who NEED a custom gun are 1. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as factory stocks won't fit him, 2. Anybody who is left-handed and wants something nicer than a Savage or Browning in a caliber other than a .270 or .30-06, and 3. the 99th percentile shooter who can tell the difference between a 1 MOA and .5 MOA rifle in the field.

These days custom guns are not for those who NEED them, but those who WANT them. I have a digital watch that is atomic timed; it is as accurate as any watch can be, waterproof, shockproof, and cost $60. Yet Breitling, Rollex, etc. sell every watch they can make for prices starting at about 4k. So it will be with custom gunmakers. If I had deep pockets and long arms, I'd want a custom gun. But I have shallow pockets and short arms, so I'll stick with my Marlins.

+13 Good Comment? | | Report
from tjfslaughter wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

I found this book BOLT ACTION RIFLES by Frank de Haas and Dr. Waynve van Zwoll especially helpful when adjusting my trigger on the Sako.

http://books.google.com/books?id=tuVUMLRE47UC&pg=PA451&lpg=PA451&dq=adju...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

focusfront

You might be able to sell your pre-2010 Marlin's at a premium someday and buy a custom rifle! LOL

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

I recently purchased a venerable old Sako L75 in .308 by trading out some of the cheap guns I bought and tried to "tweak".
I am glad to be rid of my junk and now feel I have a keeper to fondle. My lesson is to buy the best you can as you can, but don't ever count on being truly satisfied.
As for improving the Sako? I might try as my brain continues to age and starts to die.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Quahog wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

Thanks Mr Petzal:
I was going to buy a nicely restored antique tractor (Ford 8D) for 3 grand. Rebuilt motor, good rubber, nice tin and new light blue paint. Just decided that I'd only look at it parked in the barn, though. How much did you say that Sako was ? Forceful scribing!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

I have chosen option #1 several times and regret it every time I open my gun safe which is littered with rifles I will never shoot again. In the long run buying a good rifle will pays far better dividends.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

Good comments Dave. Keep 'em coming!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

i've got two weatherby mk v's and they are as fine as i need in my gun safe or in the field.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

Hard to justify anything more than a weatherby mark 5 or sako.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

Then again if you want something beautiful to look at, shoot and admire Shiloh Sharps rifles fill the bill quite well. Fit and finish like a swiss watch and priced to sell. I love my Kimber also.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from SL wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

I absolutely don't think one gets anything more out of a Sako than you would get out of a Remington, Browning, Savage, etc. other than having to cough up more money for it. I guess with Weatherby one could get the Weatherby calibers, but quality wise I don't see them as any huge step up. I guess people buy things to make them feel good, or to brag about with. Someone who knows how to hunt will kill more deer with any run of the mill gun in comparison to the guy who likes to buy expensive things and has little actual hunting ability.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

To idduckhtr: Try bursting into tears, in public. This often works. The Cooper is worth a few hysterics, by the way.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackdawgz wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

I have owned the Sako 85 and the Weatherby Mark V Stainless Magnum, in addition to others.

Wish I still had the Weatherby.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pbshooter1217 wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

I'm sure a factory rifle will do the average hunter just fine.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

Speaking of buying an action. I saw yesterday that Midway is planning to offer Zastava Mauser actions beginning in May, unless UN forces bomb the plant again. They will be available in 30/06 length with both standard and magnum bolt faces, along with a .375 H&H magnum lenght action. Prices start at $279 and go up to $399 for the long mangleum. Yes, the Zastava actions have the reputation for being rough, but that didn't stop Remington! Well now that I think about it maybe it did...

Didn't see a lefty version on the list though...

Save up, be patient and buy what you want. If you are a lefty and don't write for a major outdoor publication save up a lot more!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

The only person who thinks that a Sako isn't a cut above the Winchester,Remington etc. has never had one in there hands and worked the bolt or laid. it down on the bench and put three shots in the same hole. I have never worked the bolt on a custom gun that works any finer than on a Sako. I'm sorry for being too blunt about the Sako's but they are fine firearms.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from wgp wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

I would love to have one of the "middle" rifles you mentioned. However, for somne validation of Dave's conclusions, let me say that I used to have a Weatherby Mark V, which was a beautiful and elegant rifle that shot very well but not as well as my Rem 700. So, I sold the Weatherby to my son so that it at least remained in the family and I can admire it when he and I hunt together.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

Is there a $1500 rifle out there, for lefties, that comes in calibers other than .270 and .30-06? Yeah, I know; buy a left-handed BAR and put a Leopold scope on it. Seriously, I don't think Sako or Weatherby makes left handed rifles any more, at least not off the assembly line, and I don't think Nosler or Kimber ever has. That left handed BAR might not be such a bad idea.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

Looks like the UN did bomb the Zastava Plant again or maybe it was another round of sanctions... but bad news anyway. See the email I just received from Larry Potterfield of Midway below...
_________________________________________________________

I am afraid the prognosis for these actions is not good. It is looking like we will not be able to secure any actions from Zastava after all, despite all our negotiating. We have not given up all hope just yet, but I am not as optimistic on this project as I was six months ago. I certainly wish I had better news, as there is a real void right now in workable actions for custom builds.

Thanks For Your Business,

Larry Potterfield

CEO

MidwayUSA
NRA Benefactor Member

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

to focusfront: Try E.R. Shaw. They're around $1200, and they chamber for something like 80 calibers.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Quahog,

I'm still amazed... Ford 6's and 8's have been $3000 it seems like forever! Enjoy, they are classic machines.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD Bob wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I'm rather fond of Kimber's but I agree that Sako has the smoothest action around. Of the three Dave mentioned, I prefer Kimber's because their profile fits my smaller hands better so if you were to look in my safe, that's why you'll find three of them.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Bee, thanks for the info on Zastava. Terry Weiland had nice comments on them. I'll be watching.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ozark Hunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

3 years ago bought a Remington 700 CDL 25-06 topped with a Sightron 3x9x42. Removed the stock and replaced it with a Ramline Youth Stock and the Grandson will not let me have it back! Little joker shot 3 deer with it last season unassisted! For this 10 year old, anything out to 300 yards is dead meat! You get what you pay for!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Most of you probably remember me mentioning that I have a distict preference for Sakos especially so called "pre-Garcia" versions. I own quite a few Sako rifles of various ages plus several customs built on Sako actions. They have never failed me and I have always been pleased with the accuracy, reliability, and appearance of each gun. That is not to say that I have not owned other rifles which costed more and many which costed less than your average Sako. I often found the same characteristics in those rifles as I notice in my Sakos. Is this rationale not a major part of why we call ourselves "gunnuts". We like some company, or feature, or system...just because.
Years ago I often fondly examined an old friend's well used custom rifles wishing I had just one. He also owned numerous rifle brands but I detected a distinct preference for Sakos. Indeed most of his customs were built on either Sako or Winchester actions. I once remarked that his Sako actioned custom built rifles were among the best I had ever used. He looked up from what he was doing and replied "Yep they are good, almost as good as the Sako factory guns". Up til then I has always thought they were better, maybe not.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

All I can say when it comes to my guns is, "If it ain't tangible, I ain't interested." Works of art I enjoy in a museum and don't have to buy -- "art that works", belongs in the field getting dirty and used!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Dave, is the Cooper not worth the money?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I have never had a Sako in my hands to examine. Wish I had, I've cycled and shot a Kimber and realized the difference between it and my rifles.
In this man's situation the E.R.Shaw would be the correct choice IMO.
Is the brand name 'Sako' correctly pronounced with a soft "a" as I've read.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

idduckhntr,
Me think you mis-read Mr. Petzals post.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Bee, well crap.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Jim,just re read it and you are right the kids have been cooped up all day. Still want one.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from randwarner wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Just Buy A. Cooper. That cured me of tinkering.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from T.W. Davidson wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

All . . .

I'm in the process of building a custom 7x57 Mauser. As I reported recently, some years ago I found a mint condition BRNO--I believe I have the spelling right this time, Mr. P--Mauser 98 action in the full-of-hidden-treasures vault of an old gun shop. I paid for the action (finally) about two weeks ago and promptly ordered a premium air-gauged #2 contour 24" barrel from Douglas Barrels (I ordered the best barrel the company makes). I sent Douglas a 7x57 case with a Berger 140-grain VLD bullet in it (sans primer and powder) with a cartridge overall length of just under 3.2". Rifling twist is 1 in 9.

The barrel arrived at my office a couple of days ago, all cut, chambered and polished, and I must say it is a thing of beauty, with a length, width and weight that felt very good to the hand, just right, pretty much perfect. The rifling and bore are immaculate. The price, I thought, was pretty reasonable: about $330. The Douglas people were very nice, very knowledgable, very easy to work with, and they made and shipped the barrel in virtually no time at all. Impressive. And American, which feels good, too.

Barrel in hand, I abandoned the work stacked high on my desk, canceled my appointments for the afternoon, and raced across town to my friend the gunsmith. Dexter held, felt and examined the barrel with an intensely critical (and deeply cynical) eye. His conclusion: "This here thing ought to give you some mighty fine groups if you can just keep yorself from shakin' like a gurl with 'citement and hold still long 'nuff to shoot 'er straight. Its gonna be all up to you, bud, 'cause this hear barrel is a truth-teller." He grinned. I did, too.

The barrel requires final fitting to the BRNO action and bluing. My gunsmith was dissatisfied with the safety and trigger on the action--which I thought were in the very-good-to-excellent category--and so I have followed his advice to replace same with a new Timmney trigger and sporter safety. I expect the barrelled action as a whole to be ready in a few weeks. I am excited about testing the future finished rifle, developing loads for it, and taking it to the range and into the field in the months ahead.

Question: where can I obtain a not-hideously expensive but excellent quality composite or laminated stock for a Mauser 98 action (mated with a 24" #2 contour sporter barrel)? Advice much appreciated.

TWD

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Boyds.

Don't forget the CZ rifles.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ferber wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

tifslaughter, et al...
I was/am delighted to read so much positive ink here about the various Sako rifles. Weatherby, too. I have a couple Sako's and three Weatherby's. All are muy accurate. The Sako is a favorite, and is shot often. Many moons ago, I sent a then-new .243 factory Sako--LSA 55, right-hand action of course--to the the old Herter's company who wanted to re-stock it for me with a semi- custom left-handed Monte Carlo. Surprise of surprises! A beautiful job with a wonderful piece of wood arrived a few months later...that outshoots my factory Model 700 in the same caliber, which is saying alot for, esentially, over-the-counter, inexpensive- to medium-priced bolt guns. Like all Sako's, a smooth action.

I belong to an old, venerable club in New York State that provides regular rifle-shooting tournaments, a few of which requiring five-shot events fired just seconds apart, and my .243 Sako would be my obvious choice for such fun. But I shoot the Remington bolt or something else for these events because the box magazine of the Sako only--but perfectly-hugs together three rounds.

I have a Weatherby custom .300 (garish, several fancy inlays, etc.,) a .340 and .240 Mark 5s...all reliable and accurate, of course. The .240 shoots as well as the Sako, but ain't as pretty and if I'm shooting factory fodder, the .243 ammo is, of course, much cheaper than the Weatherby calibers. The .240 has been my favorite pronhorn gun and, like many of our guns, guys, isn't shot that much. (We know there's no such thing as having too many guns).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Quahog, buy the tractor (even if it is a Ford). Del, those Shilo Sharps rifles are so pretty, I want one too.
As far as customizing goes, the Green Mountain button rifled barrel, laminated thumbhole stock, magazine release, magazines, scope mount, optics and bipod I tricked my old 10-22 with cost much more than the gun ever did, but boy is it fun to shoot. This may have broken all three of Ol Dave's excellent gun buying rules but hey, when I was originally in the market for a 10-22 plinker, I didn't have the dough to buy one all tricked out the way I like it. Oh and you guys can have the Wetherby, I saw a Charles Dailey Drilling 'tother day (in 7x57,16 and 16) that made my heart Lust for it. But the darling drilling will likely stay where it is...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nc30-06 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Dang it Dave. My Remington 700 Bdl is nice and accurate, but going to the Sako site has me dreaming.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Accumulate a bit of mad money and keep it handy to strike when opportunity shows up. Result...an Al Biesen 25-06 on an Oberndorf Mauser action in 25-06 with the finest drool-inducing tight fiddleback walnut I've ever laid eyes on with a Douglas Premium barrel gives 3/4 minutes for 5 shots any time I want.
Price was less than half what such a rifle from Biesen's shop would cost today. Biesen's son and daughter have since taken over the work at the shop and are doing work at least the equal of their dad. He set the bar very high.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Jim in Mo,

I said worse than that! I hope Larry Potterfield is successful. It has been quite troublesome for companies to maintain a relationship with Zastava due to many different reasons. There are a few Zastava (Charles Daly) actions on Gunbroker.com if your interested. I'll warn you they are not discount priced...

You are correct, it is pronounced sock-oh. Not as my buddies down here pronounce it... sack-oh... or say-ko

Cheers!

Bee

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MStevenson wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I had a rifle built on a Remington action by Kenny Jarrett in .223. It routinely shoots 3 thot groups under 0.2 inch ast 100 yards. Was expensive, but now that the pain of the price is in the past, it's worth every penny.
Then pain caused by a cheap item lingers much longer than that of the price of a quality item.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MStevenson wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Sleepyhead apologizes for the typos.

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from wingshooter54 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I'll take a Kimber 84 or Weatherby mark V anyday and never look back. The only tinkering I will do is put the best scope I can afford on it. Something you didn't mention Dave is getting a good scope whether the gun is a good cheap one or high dollar custom. If all I could spare was enough to get a Marlin bolt action and a scope that cost twice as much as the gun, I would go that route.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FLBobcat wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Does any one have any idea how many deer have been taken with an old Mauser K98 8mm, 91/30, or US Military M1?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dale freeman wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Over 60 years I've shot a lot of different configurations and found that the so called"middle class"
rifles shot better than I could.
Now when I buy a new rifle it's automatic to "bed" and smooth the trigger to 21/2 pounds and now,I, shoot those magical groups and wonder what it could do with a nice younger shooter.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

A person with a reasonably accurate rifle (MOP) and the experience and wherewithall to quickly calculate point of aim, steady, and shoot without hesitation will cleanly kill game animals (or anything else) with much greater regularity that a benchrest sub-MOA rifle in the hands of someone not adept at doing the things listed above. JMHO

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Personally I have no use for option 3 rifles. I had a friend who had a few Weatherbys, and several custom rifles, all very valuable, and you know what? They never saw the light of day, going shooting or hunting he carried a Marlin, Winchester, or a old Arasaka (sp?) that was a nice pre-war one he bought for about $50. He also used an old 1910 Springfield alot too. I think that was it, has that strange looking dog-legged bolt handle on it.
Memory is not working real good today.........

If you ain't gonna shoot it it's just a nice decoration.

Personally, for sheer beauty I'd like a nice Pennsylvania flintlock in 45 or 50 cal with a nicely figured walnut stock..........

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gman wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter is spot on here, folks. I drive a Saturn, I shoot a Savage. Both do what they are supposed to. And the kid's college fund is not bare.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from rbabinowitz wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

It's nice to dream, but most guys can't afford to drop $3,000 for a rifle. If they can, they likely have jobs that don't allow much time to get to the range. Half that price will buy a Remington 700, a low to medium-end Leupold, and a reloading kit -- so you can actually afford to shoot it, a lot.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

How to buy a gun: First it depends on how much $ you can afford. Once that has been established, begin looking at thatprice range, forget the others ( cheaper or higher). I have sevral guns from factory to custom made. When you spend in excess of l0K bucks for a Africian gun you think it will call up a animal you want and stand 25 yds away and let you go BANG. Not so regardless of purchase price. I thought I had some great shooting guns and they did ok, but not at long distance. Then Remington came out with the 700 CDL in 30-06 Classic and I placd a ordr for one on the condition if did not pattern to suite me, I culd return for an exchange.So I bought the gun home and 4 different brand of shells and ent to my range 250 yds total,but started wit the 100 after boresighting witha Nikon Scope monted with Lepold monts. My first shot ws 3" to the left, 2 moreadjustments, bulls eye. So moved to 200 yds and was 2" low of bull's eye, adjusted once and right on the center. I shot 3 shots that a l/2 dollar would cover. I tried all 4 brands of Amm, allowing bbl to cool between shots and shot other guns for pratice. When all was said and done I setled on the em Sciroccos l80 gr. Iwanted a bonded bullet with Polymar tips. Now I'm ready to go to Montana, knowing I may get a 25 to 500 yd shot. I got 345 yd at anice Deer standing near a dow , the buck ws quartering to my left about 30 deg. I wa zeroed at 200(recal) and I zeroe with range finder and ws foled,looke to be about 200 compared to home.So I used my Bi[pod held on top of hair line about midway of der, bullt entered at teh last rib and sent al way thru and exited at the right foreleg, deer dropped in tracts. Since then, gun hs killed many Deer from l50 yds to 400 yds, has flown to MT ad Utah 6 time, and never lost it's zero yet(surprise the way they try to KIll your gun case).Now I got about l500.00 in the gun & scope,and if there is a gun available that wil outshoot it to 400 yds I will buy. I plan this gun to last me my lifetime, as it's only shot to check zero twice a year,I pratice with a bolt 22 mag. Would take many dolarsto buy this gun from me. Now Custom jobs, none I've seen or shot fel as well for me as this gun does, including the Custom from Italy which also is a 30-06. New stocks, bbls, triggers,bedding,may improve a tad on some out in left field guns, but not enugh to spend thousands on. Remember you only get as a rule one shot, so that first one is al that matters to me. Cheap guns,I just bought a XL7 in 270 for my 4 wheeler to hunt on the farm, Coyotes, Foxes and deer. It shoots great as is dble bedded and stock fits the metal perfect.It will put 3 rounds at 100 yds a silver dollar will cover, I blame the 2 '' shorter bbl. I got a + custom,shoots no better.Now it sits in my vault mostly. Buy a quality gun you can aafford, a Nikon Monarch scope (About 650.00 and you will kill anything in NA, other than the Griz.Again, I'll take my Rem CDL in 3o-06 over any of the guns mentioned above. Spend the other $$$$ on the trips I take. Shoot-um-straight and often. PS; Got to a shooting rnge or retailer, and talk thr owners into allowing you to shoot their guns once, thats all it takes.Forget the writers,( other than Wayne Van Zol)as all they are doing is selling guns for the Mfg that is footing the bill hoping to sell. Don;t be fooled, try the guns yourself.Use enough gun but not to small, many game hit but crippled and never found.And then some guys think a 300 win Mag is necesary for a l40 lb deer that a 22 mag will kill.Check the records, more 30-30 and 30-06's ammo sold than all the others combined, except the 22 for plinkers or pratice. My skin is tough,I will await your remarks Good ..Hunting. If going west kill any wolf or cougar you see. A cougar came within 20 yds of my wife last year he was after 2 small does just a few yards in front, no doubt he got one, plus we saw many wolf tracts.,too many. Need to kill al we see of Cougar and Wolves,gut shoot them, then the preditors can feast on them and leave the game for us hunters who spend KK" to hunt 10 days.

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from AlaskanExile wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

FocusFront;
Browning makes left-handed A-bolts in lots of calibers 338 Win, 375 H&H etc to name a few. I own a lefty Stainless-Stalker in 7mm Remington and it is awesome!

Sako has made lefty rifles off and on, but near as I can tell from their website, they don't catalog any lefties now. I passed on a 338 last winter that I'm still kicking myself over.

Weatherby makes their ultra-light hunter in left-hand, but it's only available in 257 wby, and 300 wby.

Savage offers a few more calibers such as 7mm-08 and 338 win in about any configuration they build. Just order it and wait.

Ruger gets better at their left-handed offerings all of the time, short actions are now available as well as blue and stainless Hawkeyes in 300 Win, and 25-06. The lefty Alaskan is a special run, check Gunbroker for 375 Ruger in stainless steel with a 20" barrel.

There is a lot of lefty stuff out there, you just have to be ready to jump on it when you see one. ER Shaw can re-barrel any lefty action (Rem, Ruger, Savage) in any caliber that will fit.

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from focusfront wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Gunslinger;

We've got mountain lions in Wisconsin. My dad almost rode his bike right over one about a year ago. But there is no chance I'd shoot one, or a wolf either, for that matter. I'd rather get caught with a pound of cocaine in my trunk than a dead cougar or wolf; better chance of avoiding prison with the coke!

DavidPetzal;

Forgot about the Shaw. Good suggestion.

Alaskan Exile:

I've been out of the accuracy game for about 12 years. But back then, I never saw an accuracy specific rifle built up out of a Ruger. Mostly Remingtons. Things have probably changed since then.

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Gunslinger

"Need to kill al we see of Cougar and Wolves,gut shoot them, then the preditors can feast on them and leave the game for us hunters who spend KK" to hunt 10 days."

This is NOT good advice.
#1 It is highly unethical to gut shoot an animal.

#2 It is not legal to hunt wolves and cougars in all western states.

#3 Aside from the two obvious reasons stated in #1 and #2, following your advice would be something that gives all of us ethical hunters a bad name.

#4 The wolves and cougars have a right to be in the wild too.
When and where there are stable,sustainable populations of these animals,there will be legal,open seasons to hunt them.

"Use enough gun but not to small, many game hit but crippled and never found."
????????
Why post a comment like the above? Most hunters I know find all game they shoot. Animals hit and not recovered are usually the result of poor marksmanship,as Mr. Petzal often says...Get to the range,and burn some ammo
(or something close to that)
I am 52,hunting on my own since age 12. In all those years,I have had exactly 1 deer hit and not recovered when rifle hunting.This was a W.Va. whitetail,which someone else put a shot into and tagged,as I found out after more tracking the following morning.
Ohio is shotgun with rifled slug or muzzeloader only for deer gun season.I have heard of a few deer hit,and not recovered here,but it is a rare occurence.
Gunslinger.....
Where do you get your information on "many game hit but crippled and never found"?

My family has property in W.Va.,Montana,S.Carolina,Penn.and here in Ohio. The areas we hunt in these states do not have a problem with game hit,and not recovered.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

ohiodeerhunter

While I do not desire to enter a urinating contest, I would like to point out that most western states have legal hunting seasons on cougar and some have recently opened limited seasons on wolves. Secondly, animals do not have "rights". They are under man's dominion, but it is our responsibility to ethically manage those populations. JMHO

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from flyer22 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

@focusfront

Damn man, that was and is one of the best answers I've seen on these forums to date...

I am, sadly, not in the 99th percentile and had been saving for a custom firearm. Thanks for knocking me upside the head and putting some sense where I had been lacking :)

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

WAMtnhunter

You are correct,poor choice of words on my part.
My intent was to point out that gut shooting every wolf,or cougar you see is highly unethical.
As I said, we have property in Montana,so I know there are wolf hunting opportunities,as well as cougar.
Your point,as well as mine is ETHICALLY manage the populations .
Gut shooting every wolf and cougar you see is far from ethical,don't you think?

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Wa Mtnhunter

I understand the frustration caused by the wolves taking so many elk,it affeced a lot of people I know.Seems there are more wolf tracks than elk tracks in the areas we hunted last year.

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

affected

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I realize it's illegal to shoot some Cougars and Wolves, however if the game Depts don't take steps to handle the problem, then us hunters must. I have no quarms with a few of any animals, but when I spend 7-10K bucks for a hunt, I prefer to see Elk, Mulies, Lopes, etc. not the wolf or Cougar. My wife eing within 20 yds of a Tom Cougar kinda gives me the woolies. So legal or not, something must be done out west to handle the overpopulation of both. Gut shot, up bet, then he will go way off to de, not near me. Use enough gun. Yes always do, wy try to se if you can kill a Rlk with a 22, when you know it's iffy or damn near impossible. But we got all kinds showing off their socalled skills. I shot to kill, not cripple, As I;m disabkled/handicapped and cannot tract a wounded animal. As for guns, use enough to kill the animal you hunting, sometimes better is better than less. Price, buy what you can afford. Ovrbying on a Credit card is why so many families struggling now, Just use common sense, my first gun ws a l6 gag used shotgun. Then as I could afford better firearms I bought what I could afford. As of today, me at 74 yrs old hunt all I;m able to and yet want more guns. Us gun nuts nevr get enough of the one;s we like or want. As for Custom gums, mostly a waste of $.A quality gun can only be improved with a new trigger, but now the Mfgrs realize that and making guns we can adjust ourselves. When you put a gun to your shouldr, it should feel as an extension of your arms and should wt about 9 lbs not 5 lbs. The animal you kill will never knw if he was killed by a 500.oo gun or l5.ooo, dead is dead. As a rule, regardless of cost, most long guns will shoot the first round to point of aim. Gun buyes have bitched for lighter guns for years, now they got them and they kick the snot out of you. A 9 lb gun with a Limbsaver pad, most can handle. I do follow the regulations of shootable game, it's these preditors that worry me. Talk to the people in yellowstone about the # of Elk, taken by Bears yearly, Also talk to the guy/gal attacked by a Cougar on a walking trail . Wolves mostly in packs, and bet you have lots of ammo and be able to climb a tree.Where I hunt in teh Rockies, teh outfitter tells us to kill or shot at allteh Cougars, wolves we see, he hs no problem with it and neither does the game warden in that area, saves him time and effort tracking down thee animals which has gotten into a catle pen and killed dozen calves. So grip to who allows X# of Preditors left to roam. Yep,I will return to same plae this fall, and hopefully a wolf shows his Ass. Shoot straight, good ammo, rifle you can aford. If MArlin ( now owned by Trmington can make the XL7 to sell for near 300.00, it has features the l5K rifles miss. PLan on one shot as 99 % of the time, thats all you gonna get when game is 3-400 yds away.Pratice with a 22 or 2 mag bolt gun if your hunting gun is a bolt, if not then what ever acton you use, pratice with that.Inthe wild, and your Elk is about to take your bullet, and a stray uncollard wild dog comes by and runs your Elk away,would you shoot the dog? Damn right I would. Stray dogs,suppose to be collared or chained, if not then he's fouling up your CHEAP hunt.

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

If yu really must watch your bilford, ( most of us do these days) and want a service-able quality fiearm, go to a large gun shop and realy lok at the T/C Ventura and the MArlin XL7. I think you will be impressed with the workmanship and quality. Get a booklet adn read up o these guns, material,workmanship, good points and bad. Also Look up what Wayne Van Zoll had to say about the XL7, and I'd trust his judgement over any on this BLOG.

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Gunslinger

The shoot every wolf/cougar you see may apply where you hunt,and as I said we hunt in Montana,and saw more wolf than elk tracks last year.
I see your point that there are too many predators in some areas. The excess of wolves/grizzlies around Yellowstone does affect the population,in and outside of the park. Now that we are seeing more wolf hunting,maybe the trend can be reversed.
The gut shooting will give hunters a bad name though,let the Fish and wildlife people take care of the problem,they may not get it right at first,but I beleive they will in time to bring the elk and mulie numbers back up.
Making statements like gut shoot'em and let 'em crawl off to die just gives anti-hunters more to use against us.
It simply is not ethical wildlife management.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

ohiodeerhunter

I believe we agree in principle. I'm not getting into a match with my old buddy 'Gunslinger' either. LOL

I think the key concept for me is "ethics". Everything legal is not necessarily ethical. Ethical is what standard you use when no one is looking over your shoulder. I think the game regulators in the Western States have flubbed the dub with the wolf and predator issue with a lot of help from the buffoons in D.C. I think a lot of folks are tired of the BS from Washington and are 3 S'ing the problem. JMO

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from ewertl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I have a hundred dollar gun I can shoot three in the same hole with that I bought in 1967! I have shot a lot of holes in things over the years, mostly with military match grade weapons, but a lot of hunting also. I don't see the need to spend the money! A Remington will do me just fine!! A gun that you are comfortably with and like to shoot will score better in every phase then anything money can buy!

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Wa Mtnhunter/gunslinger

My point about the anti-hunters should be a concern.
Theres an online magazine called newwest.net.
Very anti-hunting. They posted an article supporting a ban on trapping in Montana,and have a guy writing for them who is saying that current wolf hunting kills will lead to the extinction of the wolves.
They do read what we write online too.
check out these....

NewWest.net
NewWestWire

These people want many new restrictions on hunters/trappers/fishermen/anyone who uses rivers.

That is why I say don't say things like those which were said.

Gunslinger,
Please do not take offense,I do see your point,like last year,wolf tracks,few elk tracks.
Now, the anti-wolf hunting people are taking the hunting seasons on wolves back to court,or trying to.
I know the wolves kill too many elk.
The people who don't want us to hunt wolves are saying that instead of the current 500,that is where MT.,ID,andWY. agreed to keep the population is not enough,they want it at 1,000.
I don't want any of us to give these people anything to use against us.

Again,it was not my intent to cause offense,I'll think a bit longer before posting from now on.

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from lat40smith wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Yesterday (Thurs), I ordered a Savage Weather Warrior in .308 Win., left-hand action. It is supposed to arrive on Mon. or Tues. I've been fan of the caliber since Uncle Sam introduced me to it decades ago. I have (and have used) more expensive "bigger" rifles, but they collect dust because the .308 has hammered the hogs and deer I've shot with it and it is superbly accurate. The Savage was purchased solely for my "bucket list" of hunts in three exotic locales where I expect that the weather and baggage handlers will attempt to destroy it. Also, my present rifle is semi-auto and forbidden in some places I want to go. Based on my limited experience with the brand (one "ground squirrel" rifle), the Savage should be accurate (with the new Accustock), tough enough and have a really sweet trigger. The occasional ding won't depress me as much, and if the airlines live up to their potential, I'm not out a ton of money. The more costly .300 Win Mag will be staying home.

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from Daniel Allison wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I have a Sako Tikka T-3 that shoots less than 3/8 ata 100 yds. It is in ,243 win. and less than $500 at Cabelas. That is with Remington ammo. Buy a good rifle and a great scope. If you can't see it, you can't shoot it. End of story.

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from muindawg wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

from a gunsmiths and a guides point of view, if it is too pretty you know where this is going. i guided for a friend who had a tv show. he received a sako in 338 federal with a Leupold 3x9. it wouldn't zero and the trigger was about 13lbs. i have experience with a lot of custom guns. and my remingtons have out shot them all. .243 in 788 Remington consistently shoots 3/8" with 105 gr speer hotcore around 2950 fps. my 700 adl .243 shoot 1/2". my 1958 rem. 740 in .280 rem took an antelope at 80 yds and my deer at 575 yds. even my .22 rem 511 scoremaster shoots less than 3/4" at 100 i normally do a lot of walking and the 740 is awesome to carry and even better to shoot. it has a swift 6 power scope and the total cost was $200 for the rifle and $160 for the scope. it shot less than an inch with the factory peep sight. i agree the custom guns are nice i have a few but not necessary. they are dust collectors. mostly but my remingtons are my tools. i develope a good load and top them with a good scopes. mostly burris. if they don't shoot less than 1" moa i don't own them. for those of you who have screwed up a perfectly good rifle amateur gunsmithing will get you killed or seriously injured. somethings are left to the professionals. the best advice i can give you is develop a plan and don't be a hack. be careful the life you save might be your own or a family members. remember, if there is a problem with your gun, don't disassemble it before you bring it in. it is easier and less expensive to bring it in whole and it makes it easier to diagnose the problem. make nine a Remington please. and the icing burris

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

wmTNHUNTER. Good to hear from you again, loks as if I opened the cattle door, thats Ok, some has to be the escape goat wen all else fails.I nevr shot a Preditor in the gun on purpose, but from the loks of the Ranch I hunt in MT and C0 the Game comm better step in and cull some Cugars and Wolves.Cattle,horses, sheep are some of thoe ranchers livinghood and each time one is killed, thats lost $. One ranch I lost, the rancher lot l2 calves in 2 weeks, the game Cm did zilt. So maybe in jest or realty he stated to kill anything that loked like Coyoe,wolf r Cogar, but if did soto gut shot ad let go else wher to die. Me, i always try to have a killng shot the first shot as that may be all I get.
Custom , or high $ gunszzzzz/ For the life of me, I can;t see paying l5K or more for a so called custom jb. As all most ae made from Rem action or Mausr, maybe a little filing on the trigger works, a A butn bbl and hand engravng. All is cosmetic other than the trigger. Now most co's on even cheap guns . trigges are adjustabe.regardless what you pay for a gun, if you can;t hit your target, you would be just as well off with a slng shot. Our hunting numbes are declinging yearly, I'm near 75 and I now few hunts left even this fall.but do want to go to the Rocies once more, then will jus fiddle here and hunt w-tails, like the l0 pointer i got here lst yer and save 5-7K on a no see game out west. All i care now about the west is tovisit my friends adn maybe hnt a few days, but not exectig Elk r Mulies. The expers estimate at least 35 % less game n the Rockies in past 5 yrs. Soon the Western Rocky Mtn huntes will be ging East of the Miss. to hunt,I hpe e ca charge what they do in the Rockies.My health has gone to the dogs, and just hope can hunt a few days if my on gets my hunt house finshed so can have heat..If you have not seen the Marlin XL7 or Ventue in hand, by all means do so, then tell this bunch of apparently rich duds what a med price gun is like. O you can buy one of them and a Wal-mart 29.95scope and be ready to hunt for les than 375.00, but buy a good scope and make the middle of the road gun a great gun for most hunters. As for custom guns, I cannot see spending al that money agan. I did once and still have the gun, built on a Mauser action. I prefer the 700 CDL and it shots far better than the custom, not quite as pretty but ok.A differet wood, much darker Walnut. Ok, maybe my health will improve by Oct.and can hunt a few days We need to forget w-tals fo a year and kill Coyotes a foxes,our smal game is gone along with the Turkeys. They dd away with the Jan turkey hunt this year,only Spring hunt and nters seeng fewer birds and many more Coyotes. W need to take a 223 tukey huntin for Coyotes. o how i ws I had bought a Savage 23 or hornet or 22 mag oveour a 12 gag then would be covered. Do you like this eeeein every night? i hate it. See you later if can get on.

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

wmTNHUNTER. Good to hear from you again, loks as if I opened the cattle door, thats Ok, some has to be the escape goat wen all else fails.I nevr shot a Preditor in the gun on purpose, but from the loks of the Ranch I hunt in MT and C0 the Game comm better step in and cull some Cugars and Wolves.Cattle,horses, sheep are some of thoe ranchers livinghood and each time one is killed, thats lost $. One ranch I lost, the rancher lot l2 calves in 2 weeks, the game Cm did zilt. So maybe in jest or realty he stated to kill anything that loked like Coyoe,wolf r Cogar, but if did soto gut shot ad let go else wher to die. Me, i always try to have a killng shot the first shot as that may be all I get.
Custom , or high $ gunszzzzz/ For the life of me, I can;t see paying l5K or more for a so called custom jb. As all most ae made from Rem action or Mausr, maybe a little filing on the trigger works, a A butn bbl and hand engravng. All is cosmetic other than the trigger. Now most co's on even cheap guns . trigges are adjustabe.regardless what you pay for a gun, if you can;t hit your target, you would be just as well off with a slng shot. Our hunting numbes are declinging yearly, I'm near 75 and I now few hunts left even this fall.but do want to go to the Rocies once more, then will jus fiddle here and hunt w-tails, like the l0 pointer i got here lst yer and save 5-7K on a no see game out west. All i care now about the west is tovisit my friends adn maybe hnt a few days, but not exectig Elk r Mulies. The expers estimate at least 35 % less game n the Rockies in past 5 yrs. Soon the Western Rocky Mtn huntes will be ging East of the Miss. to hunt,I hpe e ca charge what they do in the Rockies.My health has gone to the dogs, and just hope can hunt a few days if my on gets my hunt house finshed so can have heat..If you have not seen the Marlin XL7 or Ventue in hand, by all means do so, then tell this bunch of apparently rich duds what a med price gun is like. O you can buy one of them and a Wal-mart 29.95scope and be ready to hunt for les than 375.00, but buy a good scope and make the middle of the road gun a great gun for most hunters. As for custom guns, I cannot see spending al that money agan. I did once and still have the gun, built on a Mauser action. I prefer the 700 CDL and it shots far better than the custom, not quite as pretty but ok.A differet wood, much darker Walnut. Ok, maybe my health will improve by Oct.and can hunt a few days We need to forget w-tals fo a year and kill Coyotes a foxes,our smal game is gone along with the Turkeys. They dd away with the Jan turkey hunt this year,only Spring hunt and nters seeng fewer birds and many more Coyotes. W need to take a 223 tukey huntin for Coyotes. o how i ws I had bought a Savage 23 or hornet or 22 mag oveour a 12 gag then would be covered. Do you like this eeeein every night? i hate it. See you later if can get on.

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

wmTNHUNTER. Good to hear from you again, loks as if I opened the cattle door, thats Ok, some has to be the escape goat wen all else fails.I nevr shot a Preditor in the gun on purpose, but from the loks of the Ranch I hunt in MT and C0 the Game comm better step in and cull some Cugars and Wolves.Cattle,horses, sheep are some of thoe ranchers livinghood and each time one is killed, thats lost $. One ranch I lost, the rancher lot l2 calves in 2 weeks, the game Cm did zilt. So maybe in jest or realty he stated to kill anything that loked like Coyoe,wolf r Cogar, but if did soto gut shot ad let go else wher to die. Me, i always try to have a killng shot the first shot as that may be all I get.
Custom , or high $ gunszzzzz/ For the life of me, I can;t see paying l5K or more for a so called custom jb. As all most ae made from Rem action or Mausr, maybe a little filing on the trigger works, a A butn bbl and hand engravng. All is cosmetic other than the trigger. Now most co's on even cheap guns . trigges are adjustabe.regardless what you pay for a gun, if you can;t hit your target, you would be just as well off with a slng shot. Our hunting numbes are declinging yearly, I'm near 75 and I now few hunts left even this fall.but do want to go to the Rocies once more, then will jus fiddle here and hunt w-tails, like the l0 pointer i got here lst yer and save 5-7K on a no see game out west. All i care now about the west is tovisit my friends adn maybe hnt a few days, but not exectig Elk r Mulies. The expers estimate at least 35 % less game n the Rockies in past 5 yrs. Soon the Western Rocky Mtn huntes will be ging East of the Miss. to hunt,I hpe e ca charge what they do in the Rockies.My health has gone to the dogs, and just hope can hunt a few days if my on gets my hunt house finshed so can have heat..If you have not seen the Marlin XL7 or Ventue in hand, by all means do so, then tell this bunch of apparently rich duds what a med price gun is like. O you can buy one of them and a Wal-mart 29.95scope and be ready to hunt for les than 375.00, but buy a good scope and make the middle of the road gun a great gun for most hunters. As for custom guns, I cannot see spending al that money agan. I did once and still have the gun, built on a Mauser action. I prefer the 700 CDL and it shots far better than the custom, not quite as pretty but ok.A differet wood, much darker Walnut. Ok, maybe my health will improve by Oct.and can hunt a few days We need to forget w-tals fo a year and kill Coyotes a foxes,our smal game is gone along with the Turkeys. They dd away with the Jan turkey hunt this year,only Spring hunt and nters seeng fewer birds and many more Coyotes. W need to take a 223 tukey huntin for Coyotes. o how i ws I had bought a Savage 23 or hornet or 22 mag oveour a 12 gag then would be covered. Do you like this eeeein every night? i hate it. See you later if can get on.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Gunslinger

Good to hear from you again. Glad you are feeling better enough to give 'em hell once in a while. Yep, those stock -eating varmints are about to put some of my rancher and outfitter friends in Montana out of business for sure. One friend of mine has stopped using his grazing lease up the Taylor Fork down by Big Sky because of the wolf and grizzly predation. You lose a cow-calf pair and that's some serious change out of your pocket. Multiply that by a dozen or so...

We spent millions of tax dollars getting wolves out of the Montana country and why in the hell these morons thought it best to bring them back I'll never know.

I hope you get some second wind and are able to have a nice summer and get some hunting in this fall. We are going back to Colorado for the same old same old again this year. I hope the game is moving more than last year.

Best regards,
WA Mtnhunter

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

thanks WA Mtn Hunter. Appears you and I only hunters who understand the preditor problem out west now. Even Utah has a closed season this year. Too may Cougars, and Wolves for the # of game. When you hunt 12 days, see no Elk, and only l mulie and l spike buck at 12K feet, something is killing or running off the game and it sure is not the hunters, as this Rancher only allows about 6 hunters to hunt his property. I've not been well for 6 months or longer, and not doing too good at present. If I were to have a great recovery in short order I may yet go to Co or Mt or both. C0 first then up to MT as MT has a 5 week season. But my purpose in MT is more or less a visit with good friends. I'd like one more Elk while yet able to hunt, but my health hs gone deep south and afraid to get more serious. Cheap guns, no such animal. Some just better than others. Most of the gun problem lies with the shooter.Most guns will shot to zero point the first shot, which is all you care about. I can't recall when I had to use a 2nd shot with a rifle. Did hunt with Shotgun with dogs for years, and kinda got my rifle shoting off somewhat, But killed a ground hog a short time back at l50 yds with a zero of l50 with a 22 mag, hit that sucker in the head and he rolled over. We did have many der till couple years ago, then the Coyotes moved in, as Tobacco is goe and most of the guys went into cattle business, of which Coyotes follow the herds for the new borns. Guns again, the MArlin and Venture are all most of us need, mine work well with a Nikon scope. Too many hunters go to wal-marts and buy a Cheap Scope, 29.95 or less and install on the guns made for Wal-mart,and The Co' do make a different gun for them, as I called Rem and was told, order l00 guns and we will make anyway you desire. Just call rem to Verify that. Anyway, hopefully I can get my health improved and able to hunt again this fall. Bought a couple of neow guns, that need to be zeroed and tested. Would love to go back to Craig again, if I have miracle health recovery, maybe I can get back out there.When you out and about, go check the MArlin and Venture by T/C give me your opinion and the other guys on this Blog. I hate this have to sign i esach day for this blog, as it's so slow. Good hunting, Shoot=um=straight and

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

thanks WA Mtn Hunter. Appears you and I only hunters who understand the preditor problem out west now. Even Utah has a closed season this year. Too may Cougars, and Wolves for the # of game. When you hunt 12 days, see no Elk, and only l mulie and l spike buck at 12K feet, something is killing or running off the game and it sure is not the hunters, as this Rancher only allows about 6 hunters to hunt his property. I've not been well for 6 months or longer, and not doing too good at present. If I were to have a great recovery in short order I may yet go to Co or Mt or both. C0 first then up to MT as MT has a 5 week season. But my purpose in MT is more or less a visit with good friends. I'd like one more Elk while yet able to hunt, but my health hs gone deep south and afraid to get more serious. Cheap guns, no such animal. Some just better than others. Most of the gun problem lies with the shooter.Most guns will shot to zero point the first shot, which is all you care about. I can't recall when I had to use a 2nd shot with a rifle. Did hunt with Shotgun with dogs for years, and kinda got my rifle shoting off somewhat, But killed a ground hog a short time back at l50 yds with a zero of l50 with a 22 mag, hit that sucker in the head and he rolled over. We did have many der till couple years ago, then the Coyotes moved in, as Tobacco is goe and most of the guys went into cattle business, of which Coyotes follow the herds for the new borns. Guns again, the MArlin and Venture are all most of us need, mine work well with a Nikon scope. Too many hunters go to wal-marts and buy a Cheap Scope, 29.95 or less and install on the guns made for Wal-mart,and The Co' do make a different gun for them, as I called Rem and was told, order l00 guns and we will make anyway you desire. Just call rem to Verify that. Anyway, hopefully I can get my health improved and able to hunt again this fall. Bought a couple of neow guns, that need to be zeroed and tested. Would love to go back to Craig again, if I have miracle health recovery, maybe I can get back out there.When you out and about, go check the MArlin and Venture by T/C give me your opinion and the other guys on this Blog. I hate this have to sign i esach day for this blog, as it's so slow. Good hunting, Shoot=um=straight and

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from Tyke wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Living in the UK the selection of rifles we routinely see for sale probably differs from the 'usual selection' you will see offered in a local gunsmiths in the US. Similarly the price differentials are different for us also as we have to pay import duties etc on US sourced products as well as on European ones so the two are probably much closer in price for us than is the case on your side of the pond. Same for 'scopes, with Leupold [at least the better models] being very close in price to the premier German manufacturers.
That said, Sako's are popular & well regarded, with Tikka being a popular choice for those on a tighter budget - but no doubt you get a better quality product for the extra cost of the Sako. Many have gone down the modular system route with interchangable barrels/ calibres etc & the Blaser or Sauer 202 models are very poular here; although personally I prefer a fixed barrel dedicated calibre rifle. For a while I lusted after a Heym as these are very nicely made & finished & just ''felt right'', but never got one as changing rifles is not easy with our over-zealous policing & frankly I just could be bothered. The other rifle I really wanted was a Sauer 90, this has a camm actioned bolt & was the smoothest bolt I've ever tried- the rest of the rifle was of similarly high quality & it was beautiful to look at too. Sadly they wern't cheap [I seem to recall about 50%[+] dearer than the Sako] & this together with the hassle to change my fire Arms Certificate over meant I never got one.
If I were buying a new rifle now I would by the Sako with their own mounts [which are a lot cheaper than a set of Apels etc] & stick a Fixed power Schmidt und Bender 'scope on top as this I feel would give me the best all -round quality/ accuracy/ handling together with a satisfaction of ownership without being too ridiculously expensive that I was scared to take it out in the rain!
I know if I bought a low cost outfit that didn't entirely satisfy me then I'd end up relacing it with what I wanted & taking a bath on the resale of the first outfit so it would be cheaper to buy the better mid range outfit to start with.
I must add though that my friend bought an old Parker Hale .243 for £150, & whilst it is a bit battered to look at - as is the old Pecar 'scope he has fitted to it, it shoots phenominally tight groups with 100 grain bullets, so why would we really need anything else?
I wish we were able to just add another to the cabinet the way you chaps can, then I could own a number side by side & compare then before deciding what to keep.

Tyke.

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Gunslinger

Sorry to hear about your bad health,I hope that you recover,and can get many more hunts in.
I am sorry for the way I answered your post about the cougars and wolves.
We both want the same thing,more elk,more deer.
My point was giving the anti-hunters things to use against us. We hunt a couple of different areas in MT. when we get elk tags. There seems to be more and more people moving in,more condos,more "city" people who do not like hunting.
Ever since the wolf population went up,the number of elk and mule deer went down. The numbers taken by hunters did not go up,it went down,that means the wolves,cougars,and even the grizzlies are killing too many elk and deer. Maybe it is time for an open season on grizzlies too?
The ranchers we know in Mt. all get permission from FWP,and shoot wolves,as WAmtnhunter said,lose a few cow/calf pairs,and it is some serious money the rancher loses.
I don't think Mt.season will be better this year,they only killed 72 wolves.Not enough. I read an article that said each wolf pack will kill 107 elk per year,FWP says there are 10 packs in Mt. that is a thousand elk killed by wolves every year!Add in what the cougars and grizzlies kill,and that is why there are less elk.
As for the marlin rifles,a close friend got an XL-7 in .270,a package deal at Gander Mountain,came with a mid peice Bushnell scope,shot about an inch out of the box at 100 yds. get an inch and a half at 300 yds,so I say it is a great deal,and a decent rifle. The black synthetic stock is ugly,but it shoots.
I got a Rossi single shot in .243 for my wife,A package deal too,came with a Barska scope,get an inch at 100 yds,and at 300 yds. another good deal and decent rifle. We only shot low price factory ammo out of both rifles,Federal power shok,and Win. super X.Also got a savage model 11 with a lot of numbers after the 11 for my nephew,it shoots a little better with factory ammo, get half inch at 100/300 yds.
Hope you are feeling better,we both want less predators,
lets hope the problem gets taken care of.
Good hunting,hope you are feeling better.

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from Bella wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Gunslinger you say you spend 7 to 10 grand on a hunt? That is awful expensive meat, I would have to conclude that you hunt solely to waste money and pump your ego. While I would never question your right to waste your own dough (as it seems you have faar too much money anyway) why should all the wolves and cougar have to die gut shot to satisfy your enormous sense of self-importance. As you sow, so shall you reap.

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Bella:You spend your money anyway you so choose, with me, it's guns and hunting. No other hobbies. Yes, I got some high $ guns and some cheaper ones. The middle of the road such as the Rem 700 and Scirocco by Remington works better in my Remington. I pratice with a Marlin 22 mag. The high $ ammo is just that, hight dollart but gets the job done. Use what you want, but as a rule one shot is all you gonna get, so why save a few dollars and used cheapo Ammo. I'm not rich by any means, if ws I'd hunt some country monthly. I just save my $ and hunt MT, C0 and home. Yep 7-10K is a lot of $ for a hunt, but its more than a hunt to me. I see old friends I;ve meet over the years, and we eat well, stay in nice Motels, rent a 4 x 4/ As for being rich my newest vehicle is a 92 model, if I were rich don;t you think I might drive a newer vehicle? I'd rather spend my $ on guns/hunting than cars. A Car is only a means to get me to hunt areas.I've been disabled/handicapped for 20 yrs, and not made a dime of money. However, I did save my $ when worked for 45 yrs. Now I feel I'm entitled to a costly hunt if can find the game now to kill. Unless the Rockies do something about the Cougars, Wolves, Grizs, wan't be many years till they will suffera as NR will not pay 7-10 for a sight seeing tour.If your health was as bad as mine, I expect you would hunt all you could as well, rich or poor. So blow your smoke in another direction and get your facts before you do. Spend your efforts to convince the GAme Depts to help rid the Rockies of the Preditors. Until about 25 yrs ago, I had to drive 300 miles to hunt w-tals, now I hunt l00 yds from my back door. And yes, I've been blessed with being able to go to the Rockies and hunt many times, and if my health permitted so, I would go again this fall. I've never seen a Wells-Fargo truck at a Cemetary yet, have you? And my guns go to my Son and Daughter and they will be RICK if nice guns qualify for such. Shoot-often and straight, and much successful if you can find the game to hunt.Look out for the game farms to tripple in 10 yrs or less.PS: When you spend 6 months in 1990 and 5 months in l991, in the Hospital not knowing if you gonna live the next day, you may decide a 7-10K is cheap.At age 75, few yrs of hunting left in this old body, which most has been replaced or repaired and can only walk about 100 yds with-out assistance These artificial hips and plastic intestines, no Colon, don't last forever, must be replace now and then. Then the infection around the openig in my gut for the l0" of intestine empties into a bag constantly, you feel lucky to get to the woods. Have a good day, they come at a price.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

A little respect for our elders should be in order here, period.

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from Quahog wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Ditto.

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from 1uglymutha wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

how did this discussion go from guns to gut shooting animals, the state of our health and other irrelevancies? someone's been spending too much time on wierd street.

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Ok, guns it is: I read a lot of old Western Novels, versus watching sorry A----tv shows. Last book I read was very interesting, titled Presacher man. He carried 2 colts on his hips, and 2 in his saddle bags, with grips facing his back. Now, he knew when a gunfight migth occur and he loaded the two front colts with dbouble groved bullets. I take that to mean he put 2 bullets in each cyclynder and the bottom shell was groved? Accuracy was short, but up to about 25 yds, both accurate. In the article, he killed 2 men with one shot, who were standing side by side, and both were shot in the head. Any you guys who ever used B/P round balls or conicals loaded this way? I nevr really liked B/P hunting till i boght a in-line, now I love it, as last 4-5 dear here have been killed with B/P usingPowerbelts @245 gr per ulet. Last year got the l0 pointer at l90 yds with a 200 yd zero,almost a little too high of a zereo, so reduced the point of impact at 200 yds about 3" and now is dead on ar 200. One last thing on gut shooting varmits, by doing so, it leaves the animal in the preditor area and maybe if they /us kill a few of the preditors,m theywill be full for a few days and leave t the Elk and Deer babies longer to get strong enought to outrun the devils. Meat for the freezer or trophy room, are never gut shot, always shoulder or behind front shoulder about l/3 way up. With the Sciroddos they drops in their tracts. Also, when you hunt a ranchrs property for free access and he tells you how to hunt his property, best yo do do. if you want a repeat hunt. Yes, ther are too many wolves and cougars and Grizs in many of the western states and the game comm, needs to issue moe tags or allow hunters to reduce their #'s for the reason I stated. I never saw a Wolf, Cougar or Griz i really liked. Much prefer the Elk, Mulies and Lopes. So us care takers of the land and game best do our part topreserve the game for us now and for our other generations. If I was able, I'd hunt every state where hunting was permitted. Go on a cull hunt at any given ranch and you will cry when you see a nice 8 or larger and the guide says, thats not a annimal on our kill list, maybe in 2-3 yrs when he's fully grown and breed his genes to the remaining Does My Son and I began doing the culling aspect 3 yrs ago and you'd be amazed at the better quality game we now have, we let the does go for now, maybe sometime we will need to eliminate a few of those once we get the herd stabalized as we want it. Good hunting. Shoot often and straigt.PS; Rich or poor, I still think my Rems 700 CDL outpreform most custom built, I'm stupid on custom jobs, a good Rem 700 fits me to a T and has yet not killed with one shot. i do think a 24"bbl is better than a 22 at least for me. time for this old man to lay down and read a tad of the gold old gunfghting days . Do believe I'd prefertto take my 44-40 to work than a Parker Pen Pencile set.Also, any Co's you know of who makes Ammo in 32 Rim fire?

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Gunslinger

Try here for .32 rimfire....

http://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=.32 rimfire ammo

This site showed some in stock .32 rimfire today.
I think a couple of companies make a run of .32 every few years,a friend shoots one,if I can find out where he keeps finding ammo,I'll let you know.

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from Drew McClure wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

What a great topic DP- based on the responses that were longer than your article and too long to bother reading.I was just going to add make sure it fits and its a 7mm and then pay cash to your buddy that works at the gun store so you get 40% off regular price then leave it in his name so when Obama's "Safety" team comes to replace your gun in exchange for food stamps he won't have your address. That's how you procure a boom stick-trigger work optional.

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from focusfront wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

DavidPetzal;

As you have pointed out in several posts recently on the Shaw rifle and the various Savages, factory rifles are at a point now where the only shooters who NEED a custom gun are 1. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as factory stocks won't fit him, 2. Anybody who is left-handed and wants something nicer than a Savage or Browning in a caliber other than a .270 or .30-06, and 3. the 99th percentile shooter who can tell the difference between a 1 MOA and .5 MOA rifle in the field.

These days custom guns are not for those who NEED them, but those who WANT them. I have a digital watch that is atomic timed; it is as accurate as any watch can be, waterproof, shockproof, and cost $60. Yet Breitling, Rollex, etc. sell every watch they can make for prices starting at about 4k. So it will be with custom gunmakers. If I had deep pockets and long arms, I'd want a custom gun. But I have shallow pockets and short arms, so I'll stick with my Marlins.

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from kolbster wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

or you can just buy a action and build you own. that is what i prefer.

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from Carney wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

All I can say when it comes to my guns is, "If it ain't tangible, I ain't interested." Works of art I enjoy in a museum and don't have to buy -- "art that works", belongs in the field getting dirty and used!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

My vote is with option 2). If you need a better rifle than a Weatherby Mark V or Sako 75/85, you might need to see the doctor before Obamacare kicks in. I can't comment on the Kimber because I have zero experience with them. Then go piss the rest of the custom rifle money away on a good piece of glass for the rifle.

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from tjfslaughter wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

Dave,

Thank you for mentioning the Sako line of Rifles. Most people do not know what they are missing. I have 3 of them and they all shoot well under an inch. My 300 win mag shoots 1/2" groups when using 180 grain bullets and 3/4" when using 220. I also love the way the scope mounts are on them. It seems once you get them tight they never budge. Not once have I flown and the gun needed adjustment after the baggage handlers atempted to adjust the scope.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

Good comments Dave. Keep 'em coming!

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from SL wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

I absolutely don't think one gets anything more out of a Sako than you would get out of a Remington, Browning, Savage, etc. other than having to cough up more money for it. I guess with Weatherby one could get the Weatherby calibers, but quality wise I don't see them as any huge step up. I guess people buy things to make them feel good, or to brag about with. Someone who knows how to hunt will kill more deer with any run of the mill gun in comparison to the guy who likes to buy expensive things and has little actual hunting ability.

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from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

Speaking of buying an action. I saw yesterday that Midway is planning to offer Zastava Mauser actions beginning in May, unless UN forces bomb the plant again. They will be available in 30/06 length with both standard and magnum bolt faces, along with a .375 H&H magnum lenght action. Prices start at $279 and go up to $399 for the long mangleum. Yes, the Zastava actions have the reputation for being rough, but that didn't stop Remington! Well now that I think about it maybe it did...

Didn't see a lefty version on the list though...

Save up, be patient and buy what you want. If you are a lefty and don't write for a major outdoor publication save up a lot more!

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from davidpetzal wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

to focusfront: Try E.R. Shaw. They're around $1200, and they chamber for something like 80 calibers.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

A person with a reasonably accurate rifle (MOP) and the experience and wherewithall to quickly calculate point of aim, steady, and shoot without hesitation will cleanly kill game animals (or anything else) with much greater regularity that a benchrest sub-MOA rifle in the hands of someone not adept at doing the things listed above. JMHO

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

ohiodeerhunter

While I do not desire to enter a urinating contest, I would like to point out that most western states have legal hunting seasons on cougar and some have recently opened limited seasons on wolves. Secondly, animals do not have "rights". They are under man's dominion, but it is our responsibility to ethically manage those populations. JMHO

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from idduckhntr wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

Dave I am curently trying to tell my wife that I do indeed need to buy a Cooper. So far its not working.

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from AmericanWaterSpaniel wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

I tend to think there is a difference between a cheap rifle and a kimber, perhaps some middle ground you might find with the venerable remington 700 or winchester 70? This is no doubt a short article with very little specifics, which is fine

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from AmericanWaterSpaniel wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

"Will you be tempted to “improve” them? Only if you’re brain damaged." This comment is hilarious!

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from tjfslaughter wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

I found this book BOLT ACTION RIFLES by Frank de Haas and Dr. Waynve van Zwoll especially helpful when adjusting my trigger on the Sako.

http://books.google.com/books?id=tuVUMLRE47UC&pg=PA451&lpg=PA451&dq=adju...

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from Quahog wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

Thanks Mr Petzal:
I was going to buy a nicely restored antique tractor (Ford 8D) for 3 grand. Rebuilt motor, good rubber, nice tin and new light blue paint. Just decided that I'd only look at it parked in the barn, though. How much did you say that Sako was ? Forceful scribing!

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from Del in KS wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

Then again if you want something beautiful to look at, shoot and admire Shiloh Sharps rifles fill the bill quite well. Fit and finish like a swiss watch and priced to sell. I love my Kimber also.

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from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

The only person who thinks that a Sako isn't a cut above the Winchester,Remington etc. has never had one in there hands and worked the bolt or laid. it down on the bench and put three shots in the same hole. I have never worked the bolt on a custom gun that works any finer than on a Sako. I'm sorry for being too blunt about the Sako's but they are fine firearms.

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from SD Bob wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I'm rather fond of Kimber's but I agree that Sako has the smoothest action around. Of the three Dave mentioned, I prefer Kimber's because their profile fits my smaller hands better so if you were to look in my safe, that's why you'll find three of them.

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from ishawooa wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Most of you probably remember me mentioning that I have a distict preference for Sakos especially so called "pre-Garcia" versions. I own quite a few Sako rifles of various ages plus several customs built on Sako actions. They have never failed me and I have always been pleased with the accuracy, reliability, and appearance of each gun. That is not to say that I have not owned other rifles which costed more and many which costed less than your average Sako. I often found the same characteristics in those rifles as I notice in my Sakos. Is this rationale not a major part of why we call ourselves "gunnuts". We like some company, or feature, or system...just because.
Years ago I often fondly examined an old friend's well used custom rifles wishing I had just one. He also owned numerous rifle brands but I detected a distinct preference for Sakos. Indeed most of his customs were built on either Sako or Winchester actions. I once remarked that his Sako actioned custom built rifles were among the best I had ever used. He looked up from what he was doing and replied "Yep they are good, almost as good as the Sako factory guns". Up til then I has always thought they were better, maybe not.

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

All . . .

I'm in the process of building a custom 7x57 Mauser. As I reported recently, some years ago I found a mint condition BRNO--I believe I have the spelling right this time, Mr. P--Mauser 98 action in the full-of-hidden-treasures vault of an old gun shop. I paid for the action (finally) about two weeks ago and promptly ordered a premium air-gauged #2 contour 24" barrel from Douglas Barrels (I ordered the best barrel the company makes). I sent Douglas a 7x57 case with a Berger 140-grain VLD bullet in it (sans primer and powder) with a cartridge overall length of just under 3.2". Rifling twist is 1 in 9.

The barrel arrived at my office a couple of days ago, all cut, chambered and polished, and I must say it is a thing of beauty, with a length, width and weight that felt very good to the hand, just right, pretty much perfect. The rifling and bore are immaculate. The price, I thought, was pretty reasonable: about $330. The Douglas people were very nice, very knowledgable, very easy to work with, and they made and shipped the barrel in virtually no time at all. Impressive. And American, which feels good, too.

Barrel in hand, I abandoned the work stacked high on my desk, canceled my appointments for the afternoon, and raced across town to my friend the gunsmith. Dexter held, felt and examined the barrel with an intensely critical (and deeply cynical) eye. His conclusion: "This here thing ought to give you some mighty fine groups if you can just keep yorself from shakin' like a gurl with 'citement and hold still long 'nuff to shoot 'er straight. Its gonna be all up to you, bud, 'cause this hear barrel is a truth-teller." He grinned. I did, too.

The barrel requires final fitting to the BRNO action and bluing. My gunsmith was dissatisfied with the safety and trigger on the action--which I thought were in the very-good-to-excellent category--and so I have followed his advice to replace same with a new Timmney trigger and sporter safety. I expect the barrelled action as a whole to be ready in a few weeks. I am excited about testing the future finished rifle, developing loads for it, and taking it to the range and into the field in the months ahead.

Question: where can I obtain a not-hideously expensive but excellent quality composite or laminated stock for a Mauser 98 action (mated with a 24" #2 contour sporter barrel)? Advice much appreciated.

TWD

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from wingshooter54 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I'll take a Kimber 84 or Weatherby mark V anyday and never look back. The only tinkering I will do is put the best scope I can afford on it. Something you didn't mention Dave is getting a good scope whether the gun is a good cheap one or high dollar custom. If all I could spare was enough to get a Marlin bolt action and a scope that cost twice as much as the gun, I would go that route.

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from Gman wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter is spot on here, folks. I drive a Saturn, I shoot a Savage. Both do what they are supposed to. And the kid's college fund is not bare.

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from rbabinowitz wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

It's nice to dream, but most guys can't afford to drop $3,000 for a rifle. If they can, they likely have jobs that don't allow much time to get to the range. Half that price will buy a Remington 700, a low to medium-end Leupold, and a reloading kit -- so you can actually afford to shoot it, a lot.

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

How to buy a gun: First it depends on how much $ you can afford. Once that has been established, begin looking at thatprice range, forget the others ( cheaper or higher). I have sevral guns from factory to custom made. When you spend in excess of l0K bucks for a Africian gun you think it will call up a animal you want and stand 25 yds away and let you go BANG. Not so regardless of purchase price. I thought I had some great shooting guns and they did ok, but not at long distance. Then Remington came out with the 700 CDL in 30-06 Classic and I placd a ordr for one on the condition if did not pattern to suite me, I culd return for an exchange.So I bought the gun home and 4 different brand of shells and ent to my range 250 yds total,but started wit the 100 after boresighting witha Nikon Scope monted with Lepold monts. My first shot ws 3" to the left, 2 moreadjustments, bulls eye. So moved to 200 yds and was 2" low of bull's eye, adjusted once and right on the center. I shot 3 shots that a l/2 dollar would cover. I tried all 4 brands of Amm, allowing bbl to cool between shots and shot other guns for pratice. When all was said and done I setled on the em Sciroccos l80 gr. Iwanted a bonded bullet with Polymar tips. Now I'm ready to go to Montana, knowing I may get a 25 to 500 yd shot. I got 345 yd at anice Deer standing near a dow , the buck ws quartering to my left about 30 deg. I wa zeroed at 200(recal) and I zeroe with range finder and ws foled,looke to be about 200 compared to home.So I used my Bi[pod held on top of hair line about midway of der, bullt entered at teh last rib and sent al way thru and exited at the right foreleg, deer dropped in tracts. Since then, gun hs killed many Deer from l50 yds to 400 yds, has flown to MT ad Utah 6 time, and never lost it's zero yet(surprise the way they try to KIll your gun case).Now I got about l500.00 in the gun & scope,and if there is a gun available that wil outshoot it to 400 yds I will buy. I plan this gun to last me my lifetime, as it's only shot to check zero twice a year,I pratice with a bolt 22 mag. Would take many dolarsto buy this gun from me. Now Custom jobs, none I've seen or shot fel as well for me as this gun does, including the Custom from Italy which also is a 30-06. New stocks, bbls, triggers,bedding,may improve a tad on some out in left field guns, but not enugh to spend thousands on. Remember you only get as a rule one shot, so that first one is al that matters to me. Cheap guns,I just bought a XL7 in 270 for my 4 wheeler to hunt on the farm, Coyotes, Foxes and deer. It shoots great as is dble bedded and stock fits the metal perfect.It will put 3 rounds at 100 yds a silver dollar will cover, I blame the 2 '' shorter bbl. I got a + custom,shoots no better.Now it sits in my vault mostly. Buy a quality gun you can aafford, a Nikon Monarch scope (About 650.00 and you will kill anything in NA, other than the Griz.Again, I'll take my Rem CDL in 3o-06 over any of the guns mentioned above. Spend the other $$$$ on the trips I take. Shoot-um-straight and often. PS; Got to a shooting rnge or retailer, and talk thr owners into allowing you to shoot their guns once, thats all it takes.Forget the writers,( other than Wayne Van Zol)as all they are doing is selling guns for the Mfg that is footing the bill hoping to sell. Don;t be fooled, try the guns yourself.Use enough gun but not to small, many game hit but crippled and never found.And then some guys think a 300 win Mag is necesary for a l40 lb deer that a 22 mag will kill.Check the records, more 30-30 and 30-06's ammo sold than all the others combined, except the 22 for plinkers or pratice. My skin is tough,I will await your remarks Good ..Hunting. If going west kill any wolf or cougar you see. A cougar came within 20 yds of my wife last year he was after 2 small does just a few yards in front, no doubt he got one, plus we saw many wolf tracts.,too many. Need to kill al we see of Cougar and Wolves,gut shoot them, then the preditors can feast on them and leave the game for us hunters who spend KK" to hunt 10 days.

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Wa Mtnhunter/gunslinger

My point about the anti-hunters should be a concern.
Theres an online magazine called newwest.net.
Very anti-hunting. They posted an article supporting a ban on trapping in Montana,and have a guy writing for them who is saying that current wolf hunting kills will lead to the extinction of the wolves.
They do read what we write online too.
check out these....

NewWest.net
NewWestWire

These people want many new restrictions on hunters/trappers/fishermen/anyone who uses rivers.

That is why I say don't say things like those which were said.

Gunslinger,
Please do not take offense,I do see your point,like last year,wolf tracks,few elk tracks.
Now, the anti-wolf hunting people are taking the hunting seasons on wolves back to court,or trying to.
I know the wolves kill too many elk.
The people who don't want us to hunt wolves are saying that instead of the current 500,that is where MT.,ID,andWY. agreed to keep the population is not enough,they want it at 1,000.
I don't want any of us to give these people anything to use against us.

Again,it was not my intent to cause offense,I'll think a bit longer before posting from now on.

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from lat40smith wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Yesterday (Thurs), I ordered a Savage Weather Warrior in .308 Win., left-hand action. It is supposed to arrive on Mon. or Tues. I've been fan of the caliber since Uncle Sam introduced me to it decades ago. I have (and have used) more expensive "bigger" rifles, but they collect dust because the .308 has hammered the hogs and deer I've shot with it and it is superbly accurate. The Savage was purchased solely for my "bucket list" of hunts in three exotic locales where I expect that the weather and baggage handlers will attempt to destroy it. Also, my present rifle is semi-auto and forbidden in some places I want to go. Based on my limited experience with the brand (one "ground squirrel" rifle), the Savage should be accurate (with the new Accustock), tough enough and have a really sweet trigger. The occasional ding won't depress me as much, and if the airlines live up to their potential, I'm not out a ton of money. The more costly .300 Win Mag will be staying home.

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from Daniel Allison wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I have a Sako Tikka T-3 that shoots less than 3/8 ata 100 yds. It is in ,243 win. and less than $500 at Cabelas. That is with Remington ammo. Buy a good rifle and a great scope. If you can't see it, you can't shoot it. End of story.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

A little respect for our elders should be in order here, period.

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from Douglas wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

I recently purchased a venerable old Sako L75 in .308 by trading out some of the cheap guns I bought and tried to "tweak".
I am glad to be rid of my junk and now feel I have a keeper to fondle. My lesson is to buy the best you can as you can, but don't ever count on being truly satisfied.
As for improving the Sako? I might try as my brain continues to age and starts to die.

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from buckhunter wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

I have chosen option #1 several times and regret it every time I open my gun safe which is littered with rifles I will never shoot again. In the long run buying a good rifle will pays far better dividends.

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from jamesti wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

i've got two weatherby mk v's and they are as fine as i need in my gun safe or in the field.

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from davidpetzal wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

To idduckhtr: Try bursting into tears, in public. This often works. The Cooper is worth a few hysterics, by the way.

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from blackdawgz wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

I have owned the Sako 85 and the Weatherby Mark V Stainless Magnum, in addition to others.

Wish I still had the Weatherby.

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from wgp wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

I would love to have one of the "middle" rifles you mentioned. However, for somne validation of Dave's conclusions, let me say that I used to have a Weatherby Mark V, which was a beautiful and elegant rifle that shot very well but not as well as my Rem 700. So, I sold the Weatherby to my son so that it at least remained in the family and I can admire it when he and I hunt together.

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from focusfront wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

Is there a $1500 rifle out there, for lefties, that comes in calibers other than .270 and .30-06? Yeah, I know; buy a left-handed BAR and put a Leopold scope on it. Seriously, I don't think Sako or Weatherby makes left handed rifles any more, at least not off the assembly line, and I don't think Nosler or Kimber ever has. That left handed BAR might not be such a bad idea.

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from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

Looks like the UN did bomb the Zastava Plant again or maybe it was another round of sanctions... but bad news anyway. See the email I just received from Larry Potterfield of Midway below...
_________________________________________________________

I am afraid the prognosis for these actions is not good. It is looking like we will not be able to secure any actions from Zastava after all, despite all our negotiating. We have not given up all hope just yet, but I am not as optimistic on this project as I was six months ago. I certainly wish I had better news, as there is a real void right now in workable actions for custom builds.

Thanks For Your Business,

Larry Potterfield

CEO

MidwayUSA
NRA Benefactor Member

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from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Quahog,

I'm still amazed... Ford 6's and 8's have been $3000 it seems like forever! Enjoy, they are classic machines.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Bee, thanks for the info on Zastava. Terry Weiland had nice comments on them. I'll be watching.

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

3 years ago bought a Remington 700 CDL 25-06 topped with a Sightron 3x9x42. Removed the stock and replaced it with a Ramline Youth Stock and the Grandson will not let me have it back! Little joker shot 3 deer with it last season unassisted! For this 10 year old, anything out to 300 yards is dead meat! You get what you pay for!

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from idduckhntr wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Dave, is the Cooper not worth the money?

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from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I have never had a Sako in my hands to examine. Wish I had, I've cycled and shot a Kimber and realized the difference between it and my rifles.
In this man's situation the E.R.Shaw would be the correct choice IMO.
Is the brand name 'Sako' correctly pronounced with a soft "a" as I've read.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

idduckhntr,
Me think you mis-read Mr. Petzals post.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Bee, well crap.

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from idduckhntr wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Jim,just re read it and you are right the kids have been cooped up all day. Still want one.

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from randwarner wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Just Buy A. Cooper. That cured me of tinkering.

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from O Garcia wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Boyds.

Don't forget the CZ rifles.

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from Ferber wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

tifslaughter, et al...
I was/am delighted to read so much positive ink here about the various Sako rifles. Weatherby, too. I have a couple Sako's and three Weatherby's. All are muy accurate. The Sako is a favorite, and is shot often. Many moons ago, I sent a then-new .243 factory Sako--LSA 55, right-hand action of course--to the the old Herter's company who wanted to re-stock it for me with a semi- custom left-handed Monte Carlo. Surprise of surprises! A beautiful job with a wonderful piece of wood arrived a few months later...that outshoots my factory Model 700 in the same caliber, which is saying alot for, esentially, over-the-counter, inexpensive- to medium-priced bolt guns. Like all Sako's, a smooth action.

I belong to an old, venerable club in New York State that provides regular rifle-shooting tournaments, a few of which requiring five-shot events fired just seconds apart, and my .243 Sako would be my obvious choice for such fun. But I shoot the Remington bolt or something else for these events because the box magazine of the Sako only--but perfectly-hugs together three rounds.

I have a Weatherby custom .300 (garish, several fancy inlays, etc.,) a .340 and .240 Mark 5s...all reliable and accurate, of course. The .240 shoots as well as the Sako, but ain't as pretty and if I'm shooting factory fodder, the .243 ammo is, of course, much cheaper than the Weatherby calibers. The .240 has been my favorite pronhorn gun and, like many of our guns, guys, isn't shot that much. (We know there's no such thing as having too many guns).

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from Bella wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Quahog, buy the tractor (even if it is a Ford). Del, those Shilo Sharps rifles are so pretty, I want one too.
As far as customizing goes, the Green Mountain button rifled barrel, laminated thumbhole stock, magazine release, magazines, scope mount, optics and bipod I tricked my old 10-22 with cost much more than the gun ever did, but boy is it fun to shoot. This may have broken all three of Ol Dave's excellent gun buying rules but hey, when I was originally in the market for a 10-22 plinker, I didn't have the dough to buy one all tricked out the way I like it. Oh and you guys can have the Wetherby, I saw a Charles Dailey Drilling 'tother day (in 7x57,16 and 16) that made my heart Lust for it. But the darling drilling will likely stay where it is...

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from nc30-06 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Dang it Dave. My Remington 700 Bdl is nice and accurate, but going to the Sako site has me dreaming.

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from kudukid wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Accumulate a bit of mad money and keep it handy to strike when opportunity shows up. Result...an Al Biesen 25-06 on an Oberndorf Mauser action in 25-06 with the finest drool-inducing tight fiddleback walnut I've ever laid eyes on with a Douglas Premium barrel gives 3/4 minutes for 5 shots any time I want.
Price was less than half what such a rifle from Biesen's shop would cost today. Biesen's son and daughter have since taken over the work at the shop and are doing work at least the equal of their dad. He set the bar very high.

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from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Jim in Mo,

I said worse than that! I hope Larry Potterfield is successful. It has been quite troublesome for companies to maintain a relationship with Zastava due to many different reasons. There are a few Zastava (Charles Daly) actions on Gunbroker.com if your interested. I'll warn you they are not discount priced...

You are correct, it is pronounced sock-oh. Not as my buddies down here pronounce it... sack-oh... or say-ko

Cheers!

Bee

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from MStevenson wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I had a rifle built on a Remington action by Kenny Jarrett in .223. It routinely shoots 3 thot groups under 0.2 inch ast 100 yards. Was expensive, but now that the pain of the price is in the past, it's worth every penny.
Then pain caused by a cheap item lingers much longer than that of the price of a quality item.

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from FLBobcat wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Does any one have any idea how many deer have been taken with an old Mauser K98 8mm, 91/30, or US Military M1?

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from dale freeman wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Over 60 years I've shot a lot of different configurations and found that the so called"middle class"
rifles shot better than I could.
Now when I buy a new rifle it's automatic to "bed" and smooth the trigger to 21/2 pounds and now,I, shoot those magical groups and wonder what it could do with a nice younger shooter.

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from AlaskanExile wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

FocusFront;
Browning makes left-handed A-bolts in lots of calibers 338 Win, 375 H&H etc to name a few. I own a lefty Stainless-Stalker in 7mm Remington and it is awesome!

Sako has made lefty rifles off and on, but near as I can tell from their website, they don't catalog any lefties now. I passed on a 338 last winter that I'm still kicking myself over.

Weatherby makes their ultra-light hunter in left-hand, but it's only available in 257 wby, and 300 wby.

Savage offers a few more calibers such as 7mm-08 and 338 win in about any configuration they build. Just order it and wait.

Ruger gets better at their left-handed offerings all of the time, short actions are now available as well as blue and stainless Hawkeyes in 300 Win, and 25-06. The lefty Alaskan is a special run, check Gunbroker for 375 Ruger in stainless steel with a 20" barrel.

There is a lot of lefty stuff out there, you just have to be ready to jump on it when you see one. ER Shaw can re-barrel any lefty action (Rem, Ruger, Savage) in any caliber that will fit.

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from focusfront wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Gunslinger;

We've got mountain lions in Wisconsin. My dad almost rode his bike right over one about a year ago. But there is no chance I'd shoot one, or a wolf either, for that matter. I'd rather get caught with a pound of cocaine in my trunk than a dead cougar or wolf; better chance of avoiding prison with the coke!

DavidPetzal;

Forgot about the Shaw. Good suggestion.

Alaskan Exile:

I've been out of the accuracy game for about 12 years. But back then, I never saw an accuracy specific rifle built up out of a Ruger. Mostly Remingtons. Things have probably changed since then.

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Gunslinger

"Need to kill al we see of Cougar and Wolves,gut shoot them, then the preditors can feast on them and leave the game for us hunters who spend KK" to hunt 10 days."

This is NOT good advice.
#1 It is highly unethical to gut shoot an animal.

#2 It is not legal to hunt wolves and cougars in all western states.

#3 Aside from the two obvious reasons stated in #1 and #2, following your advice would be something that gives all of us ethical hunters a bad name.

#4 The wolves and cougars have a right to be in the wild too.
When and where there are stable,sustainable populations of these animals,there will be legal,open seasons to hunt them.

"Use enough gun but not to small, many game hit but crippled and never found."
????????
Why post a comment like the above? Most hunters I know find all game they shoot. Animals hit and not recovered are usually the result of poor marksmanship,as Mr. Petzal often says...Get to the range,and burn some ammo
(or something close to that)
I am 52,hunting on my own since age 12. In all those years,I have had exactly 1 deer hit and not recovered when rifle hunting.This was a W.Va. whitetail,which someone else put a shot into and tagged,as I found out after more tracking the following morning.
Ohio is shotgun with rifled slug or muzzeloader only for deer gun season.I have heard of a few deer hit,and not recovered here,but it is a rare occurence.
Gunslinger.....
Where do you get your information on "many game hit but crippled and never found"?

My family has property in W.Va.,Montana,S.Carolina,Penn.and here in Ohio. The areas we hunt in these states do not have a problem with game hit,and not recovered.

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from flyer22 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

@focusfront

Damn man, that was and is one of the best answers I've seen on these forums to date...

I am, sadly, not in the 99th percentile and had been saving for a custom firearm. Thanks for knocking me upside the head and putting some sense where I had been lacking :)

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

WAMtnhunter

You are correct,poor choice of words on my part.
My intent was to point out that gut shooting every wolf,or cougar you see is highly unethical.
As I said, we have property in Montana,so I know there are wolf hunting opportunities,as well as cougar.
Your point,as well as mine is ETHICALLY manage the populations .
Gut shooting every wolf and cougar you see is far from ethical,don't you think?

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Wa Mtnhunter

I understand the frustration caused by the wolves taking so many elk,it affeced a lot of people I know.Seems there are more wolf tracks than elk tracks in the areas we hunted last year.

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I realize it's illegal to shoot some Cougars and Wolves, however if the game Depts don't take steps to handle the problem, then us hunters must. I have no quarms with a few of any animals, but when I spend 7-10K bucks for a hunt, I prefer to see Elk, Mulies, Lopes, etc. not the wolf or Cougar. My wife eing within 20 yds of a Tom Cougar kinda gives me the woolies. So legal or not, something must be done out west to handle the overpopulation of both. Gut shot, up bet, then he will go way off to de, not near me. Use enough gun. Yes always do, wy try to se if you can kill a Rlk with a 22, when you know it's iffy or damn near impossible. But we got all kinds showing off their socalled skills. I shot to kill, not cripple, As I;m disabkled/handicapped and cannot tract a wounded animal. As for guns, use enough to kill the animal you hunting, sometimes better is better than less. Price, buy what you can afford. Ovrbying on a Credit card is why so many families struggling now, Just use common sense, my first gun ws a l6 gag used shotgun. Then as I could afford better firearms I bought what I could afford. As of today, me at 74 yrs old hunt all I;m able to and yet want more guns. Us gun nuts nevr get enough of the one;s we like or want. As for Custom gums, mostly a waste of $.A quality gun can only be improved with a new trigger, but now the Mfgrs realize that and making guns we can adjust ourselves. When you put a gun to your shouldr, it should feel as an extension of your arms and should wt about 9 lbs not 5 lbs. The animal you kill will never knw if he was killed by a 500.oo gun or l5.ooo, dead is dead. As a rule, regardless of cost, most long guns will shoot the first round to point of aim. Gun buyes have bitched for lighter guns for years, now they got them and they kick the snot out of you. A 9 lb gun with a Limbsaver pad, most can handle. I do follow the regulations of shootable game, it's these preditors that worry me. Talk to the people in yellowstone about the # of Elk, taken by Bears yearly, Also talk to the guy/gal attacked by a Cougar on a walking trail . Wolves mostly in packs, and bet you have lots of ammo and be able to climb a tree.Where I hunt in teh Rockies, teh outfitter tells us to kill or shot at allteh Cougars, wolves we see, he hs no problem with it and neither does the game warden in that area, saves him time and effort tracking down thee animals which has gotten into a catle pen and killed dozen calves. So grip to who allows X# of Preditors left to roam. Yep,I will return to same plae this fall, and hopefully a wolf shows his Ass. Shoot straight, good ammo, rifle you can aford. If MArlin ( now owned by Trmington can make the XL7 to sell for near 300.00, it has features the l5K rifles miss. PLan on one shot as 99 % of the time, thats all you gonna get when game is 3-400 yds away.Pratice with a 22 or 2 mag bolt gun if your hunting gun is a bolt, if not then what ever acton you use, pratice with that.Inthe wild, and your Elk is about to take your bullet, and a stray uncollard wild dog comes by and runs your Elk away,would you shoot the dog? Damn right I would. Stray dogs,suppose to be collared or chained, if not then he's fouling up your CHEAP hunt.

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

If yu really must watch your bilford, ( most of us do these days) and want a service-able quality fiearm, go to a large gun shop and realy lok at the T/C Ventura and the MArlin XL7. I think you will be impressed with the workmanship and quality. Get a booklet adn read up o these guns, material,workmanship, good points and bad. Also Look up what Wayne Van Zoll had to say about the XL7, and I'd trust his judgement over any on this BLOG.

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Gunslinger

The shoot every wolf/cougar you see may apply where you hunt,and as I said we hunt in Montana,and saw more wolf than elk tracks last year.
I see your point that there are too many predators in some areas. The excess of wolves/grizzlies around Yellowstone does affect the population,in and outside of the park. Now that we are seeing more wolf hunting,maybe the trend can be reversed.
The gut shooting will give hunters a bad name though,let the Fish and wildlife people take care of the problem,they may not get it right at first,but I beleive they will in time to bring the elk and mulie numbers back up.
Making statements like gut shoot'em and let 'em crawl off to die just gives anti-hunters more to use against us.
It simply is not ethical wildlife management.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

ohiodeerhunter

I believe we agree in principle. I'm not getting into a match with my old buddy 'Gunslinger' either. LOL

I think the key concept for me is "ethics". Everything legal is not necessarily ethical. Ethical is what standard you use when no one is looking over your shoulder. I think the game regulators in the Western States have flubbed the dub with the wolf and predator issue with a lot of help from the buffoons in D.C. I think a lot of folks are tired of the BS from Washington and are 3 S'ing the problem. JMO

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from ewertl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I have a hundred dollar gun I can shoot three in the same hole with that I bought in 1967! I have shot a lot of holes in things over the years, mostly with military match grade weapons, but a lot of hunting also. I don't see the need to spend the money! A Remington will do me just fine!! A gun that you are comfortably with and like to shoot will score better in every phase then anything money can buy!

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from muindawg wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

from a gunsmiths and a guides point of view, if it is too pretty you know where this is going. i guided for a friend who had a tv show. he received a sako in 338 federal with a Leupold 3x9. it wouldn't zero and the trigger was about 13lbs. i have experience with a lot of custom guns. and my remingtons have out shot them all. .243 in 788 Remington consistently shoots 3/8" with 105 gr speer hotcore around 2950 fps. my 700 adl .243 shoot 1/2". my 1958 rem. 740 in .280 rem took an antelope at 80 yds and my deer at 575 yds. even my .22 rem 511 scoremaster shoots less than 3/4" at 100 i normally do a lot of walking and the 740 is awesome to carry and even better to shoot. it has a swift 6 power scope and the total cost was $200 for the rifle and $160 for the scope. it shot less than an inch with the factory peep sight. i agree the custom guns are nice i have a few but not necessary. they are dust collectors. mostly but my remingtons are my tools. i develope a good load and top them with a good scopes. mostly burris. if they don't shoot less than 1" moa i don't own them. for those of you who have screwed up a perfectly good rifle amateur gunsmithing will get you killed or seriously injured. somethings are left to the professionals. the best advice i can give you is develop a plan and don't be a hack. be careful the life you save might be your own or a family members. remember, if there is a problem with your gun, don't disassemble it before you bring it in. it is easier and less expensive to bring it in whole and it makes it easier to diagnose the problem. make nine a Remington please. and the icing burris

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

wmTNHUNTER. Good to hear from you again, loks as if I opened the cattle door, thats Ok, some has to be the escape goat wen all else fails.I nevr shot a Preditor in the gun on purpose, but from the loks of the Ranch I hunt in MT and C0 the Game comm better step in and cull some Cugars and Wolves.Cattle,horses, sheep are some of thoe ranchers livinghood and each time one is killed, thats lost $. One ranch I lost, the rancher lot l2 calves in 2 weeks, the game Cm did zilt. So maybe in jest or realty he stated to kill anything that loked like Coyoe,wolf r Cogar, but if did soto gut shot ad let go else wher to die. Me, i always try to have a killng shot the first shot as that may be all I get.
Custom , or high $ gunszzzzz/ For the life of me, I can;t see paying l5K or more for a so called custom jb. As all most ae made from Rem action or Mausr, maybe a little filing on the trigger works, a A butn bbl and hand engravng. All is cosmetic other than the trigger. Now most co's on even cheap guns . trigges are adjustabe.regardless what you pay for a gun, if you can;t hit your target, you would be just as well off with a slng shot. Our hunting numbes are declinging yearly, I'm near 75 and I now few hunts left even this fall.but do want to go to the Rocies once more, then will jus fiddle here and hunt w-tails, like the l0 pointer i got here lst yer and save 5-7K on a no see game out west. All i care now about the west is tovisit my friends adn maybe hnt a few days, but not exectig Elk r Mulies. The expers estimate at least 35 % less game n the Rockies in past 5 yrs. Soon the Western Rocky Mtn huntes will be ging East of the Miss. to hunt,I hpe e ca charge what they do in the Rockies.My health has gone to the dogs, and just hope can hunt a few days if my on gets my hunt house finshed so can have heat..If you have not seen the Marlin XL7 or Ventue in hand, by all means do so, then tell this bunch of apparently rich duds what a med price gun is like. O you can buy one of them and a Wal-mart 29.95scope and be ready to hunt for les than 375.00, but buy a good scope and make the middle of the road gun a great gun for most hunters. As for custom guns, I cannot see spending al that money agan. I did once and still have the gun, built on a Mauser action. I prefer the 700 CDL and it shots far better than the custom, not quite as pretty but ok.A differet wood, much darker Walnut. Ok, maybe my health will improve by Oct.and can hunt a few days We need to forget w-tals fo a year and kill Coyotes a foxes,our smal game is gone along with the Turkeys. They dd away with the Jan turkey hunt this year,only Spring hunt and nters seeng fewer birds and many more Coyotes. W need to take a 223 tukey huntin for Coyotes. o how i ws I had bought a Savage 23 or hornet or 22 mag oveour a 12 gag then would be covered. Do you like this eeeein every night? i hate it. See you later if can get on.

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

wmTNHUNTER. Good to hear from you again, loks as if I opened the cattle door, thats Ok, some has to be the escape goat wen all else fails.I nevr shot a Preditor in the gun on purpose, but from the loks of the Ranch I hunt in MT and C0 the Game comm better step in and cull some Cugars and Wolves.Cattle,horses, sheep are some of thoe ranchers livinghood and each time one is killed, thats lost $. One ranch I lost, the rancher lot l2 calves in 2 weeks, the game Cm did zilt. So maybe in jest or realty he stated to kill anything that loked like Coyoe,wolf r Cogar, but if did soto gut shot ad let go else wher to die. Me, i always try to have a killng shot the first shot as that may be all I get.
Custom , or high $ gunszzzzz/ For the life of me, I can;t see paying l5K or more for a so called custom jb. As all most ae made from Rem action or Mausr, maybe a little filing on the trigger works, a A butn bbl and hand engravng. All is cosmetic other than the trigger. Now most co's on even cheap guns . trigges are adjustabe.regardless what you pay for a gun, if you can;t hit your target, you would be just as well off with a slng shot. Our hunting numbes are declinging yearly, I'm near 75 and I now few hunts left even this fall.but do want to go to the Rocies once more, then will jus fiddle here and hunt w-tails, like the l0 pointer i got here lst yer and save 5-7K on a no see game out west. All i care now about the west is tovisit my friends adn maybe hnt a few days, but not exectig Elk r Mulies. The expers estimate at least 35 % less game n the Rockies in past 5 yrs. Soon the Western Rocky Mtn huntes will be ging East of the Miss. to hunt,I hpe e ca charge what they do in the Rockies.My health has gone to the dogs, and just hope can hunt a few days if my on gets my hunt house finshed so can have heat..If you have not seen the Marlin XL7 or Ventue in hand, by all means do so, then tell this bunch of apparently rich duds what a med price gun is like. O you can buy one of them and a Wal-mart 29.95scope and be ready to hunt for les than 375.00, but buy a good scope and make the middle of the road gun a great gun for most hunters. As for custom guns, I cannot see spending al that money agan. I did once and still have the gun, built on a Mauser action. I prefer the 700 CDL and it shots far better than the custom, not quite as pretty but ok.A differet wood, much darker Walnut. Ok, maybe my health will improve by Oct.and can hunt a few days We need to forget w-tals fo a year and kill Coyotes a foxes,our smal game is gone along with the Turkeys. They dd away with the Jan turkey hunt this year,only Spring hunt and nters seeng fewer birds and many more Coyotes. W need to take a 223 tukey huntin for Coyotes. o how i ws I had bought a Savage 23 or hornet or 22 mag oveour a 12 gag then would be covered. Do you like this eeeein every night? i hate it. See you later if can get on.

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from Tyke wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Living in the UK the selection of rifles we routinely see for sale probably differs from the 'usual selection' you will see offered in a local gunsmiths in the US. Similarly the price differentials are different for us also as we have to pay import duties etc on US sourced products as well as on European ones so the two are probably much closer in price for us than is the case on your side of the pond. Same for 'scopes, with Leupold [at least the better models] being very close in price to the premier German manufacturers.
That said, Sako's are popular & well regarded, with Tikka being a popular choice for those on a tighter budget - but no doubt you get a better quality product for the extra cost of the Sako. Many have gone down the modular system route with interchangable barrels/ calibres etc & the Blaser or Sauer 202 models are very poular here; although personally I prefer a fixed barrel dedicated calibre rifle. For a while I lusted after a Heym as these are very nicely made & finished & just ''felt right'', but never got one as changing rifles is not easy with our over-zealous policing & frankly I just could be bothered. The other rifle I really wanted was a Sauer 90, this has a camm actioned bolt & was the smoothest bolt I've ever tried- the rest of the rifle was of similarly high quality & it was beautiful to look at too. Sadly they wern't cheap [I seem to recall about 50%[+] dearer than the Sako] & this together with the hassle to change my fire Arms Certificate over meant I never got one.
If I were buying a new rifle now I would by the Sako with their own mounts [which are a lot cheaper than a set of Apels etc] & stick a Fixed power Schmidt und Bender 'scope on top as this I feel would give me the best all -round quality/ accuracy/ handling together with a satisfaction of ownership without being too ridiculously expensive that I was scared to take it out in the rain!
I know if I bought a low cost outfit that didn't entirely satisfy me then I'd end up relacing it with what I wanted & taking a bath on the resale of the first outfit so it would be cheaper to buy the better mid range outfit to start with.
I must add though that my friend bought an old Parker Hale .243 for £150, & whilst it is a bit battered to look at - as is the old Pecar 'scope he has fitted to it, it shoots phenominally tight groups with 100 grain bullets, so why would we really need anything else?
I wish we were able to just add another to the cabinet the way you chaps can, then I could own a number side by side & compare then before deciding what to keep.

Tyke.

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Gunslinger

Sorry to hear about your bad health,I hope that you recover,and can get many more hunts in.
I am sorry for the way I answered your post about the cougars and wolves.
We both want the same thing,more elk,more deer.
My point was giving the anti-hunters things to use against us. We hunt a couple of different areas in MT. when we get elk tags. There seems to be more and more people moving in,more condos,more "city" people who do not like hunting.
Ever since the wolf population went up,the number of elk and mule deer went down. The numbers taken by hunters did not go up,it went down,that means the wolves,cougars,and even the grizzlies are killing too many elk and deer. Maybe it is time for an open season on grizzlies too?
The ranchers we know in Mt. all get permission from FWP,and shoot wolves,as WAmtnhunter said,lose a few cow/calf pairs,and it is some serious money the rancher loses.
I don't think Mt.season will be better this year,they only killed 72 wolves.Not enough. I read an article that said each wolf pack will kill 107 elk per year,FWP says there are 10 packs in Mt. that is a thousand elk killed by wolves every year!Add in what the cougars and grizzlies kill,and that is why there are less elk.
As for the marlin rifles,a close friend got an XL-7 in .270,a package deal at Gander Mountain,came with a mid peice Bushnell scope,shot about an inch out of the box at 100 yds. get an inch and a half at 300 yds,so I say it is a great deal,and a decent rifle. The black synthetic stock is ugly,but it shoots.
I got a Rossi single shot in .243 for my wife,A package deal too,came with a Barska scope,get an inch at 100 yds,and at 300 yds. another good deal and decent rifle. We only shot low price factory ammo out of both rifles,Federal power shok,and Win. super X.Also got a savage model 11 with a lot of numbers after the 11 for my nephew,it shoots a little better with factory ammo, get half inch at 100/300 yds.
Hope you are feeling better,we both want less predators,
lets hope the problem gets taken care of.
Good hunting,hope you are feeling better.

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Bella:You spend your money anyway you so choose, with me, it's guns and hunting. No other hobbies. Yes, I got some high $ guns and some cheaper ones. The middle of the road such as the Rem 700 and Scirocco by Remington works better in my Remington. I pratice with a Marlin 22 mag. The high $ ammo is just that, hight dollart but gets the job done. Use what you want, but as a rule one shot is all you gonna get, so why save a few dollars and used cheapo Ammo. I'm not rich by any means, if ws I'd hunt some country monthly. I just save my $ and hunt MT, C0 and home. Yep 7-10K is a lot of $ for a hunt, but its more than a hunt to me. I see old friends I;ve meet over the years, and we eat well, stay in nice Motels, rent a 4 x 4/ As for being rich my newest vehicle is a 92 model, if I were rich don;t you think I might drive a newer vehicle? I'd rather spend my $ on guns/hunting than cars. A Car is only a means to get me to hunt areas.I've been disabled/handicapped for 20 yrs, and not made a dime of money. However, I did save my $ when worked for 45 yrs. Now I feel I'm entitled to a costly hunt if can find the game now to kill. Unless the Rockies do something about the Cougars, Wolves, Grizs, wan't be many years till they will suffera as NR will not pay 7-10 for a sight seeing tour.If your health was as bad as mine, I expect you would hunt all you could as well, rich or poor. So blow your smoke in another direction and get your facts before you do. Spend your efforts to convince the GAme Depts to help rid the Rockies of the Preditors. Until about 25 yrs ago, I had to drive 300 miles to hunt w-tals, now I hunt l00 yds from my back door. And yes, I've been blessed with being able to go to the Rockies and hunt many times, and if my health permitted so, I would go again this fall. I've never seen a Wells-Fargo truck at a Cemetary yet, have you? And my guns go to my Son and Daughter and they will be RICK if nice guns qualify for such. Shoot-often and straight, and much successful if you can find the game to hunt.Look out for the game farms to tripple in 10 yrs or less.PS: When you spend 6 months in 1990 and 5 months in l991, in the Hospital not knowing if you gonna live the next day, you may decide a 7-10K is cheap.At age 75, few yrs of hunting left in this old body, which most has been replaced or repaired and can only walk about 100 yds with-out assistance These artificial hips and plastic intestines, no Colon, don't last forever, must be replace now and then. Then the infection around the openig in my gut for the l0" of intestine empties into a bag constantly, you feel lucky to get to the woods. Have a good day, they come at a price.

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from Quahog wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Ditto.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

focusfront

You might be able to sell your pre-2010 Marlin's at a premium someday and buy a custom rifle! LOL

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from jay wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

Hard to justify anything more than a weatherby mark 5 or sako.

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from pbshooter1217 wrote 3 years 52 weeks ago

I'm sure a factory rifle will do the average hunter just fine.

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from MStevenson wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Sleepyhead apologizes for the typos.

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

affected

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

wmTNHUNTER. Good to hear from you again, loks as if I opened the cattle door, thats Ok, some has to be the escape goat wen all else fails.I nevr shot a Preditor in the gun on purpose, but from the loks of the Ranch I hunt in MT and C0 the Game comm better step in and cull some Cugars and Wolves.Cattle,horses, sheep are some of thoe ranchers livinghood and each time one is killed, thats lost $. One ranch I lost, the rancher lot l2 calves in 2 weeks, the game Cm did zilt. So maybe in jest or realty he stated to kill anything that loked like Coyoe,wolf r Cogar, but if did soto gut shot ad let go else wher to die. Me, i always try to have a killng shot the first shot as that may be all I get.
Custom , or high $ gunszzzzz/ For the life of me, I can;t see paying l5K or more for a so called custom jb. As all most ae made from Rem action or Mausr, maybe a little filing on the trigger works, a A butn bbl and hand engravng. All is cosmetic other than the trigger. Now most co's on even cheap guns . trigges are adjustabe.regardless what you pay for a gun, if you can;t hit your target, you would be just as well off with a slng shot. Our hunting numbes are declinging yearly, I'm near 75 and I now few hunts left even this fall.but do want to go to the Rocies once more, then will jus fiddle here and hunt w-tails, like the l0 pointer i got here lst yer and save 5-7K on a no see game out west. All i care now about the west is tovisit my friends adn maybe hnt a few days, but not exectig Elk r Mulies. The expers estimate at least 35 % less game n the Rockies in past 5 yrs. Soon the Western Rocky Mtn huntes will be ging East of the Miss. to hunt,I hpe e ca charge what they do in the Rockies.My health has gone to the dogs, and just hope can hunt a few days if my on gets my hunt house finshed so can have heat..If you have not seen the Marlin XL7 or Ventue in hand, by all means do so, then tell this bunch of apparently rich duds what a med price gun is like. O you can buy one of them and a Wal-mart 29.95scope and be ready to hunt for les than 375.00, but buy a good scope and make the middle of the road gun a great gun for most hunters. As for custom guns, I cannot see spending al that money agan. I did once and still have the gun, built on a Mauser action. I prefer the 700 CDL and it shots far better than the custom, not quite as pretty but ok.A differet wood, much darker Walnut. Ok, maybe my health will improve by Oct.and can hunt a few days We need to forget w-tals fo a year and kill Coyotes a foxes,our smal game is gone along with the Turkeys. They dd away with the Jan turkey hunt this year,only Spring hunt and nters seeng fewer birds and many more Coyotes. W need to take a 223 tukey huntin for Coyotes. o how i ws I had bought a Savage 23 or hornet or 22 mag oveour a 12 gag then would be covered. Do you like this eeeein every night? i hate it. See you later if can get on.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Gunslinger

Good to hear from you again. Glad you are feeling better enough to give 'em hell once in a while. Yep, those stock -eating varmints are about to put some of my rancher and outfitter friends in Montana out of business for sure. One friend of mine has stopped using his grazing lease up the Taylor Fork down by Big Sky because of the wolf and grizzly predation. You lose a cow-calf pair and that's some serious change out of your pocket. Multiply that by a dozen or so...

We spent millions of tax dollars getting wolves out of the Montana country and why in the hell these morons thought it best to bring them back I'll never know.

I hope you get some second wind and are able to have a nice summer and get some hunting in this fall. We are going back to Colorado for the same old same old again this year. I hope the game is moving more than last year.

Best regards,
WA Mtnhunter

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

thanks WA Mtn Hunter. Appears you and I only hunters who understand the preditor problem out west now. Even Utah has a closed season this year. Too may Cougars, and Wolves for the # of game. When you hunt 12 days, see no Elk, and only l mulie and l spike buck at 12K feet, something is killing or running off the game and it sure is not the hunters, as this Rancher only allows about 6 hunters to hunt his property. I've not been well for 6 months or longer, and not doing too good at present. If I were to have a great recovery in short order I may yet go to Co or Mt or both. C0 first then up to MT as MT has a 5 week season. But my purpose in MT is more or less a visit with good friends. I'd like one more Elk while yet able to hunt, but my health hs gone deep south and afraid to get more serious. Cheap guns, no such animal. Some just better than others. Most of the gun problem lies with the shooter.Most guns will shot to zero point the first shot, which is all you care about. I can't recall when I had to use a 2nd shot with a rifle. Did hunt with Shotgun with dogs for years, and kinda got my rifle shoting off somewhat, But killed a ground hog a short time back at l50 yds with a zero of l50 with a 22 mag, hit that sucker in the head and he rolled over. We did have many der till couple years ago, then the Coyotes moved in, as Tobacco is goe and most of the guys went into cattle business, of which Coyotes follow the herds for the new borns. Guns again, the MArlin and Venture are all most of us need, mine work well with a Nikon scope. Too many hunters go to wal-marts and buy a Cheap Scope, 29.95 or less and install on the guns made for Wal-mart,and The Co' do make a different gun for them, as I called Rem and was told, order l00 guns and we will make anyway you desire. Just call rem to Verify that. Anyway, hopefully I can get my health improved and able to hunt again this fall. Bought a couple of neow guns, that need to be zeroed and tested. Would love to go back to Craig again, if I have miracle health recovery, maybe I can get back out there.When you out and about, go check the MArlin and Venture by T/C give me your opinion and the other guys on this Blog. I hate this have to sign i esach day for this blog, as it's so slow. Good hunting, Shoot=um=straight and

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

thanks WA Mtn Hunter. Appears you and I only hunters who understand the preditor problem out west now. Even Utah has a closed season this year. Too may Cougars, and Wolves for the # of game. When you hunt 12 days, see no Elk, and only l mulie and l spike buck at 12K feet, something is killing or running off the game and it sure is not the hunters, as this Rancher only allows about 6 hunters to hunt his property. I've not been well for 6 months or longer, and not doing too good at present. If I were to have a great recovery in short order I may yet go to Co or Mt or both. C0 first then up to MT as MT has a 5 week season. But my purpose in MT is more or less a visit with good friends. I'd like one more Elk while yet able to hunt, but my health hs gone deep south and afraid to get more serious. Cheap guns, no such animal. Some just better than others. Most of the gun problem lies with the shooter.Most guns will shot to zero point the first shot, which is all you care about. I can't recall when I had to use a 2nd shot with a rifle. Did hunt with Shotgun with dogs for years, and kinda got my rifle shoting off somewhat, But killed a ground hog a short time back at l50 yds with a zero of l50 with a 22 mag, hit that sucker in the head and he rolled over. We did have many der till couple years ago, then the Coyotes moved in, as Tobacco is goe and most of the guys went into cattle business, of which Coyotes follow the herds for the new borns. Guns again, the MArlin and Venture are all most of us need, mine work well with a Nikon scope. Too many hunters go to wal-marts and buy a Cheap Scope, 29.95 or less and install on the guns made for Wal-mart,and The Co' do make a different gun for them, as I called Rem and was told, order l00 guns and we will make anyway you desire. Just call rem to Verify that. Anyway, hopefully I can get my health improved and able to hunt again this fall. Bought a couple of neow guns, that need to be zeroed and tested. Would love to go back to Craig again, if I have miracle health recovery, maybe I can get back out there.When you out and about, go check the MArlin and Venture by T/C give me your opinion and the other guys on this Blog. I hate this have to sign i esach day for this blog, as it's so slow. Good hunting, Shoot=um=straight and

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from Gunslinger wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Ok, guns it is: I read a lot of old Western Novels, versus watching sorry A----tv shows. Last book I read was very interesting, titled Presacher man. He carried 2 colts on his hips, and 2 in his saddle bags, with grips facing his back. Now, he knew when a gunfight migth occur and he loaded the two front colts with dbouble groved bullets. I take that to mean he put 2 bullets in each cyclynder and the bottom shell was groved? Accuracy was short, but up to about 25 yds, both accurate. In the article, he killed 2 men with one shot, who were standing side by side, and both were shot in the head. Any you guys who ever used B/P round balls or conicals loaded this way? I nevr really liked B/P hunting till i boght a in-line, now I love it, as last 4-5 dear here have been killed with B/P usingPowerbelts @245 gr per ulet. Last year got the l0 pointer at l90 yds with a 200 yd zero,almost a little too high of a zereo, so reduced the point of impact at 200 yds about 3" and now is dead on ar 200. One last thing on gut shooting varmits, by doing so, it leaves the animal in the preditor area and maybe if they /us kill a few of the preditors,m theywill be full for a few days and leave t the Elk and Deer babies longer to get strong enought to outrun the devils. Meat for the freezer or trophy room, are never gut shot, always shoulder or behind front shoulder about l/3 way up. With the Sciroddos they drops in their tracts. Also, when you hunt a ranchrs property for free access and he tells you how to hunt his property, best yo do do. if you want a repeat hunt. Yes, ther are too many wolves and cougars and Grizs in many of the western states and the game comm, needs to issue moe tags or allow hunters to reduce their #'s for the reason I stated. I never saw a Wolf, Cougar or Griz i really liked. Much prefer the Elk, Mulies and Lopes. So us care takers of the land and game best do our part topreserve the game for us now and for our other generations. If I was able, I'd hunt every state where hunting was permitted. Go on a cull hunt at any given ranch and you will cry when you see a nice 8 or larger and the guide says, thats not a annimal on our kill list, maybe in 2-3 yrs when he's fully grown and breed his genes to the remaining Does My Son and I began doing the culling aspect 3 yrs ago and you'd be amazed at the better quality game we now have, we let the does go for now, maybe sometime we will need to eliminate a few of those once we get the herd stabalized as we want it. Good hunting. Shoot often and straigt.PS; Rich or poor, I still think my Rems 700 CDL outpreform most custom built, I'm stupid on custom jobs, a good Rem 700 fits me to a T and has yet not killed with one shot. i do think a 24"bbl is better than a 22 at least for me. time for this old man to lay down and read a tad of the gold old gunfghting days . Do believe I'd prefertto take my 44-40 to work than a Parker Pen Pencile set.Also, any Co's you know of who makes Ammo in 32 Rim fire?

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Gunslinger

Try here for .32 rimfire....

http://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=.32 rimfire ammo

This site showed some in stock .32 rimfire today.
I think a couple of companies make a run of .32 every few years,a friend shoots one,if I can find out where he keeps finding ammo,I'll let you know.

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from Drew McClure wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

What a great topic DP- based on the responses that were longer than your article and too long to bother reading.I was just going to add make sure it fits and its a 7mm and then pay cash to your buddy that works at the gun store so you get 40% off regular price then leave it in his name so when Obama's "Safety" team comes to replace your gun in exchange for food stamps he won't have your address. That's how you procure a boom stick-trigger work optional.

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from Zermoid wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Personally I have no use for option 3 rifles. I had a friend who had a few Weatherbys, and several custom rifles, all very valuable, and you know what? They never saw the light of day, going shooting or hunting he carried a Marlin, Winchester, or a old Arasaka (sp?) that was a nice pre-war one he bought for about $50. He also used an old 1910 Springfield alot too. I think that was it, has that strange looking dog-legged bolt handle on it.
Memory is not working real good today.........

If you ain't gonna shoot it it's just a nice decoration.

Personally, for sheer beauty I'd like a nice Pennsylvania flintlock in 45 or 50 cal with a nicely figured walnut stock..........

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from 1uglymutha wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

how did this discussion go from guns to gut shooting animals, the state of our health and other irrelevancies? someone's been spending too much time on wierd street.

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from Bella wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Gunslinger you say you spend 7 to 10 grand on a hunt? That is awful expensive meat, I would have to conclude that you hunt solely to waste money and pump your ego. While I would never question your right to waste your own dough (as it seems you have faar too much money anyway) why should all the wolves and cougar have to die gut shot to satisfy your enormous sense of self-importance. As you sow, so shall you reap.

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