Rifles photo

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In 1973, Remington began making the Model 700 left-handed, and I immediately got a .270 barreled action and sent it to Russ Carpenter, a fine all-around gunsmith and friend of mine, to stock. Russ procured an English walnut blank from Fajen (Remember Fajen?) in their classic pattern. Because it was to be a working rifle, we ordered single-X grade wood. But when Russ cut into it for the final shaping it turned into a triple-X. It was a lovely dark honey color.

The finished rifle weighed just 8 pounds with a scope aboard. The only load I ever shot in it was 130-grain old-style Nosler Partitions loaded very hot. I got a ton of use out of the rifle and once, while crawling under a barbed-wire fence in Montana, I got a deep scratch on the stock down near the buttplate. It was so deep that, in trying to sand it out, I put a shallow crater in the wood.

In 1978, Ed Zern, who also shot left-handed, admired the rifle and I sold it to him. A couple of days later, aghast at what I’d done, I literally begged him to sell it back and he did, informing me at the time that I was an a-hole. I proved Ed right when I sold it again a couple of months later, and this time I did not get it back.

Of all the dumb sales I’ve made this is the dumbest, and if I ever see that gun again I will buy it, regardless of the cost, and have it medically attached to my person.