Gunfight Friday: Model 77 Frontier vs. Interarms Mauser

Today’s fight pits two rifles against one another that don’t have much in common besides turnbolt actions and 7mm bores. … Continued

Today’s fight pits two rifles against one another that don’t have much in common besides turnbolt actions and 7mm bores. One is an elk rifle, the other a compact deer gun. The Interarms Mausers were made in then-Yugoslavia by Zastava and have often been used as the basis for custom rifles. The Ruger Frontier is based on the Ruger Compact, and it’s a short-barreled scout carbine with a scope base intended for an extended or standard eye-relief scope.

Both rifles fire 7mm bullets. The Ruger shoots the mild 7mm-08 while the Mauser is chambered for the roaring 7mm Remington Magnum. Here’s what their owners have to say:

Tony C’s Ruger 77 Frontier

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This is a Ruger 77 Frontier in 7mm-08. A nearby gun shop runs a Ruger special about once a year and I picked up this gun for my kids to hunt with. My daughter might have used it twice. But I fell in love with the little gun along the way. I went 10 of 10 with it on the first ten deer I shot it at. The 7-08 is a mild, pleasant cartridge to shoot. The short, stiff 16-inch barrel is plenty accurate and handles well in a tree stand or for still hunting through brush, and it’s good truck gun, too. I reached for this gun over and over while it was supposed to be my kids’ gun and now it’s my go-to deer gun.

Viszla Guy’s Intearms Mauser

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I carried my dad’s .30-06 for years before I got my first big-game rifle. It’s an Interarms Mark X that I found on the wall of a pawn shop with the stock in bare wood. I took it home to build an elk slayer in 7 mm Rem mag. I added a Redfield “Widefield” Tracker 3-9×40 scope from the same pawn shop. While I had it apart to refinish the stock, I glass-bedded the action and free-floated the thin -taper 24-inch barrel. Next I added a Timney trigger. Then I learned to handload so I could feed it. The accuracy is now confidence-inspiring. It has produced nine one-shot kills on elk.

There are your 7mm choices: a carbine for deer or a rifle for elk. Vote and comment below. Keep the gun pictures coming to fsgunnuts@gmail.com.