It’s deer rifles today, both chambered for the 101-year-old .30/06, a difficult cartridge to argue with under almost any big game-hunting circumstances. We’ve got a semiauto with fancy wood stock versus a bolt-action made as practical as possible.
Dalton’s Montana Rifle
This rifle is what I would call the David E. Petzal special. I have put the gun together over the last year from a list of cool and interesting gear you guys review in your magazine. At first I thought you were paid by the manufacturers to use their equipment. As I began to timidly purchase items though, I found out you aren’t entirely full of it, and I have been very pleased with the end result.
What you see here is a Montana Rifle Co. X2 bolt action in 30/06. It has a Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5–16×50 scope on it along with a Sandstorm Custom Rifle Sling. This is the first rifle I have purchased and it will shoot tighter groups than I can. I am eagerly awaiting the Missouri gun opener to hopefully tag a whitetail with it while putting the gun through its first field trial. I have few concerns, as the gun is rock solid.
My Dad gave me this .30/06 Remington 7400 a couple of years ago when he bought a new deer rifle. It has factory engraving and upgraded wood. This year I topped it with an old El Paso Weaver K4 in super-low Leupold mounts. These allow me to get a solid cheek weld. The old Weaver fogs occasionally, and it has a couple of chips in the rear lens, but I like the look of the old blued-steel scope, so I put up with it.
This buck was in hot pursuit of a petite yearling doe. I heard him grunting right before he cruised around the side of a knob I was watching. I was only 45 minutes into my deer season when I pulled the trigger.
Thanks, Dalton, for your kind words. It is true that manufacturers don’t pay us, and we try to remember at all times we work for the readers of Field & Stream, not advertisers. As for today’s rifles, vote and comment below, and keep the gun pictures coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.