In April 1996, Layne Simpson, Gary Sitton, Finn Agaard and I met at gunmaker Kenny Jarrett’s South Carolina establishment to do a massive and earth-shaking piece on deer rifles. In the spare time I had, I went rooting (not unlike a hog after truffles) through Kenny’s inventory room  where he keeps finished guns and found a left-hand .30/06 based on a Remington Model 700 action.

It was a demonstrator gun that Kenny kept around to show his southpaw customers, but it was not quite glamorous enough for that purpose, being all black (no camo or Confederate flags) and in the distinctly unglamorous .30/06. And it was heavy–8 1/2 pounds without scope.

But I loved it at first sight, and when Kenny quoted me a price that was less than the Bolivian GNP, I said I’d buy it if he sawed off the muzzle brake, so he did, and I did. Smartest money I ever spent. When they come to pry my gun from my cold dead fingers, this is the rifle they will pry.

It is not only very accurate (groups as small as .600-inch) it’s accurate with anything you stuff into it. I think you could feed it black powder and .308 lead wire and it would shoot well. It will not shift its point of impact even when shot hot, and it never ever malfunctions. I’ve shot it in competition for 10 years, much of that rapid fire, and it’s never bobbled through a couple of thousand rounds.

I’ve killed my two biggest whitetails (in Arkansas and Saskatchewan) with it, and my biggest mule deer (Wyoming). It’s unglamorous, but it’s also the rifle of a lifetime.