Your Favorite Rifle And The Story That Goes With...

ScottR

Eastmans' Staff / Moderator
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Feb 3, 2014
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Every one of us has a favorite rifle or two. For me it has very little to do with the caliber but more so the memories that go with it.

For instance...here is my Savage Model 111 chambered in .300 Win. Mag sitting next to a backcountry bull that tops my list because of the crazy story associated with it. This rifle killed my best bull, but it also killed a bull that about tried to kill Brandon and I on the packout. Brandon and I decided we were tough and that we could easily get the bull out in one trip if we just toughed it out...
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This bull got his revenge that year and not long after this hunt my research into stock animals went full bore. The rifle though is still one of my favorites and it is proudly hanging out in my safe waiting for the next story of misery!

This thumbnail for this video is actually of Brandon with half of the meat all boned out. I will let him tell the story of how this trip felt for him, but let's just say that friendships formed in adversity tend to last a while...
 

kidoggy

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Apr 23, 2016
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idaho
my winchester mod 70 extreme weather .270 it is a tack driver . it just works for me and I love it. seems when I go out I almost always grab it. I have always tended to just pick one rifle and caliber. for big game .270 has always been my choice.

for predators , my .223 ruger m77 is my go to. I have killed hundreds of coyotes with it and even kilt my mtn lion with it at 200 yards or so.


have only had it for a few years now but have used it to kill three or four deer ,two elk and two antelope.
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Colorado Cowboy

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Jun 8, 2011
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Dolores, Colorado
It is my very first big bore rifle. In about 1950, my grandfather bought 8 surplus WWII rifles thru the NRA. 4 03 Springfields and 4 1917 Enfields. Even tho I was only 9 years old, he gave my dad one for me. Dad cut down and reworked the military stock and reloaded some light 30-06 ammo and I started shooting it when I was about 11. When I was 12, I shot my first deer with it. It still had the military sights on it.

Back in the 50's you could sporterize a surplus rifle cheaper than you buy a new one. We blued it, drilled & tapped for a scope, altered the bolt to clear a scope and I got a new Weaver K3 for my 14th birthday. As I grew, I outgrew the altered military stock. I had a woodshop teacher in high school who liked to hunt and shoot and he agreed to mentor me making a new stock for my rifle. I took it to school, he helped me pick out some wood and I got started. It took me all semester to make the stock. The wood is tiger stripe Maple. I used some Zebra wood for the tip and grip cap. It was real nice and it shot great.

I later put a Timney trigger and safety on it and glass bedded the stock. It was the only big game rifle I owned for about 10 years. I shot a lot of deer and antelope with it. It now has a Leupold VXIII 3x10 on it. It sits in my gun cabinet and gets shot every year in case I need it for backup. It still shoots sub moa with the original military barrel. The stock is 54 years old. The bottom picture is in 1954 when I was 13 on a deer hunting trip to the High Sierras in California.3247432479
 
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memtb

Member
For myself, I guess it goes back to around the mid-60’s. I was starting to read a lot of hunting stories in Outdoor Life and any hunting/gun publication I could get my hands on. My reading continued into the early 70’s especially anything by the late Elmer Keith. I knew that I had to hunt Alaska and Africa, and I also knew that I had to have a Winchester Model 70 in .375 H&H.

I got that rifle around 1982, and in 1985 fullfilled another one of the dreams from my early teens ....I moved to Wyoming! With that rifle, I took my first Pronghorn, Mule Deer, Elk, Moose , and Black Bear.

I retired that rifle in March of 1990, wanting a lighter, more weather resistant hunting rifle. I had a rifle built that was based on a Winchester Model 70 .375 H&H action. I had a a semi-custom .375 AI built with a lightweight SS Douglas Match Barrel with Express sights, resting in a McMillian stock, a Leupold 2.5-8 mounted in Leupold QR base/rings. This has been my “only” hunting rifle since I got it in March of 1990.

While my AI, has been my only hunting rifle since 1990, it can never replace the rifle that fulfilled the fantasies of a kid wanting to hunt exotic game in far away places! memtb
 

dan maule

Very Active Member
Jan 3, 2015
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Upper Michigan
My favorite is a Remington Sportsman 78 in 270 win. My father bought it for me when I was 12 it was a great honor for me. I killed my first buck with that rifle. I am the youngest of a very large family 12 boys and 3 girls. Getting ready for opening day of Michigan's deer season was a big deal, and my dad had to sight in, get ammo and find places for all of us younger boys to hunt and a lot of other things. The first year I had the gun we arrived at camp the day before opening day and I was carrying it over my shoulder using it's sling and I threw a duffel bag over my other shoulder. I had no idea that when I flung the bag over my shoulder it landed on the scope and bent the eye piece. Later that day I decided to clean the gun and I could not open the bolt all the way because it was hitting the eye piece of the scope. Since it was the day before opening day (anyone from Michigan will understand the intense anticipation of opening day) and we did not have another scope, my dad took a flat file and filed down the bolt handle so it slip past the bent scope. After getting the bolt to open he shot the gun and it was still hitting where it should. I ended up hunting for about 3 years with a bent scope until I could afford to buy a new one.

My dad has since past away and the gun means more to me now than it did when I first got it. I have purchase many rifles since, but at least 1 time every year I will take my old 270 out during deer season.
 

JimP

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Mar 28, 2016
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Mine would be my 30-06 Savage Super Sporter

My uncle gave it to me when I was 5 years old. The story behind it is that he was simply a drunk, he also worked with my dad. Dad had quite possibly bailed his older brother out of jail more times that you would think was humanly possible. But my uncle would call and my dad would head down to the local jail. Come to find out my uncle did this with the other 5 brothers that he had, I'm not sure about his 4 sisters.

After I had it I guess that he had also given it away to all of his brothers and others. One year my dad told me that one of my other uncles came up to him and asked for Leon's 06 and that Leon had given it to him in exchange for some money and getting him out of jail a few times. My dad just told him that he would have to come talk to me about it and that the rifle was mine. No one ever asked me about it until way later in life, but I still have it.

I also shot it when I was 5. My dad drove up the canyon to a bar that a friend of his and my mom owned. Near the parking area was a large open field with a old tunnel at the end of it. I do remember shooting it but that is about it. It could of knocked me out but I don't ever remember going to look at what I was actually shooting at. That rifle sat in the "gun" closet for a number of years until I got tired of the jack rabbits running just out of range of the shotguns and 22's that we all were packing. While hunting jacks I would let the shot gunners have their turn then those packing 22's would open up if the rabbits were still running. Any that made it past the 22 shooters range were prime for me. Most would stop and sit broadside while I would take aim through the peep sight and send a 150 grain bullet on its way. There weren't too many rabbits that got away from that 06 all the way out to 200 yards, I figured that if I could see them I could hit them.

I also learned how to hit running game animals with it. We would take old tires up to the top of a hill with pieces of cardboard inside of them covering up the hole. We would then leave one person up on top and the rest of us would go down the hill a ways before the person on top would start rolling the tires down the hill. You never knew just when you were going to get a weird bounce when the tire hit a rock or a piece of brush. But we learned how to lead running game animals and put the shot where it belonged with that rifle.

I also killed my first dozen or so deer with it. Towards it's end the first shot was usually right where it was suppose to be, the second shot would open up a ways and the third shot would be a who knows where. The barrel was shot out and I didn't want to rebarrel it but I thought about changing it over to a .25-06. I added up all the empties that I had saved over the years and I had put over 2000 rounds through that rifle, who know how many rounds had gone through it before I got it but I am sure it was quite a few. It was made in 1935.

It now has a place in my safe inside of a gun sock. I'll take it out and clean it once a year and just remember all the fun times that we had together. I have newer rifles, more powerful rifles, more accurate ones also, but that 06 will be with me forever.
 

Kodiak

Member
Oct 27, 2014
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56
What a great thread. There isn’t much better than a good rifle story.

Mine would have to be my one and only hunting rifle. I had grown up shooting the families .243 for back tail and mountain goats on kodiak. When I was 17 I worked all summer saving money, and when I turned 18 i went down to the local sporting good story and bought a Winchester model 70 extreme weather SS chambered in 30-06. At that point it was the first large hunting purchase I had made. Over the last 10 years i have hunted deer, elk, bear, antelope, mtn lion, caribou and sheep with that rifle and have not have any reason to buy anything different, it shoots great, has fantastic ballance and looks good. and you cant beat the 30-06 for versatility.

The photo is of the rifle the second year I had it and a small black tail on Kodiak. It made me chuckle looking at the pack I used. I had bought three different packs from Salvation Army and used parts and pieces from each to make on hunting pack. I think i had about 10$ into the three packs and 15$ in bungee cords and zip ties to make the whole thing work.
 

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mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
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midwest
My family was not big game hunters so I don’t have any heirloom guns with a rich history. I grew up on the ranch quail hunting with my Dad but not big game. My favorite is “Maggie” my custom 264 win mag M70 by Flint Hills Gun Works. She has been rebuilt and improved a couple times, but she just seems to always get the job done. My best antelope of 79”, my best muley of 200”, and a pair of whitetail that gross 198” have all fallen to this rifle among others. I call her my interior decorator and named my second daughter after her. She has a 5-20x Huskemaw with the 50mm objective for whitetail in low light


The second I have not had as long. It’s a custom 300 win mag M70 by Rifles Inc. It’s their lightweight 70 with a slightly heavier fluted barrel and a few other mods. It has taken all my Alaskan game and a couple decent muleys plus a few nice whitetail. I really like the rifle when I need that much power and bullet weight, or when weight is extremely important. Ready to hunt with the 3-12x Huskemaw, sling, and loaded it weighs 8.25lbs.

I have others I like but these are my favorites.
 

Colorado Cowboy

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Jun 8, 2011
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Dolores, Colorado
My family was not big game hunters so I don’t have any heirloom guns with a rich history. I grew up on the ranch quail hunting with my Dad but not big game. My favorite is “Maggie” my custom 264 win mag M70 by Flint Hills Gun Works. She has been rebuilt and improved a couple times, but she just seems to always get the job done. My best antelope of 79”, my best muley of 200”, and a pair of whitetail that gross 198” have all fallen to this rifle among others. I call her my interior decorator and named my second daughter after her. She has a 5-20x Huskemaw with the 50mm objective for whitetail in low light


The second I have not had as long. It’s a custom 300 win mag M70 by Rifles Inc. It’s their lightweight 70 with a slightly heavier fluted barrel and a few other mods. It has taken all my Alaskan game and a couple decent muleys plus a few nice whitetail. I really like the rifle when I need that much power and bullet weight, or when weight is extremely important. Ready to hunt with the 3-12x Huskemaw, sling, and loaded it weighs 8.25lbs.

I have others I like but these are my favorites.
Your 2 will suffice for almost everything we have in North American for sure. The big bears might be another subject for discussion!
 
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go_deep

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Nov 30, 2014
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Wyoming
I have an uncle who is 82 and hunted "out west" for decades and filled lots of tags, but never got a big bull elk. He had a match pair of Browning A Bolt .270 Winchester. Several years ago he gave me one. Its my favorite gun by far, and one day through me or my son, he'll get that big bull with his gun.
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,135
122
midwest
Your 2 will suffice for almost everything we have in North American for sure. The big bears might be another subject for discussion!
I thought about going with a 338 win mag instead of a 300 win mag when building the second rifle. I decided that I did not want the extra recoil in the light rifle. I also decided that if I can ever afford to hunt a big bear, I can afford a 20” barrel 375 Ruger to hunt it with. I already have a 1-6x Huskemaw on another rifle I can swap to it if that day comes.