Heavy rifles just aren’t fun any longer; I think I need new guns!

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Back in my misspent youth I bought rifles with certain criteria in mind. Today I’m doing the opposite. Is there any pleasing the hardcore gun nut?
As I get older (and, perhaps, lazier) my taste in rifles is changing. I used to look at every rifle with a mind toward tack-driving accuracy (“only accurate rifles are interesting” was my mantra.) To that end I wanted fast, flat-shooting rounds and heavy barrels; stocks with lots of adjustments; and of course scopes with large objectives and big target turrets.

The problem, however, is carrying the things around in the field. I don’t mean to sound like a wimp (and after a weekend of setting concrete culvert sections I don’t think anyone would claim that I am), but I’m getting tired of lugging those things around!

I find myself instead drawn to lighter weight rifles, with thinner and shorter barrels, chambered in more reasonable cartridges. As a result I contemplate getting rid of what I thought were my “forever” guns, like the 6.5-284 rifles set up for the known distance range; great rifles and phenomenally accurate, but long, heavy, and a pain-in-the-rear to reload.

Even my Savage Model 10 Precision Carbine in .308 (the opening photo), a wonderful rifle, is getting a little heavy these days. It’s very accurate for a carbine-length arm, but it’s not good enough to play serious long range games and at the same time it’s a little ungainly to lug through the woods (especially with a decent-sized scope attached.)

What would replace them? Probably something in a .260 Remington, or maybe even a .358 Winchester. Both of those cartridges have great appeal from a hunting standpoint (though the .260 would be a better choice for any longer distance work.) I’m thinking a good platform would be something along the lines of a short, Mannlicher-stocked rifle with a low-power, low-profile scope. It would do everything I need for hunting and, carefully made, would be more than accurate enough for any long-range shooting I might care to do.

Then again, we all know how this works: if I sold of any of those guns I’d regret doing so a short time later, even if I never shot them again. Guess I’ll just have to buy more guns, but that raises a very troubling question: how did my Dad and my Uncles ever become great hunters owning only one gun?!?

-=[ Grant ]=-


About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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