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 ]=-