Hunting With My Less Accurate Rifles

Mustangs Rule

Active member
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
159
Hunting With My Less Accurate Rifles



This fall will be my 59th hunting season. I think. Maybe it will be my 60th or even my 58th. Hard to tell. I grew up on my families dairy farm where I had a year round dep permit to hunt deer. When the meat got low, I went out and shot a deer.



Life was that simple.



My best memory is that I have had 55 center fire rifles. Maybe 56 or maybe 54. Hard to be accurate getting into my mid 70’s. Looking back, a few stand proud and strong above most others.



One, a beautiful Safari Grade Belgium Browning bolt action 30-06,,,,with a French walnut stock and it’s pencil thin barrel, it was about as stable as I was after drinking too many beers and riding a 65 BSA Lightning Rocket Motorcycle. I took my desert ram with it,,,,at 125 yards. I have owned it for 49 years.



Another, is a custom 35 Whelen made on a FN Belgium Mauser action. It was the last rifle a life long friend made for me. He was a master gunsmith,,,,learned his trade on the GI bill after coming back from the Korean War,,,, limping badly,,,but with a Silver Star. With it’s 4x fixed scope,,,with that clumsy looking huge fat vertical post reticle ,,,so easy to see in dim light, it was,,,still is a thunder-stick that drops elk and deer in their tracks when I surprise them in the thick dark timber.



Yet another is heavy standard weight pre 64 Winchester Model 70 in .270. As all American as Mom, apple pie, and rolling around with Peggy Sue in the back of a 57 Chevy. Boy was the 283 a great engine. This .270 was once my grassland/antelope rifle,,,back in the days when I was a Wyoming resident and antelope tags could be bought in small bundles. I hunted the plains with it and also used to hunt with it up in high mountain meadows,,, saw lots of grizzly tracks and loaded it with those 180 grain Barnes originals,,,”just in case”.



All these rifles can be finicky,,,,blue steel and walnut stocks that dance around as the weather changes like records change at 60’s high school dance. With old fixed scopes they will never be 500 yard rifles,,,300 max.,,,!



Over these past some years,,,maybe a few decades, I have left these old friends in the safe as I bought stainless steel, synthetic stocks wonders with variable power scopes,,,,,all the way up to 3-9’s.



My Sako Finn light in .308 and Kimber Hunter in 280AI are so very accurate, light as feathers and never have an unstable moment. I have however decided that they are going to sit out this next, 59th, or 60th, or even 58th whatever it is, big game hunting season. I have some “Old Friends” that have sat in my dark gun safe for a bit too long. They need some sunlight,,,and the inch of change in POI never made a damn bit of difference anyway.



Any hunting season now could be my last one,,,my last chance, to dance around the mountains with these true old hunting partners. My two legged hunting partners are all either dead or done for,,,usually overweight, from over use of fork and spoon. I hunt alone now,,,but with an In Reach GPS Spot device,,, when I get something, I call in the cavalry,,get pack horses in for recovery. I can still hike and hunt the steep country,,,but carrying much meat out is too hard



Yep I decided from now on,,,I am saving these last “hunting dances” for a chance to pair up with these old rifles. It’s been a helluva hunting party we shared together.



Mustangs Rule.



 

Jbotto

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
517
Location
Big Horn Basin, WY
I’m going to be trying to keep the older nostalgic ones in rotation for the easy farmland doe tags. I don’t want to leave any of the old ones out for more than a couple years in rotation.
 

T.R.

Member
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
25
When I was a teen, my friend made up his own gun from two that were not functional. He attached a bolt action 12 gauge shotgun to a rifle stock with many wraps of wire. The fit was poor and there may have been some safety concerns as well. Accuracy was quite awful. But on opening day, a large 10 point whitetail buck was shot while sneaking along a wooded ridgeline. He aimed for the chest but the slug struck the hind leg. Reloading as quickly as he could, my friend shot again; this time the heavy slug impacted the neck and downed the animal. My friend's Dad was so proud that he bought a Winchester 30-30 for his son. The wired together gun was junked.

Moral of the story: sometimes luck come into play as there were no injuries from this junk gun.

TR
 

JT13

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 13, 2017
Messages
702
Location
PA
I've mostly thinned out the herd of guns that are sub-par and don't have sentimental value. Still way more than anyone could ever justify as being necessary. Around here you can probably hunt with anything and get away with it. Not too many places that 2-3 MOA isn't good enough to get by. If I know I'm hunting somewhere where long shots are not a possibility I will often leave a more accurate gun in the safe for something with a little more sentiment.
 

Mustangs Rule

Active member
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
159
I've mostly thinned out the herd of guns that are sub-par and don't have sentimental value. Still way more than anyone could ever justify as being necessary. Around here you can probably hunt with anything and get away with it. Not too many places that 2-3 MOA isn't good enough to get by. If I know I'm hunting somewhere where long shots are not a possibility I will often leave a more accurate gun in the safe for something with a little more sentiment.
My Sako Finnlite and Kimber hunter will both cloverleaf for the first few shots. They can shoot as tight as 5/16 " at 100 yards.

All these older rifles I mentioned will shoot one inch to 1 1/4" groups at 100 yards off a bench for the first few shots.

Typically after being in the safe, the POI moves , maybe an inch,,,wooden stocks being what they are.

My Sako and Kimber are totally stable.
 

Pamountainman

New member
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
23
Hunting With My Less Accurate Rifles



This fall will be my 59th hunting season. I think. Maybe it will be my 60th or even my 58th. Hard to tell. I grew up on my families dairy farm where I had a year round dep permit to hunt deer. When the meat got low, I went out and shot a deer.



Life was that simple.



My best memory is that I have had 55 center fire rifles. Maybe 56 or maybe 54. Hard to be accurate getting into my mid 70’s. Looking back, a few stand proud and strong above most others.



One, a beautiful Safari Grade Belgium Browning bolt action 30-06,,,,with a French walnut stock and it’s pencil thin barrel, it was about as stable as I was after drinking too many beers and riding a 65 BSA Lightning Rocket Motorcycle. I took my desert ram with it,,,,at 125 yards. I have owned it for 49 years.



Another, is a custom 35 Whelen made on a FN Belgium Mauser action. It was the last rifle a life long friend made for me. He was a master gunsmith,,,,learned his trade on the GI bill after coming back from the Korean War,,,, limping badly,,,but with a Silver Star. With it’s 4x fixed scope,,,with that clumsy looking huge fat vertical post reticle ,,,so easy to see in dim light, it was,,,still is a thunder-stick that drops elk and deer in their tracks when I surprise them in the thick dark timber.



Yet another is heavy standard weight pre 64 Winchester Model 70 in .270. As all American as Mom, apple pie, and rolling around with Peggy Sue in the back of a 57 Chevy. Boy was the 283 a great engine. This .270 was once my grassland/antelope rifle,,,back in the days when I was a Wyoming resident and antelope tags could be bought in small bundles. I hunted the plains with it and also used to hunt with it up in high mountain meadows,,, saw lots of grizzly tracks and loaded it with those 180 grain Barnes originals,,,”just in case”.



All these rifles can be finicky,,,,blue steel and walnut stocks that dance around as the weather changes like records change at 60’s high school dance. With old fixed scopes they will never be 500 yard rifles,,,300 max.,,,!



Over these past some years,,,maybe a few decades, I have left these old friends in the safe as I bought stainless steel, synthetic stocks wonders with variable power scopes,,,,,all the way up to 3-9’s.



My Sako Finn light in .308 and Kimber Hunter in 280AI are so very accurate, light as feathers and never have an unstable moment. I have however decided that they are going to sit out this next, 59th, or 60th, or even 58th whatever it is, big game hunting season. I have some “Old Friends” that have sat in my dark gun safe for a bit too long. They need some sunlight,,,and the inch of change in POI never made a damn bit of difference anyway.



Any hunting season now could be my last one,,,my last chance, to dance around the mountains with these true old hunting partners. My two legged hunting partners are all either dead or done for,,,usually overweight, from over use of fork and spoon. I hunt alone now,,,but with an In Reach GPS Spot device,,, when I get something, I call in the cavalry,,get pack horses in for recovery. I can still hike and hunt the steep country,,,but carrying much meat out is too hard



Yep I decided from now on,,,I am saving these last “hunting dances” for a chance to pair up with these old rifles. It’s been a helluva hunting party we shared together.



Mustangs Rule.



A great story, I hope I make that many seasons..best of luck🍀🍀
 

ol_spark

Active member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
286
Location
NW Pa
Those old sentimental guns that only shoot “minute of critter” get it done for lots of old timers. They don’t need those fancy guns for putting meat in the pot. Have a great year and post a picture or two.
 

Cheesehead

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
502
Hunting With My Less Accurate Rifles



This fall will be my 59th hunting season. I think. Maybe it will be my 60th or even my 58th. Hard to tell. I grew up on my families dairy farm where I had a year round dep permit to hunt deer. When the meat got low, I went out and shot a deer.



Life was that simple.



My best memory is that I have had 55 center fire rifles. Maybe 56 or maybe 54. Hard to be accurate getting into my mid 70’s. Looking back, a few stand proud and strong above most others.



One, a beautiful Safari Grade Belgium Browning bolt action 30-06,,,,with a French walnut stock and it’s pencil thin barrel, it was about as stable as I was after drinking too many beers and riding a 65 BSA Lightning Rocket Motorcycle. I took my desert ram with it,,,,at 125 yards. I have owned it for 49 years.



Another, is a custom 35 Whelen made on a FN Belgium Mauser action. It was the last rifle a life long friend made for me. He was a master gunsmith,,,,learned his trade on the GI bill after coming back from the Korean War,,,, limping badly,,,but with a Silver Star. With it’s 4x fixed scope,,,with that clumsy looking huge fat vertical post reticle ,,,so easy to see in dim light, it was,,,still is a thunder-stick that drops elk and deer in their tracks when I surprise them in the thick dark timber.



Yet another is heavy standard weight pre 64 Winchester Model 70 in .270. As all American as Mom, apple pie, and rolling around with Peggy Sue in the back of a 57 Chevy. Boy was the 283 a great engine. This .270 was once my grassland/antelope rifle,,,back in the days when I was a Wyoming resident and antelope tags could be bought in small bundles. I hunted the plains with it and also used to hunt with it up in high mountain meadows,,, saw lots of grizzly tracks and loaded it with those 180 grain Barnes originals,,,”just in case”.



All these rifles can be finicky,,,,blue steel and walnut stocks that dance around as the weather changes like records change at 60’s high school dance. With old fixed scopes they will never be 500 yard rifles,,,300 max.,,,!



Over these past some years,,,maybe a few decades, I have left these old friends in the safe as I bought stainless steel, synthetic stocks wonders with variable power scopes,,,,,all the way up to 3-9’s.



My Sako Finn light in .308 and Kimber Hunter in 280AI are so very accurate, light as feathers and never have an unstable moment. I have however decided that they are going to sit out this next, 59th, or 60th, or even 58th whatever it is, big game hunting season. I have some “Old Friends” that have sat in my dark gun safe for a bit too long. They need some sunlight,,,and the inch of change in POI never made a damn bit of difference anyway.



Any hunting season now could be my last one,,,my last chance, to dance around the mountains with these true old hunting partners. My two legged hunting partners are all either dead or done for,,,usually overweight, from over use of fork and spoon. I hunt alone now,,,but with an In Reach GPS Spot device,,, when I get something, I call in the cavalry,,get pack horses in for recovery. I can still hike and hunt the steep country,,,but carrying much meat out is too hard



Yep I decided from now on,,,I am saving these last “hunting dances” for a chance to pair up with these old rifles. It’s been a helluva hunting party we shared together.



Mustangs Rule.



Very well written. Thanks
 

Cav1

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
211
Location
Central Montana
It's good to bring out and dust off the old friends now again. I've taken at least deer with every long gun I own. If a rifle isn't blooded, I can hear the other guns in the safe making fun of it late at night.
 

oleefish2

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
733
Location
wy
Hunting With My Less Accurate Rifles



This fall will be my 59th hunting season. I think. Maybe it will be my 60th or even my 58th. Hard to tell. I grew up on my families dairy farm where I had a year round dep permit to hunt deer. When the meat got low, I went out and shot a deer.



Life was that simple.



My best memory is that I have had 55 center fire rifles. Maybe 56 or maybe 54. Hard to be accurate getting into my mid 70’s. Looking back, a few stand proud and strong above most others.



One, a beautiful Safari Grade Belgium Browning bolt action 30-06,,,,with a French walnut stock and it’s pencil thin barrel, it was about as stable as I was after drinking too many beers and riding a 65 BSA Lightning Rocket Motorcycle. I took my desert ram with it,,,,at 125 yards. I have owned it for 49 years.



Another, is a custom 35 Whelen made on a FN Belgium Mauser action. It was the last rifle a life long friend made for me. He was a master gunsmith,,,,learned his trade on the GI bill after coming back from the Korean War,,,, limping badly,,,but with a Silver Star. With it’s 4x fixed scope,,,with that clumsy looking huge fat vertical post reticle ,,,so easy to see in dim light, it was,,,still is a thunder-stick that drops elk and deer in their tracks when I surprise them in the thick dark timber.



Yet another is heavy standard weight pre 64 Winchester Model 70 in .270. As all American as Mom, apple pie, and rolling around with Peggy Sue in the back of a 57 Chevy. Boy was the 283 a great engine. This .270 was once my grassland/antelope rifle,,,back in the days when I was a Wyoming resident and antelope tags could be bought in small bundles. I hunted the plains with it and also used to hunt with it up in high mountain meadows,,, saw lots of grizzly tracks and loaded it with those 180 grain Barnes originals,,,”just in case”.



All these rifles can be finicky,,,,blue steel and walnut stocks that dance around as the weather changes like records change at 60’s high school dance. With old fixed scopes they will never be 500 yard rifles,,,300 max.,,,!



Over these past some years,,,maybe a few decades, I have left these old friends in the safe as I bought stainless steel, synthetic stocks wonders with variable power scopes,,,,,all the way up to 3-9’s.



My Sako Finn light in .308 and Kimber Hunter in 280AI are so very accurate, light as feathers and never have an unstable moment. I have however decided that they are going to sit out this next, 59th, or 60th, or even 58th whatever it is, big game hunting season. I have some “Old Friends” that have sat in my dark gun safe for a bit too long. They need some sunlight,,,and the inch of change in POI never made a damn bit of difference anyway.



Any hunting season now could be my last one,,,my last chance, to dance around the mountains with these true old hunting partners. My two legged hunting partners are all either dead or done for,,,usually overweight, from over use of fork and spoon. I hunt alone now,,,but with an In Reach GPS Spot device,,, when I get something, I call in the cavalry,,get pack horses in for recovery. I can still hike and hunt the steep country,,,but carrying much meat out is too hard



Yep I decided from now on,,,I am saving these last “hunting dances” for a chance to pair up with these old rifles. It’s been a helluva hunting party we shared together.



Mustangs Rule.



Thank you for this great story, as another long tooth hunter I feel very much the same way
 

tarheel

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 7, 2010
Messages
2,097
Location
Piedmont region of North Carolina
As you opined, the last dance may have come and gone with the exception of local whitetails, birds and rabbits. I'll likely never smell the sagebrush or the spicy scent of an aspen grove again, the mustang is still stored awaiting restoration, and in two years I'll join the ranks of the octogenarians, What a revolting thought!
 

shoots-straight

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 6, 2005
Messages
6,266
Location
Bitterroot Valley
Sorry to have missed this piece when you first wrote it. As one ages you can understand the desire to relive the past.

My dad died in May of 2003 and that fall my brother took his old 270 win out and killed a nice bull. Best that rifle ever shot was 2" groups. It was retired after that.

Go for it.
 
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