Men I Knew, Who Hunted Thier Entire Lives, With Just One Rifle.

Mustangs Rule

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Feb 4, 2021
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414
My hunting mentor in Alaska (now in his 80s) used a
Winchester pre-64 Model 70 in 300 H & H for everything
from tiny Sitka blacktails to big grizzly bear/moose.

His farthest shot was 350 yards on a Boone & Crockett moose.
He was not a plinker...he did not practice...always shot a 180gr partition.
Each fall, he checked his rifle for 3 inches high at 300 yards and was good to go.
Thank you, your post was impressive. It seems that the more someone really needs a firearm the fewer they have, but what they do have is the best, and they know how to use it.
 

nards444

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Jan 14, 2022
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realistically it can be done with the right rifle and caliber. Also lets you get comfortable and accurate. With that said I have a lever gun for brush and close in, out west gun for range, normal around NY gun, and lastly a trash gun for weather/scenarios where I dont care if it gets broke etc.

With that said would one gun fit all for me, probably. Would one gun do all that I need great, NO!
 

shrapnel

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Aug 27, 2015
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1,127
That is one of the most impressive photos I have ever seen in my life. It speaks volumes of the man your father was.
I have a photo of my maternal grandfather taken during the great depression. He is standing next to a huge draft horse.
People just get mesmerized by full humanness they see.
There is a Spartan quality in your dad, yet kindness is there in abundance.
I like having a small core of fine firearms that are appropriate to my needs, with some exra wiggle room. but not too much. Having as many guns as you have would be a source of irritation for me. To each their own. I could get along just fine with what your dad had, just add a shotgun for upland birds. A Springfield is a noble firearm, so is a Mauser and would add most older Winchesters and Savage 99's. They came from era when quaitiy and reliability really mattered. They were build by true craftsmen.

For handguns, vintage Colts and pinned barreld Smith and Wessons revolvers said all I need to hear. I have a couple revolvers, nothing so pristiine that I cannot feel good about taking them afield.

During my residential contractior years I figured a 1/4 of my work, minimum, was buiding space for people to store their precious junk.


Here is another picture, I don’t have many, as cameras weren’t all that common in those days… ED11D3AD-1C1B-463F-83F3-1B691F4FE9BF.jpeg
 

Mustangs Rule

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Feb 4, 2021
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414
Full rifle.
Ahh,

In my 50 plus years of buying and selling and owning guns, I have only twice regreted selling a gun. One was a model 54 Winchester; long and graceful, shabel forend. Sleek, in the saddle scabard no bulge my knee had to accept. Great midnight bluing, was never done again, Love the long grip.

Place to load it with stripper clip milled into the reciever. Some cool wavy details milled in there too.

Front sight ramp integral with the barrel. Usually with flip up African style leaf sights in front on a barrel swell. Made for aperture sights, with a bolt not buried in the stock but proud and easily "palmed" from the shoulder African style.

I paid $250 for my first Model 54. Sold it for twice that. Paid $1200 to get another one complete with a factory installed Lyman peep sight. Worth every penny I paid for it. It really is a joy to hold. My eyes are too old for the peep sights anymore.

The model 54 came out in the wealthy roaring 20's. The model 70 came out in the height of the great depression. The difference in fit and finish is so obvious

It is the only firearm I have bought simply for the joy of ownership. The only one I pick up and for a moment pretend, maybe I am in Africa, maybe I'm stalking an antelope buck in a Wyoming that no longer exists.

Maybe I am again living in a desert mountain range near the Mexican Border. Maybe I am again hunting by horseback those light almost golden colored long legged desert mule deer

It is the only rifle I do that with. Allow an old hunter those youthful memories.
 

Mustangs Rule

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Feb 4, 2021
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414
Full rifle.
Ohh and the key to superb accuracy is patiently finding the sweet spot in that screw in the foregrip that goes in a lug under the barrel. Once long ago, a model 54 was my only rifle, at a time, when I had only one horse too. The great adventures the three of had together. Never before or since has a rifle developed such a sense of spirit with me.

Thank you
 

Mustangs Rule

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Feb 4, 2021
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Here is another picture, I don’t have many, as cameras weren’t all that common in those days… View attachment 208973
I am tempted into trying to understand a man, your father, from just two photos. It is silly I know, but at times the lure to be silly cannot be avoided. He seems to have an ease about him that comes from confidence. I saw that in my grandfather, an old farmer, who stayed connectd to land and animals till his last breath. He only had one rifle and one shotgun.

I sold my custom 35 Whelen today, it was the last rifle a master gunsmith made, and he made it especially for me. It felt good letting go of it. The fellow who bought it alreday has one 35 Whelen. A Remington 700 which he will now give to his son.
 

Lefty315

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Dec 27, 2010
Messages
234
Location
Pacific NW
Dad only ever hunted deer in two states, Wisconsin and Montana. He used the only rifle he’s ever owned, a Winchester 94 .30-30. Most of the old timers I knew back home only hunted with one rifle. My buddy has his Dad’s Glenfield and another buddy has his Grandad’s sporterized Springfield ‘06.

Another friend has an old Marlin .30-30 that belonged to a local guy. He had 3 guns, like others on here, a .22, a 12 gauge and that .30-30. I was sitting there one day as a kid when somebody asked him if he had gone out and shot his rifle before deer season. He said ”no, there was a spider living in the barrel and I didn’t want to disturb him so I didn’t even load the gun when I went hunting this year”. To this day I’m not sure what the truth is, but I’ve got a great photo of him, my Dad and their hunting buddies with the last deer that guy took with his old Marlin.

This year I ran into an old timer at the bottom of a mountain I was coming off of. He’s lived there since he was a young man and he was out seeing if any elk had been pushed down. He was carrying a Model 70 Winchester. We struck up a conversation that turned to his gun. It wore a fixed 4x that had been worn to the point it was silver, much like the barrel and action of his gun. The stock looked like an old weather beaten fence post it was so dry looking. He bought it in the late 50’s when he had been reading a lot of stuff by Jack O’Connor, so he selected a .270. He figured back then if some guy was writing about it then it must work. We sat there for well over an hour as he bs’d about all the hunts he’d been on and game he had taken with that rifle.

I definitely don’t fall into the category of a one gun man, but you have to respect, and even admire those who are. Especially if they’ve got some great stories to tell.
 

Mustangs Rule

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Feb 4, 2021
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414
Dad only ever hunted deer in two states, Wisconsin and Montana. He used the only rifle he’s ever owned, a Winchester 94 .30-30. Most of the old timers I knew back home only hunted with one rifle. My buddy has his Dad’s Glenfield and another buddy has his Grandad’s sporterized Springfield ‘06.

Another friend has an old Marlin .30-30 that belonged to a local guy. He had 3 guns, like others on here, a .22, a 12 gauge and that .30-30. I was sitting there one day as a kid when somebody asked him if he had gone out and shot his rifle before deer season. He said ”no, there was a spider living in the barrel and I didn’t want to disturb him so I didn’t even load the gun when I went hunting this year”. To this day I’m not sure what the truth is, but I’ve got a great photo of him, my Dad and their hunting buddies with the last deer that guy took with his old Marlin.

This year I ran into an old timer at the bottom of a mountain I was coming off of. He’s lived there since he was a young man and he was out seeing if any elk had been pushed down. He was carrying a Model 70 Winchester. We struck up a conversation that turned to his gun. It wore a fixed 4x that had been worn to the point it was silver, much like the barrel and action of his gun. The stock looked like an old weather beaten fence post it was so dry looking. He bought it in the late 50’s when he had been reading a lot of stuff by Jack O’Connor, so he selected a .270. He figured back then if some guy was writing about it then it must work. We sat there for well over an hour as he bs’d about all the hunts he’d been on and game he had taken with that rifle.

I definitely don’t fall into the category of a one gun man, but you have to respect, and even admire those who are. Especially if they’ve got some great stories to tell.
What a great contribution you made to this post I started. As I write this, there is a 70 year old (1952) Model 70 in .270 in the corner, pretty much as you described except I keep the stock well oiled.

The difference between a one rifle man and a many rifle man is I belive this. The one rifle man ia a hunter. The one with many is a hunter,,maybe or mayber not, but also a shooter. Could add in varmint hunter, trap, skeet, bench rest shooter too. Their hobby is shooting

The men I wrote this post about were pretty busy with thier jobs, farms and ranches. Their shoooting was for food. If they hunted both deer and elk, they might have one for each, or maybe not, just a 30-06 or 270 for everything, and if they lived in the east a Model 94 in 30-30, or a 35 Renington Marlin,

Interesting that you mentioned a Glenfield. Wow that goes way back. Was that Sears or Montegomery Wards?

America seems to be a place for excess. I like examples of a leaner time, and more function than just fun.

I am going to continue trimmimg down my number of firearms. It feels right.

Thanks again
 

dgc1963

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Feb 17, 2019
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744
For big game Im a 2 gun guy and most of the ol timers I knew when I was young and starting to hunt were 1 gun men nothing fancy just a gun and a scope 30/30s 30/06s and a few others, and they put a lot of deer on the ground in their lives a lot of red n black woolrich too
I have so many great memories of those men that are gone now, the days before the season opener stopping by their camp or them stopping by ours the stories they told me being the only kid in the early 70s finding them on a hill side sitting down waiting for a deer to come by and them giving me bits of their hunting wisdom
They were tough as nails a mouth full of chew or chewing on the end of a old cigar driving an old 4x4 but to me as a kid they were like hunting rock stars
 

dgc1963

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Feb 17, 2019
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744
America seems to be a place for excess. I like examples of a leaner time, and more function than just fun.
To add to this Im not a gun enthusiast just a hunter and have a 30/06 and 300 win mag IMO im good for everything in north America with those 2 .Im not starting a debate on calibers but so many guns have very similar ballistics and can do the same job so I dont see a need for more for myself
My Father lived through the depression and fought in WW2 had 1 gun his whole life, rubber lace up boots and red n black woolrich
the older I get the more I think the way he did hes been gone 25 yrs wish I could tell him all the things he was right about!
 

BillDoe708

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Nov 17, 2020
Messages
98
Location
Michigan
To add to this Im not a gun enthusiast just a hunter and have a 30/06 and 300 win mag IMO im good for everything in north America with those 2 .Im not starting a debate on calibers but so many guns have very similar ballistics and can do the same job so I dont see a need for more for myself
My Father lived through the depression and fought in WW2 had 1 gun his whole life, rubber lace up boots and red n black woolrich
the older I get the more I think the way he did hes been gone 25 yrs wish I could tell him all the things he was right about!
You still can
 

Mustangs Rule

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Feb 4, 2021
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414
What realy caused me to end up with nearly twice as many fireamrs as I wanted was going to stainless after moving from the dry desert moutains where I lived for nearly 30 years. Going to a place colder, with more rain and snow and with much more humidity.

I recall opening up two canvas gun cases, one had a blued S and W imodel 15 in it and the other had my pre-64 model 70.

Both had so much humidity that condensed on them they looked like they had been sprayed with water.

I was so lucky that I caught this before any damage happened, but it was a wake up call.

Since then i have bought about a half dozen rifles and revolvers made of stainless steel, the rifles with wiith syntheitic stocks. Of course I could never bring myeself to sell my blued and walnut classics which spend much of their time cleaned, oiled and in a safe with a dehumidifier.

I recall one time during deer season not long ago sitting near a mountain pass in a mix of rain and wet snow, covered head to toe in waterproof clothing. In my lap was a Stainless Synthetic Sako Finnilight in .308. I came home, did not even take it apart to wipe any water out. Then of course if i took it apart it would be wise to re sight it in.

Where I lived in the desert mountains was very remote and far from medical services with with age became more important.

That said, I will always smile thinking about doing wildreness tracking hunts for desert deer which could go on for a morning, a day or even a few days, following them with my old model 70 in .270 through cactus country and never even seeing the track of another hunter.

 

2rocky

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Jul 23, 2010
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I'd be more than happy to achieve all my big game success with the rifle I bought used as a 14 year old. I bought it with just that in mind. Caliber and Mark not important, I'm happy with it and I hope I wear it out.
 

eoperator

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Jan 30, 2019
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My old man bought a very early rem700adl 7rm, weaver 4x (serial in the 5k's) after getting out of the service, hunted his whole life with that rifle. Most every day I think to myself, maybe I should stop "whoring around" and carry that same rifle.
 

geetar

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Jan 28, 2019
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Location
North Carolina
The January/February issue of Bugle magazine has a couple tribute articles to Valerius Geist. It seems according the story that he was a one rifle man. 7x57 Mauser custom made.
 
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