It helps a lot when the rifles look similar. Any more, my wife can't tell for sure what's what. If it's got a black stock and a stainless barrel, as long as I can get in the house undetected in the first place, I'm home free. Just tell her it's the one she shot two years ago or whatever, no way for her to know the difference.
Fancy paint jobs don't fly though. Gotta come clean on them. Same for really long barrels or huge scopes (she knows how much a Nightforce costs and can spot one from a mile away!).
Rimfires, it don't matter. She likes shooting them and "thinks" they are "cheap" so I don't have to try and be sneaky with them - other than fibbing about the cost occasinally.
I'm going to complain, sort of, about my new rifle. I bought some pretty expensive Hornady heavy magnum 225 grain 338 for it and it didn't shoot well. I got the scope settled in pretty well and they were pretty big groups at 200 yards. Then I tried some 200 grain regular winchester ammo and it shot several inches better and pretty good, so I took that on my hunt. The bummer was those 200 grain 338s have way less energy than my old 30-06 does with the Hornady light magnum 180 grains, which that gun shoots well. I took both on my bear hunt, but didn't get to use either. Yesterday I found a gun store here with some of that hot fail safe 230 grain ammo for the 338. I hope it shoots that well or it will be an expensive piece of metal, wood and glass I won't use much. Its a new Ruger M77 with a new Leupold scope, so I hope I find some good ammo for it. That fail safe ammo here was $45/box of 20! I'm sure it will be cheaper someplace in the mountains or someplace where they buy and sell a lot of it. I just bought, hopeing to find a good shooting premium ammo for it.
Tom - Keep trying different loads. I would stick to 225 gr bullets and up myself - otherwise, I'd shoot a .30 caliber. Try Federal High Energy, Remington has a new, tougher COrelokt bullet out, etc. Don't write the gun off until you've tried a bunch of different loads.
I'm not writing it off, yet, I'm just a bit bummed. I got a box of the Federal Premium high energy for it today. $58+ with tax, the most expensive box of ammo I ever bought. I'll try the fail safe and this, hopefully, one of them will shoot well. I'll then mail order the ammo at a lot better price.
Tom - don't write off the "standard" bullet ammo. At regular .338 velocity (at or below 3000 FPS), a Hornady Interlock (not the "Heavy Magnum" stuff) or Remington Corelokt is not that bad a bullet, unless your shooting grizzlies or moose up close. Also, your barrel may just need to be broken in a bit.
But don't get TOOOO jealous tonight when I post the little bitty group I shot with my Tikka. Those were carefully weighed and assembled handloads with 225 gr Hornady bullets and 74 gr of IMR-4350.
And don't forget loads with the good ol' Partition!