One well used rifle got me thinking

jeff_gibbons

Active member
Joined
Oct 30, 2016
Messages
187
Location
Fairfax, VA
My brother drew a tag for mule deer and we were successful last weekend. But, this isn't a story about the trip or the harvest. We met another group of hunters at a trail head and one of the more senior guys had an old rifle that stuck in my head. He'd found a lion kill and we were discussing the deer and lions when i noticed his rifle. It looked old and very well used. I didn't handle it and believe it was a Winchester Model 70. I know it was a 7mm Rem Mag as we talked about the comparison to my brother's 280AI.

I have several rifles and one is a 7mm rem mag. However, the more i thought about this fellows worn rifle, the more i questioned my rifle thinking with each being dedicated to a class of game (coyote, deer, pig, elk etc.). I concluded that i liked the guys style and that there is something very cool about having one gun that will do it all and using the hell out of it. I don't think i'll change my approach yet as i like using each, reloading for each and having to learn each separately.

I'm sure this has been discussed on the forum but my search skills failed to turn up a thread. Curious to learn how others have thought about this topic and if anyone else was impressed like i was by a very well worn and used old rifle.

take care,

Jeff

photo of lion kill and cool old rifle
 

Attachments

  • Puma Kill.jpg
    Puma Kill.jpg
    4.3 MB · Views: 94

OntarioHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
4,916
I'm a one gun guy ... and it is old. Might have killed Japs or Germans during the second world war. Before Kennedy was killed my dad ordered two war surplus 30-06 Springfields from an ad in the American Rifleman. He and a coworker who was a gunsmith sporterized both of them at the machine shop in Hungry Horse Dam. That would have been 1962. I started hunting with mine two years later at age twelve. It was late war production with only two rifling lands (the one he kept had four - a limited number were produced with three lands for sniper rifles). He stocked it with crappy roll-over cheek piece walnut ordered from Herters and put a cheap Bushnell Banner 4x on it. I threw that scope down the mountain near Hubbard Reservoir in 1972 and Dad bought me a sturdy Weaver 3x. Must have been 1981 when my horse took me down a mountain end over end and broke the piece of crap stock in two (Weaver scope was scratched but otherwise fine). The Herters stock with grip cap was still on it when I shot this bull in 1980. 1980 bull.JPG
Restocked it with a factory second that Kalispell gunsmith Les Bauska let me have cheap. The blemish is a small birdseye knot near the bottom of the butt. It turned out looking pretty good. Deer Gun final 3.JPG
It killed ten more elk, six moose, and probably a hundred deer before inconsistency could no longer be ignored. First, I changed scopes. Fairly certain the problem was not my old Weaver but my old eyes needed better glass for longer distance (traditionally I had tracked animals in heavy timber and shot them close range). I picked up a Nikon 3x9x40 BDC on sale for $99. Not a super duper scope but good enough for a WWII 30-06. Then two years ago I got rid of the goofy "adjustable" trigger Dad's coworker installed. It had two feet of creep and about as crisp as a bowl of day old oatmeal. The Timney trigger I dropped in was tricky to install (one gunsmith gave up), but worth the effort. What a difference! Still, that gun was tossing out the occasional flyer. My gunsmith African hunting buddy discovered a very badly corroded section in the bore about two thirds the way to muzzle. Dad cut off more than three inches of the original barrel so I suspect there may have been even more corrosion. Perhaps it saw too much action in the salty South Pacific. In 2021 I was headed to Africa again and wanted my gun straightened out so went shopping for another barrel. Because no one was making them during the pandemic, I took a chance on a used WWII four land sporterized barrel on eBay. Price was right so what the hell. Turned out to be a good one with great bore and no corrosion. After floating the barrel and rebedding (twice!) my old gun was finally shooting consistent slightly subMOA groups. The Buhler style scope relief striker safety Dad/Earl installed was always unreliable so I decided that must go (turns out it was installed improperly). I ordered another aftermarket one from SARRCO and it worked great (after slight modification) but it was left side like a typical Mauser sporter safety from prewar era. To reach it with my right thumb, I cut off the Springfield's signature striker knob making it look even more like a 98 Mauser (which the Springfield copied closely enough to get the US govt in trouble over patent infringement). Dad polished the bolt but left striker and extractor blued. I polished them to match the bolt. Since the eBay barrel came with a high ramp Williams front sight, I decided to change the scope rings to quick detach and add a rear sight so I could switch to iron sights in heavy cover or foul weather. Problem was the Nikon scope has a short tube that required extended rings and no one makes extended QD rings. So I replaced the Weaver bases Dad put on the rifle with a steel rail. Probably a wise move anyway as the front Weaver base required significant shimming or the scope would run out of adjustment. Off eBay I bought a like new adjustable drop leaf barrel mount rear sight from a 1990s era Model 70. Built a jig to drill and tap the holes for it (one local gunsmith died and the other two retired). And finally, just before my third trip to Africa in August, I had the gun reblued. Thought about restocking it but decided to keep the old wood. Filled the bad gouges, steamed out the dents, and put new oil on it. in the case.jpg
I just turned seventy and am about done hunting. This old Springfield is now ready for the next generation. My ten year-old grandson already has his eye on it. But not quite yet. Took eleven African animals with it in August and a buck this past week. Still have till the end of the month to shoot an elk. 20220823_161406.jpg 20221031_131148.jpg
 
Last edited:

elkduds

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
3,653
Location
CO Springs.
 

Nicoli7153

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
176
I'm a one gun guy ... and it is old. Might have killed Japs or Germans during the second world war. Before Kennedy was killed my dad ordered two war surplus 30-06 Springfields from an ad in the American Rifleman. He and a coworker who was a gunsmith sporterized both of them at the machine shop in Hungry Horse Dam. That would have been 1962. I started hunting with mine two years later at age twelve. It was late war production with only two rifling lands (the one he kept had four - a limited number were produced with three lands for sniper rifles). He stocked it with crappy roll-over cheek piece walnut ordered from Herters and put a cheap Bushnell Banner 4x on it. I threw that scope down the mountain near Hubbard Reservoir in 1972 and Dad bought me a sturdy Weaver 3x. Must have been 1981 when my horse took me down a mountain end over end and broke the piece of crap stock in two (Weaver scope was scratched but otherwise fine). The Herters stock with grip cap was still on it when I shot this bull in 1980. View attachment 248332
Restocked it with a factory second that Kalispell gunsmith Les Bauska let me have cheap. The blemish is a small birdseye knot near the bottom of the butt. It turned out looking pretty good. View attachment 248331
It killed ten more elk, six moose, and probably a hundred deer before inconsistency could no longer be ignored. First, I changed scopes. Fairly certain the problem was not my old Weaver but my old eyes needed better glass for longer distance (traditionally I had tracked animals in heavy timber and shot them close range). I picked up a Nikon 3x9x40 BDC on sale for $99. Not a super duper scope but good enough for a WWII 30-06. Then two years ago I got rid of the goofy "adjustable" trigger Dad's coworker installed. It had two feet of creep and about as crisp as a bowl of day old oatmeal. The Timney trigger I dropped in was tricky to install (one gunsmith gave up), but worth the effort. What a difference! Still, that gun was tossing out the occasional flyer. My gunsmith African hunting buddy discovered a very badly corroded section in the bore about two thirds the way to muzzle. Dad cut off more than three inches of the original barrel so I suspect there may have been even more corrosion. Perhaps it saw too much action in the salty South Pacific. In 2021 I was headed to Africa again and wanted my gun straightened out so went shopping for another barrel. Because no one was making them during the pandemic, I took a chance on a used WWII four land sporterized barrel on eBay. Price was right so what the hell. Turned out to be a good one with great bore and no corrosion. After floating the barrel and rebedding (twice!) my old gun was finally shooting consistent slightly subMOA groups. The Buhler style scope relief striker safety Dad/Earl installed was always unreliable so I decided that must go (turns out it was installed improperly). I ordered another aftermarket one from SARRCO and it worked great (after slight modification) but it was left side like a typical Mauser sporter safety from prewar era. To reach it with my right thumb, I cut off the Springfield's signature striker knob making it look even more like a 98 Mauser (which the Springfield copied closely enough to get the US govt in trouble over patent infringement). Dad polished the bolt but left striker and extractor blued. I polished them to match the bolt. Since the eBay barrel came with a high ramp Williams front sight, I decided to change the scope rings to quick detach and add a rear sight so I could switch to iron sights in heavy cover or foul weather. Problem was the Nikon scope has a short tube that required extended rings and no one makes extended QD rings. So I replaced the Weaver bases Dad put on the rifle with a steel rail. Probably a wise move anyway as the front Weaver base required significant shimming or the scope would run out of adjustment. Off eBay I bought a like new adjustable drop leaf barrel mount rear sight from a 1990s era Model 70. Built a jig to drill and tap the holes for it myself (one local gunsmith died and the other two retired). And finally, just before my third trip to Africa in August, I had the gun reblued. Thought about restocking it but decided to keep the old wood. Filled the bad gouges, steamed out the dents, and put new oil on it. View attachment 248339
I just turned seventy and am about done hunting. This old Springfield is now ready for the next generation. My ten year-old grandson already has his eye on it. But not quite yet. Took eleven African animals with it in August and a buck this past week. Still have till the end of the month to shoot an elk. View attachment 248340 View attachment 248341
That is effin' cool!
 

jeff_gibbons

Active member
Joined
Oct 30, 2016
Messages
187
Location
Fairfax, VA
I'm a one gun guy ... and it is old. Might have killed Japs or Germans during the second world war. Before Kennedy was killed my dad ordered two war surplus 30-06 Springfields from an ad in the American Rifleman. He and a coworker who was a gunsmith sporterized both of them at the machine shop in Hungry Horse Dam. That would have been 1962. I started hunting with mine two years later at age twelve. It was late war production with only two rifling lands (the one he kept had four - a limited number were produced with three lands for sniper rifles). He stocked it with crappy roll-over cheek piece walnut ordered from Herters and put a cheap Bushnell Banner 4x on it. I threw that scope down the mountain near Hubbard Reservoir in 1972 and Dad bought me a sturdy Weaver 3x. Must have been 1981 when my horse took me down a mountain end over end and broke the piece of crap stock in two (Weaver scope was scratched but otherwise fine). The Herters stock with grip cap was still on it when I shot this bull in 1980. View attachment 248332
Restocked it with a factory second that Kalispell gunsmith Les Bauska let me have cheap. The blemish is a small birdseye knot near the bottom of the butt. It turned out looking pretty good. View attachment 248331
It killed ten more elk, six moose, and probably a hundred deer before inconsistency could no longer be ignored. First, I changed scopes. Fairly certain the problem was not my old Weaver but my old eyes needed better glass for longer distance (traditionally I had tracked animals in heavy timber and shot them close range). I picked up a Nikon 3x9x40 BDC on sale for $99. Not a super duper scope but good enough for a WWII 30-06. Then two years ago I got rid of the goofy "adjustable" trigger Dad's coworker installed. It had two feet of creep and about as crisp as a bowl of day old oatmeal. The Timney trigger I dropped in was tricky to install (one gunsmith gave up), but worth the effort. What a difference! Still, that gun was tossing out the occasional flyer. My gunsmith African hunting buddy discovered a very badly corroded section in the bore about two thirds the way to muzzle. Dad cut off more than three inches of the original barrel so I suspect there may have been even more corrosion. Perhaps it saw too much action in the salty South Pacific. In 2021 I was headed to Africa again and wanted my gun straightened out so went shopping for another barrel. Because no one was making them during the pandemic, I took a chance on a used WWII four land sporterized barrel on eBay. Price was right so what the hell. Turned out to be a good one with great bore and no corrosion. After floating the barrel and rebedding (twice!) my old gun was finally shooting consistent slightly subMOA groups. The Buhler style scope relief striker safety Dad/Earl installed was always unreliable so I decided that must go (turns out it was installed improperly). I ordered another aftermarket one from SARRCO and it worked great (after slight modification) but it was left side like a typical Mauser sporter safety from prewar era. To reach it with my right thumb, I cut off the Springfield's signature striker knob making it look even more like a 98 Mauser (which the Springfield copied closely enough to get the US govt in trouble over patent infringement). Dad polished the bolt but left striker and extractor blued. I polished them to match the bolt. Since the eBay barrel came with a high ramp Williams front sight, I decided to change the scope rings to quick detach and add a rear sight so I could switch to iron sights in heavy cover or foul weather. Problem was the Nikon scope has a short tube that required extended rings and no one makes extended QD rings. So I replaced the Weaver bases Dad put on the rifle with a steel rail. Probably a wise move anyway as the front Weaver base required significant shimming or the scope would run out of adjustment. Off eBay I bought a like new adjustable drop leaf barrel mount rear sight from a 1990s era Model 70. Built a jig to drill and tap the holes for it (one local gunsmith died and the other two retired). And finally, just before my third trip to Africa in August, I had the gun reblued. Thought about restocking it but decided to keep the old wood. Filled the bad gouges, steamed out the dents, and put new oil on it. View attachment 248339
I just turned seventy and am about done hunting. This old Springfield is now ready for the next generation. My ten year-old grandson already has his eye on it. But not quite yet. Took eleven African animals with it in August and a buck this past week. Still have till the end of the month to shoot an elk. View attachment 248340 View attachment 248341
Very cool! The story of the rifle is awesome and not over. Would be awesome to see it continue with your grandson. thanks for sharing.
 

jeff_gibbons

Active member
Joined
Oct 30, 2016
Messages
187
Location
Fairfax, VA
no doubt that one good cartridge in a good rifle can do it all and serve decades.
 

steveshuntn1

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 23, 2021
Messages
487
Location
North Mississippi
I have a Remington 700 30-06 that I’ve killed countless deer with. My daughters both killed there first deer with it shooting reduced recoil rem ammo with it. I bought it the afternoon before my first daughter was born and always thought it was a good omen. Two days after bringing her home I killed a nice buck with it and believe me the meat was needed in our freezer. That was 30 years ago and now the gun is shooting like crap, but I just can’t bring myself to sell it or buy anything else. I’ve got a single shot .444 marlin single shot I can kill deer with for now. In MS the .444 marlin is considered a muzzle loader. Anyway, I’ve worked on the 06…cleaned it, new stock(because I broke the original on my first attempt at bedding it), Timney trigger that is sweet, new scope and bases, but it’s still having issues with accuracy. So now I’m looking for a gunsmith that will give the old girl a once over.
I’ve looked at other rifles and calibers but until I get a professional opinion on a gun that has served me well for decades I can’t move on.
In all the years I hunted with it I’ve never lost a deer. The longest shot I made was at 510 yards. Perfect heart shot.
I’m hopeful that a professional can figure it out. I’d really like to put it back into use.
I did post a thread here about the accuracy problem and got some good feedback and tried it all. Just didn’t help. Still getting 5” or more groups with a flyer around 12” at 200 yards. Around 3” to 4” at 100.
 

OntarioHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
4,916
I have a Remington 700 30-06 that I’ve killed countless deer with. My daughters both killed there first deer with it shooting reduced recoil rem ammo with it. I bought it the afternoon before my first daughter was born and always thought it was a good omen. Two days after bringing her home I killed a nice buck with it and believe me the meat was needed in our freezer. That was 30 years ago and now the gun is shooting like crap, but I just can’t bring myself to sell it or buy anything else. I’ve got a single shot .444 marlin single shot I can kill deer with for now. In MS the .444 marlin is considered a muzzle loader. Anyway, I’ve worked on the 06…cleaned it, new stock(because I broke the original on my first attempt at bedding it), Timney trigger that is sweet, new scope and bases, but it’s still having issues with accuracy. So now I’m looking for a gunsmith that will give the old girl a once over.
I’ve looked at other rifles and calibers but until I get a professional opinion on a gun that has served me well for decades I can’t move on.
In all the years I hunted with it I’ve never lost a deer. The longest shot I made was at 510 yards. Perfect heart shot.
I’m hopeful that a professional can figure it out. I’d really like to put it back into use.
I did post a thread here about the accuracy problem and got some good feedback and tried it all. Just didn’t help. Still getting 5” or more groups with a flyer around 12” at 200 yards. Around 3” to 4” at 100.
Don't give up. Even if it does require a new barrel, there's lots to pick from for a Reminton 700. Should be an affordable option. Gunsmith charged me $150 to set the headspace ($125 US) and I think the barrel was around $90 shipped. You can fit the new barrel with action into the old stock. You'll have to rebed any portion of the barrel sitting in bedding (typically the chamber area). If problems, come back here. Lots of help available. It's not rocket science.

Did you try adding a pressure point? My buddy here in Montana recently purchased a nicely dressed up Springfield with Remington made 7mm magnum barrel on it. Wouldn't shoot worth crap till he added a pressure point. Now it's a tack driver.
 

steveshuntn1

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 23, 2021
Messages
487
Location
North Mississippi
Don't give up. Even if it does require a new barrel, there's lots to pick from for a Reminton 700. Should be an affordable option. Gunsmith charged me $150 to set the headspace ($125 US) and I think the barrel was around $90 shipped. You can fit the new barrel with action into the old stock. You'll have to rebed any portion of the barrel sitting in bedding (typically the chamber area). If problems, come back here. Lots of help available. It's not rocket science.

Did you try adding a pressure point? My buddy here in Montana recently purchased a nicely dressed up Springfield with Remington made 7mm magnum barrel on it. Wouldn't shoot worth crap till he added a pressure point. Now it's a tack driver.
Like a dummy I floated the barrel on the new stock before ever firing it. It’s a synthetic stock and I removed the pressure point. From what was suggested here by a few people a floated barrel was the way to go. I’m gonna try to put it back and see what happens.
The most I know about working on guns is how to take them apart and clean them. I’ve never had to deal with accuracy issues. I was planning on elk hunting this year and wanted to get the 06 to shoot reliably out to 350 or so for my daughter to use.
The summer was a busy one and I got sidetracked getting all my gear I thought I’d need together and work of course so I didn’t have time to work on it.
Now after falling from a tree stand a month ago and breaking my back the elk hunting trip was canceled and it’ll be next summer before I can really get to work on it, but it’s something to look forward to.
I’ve been looking for a gunsmith in my area, but it’s not looking good. That must be a dying profession in my part of the woods.
 

Cogreeny

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
391
Location
Colorado
Really cool! However looking at the bolt knob on that old workhorse I’d say it’s a model 700. I could be wrong though.
 

OntarioHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
4,916
Like a dummy I floated the barrel on the new stock before ever firing it. It’s a synthetic stock and I removed the pressure point. From what was suggested here by a few people a floated barrel was the way to go. I’m gonna try to put it back and see what happens.
The most I know about working on guns is how to take them apart and clean them. I’ve never had to deal with accuracy issues. I was planning on elk hunting this year and wanted to get the 06 to shoot reliably out to 350 or so for my daughter to use.
The summer was a busy one and I got sidetracked getting all my gear I thought I’d need together and work of course so I didn’t have time to work on it.
Now after falling from a tree stand a month ago and breaking my back the elk hunting trip was canceled and it’ll be next summer before I can really get to work on it, but it’s something to look forward to.
I’ve been looking for a gunsmith in my area, but it’s not looking good. That must be a dying profession in my part of the woods.
Sorry to hear about your health issues. I seem to recall you writing about your treestand incident.

For whatever reason no one knows, some rifle barrels just don't like to hang loose (like I hate boxer shorts). Loosen your action until you can slide a doubled over business card between the barrel and stock. Move it down about an inch from the end of fore end and tighten the action anchor screws, then see how it shoots. Might just be all it needs. If that is the case, come back here for help on how to restore a pressure point. I strongly suspect your barrel is not the problem (unless you drove over it with a car). Hard to believe you could wear out a 1:10 twist 30-06 barrel just shooting at deer a couple times a year over a lifetime.
 

OntarioHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
4,916
Really cool! However looking at the bolt knob on that old workhorse I’d say it’s a model 700. I could be wrong though.
You are wrong. Look at the striker knob in the "before" image (with saddle scabbard). That is trademark US Springfield military issue. Mine was made by Remington but it is not a Remington model (some Springfields were also made by Smith Corona Typewriter Company). The bolt handle is an aftermarket addition (I think). Military bolts would not clear modern rifle scopes. The military bolt had to either be bent or it could be cut off and a specially made aftermarket one welded on.
 

hank4elk

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
7,206
Location
SW NM
Been using the same 700 30-06 since the late 70's . Gone through some changes in my life and that rifle has too. 2 make overs and a conversion, still the original barrel . Taken many critters with it.
Just oiled it and taped the barrel end before this Dec. cow hunt.
Taking the mz for a ride for deer this month and probably retiring it after.
The 700 is forever.
 

Boarmaster

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 24, 2016
Messages
731
Location
Southwest Florida
I was a one rifle guy for 20 years. A bone stock Ruger tanger in 30-06 I bought for $100. For hunting hogs and deer it worked great. As time when on and money got more plentiful I found I enjoyed researching , putting together and using different rifles. It wasn't about what worked it was about the enjoyment of it. I will admit I sometimes look in the safe and see that old well used and beat up Ruger and think of fond memories. But I wouldn't give up all the fun I had with my newer rifles.
 

kwyeewyk

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Messages
1,102
Location
Washington
I've also hunted with my grandpa's 1903 Springfield that he got after WWII my whole life, it's rough looking, could use a makeover at some point but for now it's doing its job so I'm leaving it alone.
 

Cogreeny

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
391
Location
Colorado
You are wrong. Look at the striker knob in the "before" image (with saddle scabbard). That is trademark US Springfield military issue. Mine was made by Remington but it is not a Remington model (some Springfields were also made by Smith Corona Typewriter Company). The bolt handle is an aftermarket addition (I think). Military bolts would not clear modern rifle scopes. The military bolt had to either be bent or it could be cut off and a specially made aftermarket one welded on.
I was referring to the OP’s rifle pic leaning on the truck not yours. The action cannot be seen clearly and it’s just a guess but I’m saying not Winchester by the bolt knob. Yours is very obvious what it is.
 

Salmonchaser

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 12, 2019
Messages
1,439
Like O. H. dad bought a couple of 03a3s. I was the oldest, killed my first mule deer and elk with it when I was 12. The rifle passed down through 6 of us, youngest brother still uses it as his primary hunting rifle. I saved my hay bucking money and bought a Ruger 77 in .30/06, first year of production I think. I still have that rifle, still my primary rifle though I’ve acquired a full safe over the years.
O.H. Might say the same thing as my younger brother. Every rifle I buy is a plane ticket to Africa, a down payment on a Yukon moose hunt. He has a point as he and O.H. Get a lot of hunting in.
 

OntarioHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
4,916
I was referring to the OP’s rifle pic leaning on the truck not yours. The action cannot be seen clearly and it’s just a guess but I’m saying not Winchester by the bolt knob. Yours is very obvious what it is.
Oops sorry. I think you may be right.
 

Redmt

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2021
Messages
1,411
Location
San Antonio Valley California
Very cool story! Thanks for posting it.
I inherited a Rem 700 in .300 Weatherby from a close friends family when he passed away several years ago. It was his go to rifle as it was very well used. I wish I had the backstory on it so when I pass it to my grandson he can know it's heritage also.
 
Top