The Problem with Finding My Perfect Big Game Rifle

Mustangs Rule

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The Problem with finding my PBGR (perfect big game rifle)



Nearly three years ago I found it. And since then my gunsafe had gotten more and more empty. I have sold a Pre 64 Model 70 in 30-06, A custom FN 35 Whelen, a CRF Stainless model 70 in 300 win mag and next to go, will be my stainless classic CRF Model 70 Featherweight in 6.5x55.



Rifles sell for top dollar now, especially with all components, brass, dies and bullets, and primers. I got thousands upon thousands of them.



Its like I get all this free money. I bought a really fine Vortex spotting scope. Still waiting to see what to do with the rest of the money



Getting rid of the excess rifles was contagious, I sold excess handguns, shotguns, and rim fires too. More free money, enough now for two decent trail horses. I just kept three handguns, all Smith and Wesson, a J frame, K frame and N frame and a coupple vintag rifles, a ,270 anf 30-06 but thyt are safe queens I couldnot let go of. I kept two old Ithaca model 37's, a 12 and a small frame 20. Also have my Marlin model 39 lever action .22.

Gun deal done. I just enjoy opening the safe and seeing so much empty space



What was my PBGR? It is my fourth .284 caliber rifle. A 5 ¾ pound stainless Kimber Hunter in 280AI. That caliber has completely earned my trust. So close very close, if not equal to the 7mm mag with a huge drop in powder,,,less recoil. It leaves my old 280 Remington eating velocity dust.



I don’t know how Kimber can sell for them so cheap too. Was $759 with slightly scaled down Model 70 action, a real quiet but positive three position safety, 24” light match grade barrel. A cloverleaf tack driver for the first three shots, with a fine out of the box trigger.



I love the stock too. Looks like Model 54 Winchester, real classic with a long pistol grip not the abrupt curve of the model 70’s. And the for end is lean not fat, fit’s so nicely in my saddle scabbard.



I have not been so pleased with a new rifle purchase in a long long time. American made too.
 

OntarioHunter

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Sounds like you have an expensive hobby. Have you been able to put that perfect hunting rifle to work in the field? Has it produced anything yet?
 

Mustangs Rule

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Sounds like you have an expensive hobby. Have you been able to put that perfect hunting rifle to work in the field? Has it produced anything yet?
Yes, a Fine mule deer last season. This deer and elk season past I was too ill then weak to hunt from Covid.

And with all due respect to your Springfield 30-06. I could never part with my remaining vintage rifles. I have had my 30-06 for 52 years.

The job requirements for my hunting rifle and gear now however are steep and deep. Love them as I do I just could not take my heavy old rilfes anymore. Nor anything heavy. Got rid of my heavy Norwegian welt hiking boots. Bought a light Mora knife over my Kabar. With my gun money I've upgraded my outdoor clothes to light high tech. I pick up my old Filson wool double mackinaw cruiser and go "no way"

And yes, My expensive hobby paid off, time to cash out.

I have ever since reading your comments held you, your values, and choice ot rifle in high regards.

If I were going for a plains game hunt in Africa I would take my 30-06 for old times sake but where I hunt now I can just barely pull it off with a little grace, pack, rifle gear, need to get game out of hard places, ones so hard horses are limited.

The highly reagarded Pew Research institute stated that at the end od 2019, 28 million American baby boomers retired. The crowds hitting our federal lands and yout "crown lands" will be unending.
 

OntarioHunter

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Yes, a Fine mule deer last season. This deer and elk season past I was too ill then weak to hunt from Covid.

And with all due respect to your Springfield 30-06. I could never part with my remaining vintage rifles. I have had my 30-06 for 52 years.

The job requirements for my hunting rifle and gear now however are steep and deep. Love them as I do I just could not take my heavy old rilfes anymore. Nor anything heavy. Got rid of my heavy Norwegian welt hiking boots. Bought a light Mora knife over my Kabar. With my gun money I've upgraded my outdoor clothes to light high tech. I pick up my old Filson wool double mackinaw cruiser and go "no way"

And yes, My expensive hobby paid off, time to cash out.

I have ever since reading your comments held you, your values, and choice ot rifle in high regards.

If I were going for a plains game hunt in Africa I would take my 30-06 for old times sake but where I hunt now I can just barely pull it off with a little grace, pack, rifle gear, need to get game out of hard places, ones so hard horses are limited.

The highly reagarded Pew Research institute stated that at the end od 2019, 28 million American baby boomers retired. The crowds hitting our federal lands and yout "crown lands" will be unending.
Thanks. I think what may, or hopefully should, take the pressure off wild places as post-WWII baby boomers leap into retirement is most aren't in any shape to do much. For previous generations it was smoking most of their lives that limited retirees. Now it's their excessive waistlines. Banning ATVs would certainly go a long ways towards limiting baby boomer onslaught.
 

TN2shot07

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I’m glad to hear you found that perfect rifle and put it to use. Hopefully you are fully recovered and headed to the field this fall.

I’ve been shopping and the 280 ackley started at the top of my list. I’m not currently a reloader and it’s not something cheap to shoot (at least until more manufacturers pick it up as a factory load).

Let us all know when you decide to part with that Swede, that should be a sought after piece and an easy sell to make.
 

BenInMT

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Yeah my perfect one is a 280AI also. I have added and subtracted some cartridges over the years but that one has a forever home.
 

Mustangs Rule

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I’m glad to hear you found that perfect rifle and put it to use. Hopefully you are fully recovered and headed to the field this fall.

I’ve been shopping and the 280 ackley started at the top of my list. I’m not currently a reloader and it’s not something cheap to shoot (at least until more manufacturers pick it up as a factory load).

Let us all know when you decide to part with that Swede, that should be a sought after piece and an easy sell to make.
Selling the Swede will require thought. That rifle is highly sought after. My winter activity involves a snowshoe biathalon. I have an archery and low velocity .22 course on my land and I really enjoy a longer range active course on National Forest for centerfire rifles. I am shooting the Swede on it now. I really like that is was an Olympic caliber.

That said after I fiinish the winter with it I will decide.

What is so cool about a winter field marksman course is the entire forest is filled with targets. Every stick or pine cone laying there in the snow is a target, every knot on a dead tree too. Close up or crosscanyon, all great practice.

All that matters is getting feedback by looking at the bullet hole in the snow or old dead tree.

Relaodong for the 280AI is pretty much a must to shoot it a lot. Even just get a cheap Lee hand loader. That is where so many of us began
 

Mustangs Rule

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Thanks. I think what may, or hopefully should, take the pressure off wild places as post-WWII baby boomers leap into retirement is most aren't in any shape to do much. For previous generations it was smoking most of their lives that limited retirees. Now it's their excessive waistlines. Banning ATVs would certainly go a long ways towards limiting baby boomer onslaught.
There are more horse packing hunters than i have ever seen in my life at National Forest trailheads now. The move by baby boomers to rural towns in the west has gobbled up real estate inventory and so many want to be "cowboy" hunters the price of horses is way up as supply has dropped.
Also thier kids and grandkids are visiting and recreating. I believe the rural areas will be more crouded than ever. I hope I am wrong
 

BenInMT

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What

What rifle do you have it in?
A custom built on a Remington 700, 22” carbon barrel, March optic. Weighs in just over 8 pounds with scope. I shot a 1.3” group at 300 YDS with it this morning despite the wind and mirage. I have more valuable guns and heavier more accurate guns, but if I could only keep one it would be 280AI.
 

Mustangs Rule

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A custom built on a Remington 700, 22” carbon barrel, March optic. Weighs in just over 8 pounds with scope. I shot a 1.3” group at 300 YDS with it this morning despite the wind and mirage. I have more valuable guns and heavier more accurate guns, but if I could only keep one it would be 280AI.
Good show,,,all around. Mine is under 7 pounds fully rigged. First two shots will figure "8" at a 100 yards, then at the third the group grows, still accpetable but after third shot the light barrel heats up and it spreads out to 1 1/2 inches.

I guess I bought it 2 1/2 years ago. It sat a bit before I shot it, then I hit the covis crunch and I had to scrouge for brass, dies and the right powder. I could only get one box of Barnes 150 grain TTSX so I shot it sparingly, plus I did not have the best powder.

The results were still fine. But I never dressed it up and took it to the "prom". Just did not have enough components.

I just got two boxes of 140 Grain Barnes TTSX, a hundred premium nosler brass this week, and a pound of a close to ideal powder.

I only have about real 15 hunting loads of the 150 grain. My goal is to get a good load for the 140 grain. Then take it out 500 at most. (the farthest if ever took a elk was under 250 and the same for deer barring ine I took at 300)

Then spend 30 or 40 rounds on field marks manship using the Whelen sling, which really tames the micro swing light rifles are more prone to. I hate bipods on hunting rifles. I also created an alternative with a 16" and also a 48" set of shooting sticks. Three 5/8 oak dowels each. Held together with very strong rubber bands cut out of motorcycle tire tubes.

Typically when I am right, I can hold three inch, three shot group at 300 yards, and put my sticks into action in 3 seconds getting into a siiting postion

I have to get back in practice to do that and no belly alowed. It pushes on my lungs and really messes with my breath and timing.

I put this system together decades ago when I lived in Wyoming and residents got antelope buck and doe/fawn tags in bunches. Lots of late season hunts then. Those wide open sagebrush flats offered few if any rests and there was so much sage, bipods rarely were of value.

Back then I used a pre-64 standard weight model 70 in 270. I love it but just cannot bear the weight of it.

I only hunted my sweet home antelope zone. Never needed more. I have decided what I am going to do with that rifle. I will soon be 74, my good health will not last forever.

When I think my legs and lungs are getting close to my last trip, I am going to pack that ,270 in cosmolene, really protect it in the best case and hide it my old anteope zone.

Then put an add in the local paper and tell the story and say Good luck boys, "Finders Keeper"
 

BenInMT

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When I think my legs and lungs are getting close to my last trip, I am going to pack that ,270 in cosmolene, really protect it in the best case and hide it my old anteope zone.

Then put an add in the local paper and tell the story and say Good luck boys, "Finders Keeper"
hah like that guy that left the treasure that people hunted for decades and finally found.
 

Mustangs Rule

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Sami goes for my Safari grade Belgium Browning that I took my desert bighorn ram with. I want to stash that in the zone i took my ram in,,,, another case of Finders Keepers
 

Don Fischer

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So what is everyone commenting on, perfect big game cartridge or rifle? I don't know that I ever had a perfect rifle but had a 660 Rem years ago that most the time I went hunting, it came out. Made a trip to Alaska to work and only took one rifle along, that 660 Rem. Fence post for a stock but carried really well and shot really well, about 3/4".

Cartridge" Geeze I don't know. I hate recoil so that pretty much limits cartridge for me. Prefer cartridge's based on 308 case but 30-06 case works well too. Then again I like short action rifles. They are probably no better than long actions but I like them better. With cartridges based on 308 case, I like 22" barrels best but my old 660 had a 20" barrel! On the 30-06 case I like 24" barrels best.

There are so many different rifles and cartridges to choose from it's hard, if not impossible to choose the best one.
 

OntarioHunter

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So what is everyone commenting on, perfect big game cartridge or rifle? I don't know that I ever had a perfect rifle but had a 660 Rem years ago that most the time I went hunting, it came out. Made a trip to Alaska to work and only took one rifle along, that 660 Rem. Fence post for a stock but carried really well and shot really well, about 3/4".

Cartridge" Geeze I don't know. I hate recoil so that pretty much limits cartridge for me. Prefer cartridge's based on 308 case but 30-06 case works well too. Then again I like short action rifles. They are probably no better than long actions but I like them better. With cartridges based on 308 case, I like 22" barrels best but my old 660 had a 20" barrel! On the 30-06 case I like 24" barrels best.

There are so many different rifles and cartridges to choose from it's hard, if not impossible to choose the best one.
Gees! A 660 Remington with 20" barrel? You must be communicating in sign language today! Ouch!
 

Scott85

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The first question anybody should ask when looking for the perfect big game rifle is if it’s chambered in 280 or 280AI if not they should just keep looking.
 

TN2shot07

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The first question anybody should ask when looking for the perfect big game rifle is if it’s chambered in 280 or 280AI if not they should just keep looking.
If you are a hand loader I would agree. 280 factory options won’t out perform a 270 and 280ai is almost unobtainable right now. If you do find it then it’s comparable to shooting a weatherby cost wise
 

BrentD

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Perfect big game cartridges start with a ".4". Or larger.

Perfect rifles have English Walnut stocks though nearly perfect rifles have been observed in the wild with black walnut.

Perfect rifles are always rust blued to a deep glow, not matt, not glossy, just perfect. You will know it when you see it. They are never, ever "coated" nor silver (unless well worn).

Perfect rifles often have two triggers. Not quite as often, they may also have two barrels.

Perfect rifles make their owners look more handsome or beautiful, as the case may be. (Ask Europe)

:)
 

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