The Problem with Finding My Perfect Big Game Rifle

3855WIN

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
2,265
Location
Mississippi
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.
Shocked it wasn’t the 6.5 Creed
 

buffybr

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Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
925
Location
BozAngeles, MT
I bought my first centerfire rifle back in 1967 when I was working summers in Steamboat Springs, CO. I had killed my first deer and elk in the previous two years with borrowed rifles, and the hunting bug bit me hard enough to want my own rifle. I asked a couple of my co-workers who had grown up hunting there what rifle I should buy for deer and elk, and they said a .270 Win or a .30-06. I bought a .30-06.
For the next 10 years, I thought that was a perfect big game rifle. I loaded 150 grain bullets for deer and antelope, 180 grain bullets for elk, and even 125 grain bullets for varmints.

Then a couple of years after moving to Montana, my hunting buddy showed me a .30 Gibbs case. I carried that case in my pocked for a few months and finally decided that it looked so cool that I had my .30-06 re-chambered to .30 Gibbs. For the next 20 or so years I thought that .30 Gibbs was the perfect elk cartridge.

At the same time as I had my .30 Gibbs chambered I also had a gunsmith chamber a barreled action in .257 Roberts Ackley Improved, I put it in a fancy walnut stock, and I thought that would be my perfect deer and antelope rifle. I pretty much still do.

Also at that time, I had my gunsmith make a .22-250 barrel that I also put into Fancy walnut for a varmint rifle, that I've also used for several deer and pronghorn antelope.

Then in the early 2000s a fireforming overload damaged the chamber and bolt of my .30 Gibbs. A gunsmith cleaned up the chamber, but didn't get the extractor to work so that was the end of my .30 Gibbs.

For many years I had thought about getting a 7 mm Rem mag but couldn't justify one because it's ballistics were so close to those of my .30-06 and .30 Gibbs. Then in 2000 I got an invite to go with some friends for my first African hunt which I did with a borrowed 7 RM in a Rem 700 ADL. I later bought that rifle then a few years later I "upgraded" it to Rem 700 BDL with a stainless barrel and action. This rifle became my primary elk rifle and I used it on a few Canadian and African hunts.

In 2005 I booked an African Cape Buffalo hunt, and for them I needed a rifle of at least .375 caliber. I decided on a .375 RUM and built one with a stainless Rem 700 BDL action and barrel in a laminated Richards stock. I've used it on a couple of African hunts from 30 pound steenboks to the Cape Buffalo in my avatar, and last year for an Alaskan Brown bear. It's a great cartridge and gun, but, in my mind, it's too much gun for most hunting.

In the past 5 or so years I bought a couple of Weatherby Vanguard rifles, one in .223 and the other in .308 Win, primarily for shooting steel on my weekly trips to the range. They have greatly increased my confidence on shots out to 430 yards (our furthest gong). I really like the feel of the Weatherby Vanguard Griptonite stock. Last month I put my Rem 700 BDL 7 RM barrel and action into a Weatherby Griptonite stock. I also lengthened the LOP to fit me (like I do with all of my other stocks), gave it a new black paint job topped with white spider web, and I think that it is now my best looking non-walnut stocked rifle. It also shoots moa out to 430 yards.

Since I stocked my first rifle back in 1967, I've liked the looks of Weatherby rifles, and the rifles that I've built since then have all been my version of Weatherby Mark V stocks (without the inlays). I basically wanted a Weatherby rifle but couldn't justify their price.

Then in 2009 I finally bought a Weatherby Vanguard in .300 Wby, put it in a AA Fancy walnut stock, and thought I had finally found my perfect big game rifle. I've used it for elk here in Montana, exotics in Texas, and taken it on hunts in New Zealand, multiple hunts in Africa, and for a Dagestan Tur in Azerbaijan. It quickly became my my favorite hunting rifle, BUT, I hate to take that Fancy walnut stock and blued barrel and action out in rainy weather.

So to conclude me making a short answer long, I can't find just one perfect big game rifle. I have 80 or more hours fitting, checkering, and finishing my rifles with wood stocks, enough hours bedding and modifying the stocks of my plastic stocked rifles that I don't want to get rid of any of them. I've bought or made each of my rifles for a specific purpose, and although many of their uses overlap, I just can't pick just one for everything.
 

Don Fischer

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
2,325
It's the gun nut in you comming out. I have a cousin that has been using a Rem 760 in 30-06 for everything for over 50 yrs now and he loves it. I believe its the only CF riflehe owns. But I'd never call him a gun nut! So your left hand is fighting with your right hand tryingnto figure outthe perfect rifle, ain't ever gonna happen! I have very limited experience with the 30-06 and a lot with the 308. Know what I thinkthe perfect cartridge is? Depends on where you hunt but there's nothing in north America I wouldn't use the 308 or even the 30-06 on. A well placed 200gr bullet from either at reasonable range will get the job done! Love my 6.5x55 and my 6.5x06 though! 7x57 is not lacking much either with the right bullet. Imagine a 22 Eargesplitten Louden Boomer with a 200gr Monolithic bullet!

You have asked the question no gun nut will ever be able to answer!
 

buffybr

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
925
Location
BozAngeles, MT
It's the gun nut in you comming out. I have a cousin that has been using a Rem 760 in 30-06 for everything for over 50 yrs now and he loves it. I believe its the only CF riflehe owns. But I'd never call him a gun nut! So your left hand is fighting with your right hand tryingnto figure outthe perfect rifle, ain't ever gonna happen! I have very limited experience with the 30-06 and a lot with the 308. Know what I thinkthe perfect cartridge is? Depends on where you hunt but there's nothing in north America I wouldn't use the 308 or even the 30-06 on. A well placed 200gr bullet from either at reasonable range will get the job done! Love my 6.5x55 and my 6.5x06 though! 7x57 is not lacking much either with the right bullet. Imagine a 22 Eargesplitten Louden Boomer with a 200gr Monolithic bullet!

You have asked the question no gun nut will ever be able to answer!
That would be called a spear! :D
 

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