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GUNS Magazine Digital April 2011 - Page 28
• d A V E A N d E R S O N • CLASSIC RIfLES & CARtRIdGES Some cartridges just belong in certain rifles. ’m more a rifle guy than a cartridge guy. Debates over I hair-splitting differences between cartridges I find tedious. I’m more interested in rifle/cartridge combinations (which I’ll admit is another form of hair-splitting). The Winchester 94 rifle and .30- and the same number in .243. The 30 cartridge go together. So do the cartridge didn’t really fail, lever-action 1903 Mannlicher-Schoenauer and the rifles for modern cartridges failed as 6.5x54 cartridge. On the other hand, hunters decisively switched to boltpre-’64 Winchester Model 70s in .35 actions. Remington are valuable Winchester 70 collector’s items today. Featherweight/.270 Win They’re valuable because From the pre-’64 models they are scarce, and they are through the push feeds, scarce because together, they Classics and the current made a stupid combination models made by FN; the no one wanted. Model 70 Featherweights The .35 Rem is a splendid have been outstanding rifles, short-range hunting with excellent handling cartridge in a light, fastand handsome appearance. handling Marlin lever or The .270 seems right with Remington pump-action this rifle. Actually, I love rifle. In a long, heavy boltmy Featherweight .30-06s action rifle it makes no about as much. sense whatsoever. I suspect Remington 700 Mountain the recent Winchester 95 Rifle/.280 Rem reproductions in .270 Win My Mountain Rifle is will be valuable collector’s an early model with hinged items someday. Here are a floorplate and, to me, is the few combinations, which best of the many variations just seem right to me: on this illustrious rifle. Savage 99/.300 Savage Certainly it would be just as For at least 40 years good in .270 or .30-06 but the 99/.300 combo was the Remington cartridge tremendously popular, in the Remington rifle just providing adequate power, seems right. moderate recoil and smooth The Winchester 88 in Ed Brown Damara/7mm-08 any of its four calibers operation. I was surprised when is a classy rifle but Winchester 88/.284 Win Ed Brown suspended The .284 was specifically Dave has always felt (temporarily, I hope) rifle designed to give the most the .284 cartridge is production to focus on the case capacity available in the a perfect match for it. 1911 line. The Damara is Model 88 (and semi-auto The scope is a Bushnell light, compact, perfectly Model 100) Winchester 3-9X. The trigger moved balanced, accurate and with the lever making rifles. reliable and is an ideal match Of the post-’64 rifles with it impossible to pinch for the 7mm-08 cartridge. basketweave checkering, your trigger finger—or Ruger Carbine/.44 Magnum 32,405 were made in .284; to get a really good The .44 Carbine was and 35,733 were made in .308 trigger pull. is ideal for whitetail deer 28 The 7mm-08 is a most excellent cartridge. Dave never found a better rifle for it than this ed Brown Damara with leupold 2.5-8X scope. ideally balanced, light and accurate, it is mighty close to perfect. in heavy cover, where shots come suddenly at relatively close range, either while still-hunting or on drives. It is light, short, easy to carry and adequately powerful at moderate ranges. Today it seems everyone hunts whitetails by sitting in tree stands. Still-hunting is becoming a lost art. For its intended purpose nothing beats the .44 Ruger, but not enough hunters today want or need its capabilities. Sako Vixen/.222 Rem The .222 Rem is a truly classic cartridge and was wildly successful for at least 25 years after its 1950 introduction. The Sako L461 action is just right for the .222 cartridge, and Vixens, with the light sporter barrel are ideal for a walking-around varmint rifle. Browning BLR/.358 Win It can be argued that with modern bullets (Barnes TSX, for example) in .308 Win we don’t really need the .358. Maybe so, but a heavier bullet at moderate velocity worked 50 years ago and still does today. Currently, the Browning BLR is the only lever-action still available in .358, and a very fine rifle it is. I could do with a more subdued stock finish but these are well-made, reliable and good-looking rifles. Weatherby Vanguard/.300 Weatherby The Vanguard today is an amazing value. How a rifle of this quality can be sold at prices currently advertised WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • APRIL 2011