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NAT’L – HUNTING – Deer rifle love affair

I love only one woman, but I love a lot of different rifles. Blonds, brunettes, long ones, short ones, gentle ones and temperamental ones … I love them all because to me, a hunting rifle is art, the ultimate union of form and function. My lifelong love affair of rifles began as a child with the .30-06. My dad had a Remington 740 semi-auto, and like many men from the World War II generation, he acknowledged no other cartridge. His taste for other luxuries was extravagant, but that was the only rifle he ever owned. My father-in-law was the same way. He served in the Pacific Theater. He believed the .30-06 was the Tyrannosaurus Rex of all cartridges. The day I proved to him that the .308 Winchester shoots the same bullet as the .06, at roughly the same velocity, was like telling a little kid that there is no Santa Claus. He never spoke of such things with me again. Who knows why hunters bond with certain cartridges? Maybe it’s the way the numbers roll off the tongue. Say it out loud, “Three-Oh-Eight.” Swoon! My first one was a Winchester Model 70 Classic Stainless Featherweight with an auburn finish that glows in the soft light of a southern November morning. It’s wicked accurate with 150-gr. Hornady Spire Points or Sierra GameKings powered by 45 grains of IMR 4064, and at 300 yards, it drops deer like an NFL linebacker hitting a Pop Warner running back. Ironically, the .308 succeeded the .30-06 in military supremacy, but while its fans are ardent, the round never supplanted the .30-06 in the hearts of American hunters. Why? Because the aught-six is distinctively American, born in war and proven afield. I have two. One is a Winchester Model 70 Classic Super Grade. The other is a 1967 Grade II Browning BAR, a first-year production model. I hunt with that one, and it’s very accurate with 150-gr. Hornady Boattail Spire Points powered by 56.5 grains of IMR-4350.  [full article]

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