08 September 2017

Roads Considered But Not Taken

In 1993 when I really started getting interested in guns with gusto; if you had asked me what bolt action FUDD rifle I'd have bought:

I would have said a Browning A-Bolt in .308.

I've never even bid on one.

I waffled between a Remington 700, Ruger 77 and Winchester 70 for a long time.

I would have oscillated between .30-06 or .308 if you'd forced me to pick one of the three.

The FUDD gun I bought new was a Savage 110XP Trophy Hunter package gun, in .270.

You may ask yourself, "How did I get here?"


The post-64 Winchester has a lot of contemptuous ink spilled about it, and the post-post-64 Classic line wasn't received much better.  Not that I've ever talked to anyone who owned one who disliked it, they had a defensive tone from so many years of abuse.

The Remington has an excellent reputation, but when I started talking to owners it appeared that they needed a lot of modding.  These people, of course, were the kind of people who were delighted they had to tinker to get the gun to where they wanted it.  To me, it meant a lot of money to spend on an already spendy item.

Ruger stopped making the 77 before two things happened.  First I had to forgive the company for the trespasses of its, now dead, founder.  Second, they stopped making the darn things and I couldn't keep track of what gun in their line up was the one I wanted.  So I gave up trying to sort them out.

Budget guns, like the Remington 770 and Savage Axis felt wrong.

Skeezer The Software Janitor really liked his Savage 110 package gun and I tended to agree even if I LOATHED the synthetic stock it came with.  Happily, Savage changed some things around and came out with a (cheap) wood stocked version with an Accutrigger®.  That suited me to the bones.

The Godless .270 choice falls out of choosing the third of three calibers that my uncles would fight about being best.  Bob said .30-06, Robert said .280 Remington and .270 was beyond the pale.  It amuses me to pick the caliber they both thought sucked.  Never mind that the deer can't tell.

As far as an OLD Winchester goes... I've been curious about the Win 54 since I started reading about .270.  I'd have bought one in .270 too, but Willard insists that if I am going to call myself an American; I need to own a .30-06.  This insistence is why Marv bought the $100 Mauser and gave me the money to remain a .30-06 while becoming a pre-pre-64 Winchester bolt gun owner.

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