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Favorite Rifle

This is a discussion on Favorite Rifle within the Up To .375 forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; I think most hunters have a favorite rifle and mine happens to be a Ruger 77 ss. I have hunted ...

  1. #1
    jaustin's Avatar
    jaustin is offline AH Veteran
    Jan 2009

    Member of SCI

    Hunted USA Canada, RSA, Argentina, Namibia/Caprivi

    Default Favorite Rifle

    I think most hunters have a favorite rifle and mine happens to be a Ruger 77 ss. I have hunted with this rifle for about 15 years now and I have taken quite a bit of game with it. What is kind of funny about this gun is that I really did not like it at first, the stainless barrel and the synthetic stock took some getting used to. The gun was a gift from my brother. My brother is a gun nut of the first order and keeps tabs on all of the gun shops within a 60 mile radius of his home. He was in a shop with his black lab Jack when a fellow asked how much he would charge to have Jack breed his dog. My brother said that he did not want cash, but did he have anything to trade. To make a long story short, Jack had a lovers interlude and I ended up with a 300 Win mag. This rifle shoots so good that I quickly got over the look and feel. I am not sure how many animals I have taken with it, Probably 30-40 deer, 20 african animals up to and including eland, South American red stag and wild boar, and a few elk, a couple of bears, and a pickup load of pronghorns. They were calling me the sniper in Argentina, just like Carlos Babcock they said, I did not correct them on the name just as I didn't when they were talking about American general George Custard. It did not even hurt my reputation that I missed a couple of shots. I feel very confident when I carry this rifle and I know what this rifle and caliber can do. I plan on using this rifle for many years to come.

  2. #2's Avatar is online now Jerome Philippe, Founder of
    Oct 2007

    Member of

    Hunted Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, France, Spain, USA


    My preferred rifle that I have used since the age of 9 is a 300 Weatherby and have literally taken hundreds of animals with it in Africa. This gun is a work horse, nothing fancy but it is super reliable... It's just a good caliber across the board!

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  3. #3
    Skyline is offline AH Fanatic
    Dec 2008

    Member of SCI Life Member, MLOA, DU, MWF, MTA


    Well I actually have three favorites, but if I had to pick just one it is my .375 H&H built on an older Sako action. It has NECG express sights and a McMillan glass stock. It has been a lot of miles and I shoot it all the time really. Don't need to use it but I shoot the odd elk and moose with it, plus pack it up north when I am guiding. It has hammered a lot of bears.

    I just love packing it around and when I point it at something it goes down.

    The other two have the same type of action and they are chambered in .25-06 and .300 Wby.

  4. #4
    Calhoun is offline AH Enthusiast
    Jan 2009

    Member of SCI N.E. Wisconsin Chapter - WisNRA

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    My favorite rifle is my model 70 in 30-06. This rifle has killed all of my African animals ( biggest being a Kudu) several Elk & numerous Deer. I have a dozen rifles but when it comes to hunting its always my first choice.
    My 2nd choice would be my model 700 in 375 H&H. although I have one in 308 I like the feeling of I can handle just about any huge critter with this selection!

  5. #5
    TIm Vining is offline New Member
    Mar 2009

    Member of SCI Central Washington Chapter

    Hunted Namibia and RSA

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    I have way to many rifles but succumb to the addage "there is no such thing as to many guns". My old reliable is a Remington KS in 300 Win Mag. I found the rifle on the used rack about seven years ago and it was pretty beat up in looks and quite honestly the scope was worth more than rifle!! However, this rifle turned out to be a great shooter and I have taken a fair amount of game with it including a B&C Mountain Goat. A gunsmith friend of mine moly coated the barrel and repainted the stock and it looks as good as new.
    Its a good thing I am not married as I am sure a wife would be wondering why I had so many rifles if this one was my favorite.

  6. #6
    GWH's Avatar
    GWH is offline AH Member
    Mar 2009

    Member of Waiouru Rod and Gun club

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    Picking my favourite rifle is a tough call..... probably go better picking my favourite calibre. Right now it would have to be the 270 WSM - I have taken a good swag of game animals with this, red deer, Sika deer, goats, chamois, Tahr, Boar, Hares and even an unlucky Bunny or two. For years i used to be a .308 man but the WSM has now eclipsed this. I have toyed with alot of other calibres and wildcats along the way but am now pretty sure this is it as I have just ordered a second 270 WSM (Win Mod 70 SS Extreme) which will become my all rounder and will one day be used on African plains game.

  7. #7
    owenowen's Avatar
    owenowen is online now AH Veteran
    Mar 2009

    Hunted South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia

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    Default info

    223 - 308 - 7 mm mag

  8. #8
    Shallom's Avatar
    Shallom is offline AH Enthusiast
    Feb 2009

    Hunted Tanzania, Germany, Austria, USA.


    My favorites are the .22 Long Rifle for always reminding me that pin-point accuracy is key and just a good, affordable rifle to keep you in practise and shooting true.

    The .30-06 is a great plains game calibre and highly dependable. Easy to get ammunition and just a wonderful balance of power and range.

    .416 is simply the best dangerous game shooting gun. Again, I love the balance of knock-down, range and accuracy of this calibre. On dangerous game, it will do the job WELL. Ammunition also easily available.

    The .470 NE is a guiding favorite and definately built for African Dangerous Game, with Professional Hunters in mind. It has what it takes to handle a dangerous situations.

    Let's not forget the trusty shotgun - always a good gun to have with a range of use just by a change of shells. A fun calibre and very useful one.
    Ryan Shallom (CEO)
    Tanzania, East-Africa.

  9. #9
    Vetaikaran is offline AH Member
    Mar 2009

    Member of NZDA

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    My favourite hunting rifle at the moment is my Kimber Montan SS 7mm08 - took a stag at 250 meters + with 1 shot & droped it through the heart. Before that it was my Sako Finbear 280 Ackley Imp which I shoot very well out to 400 yds.

    My current craze is my quartet of classic European rifles - Mauser 98 Simson 9.3X62 and the 3 Mannlicher Schoenauers in 6,5X54MS & 9.5X57MS.

    I also love my Tikka LSA 55 in 222 - a tack driver that I can shoot bottle caps with at 200 meters.

    All other rifles are just casual affairs & not true loves!!!

    Please see my other thread on which rifle to take to Africa & let me have your comments.

  10. #10
    peter weismann is offline New Member
    Mar 2009
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    I would mean, the one I use.
    I really hunt with about anything, but there is no question that some can do the job better than others and such is not only a matter of rifle, but also of the used caliber. There I have a fondness on wildcats and like, of course, those of my own design the most.
    So no question, when I state, I like my Rem 700, it is a statement that also means: I like my .34x68 what I use in this rifle.
    One other other point maybe: how often do I use a rifle in my daily hunting and there I almost ever use single shots and my most liked are K77 Blaser and there I have my .338Gaby build in one of them and this is my main working rifle at all, as long, as I hunt at home. It is my companion through the week, the month, the year of hunting and in all conditions in all weather, it is ready and it is deadly. Of course, the .338Gaby (consider it as 338WinMag with rim) is somewhat over the edge for small game, such as our roe deer. The best rifle I have for this is an old Blaser K70 that comes in .25x50R (one more of my wildcats).
    But sometimes I am going to test things and can be enthusiastic for what I am testing, even if this is not my design, not in cartridge design, not one of my liked rifle designs. The biggest part of my hunting during the last few months (almost all drives on wildboars) I did with my new Ruger Frontiers Rifle in .338-08 and used a bullet of German design for this test and man, was that fun with this little rifle! Outstanding!
    But what counts a few weeks of fun against years of good experiance?

    So, I would put this question in that way: what, if you would have to decide on using only one rifle for all your hunting?
    It would be my .34x68 in the Remingtom M700, sythetic stock, stainless, Zeiss 2.5x10x on it in Warne mounts. loaded to shot 225 grains AccuBonded in less than one inch groups on 100m, leaving the barrel at about 890m/s. Not, because it attracts me the most, but because it is the most practical working compromise and still has one of my wildcats installed and is dependable and real usable piece of gun.

  11. #11
    oscar1975's Avatar
    oscar1975 is offline AH Veteran
    Mar 2009
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    Now, my favourite rifle is the Ceska 550 Magnum in 375 H&H Magnum.


  12. #12
    DuggaBoy's Avatar
    DuggaBoy is offline New Member
    Mar 2009

    Member of NRA DSC TSRA Whittington

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    Smile gif

    Though like many of us, I presume, I have too many favorite rifles; I only have one rifle that I will refuse to part with at any price (at least I tell myself this repeatedly), it is an original 6.5 x 54 Mannlicher-Schoenauer.

    Though it has some chamber and throat wear as would be expected, it is a delight to shoot, carry, gaze upon and of course, hunt with.

    It never fails to put 160's and 140's into a combined grouping at 100 yds of about four inches and each subgroup is about 11/2 inches respectively.
    The 160's kill out of proportion to their velocity, weight, recoil and report in my experience. The 140's strike on the same unmoved crosshairs @ 220 as the 160s do @ 100 , so I keep both with me during a stalk.

    I find that as I age ,more and more I reach past the "big" customs in the safe for the "little gun" as it was named by my son years ago.

  13. #13
    Ray Atkinson's Avatar
    Ray Atkinson is offline AH Enthusiast
    Mar 2009

    Member of SCI Dallas

    Hunted RSA, Botswana, CAR, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya way back when, and a few others that I can't remember.

    Default Favorite rifle

    I would be hard pressed to narrow it down to one and that ain't gonna happen anyway but my favorites are as follows:

    1. 30-06 Custom stocked Ruger with M-70 safety and control feed conversion would probably be my all time favorite if presse to the wall.

    2. A Brno M-22 7x57 Carbine, my 5 lb. custom stocked 6x45, my old ratty 5mm that shoots a half inch at 100 yards!

    3. A Savage 99 EG in 250 Savage along with a M-94 SRC in 25-35 that belonged to my dad and the other a gift from a dear friend..I shot my first elk and deer with the 25-35 and more than a few with dads 250 Savage in my mispent cowboy youth...

    4.The 404 Jefferys and my old .375 H&H Mauser rate high.

    I hate to stop with so few, as their are other favorites but guess I had better.

  14. #14
    Von Gruff's Avatar
    Von Gruff is offline AH Senior Member
    May 2009

    Hunted New Zealand, Austaralia

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    I suppose as we all get to know each other on this and other forums our favourite rifles and calibers will come as no surprise. For me the pair of custom 98's I built in 7x57 and 404 are what I could do the remaining of my hunting with. I have a lovely wee Kimber 22 and a Rem XR100 I built as a 20 VarTarg for the little stuff. Of course being a colonial I have to have a 303 and who could be without a nice sxs 12 g. That is my lot reduced to the absolute minimum but it covers anything and every thing anyone could ever want to hunt.

    Von Gruff.

  15. #15
    Highland is offline AH Member
    May 2009

    Member of DSC, SCI

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    Favorite? A 375 H&H that started out as a Model 70 Super Grade in 7STW. While it isn't the most accurate, it is the hungriest! It always collects the meat or trophy.

  16. #16
    derekwest is offline AH Member
    Feb 2008

    Member of SCI, Ducks Unlimited

    Hunted Namibia

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    Weatherby 340 Mag; perfect on elk, moose, bears of all kind and did just fine with Namibian plains game. After a few more hunts in Africa, I hope my next favorite is the CZ 550 in 416 Rigby.

  17. #17
    Arild Iversen is offline AH Member
    May 2009

    Member of NRA, BASC

    Hunted Sweden, South Africa, England,Namibia, Norway

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    Not an easy one this one...

    I guess it must be my "go to rifle" which is an old Ruger M77 MKII, stainless and with the paddle stock. It has a Shilen barrel in 35 Whelen and is a trusty companion for whatever I might run into.

    Also my new Ruger Hawkeye in 375 Ruger seems to be a great rifle.

  18. #18
    gwindrider1 is offline New Member
    May 2009

    Member of Sangre Shooting Sports Club

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    Damn, I can't really answer that one. I'm so fond of each of my hunting rifles, I would have to say that my favorite would have to be the one I had in my hands at the moment. .25-06, .308, 7mm. RM., .338, or .458, it's all good!

  19. #19
    buffybr's Avatar
    buffybr is offline AH Veteran
    Sep 2009

    Member of SCI, RMEF, Life member NRA and Manhatten (Montana) Wildlife Association

    Hunted USA(CO,MT,WY,AK,TX), Canada(NWT), Zim(Matetsi), RSA(Limpopo,KZN,Free State,Eastern Cape)

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    Don't you just love it when a new guy joins the Forum and digs up a bunch of old Threads?

    Like many of you, I have a pile of "favorite" rifles. I have stocked or re-stocked most of my hunting rifles, with probably 100+ hours of work into each one. This includes shaping and finishing, glass and pillar bedding the action and barrel channel, and hand checkering a multi-panel pattern that I have on four of my rifles. With all that time and TLC, each one becomes a favorite.

    When I first started hunting it was easy to name my favorite rifle. I only had one. It was a .30-06 barreled action and semi-finished stock that I bought from Herter's when I was in college. It was also the first stock that I checkered. Living in NW Colorado and then in NW Montana, I shot a pile of mule deer, pronghorns, and elk with that rifle.

    Just before I moved to SW Montana, I had a Kalispel gunsmith re-chamber that .30-06 to .30 Gibbs. For the next 25 years, that was my favorite elk rifle, taking an elk almost every year with it and also a couple of moose, a mtn goat, and an Alaskan caribou.

    As I got more into hunting and shooting, I decided I needed more than one rifle. So I got my next favorite rifle. I ordered a Mauser Mark X barreled action in .20-06 and semi-finished fancy walnut stock from Fajen. Before I put them together, I had that Kalispel gunsmith re-chamber it to .257 Ackley. For the past 30 or so years, this has been my favorite rifle for deer and pronghorn antelope size animals. I've also been lucky enough to shoot 3 bighorn rams and a Dall ram, a mountain caribou, and one of my largest 6-pt bull elk with it.

    About the time I built my .257 Ackley, I decided I needed gopher/groundhog rifle, so I ordered another Mauser Mark X action and had the Kalispel gunsmith make me a tapered octagon barrel chambered in .22-250 for it. Another semi-finished fancy walnut stock from Fajen, and I got my favorite varmint rifle. It has also worked for several deer and pronghorns.

    About five years ago I decided to upgrade my "plane Jane" black Remington 700 ADL in 7mm Rem Mag to a more all weather Model 700 BDL with a Stainless Steel barrel and action and a composite stock that would fit me. A little work on the trigger, glass bedding the action and barrel channel, a 1/2" spacer and a Limbsaver recoil pad and I now had my favorite foul weather rifle, good for anything from pronghorn antelope in the rain to elk in a snowstorm.

    In 2005 I booked a Cape Buffalo hunt in Zimbabwe. I needed a DG rifle. I had a .375 H&H in a Model 700 Rem Classic, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted. After some research, I ordered a new Remington 700 LSS with a 26" Stainless Steel barrel chambered in .375 Rem Ultra Mag. The first trip to the range with my new .375 RUM convinced me that I had some recoil taming to do. A new grey/rose laminated semi finished stock from Richards, a trigger job, pillar and glass bedding the action and barrel channel, a KDF muzzle brake, a mechanical recoil reducer, a Limbsaver pad, and topped with a 2 x 7 Leupold, and I have my favorite African rifle.

    This .375 RUM has been with me to Africa twice. The first time I shot 300 gr TSX bullets through it to take a buffalo and 4 other PG animals from bushbuck to Zebra. This was the only rifle that I took for my last trip to the Eastern Cape region of South Africa in 2007. On this trip I shot 270 gr TSX bullets and shot 13 PG animals from Steenbok to Cape Eland. Shots were from 30 yds for the Eland to 348 yds for a Gemsbok, including two prone shots at 220 and 250 yds for Black Springbok and Vaal Rhebok. Recoil was not a factor on any of the shots, and most shots were DRT one shot kills.

    I traded my .375 H&H for a Remington model 541T in .22 LR. It's topped with a 3 x 9 Simmons scope and a 1" recoil pad makes the length of pull close to that of my hunting rifle. This rifle easily shoots 3" groups at 100 yds which makes it a great rifle for inexpensive practice. It is my favorite .22 rifle.

    A couple of years ago I began having some problems with my .30 Gibbs so I decided to build a .300 Weatherby. I bought a Weatherby Vanguard in .300 Wby and ordered a fancy Claro walnut semi finished stock from Richards for it. I had a KDF muzzle brake installed on the barrel, pillar and glass bedded the action and barrel channel, installed a mercury recoil reducer in the stock, polished and adjusted the trigger, installed a Limbsaver pad, and topped it with a 4 x 12 Leupold scope. It will shoot several different bullets into 3-shot 1" groups at 100 yds at from 3100-3200 fps. I haven't shot anything but paper with it yet, but I'm sure it will become my favorite all around rifle.

  20. #20
    richteb's Avatar
    richteb is offline AH Enthusiast
    Jul 2009

    Member of SSAA,Military Pistol Club

    Hunted Australia,Zimbabwe


    First choice Mauser MO3 in 30-06 & 375 H&H. As a backup Browning A bolt ss in 338 win mag.

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