Downsizing to Matched Rifles...is it worth it?

rnovi

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So, I've been struggling with this idea for a while now. I've got this stupid idea to downsize and simplify my while hunting game. Down to two or *three rifles.

Yeah, I hate those kinds of threads. "What if you could only have two rifles? Three rifles?"...well, I'm kinda there but it's more because I'm really feeling like simplification is a good thing. I have enough stuff. I don't need more stuff.

I hunt - that's the primary focus. Perhaps not enough but hey, let's roll with it. My "target shooting" is really about making sure I'm comfortable and sighted in properly for the hunting season. I hunt the USA (deer and hogs in TX, been on one Grizz hunt in AK) and Africa (PG twice...next time I really want Cape Buff). I'm also not a long distance hunter. 300 yards? Yeah, that's about it. My longest shot was 312 yards on Kudu from across a valley where I had ten minutes to set up. Prone, rocks stacked and supporting...yeah, I took that shot. I'm not that guy who wants to shoot at 700 yards for hunting. Heck, my range only goes to 200 yards on paper and 600 yards with steel only.

(*Note: I'm 49 years old...no health issues...plenty of hunting years and destinations ahead of me. And this is really about Hunting Rifles...not guns I consider "toys", which include my AR's, Garand, Etc.)

So, here's the "collection" siting in the safe. All Rifles are topped with respectable and appropriate glass (VX3 on the "light weight" end...VX6 and Leica is the norm).

Remington M7MS Custom Shop in .257 Roberts (my primary hunting rifle for deer and hogs)
Remington M7 AWR in 7mm SAUM (7#, 3oz scoped foul weather Alaskan rifle, been to Kodiak for Sitka and Goat.) Its biggest problem is the ammo - I have enough for a hunting career (260 factory rounds and 50 pieces of fresh brass that I reload)
Remington SPS (heavy barrel, Hogue stock) in .308 (*originally a "loaner" rifle for my dad...who redefines what "Mil-Spec" should really mean! A general Loaner at this point.)

2x Merkel Helix actions (switch barrel), 6.5x55, 7mm RMag, 9.3x62 (*Obvious problem here is lack of the .375 H&H...)
Merkel 141 Double, 9.3x74r (*well, it's a double)
Merkel K1 7mm RMag (6# 6oz of pure recoiling bitch).
Merkel K1 7x57r (my Wife's...not open for discussion!)

Montana 1999 in .375 H&H

Every single rifle is 3/4" capable. Which, in and unto itself, seems to be the boring norm. A couple deliver 1/2" accuracy or shoot better than me.

This could apply to a Blaser, Merkel Helix, Mauser Switch Barrel...or two identical rifles, save caliber.

I keep thinking...I could reduce to just two or three rifles. Sell everything, reduce to just two or three rifles. These would have to "universal" rifles. Ammo availability in Africa...or a 'Stan would be necessary. So, common calibers.

Let's say I sell everything and start over with a $10k budget for just two rifles*. The rifles as a pair have to hunt everything from Texas blinds to Alaskan Goat to African Cape Buff.

So...how nutty am I? Downsizing anyone? Is there a real value (know your gun, handling, etc.) in keeping it simple for hunting purposes? Just an '06 (or .270 or 7mm RM?) and a .375, matched rifles (different stock colors though!) make sense? I really would like to hear your thoughts.




*(Except the .257...it has certain sentimental value. And besides, my name is Robert sooooo...)
 
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redriverjake

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I'm considering doing the same thing you're talking about here. I have more than I really even know what to do with so I intend to downsize considerably. Between getting rid of a few my(our) rifle battery to look like this.

270 Win (wife)
375 H&H (mine)
500 N.E (I work in the field and need heavy backup)

I could add a 300 win mag for some of the open/high country hunts I do occasionally but really the 375 or the 270 are both quite capable (if not ideal) out to any reasonable hunting ranges I care to consider. There are others that I'll keep for sentimental reasons, as well as of course the odd 22 lr and a pair of shotguns but I think those three I mentioned above cover every sporting situation I can think of.

It seems in your case the votes would have to go towards keeping the...

257 Roberts
7x57
375 H&H

The only thing I see that stands out is the overlap between the 257 and 275. Perhaps that's acceptable or maybe you would want a little more versatility. One little side note also, some countries don't allow import of any caliber that was previously a military chambering, so the 7x57 would be out of the game. It's a smaller consideration but a consideration nonetheless. Just my 2 cents, Cheers.
 

PeteG

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If you have the switch barrels, i would go with the 6.5 and the 9,3.
Add another in 416 or 458 barrel and you are done.

If you didn't have the 9,3 I'd say go for one of the 8x57js or 8x68s in its place and then a 375 barrel for big game.
easy and simple.

keep the 9,3 double just because...;)
 

IvW

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Strangely I have been having similar thoughts with my arsenal.

1. BRNO ZKK 601 260 Rem AI
2. BRNO ZKK 602 300 H&H
3. BRNO ZKK 602 375 H&H
4. BRNO ZKK 602 500 JEFF

I have some other specialist rifles that I will keep but the top four would be my go to guns depending on what we are hunting.
 

cagkt3

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Tough choice! But if you do sell any, let me know (y)
 

wesheltonj

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If you really want to down size, get rid of all of them and go buy some more barrels for the Merkel and sell everything else.
 

mdwest

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I've found that 90%+ of my hunting is done with just two center fire rifles.. if I absolutely had to cull the herd I could likely get by with just my .308 and my 375 H&H...

but.. for some unknown reason.. the herd keeps getting larger and larger every year.. I dont NEED another small bore, or another mid bore, or another large bore.. but somehow I added one of each of those to the safe in the last 12 months..

I've got a .308... and the vast majority of my hunting is done in areas where a 200 yard shot would be very long.. and the animals I hunt are generally no larger/tougher than an elk and no smaller than a white tail or a feral hog (for the occasions where something larger or tougher is on the hit list, I have the 375H&H)..

So.. why do I need a 7mm WSM, 30-06, .243, another .308, and a 7x57?

The reality is.. I dont.. but.. the fact is that I do own them.. and I dont want it to change... :)

I believe its an illness..

hello... I'm mdwest.. and I'm a gunaholic..
 

Bullthrower338

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I have a hard time deciding on what three I want to carry in my truck!
 

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To me this thread is an indication of a truly troubled mind. Any of this sort of guilt driven, puritanical self-denial - whether wine, hunting, or guns - strikes me as really a soul crying out in torment. Next you'll be taking spa treatments with your spouse.

I refuse to yield. I built a gun room.
 

jduckhunter

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If I down sized what would I do with my 3 gun safes? I guess I would have to sell them too.
 

rnovi

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Guys, thank you for the thoughts and perspectives.

The only challenge with the Merkel Helix is that the largest bore they make is the 9.3x62. There is no .375 H&H option which is a bit of my frustration.

Now, I have no problem hanging onto the "toys" - that is rifles and handguns for just plain blasting away. That's always fun. I just keep thinking I could make the hunting a whole lot easier by having two matched rifles. About the only thing I absolutely know is that the .375 H&H has to be there. The second rifle could be a .270/7mm/30'06.
 

rnovi

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To me this thread is an indication of a truly troubled mind. Any of this sort of guilt driven, puritanical self-denial - whether wine, hunting, or guns - strikes me as really a soul crying out in torment. Next you'll be taking spa treatments with your spouse.

I refuse to yield. I built a gun room.

:LOL:

My idea of a "spa treatment" is a dip in a mountain stream while Goat hunting. :)
 

Bullthrower338

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If I down sized what would I do with my 3 gun safes? I guess I would have to sell them too.
Naw, you use that cravat that those are fun guns. Took me a while but I figure it out.
You decide on your main three guns then the other couple hundred are just for fun.
 

wesheltonj

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Guys, thank you for the thoughts and perspectives.
The only challenge with the Merkel Helix is that the largest bore they make is the 9.3x62. There is no .375 H&H option which is a bit of my frustration.

Sell them all and buy a Blaser, they have a 375 barrel. If I was starting over that's what I would do.
 

Nyati

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Sell them all and buy a Blaser, they have a 375 barrel. If I was starting over that's what I would do.

Agree, as long as it´s a R8.

You can go up to a .500 Jeff
 
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Newboomer

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You guys are terrible! I suffer from the same malady. I think I just have to get ----. Then reality sets in and I say to myself, "Self, what in hell would you use it for? You don't use what you've got now. Yeah, but it would be nice to have. You don't have any more room in your safe and, No, you don't have room for another one." And so it goes. I suppose I could sell off a bunch and make room for ___. Decisions, decisions.
 

Pheroze

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Build those matched rifles. It will take three years anyways so keep what you have until then. Try out the match set for a couple of years. Then pause, sit back, have a drink and thank your lucky stars you never sold any of those fine rifles....
 

JPbowhunter

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I try to think practically about my guns.

I own a 30-06 synthetic rifle for mountain hunting

A 275 rigby for bush stalking.

A 50 cal muzzleloader

12 gauge u/o

From here I'll buy a .22lr and a .223 for my son. And either a 404j/450-400 or 9.3x62/9.3x74 for big game one day.

I feel like that combo will kill anything in the world I'd ever hunt. You could argue the 275 and a shotgun could do the same though. Food for thought
 

CAustin

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I like my choices. So I couldn’t see myself letting a rifle go. I’ve done it before and now regret that I let one get away. @rnovi you have plenty to choose from and could easily empty out the safe and start over. If you were to do so I would say a 375 H&H a 300 win mag and the 257 would make a good set of all around hunting rifles.
 

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