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...)