My stalking rifle is a Remington 700 Mountain Rifle in .243, with a Leupold LPS 2-10x45
@EDELWEISSLets talk about stalking rifle cartridges. Short action, Long action, Rimfire? Small game or large? How'bout suppressed? In another thread we debated "Stalking Rifles". I'm wclearly pushing the limits of the original Stalking Rifle definition, so I'm happy to be part of a new classification. Lets call these "new" rifles Hiking or Pursuit Rifles. For me that means a rifle you can carry all day over "rough" terrain (whatever that means to you--hills, thick brush, etc) and take quick shot on startled game as well as maybe taking "quiet" shots if a suppressor is an option to you. I'm picturing walking and also blind/stand hunting. The rifle can be whatever action type you prefer and/or are allowed. For "most" of my hunting that means no semi autos. I happen to be a huge fan of Single Shots, and theres nothing cooler in my mind than a full stocked bolt gun.
I started this journey wanting a rifle to take on hikes; because I wanted to hike with a rifle, it just seems like something a man should do. I jumped on a Rem 700 heavy barrel in 223, figuring I could add a suppressor to the factory threaded heavy barrel if I wanted. I'm used to humping heavy rifles; but this one just seemed too heavy for this project with its Hogue over molded stock (and the heavy tactical scope I added). Once I realized my mistake, I went shopping again. This time I found the almost perfect rifle. It was another Rem 700 in 223; but much lighter with a slim sporter barrel, all I had to do was find a smith to trim the barrel back to 16 inches and add a lighter scope. I really love that rifle; but theres a lot I cant hunt with it, so I went looking for something else.
I just got back from a range day with my new bride, whos also a new shooter. She took fast to handguns; but rifles are a slower learning curve for her. I think part of it is "learning" to use a scope and finding a good fitting rifle. She seems to really love my Remington/AAC Model 7, in 300 Blackout. They must have had her in mind when they designed the rifle.
The rifle's proportions "fit" her and the adjustable cheek piece made a perfect fit. I use a Gemtech 300 suppressor. The already short rifle hardy feels out of place with the suppressor mounted. I was initially dubious of the cartridge. My first leap into it was at the height of the ammo shortage. Now that its a "Walmart" cartridge, I'm much happier using it for hunting 2 and 4 legged animals.... Its a great cartridge/rifle combo; but I think its limited for longer shots and bigger game.
I'm also a new convert to 7mm08. I got into it by accident because of a deal to good to pass on a Rem 700 rifle. I had planned to turn it into a "Tactical" hunting rifle with a short barrel with a suppressor in a MagPul stock; but my bride likes it...
Ive always wanted something in 6.5x55. I'm not sure what 6.5x55 will do that 7mm-08 wont; but who really needs an excuse to buy another rifle?
There a few cartridges that Ive "always wanted". I'm not sure they fall into the Hiking Rifle category; but I'm willing to give'em a try. Ever since the Jeff Cooper Scout rifle days, Ive wanted something in 350 Remington Magnum. I also have an urge for 35 Whelen, and 9.3x62. I guess they would be "Heavy Hikers".
So whats your Stalking Hiking Pursuit Carry all day rifle and cartridge?
@ Art Lambert III onw and use one of your so called "Heavy Hiker's" its a Encore in 35 Whelen, it's my go to rifle for all my hunting. Its light but not to light, easy to carry all day, shoots straight and hits hard. I have a 270 and 300 WM barrels as well but the whelen has replaced them both.View attachment 161475
@MekaniksI did a slot similar project for the same reasons. I wanted a light weight rifle I could easily carry on a back pack that still had the accuracy and enough punch to be effective. I had a win 70, push feed, short action in .243 as a donor to start with.
I had it rebarrled into .338 Federal with a 20" stainless Douglas XX barrel. Ceracoted the barrel and action flat black (armor black is the correct name) put a HS Precision Kevlar stock on it. Topped it with a Leupold Vari-X II 3-9 with a Leupold Dot reticle, and Talley light weight 1 piece rings. And a Browning adjustable sling.
Ready to hunt fully loaded with 5+1 it's just barely over 7lbs.
Like I said I intended to just use it as a backpack gun. But, since I started hunting with it, I love it! It's extremely accurate, hits like a hammer, is easy to carry and I shoot it well. In the three years I have been using it, I have taken a boat load of Sitka black tail deer, a Kodiak Brown Bear, and just got back from South Africa with it, where I shot a Kudu (the one who n my avatar) a blue wildebeest, black wildebeest, Impala, springbok, and a Jackel. I never felt "undergunned". It's not a 500 yard "across the canyon" rifle, but I can't see more than 300 anymore anyway.
So I really like the .338 federal cartridge. The only downside is that Federal is not making ammo readily available. So I bought about 400 empty cases and just handload for it. With all the .338 diameter bullets available it makes handloading easy.
Next is to have the barrel threaded and get a suppressor for it before I go back to Africa next time... right after I finish paying for my last trip.
Anyway, you have a cool project going so keep us updated on the progress as you go. Lots of fun to build a truly custom rifle.
And then the Encore in 375 H&H Magnum. Light, easy to carry all day and a heavy hitter.
Or you can go even lighter. Another Encore in 375 H&H Magnum.
Bob,@ Art Lambert II
Didn't you tell your dad you had no use for that 35 Encore because he won't load the 250gn Speer hotcore properly for you so you are sending it over to me to trial with them and don't want it back.
Mate they is one sweet little Whelen. The beauty of the Whelen is you only need one shot, no need for fast follow up shots. If you hit it properly with the Whelen it's one and done, go pick up your animal.
@Art Lambert IIBob,
What I told my dad was that since I have a new 35 Whelen barrel for my Encore I didn't need to use the 300 WM barrel anymore. The Whelen will do everything the 300WM will do and more so why bother changing barrels. My Encore now sports a 24" custom Bullberry barrel and a 3x9 Leupold with a firedot reticle. IMHO there are two types of hunters in the world those that like to track their game after the shoot and those that use the 35 Whelen.