Thursday, December 31, 2009

One Rifle

Over at The Gun Nut, there's a posting about Warren Page, the shooting editor of Field and Stream from '47-'72.

Page was a prolific and trusted scribe. He's widely credited with wildcatting cartridges from the .308 Winchester class of ammo and some say that the original derivation of 6mm-.308 was known as the Page Super Pooper. We call it the 6mm Remington today. (There are some differences in shoulder angle and taper, but the idea is sound and Page probably experimented with all the variations.)

However, what might not be known, is this vignette in the article linked above.
Yet despite the deluge of wildcats, and the eventual cascade of new factory rounds that followed, Page was essentially a one-gun hunter. He used lots of different stuff, but the majority of his big-game trophies were killed with a single rifle—a 7mm Mashburn Super Magnum. Page got this rifle very early in his career—1949 or so. He called it “Old Betsy,” and used only one handload for everything, a 175-grain Nosler semi-spitzer bullet at 3,050 fps. Throughout her career, Old Betsy wore only one scope, a 4X Redfield with a medium crosshair, and with this combination, Page killed 475 head of big game of all shapes and sizes, at all ranges. He hunted his way to a Weatherby Trophy and into Rowland Ward and Boone and Crockett.
Imagine that! Warren Page was a 7mm guy! It doesn't surprise me that his favorite cartridge was a wildcat.

Still, the article talks about one cartridge and one rifle and it rings solidly for me. As many rifles as I've owned and as many cartidges as I've played with, over the past several years I've become really fond of the .30-06. Specifically my Savage 110. If I'm hunting somewhere and unsure of the terrain or the manner that I might have to take a shot, I'll pick up the -06 every time.

Does that mean I'm a one-gun hunter? Not particularly, but unless I know exactly what type shooting I'm going to be doing, the particular ranges and the size of the game, then I'm going to grab the .30-06. I've got faith in it and enough experience with it that I know it'll do what I ask it to do. Most of my rifles are liable to be loaners, or used by grandkids, but the .30-06 is mine.


J said...

Be interesting to have Ol' Betsy magnafluxed for cracks.

Skip said...

Yeah. How many barrels?

Old NFO said...

Wow, what a story... and yeah, I'll stick with my 30-06 :-)