Monday, December 14, 2020

50th Anniversary Rifle

As a young lad in the spring of 1970 I purchased my first rifle.  Prior to that my centerfire hunting firearms consisted of a hand-me-down Winchester 38-40 or the occasional use of granddads 30-30 or dad's .308.

Fast cars held little interest for me, however dreams of fast bullets and flat shooting rifles were what kept me up at night.  Reading magazines like Outdoor Life, Field and Stream, Sports Afield, and The American Rifleman, fanned the flames of my passion.  The sale of a bull calf netted enough to purchase a budget priced Remington Model 788 in the smoking fast 22-250 Remington caliber.  While considered on the light side for deer, I shot everything from starlings to whitetails with it.

After a few years of heavy shooting its accuracy began to wane.  When it was new sub minute of angle groups were the norm but by the late 70's its accuracy had deteriorated to 3-4 minutes.  Upon finding a custom barrel maker, J. W. VanPatten of Milford Pa., who offered reboring, I sent it to him with instructions to rebore to 250-3000 Savage.  The job was a success with accuracy being restored.  Some time later I had the barrel shortened from the original 24" to 20", restocked with a homemade stock,  and just last winter replaced the original somewhat stiff trigger with an excellent 2lb Timney. 

Of course this is the story of just one rifle for as the years passed I bought a number of different calibers and models and while finding others that I enjoyed using, the old .250 was always around to be taken for the odd hunt.

When I realized that this year marked its 50th anniversary I determined to make it my rifle of choice.  And it did its job admirably!