Saturday, January 18, 2003

As you might know I've been seriously hot for a "real" rifle other than my TC Contender carbines or a mil-surplus. My recent exposure to the Accurate Reloading forums and the popularity of the various 9.3mm rifles among posters there has made me look in that direction for the chambering I should get. Of course that forum is much more international and with many European and African shooters on board, the 9.3x62mm Mauser and 9.3x74R are the 2 cartridges of this ilk most mentioned.

Now, I am not as dogmatic as many and I soon noted that the performance level as well as bullet diameter (.366") is very similar to a slew of American cartridges such as the .358 Winchester, .35 Whelen, .350 Remington Magnum, .338-06 and .338 Winchester Magnum. Also, while I was initially drawn to the Mauser CRF rifles many used I have to admit that my long standing prejudice against bolt rifles (it HAS to be more than a preference for single-shots!) finally returned and I am now looking at the Ruger No. 1 in either the "A" (light sporter) or "S" (medium sporter) formats. Both have the slimmer and trimmer Alexander Henry style forearm, the barrel mounted sling band, barrel band front sight ramp and differ only in barrel length being 22" and 24" respectively.

Getting a rifle of this class, I would expect to mount a Leupold 1.5-5X in the factory mounts (although I would prefer a quick release type) and I might get a NECG aperture sight for back-up. I imagine that this whole thing would set me back $800-$1000 depending on whether or not I buy used. Unfortunately, of my preferred range of cartridges, only the .338 Winchester Magnum is offered and only in the No. 1-S. I have played with the idea of buying a used rifle, a new action (to have barreled and stocked), a used No. 1 in another cartridge (I found a .270 for $535, sans scope of course) to be rebarreled or to get a new .338 Winchester Magnum and shoot it to death and then have it rebuilt. Now that last is going to take a while and I don't really want to wait. Although Ruger may have made a 1-S in .35 Whelen, I can't find one. The .270 Winchester and .30-06 just don't float my boat.

Also, if I got one like this, I'd feel a very great urge to do something I know I'd regret and simplify my life by selling off all of my guns and passing the legacy guns on to my children early. Still, my .45-70 Contender carbine will do what this proposed rifle will do, albeit at much reduced range... Anyway it is quite a conumdrum for me. Knowing me, I suppose I will ponder this one for quite a while, while my money goes to support my other interests!

No comments: