I am thinking about getting a custom, if I can't find it ready made but I doubt it, stalking rifle for walking in the woods with.
I will of course continue to have dalliances with many other rifles and take all manner of kit away on foreign holidays shooting, into high seats and up the hill but don't want to mess about on this particular topic.
I have a list of attributes in mind and I would appreciate your thoughts on them and also anything that I may have missed:
- Calibre: A calibre with sufficient power to take all UK species without producing excessive recoil in consideration of the ideal weight given at 2. This could be anything from .243 to 30.06 depending on personal preference. For some reason I am thinking 6mmBR on the one hand, 6.5x55 or 308 at the other.
- Weight: Of sufficient weight not to kick the stalker to death when practising and also to hold steady enough on aim without bouncing at every heartbeat. Light enough to be carried between the hands for reasonable lengths of time without causing undue muscle fatigue. My Tikka weighs 7 1/2 pounds dry with mounts and the old meopta weighed at least a pound and a half. At 9 pounds it was at the limit of what could be comfortably carried between the hands as I discovered in Africa. I could do it for an hour or so before having to rest my arms or risk the lactic acid shakes if something did come out. I therefore think a change to a Zeiss 7x50 illuminated scope would save almost a pound on the scope and if another pound can be saved in the rifle it would have been a lot easier. I think therefore I want an all up weight of about 7-7 1/2 pounds.
- Barrel length: The rifle should be moderated so a 20" barrel would keep it fairly handy. I am thinking that a light moderator, ie the roedale or CMM4, would enable a barrel of not too thin profile to be profitably used.
- Action: A Remington action tricked up seems the most economical approach especially when stock availability is taken into account.
- Stock: Synthetic or carbonfibre for weather resistance and weight saving.
Am I on the right track or should there be things I should consider?
In these things, if properly considered, the whole should be more than just the sum of the individual parts.