- August 6, 2017 at 7:58 am #46439
Been looking for a .243Win bolt gun with iron sights for a while now. Couple months ago I bought a Western Field model M776, a Mossburg model 880BD made for Montgomery Wards back in the late 60’s into the 70’s. Being a “D” it’s the deluxe version with a California monte carlo stock capped with rosewood on the nose cap and the flaired pistol grip cap as well. About 95+% blue and slight finish chipping in places near the butt. Overall, a decent example of this model. That’s the good news.
Bubba had crushed a cheap scope onto the weapon with Weaver low rings. He destroyed the original rear sight. I mean it was trashed. The scope had the dust coveres cranked down so hard the turrets were broken from the tube. Thanks Bubba for busting the sight you moron!
Ok, drifted out the destroyed part and trashed the scope, I went to work on fitting a Marbles short Flat-top rear sight. One thing being a retired old gunsmith, ya have lots of parts that didn’t get sold with the business. Took about 30 minutes and good to go.
Fortunately, Bubba may have cleaned it once a year as the bore was in good shape. A quick sight in and then serious bench and bag work at a hundred. Remington 100gr factory load wasn’t bad. Sighted it to hit 1 1/2″ high, and the group was around the same size as well. Can’t complain.
My reason for wanting a .243Win was to shoot the same caliber as my granddaughter and her new husband. I fixed em up with all the gear to reload the three calibers they have [.243Win, .30-30Win, and .30’06Spr] or basically every caliber to hunt everything here in Texas. I never had a “little caliber” bolter before and this one’s proven to be fun! Now I can shoot with the youngsters and some on my own.
My loading gear is good to go. Found a great full set of Lyman 310 dies, and bought a new set of Lyman FL 243Win dies at Gander Mountain’s going out of business sale for 50% off. And the rifle has been very receptive to Hornady 87gr BTHP and 100gr BTSP with RL15 and H380. Thus far, I’ve been loading with the 310’s getting great necksized loads and enjoying the old school style.
Did I need another bolt gun? Not really, I have a great .30’06Spr. But it has no iron sight. So maybe I can say I sorta did since I like iron sights better? Ok. We’ll go with that!
Of course I tried to post a picture but as always, it does not work…..
- August 6, 2017 at 10:03 am #46443
Ok Tim, I shrunk it down a bunch.
Anyway, here’s my new little bore boomer. Maybe I can pop a pig with it….
Oh, and that’s cut, not pressed, checkering too.
- August 7, 2017 at 9:47 am #46455GoodsteelKeymaster
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I have recently made my journey into 6mm land myself. There is a fellow I work with who shot his biggest buck (a true monster whitetail) with a 243, 450 yards distant, in the neck. He says it dropped like flipping a light switch off. I used to have a bad case of magnumitus, and shot a 300 winmag as a nice “middle of the road” caliber. Since that time, and as experience sinks in, I’ve come to the conclusion that often “less is more” and sometimes, more=a LOT more.
You just can’t beat a classic rifle, in a classic caliber that shoots the way you think it should. Congratulations!!! Being that you have been in my line of work, do you feel like you chased the escaped goat all over Knob Hill, through the creek, and back home only to find it back in it’s pen?
- August 7, 2017 at 10:50 am #46459kensParticipant
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One thing a lot of hunters dont realize, is that a deer is a very thin skinned quarry. With good shot placement, it doesnt take much to bring down a bambi. I hear of many deer taken with .222 or .223.
An old gunsmith I know claims to buzz them in the ear with a .22LR.
- August 7, 2017 at 12:33 pm #46465
Well gents, last year I sent my .45-70 Marlin (a real one) to my brother is Sioux Falls. I’d always had a .45-70 since the 60’s, but I’m tamed down a might and he wanted it real bad. I still have the ’06 so I’ll never feel undergunned.
Fact is I’m an old school bow hunter too. Dowelled out and flteched my own arrows, forged my broadheads, made Flemish strings, and several bows. Learned where to put the shaft long ago. Same with a bullet.
Have taken some Texas whitetail with a bp loaded .36cal. ’51 Navy at close range. More with a 2nd model Dragoon in .44. It’s not ALL about power but it is ALL about shot placement, that is for sure and for certain.
But back to the rifle I got. At 70, I may be a might feeble compared to what I was, but my eyes are still great for shooting iron sights. I’ve passed on dozens of excellent .243Win rifles since none had a set of sights on em. Everything’s got scopes on em! I didn’t want or need a stinking scope! I wanted iron sights and I wasn’t going to be satisfied until I had em on a rifle.
This Mossberg built rifle has a strong 6 lug bolt and equally strong chamber/barrel system. A large and near fumble-proof tang safety, and a fine trigger. My replacement rear sight combined with the gold bead up front, gives me all the sight I need to make reliable hits. I have never been obsessed with a brand name and there are many different makes that produces fine weapons that don’t have the high-dollar moniker on them. This one is a great example of one.
So now I have a rifle in the caliber my granddaughter shoots, and can shoot with them, and maybe take a hog or two that wander around in my woods. I’ve got lots of choices.
Oh, Tim, I’m from another part of the country and don’t understand the meaning of the part about the goat an such…
- August 7, 2017 at 2:41 pm #46468GoodsteelKeymaster
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Sometimes you come full circle only to find out that you respect the little things that used to be boring to you when you were younger and knew everything. When I was a kid, we raised goats. One time a goat got out of the pen, (ok, the miserable escape artist bastard was ALWAYS getting out) and it was up to me to get him back. I tore after that goat and he ran away and led me a merry chase all over Knob Hill. Chased him and chased him, lost him, finally got sick of it, and went back home. There’s the goat back in it’s pen and my dad holding the feed bucket. He smiled and told me “you know Tim, it’s a lot easier to shake a feed bucket than to go chasing a goat all day”.
Since that time, I’ve found that wisdom applies to a lot more than goats. Like when I went tearing off after every wisbang big booming rifle and considered the 30-06, 30-30, and 45-70s to be boring old hunting cartridges, only to find myself humbly regarding these calibers as some of the finest and most useful ever devised by man, and seeking other calibers that follow the same MO of being cheap, accurate and balanced.
Same goes for scopes. Grew up with iron sights and low powered, steel tube El Paso Weavers of 4X, and some didn’t even have a bell on the front. Just a straight tube. I got my own money and I wanted the biggest, baddest light funnel I could strap to the rifle. Now I get excited when I find a deal on a Leupold M8 or a Weaver T3.
How about cast bullets? Shot gazillions of them, but would not disgrace a game animal with them under any circumstances. When I finally realized that they weren’t nearly as inferior as I had imagined, I tried them and imagine my surprise when I discovered that deer go down faster with cast bullets than they do with Nosler Partitions, and at 1000fps less speed and 1/10th the wound channel.
So it goes. The hubris of youth is fading and I realize several things:
1. A manufacturer will always say their product is the best thing in the world, and if they don’t get gullible people to say the same thing, then they go out of business.
2. The guys that are really functioning as efficiently as possible will always be more effective and have less voice about it than those who work their tails off at the simplest of life’s tasks and make a big show of it in the process.
3. Being right about the way these things work often happens when you’ve been forced, or forced yourself to do it wrong for far too long, but discerning the truth without screwing up first is one of life’s greatest and most valuable skills.
4. I’m pretty sure that dam goat is still laughing at me.
- August 7, 2017 at 3:07 pm #46472Rattlesnake CharlieParticipant
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Nice classic rifle Butch Wax.
Tim, you need to start a comedy forum. I really liked the goat story. I’m sure that goat’s descendants are still retelling that story.
- August 7, 2017 at 4:30 pm #46480
Here in Texas, the deer are small. For decades now the .243Win has always been a top choice. Me, I’m an ’06 man like my dad was. But I used cast rounds and never saw the need to blow em up like some idiots here do with monster magnum guns. Oh well…I like the old boltgun just fine. A necked down .308Win ain’t stupid. In fact, it’s pretty smart really. Super flat shooting. A 1.5″ above setting at the 100yds X is good for what? 300yds more or less with the same sight setting? Fine with me. Got an old saying that I have always lived by “if I can’t make the shot, I won’t take the shot.” So if it’s not right I’ll pass.
Oh, and Tim, in Texas, if ya got goats then folks figured somethings wrong with ya! Ha! Just messing with ya…
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