How many rounds do you carry when you hunt? Many hunters pack a full box of 20 rounds. If they carry a sidearm too, add another few clips, or speed loaders and you are ready for battle. I carry 3 rounds!
Single shot rifles save ammunition and have great accuracy. The Ruger #1 in 30.06 caliber is my favorite single shot. Not only is this rifle a good shooting choice, it is also sentimental. My wife bought the rifle for me as a Christmas gift many years ago. After 40+ years of marriage, the rifle and my wife still work!
A single shot rifle requires the shooter to become a marksman and an ethical hunter. Even with practice, a reload is slower than other actions. I carry 3 bullets with me when I hunt. The first round is for the critter. The second is in case I need a follow up shot, and the third is for me if I miss the first two!
I pride myself on a one shot, one kill philosophy. This also means that I am planning to eat the meat that I harvest. More bullet holes mean less consumable meat. This one accurate shot philosophy is the result of many trigger pulls at the bench and in the field.
Of course, I don’t really plan to shoot myself, but less ammo means that you must shoot better. Practice makes perfect, and I still get excited when I see my quarry in the crosshairs. With a lot of practice, you will have better muscle memory, breathing, and trigger control. This ensures an ethical and accurate kill shot.
I usually slide the 2 reload rounds under my left-hand watchband. Back in the day I wore a ‘Romunda’ stretchy band that was stylin with black with gold trim. Practice is done with dummy loads so that I can practice the entire process, from opening the action to ejecting after a trigger pull.
Great accuracy is also the result of practicing with a decent scope and sling. I often wrap into my quick adjust leather Montana Sling for a stable Hasty Sling support. This sling-supported shooting style is a great way to steady your shot. My Leupold, VX1, 3-9 power variable scope has become my favorite optic.
My longest kill shot at a bull elk was at 450 yards. I have practiced at longer ranges, but honestly, I enjoy getting closer to my target. Stalking is becoming a lost art and I enjoy the intimate nature of a precise, close kill shot. When I do seminars about shooting, I use the analogy of having sex or making love. Closer, “loving shots” require more skills and require an accurate, comfortable rifle.
The Ruger #1 in 30-06 caliber can be reloaded to hunt any critter that walks our Earth. It is also an accurate, comfortable, and sporting rifle to shoot. Whether in a rifle scabbard on a horse, or atop sand bags on a shooting bench, my “Number One” has never disappointed.
When I take this rifle out of its case, I remember so many great hunts and stories. My favorite shooting rig may not cost the most, but it is priceless to me. Whether deer hunting the mountains of Maryland, antelope hunting along the Musselshell of Montana, or teaching my kids how to shoot, this great rifle has held up well and will one day be passed on to my son.
It only needs 3 shots!
For more Montana Grant. Aim at him on www.montanagrantfishing.com.