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Old August 4, 2014, 12:01 PM   #1
Unlicensed Dremel
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OK, which of these two rifles to get? (for iron sights in the rain)

This relates to my Rem 7600 pump recent thread, but with a twist and new info....

Well, I was SURE I had all the hunting rifles I'd ever need until hunting in the rain a few weeks back. I thought with my "Rainguard" lens coating on my Elite 4200 scope, the rain would be nothing. But I thoroughly enjoy hunting in the rain, due to being able to stalk quietly, and my scope was at times unusable.

So I need to add one to the stable with GOOD iron sights, and think I've narrowed it down to two. It needs to be powerful enough to hunt "up to elk & moose" sized game.

Now, in the other thread, I was considering a Rem 7600 pump with a secondary / dual purpose of homestead defense, but I'm scrapping that requirement for this rifle and dedicating a .357 mag pump to that end.

So now it needs to be solely a hunting rifle. It's going to be mostly heavily wooded terrain. It needs to be capable of at most maybe a 175 yard shot, but more likely the "long shot" for it will be 100-120 yards, and the common shot will be under 50 yards.

So, the candidates are:

1. CZ 550 FS in 6.5x55 (been wanting an excuse to get one of these for years). Great iron sights, great chambering, light & handy.

or

2. Marlin 336Y (that's Youth) in .30-30 Win. I've wanted a 16" 336 for many years (like a Marauder), and the recent (discontinued) 336Y run could make it happen, albeit with a shorter stock, but which is fine for iron sight use, for me @ 5' 8".

So both have a "fundamental craving" appeal to me. I don't have any other 550s any more, and don't have any other 336s anymore. Both are supposedly discontinued, so both have the "I really should get one of these while I can" factor. I know the answer is "both" but I cannot afford that and want to keep things relatively simple here - don't need two "rain rifles".

I guess my main question is, which one is lighter? I would go look it up but since the Y is discontinued, I don't know where to look up its weight... ?? I think I will likely go with whichever one is lighter in the end, but maybe not. I believe the 550FS is 7.2 - 7.3 lbs. Just don't know how much less a Y is than other 336s with shorter stock and all.

Both are blued and wood, which is not ideal for the purpose (rain hunting), but at least the Marlin would perhaps be a little better for rain, being laminated wood, not natural wood.

Oh, and if I go Marlin, then I'll put an XS or Williams peep on the rear scope mount, to make the sights roughly equal in "nice-ness", though a better sight radius on the Marlin. (any easy way to put an XS on the back of a 550 where the CZ rear ring would go?)

So,

336Y Pros: Cheap & ubiquitious ammo, lighter (I think), shorter & handier, lower purchase price (by around $450 less), slightly better sights once the XS is put on, both in radius & style (peep).

550FS Pros: Better trajectory for that "long" (for this purpose) 150-175 yard shot, more beautiful, set trigger, can buy from internet source without fear of lemon (unlike Remlins).

They have roughly equal recoil. Looks like the Pros of the 336 outweigh the 550FS, but what say you? If I do hunt pastures & such with it, I might be wishing I had a 250-PBR rifle (wishing I had the 550FS instead)... I dunno. But then again, typically in the rain, your vision is so limited (scoped rifle or not), due to the darkened skies and the rain itself, that a long shot is unlikely with any type of rifle or sight, right? So that weighs back in the 336s favor. And obviously, you can stretch the .30-30 to 200 yards pretty easily just with your basic holdovers - you don't even need to go to "top of the back" on large game at 200 with a .30-30, with a 100 yard zero.

So my brain says the 336 but my heart says both!

EDIT: It such a close call but I think I'll go Marlin 336Y, and this is the reason... simple availability in the event I someday do want both. The *rumor* is that the 550FSs are drying up, but the CZ-USA website still shows them. So the rumor may be untrue, and there's been quite a few made I think. Whereas the 336Y - well I think it's confirmed by the manufacturer that the limited run is over, and who knows - it may be 20 years or 30 years or never before Marlin makes another 16" 336, youth or otherwise - and I certainly don't want to pay $1K for a used Marauder or used 336Y in 10 years, when I can get a $340 new 336Y now - if that makes sense.
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Old August 4, 2014, 06:45 PM   #2
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Or do I just need a better over-the-counter squirt bottle of something to keep the rain beading and clearing on the scoped rifles?
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Old August 4, 2014, 07:44 PM   #3
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What happened to your scope in the rain. A set of butler creek scope caps should be all you need. I don't like scope caps, all I use is a plastic sandwich bag and pull it off when you want to shoot, much quieter than flip up scope caps. When its done raining put it in your pocket, and go hunting.
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Old August 4, 2014, 07:51 PM   #4
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Ya know, that may be all I need, right there - much cheaper than another gun. Just a simple sandwich bag over the scopes. I didn't have a problem when I sat down to ambush, because I'd whip out a cotton t-shirt I kept dry in the fanny pack to wipe them down. But when stalking, my rifle was facing the ground with "Africa carry", so the rear (ocular) lens got wet.

Of course, Lucas McCain shot his levergun from the hip, so he didn't need no steen-keen sights!
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Old August 4, 2014, 08:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
I've wanted a 16" 336 for many years (like a Marauder),
I've been wanting a Marlin 336 for sometime now...

Anyway, if I were you, I'd get a leather scope bag/cover like the Russians used. Quieter than a plastic bag and more "stylish".
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Old August 4, 2014, 10:19 PM   #6
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Rain is gonna mess up the open sight more so than a scope.
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Old August 5, 2014, 12:02 AM   #7
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Let me toss out some other suggestions. Since you want the rifle elk and moose capable, maybe consider a 116 savage alaskan Brush hunter in .338 Win mag. It has iron sights, a 20 inch barrel, and stainless steel for the rain. Or consider a savage hog hunter in .338 win mag, or .308 win. It has a 20 inch heavy barrel, iron sights, but blued steel. And a crappy stock. But otherwise a good shooter.

I'm just curious about your .357 pump. Does anyone make one? I think uberti makes a copy of the colt lightning, but that's all I'm aware of. IMI made a .357 pump called the timber wolf, but that was at least two decades ago.
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Old August 5, 2014, 04:48 AM   #8
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I think I remember seeing after market plastic stocks for Marlins somewhere.
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Old August 5, 2014, 07:25 AM   #9
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my 7600 rem 3006 wears a quick detachable scope mount that returnes to zero when reattached to the rifle(1.5x6 burris) and the regular open sights on the 7600 rem,s are fine, i never had a problem with not being able to use them in the few heavy rain storms i have been in while hunting, i have them sighted in at 100 yds. eastbank.
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Old August 5, 2014, 07:57 AM   #10
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Get whatever rifle you like, but put a good quality scope on it and get a set of the flip up scope covers. Takes a second to flip both lens covers up, and butler creek makes them for about any scope. I had a set that didn't quite fit the scope lens, a couple wraps of electrical tape around the objective and it fit perfectly. Put a piece of tape over the muzzle and go hunting in the rain. BTW stalking/stillhunting in a rain deep in the woods is my absolute favorite way to hunt.
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Old August 5, 2014, 10:29 AM   #11
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Well, that might work. When I'm stalking, I don't have 2 seconds to flip up both covers, but I *might* just have 1/2 of one second to flip up the rear one, which is probably all I need since carrying muzzle down, the front glass stays pretty dry, and the rear butler creeks have the red push-button to swing them open quickly. Hmmm, that just may work, and without needing any other rifle.
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Old August 5, 2014, 10:38 AM   #12
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Not intentionally trying to be a Negative Nabob concerning your selection.~but~ IMHO: I guess it depends on what your already use too using Unlicensed Dremel. Bolt or a lever. The 6.5 has a bit more power and down range accuracy than a short barreled Marlin would. The 6.5 can defiantly down elk and moose where as a 30-30 capabilities leaves a little to be desired especially for those situations calling for distance shooting. Although the marlin is a bit easier to swing into action and both the CZ & marlin are close in weight one thing much appreciated is Marlins reduced price tag. The CZ’s caliber and barrel length (20”) are a definite plus although its Mannlicher stock. {I’m just speculating here.} It may inhibit the rifles quick maneuverability to some degree {a major necessity for a walk’about rifle is it's being maneuverable} Honestly I would suggest looking at other rifle brands for your purpose also. But it’s your choice as to which of the two commented you want to carry afield. The 550 or 336.

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Old August 5, 2014, 11:16 AM   #13
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**Tangent on Remlins. Yesterday in Bass Pro, I handled the youth 336 - they said they got it in Saturday. It had an unacceptable gap size (poor fit) on the front of the buttstock on both sides (maybe 5/32nds" to 3/16ths"), where those sides meet the notch on the rear of the receiver. So there are still problems at Marlin, I think, or at least with inventory at distributors' warehouses. There were two OTHER non-youth Marlins there but they didn't have this problem - good fit on them. Unfortunately, what applies to Meatloaf doesn't apply to rifles - "two out of three ain't bad" just doesn't cut it. Buyer beware!

Oh, but the sights WERE straight on the youth Marlin 336.

SureShot, that's very helpful, thanks. I'm more used to turnbolts for sure.

But if rain is going to mess up my iron sights even more than a scope as someone said above (anyone else agree or disagree?), then it's irrelevant - would be time to find alternative solution with existing rigs (spray-on glass coatings, scope covers, etc). But yeah, the 6.5x55 would definitely have more downrange energy past 150 yards by a large margin, which could be important for a largish elk. Another drawback of the FS for a "rain rifle" is that the would could warp when wet and affect my POI more than a free-floated barrel ('normal' turnbolt rifle). I think that's one thing that you are saying. Maybe I should have put this in Hunting forum...
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Old August 5, 2014, 01:56 PM   #14
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I grew up stalking and jump shooting in the woods, trust me you have time. Once you are used to it it happens automatically as you shoulder the rifle. Much like thinking you can't get the safety released on your shotgun on a covery or pheasant rise, but it sure seems to happen and you don't even know you did it. For me my old Rem mdl 7 in 7-08 with a 3-9x40 Luepold is the absolute perfect fit, jump or short quick shots, the scope view simply magically materializes as I shoulder it. It is faster and has more reach than my old .30-30 Marlin.
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Old August 5, 2014, 04:56 PM   #15
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Oh, but the sights WERE straight on the youth Marlin 336.
I picked up a 336 Youth last fall. I would suggest you look very close at anything Marlin if youre interested in one.

I looked at three different rifles, the three they had in the shop, and ended up taking the one off the shelf.

Its sights were straight, and the wood to metal fit was pretty good. The other two werent so good. The rear sights on both of them were bent off line, and the wood wasnt all that great.

Actions on all of them, was your typical clunky/crunchy Marlin, and I understood that going in.

I though I did good until the first round was fired. I had to shake the empty out of the gun, pretty much each and every time. They never tuned the extractor, and the empty cases would not clear the ejection port. I popped the extractor off, and "tuned" it in my vise, and all was good, until the next time out.

Next time out, I discovered the stock was moving and I figured it must have loosened up, which it did. When I tried to tighten it, it was already "over tight" They over inleted the wood, and made up for it by cranking down on the screw to take it up. I ended up shimming it.

The stock was annoying, what happened next was really ******* me off. The carrier was all of a sudden, somehow misaligned with the mag tube, and would not pick up the next round in the mag. At this point, I was going to send it back, but after reading all sorts of horror stories about guns coming back worse than they were sent, I decided I couldnt do much worse, so pulled it apart and got the files and emery out, and went to town on the carrier, until I got it straitened out. Now it it seems to work OK, but I am now starting to see the action get "stiff", as the gun gets hot after a couple of reloads.

Oh, and accuracy is just "so-so". Real world "OK" at 50-75 yards, but nothing special. 100 yards and out, meh. What I need to do is, file that front post "square" and see how it goes.

I got the Youth because I like short little rifles with a "traditional" LOP (around 12 1/2" - 13"). These days, everyone seems to like the longer LOP's and they drive me nuts. They are not made for field use from field positions, and hinder natural shouldering and shooting.

I also got a Marlin 1895G a couple of years back (it too is a Remlin), and its been fine for the most part. Its a lot better since I took the recoil pad off and fitted a butt plate to it. That gives the same LOP as the Youth, and the gun shoulders WAY better. It shoots pretty good too.

When I got it, I didnt know Marlin was having issues, nor did I know Remington bought them out. I have seen 1895G's with front sights that were canted worse than some early Century AK's. The wood on a few Ive seen in the racks recently, was pretty bad as well. Guess I lucked out with mine.

Oh, and for iron sights in the rain... the first round clears anything thats in the way.

I shoot in all weather, and never had any issues with any type of iron sight shooting in the rain.
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Old August 5, 2014, 07:03 PM   #16
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i did walk into a snow squawl while hunting with a receiver sight on a rifle and i had left a small aputure in and it quickly filled with snow, i just unscrewed the aputure and kept on hunting with out any problems. eastbank.
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Old August 5, 2014, 07:13 PM   #17
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If you want the short Marlin, get it; but I would suggest that an old 20" Marlin or Winchester 30-30 is very hard to beat for a 200 yard iron-sighted utility gun.

Iron sights will not fog up on you in damp weather, when the temperature drops.
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Old August 8, 2014, 08:29 AM   #18
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AK103, that's very helpful; thank you.

Sarge, you think that extra 4" really helps make a material difference in drop and drift between 150 and 200? Some say that the 20" is actually more pointable or swings better or some such than a shorter one, so I dunno. I think you'd get, what, 1 or 2 more rounds in the mag?

I still can't decide what to do on this. I think I'm gonna leave it to fate. If I stumble across a Youth 336 with straight sights and good wood fit, and have $$ in my pocket, I will get it. If I don't, I won't. In the meantime, get rear-only butler creek caps, at least for the rifle I designate for rain (probably the Wby Mk5 ULW).

Bottom line here, I think: "Rainguard" on the Bushnell Elites is over-hyped / not really very helpful.

On the CZ550, I have to pass unless finances change - those are now closer to 9 bills than 8 - ugh.
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Old August 8, 2014, 08:41 AM   #19
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Just get a "MSR" in .450BM and call it good.

My, rain-rifles are all ARs except one, the Encore with a .444 Marlin barrel.
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Old August 9, 2014, 12:09 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UD
Sarge, you think that extra 4" really helps make a material difference in drop and drift between 150 and 200? Some say that the 20" is actually more pointable or swings better or some such than a shorter one, so I dunno. I think you'd get, what, 1 or 2 more rounds in the mag?
I don't think 'shootability' is negatively affected by the shorter barrel. I've actually shot smaller 'accidental zeroing clusters' at 200 yards with my little 16" .357 than I ever did with all but one 30-30 I ever owned.

I also killed a little buck at about 238 yards with a 20" Mode 94... but that was an anomaly and roughly 80% of the deer I've shot could easily have been taken with a 16" iron sighted carbine.

The primary advantage to the longer barrel is velocity. From RK Campbell's excellent article on the topic-

Since the ranges at which the Trapper will be used are predictably short, the loss of velocity from the short barrel doesn’t mean much. The .30-30 loses as much as two hundred feet per second from the shorter barrel....

.... Frankly, if you are looking to be shooting at ranges greatly exceeding one hundred yards, you don’t need a Trapper; you need a rifle with a 20-inch barrel.
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Old August 9, 2014, 12:37 AM   #21
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I recently purchased a CZ 550FS from Bud's and it was a toss-up between the 6.5x55 and .270. I finally opted for the .270 based on the recommendations of the many good folks on TFL. That aside, the point is that the CZ550FS is a gorgeous rifle and it is one that you won't be disappointed with.

Check on Bud's to see if they still have the 6.5s available; Their price was way cheaper than anyone else's and I was actually able to make a "best offer," which they accepted, much to my surprise.
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Old August 9, 2014, 11:37 PM   #22
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I disagree on irons sights, nothing messes them up.

When I hunted I had a see through set of scope rings so I could see my irons. Up here you don't want to be trying to spot the bear coming at you through scope!

I like the CZ but add to your choice the newer 557 carbine (wood or synthetic but if its going to rain that hard synthetic would be better!)
Also lighter

I missed what you were hunting but I would go with 270 or 30-06 as ammo is always easy to find (or mostly)., Certainly if a shortage the odd calibers.

You seem fixed on the Marline, but for pure light an RA is hard to beat and pretty good accuracy.
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Old August 12, 2014, 01:01 PM   #23
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Thanks; very helpful.

Well on chambering shortages, right now at Academy there is exactly 3 types of 6.5x55 in stock, ONE type of .243 win in stock (two total; one out). So the 6.5x55 has picked up a big following.

What's RA? Do you mean turnbolts> levers? I like both; love turnbolts in particular.

If I'm gonna complicate my life by adding a chambering that I don't currently shoot (used to shoot 6.5x55 but don't right now), then I'm going to simultaneously scratch another itch by getting something I really have wanted a long time, such as an FS or a shorty 336. (and selling my FS in 9.3x62mm in a money crunch, I place in the top 3 dumbest gun-related things I've ever done). That's why, much as I love CZs, a 550 or 557 American just isn't gonna cause me to buy another rifle. And homey don't play plastic stocks (fiberglass / aramid / carbon fibers, yes).

Add one dark horse to the two I mentioned previously, speaking of scratches to itch: A Marlin 1894 in .45 Colt - but kind of marginal/ sketchy on elk. What states is .45 colt legal for or not? And would you go after bull elk with a +P Buffalo Bore .45 Colt (300 gr hardcast) from a 16" barrel, or not? Ethical? Blood trail concerns?

OK, now here's another dark horse, bringing my total choices to 4 now - a Marlin 1895 SBL in .45-70, but weight is a concern with that one. Maybe ditch the SBL and get a GBL which is a full pound lighter. But I really want the SBL. If I get the SBL, can I take the rail off to get that weight savings? Surely that's a yes...

This is mostly for hills deer (which is mostly whitetails but some mulies), but very well could be elk too. I can't control the weather during any season, so I need ONE rifle to grab for inclement weather for all species up to elk & moose, and it needs to be light enough to hump in the hills..... OR I just need a better scope-clearing solution, so I'm always at the ready during stalking.

I'm moving to a Western state with lots of game in May, so that's why I'm including elk & moose (moose tags getting scarce as I understand it, so mostly elk here that I'm talking about for the "upper end" for this rifle. When I DO hunt moose, it will likely be in AK on a trip with a bow). If it helps any, my current "standard moose & elk gun" is chambered in .30-06 and has a Nikon Monarch 2-8x32, and my "standard deer and everything else smaller than elk & moose gun" is - well there's a couple - but mainly a rifle chambered in .280 rem with this 2.5-10x40 Elite 4200 Bushnell with "Rainguard", the failure of which (to work as advertised) is what brought this whole issue up.

Anyone know the weight of the 1895 SBL withOUT the rail on top? The more I think about it, the more I like that option - plenty of oomph, even for brownie charge protection (which there definitely ARE where I'll be hunting), scratches an itch, and just *may* be light enough to suit the purpose.

MarkCO, love ARs of all sorts, but a bit heavier than I like for hunting (I'm not a PC guy, so I don't mind the ridicule when used for hunting, just the practical realities of weight and keeping track of magazine, etc). If I did do a build like that as you suggest, it would be a pretty good all purpose thumper, I'm sure, though mine would be in .50 Beo.

As for T/Cs, love them to an extent, but I don't do break actions any more for hunting due to stuck cases (lack of powerful extraction) - due to having an issue with an Encore Prohunter messing up a hunt a few years ago. Shot once, and dropped a doe, but then had a chance later the same morning to shoot another larger doe, but could not as the case would extract and I didn't have a rod with me at the lease.
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Old August 19, 2014, 06:25 PM   #24
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*would NOT extract....

Update: Well, my decision is yes, to get another rifle (was there really any doubt?), but "none of the above" as to the choice - at least not the two choices I initially presented.

Instead I'm going with choice #4 (my 2nd "dark horse"), which is the Marlin 1895 SBL, in .45-70. Not super-light, but if I take the rail off, I believe it will be closer to 7.0 lbs than 8.0 or 7.5 lbs - not light but light *enough*... and plenty of oomph for durn near anything. A good 125-yard PBR.

But if I can find a smokin deal on an FS in 6.5x55 or a 336Y while I'm looking for one with straight sights and good wood fit, I might change course here - tough call.
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Old August 20, 2014, 08:35 AM   #25
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Now that I'm older (and wiser?) I won't go hunting when it's raining or snowing hard, but if it starts when I'm out there, I'll usually bag the eyepiece, and carry the rifle upside-down with the sling on my left shoulder. That way, the action is sheltered from the rain and the scope objective is kept dry.

My rifle is a Rem 700 stainless in a Sendero stock, and the metal is further protected by auto wax. I heartily recommend that anyone who hunts in bad weather, pay the extra to get a stainless-synthetic bolt action of whatever brand that suits.
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