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Old October 31, 2011, 12:37 PM   #89
Senior Member
Join Date: September 18, 2011
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 161
Since I have made a concentrated effort to simplify my life I only have three rifles.
The one I use for almost all big game hunting is a 98 Mauser single-shot chambered for 31-40 Ackley Improved. Weird caliber I know. My late father had it built several years ago. The reason it's a 31-40 is because the bore diameter is .315. I don't know why. The barrel looks military with a step in it and the 98 action was originally for a rimmed cartridge of some sort. The old man had it rechambered for 30-40 Ackley Improved but had RCBS make the reloading dies with a .315 expander ball on the sizer.
I take .323 diam. bullets and swage them down to .315. I usually use 170 - 200gr bullets. With a 170 gr I load 50gr of H380. Ballistically it's pretty much a 30-06. Actually the thing shoots pretty darn good if I use .312 bullets for the .303 Enfield. I was surprised by the accuracy using the smaller diameter bullets - 1.5" at 100 yards from the bench.
It has a 22" barrel and a 4X Lyman Alaskan scope.

My other 'big game' rifle is a Richard Marhoff drilling the old man had built in Innsbruck right after WWII. It is 16gaX16ga over .22 Savage High Power Ackley Improved (the old man really liked the Ackley thing..) that shoots 70gr .228 diam bullets at about 3,200fps with 36 gr of H380. I use it for a turkey and whitetail gun. I realize that the use of .22 cal cartridges for deer is not too popular on this forum, so just let me say that of the dozen or so whitetails I have shot with the thing they have dropped like they were pole axed with a heart-lung shot.
I have two boxes of old Speer 70gr hollowpoints left and those should last me a life time.
For elk, moose(if I ever get drawn), bear and deer I use the Mauser. Our elk and deer seasons here in Idaho run concurrently for a few weeks. For the rest of the deer season (does are legal for all of Nov.) I carry the drilling.
I also have the same .22LR single shot Western Field that I've had since I was a kid. I shoot squirrels, bunnies and grouse with it.

Thats what I'm hunting with this year and, more than likely, all the years I have left.
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