A couple of years ago my Remington model 700 started shooting funny. 1 round would hit to the right, the next round would then hit straight up from zero – both rounds would be around 18 – 24 inches from zero. At first I thought it was the scope – so I replaced the scope and the problem was still there. I tried different types of ammo, and the problem was still there.
One day I noticed that stock had warped and was touching the barrel. When the rifle was new the barrel was floated, so that you could slide a dollar bill between the stock and the barrel. But now, the dollar would not slide under the stock at all.
Fast forward about two years – and during that time I have not taken a single deer. A buddy of mine is over at my house, who just happens to work on firearms. I tell him about my rifles problems – and he tells he that he has a spare stock and a spare target trigger. So my buddy takes my rifle with him.
A couple of weeks later I get my rifle back, but it needs to be sighted in before its used for hunting. This past weekend I take the rifle to the camp and fire off a couple of rounds – and its hitting dead center just like it was years ago.
This morning I took my Remington model 700 in 7mm express / 280 out on a hunting trip. It was not until I held that rifle again, that I realized how much I missed that rifle and how well it shoots.
My Remington 700 BDL Mountain rifle is 16 years old. In the past 16 years I have taken more East Texas whitetail deer then I can count. The first deer was a small 4 point sometime around 1994 or 1995. The next few were some spikes and does in the following years. In 2000 I went through a rather nasty divorce and did not do much of anything for a few years.
1996 – 2000 – various long horn spikes and does
2002 and 2003 a doe
2004 a doe
2005 my daughter and I harvested a nice 8 pound
2006 two – 8 points
2007 a 9 point
2008 missed a couple of shots at nice sized 8 and 9 point bucks
From 2007 – now, my main deer rifle has been out of commission as I think the warped stock was putting pressure on the barrel. Instead of using my Remington 700, I was using a Marlin 336 in 30-30. Also, between 2007 – current I was focused on teaching my teenage kids hunting ethics. My son got his Marlin 336 3 years ago. The very day we got it from the store, he got a nice 6 point, the following year he got a doe, and this year he got a nice 156 pound 8 point whitetail.
The past 3 years have not gone to waste. My kids and I have built some good memories, my son and daughter completed their hunter education class – which is required by the State of Texas for people below a certain age to hunt by themselves. Now that my son has taken his first deer by himself, I figure that its time to get back on track, and start hunting for myself.
In 2011 some of my goals include scouting for some more places to hunt on our lease, and get some more target shooting in. Part of the plans include building a shooting range at the camp – which is going to be a 3 sided box built out of railroad cross ties and filled with sand. One side of the box is going to be open with 2 – 2X4s running across the front so that targets can be attached. The cross ties will help hold the sand in place, and the snad will ensure a good backstop for the bullets.
After the range is built, it will be time to get the kids some target shooting in. I dont think we are shooting enough during the off season, so that problem needs to be fixed.
Now that I look back, I feel bad that its taken so long to get my rifle fixed. It was one of those things that was just put off and put off until deer season was here and it was too late.