Practical, Tactical Or ?By Ward W. Brien
One would think that there is a HUGE difference between this tactical style, Military Specific .300 Win Mag rifle and a typical off of the shelf hunting rifle; and well, there is.
.300 Win Mag built by Jim Hoag of Canoga Park, California.
This tactical rifle is chambered for the .300 Win Mag and sports a military “Accuracy International“ stock, a heavy 28.125” long precision made barrel that mates up to a blueprinted Remington 700 action. At 19 lbs, this may be heavy to some, however it is considered to be a “mid-weight” rifle. To quote Sergeant First Class Michael LaBonte of the U.S. Army, “The Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan carry some weapon systems that can weigh almost thirty pounds, and they do it while wearing their body armor and carrying all of their other battle rattle.”
OEF Veteran, Par-Troop and my #4 son visiting for the Christmas holidays.
Still, the average hunter cannot imagine owning or carrying this type of rifle. I found this out when I began instructing precision shooting classes for hunters here in Colorado. When introducing them to my rifles, the looks on their faces said it all: “Too big, too heavy, and cannot relate.” When several friends of mine showed up to spend time shooting with me who were “huntin’ fools”, they didn’t quite know how to say, “Ward, no serious hunter would ever carry a big heavy rifle like that.” He also suggested that perhaps I should buy myself a “hunting” rifle that the students could relate to, so I did. But more on that later…
This tactical rifle, chambered in .300 win mag, is as accurate as a rifle can get, and in fact will shoot one small hole with the 210 grain Berger VLD bullets at 100 meters. However what makes it so accurate are the top drawer components that were utilized in its build and the time spent working up an accurate load. The solid Accuracy International stock has a one piece aluminum block that runs from front to back. The trigger is made by “Jewel;” and is one of the finest triggers one can own. Not necessarily as rugged as a combat trigger, although very dependable. Most often seen on bench-rest rifles, certain Jewel triggers may be adjusted down to as little as 1 oz. Mine is set at 3 lbs. and will not negligently fire even if the rifle is accidentally dropped. On most if not all active military rifles, the triggers are set at 8 – 12 lbs. On top of the receiver is a “Picatinny” rail that the scope rings attach to, with an “Angle Cosine Indicator” and a Night Force 3.5 – 15 X 50mm MLR Scope mounted onto that.
Berger bullets are an excellent hunting bullet, and as you can see, extremely accurate.
Speaking of hunting with this type of rifle, I once went on a pig hunt in Paso Robles, California; my guide was a fellow by the name of Tom Willoughby. Now, Mr. Willoughby, who happens to be an excellent guide and a killing machine, sneered at my “Tactical” 6.5 X 284 that I brought out that had a Night Force 5.5 – 22 X 50mm mounted on-top of it. I was going to change the scope out to my Night Force 2.5 – 10X. However it was shooting so well that I decided to leave the 5.5 – 22 on it. While riding in his hunting vehicle and driving over the open rolling hills of California, he stated that I shouldn’t have brought a target rifle on a pig hunt. I responded by stating, “If a rifle doesn’t shoot well, what’s the use of bringing it along at all?” I felt somewhat judged by Tom, and so I added, “I’ll bet you $500.00 that IF you put me on a pig, that I’ll shoot it behind its ear.” He didn’t say too much after that, and when he did get me on the pig, (which was maybe, and I mean maybe 200 yards out), I shot him right behind his left ear.
This "Tactical" rifle was built by Mr. History himself, Jim Hoag of Canoga Park, California. Better known for his 1911's, he is one heck of a good rifle maker and has built most of my tacticals.
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