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A Critical Look at the Failure of the Outdoor Media and Modern Hunting Rifles

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Unread 01-07-2012, 12:26 AM
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A Critical Look at the Failure of the Outdoor Media and Modern Hunting Rifles

I thought this was a great article by Chuck Hawks and took a lot of courage to write/publish. I think one could draw the same analogy with many products in our country today.

I personally stopped buying factory rifles several years ago. And I may have bought my last rifle period. I think I will just keep re-barreling the 3 customs I have.

You have to do what you have to do to hunt/shoot. Cost is a factor to most of us. So sad that the quality has deteriorated so much. Here is the article:

Failure of the Outdoor Media and Modern Hunting Rifles
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Unread 01-07-2012, 12:36 AM
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Re: A Critical Look at the Failure of the Outdoor Media and Modern Hunting Rifles

I'll take an ugly 1/2 moa rifle over a pre 64 winny beauty queen any day. Many modern rifles will outshoot customs from 30 yrs ago. Id take an ugly accutrigger/stock savage over anything built before 1970. Ugly yes...1000 yd accurate also with handloads.
My favorite gun is a 110 with a 32" hart and a CHOATE!! stock. Had to weld a 1/4" stud to the action to hold it together. Gun doesnt miss. And I have nicer stuff but if I had a once in a lifetime shot it would be with it.
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Unread 01-07-2012, 01:10 AM
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Re: A Critical Look at the Failure of the Outdoor Media and Modern Hunting Rifles

That's a good article, IMO. I refuse to hunt with an ugly rifle, I don't care how it shoots. A good portion of what is available in factory guns are ugly, cheap looking, or both. There are also some that still look like decent guns. No reason not to shoot rifles that both look good and shoot well.
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Unread 01-07-2012, 06:53 AM
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Re: A Critical Look at the Failure of the Outdoor Media and Modern Hunting Rifles

I don't listen much to that Chuck.
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Unread 01-07-2012, 08:49 AM
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Re: A Critical Look at the Failure of the Outdoor Media and Modern Hunting Rifles

He has a point guys. Quality in manufacturing has definitely gone down hill. I have a Model 7 Remmy that I got when I was a kid in 1988. It was my first deer rifle. I still have it. Actually my brother bought it off of me, but the point I want to make is it's quality. It had a high gloss finish and was a pretty rifle. Through my stupidity I sanded and painted. I should have left it alone. You can't buy a high gloss Model 7 anymore. It had a thick clear coat that was very well done. Thing still shoot very well. My brother has an old Savage 110. The thing feeds like a dream. I am a Savage fan, but they don't feed as well as they use too. So there has been some quality loss over the years that you can only get with a custom rifle now. JMHO!

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Unread 01-07-2012, 09:55 AM
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Re: A Critical Look at the Failure of the Outdoor Media and Modern Hunting Rifles

While there is some truth to what he says, and a lot of fiction in my own eyes. Personally, I LOVE the checkering pattern on a Tikka T3. And I chose a Steyr SBS Pro Hunter (another "cheaply made" gun by his standards) over the Tikka because I liked the action better. I think the checkering on the tikka looks very good. Further, to state, unequivocally, that 2" at 100 yards "is good enough" for any hunting rifle. That is an utterly ridiculous statement. Yes injection molded stocks are cheap, ugly and not a good bedding platform. All true. but then he complains that you cannot feed a round directly into a chamber with a newer cheaper made rifle. FALSE!! Try feeding a round into the chamber directly with a pre 64 model 70. You can't without some variety of modification. Old mausers, nope. My Steyr, Savage, 700, XL7, or even the old Husqvarna (Closer to the quality action he says he likes I suppose, but same price range recently, or cheaper than many of the modern cheaply made rifles) can all be fed directly into the chamber, close the bolt and pull the trigger. No need to put the round securely in the mag. Every gun I mentioned will consistently shoot sub MOA 5 shot groups at 100 yards with the loads I have worked up. Find me a really pretty 1960s era model 700 or pre 64 model 70 in factory form that will shoot sub MOA. They are not there. His assertion that 2MOA is good enough is plain stupid and says that it is time for Chuck HAwks to retire. Yes technology has made it cheaper and easier to make a very good quality rifle CHEAP. You may not still get high gloss finished stocks, and I wish they would, but you can get most of the rifles mentioned as examples in higher end form with very noce wood stocks, and there are guys out there that can put whatever type of finish you desire for a reasonable cost. Usually at or around 100.00 if all you want is the finish replaced, add more for other details. But why should we want a "quality made" rifle that weighs 2lbs more than it has too. Weight is a huge factor in a hunting rifle, especially one that you will carry into the mountains. I four piece bolt that lasts 100 years and has replaceable parts that require no machining for repair is in my opinion a better option than a solid bolt that will last the same hundred years but will require repair at some point as well, but that repair will be more difficult and costly than the repair on the 4 piece bolt. Most problems with either start with abuse and or high pressure loads. (Mauser actions do not require repair, I know this, there is nothing literally to break, even firing pins are nearly indestructable) So in short, While some of what he writes on other subjects is DEAD ON, his opinions on modern (post 1970) rifles is reminiscent of the 70 year old who hates computers because they didn't need them in their heyday. My dad who refuses to learn to even LOK AT text messages on a cell phone but brought the first affordable cell phones to our area as one of the first dealers in this area. Or people who just cannot otherwise let go of the past. Times have changed and technology has allowed us to make high quality products that are affordable, and more capable than the expensive products of the past. It is the case with everything we have, from computers to rifles to cars and cell phones. It is the way the world works. when you refuse to follow along even when something is proven better then your opinion becomes irrelevant. And that is a bad way to go in his profession.
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Unread 01-07-2012, 10:06 AM
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Re: A Critical Look at the Failure of the Outdoor Media and Modern Hunting Rifles

Typically, I don't read Chuck Hawkes articles because I tend to look at things a bit differently. Not that either of us is right or wrong, just different points of view.
I know little to nothing of Tikkas. Intact, I thought he was talking about a different manufacturer for the first half of his article, but every single major manufacturer I can think of has an "economy" model. Not singeling out one, but ALL manufacturers.
I for one hate cheap ugly rifles no matter who's stamp is on the barrel. I just can't do it, Especially "minute of snoose can" shooters due to production shortcuts.
Sure every manufacturer will have a lemon slip thru on occasion, with super high production its inevitable, but now a days even customer service uses the average inacurate cheapo models as a baseline to judge the rest.
Some manufacturers have figured out the accuracy part, but still make some of the ugliest, cheapest feeling guns on the planet. Why? Why not make a great shooting rifle look like as good as it shoots? (sorry Savage guys, but even you know its true).

I'm proud of Chuck Hawkes for taking a stand. Honesty is almost non existant in media, & its about time somebody calls it like it is. He just picked up a new fan.
"Its not Rocket Surgery.....'

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