Steyr Pro Hunter, Hawke Scope and the .260

By John Johnston

The .260 Remington round is far from dead. My relationship with the .260 started early in its history. In the late 1990’s Remington did a slight change to the 6.5-08 A Square which had been around for many years and standardized by A Square through SAAMI. The .260 has the same ballistics as the 6.5-08 but the neck of the .260 is just slightly longer. About the time the .260 hit the market, Thompson Center brought out the Encore. As soon as I saw this rifle was available in the .260, I ordered one. I mounted a 3x9 Leupold on it and sighted it in on my range. This rig would shoot a one inch group all day. It became my primary rifle to hunt whitetails. I once lent it to a friend to take a doe. He got the doe and came back almost in amazement; he said, “That rifle shot exactly where I aimed”.


Steyr Pro Hunter with Hawke Sidewinder 30 scope

My love affair with the .260 was just starting. The Encore was nice but it was awkward to load on the bench. I kept the rifle for many years, then it went the way of a lot of my rifles. I sold it. I built two more .260s; one was on a Savage action and the other was on a Stevens action, both rifles shot exceptionally well but were heavy. The search for a lighter rifle in .260 started. Remington came out with a limited run rifle called the 700 CDL in .260. This rifle would shoot MOA at 100 yards but not any better. I put around 200+ rounds through it and could not better the MOA groups. Since it was a limited run, the rifle became popular and I sold it to someone that wanted it more than I.


Pro Hunter's unique rolling safety.

I had a Steyr Pro Hunter in .25-06 which I really liked and it shot one half MOA . A Steyr Pro Hunter in .260 seemed like it would be the answer. The search was on and I found a new one. This rifle weighs 7.7 pounds; the hammer forged barrel is 23.7 inches long. The stock is a fiber glass enforced synthetic. Some shooters think it is ugly but I think it is utilitarian and great for a field rifle. The metal parts have a finish that is actually in the metal called Mannox. This makes the rifle rust resistant and the action very smooth. The trigger is adjustable and mine is set at 2.5 pounds. Scope mounts for the Browning A Bolt fit the Pro Hunter and thus are easy to find. Steyrs can be readily identified by the twisted pattern on the barrel. This comes from leaving the hammer forging marks made at the factory. The recoil pad is very absorbing and the length of pull can be adjusted by adding or removing spacers in the pad. This rifle has an unusual safety; it is a three position wheel that serves not only as a safety but your bolt release also.


Hawke scope, note the rheostat control on the focus knob