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January Build of the Month

Pure Ugliness

For January I decided to dig out an original build of mine that is now vintage.  In 1991 I was looking for a gun that could hunt as hard as I hunted.  No bluing to rust, no wood to scratch or warp, and then Ruger came out with their awful looking Zytel (boat paddle) stocked M77 Mark II.  It was beautiful ugliness that I immediately fell in love with.  You could swim the river with it, paddle your canoe, sit all day in the freezing rain.....all things that I probably did with it whilst killing 150 class whitetails time and again.  Later on it took moose, elk, goat, mountain lion and bear that I can remember.  What's more, it probably never did get cleaned (seriously) until my son cleaned it up last night for these photos.  

 
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Optics cost more than the gun?

The Zytel M77 MK II is an indestructible gun, so I used it as a firm foundation to build as close to an indestructible optics package as I could afford back then.  The Ruger integral bases and rings made the perfect starting point.  From there, I added the Leupold Vari X III 3.5x10x to ensure high quality and low chance of parallax.  Not much to go wrong here and nothing ever did.

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Meat and Potatoes

In 1991 I wanted a 7mm but the local store only had this rifle in 30.06.  Hunting season was a couple of weeks away so I swallowed my pride.  That turned out to be the best decision as I quickly learned the 30.06's versatility would outweigh the need for 7mm trajectory in the years to come.

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Ugly is the new beautiful.

Watch for the ugly Zytel M77 to be the hottest new collectible production rifle in the near future.

FEBRUARY BUILD OF THE MONTH

Matchy Matchy 22-250

When scopes were blued to match their rifles, the combinations always looked like they made sense.  This month we matched a combination that really makes sense, whether you planned to coyote hunt, or shoot a match.

 
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For February's build we took a Weaver K12-1 (fixed 12 power) scope with Micro-Trac and put it on top of a 1987 Ruger M77 heavy barreled 22-250.  Period perfect, no.  Period correct, yes.  Weaver actually went out of business in 1984 so they were not making this scope in 1987, but many hunters, like me, immediately started hoarding all the new in box Weavers they could find in fear that we would never again have a scope so accurate, so bullet proof and so beautifully matched to the guns we loved.  And we were right.  I put those Weavers on my brand new guns all the way into the next century.

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Weaver K12-1

Weaver scopes were absolutely the front runner in changing how hunters thought about and used telescopic sights.  Their list of innovations is long but perhaps what they are most noted for is the stubborn accuracy and durability of their fixed power scopes.  We chose the K12-1 for the heavy barrel 22-50 build knowing the targets would be small, the distances long and the placement needed to be precise.

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Take it and show off

Does this combination of gun/scope make it look like it was all made to go together?  Yes.  Is it a beautiful, classic combination?  Yes again.  But what's more, this amazing build was built to impress in the field.  Take it out, shoot varmits, shoot targets, show off.  This one is available for sale in our store at $1099.

March Build of the month

Vintage Varminter

In the late 1970's when coyote pelt prices were at an all time high and prairie dogs made great off-season practice, this is the setup you would have dreamed about....if you could have afforded it.

Vintage Varminter:  Available for sale $1995

Vintage Varminter: Available for sale $1995

We started with an 8-power fixed Redfield silhouette target scope, added original Sako rings made in Finland and put it all on a late 1970's Sako Deluxe L579 Forester in 22-250.  The Sako bluing is in exceptional condition at 99%.  The wood finish has a few minor dings from use so although it looks great, it doesn't make you feel too bad to go out and actually enjoy it on a Sunday drive through the prairie dog town.

Period correct Redfiield 8x silhouette

Period correct Redfiield 8x silhouette

Period correct Sako L579 rings

Period correct Sako L579 rings

April Build of the Month

Simplicity

In 1948 Remington introduced its bolt action 721.  This rifle would come to define hunting accuracy for decades.  In the post-WWII era scopes were still hard to afford yet hunters and shooters were looking for more accuracy and adjustment than iron sights offered.

Simplicity.  A first year Remington 721 with Redfield adjustable peep sight.

Simplicity.  A first year Remington 721 with Redfield adjustable peep sight.

For April we took a first year, all original Remington 721 in .270 win.  This is a gun that represents post war meat and potatoes as much as any other.  We envisioned the hunter that either didn't yet trust a telescopic sight, or who just didn't want to spring for it.  Yet, he was interested in stepping his game up from the iron sight era.

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Redfield peep.

The micro-adjustable Redfield peep gives this 721 additional accuracy at those "longer iron sight" ranges.  The sight transforms the 721 into a whole new interesting and fun gun to shoot.

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Original first year 721.

This classic design original first year 721 comes complete with the Redfield peep and iron sights.  We can't find a defect in the wood.  Bluing is original and 95%.  Available for sale.

May Build of the Month

Vintage Hot Rod

The Ruger M77 was the no BS rifle of its day.  Solid functionality that appeared no-frills on the surface but to the discriminating hunter it was easy to see that it had everything needed.  A Redfield 4x12 Accu-Trac, Accu-Range scope on the other hand was bells and whistles like never seen before in the world of optics.

Vintage Hot Rod $1399

Vintage Hot Rod $1399

For May's build we have taken the amazingly functional, accurate, and non-finicky Ruger M77 of 1978 vintage and paired it with a period correct Redfield 4x12 power Accu-Trac, Accu-Range scope.  An unlikely combination of a meat and potatoes gun topped with the most innovative scope of its day-until you realize that this particular M77 is the super rare 6mm caliber.  If you owned this combination back in the day, you probably thought you were the bomb of long range hunting...and you probably were.

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The best of Redfield

This rare 4x12 accu-range scope is in NrMnt condition and includes the prized 4P CCH reticle.  This combination provided never before seen in-scope rangefinding for practical hunting scenarios.  Those that owned and mastered the scope didn't see much game get away.

Perfection in 1978

In 1978 if you knew your stuff and wanted to combine the best of all worlds to kill everything you set your mind to at any range, this is what you would have built.  This rare 6mm hot rod combination is available for sale at $1399.

JUNE BUILD OF THE MONTH

POST-WAR CUTTING EDGE DEER HUNTER

During WWII companies like Remington and Weaver had increased their workforce as much as 20-fold to help save the free world.  Yes, the same one that would hate them for some reason a few decades later.  After WWII companies used their new found manufacturing capacity and technology to dazzle the world.  

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In 1949 the world was getting back to normal, having babies and living life after the most atrocious event the world would see up to and including today.  In 1948 Remington introduced the 721.  In September of 1949 the above 721B was made as one of the very first and few 721B's ever and probably sat on the shelf at a hardware store waiting for its owner.  Likely a couple of months later it had one and also Weaver's first ever variable scope, the KV which was new in 1950.  As for mounts, well, since the Weaver detachable top mount was also introduced in 1949, we just had to round up a brand new pair as well as an original set of Weaver bases to complete this fantastic build.

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Antelope beware?

The owner of this post-war rifle would have been a cutting edge deer hunter back east, and probably envisioned going out west to test out his new "Variable" KV scope.  The shooter had the option of either 3x or 5x and the change was made by removing the turret cover on the side/rear of the scope and then selecting 3 or 5.  Not exactly our definition of variable today but a good start.

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Introducing the detachable top mount!

Also in 1949 Weaver introduced it's detachable top mount.  This mount would become the industry standard for years to come.  

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