Last week the Savage 99 in .300 Savage narrowly edged out the .30/06 Remington 760 in a battle between two classics of the eastern deer woods. This week we go West for another good matchup: a pair of bolt actions for the mountains—one old-school rifle, the other totally 21st century.
Steve Huey’s Remington 700
The rifle started out life as a Remington 700 Classic, made in 1988, with a straight-comb stock and hooded front sight with rear ramp from the factory. I was shopping for a replacement for an ill-tempered .338 Winchester Magnum when I came upon this .35 Whelen. My requirements for an elk rifle were simple: shoot a heavy bullet for killing elk and have plenty of energy for a close-up defensive shot on big bears since I often hunted alone in Montana and Washington. Initially scoped with a Redfield Widefield 2-7X, it now wears a Leupold 3-9X40 with a heavy duplex reticle and CDS turret. I have taken quite a few elk and mule deer over the years with this rifle. My longest shot to date with this rifle was 308 measured yards on a bull elk. One shot and down. The 22-inch barrel and the attached Montana sling make it an easy carry in the timber or heavy brush. See you in elk country.”