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The One-Gun Hunter

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The One-Gun Hunter

Writing about Lefty Page’s 7mm Mashburn Magnum, with which he slew enough critters to fill a large zoo, brought up the question of whether it’s OK to be a one-rifle hunter. On the one hand the concept is un-American, because if you buy only one rifle and no others you’ll not be giving the firearms industry the support it needs and, by extension, I will be unable to buy the really expensive stuff that makes people angry and discontented.

Page shot whole menageries of other animals with many different rifles and cartridges because the job requires that, but the Mashburn was his go-to gun for just about everything because it was light (for its time), unchanging of zero (very rare for that time), powerful enough for just about everything, and flat-shooting enough for long range.

The truth is that a skillful hunter armed with a rifle of reasonable power can take just about anything with one gun. Grancel Fitz, who was the first man to take all of the Boone and Crockett North American big-game trophies, did it with a Griffin & Howe .30/06 with iron sights. Elgin Gates and C.J. McElroy collected breathtaking numbers of trophies, worldwide, each with a .300 Weatherby Magnum.

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