For years, I hunted with my parent’s rifles. I’m lucky to have two parents who took me hunting and also allowed me to use their rifles to do it. But at 27, and with more and more of my hunting trips done alone or with CN, the time was right to purchase my own rifle.
A few years ago I completed a precision shooting course in south Texas called Sportsman’s All-Weather All-terrain Marksmanship (check the website out here). It made a huge difference in my shooting and really hammered in good rifle shooting fundamentals. One of my takeaways from that course was to shoot a high-quality rifle and mount it with an equally as high-quality scope. My instructors background was in the Marines and he recommended looking to Idaho-based Nightforce Optics for extremely high quality scopes. So, when Nightforce debuted a ground-breaking scope called “the BEAST” (BEAST stands for ‘best example of advanced scope technology’) in 2013, I knew it was the scope for me. Is this scope way above my level? Yes, but I will learn. After the BEAST finally arrived, I knew it was time to really get the ball rolling on purchasing an equally as cutting edge and high-quality rifle.
First, I decided on my caliber – 30.06. (I’ve hunted game with a variety of calibers including .270, 7mm, 300WM, 300SM, and some of the smaller calibers as well. But after getting a lot (a lot) of opinions, and doing a lot of my own research, the 30.06 just stuck out as such a versatile and well-balanced caliber that could handle nearly all of my big game hunting. There are plenty of opinion articles out there on calibers. Here’s one giving a brief run down of the 30.06 (click). )
Secondly, I set out to compare a wide variety of quality gun manufacturers. One company and one rifle really stuck out over all the rest: German firearm company Blaser and their new R8 rifle. A rifle Blaser CEO Bernhard Knoebel described as, “the beginning of a new era of perfection”. The unparalleled attention to detail, timeless design and avant garde innovation really sealed the deal for me. Oh, and did I mention you can put any caliber barrel on the same rifle frame easily and quickly? Mind. Blown. But i’m going to start with the 30.06. Check out some of the R8 feature videos here (click).
So, finally, I purchased my Blaser 30.06 and set it up with my Nightforce scope this week. It is a beautiful gun. I went for the synthetic stock in dark green and black. We nicknamed the entire gun The Beast (and it is quite heavy!) but it shoots beautifully. I plan on taking it to Europe next month to shoot wild hogs. Until then, I will be shooting it a lot at the range and trying to figure out this incredible scope. As always, any and all comments or advice is appreciated.
Also, I have to shoutout my guys at Marco Polo Outfitters in Chesterfield, MO who I purchased the rifle through. They are a family run operation and really took amazing care of me throughout the whole process. I can’t recommend them enough. You can find their website here: marcopolooutfitters.com