December 29th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Jack O’Connor .270 Winchester Tribute Rifle

Model 70 Winchester Jack O'Connor .270 Win
“If the hunter does his part, the .270 will not let him down” — Jack O’Connor.

Classic hunting rifles never go out of style. We thought our readers would enjoy this very special high-grade Jack O’Connor Tribute rifle in .270 Winchester. This unique Model 70 was a SHOT Show featured rifle back in 2013. It was auctioned off with the proceeds benefiting hunting and shooting sports. Jack O’Connor, a legendary outdoorsman and hunting writer, would have been proud. In his 1964 classic work The Rifle Book, O’Connor wrote: “I like a handgun. I hold a shotgun in high regard; but rifles — well, I love the darn things…”

Model 70 Winchester Jack O'Connor .270 Win

Winchester Repeating Arms declared that this 2013 SHOT Show Winchester Model 70 would be the last-ever Jack O’Connor Tribute rifle. The stock for this rifle is AAA grade Claro Walnut with Ebony forearm tip and shadowline cheekpiece. The rifle’s metalwork has been hand-engraved by the artisans at Baron Engraving. The rifle features a featherweight contour, free-floating barrel with target crown. Interestingly, the Leupold 4X Mountaineer riflescope mounted on this rifle is an original 1950s-era Mountaineer from the vaults of Leupold & Stevens.

Click each image to see larger version with detail.

“A good sporting stock should enable the shooter to get a shot off quickly and accurately, and it should also be a thing of beauty. Many fine sporting stocks are handsome but of little aid in accurate shooting. Many others that hold and shoot well are homely and clumsy.

The very best sporter stock design results in a stock with handsome, graceful lines and one which also enables the man behind it to do his best work.” — Jack O’Connor, The Big Game Rifle (1952).

Model 70 Winchester Jack O'Connor .270 Win

Model 70 Winchester Jack O'Connor .270 Win

About Jack 0’Connor “Dean of Outdoor Writers”
Jack O’Connor, sheep hunting, and the Model 70 Winchester in .270 are linked in our collective subconscious. In 1939, O’Connor was appointed new guns editor for Outdoor Life, and in 1941, he took over the Arms and Ammunition column. In those days, Coues deer and desert sheep were his passions, and a lot of rifles came and went through his hands. By the end of 1946, O’Connor had hunted enough North American sheep to complete three grand slams.

By 1954, he thought he had his ultimate rifle, a custom Model 70 in .270 Winchester that he had taken to Wyoming for elk, to India for blackbuck, and to Iran for red sheep and ibex. He liked the rifle so much, he called it his No. 1 and set out to build a second to give his favorite a break from testing new bullets and developing loads.

From Outdoor Life magazine Feature Story: Jack O’Connor’s Perfect Model 70.

Model 70 Winchester Jack O'Connor .270 Win

Jack O'Connor hunting classicsSporting Classics offers a collection of great Jack O’Connor stories from the pages of Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, Petersen’s Hunting and other popular magazines of his day. This 440-page book, entitled Classic O’Connor: 45 Worldwide Hunting Stories, is a sequel of sorts to Sporting Classics’ popular compendium, The Lost Classics of Jack O’Connor.

In this collection, Jack O’Connor recounts his worldwide hunting adventures, during which he pursued everything from ducks to grizzlies, pheasants to kudu. Classic O’Connor presents several of the author’s greatest gun stories and a large selection of never-before-published photographs of the celebrated sportsman and his family on hunting adventures around the world. The book is illustrated with 40+ drawings by acclaimed artist Ron Van Gilder. This excellent O’Connor collection is available on Amazon in hardcover or paperback, starting at $38.99 (used) or $59.98 (new).

The Hunting Rifle by Jack O’Connor
Another O’Connor title worth reading is The Hunting Rifle, still considered one of the definitive works on selecting a hunting rifle and cartridge. One owner of The Hunting Rifle explains:

“It would benefit every hunter to take the time and read this book. It offers a corrective to the spirit of things that have gripped the hunting scene lately. Today, if one reads a hunting magazine, [one is] offered the view that you need the fastest and loudest cartridges, rifles with special finishes and the most expensive of anything. Ole Jack reminds us that many have killed game with ‘lesser’ guns for a very long time, and that these new gimmicks will not make you a more lethal hunter.”

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May 20th, 2018

Tikka T3 — Video Reviews of Popular Hunting Rifle

Tikka T3 Review new zealand hunting scotland varmint rifle

The Tikka T3 rifle is very popular with hunters around the globe — for good reason. These rifles offer smooth-running actions, easy sub-MOA accuracy with good ammo, crisp triggers, and ultra-reliable detachable box magazines. The Tupperware stocks aren’t super-rigid, but they are comfortable and easy to handle. If you are looking for a hunting rifle, the Tikka T3 is a smart choice, offering good performance for the price (which starts at less than $580.00 for the T3 Lite version). The T3 series is offered in a wide selection of chamberings, from .204 Ruger up to the large magnums.

Here are two good Tikka T3 video reviews, the first from New Zealand, the second from Scotland. Both reviewers are experienced hunters who explain why the T3 is well-suited for hunting applications. In the first video, Mitch of BushBrothersNZ reviews a T3 with polymer stock and stainless barrel chambered for the .270 Win. Mitch focuses on the T3’s controls and functions, with particular attention to the operation of trigger, safety, and bolt.

In this second video, David, a hunter and wilderness skills teacher from Scotland, demonstrates the features (and remarkable accuracy) of a factory Tikka T3, chambered in .223 Remington. With David’s handloads, this rifle has grouped just over an inch at 250 yards, as shown near the end of the video.

Tikka Fox HuntingTikka Fox Hunting

David uses his rifle primarily for fox-hunting (often done at night). He employs a variable-power scope with an illuminated reticle to target his night-time prey. David offers many tips for predator hunters. He prefers an extra-high Harris bipod. With the bipod’s legs fully extended, he can assume a comfortable and solid sitting position. The rifle is supported on his shoulder and on the bipod, leaving both of his hands free. Being able to support the rifle without gripping it is a major advantage, David explains. This frees his hands to search for animals with binoculars or scan distances with his rangefinder.

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