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Timeless advice for new and old hunters

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by mshootnit, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    If you are a new hunter or an old one, one of the best written and most helpful articles I have seen was in the November 1965 edition of Outdoor Life, written by a man named Jack O'Connor. The piece was titled " Know Your Big Game Rifle" I am posting a link to it here, for your reading, and enjoyment in the hopes it will help someone bag that nice buck this year.

    http://jack-oconnor.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Know_Your_Big_Game_Rifle_By_JOC.pdf
     
    Dunross, FL-NC, bfoosh006 and 8 others like this.
  2. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Member

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    That is awesome! That article alone answers questions for about five big game hunting threads!
     
  3. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Good read, thanks for posting.
     
  4. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    Excellent........ Thanks for putting that up. I can remember reading JOC when I was too young to really understand what he was talking about... But his works were so interesting that I read 'em anyway. He was that cool old guy with the high power rifles.
     
  5. Alaskan Ironworker

    Alaskan Ironworker Member

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    I like the old snowmachine ad too!
     
  6. js8588

    js8588 Member

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    Great read. Always been a JOC fan. Oddly enough, I have yet to buy a 270 and not sell it a few months later. Some day...
     
  7. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    Thanks. My favorite phrase was (and I quote):

    "Back in the days when Mexican sheep hunting was relatively legal..."

    Can you imagine the outrage and vitriol that would follow that today? ;-)
     
    earlthegoat2 and Demi-human like this.
  8. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    ........ Me too; Mid 1960's was my first exposure to "sleds" and they sure started changing the looks of 'em a few years after that.
     
  9. Boattale

    Boattale Member

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    Great article. Jack made me want a .270 when I was young. And I still have the one I bought new when I could finally afford a decent rifle. M77RL tang safety. Never been sorry for a minute either.
     
  10. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    A Remington Model 700 BDL in .270 Win was my deer rifle and I was heavily influenced by Jack O'Connor. Several of my brothers bought 270's as their first deer rifles. Always worked! Still have it after about 40 years. I started with a .243 because I wanted to shoot chucks with my "deer rifle" too. But went to .270 a few years later when I could afford more than one center fire rifle.
     
  11. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

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    It's a good reminder that what is now "obvious" was once worth a magazine article, and a classic one at that. Of course we've learned a thing or two about barrel harmonics and picking charge weights since then, but the basic principle still applies: having someone else sight your rifle is only slightly less useless than having someone else hunt it :D
     
  12. Dr T

    Dr T Member

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    I remember reading that article when it first came out in Outdoor Life...I think I read it enough times to wear the cover off the magazine. We would "Go to Town" in San Angelo once a week on Wednesday, and if I was not in school or needed to go to the doctor (or dentist) I would take my hard earned quarters to the drug store and buy an Outdoor Life. If I was feeling really plush, I would also get a Sports Afield. But Outdoor Life and Jack O'Conner were my favorites.

    It was the lessons from this article that were tickling in my memory when I had to use Kentucky elevation to figure out my point of aim after I screwed up the sight-in on my 6.5 CM last year (I was about 4.5 in high at 100 yards and missed an easy shot on a little six point).

    Thanks for reminding me of the source of the lessons.
     
  13. Choctaw

    Choctaw Member

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    Very nice. Thank you.
     
  14. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    Interesting that an article pertaining entirely toward "knowing your big game rifle" was moved from a rifle forum.
     
  15. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    When I was young I was an avid Jack O'Connor fan and I bought all of his books. He was a very good writer and very interesting to read. It is still good reading today. He would have turned up his nose at ATV's and box blinds. After many years of hunting I have mixed feelings about him today. He said he could get by with a 4 power scope and I strongly disagree with that conclusion. One of the smartest things I ever did was to go to stronger power variable scopes. His discussion about holding high on long range animals caused me to miss several deer and now I never fire a shot without hair in the center of the scope. Now I am a fan of larger diameter bullets because larger diameter bullets seem to kill quicker, but I do plan to hunt whitetails with a 270 Winchester this year. All of the ignorant talk about the 270 on this forum caused me to bring it out of retirement. It's a highly effective and user friendly cartridge and old Jack was right about that one! He was also right about the quality of a pre 64 Model 70 Winchester and thanks to his writings I have a gun cabinet full of them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  16. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    IIRC, when Mr. O'Conner wrote "The Hunting Rifle"(1970), his chapter on scopes covered several different ones he had in different magnifications mounted on different rifles. While he may have said that generally he personally could get by with a 4X, I don't recall him ruling out other options. But, I also haven't read the total of everything he wrote, and even a published expert can experience a change of opinion for a variety of reasons just like anybody else.

    As far as saying he'd turn his nose up at ATV's and box blinds, look at the differences between his era and now. They didn't hunt that way in Arizona back then. Even now, some of us don't go hunting to sit in a little bitty box or claim to hunt while watching football. And I've heard using vehicles draws different reactions in different parts of the country. None of which has the first thing to do with knowing your rifle well enough to effectively use it.
     
  17. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    Jack O'Connor was a pioneer to handloading rifle cartridges after WWII when the practice was unfamiliar to the general hunting public. He moved to Lewiston, Idaho and became a technical expert for the Speer Bullet Company. During the 1950's the way a hunter became familiar with their rifle was to take up handloading, buy a gallon can of military surplus 4831 powder, several boxes of Speer bullets, and practice with 200 or 300 rounds each year. After a few years he became familiar with the rifle and knew enough about bullet trajectory to hit objects at longer ranges. One of the best articles written by O'Connor was about Pressures and the Handloader published in Speer Loading Manual #10.

    Technology and the use of variable power scopes improved in the early 1960's with the introduction of the Bausch & Lomb Balvar 8 scope which was a 2.5 to 8 power variable scope. O'Connor did much of his hunting on horseback and the early 4X scopes were much tougher in a saddle scabbard. O'Connor died in 1978 so he didn't have a chance to use to use the higher quality variable scopes we have today.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019 at 8:51 AM
  18. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    By this account, it sounds like he chose the most durable and user-friendly scope they made at the time. He's been dead 40-41yrs now, and as you say, he didn't get to see what's available now. I don't think that makes him wrong so much as he's just been out of the loop.
     
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