Written by Sierra Ballistic Technician Philip Mahin
There was a time when I thought that I was going to get my wife into hunting even if it killed me. In my opinion, she needed a good rifle. Something that she could shoot without beating her up every time she pulled the trigger, something reliable and also retain its value. Those last three words ring in my ear every time I look at a firearm simply because they will over time, whether it is new or used. If you look at the price history of the firearm, it is a very stable investment. The past few years have proved, with the AR shortages and the demand causing higher than normal prices for them, that every dog has its day. One day your AR is at face value, then it doubled in price the next. If you happen to be one of those people that invested in a Winchester 70 chambered in 35 Remington and let it sit in the safe unfired, your kids are going to have a hay day when they find out what it is worth now.
Anyway, back to what I found for the wife. I was able to find her a Ruger 77 chambered in 257 Roberts that had all the aspects I was after. The action is sound and the cartridge is right, so even though the stock had a few marks (true hunting guns are seldom without), it still had exceptional bluing. To this day, she has barely even looked at it and definitely not shot it so it just sits in the safe waiting for her. She later told me that she would have much rather had a day at the spa for an anniversary gift. I guess her idea and my idea of a perfect gift are two totally different things so I took my lumps, learning my lesson the hard way.
Update: She just called as I was writing this (she has that knack to know when I’m talking about her) and asked what I was up to. After telling her what I had wrote so far, she decided to remind me what it was missing. She is good at that. She reminded me that, at the time, she was carrying my little girl. Apparently, women know it is unwise to shoot a firearm while pregnant and considering that I am of the male species, this didn’t cross my mind. She also reminded me that it didn’t have a scope installed yet and the one I just bought might fit. Dag-gone it! How did she find out about that one? I ho hummed around and mentioned that there may be something in my room that would work. So this raised a new question, “If it did have a scope, was there any interest in maybe going shooting with me some time?” This put the ball in her court and she fumbled with an “Oh, maybe.” Hot dang! I hooked her good this time and I’m not so bad at picking out presents after all! Only time will tell if she turns out to be as good a hunter as she can fish but, wish me luck, I’ve got a date.