Tuesday, January 17, 2012

One rifle to rule them all...

I worked for D’Arcy while finishing up school at Utah State University.  At the time I had a Model 70 classic 30-06.  We began doing some improvements to it, adding the Legend Stock, when I asked D’Arcy about adding his magazine box and follower.  He said if we were going to do that we might as well make it into a full Legend Rifle.  Who could turn that down?

I’d become a fan of the 200 grain Nosler partition and decided the .300 Winchester Magnum would be a good platform to launch it from.  One of my goals was one rifle and one load that I could hunt almost anything with.

I spent much of my time in D’Arcy’s shop polishing metal work.  Polishing is tedious work that requires patience, attention to detail, and a commitment to do a good job.  It probably isn’t considered a glorious job, but good polishing is critical for the looks and function of the rifle.  It also taught me how to spot and feel the tiniest imperfections, because if I didn’t catch them D’Arcy would and he’d just send me back to my bench.  My project got thrown into the mix just like any of the others.  So along with the pride of owning a D’Arcy Echols & Company Legend I enjoy hunting with a rifle I had a hand in building.

My rifle was finished just before I moved to Wyoming.  I put a Leupold M8 6x36 on it and started hunting it.  During a guiding season in NW Wyoming I put a 1-4x Leupold on it for use as a bear gun.  When I re-mounted the 6x I didn’t have to touch the scope’s adjustments, it was still dead on.  After 8 years of use it’s continues to be a confidence inspiring rifle. 

In 2008 I killed what may be my best trophy, a 365” bull elk taken on the HD High Island Ranch where I live.  I first spotted the bull while looking over some young raghorns.  He had just come out of the tree line above a steep hill.  Once I got him in my glasses I knew he was big, his brow tines and whale tail just jumped out at me.  I literally ran down the hill I was on, headed towards a small finger ridge where I hoped the bull would be in range.  Once I got there I threw myself on the ground and ranged him at 328 yards.  I shot him twice as fast as I could and down he went.
The rifle has also taken several mule deer, a whitetail, and quite a few more elk as well.  It’s a pleasure to hunt with a rifle that I know inside and out and know will work every time.  

Bart Stam

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