Saturday morning, December 17th, started out a little unusual. Mika’s flight to Regina, originally scheduled for the day before, was cancelled due to bad weather in Toronto. I was supposed to drop him off at the airport for 9:00 am Saturday morning, but this flight was delayed. The plan was for me to drop off Mika at the airport then pick up Jason and his dog Nos (Hera was already on board) for a morning dog run. Along with the dog run Jason and I were going to tend a few errands. Jason needed to go to the bank to deposit a rebate cheque he received from Browning. I needed to take my Browning X-bolt Medallion rifle to Gunco, the gunsmith we use, to have the broken cleaning rod removed from the barrel. I needed to get a replacement cleaning kit for the rifle also. As Christmas is a week away, I still needed to buy a few more gifts including one for Jason’s daughter, Rose. It was well after 10:00 am when I arrived at Jason’s house. We hit the bank on the way to Gunco. The cleaning rod was safely removed from my rifle barrel and as we browsed the array of second hand shotguns and rifles for sale I caught sight of a left-hand bolt action rifle. It was a Tikka T3 in .300 WSM with a synthetic stock. “Nice gun,” I thought and the price (between $800-$900) was reasonable.
I held the rifle and Jason expressed his approval for the make, model and caliber. I can use a rifle in this caliber for any big game animal in North America and for some African big game. Tempting as it was, I decided it is too soon for another gun purchase, what with Christmas expenses and the bills I ran up during hunting season, so I decided to wait. “After all, how soon will a left-hand bolt action rifle sell,” I reasoned. “It will likely remain on the shelf a while so I can always come back for it another day.” Jason and I took our leave of Gunco with me feeling quite pleased with myself for not giving in to temptation. We set out for Sail to get the replacement cleaning kit for my rifle and additional gun cleaning supplies. We found the supplies I needed and some projectiles for our muzzle loaders at a good price. Jason bought me a pack of the projectiles for Christmas, many thanks to him for his generosity. We can never go to Sail without browsing at the gun shop and this is where Saturday morning took a dramatic turn.
I spied two left-hand bolt action rifles on the rack, both of which had stickers reading “clearance” on them. I asked what make, model and caliber they were. They were both Tikka T3 rifles, one with a wooden stock, the other with a synthetic stock. The rifle with the wooden stock was .300 WSM and the rifle with the synthetic stock was in .243. I asked to look at the rifle in .300 WSM and was very impressed with how light weight it was and how nicely it fit. Even more impressive was the price, $849.99. While I am not prone to making purchases on impulse, what I could not ignore in this instance was how often am I going to find a Tikka T3 left-hand bolt action rifle in .300 WSM on clearance. Both Jason and the clerk serving us were surprised when I took my PAL from my wallet and announced, “I’ll take it.” Of course, with my new rifle, I needed a scope and happily Jason was there to guide me in the selection of the Zeiss Terra 3 x 9 x 42 scope I chose. It cost a pretty penny, but hey, as the adage goes “in for a penny, in for a pound.” I rounded out the purchase of the new rifle with a set of Leupold rings and bases for the scope and a box of Winchester .300 WSM 150 grain Xtreme Point Polymer cartridges. Though the total price was staggering, I am well pleased with this purchase.
The next step in making my new rifle ready for next season is a trip to Jason’s house to install the scope. I will shoot a video of the process, showcasing Jason’s skill at the installation of rifle scopes. Once this is accomplished, Jason and I will get out to the range in the not too distant future to sight in the new rifle. I will produce a video of this event also. I look forward to taking my new rifle into the field next season when I am in pursuit of white-tailed deer. This Saturday morning, one week before Christmas, started uneventfully, but finished most spectacularly with my acquisition of a brand new hunting rifle and scope, a Christmas present to myself. It makes for a Merry Christmas indeed!
Posted by Geoffrey