Outdoor Life - - THE LIFE -

Ru­mors have been sky-hootin’ through the gun trade that Winch­ester was about to bring out a feath­er­weight ver­sion of the fa­mous Model 70 ri­fle. No flies on the Model 70! She’s all ri­fle, a yard wide, and built like the brick ed­i­fice in Mrs. Kelly’s back­yard. For moun­tain hunt­ing she’s a bit on the heavy side, though, and with cer­tain scopes and mounts she’s likely to weigh 10 or 10½ pounds.

Now, chaps with vari­cose veins and fallen arches find lug­ging stan­dard Model 70s over hill and dale a bit bur­den­some. So th­ese ru­mors of a light mus­ket in­ter­ested me vastly, not only be­cause my own legs have been worn off half­way to the knees by lug­ging heavy ri­fles over sheep moun­tains, but be­cause many of the let­ters I’ve had plead for a ri­fle light enough to be trans­ported by el­derly char­ac­ters with­out the aid of a dog team.

Never let it be said that Winch­ester can’t keep a se­cret. Once at the fac­tory a hired hand drew me aside and was about to spill the dope. He

glanced furtively about, his eyes rolling in fear. Then he drew my ear close to his lips and be­gan to whis­per, “Now this is ab­so­lutely con­fi­den­tial, but I’ll tell you what we plan to do.”

Just then a se­cret port­hole in the wall slid open. There was a flash and a hiss through the air, and a sil­ver-mounted Malay dag­ger buried it­self in the wall within an inch of my pal’s head. He fainted dead away, and when he fi­nally re­vived I did not press him fur­ther.

With my well-known fem­i­nine in­tu­ition, I had it doped out that the Winch­ester feath­er­weight, if and when it ma­te­ri­al­ized, would be in the .270 and .30/06, the best sell­ing cal­ibers in the good Model 70. That seemed only log­i­cal, but alas, the world does not al­ways op­er­ate on a log­i­cal ba­sis.

The feath­er­weight has now ar­rived—and with it a mys­te­ri­ous new car­tridge, the .308 W.C.F. It’s this car­tridge, for which the ri­fle’s cham­bered, that’s the real sur­prise.

Jack O’con­nor be­side a record­book eland taken with his Model 70 in .375 Mag­num.

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