The rifle shown here is a pretty unique piece of craftsmanship and history. Not only is it exceptionally well crafted, and by one of our early and best custom makers, it was made for one of our best outdoor writers of all time. The craftsman was Al Biesen and the writer was Jack O’Connor. Anyone who read much of O’Connor’s writings knows that, up until the big factory changes made in 1964, his favorite rifles were based on Winchester Model 70 components. He was not the least impressed with Winchester’s changes. This rifle, O’Connor’s final custom rifle, was built on a much-modified Ruger M77 rifle chambered for, of all things, the .280 Remington cartridge. My guess is the changes in rifles and cartridges were intended to show his displeasure to Winchester. Alas, the grim reaper intervened, and O’Connor never saw the rifle. It was completed in the early ’80s, a couple years after O’Connor’s passing. Photo by Tom Turpin
This photo gallery is an excerpt from the new Gun Digest 2014 annual book.