Cooper Rifles of Montana
If you’re a dedicated coyote hunter, than a custom rig is probably right up your alley. There are as many makers of custom rifles out there as anything else, but one I found that had more than a smattering of offers just for varmints was Cooper Rifles of Montana. This company has a dizzying array of models and options—heck, there were six alone that had Varmint in the model name, to wit, The LVT(Light Varmint/Target), The Varminter, The Montana Varminter, The Varmint Extreme, The Varminter Laminate, and The Jackson Varminter. Then there are The Jackson Hunter, The Phoenix, and The Excalibur models, wearing some of the wildest synthetic stocks I’ve ever seen but that are still coyote-subtle. The company has also introduced three new laminate stock choices that’ll put many other laminates to shame. (I’d totally jazz on the Buble Bee yellow laminate for early spring use anywhere, or for year-round use in the south, where foliage is lush and colorful nearly all the time). Cooper makes five different actions lengths in single-shot or repeating bolt-actions, all in a dizzying variety of cartridges. Keep it simple with something like a .22-250 or 6mm BR, go retro with a .221 Fireball, or get really creative with a.218 Mashburn Bee or .20 Var Targ. Oh, and while we’re talking about custom, since this is what these guns are, the question with this maker is what can’t you option. Checker the bolt, inlay your sling swivel studs, case-color your scope rings (just gorgeous!), tell them what rate of twist you want on your barrel, provide your own hunk of wood for the stock or ask for Exhibition Claro, and much, much more. And yet the prices were anything but astronomical for a maker who promises his rimfires group ¼-inch at 50 yards and a ½-inch at 100 yards for centerfires (with match-grade ammo).For example, the Jacskon Hunter in .25-06 can be ordered for just $1,795, and you can have it made with a custom length of pull for just $110 more. I could also flute the barrel for $185, and add my own personal touch of a custom serial number for $75. For much, much more information than I can put in this blog, check out the Cooper website at www.cooperfirearms.com.
Bog-Pod CLD Series
Prone, kneeling, sitting, standing, or twisted behind a tree in the shape of a pretzel, the Bog-Pod tripod gun rest lets you adjust to your shooting environment. This company made quite a splash, when they first came on the market, and with good reason. Things like an all-terrain foot system that includes a spike for better traction in ice and other hard surfaces, inch markers on the legs for easy leveling/measuring, rubber ring guards that keep the rig quiet, and a 360-degree swiveling USR (Universal Swivel Rest) that accommodates all but a benchrest-style fore-end make this a truly flexible piece of equipment. Nice that it comes in camo now, and I particularly like the XSR (Xtreme Shooting Rest) add-on that helps to steady bigger, heavier rifles, while still allowing for shooting at pitch. When you’re done with the shooting, take off your gun, slap on your camera, and take your own trophy pics!
MSRP: The CLD camo Bog-Pods, in three heights run under $130, according to www.boggear.com. The XSR add-on will bump you for about $70.
The Author Recommends: If you’re venturing into the realm of custom guns, then you know variety is the spice of life. Keep your firearms library of reference materials the same way, with the Gun Digest Editor’s Picks Bundle. You get Gun Digest 2012, 1944 First Annual Edition Gun Digest, Gun Digest Book of the AR-15 volumes 1, 2 and 3, and Gun Digest Book of Guns and Prices 2011. What more could you need?
About the Author: Jennifer L.S. Pearsall joined Gun Digest in summer 2011 as a books editor. She began her career selling guns in a retail gun shop and handgun range in Northern Virginia in the early 1990s. Recruited by the NRA to join its editorial staff in 1999, she then went on to succeed as a freelance writer and photographer. She's been a competitive shooter in many disciplines, including sporting clays, IPSC, and metallic blackpowder cartridge silhouette, and she has been an avid hunter for many years.
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