I worked the second to the last deer rifle sight in day today. You guessed it, Remington selfloading rifles turned out in droves. About half were wearing see thru scope mounts (more on these abominations another time). None were shot well. The Browning BARs held their own, as did the Remington pumps. No Winchester 100 rifles but there was one 88 levergun. A couple guys with new Remington 710s were doing their best to shoot minute-of-buck at 200 yards. As usual the slug hunters with 20 bores shot better than those with 12 bores.
A large crew of Hmong hunters showed up with brand new Mossberg package guns, some in 20 gauge, others in 12. Several still had the oval blue and yellow logo sticker on the buttstock. My two clients eschewed the 25 yard line and started at 50. Within ten rounds each they had dialed in 50 yard zeroes and said "Good enough". It was interesting to coach through a translator. Each member of their family must be testing different ammo as one was using Federal Barnes coppers, another Winchester Platinum Partitions, another the ICBM-looking Hornady plastic-tipped jobs, and yet another was shooting a flatpoint full diameter hammer I'd never heard of before made by the Heavishot people.
I saw one Savage package gun break. It shot great for the son at the 25 but dad could scarcely keep them on the paper at 50. Turns out one of two screws holding the rear scope ring together stripped out giving the scope a sad case of the side to side wobbles. Back to the sporting goods store with less than a week before the opener.
Another father son team were working out with grandpa's old Remington M700. It shot okay but didn't feed very well and sometimes the bolt wouldn't go forward at all. We popped the floorplate latch to dump the rounds several times. The follower wouldn't come out very easily or go back in very easily. The bottom metal seems to stand a little proud from the stock. Then it became suddenly obvious. Sometime in the rifle's history someone had disassembled the rifle and put it back together with the magazine box in upside down. Yeah, you can do that...sorta. We set things right with many thanks from the owners and to the oohs and aahs of the gallery. This M700 was old enough that one has to turn the safety off to cycle the action so later, while the son fumbled to open the action, he touched off a round without intending to. Very exciting. Keep your finger off the trigger until the sights are on target!
Home and dry, I will park my body armor in the closet until next year's festivities...