Rifle|January - February 2021
Dave Scovill

I hope this finds readers in good health in spite of the pandemic and wildfires at hand. As readers may be aware, I retired about four years ago, but the publisher asked if I might continue with this column, now going on nearly 30 years, until . . . whenever. Wife, Roberta, also retired, and we continue on as the rest of the world outside of our home north of Prescott, Arizona, passes us by.

I came through Prescott in 1978 on my way to somewhere else, noting at the time, you don’t need to come here to get anywhere else. It was by accident, mostly, that I pulled off the side of the road to retrieve a lawn chair that flew out of the boat I was towing by Watson Lake. After traveling nearly a 1,000 miles across the high desert from Oregon, I declared to my passenger, “If I ever retire, this is the place.”

A widower with two children, I answered a call from Al Miller to join Wolfe Publishing as the editor 11 years later; little had changed. Folks still traveled hundreds of miles up the mountain from the Sonoran Desert to take in the cool air and view Watson Lake surrounded by the Granite Dells, or braved the mountain snow in December to marvel at the Yavapai County Court House lighting at “Arizona’s Christmas City,” then left.

The large ranches were still unfenced, and the 23-mile drive to and from work was largely an obstacle course, dodging cattle, horses, goats, deer, antelope, javelina (peccary), rabbits, quail, roadrunners and assorted predators. A new highway is progressing and will bypass Prescott across the prairie to the east, missing Watson Lake and Prescott by several miles, leaving travelers with little to see or reason to stop until they arrive somewhere else.

Fortunately, considering the worldwide circumstances, I’ve been able to stay occupied at home with a couple of projects, starting with the purchase of an Interarms imported Serbian M98 Mauser 7mm Remington Magnum dubbed the M70. It was stocked with mystery wood that has been replaced by a fiberglass handle with aluminum bedding block from Stocky’s, LLC. The action itself is a mirror image of the Interarms Mark X that was bedded in wood and rebarreled to .30-375 Ruger a couple of years back.

Open sights on the Serbian rifle have been retained, and scope bases and rings are ready to install a scope that satisfies weight requirement, hopefully around 8.5 pounds overall. Chances are a standard 3-9x will suffice.

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