Subscribe Now!
BY Bobby Coal on May. 17, 2019

GameKeeper Guns: The Wish List

I have always loved rifles, bolt action rifles specifically. The inherent accuracy and the clean lines are just very appealing to me. I don’t have any predispositions to wooden stocks or synthetic as long as its glass bedded and nearly shoots in the same hole. The same goes for finishes, I have stainless barrels and I have blued barrels and I love them equally.

Lately I have had an itch for a new varmint rifle. I’ve had a .243 bull-bar-reled Sako for 30 years and it has never let me down, but I have been wanting something a little lighter in caliber. Thinking it might be faster and flatter shooting. There are several calibers that have been catching my eye. This year I made a point to spend some time looking at various modern offerings. 

While visiting at the Browning booth at a show, I fell in love with a new rifle they are calling the X-Bolt Eclipse Varmint. It’s as “sexy as a Porsche.” It’s built to be accurate and features a thumbhole Monte Carlo stock, heavy fluted barrel with a muzzle brake, and a detachable rotary magazine. It’s also offered in the very interesting .204 Ruger caliber.

This, quite frankly in my opinion, would be a fantastic truck gun for gamekeepers. It’s the rifle you can grab quickly when you see a coyote at 300 yards while you’re checking fields. How many times does this happen? You have to be ready and this rifle, when scoped correctly, would be a menace to varmints. 

I don’t know that I have ever seen so many custom features on a factory rifle. The glass bedded thumbhole laminated stock feels so comfortable and is actually flatted on the bottom of the fore-end to steady it with sandbags.  It’s a nice weight at 9.5 pounds and I like the detachable magazine in case the need arises to reload quickly.  It’s a coyote special and no doubt would be lethal on pigs with a well-placed bullet in the ear. A rifle like this would give you the confidence required to make a shot like that.

The next step would be some good “glass.” Given my “druthers” I would stick a 6.5 by 20 Leupold on it, and never question it once it was sighted in. Slip it into a quality gun case like the ones Mission Mercantile and Evolution are making and keep it where you can access it easily. You can’t over-protect a precision rifle like this enough. 

For gamekeepers who need a “truck gun,” this as this is as good as I have seen. Check it out at your local dealer or I think you will be as impressed as I was.



For more from GameKeeper Farming For Wildlife, join our weekly newsletter or subscribe to GameKeepers Magazine. Your source for information, equipment, know-how, deals and discounts to help you get the most from every hard-earned moment in the field.


Join The Conversation Below

We welcome relevant, respectful comments below. Please read our Community Guidlines.
Comments are closed

Sign up for the free Weekly "Field Notes" Newsletter

This is your free, weekly update on land management. Short, to the point, and very informative, our field notes newsletter brings you tips from the field written by our staff of expert land and wildlife managers. Enjoy, and be sure to pass it on to your friends!


Featured Product

Green Patch Plus
NUTRITION. ATTRACTION. PRODUCTION. VENISON. Green Patch Plus is a fall planting that combines the proven attractiveness of transitional grains with the nutrition and attraction of genuine...
Price: $25.99-$47.99
Learn More

GameKeepers Farming for Wildlife