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July 13, 2006

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The Guns I Own: The Kenny Jarrett .30/06


In April 1996, Layne Simpson, Gary Sitton, Finn Agaard and I met at gunmaker Kenny Jarrett’s South Carolina establishment to do a massive and earth-shaking piece on deer rifles. In the spare time I had, I went rooting (not unlike a hog after truffles) through Kenny’s inventory room where he keeps finished guns and found a left-hand .30/06 based on a Remington Model 700 action.

It was a demonstrator gun that Kenny kept around to show his southpaw customers, but it was not quite glamorous enough for that purpose, being all black (no camo or Confederate flags) and in the distinctly unglamorous .30/06. And it was heavy--8 1/2 pounds without scope.

But I loved it at first sight, and when Kenny quoted me a price that was less than the Bolivian GNP, I said I’d buy it if he sawed off the muzzle brake, so he did, and I did. Smartest money I ever spent. When they come to pry my gun from my cold dead fingers, this is the rifle they will pry.

It is not only very accurate (groups as small as .600-inch) it’s accurate with anything you stuff into it. I think you could feed it black powder and .308 lead wire and it would shoot well. It will not shift its point of impact even when shot hot, and it never ever malfunctions. I’ve shot it in competition for 10 years, much of that rapid fire, and it’s never bobbled through a couple of thousand rounds.

I’ve killed my two biggest whitetails (in Arkansas and Saskatchewan) with it, and my biggest mule deer (Wyoming). It’s unglamorous, but it’s also the rifle of a lifetime.


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Dick Filippini

Mr. DEP: First, I'd have paid some serious money to have been a fly on the wall at that meeting. It reads like a "who's who" of some pretty descent gun writers, not to mention the rifle builder. If any of the attendees ever wrote an article on it, please point us in the right direction. We'd love to read about it, even 10 years later.

Second, your nose is growing. One of Mr. Jarrett's rifles is somewhere WAY North of the Bolivian GNP. He crafts some unbelieveably accurate rifles, but it's the age old question of whether that last 1/4"-1/2" of accuracy is worth exponentially more money. I wish I could afford (read "justify it to the Mrs.") one, and I envy those of you who can. I'll have to stick with my Rugers and Remingtons - with no regrets. And by the way, between the free, or at least seriously subsidized, guns, ammo, hunting trips, etc., etc., etc., how do you sleep nights? Don't you feel the LEAST bit guilty? (That's a retorical question, cause we all know the answer.) But I will give you that you probably get at least a couple hours of sound sleep every nite, cause you are very good at what you do.

mike shickele

Your favorite rifle is close to my favorite rifle.
Remington 700, 30-06. ADL, with sights removed.
action trued and polished, with 11 deg crown.
trigger finely adjusted to 3 LBS.
Properly beded to a Six Enterprises stock.
Burris 2-7X Fullfield in Millet, Weaver-style rings.

Does one really need anything else?

Mike M

BAH!! they'll pry the Remington Model Four in 30-06 i inherited from my daddy from my cold dead hands. She shoots straight and true. Has killed her fair share of whitetails. Yet hasnt cost me a penny other than the factory 180 grain rem. core loct she loves to eat.

Besides that.......she feels VERY good in my hands.

Dave Petzal

To Dick Fillipini: Thanks for the backhanded compliment. I sleep OK, except when our fat, elderly cat sleeps on my face. Hard to breathe. I think the article ran in the September, 1996 edition.

Lee Woiteshek

Yep, I'd sell a kidney on ebay to own a Jarrett....

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