I ought to add that the sights should be mounted before the factory stock is changed, for the exact amount of necessary elevation varies with the facial structure and general build of the shooter. Some men find the comb is high enough when its top goes straight back, on a line barely below the opened rifle bolt. Others need a comb that is a trifle higher, with the front cut away to allow the bolt to open. And if you, too, prefer the popular bolt action, it is wise to get a rifle with a bolt design that is well suited to the low mounting of the scope. Or the gunsmith can alter the shape of the bolt you have. The best bolts I've seen for this were of the Enfield type used by Remington between the two world wars. Incidentally, the Enfield safety is also handier to use than any other that I know.
The weight of the rifle needs careful consideration. Featherweights are now very popular. My suggestion is to avoid them for all-round use. They are nice to carry, but if the big chance of your whole trip comes when you are panting from the exertion of a stiff climb, a light rifle is much too hard to steady down.
For all these reasons the basic rifle I chose was the Remington Model 30, since discontinued. For anyone who wants a similar rifle today I suggest the Winchester Model 70 or the Remington Model 725. But there are other good makes. I'd be more interested in the action, the bolt design and the type of safety than in the stock, which I'd expect to scrap.
SLING AND TRIGGER
There aren't many other details worth mentioning. A good rifle sling, not furnished with the factory rifle, is a great help to steady holding as well as being a handy carrying strap. While my Whelan sling is fastened to detachable swivels, I've never wanted to take it off for any kind of hunting. My front swivel is attached to the barrel instead of the wooden fore-end, simply because I once pulled a fore-end swivel out by the roots while climbing with the rifle slung on my back in precipitous goat country.
The correct trigger pull, too, is important, and on most factory rifles it is too heavy. Your gunsmith can fix that. Personally, I like a three-pound pull. I had my trigger changed to the double-draw military pull; after the slack is taken up, there is no trace of creep until the shot is squeezed off. Here again we find a potent argument against a whole battery of rifles. The man who is completely familiar with the action of one trigger will shoot better with it than when he switches around.
Now, how does all this add up?
My suggested alterations in a factory model are expensive. They may cost as much as one good extra rifle—which I never found that I needed on this continent. But for practical results with the whole variety of our big-game species, and under equal conditions otherwise, I'd back the one-gun hunter with this equipment against the fellow with a battery of the best 20 other rifles ever made.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]