Out and About with Montana

Recently I acquired a new Montana bolt action rifle chambered in 7mmRem Mag. and fitted with a Bushnell Elite 6500.

I choose a 2.5-16 x 42 in 30mm tube diameter and also fitted a Butler Creek sling. Montana Rifles are relativity new to the Australian scene, but I’d read good reports on them and after looking at one, found it shouldered well and certainly looked well-finished and made. This Montana American Standard Rifle (ASR) is chambered in 7MM Rem Mag. It features a 26 inch barrel and the beautiful walnut stock made and despite its length, this rifle’s balance makes it a pleasure to shoulder and shoot.

After sighting the new Montana in I decided I’d give it a run on some billy goats not far from home.  Hunting can be very demanding on this particular property, not only for the hunter, but also on his gear, as long shots across open gullies in steep terrain are the norm.

With the Montana slung over the shoulder, I began the morning hunt just before fist light, glassing some likely looking spots for a feral pig at this time of day, but nothing eventuated. As the light increased, so did the wind, so my plan’s were to look for goats in the surrounding gorges and gullies, as this sort of terrain was good protection from the wind and where I’d likely find a billy or two.

A half hour walk had me above a sheltered gully where I knew a few goats would likely be and a quick glass through my Bushnell binos soon revealed a small mob of nannies feeding their way along the face and a closer look revealed a billy about 140 yards from me just above the main mob. What a stroke of luck! With a rock steady rest across my day pack the Montana sat perfectly as I settled in for the shot. Slowly squeezing the trigger, I sent the 145 grain soft point to do its job. Hit hard behind the shoulder, the Billy went straight down.

After a few photos, I decided to move onto the next ridge above a sheltered dry creek bed and sure enough, another two billies are glassed. Deciding to take a few photos first, I did so on a  motley brown billy with upward sweeping horns and then put the Montana back into action for billy number two. At around 200 yards, one shot from the Montana in 7mm Rem Mag. and the old billy went down. My first outing with the Montana had been excellent and I look forward to cranking up the scope on some longer shots in less windy conditions in the near future.

I’ll keep you updated.




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Alex Juris


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