The Daly company ordered drillings in American chamberings, and the gun I bought was a 12×12/.30-30 weighing a very well-balanced 7-1/2 pounds. The owner was an absolute firearms loony named Bradd Cobb, who let me test-fire the gun at a local range. Some 170-grain Federal factory loads shot 2 inches high at 100 yards with both the flip-up open rear sight and flip-up tang aperture in the top of the grip—a common feature in older German rifles, since they can have as many tricks as a Las Vegas magician. That fall I took a mule deer doe and several sharptails and pheasants with the old gun, and was hooked.

The Daly Sauer, however, didn’t come with a scope or any provision for mounts, and though it was easy to kill deer-sized animals out to 150+ yards with the tang sight, a scope would make a 12×12/.30-06 much more versatile. Eventually an almost-new Model 3000 Sauer, turned up, made in 2002, with a 6×32 Zeiss in claw mounts.

My prize weighed 9 pounds with scope, full chambers and sling, and 8 without scope and sling. It fit me pretty well, though, as I discovered at the local trap range when, after some preliminary practice, it broke 25 straight. I’d done this before but with far more conventional shotguns, and my friends didn’t think the drilling so strange anymore. But over several years my ideal travel gun never left the state, because when traveling on assignment I usually ended up with a specialized rifle, either due to the game involved (such as Cape buffalo) or a rifle manufacturer hosting the hunt.