Regarding Beautiful Hunting Rifles

It's not at all surprising how passionate a topic this can be to some. I have a couple of beauties, but only a couple of expensive guns. I won't have a weapon that I am unwilling to have in the field, with all the risks that come with that. My Benelli was very pricey, but it has a few dings in it. I don't like it, but like my skill saw, I use it, and it happens.

The feel of walnut with etched grips, even with the weight, is paradise to me. I hope to have loved, dinged, tested and proven guns to hand down to the kids. I already gave them the synthetic stock ones.

Hunt on, gentlemen. Love the pics. Keep them coming.
I appreciate beauty, and wood, and nature, and hand craftsmanship, and fine craftsmanship, and nostalgia, and quality, and I despise the “throw away and replace” type mentality that is overcoming us these days BUT, when I’m hunting, I need my rifle to go where I need to go and do what I need it to do, and I may need to set it down in a rocky area to adjust my pack or grab a snack, or I may need to go through brush, or it may rain on me and I might not get back to the truck for 3-5 days. It’s not as pretty, but for getting the job done, AND for ease of repairing cosmetic issues, stainless steel and fiberglass just can’t be beaten.

My wife’s Sako L-579 Delux that my grandpa gave me is scratched to heck. Why? Because I figured he’d rather I used it that left it in the closet.
When the weather is dry, I hunt with my blue and walnut rifles. When it is lousy, which means WET, I hunt with one of my stainless synthetic stocked rifles. When really cold, that equals dry, I also go with blue and walnut.

With full retirement I have moved to and live right in big game country, and I no longer sleep out. It takes me from half an hour to an hour to be actually hunting for either deer or elk. I get up and hunt, mornings only. Meat recovery where I live is too compromised by large predators for the evening hunt.

I confess that the weight of a rifle has become a big issue now that I am 74, especially when i think about steep country and meat recovery.

All this said, I have a cow elk season coming up mid-November till mid-December. I am committed to using my old pre 64 model 70 in .270 and my Belgium Browning 30-06 on better weather days.

I have been hunting alone for the past several years. All my old hunting partners have aged out.

I have horses but to tell you the truth, there are so many hunting with horses the advantage has gotten slimmer. The back country is too crowded.

I have a few fine honey holes, but they are so steep. What I have arranged is group of several hunters who no longer hunt, who I can send an "In Reach" message to when I get an elk down. They will come and together we will field butcher the elk and they will keep half the meat they carry out.

I want my last hunts to be with lovely old rifles that I have had since my youth not high-tech plastic stocked firearms,,,,if possible.
After several years of use, I’ve gotten weary of my Kimber Hunter 280 AI. To me it has no eye or hand appeal. Molded plastic stock including the trigger guard. No bottom metal, just a half plastic magazine with no floor plate.

At the range the other day, a young man had two rifles. One was the cheapest imaginable new bolt action and the other was an expensive tricked out AR clone with a scope that looked capable of exploring the heavens.

He had no rifle of beauty, to hunt with. Poor fellow!

A rifle can be much more than a mere tool like a wrench. How important is it to have a wood stock? How important is hand cut checkering? Remington, Ruger and new Winchesters went with stamped then machine cut checkering.

Lacking the hands-on human workmanship in both wood and metal details, can a rifle really be beautiful? What about the artistic receiver stamping like the one on a Husqvarna which says, Made in Sweden?

A wood stock cannot be molded. It takes a lot of work to fit it in an action with details, like a double stepped barrel on a Safari grade Browning or the barrel swells on old Winchesters to carry African style dangerous game leaf sights.

Anybody else value such things?
Ever seen a Dick Bortmus rifle? Stunning! Saw a custom stocked Rem 600 once also that blew my mind!
A gun is a tool. It should be balanced and functional, just like a good pair of boots. But, it has no soul and no karma. It’s a device that serves a purpose.

Now hunting dogs, they have soul
A strange thing. A hammer is a tool also but many of us have a certain one we like. I'm into wooden handle hammer's! Have a 28oz framer, 24oz framer, 20oz siding and several 16oz finish hammers. Don'tr care for steel handles or fiberglas handles. Couldn't tell you why!