Definition of a rifle

mark-hunter

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So, recently we had a thread of best looking rifle ever, and this has brought me to the question, I cannot simply answer to my self. In the same time, we all have an idea about rifles in several categories.
So, in your own view, what is:
- Bespoke rifle
- Fine rifle
- High end rifle
- Costum rifle (if different then above)
- Lower end rifle
- Budget rifle
- Working men rifle
- any other category you may add (like safe queen, or working gun)
 

bruce moulds

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here is another way to look at it.
a rifle is a firearm with grooves in a spiral inside the barrel to cause elongated bullets to be spin stabilized.
how you have it is up to you, but it must function and be accurate enough to do the job in hand.
to some it can be used to express wealth, to others it can take them into a dreamland of being in a different era.
the guy most likely to use one best is the guy that just wants to shoot it as well as he can with no other agenda.
it is just an inanimate object.
bruce.
 

Longwalker

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AHH.. a hunting rifle is a functional piece of art, an expression of desire, an example of mankind's aspirations and achievements in making the ultimate tool. Used for the most primitive and primordial of passions while providing the most technically advanced, and reliably functional weapon. A weapon that must conform to tradition, aesthetics, and historical use. An anachronism in an age of prepackaged meals that are purchased in stores and restaurants, big government that tells us how we must interact with the world, and the modern paradigm of personal security that comes from experts and police and military. A symbol of self expression and a symbol of the old ways - personally providing good wild food for for oneself and those closest and dearest. A receptacle of old skills and old knowledge.

I like hunting rifles. Of many types and variations. But after considerable experience with various rifles, I now only like those that are the best at what they do. Fine workmanship, technical sophistication, artistic lines, beautiful embellishments, great value for the price, durability, accuracy, etc, etc. There are many that make me happy, and many that I have no more interest in. What a wonderful variety of choices and opportunities.
 

Ike85123

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Well, I have a few rifles that would fall into the above categories.
But I believe my Remington 700cdl 300wm, fills all my categories for the most part.
I find it bespoke by changung a few things for my use, ots a fine rifle for the stock that comes on a cdl model, and its a budget/cheap/working mans rifle. I believe it ticks all the boxes for me.
nice enough to look at, customized to my needs and cheap enough to drop and not cry.
 

K-man

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At its most basic, it is a bullet delivery system. anything else just enhances that system, makes it easier, more consistent, more beautiful, longer lasting, more expensive.
At its finer form, they are works of art and investments.
For me, they are tools to be used and cared for.
 

Red Leg

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The wonderful thing about them is that they don't necessarily have to be the "best" tool for the job, but Ideally they should be perfection in doing the job for you. In that world of perception of appreciation, the aesthetic or history or uniqueness can be every bit as important as utility or accuracy or retail value. One of my least effective "rifles" is one of my favorites. It is Paradox 12 bore built by William Evans in 1911. I have many other "better" rifles to use on game. But with no other firearm have I rolled warthog for leopard bait and made a pile of sand grouse in the same afternoon from the same waterhole. If I stayed only in deer, pig, dove and quail country, I wouldn't need another firearm for the remainder of my days. The fact that it was built in Birmingham at the very pentacle of Britain's Golden Age of gunmaking is something that can only truly be felt in the hand - not really seen. Whatever we call those special guns, they are obvious when we find one.
 

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AHH.. a hunting rifle is a functional piece of art, an expression of desire, an example of mankind's aspirations and achievements in making the ultimate tool. Used for the most primitive and primordial of passions while providing the most technically advanced, and reliably functional weapon. A weapon that must conform to tradition, aesthetics, and historical use. An anachronism in an age of prepackaged meals that are purchased in stores and restaurants, big government that tells us how we must interact with the world, and the modern paradigm of personal security that comes from experts and police and military. A symbol of self expression and a symbol of the old ways - personally providing good wild food for for oneself and those closest and dearest. A receptacle of old skills and old knowledge.

I like hunting rifles. Of many types and variations. But after considerable experience with various rifles, I now only like those that are the best at what they do. Fine workmanship, technical sophistication, artistic lines, beautiful embellishments, great value for the price, durability, accuracy, etc, etc. There are many that make me happy, and many that I have no more interest in. What a wonderful variety of choices and opportunities.
Beautifully written and so true!
A rifle is carried and held and looked at much more than used, so there should be some enjoyment in the admiration of it.
 

Newboomer

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A tool to get a required task completed in the most efficient way. It may be built in innumerable configurations, sizes, embellishments and hold a attraction for the owner.
 

mark-hunter

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@Longwalker
@Red Leg
Beautiful description, I wouldnt expect anything less, trom you guys.
Moreover, I understand what you are saying so perfectly, I will lack the words in my language to translate with same meaning and quality!
(y)
 

MS 9x56

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Mannlicher Schoenauer model 1905 may not be the most efficient or most accurate. For me it inspires a confidence all out of proportion to efficiency or accuracy. For my method of hunting it is the perfect tool. I have never missed with it. Good hunting.
 

Alistair

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So, recently we had a thread of best looking rifle ever, and this has brought me to the question, I cannot simply answer to my self. In the same time, we all have an idea about rifles in several categories.
So, in your own view, what is:
- Bespoke rifle
- Fine rifle
- High end rifle
- Costum rifle (if different then above)
- Lower end rifle
- Budget rifle
- Working men rifle
- any other category you may add (like safe queen, or working gun)
Obviously this is a very personal thing, depending on ones attitude to art, quaity, design and inanimate objects generally, but I think that for me, there are basically 2 categories of rifle:
- Fine Rifles
- Mass market rifles

The Mass market rifle is a tool. It's not trying to be a statement, it's not supposed to be 'special', but it does provide function and reliability at a reasonable price. Examples would be Savage, Tikka, Winchester, Remington, Blaser, Marlins etc. Nothing wrong with these at all, they're great firearms and compise the majority of most peoples collections, but you don't expect 'art'.

This category can be further split into 'working' rifles, which focus on function to the exclusion of all other considerations (a stainless synthetic Savage for instance) and general 'mass makert' rifles, which do offer features which aren't functionally useful (walnut stocks and nice blueing for instance), but still come at a reasonable cost and make a degree of compromise in production process and materials to that end.

On the subject of cost, I think the price of the rifle has little bearing on where it sits. A synthetic stocked Blaser is a relatively expensive gun, a 'PH' grade double is even more so. Still working guns.

A lot of 'Custom' guns also sit in this category for me, if their design brief was around 'the best functional rifle', as opposed to 'a thing of beauty'. I'm thinking custom target rifles specifically, but also stuff like super light weight custom hunting rifles.

The fine rifle on the other hand, isn't really about function at all. Obviously it should work flawlessly, but then so should a $400 Savage, so that alone hardly justifies the price. What defines and justifies a fine rifle is craftsmanship. It's as much a piece of art as it is a tool. You'd expect the finest materials, you'd expect hand work, you'd expect a degree of customisation. You might expect unique designs or brands with history. You'll almost exclusively be talking about a walnut and blue piece. Examples include Rigby, Purdey, High grade Mausers, classically styled and finished custom makers, a lot of classic / historic rifles where that hand finishing was the norm.

Again, it's not really based on price. A vintage Mauser based custom gun might be closer in price to a bog standard Blaser than a H&H double, but if the design and production ethos is there, it's still a 'fine rifle'. I would say however that some of the things intrinsic to the fine rifle category will, by necessity, increase the price.

I'd fininsh by noting that the brand is also not the be all and end all, nor even is the design. A Ruger No.1 can sit quite comfortably as both a fine rifle, or a mass market rifle, depending on quality of fit and finish and the design philosophy of the specific variant.
 

Professor Mawla

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Well @mark-hunter , let me see now .

In my mind , whenever I think of

Bespoke rifle = An original George Gibbs Mayfield Engineering Magnum Mauser in .505 Gibbs

Fine rifle = A Blaser R-8 in .338 Winchester Magnum

High end rifle = John Rigby & Co. Big Game in .450 Rigby

Custom rifle = My custom built Enfield Model 1917 action in .458 Winchester Magnum

Lower end rifle = Remington Model 700 in 7 mm Remington Magnum

Budget rifle = Zastava Model 70 in .375 Holland & Holland Magnum

Working man’s rifle = Winchester Model 70 in .30-06 Springfield .
 

chashardy

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Interesting questions. Here's my 2 cents worth:
Bespoke: A London Best by Holland & Holland or Rigby, (or one of the other London shops) hand made to owner's specifications and fitted specifically to the owner. Probably talking north of $50,000 for a bolt action rifle and north of $100,000 for a double.
Fine rifle: A good example is my Rigby Big Game in 416 Rigby. Purchased "off the shelf" from a fine gun dealer in Houston. It's not a bespoke or custom rifle, just a very fine example of Mauser/Rigby and their newly-made hunting rifles.
High end: this probably depends on what your wallet considers to be high end. Is it a few thousand as opposed to 15 or 20 thousand? Some might think a Model70 Super Grade is high end at just under $2000. Or maybe a Kimber at a few thousand more??
Custom rifle? Not sure what the difference is between custom and bespoke, other than in America we say custom and in England they say bespoke.
Lower end--budget--working rifle: I think any of the base model Remington of Winchester rifles would fit this description.
 

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