Firearm aesthetics

Kevin Peacocke

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You know when you see a wow double or bolt rifle and it just settles right and you know - 'that is a thing of beauty'. Like the Ruger No1, where it is so simple and plain, yet the form is so elegant. Or the Heym 89b where the proportions and lines are perfect, no other word for it. Witness @wiltznucs 450/400 with that incredible stock grain and the buffalo engraving, Heym deserves an award for that one. Or the slim and elegant lines of a Rigby Highland Stalker with it's highly polished hard and smooth walnut that just happens to sit beautifully too. I never thought I would include this one - the Blaser R8 with it's clever configuration and yes, the very appealing and contrasting use of top quality walnut as in @BeeMaa 's wife's rifle, but also the leather trimmed ones. That is executed so well it brings to mind gripping an exquisitely hand-stitched steering wheel on an exotic car.
So what does it for you? Maybe we will see some convergence in the responses and be able to crown one particular beauty.
 

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Well, this is going to be interesting.

For me, it has to be a wooden stocked rifle.
Plastic, while functional does nothing for me.

The wood has to be a good grade of walnut and sculpted to be pleasing on the eye.
I'm very drawn to the alpine or Bavarian stocks with a schnabel forend which will be in a different wood, to draw the eye to the elegant shape.

That said, my Mauser M03 has a traditional stock which I also find pleasing because it looks purposeful and has, in my mind a wonderful shape.
I kind of wish I had got an alpine version but also know if I had, I would want the style I do have so I win either way.

For a double rifle I adore the lines of a Blaser S2. Again, alpine stock and schnabel forend with sidelocks.
The engraving on them is a bit clunky and lacks finesse but I can overlook that because the overall shape is so nice.

Going old school, I love the Mannlicher Schoenauer 1903 full stock, it just looks right.

I also have to put it out there and I know my opinion is not going to be popular, especially with you Kevin, I really can't warm to the Ruger No1. To me it just just plain fugly.
Not a criticism of anyone who uses them or loves them, just my personal opinion, I just can't see what a lot of others do as I'm sure many won't see what I do in my choices of a nice looking rifle.

As an aside, I handled a custom, German made double rifle a couple of weeks ago.
It was an £86,000 rifle when new, lovely wood, fine quality as you would expect for that money but it did absolutely nothing for me. I could appreciate the workmanship and the wonderful grain of the walnut.
I wanted to love it but in terms of aesthetics, it left me cold.

And thumb hole stocks. I know they offer a comfortable hand position etc and are on trend, but I have never seen one I like yet.....
 
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Kevin Peacocke

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Well, this is going to be interesting.

For me, it has to be a wooden stocked rifle.
Plastic, while functional does nothing for me.

The wood has to be a good grade of walnut and sculpted to be pleasing on the eye.
I'm very drawn to the alpine or Bavarian stocks with a schnabel forend which will be in a different wood, to draw the eye to the elegant shape.

That said, my Mauser M03 has a traditional stock which I also find pleasing because it looks purposeful and has, in my mind a wonderful shape.
I kind of wish I had got an alpine version but also know if I had, I would want the style I do have so I win either way.

For a double rifle I adore the lines of a Blaser S2. Again, alpine stock and schnabel forend with sidelocks.
The engraving on them is a bit clunky and lacks finesse but I can overlook that because the overall shape is so nice.

Going old school, I love the Mannlicher Schoenauer 1903 full stock, it just looks right.

I also have to put it out there and I know my opinion is not going to be popular, especially with you Kevin, I really can't warm to the Ruger No1. To me it just just plain fugly.
Not a criticism of anyone who uses them or loves them, just my personal opinion, I just can't see what a lot of others do as I'm sure many won't see what I do in my choices of a nice looking rifle.

As an aside, I handled a custom, German made double rifle a couple of weeks ago.
It was an £86,000 rifle when new, lovely wood, fine quality as you would expect for that money but it did absolutely nothing for me. I could appreciate the workmanship and the wonderful grain of the walnut.
I wanted to love it but in terms of aesthetics, it left me cold.

And thumb hole stocks. I know they offer a comfortable hand position etc and are on trend, but I have never seen one I like yet.....
I'll forgive you for the Ruger No1 Adrian because you write so well!
 

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You know when you see a wow double or bolt rifle and it just settles right and you know - 'that is a thing of beauty'. Like the Ruger No1, where it is so simple and plain, yet the form is so elegant. Or the Heym 89b where the proportions and lines are perfect, no other word for it. Witness @wiltznucs 450/400 with that incredible stock grain and the buffalo engraving, Heym deserves an award for that one. Or the slim and elegant lines of a Rigby Highland Stalker with it's highly polished hard and smooth walnut that just happens to sit beautifully too. I never thought I would include this one - the Blaser R8 with it's clever configuration and yes, the very appealing and contrasting use of top quality walnut as in @BeeMaa 's wife's rifle, but also the leather trimmed ones. That is executed so well it brings to mind gripping an exquisitely hand-stitched steering wheel on an exotic car.
So what does it for you? Maybe we will see some convergence in the responses and be able to crown one particular beauty.
Kevin, I think it will be too difficult to name just one firearm the most beautiful in the world. How to compare @SAFARIKIDD 's latest Bisley Ruger revolver, to a mythical best Holland and Holland sidelock double rifle, to one of @rookhawk 's vintage German bolt-action's to one of @Red Leg 's fine shotgun's?

Perhaps we would need to filter it down a bit more, or categorize. In your own possession (past or present?) or not? Because I can easily get a few pic's from google of +200keuro double rifles that most will probably never even see in real life. Submissions should at least be accompanied by pictures. (as this is the real reason of such a thread, so everyone can lust and admire beautiful pieces of art :D )
 

Kevin Peacocke

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Kevin, I think it will be too difficult to name just one firearm the most beautiful in the world. How to compare @SAFARIKIDD 's latest Bisley Ruger revolver, to a mythical best Holland and Holland sidelock double rifle, to one of @rookhawk 's vintage German bolt-action's to one of @Red Leg 's fine shotgun's?

Perhaps we would need to filter it down a bit more, or categorize. In your own possession (past or present?) or not? Because I can easily get a few pic's from google of +200keuro double rifles that most will probably never even see in real life. Submissions should at least be accompanied by pictures. (as this is the real reason of such a thread, so everyone can lust and admire beautiful pieces of art :D )
Good suggestion VBE, lust away!
 

BeeMaa

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For me, the aesthetics take a back seat to performance. It MUST perform at a high level and then I will consider the way it looks. This is probably not surprising for most of you to hear…because you guys know I’m really enjoying the Blaser R8, two of them with synthetic stocks.

Truthfully, how beautiful would a Rigby Highland Stalker be if it were not a capable firearm first. To that end, I just bought a Blaser F3 with some amazing timber.

It has to be a performer first.
 

Mark A Ouellette

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The beauty of firearms is like that of women.
We all agree that certain women are ugly.
We may however differ on which women are the most beautiful;
--- is she too thin or not thin enough?

Some rifles are plain like a unadorned farmgirl or stereotypical librarian. The trick is to see the beauty in them...
 

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The beauty of firearms is like that of women.
We all agree that certain women are ugly.
We may however differ on which women are the most beautiful;
--- is she too thin or not thin enough?

Some rifles are plain like a unadorned farmgirl or stereotypical librarian. The trick is to see the beauty in them...
The down side of this is that ugly woman become more beautiful the more you drink. As booze does not go with firearms, this can never be said of firearms.
On the other hand your wife/girlfriend will mind very much if you handle another woman whereas your firearm will not mind if you handle another firearm. It that sense they are all beautiful.
 

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I’ve told people for years that asked me why I collect and have so many guns that they are art, when done properly, and I appreciate them the same way art collectors do. Except my art collection is also functional and afford me the added perk of using them in my favorite pursuits.
I appreciate all that my eyes see as having great lines and quality craftsmanship. Also the quality of the wood can certainly add to a guns appeal but only if it has the proper flow and quality, otherwise it’s lipstick on a pig. I don’t care how expensive the gun is or how many gun writers rave about it if it doesn’t “turn my crank” I have no interest. Few modern guns do it for me.
 

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Function before form is my motto. If it is to be a safe queen ok I can accept form over function but let it be my “go to” and the feel and having been used before with complete reliability will always win in my usage and eyes.
 

Mark A Ouellette

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I wish I could find Robert Ruark's qoute on the difference between expensive women and expensive guns... For good or bad, I think that is something we all must learn through experience.
 

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I tend to prefer function over form, and have a twisted view on the look of rifles. Maybe that's why I like the look of the P14/M17, SMLE's M14's and SLR's (FAL's).
Women on the other hand form over function :LOL:
 

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For me, firearm aesthetics hit the pinnacle with the Holland and Holland Royal. It is as close to perfection in melding form and function that I have ever seen.
 

Mark A Ouellette

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To answer the OP question,
I love high grade guns. Edwardian era British SxS shotguns are, well just Wow! Perfection of guns as art.

A double rifle represents adventure, which is what we seek is it not? A 1911 pistol represents military efficiency, power, and command. Same for a Luger. Being an old woodchuck Hunter from Potter County, Pennsylvania, long range hunting and target rifles get my attention.

I recently returned from an elephant hunt in Zimbabwe. The PH carried a more than well used commercial Mauser in .458 Lott. The barrel was almost shiny and the wood nearly lacked any remaining finish. Because it had more than a couple decades and how many elephants, buffalo and so on to its credit, it had a rare beauty.

For years I collected high grade Parker, Lefever, and AH Fox shotguns. Considering my above statements, and the fact that I sold off most of my collectable shotguns, beauty in guns for me evolved into that of graceful function.

Oh, I still look at beautiful guns and women, I just try not to lust over either.
 

Tundra Tiger

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I'm out of the running from the get-go on this Kevin, as far as anyone else on here is likely concerned. ;) While I have other gun types that I think are beautiful (I'm totally in with you on the No. 1s) such as a pump (Remington 141/14), my top votes would go to lever guns. :p

As always where you are concerned sir, a very interesting topic.
 

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