Firearm aesthetics

Hogpatrol

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Nothing like a nice piece of laminate, carbon fiber or fiberglass paired with a fluted barrel and a nitrided action shooting Bergers at long range. Wood is for fireplaces and furniture.
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Rubberhead

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I don't mind buying what are higher priced, maybe even premium, guns. But I want the extra costs to be spent on increased functionality, ruggedness and overall quality of the gun itself. I do not want the additional costs to be overly "aesthetic". But that's just me and I'm glad that others are happier with more ornate guns.
 

Newboomer

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To me form follows function to a point. It has to perform flawlessly first and foremost but it has to fit me. I like clean simple lines, good wood and nice bluing. My MRC American Legend fits all that criteria and is in a versatile caliber (30-06).

I am not a fan of engraving. On most guns it looks garish and detracts from the beauty of the piece itself, a distraction from the workmanship and quality of materials. It looks as if they were trying to hide inferior craftsmanship beneath a bunch of squiggly lines and colors.
 

sestoppelman

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In my younger days,.. much younger still in my 20's, my brother and I wandered into the LGS in Seattle one time that was owned by a shotgun builder of some renown, one Stan Baker.
He had a very knowledgeable, beret wearing fellow working there who was something of a fixture literally and figuratively as his considerable girth was usually well planted to the stool he rode behind the counter.
He was espousing the beauty of the Ruger No.1 and in my ignorance, I foolishly opined to him that I felt that it was an ugly rifle! Horrors!!
He acted like I had reached over the counter and slapped him upside the head!
Many years later I came to my senses and bought my first No.1, a 1-A in 7x57, which was a fine little rifle and have not been without at least a couple since that time, and quite a few have passed thru my hands.
Currently own two and both are fine shooters.
In general though, its wood and steel for me, older rifles seem to talk to me more than newer rifles regardless the style.
 

chashardy

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Have to admit that the beauty of the Rigby Big Game was one of the factors, along with the history and tradition, when I bought mine in 416 Rigby. It's a beautiful rifle that shoots as good as it looks. Hard to beat the Mauser 98 action for function and the London finish for beauty.
 

Kevin Peacocke

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To me form follows function to a point. It has to perform flawlessly first and foremost but it has to fit me. I like clean simple lines, good wood and nice bluing. My MRC American Legend fits all that criteria and is in a versatile caliber (30-06).

I am not a fan of engraving. On most guns it looks garish and detracts from the beauty of the piece itself, a distraction from the workmanship and quality of materials. It looks as if they were trying to hide inferior craftsmanship beneath a bunch of squiggly lines and colors.
Couldn't agree more.
 

Hogpatrol

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In my younger years, I lusted for the most expensive Belgian made Browning superposed. IIRC it was engraved with gold inlaid pheasants. My paycheck dictated an Ithaca Model 37 with a solid rib. It probably worked as well as it counted for a lot of Eastern states small game.

Edit: Perused a few on the auction sites. They may be good shooters but would have been a poor investment.
 
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Kevin Peacocke

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Functionality is a given, in all it's manifestations. I know that better than some. But beyond that comes a smile factor that cames from a certain something, or a package of somethings. 'Right' is a nice word.
 

Louis Toadvine

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I guess the Mossberg 500 is out of the running. vbg
The Mossberg 590A1 Retrograde is actually a pretty slick looking utilitarian pump shotgun. It's not going to stand toe-to-toe with a bespoke English or Italian SxS, but it's not really competing with those types anyway. It's basically a modern attempt to recreate the venerable Winchester Model 12 trench gun.

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degoins

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I almost bought one of those last year and the only reason I didn't is because I couldn't find one.
 

uplander01

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There is nothing like, nor will there ever be again, anything like an early 20th century best quality British big bore double rifle. Works of art painstakingly created by masters of a budding industrial world. Incredibly accurate and feel like they were born into your hands. And if you know what you are doing at the reloading bench, through time and with patience, supremely accurate and deadly to the limit of most human rifleman.

The BEST quality doubles coming out of England today are I'm sure mechanically more precise from a machining standpoint, maybe not, I don't know. But one thing is for sure, not many among us can afford to spend 100k on a rifle. Many among us however, can scrimp and save, spend 15k or so and have a piece of history to take afield. All the while never losing any value.

I would not have thought this 20 years ago when I got my first Dakota 76 Safari, in my mind then how could it get any better. Then I got into the Safari world, the books, history, the makers. It was like being transported to another dimension.

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Strausser

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A Heeren with some nice wood and engraving would suit me nicely.
The engraving needs some air,and I’m not a fan of bulino.
Or perhaps a sidelever Hagn.
Or an old Mauser 98 octagon to round with a full rib and a German style stock with side panels.
Or a Kronendrilling.Or Nimrod.
Or….
 

Red Leg

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Probably useful to discuss the term aesthetic.

I am of the Beau Brummell school of taste. His influence on fashion during the Regency period was profound and steered much British design for next two centuries. He believed in the perfection of form with respect to function. Mere decoration was tasteless - even vulgar.

Most people think of that aesthetic in the beautifully fitted and understated men's fashion of the day. But the notion of perfect form and elegant enhancement of that form rather than mere decoration could be seen in the following decades in everything from the lines of an early Rolls Royce to the perfection of SxS's and rifles built by James Purdey, Westley Richards, Holland & Holland, and the host of regional makers who embraced that restrained elegance in the creation of those guns and rifles of what we call the Golden Age of gun making. It was a style that made its way across the channel as well where even German engineering was often tempered with an elegant minimalism.

Engraving such as rose and scroll, whether from London or Birmingham, was used to enhance those flowing lines. More garish gold inlays found their way onto creations destined for the Maharaja and Nuovo riche clientele.

That restrained aesthetic was achieved by men using hand tools. There products are indeed works of the finest restrained art and craftmanship. It is a subtle elegance that can not be copied by either CNC technology or a pantograph.

Such guns and rifles are still being created. The surviving houses in London and Birmingham will still build a "best" gun. Others are created by truly gifted gunmakers like Todd Ramirez, Bradshaw, and Libhart. Still others are where you find them. In my gunroom is an incredible, almost dainty .270 built to exacting standards, replicating a light version of an English express rifle. Its lines are perfect. Discovered at an auction, I have no idea who achieved such restrained perfection.

The point being such aesthetic gems are still out there. Most of us have no difficulty instinctively recognizing such a classic when we see it.
 

BeeMaa

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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.
Booze may not go with firearms, but it certainly can go with buying firearms. I know there are AH members who are guilty of drinking and GB or GI...sometimes with regrets.
 

375 Ruger Fan

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Booze may not go with firearms, but it certainly can go with buying firearms. I know there are AH members who are guilty of drinking and GB or GI...sometimes with regrets.

Guilty

Years ago, I bought a Ruger boat paddle in 7.62x39. I figured at 10 cents a round and very little recoil, it was the perfect step up from a 22 LR for my kids to shoot. After having it for several years, I gave the rifle away to my Montana elk outfitter. He had 3 young sons and they got an inexpensive to shoot, low recoiling, butt ugly rifle.


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fourfive8

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Function and form. :) I really have grown to like some of the older guns where form follows function at nearly the 100% level. After all, during the US Civil War the last thing the armories or designers were thinking about was aesthetics or form as we think about those ideas today. But somehow aesthetics still manage to present themselves in many old original military designs. This US M 1863 T1 is in a condition very close to when it left the Springfield Armory assembly line some 158 years ago. Those workers along with all the contractor's factories were cranking these out by the tens of thousands in the all out war effort... on both sides. Yet the simplicity and robust engineering clearly shows through as what some call "elegant". I look at the outside of this rifle musket and see a simple, robust, utilitarian form. But having taken it apart multiple times, I can visualize the lock's inner workings while admiring it from the outside. I also see it's functioning internals as aesthetically pleasing. To me the fit, finish and function is incredible given the context in which it was made. Matter of fact all in this pic are similar in their appeal to me. BTW, they all shoot!

The US M 1863 T1 is at bottom of group pic.
Added pic of 50 yard target I shot with the M 1863 a couple years ago- regulation BP load and pure lead Minie'- 4 or 5 shots can't remember... :)

M 1863 lock.jpg


M 41,42,61,63.JPG


M 1863 target.JPG
 

CBH Australia

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I like a nice Blued and Walnut rifle for aesthetics. Could be a common factory offered model or a bespoke rifle, some just have appeal.

I like Hunting rifles in general, an old classic or a new factory rifle for regular use as long as I think it's nice.

I think doubles have a purpose, nostalgia and appeal in a different way. I don't have enough need for one to justify the expense.
 

Longwalker

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To me the definition of beauty in a rifle or shotgun is its lines. Hard to describe, but the lines must "flow" and seem organic somehow. The best also have well figured wood that was chosen to enhance the flow of the design, especially through the wrist area of the stock. I like engraving, if it enhances the over all design and does not simply call attention to itself.

I can appreciate function only, and have a couple of rifles and a shotgun that are just tools. They are made of the most durable materials and work well under extreme circumstances when proper care is not an option.

But hunting is too important to me, and life's too short to hunt with an ugly firearm. Favourites of mine that have beautiful lines are my Krieghoff Hubertus single shot (Kipplauf ) rifle, an AYA model 53 sidelock side x side shotgun, a Brno 22F full stock carbine, and a custom Brno ZKK 600 30-06 that was restocked in the style of a British stalking rifle my a master Canadian gunsmith. And a Thompson-Center Muzzle loading rifle in the Hawken style.

So the style of my guns are German, Spanish, Czech, British, and American. I don't think any culture has a monopoly on beauty.
 

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