The FFAL index to assess a rifle

Kevin Peacocke

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I have made a few pretty dumb emotional purchase decisions over time, a couple in guns and firearms and others in cars etc. Being an engineer one is trained not to do this, but it happens all the same. So I have put a little assessor in place to make sure my next rifle purchase is as subjective as possible.
FUNCTIONALITY
The engineering design, execution, faults like feeding problems, lockup on a double, etc. Also suitability of calibre for intended purpose.
FIT
Pretty obvious, it either fits or it doesn't.
But there are nuances like comfort of grip and palm swell, forend shape. Also look at weight and balance here. Recoil tolerance is a big one - there are calculators to even quantify this and although fit will mitigate recoil somewhat it wont turn a bull into a kitten.
AESTHETICS
Again pretty obvious, but admit if there is a definite minimum of embelishment you want, or is it plain clean simplicity that appeals to you? Also important here is the form and line.
LIKE
I normally jump straight here and that is the root cause of a silly emotional decision. You can grow to like a rifle that consistently shoots well, feels good and never breaks, but you are likely to quickly fall out of love with a biting dog.

Assessment: score each category out of 10 and add them up. If there is a red line item in there, like forget the reliability, looks and general like because you neck just couldn't tolerate the recoil, that rifle goes back on the shelf. Obvious, right? But we do these things and regret it later. Conversely, if some score is low, like fit, then it need'nt be a spoiler if it is relatively easy to correct.

i have just done the FFAL index on my Marlin 336 30-30, it gets a 36. My Ruger no1 Tropical 375H&H gets a 35 off the shelf but has grown to a 37 with me altering the safety so it doesnt snag ejected cases and will reach a perfect 40 when I add the custom stock with red recoil pad and recoil reducers. Heym 89b Africa in 450/400 gets a perfect 40 assuming it is fitted.

Note price hasn't featured. A red line dog at any price is a waste of money, and the top end may well be worth saving for if it is your perfect 40.
 

Vintageguy

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I have pretty much the same requirements. The biggest for me I suppose is does it “turn my crank”. Like most guys who collect, guns are art to me and just like art I like some and others I don’t. When it comes to rifles, function followed by availability of cartridge and components come next. I recently bought 500 rounds of 30-06 at 71cents a round despite the current state of things. I’ve bought guns with plain finishing because of theirs lines and beauty while passing on others with fancy wood and engraving because they were dogs. But get the lines, wood and finish all top rate with fine craftsmanship, function and cartridge and that’s a home run and usually priced accordingly. People who don’t love guns don’t get it. Like me and modern art and those that love it but, in my case, I say if that’s what you like then knock yourself out and collect and collect and scrape together some more dough and buy some more.
 

norfolk shooter

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I makes sense @Kevin Peacocke If only @TOBY458 would apply a similar selection method. But hey if he did I wouldn't get to bet with myself whats next :ROFLMAO:
 

Kevin Peacocke

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I think subjective pre-analysis can keep you out of trouble in a lot of areas, I wish politicians were trained and disciplined to use it. Ironically I did FFAL on another double that I really liked and at first pass it seemed so right, but if scraped a mere 29 in the cold light of day.
 

mark-hunter

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I must admit, I never regretted buying a gun.

But I go different route.
First question that I impose to myself:
Do I really need a new gun? Or is it just flirting with my emotions, an impulse.
This question I repeat noumerous times, during at least few months.
If the answer is positive, I go to next phase:

Next phase, choosing the gun.:
I ask myself, what is the best gun for the purpose that I need, including the caliber, the type, and the brand?
This now becomes a timely project, to analise all options, and my needs, it takes at least a year.

In that phase I decide about the budget, the type of gun, or several optional types, and required caliber. I also try to check the gun, if available in local shops, or from friends that may have the same, or at least similar.

When I am positive about decision, then next step:

Then I make the license for next purchase - only when I know exactly what I need, and what budget I may afford.

Final phase, purchase.
Checking all sorunding gun shops, and 2nd hand market. Sometimes it is quick to find, sometimes takes time. Sometimes a lot of time. Like in last example.

For example, my last purchase, bolt action, 375 H&H, CRF rifle, took me around 2 years to find and buy (ZKK 602) - purpose, buffalo. This one is the crown of my inventory, but not the safe queen. It is the crown for the reason of capital hunt intended (buff), and for the reason of lenghty search process to find it. (where I live, there is not much rifles in 375, smaller caliber CRF, no issue to find on 2nd hand market)

But in the shortest options, entire process and decision making is never less then a year! Buying on impulse is impossible.
 

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