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Thread: What is a rifle to you?

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    Default What is a rifle to you?

    After reading some comments about the blued steel/walnut vs stainless/syn it got me thinking, what is a rifle to you?

    Some of you posting made me feel cold and non caring, lol. I am first and foremost a hunter, not a shooter and not a collector (although my wife would debate that).

    I never had any guns passed down to me so maybe this is where I lack mental maturity in this area. But to me a rifle is a tool, nothing more nothing less. Build them, use them, and most likely sell them to fund the next super wiz bang idea.

    Thinking now........but my 56 year old brain tells me there are few weapons in either of my safes I have owned for more than five years except for a couple of handguns, one being a Kimber stainless Gold Match purchased when they first came out (this thing is scary accurate so it will stay) one left handed 54 caliber muzzle loader that was only produced on a limited run. Oh, and a 870 shotgun that I bought in 1984 and had a polychoke added to the barrel (and havent shot it since). Perhaps it has just taken me a long time to obtain the rifles I feel are the best for the job at hand. Seeing as I am left handed and my son is a righty the thought of passing them on is not as important to me.

    Not sure how the romanticism about rifles starts for people but it hasnt hit me yet and doubt it ever will. Call me cold and cruel but any weapon I own could be sold for a profit to fund the next idea. Afterall, in my opinion it is about using the most effective tool for the job at hand. The rifles used for my first griz, dall, moose, even my trip to Africa have all been long gone.

    Oh well, time to surf the net to see what else I just can't live without
    Tennessee

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I think that's an interesting question and depends on which one you're talking about in my case.

    My Nosler 48 is a tool. A darn nice tool but its a tool and subject to sale or trade if the mood strikes for something else that catches my eye.

    My set of Kimbers (a .22 and a .308) are an interesting article and a nice gift from my wife. Good craftsmanship (older ones for you new Kimber haters) and also beautiful as far as my tastes in rifles run. I'll hunt with them but I also appreciate them for target shooting and general whatnot. Mostly their status as a particularly thoughtful gift from my wife adds to the value for me.

    My "hand me downs" come from various family members- all with interesting stories of their owners and thus contain bits of family history that I find interesting. Their worth in that respect far exceeds (at least and only to me) whatever financial or useful field value they might have. A .32 revolver my Grandad procurred in trade for cigarettes in Europe during WWII from a Frenchman no less. My great uncle's deer rifle who died as a test pilot two decades before my birth. My Granddad's shotgun (now on its fourth generation of owner) he rarely fired it and never hunted with it- but he won a truckload of turkey's at "turkey shoots" with it.

    I don't really collect guns- I'm far to practical to buy one and leave it in storage as some kind of investment or art object. I shoot and will hunt (to a degree) with any of them. I don't find collections for the sake of ownership really all that interesting. Stories behind acquisitions, field use, and the people who had them before are what make guns interesting to me.

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    Randy,

    My view pretty much paralllels yours. In general I don't have a personal attachment to guns. Even the first semi custom that I did most all the gunsmithing on excepting fitting the barrel, and took my first big game animal with, I parted with. A gun that I no longer find a use for, is a gun I no longer have room in the safe for. I just don't have the room, time or $ to hang onto something I'm not using, when I can put the funds into something I will use.

    I do have couple of guns that are sentimenal favorites. The first is a remington #4 rolling block in 22 long. It was my fathers "boys rifle" and the first rifle I ever shot. Even though the bore is somewhat pitted and the stock and metal is less than 100%, it still shoots quite well. It is also a gun I will fondly to pass on to my oldest son who is named after my father. Then there is a benjamin 22 cal pellet gun, also my fathers gun, and also still a good shooter. I'll pass it on to my youngest son.

    I still have my first rifle, a ruger 10/22. Now the factory barrel has been replaced with a clark bull barrel and it sits in a hogue molded stock. I'd resisted messing with the rifle for a long time, but I'm glad to have upgraded it. I still have the original stock and barrel.

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    Interesting comments by both of you.

    Hodgeman, I totally understand and agree with you about the weapons passed on to you and the gifts from your wife. Wished I had some guns in the safe with that type of history.

    Paul, well said and I'm with you. I guess it is the experimenter in us that drives us to move on.
    Although I have yet to use my Ruger 375 stainless in the woods I doubt it will be sold or traded. The only other rifles I "currently" plan on keeping are my Chapuis double and a Cooper .22 that is still being built. And even then the choice to keep them centers around they would be to difficult (18 month waiting time on the Cooper) or expensive to replace.

    If memory serves me correct the rifle I owned the longest was a left handed Remington 581 bolt action .22. Purchased for about $80 in the 70's it was a superb shooter at under 1/2 inch at 50 yards for 5 shots day in and day out. But it always felt like a piece of junk and sold it off a few years ago when CZ brought out there lefty CZ452.
    Tennessee

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    To me.....

    A rifle first a foremost is a tool.....but not in the same respect as my chainsaws.....or the dormant winch that sits within the bumper of my truck.....rarely to be used.

    A rifle is not the lifeless machine guns, and assualt rifles that have dug into my back, my chest, and the ugly snythetic nylon slings that for years.......bore the weight into my neck and shoulder. I don't want to see or touch this type of rifle ever again for the rest of my life.

    A rifle that brings me back to times past by. A beautiful but affordable rifle much like the guns that our fathers and grandfathers used. The manlicher stocks, the lever action peep and buckhorn sighted rifles. The Savage model 99's, and the Winchester Model 88's. The winchester model 70's with their known and unique checkering and stock designs.

    I too must admit that I also wear wool, and slowly explore Alaska with square sterned freighter canoes. The latest and greatest has hardly sparked my interest.....but others my age don't see it this way......everbody is changing. Everyone wants stainless steel, gore tex, intricate camoflauge patterns on their clothes, equipement, and rifles.

    I'm not hindered by picking up some wax and buffing and sealing the wood on my rifle. I'm not devastated that I have to take an ultra-fine piece of steel wool and take off a minor spot of rust.

    A rifle is more than just a tool, it's a weapon of wood and steel, a sense of security when sleeping by yourself in remote, bear laden country. A rifle with wood and blued steel is something that will outlast you....and be a relic of your influence and your legacy. The chosen ones will stay in the safe.....never to be replaced by the latest and greatest.........and that may continue on to another generation.......being carried through the Brooks Range 40 yrs from now by one of your offspring or other relative.

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    Default Rifles are a passion.

    I love rifles. While they perform various tasks and I must have the right one for the task, I never consider them as merely a tool. All my rifles have sentimental value; if not I trade them/sell them away. I have rifles that have sentimental value due to the way I acquired them. Others because I built them with a very specific need and feel they are the absolute perfect choice for the circumstances for which they are designed. Some are sentimental because of a particular hunt or a shot that was made with them. I do not have "looking" rifles, but they are all beautiful in my eyes. Long ago I learned that owning or using a gun that impressed others was the utmost in covetousness. No offense, but I really do not care what others think of my rifles. I bought them for myself and if they are not what I want or hold no special pleasure for me I change them or get rid of them.

    Some have walnut, others are synthetic but all my rifle stocks are built or lengthened to fit my LOP. At the very least they all have reworked or replaced triggers and have been properly bedded. I've never seen a factory gun that could not be improved and will not buy one that I do not try to improve. All but one rifle I own is either for a particular species, style of hunting, type of terrain or kind of competition. The phrase that comes to mind when speaking of my rifles is "They are good friends." They are there when I need them, they do what I ask of them, and I feel better when they are near me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    Seeing as I am left handed and my son is a righty the thought of passing them on is not as important to me.
    As someone that just lost my Dad I must point out that it may not be important to you but I bet your son has a different view on the matter! I have a bunch of guns and love them all but my most prize are a junk bolt action 410 from Grandpa and Dad's old Colt in 357. Holding these guns is like shaking hands with the men they came from.


    Now what a rifle means to me?
    They are like woman to me, never met one I could not find something I liked about. A plastic and SS rifle is a tool to me and very useful but lacks beauty so if it were a woman would make a good cook or a maid. Wood and blue is a work of art and can be just downright sexy! The best part is guns don’t have feelings to heart, or honey-do lists, and I can have as many as I can afford.
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    My dad has only three rifles--all acquired by him years ago: .22 LR (for squirrels; can't recall which model); Marlin lever in 44 Mag (javelina); and an old Remington tack-driving .308 bolt rifle (deer). (It wasn't until we recently scheduled our brown bear hunt that he needed anything else; so, I loaned him my pretty Rem 700 BDL in 300 Win Mag and bought me a 340 Wby).

    I agree with all of the comments about nostalgia on here. And those rifles of my dad are all wood and blued, and mean more to me than other rifles. Of the ones I own, my 22-yr-old BDL, which is wood and blued, means the most to me.

    But, I don't think I would necessarily feel any less warm or sentimental about a 1960s (I think that's when they first came out) stainless Win Model 70 if, hypothetically, my dad had bought one of those way back and handed it down to me. Also, not a rifle, but my most prized pistol is the pre-68 Browning .380 my dad bought when it was new, and gave to me as a graduation gift in 1996. It has plastic rather than wood grip, but means more to me than other wood-handled guns.

    Although wooden stocked/blued rifles are generally more aesthetic than stainless/synthetic ones, I suspect that, if there were more older versions of the latter handed down from older generations, there would be more favorable nostalgia attached to them.

    For example, although its stainless (though it has wooden grips) my 7-1/2" Freedom Arms Model 83 Premier Grade in 454 C., is probably the closest firearm of those I own to me to both a work of art and a Swiss watch.



    (This is just a pic of one I lifted off the web--don't have a pic of mine handy).

    I have no reason to believe that my great-great-grandson, if he ever exists, won't feel just as nostalgic about that gun 100 years from now as he would about my Ruger Redhawk.

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    I must be in the sentimental crowd. About half the guns in my safe are from family/friends. Most of those have special stories. Many of the others my wife bought me for various holidays. The wife calls me a collector, I don't think I am other than the few Garands I have.

    I thought I'd pass them on to family members, but that doesn't seem to be working out and I keep putting off getting some of them on the market even though I'll never shoot them again. The rest I'll keep shooting til the day I die; enjoying the storys they tell.

    Randy, I hope you live a long life...but if your son doesn't want your lefty toys, please have your wife send me an email...I'd love to pick through your toys! My wife has said she was going to have a garage sale when I die and sell off my toys for cheap out of spite. I go through the rest of the afterlife muttering "You know what that was worth and what she sold it for?"

  10. #10

    Default I guess I'm a tool guy

    with one exception I'll trade anything I have as long as it is a worthwhile deal. The exception is my dad's 308 BAR, I have to put a moose, caribou and brownie on it and then it get's retired till my son wants it.
    I think its a generational thing about synthetic vs wood, I seem to be caught in the middle. I like gold in front beads and can stretch to tolerate Browning's gold triggers but that is about it for gold. I've seen pics of some syn stocks that have a lot of color - I guess I'm to old to appreciate that. I like a wood stock that has a lot of figure, call it pretty, but haven't gone and bought a rifle because of the wood either. I haven't seen any syn stocked rifle I would call pretty but I have a couple.
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  11. #11

    Default Firearms

    Firearms are the useful combination of modern science,ergonomics and art. Every since their discovery 500 yrs or so ago they have been used for many reasons by many different nations and cultures.
    There are several firearms in my safe which I have inherited from relatives and parents over the years. These I clean fondle shoot out on the range and it helps keep me in touch with my roots and remember times afield with family and friends. They aren't for sale and most people will never see these as I have them squirreled away in safety. I've got a couple of muzzle loaders that are as much art as working guns. A Johnathan Browning Mountain Rifle in 54 cal, well balanced and a masterpiece of the tradesmans art in the 1840's deadly as a drunk in a Abrams on Santa Monica Freeway at rush hour. Yet it would have been a real tool to the men who needed one.
    My varmint rifles that sit in a row like Craftsman tools lined up in a box ready for work. Pretty,NO, just extremely functional. They do a job by combining modern technolohy,science and materials into a deadly tool. No sentiment just performance when needed.They are always on notice and a subject to replacement if the wind changes.
    My hunting rifles may change depending on where I'm hunting the season or if a new rifle catches my eye. I always seem to have a 300 Win Mag and a 30-06 as back-ups for hunts that aren't planned.
    My current favorite is a cute European Classic styled 6.5x55 mm Husky. One day I'ld like to replace the beech stock with a nice claro walnut, I'm a little apprehensive about that because it might alter the weight and feel of the little fellow.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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    I'm proud of every new scratch or ding on the stock of my .338...they dont get there by sitting in the closet...and I dont scratch it on purpose...


    To me, it's like my 4wd truck...unless it shows the signs of use, there is no use in having it. I do my best to keep it in good working condition, but it was not put in my arsenal to be babied. Thats why every new rifle I buy will be S/S and Composite stocked...

    My dad has an incredible collection of (mostly) funtional and useful hunting rifles...all wood stocked/blued style...IF...IF....he ever leaves one or more of them to me....I will treat them as he did....out of respect for him...


    Kind of a funny story that stays in the back of my mind, happened when I was working as a packer. A rich fellow from down south had a VERY nice rifle...dont remember the flavor, but it was worth thousand(s) of dollars. He kept it in an inflatable gun case....ON THE HUNT...I never laughed so hard as when he was frantically trying to extract it when we got within range of a nice bull...the guy wanted to harvest a moose with it so he could retire it for admiring... his worry about his rifle almost cost him the opportunity to use it.

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    I'm of the tool mindset, but I also look to pass down these tools to my yet unborn children. I look for accuracy, ruggedness and affordability in my firearms. All of them get used but are well taken care of, no safe queens here.
    I have longed after a few for purely asthetic reasons, but haven't purchased because they would not get carried much if at all. Better to use that money to perfect my accuracy with the ones I have or for spare parts etc.
    Most of the few rifles I own wear synthetic stocks and are stainless to cope with the rigors of this great state with a minimum of our friend entropy rearing it's ugly head.
    Too often I have been on hunts where salt, dirt, blood and grime make their way into my guns. It pains me to see a firearm get nicked up and scratched, hence durable finishes and stocks impervious to temps and moisture. These are to put meat on the table and to protect us and must work 100% of the time.
    I should mention that I have chosen just a minimum of the most effective yet affordable calibers. It let's me get components and ammo cheaper during lean times. We are not wealthy folks, and there are good years and bad. Our battery consists of several 30.06's and a couple of .308's. For big game guns. Compatible components and common calibers to be sure.
    Custom high dollar stuff has never appealed to me. I guess I'm just a practical guy.

    Mountaintrekker

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    I guess I'm split on the issue. I have one gun that only comes out of the safe for show-and-tell and that's my Dad's Belgium Browning Sweet Sixteen. I will never get rid of it and it's going to my son when I'm gone.

    I also have a very old, black powder, double barrel shotgun that we found in the granary at my grandparents farm that is totally useless, has Damascus barrels and is missing one hammer but, once I get it cleaned up and replace the hammer, It will hang in a place of honor in my home.

    The rest of my weapons are treasured possessions of mine and, as long as I am able to get out and use them, will remain as sources of pride and pleasure for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardC View Post
    I must be in the sentimental crowd. About half the guns in my safe are from family/friends. Most of those have special stories. Many of the others my wife bought me for various holidays. The wife calls me a collector, I don't think I am other than the few Garands I have.

    I thought I'd pass them on to family members, but that doesn't seem to be working out and I keep putting off getting some of them on the market even though I'll never shoot them again. The rest I'll keep shooting til the day I die; enjoying the storys they tell.

    Randy, I hope you live a long life...but if your son doesn't want your lefty toys, please have your wife send me an email...I'd love to pick through your toys! My wife has said she was going to have a garage sale when I die and sell off my toys for cheap out of spite. I go through the rest of the afterlife muttering "You know what that was worth and what she sold it for?"

    My greatest fear is my wife will sell my guns for what I told her they cost
    Tennessee

  16. #16

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    In my bedroom is an 8 gun cabinet. It contains the guns that I use the most. I don't baby them but they are taken care of. I wouldn't sell any of them for love nor money. None of them are real high dollar guns but they have served their purpose for years and they show it. They are tools that are viewed much like a carpenter's hammer that has hung at his side for years.

    Among them are 2 Ruger 77's, one in 270 and another in 243. There is one muzzleloader it is a TC 50 cal White Mountain carbine. 2 shotguns, a 37 Ithaca 12 ga and a Stevens 67 20 ga with a cropped barrel and iron sights. Then comes the three 22's a Ruger 10/22, a Remington 514(that grandpa gave me) and a Marlin 75 Semi Auto.

    I have many handguns but in the bottom of that same cabinet are the only four that will never go anywhere. They are an Elmer Keith comemorative 29 in 44 mag( yes I have shot the crap out of it),a Ruger Blackhawk 41mag, a Ruger single six convertable and my Glock 22 in 40 S&W. The Glock spends little time in the drawer its usually on me, on the coffee table or on the nightstand.

    Over the years I have built several customs that either went away or still in the basement with the rest of the guns that are just "stuff". They were projects kinda like putting a puzzle together...what the hell do ya do with it when your done? Never intended to hunt with it just build it.

    In the last year I gave away 2 commemorative guns that were worth good money. My kids didn't know what they were and would have just turned them into cash. The risk of them falling into the wrong hands was to much. I would rather give them to someone that knew what they had and was worthy of them than wonder what happened to them down the road. Peace of mind I guess. One of them went to an old fart on this forum. A guy that has shared his wealth of knowledge concerning anything and everything related to or required before, durying and after pulling a trigger. In that regard he has given more than he will ever receive. Nobody is more worthy than he. Enjoy your retirement Murphy!

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    Good points of view from everyone. My thoughts seem to mirror mainer's. I use to be about split between plastic and wood, now everything is wood except one that I will keep as a tool when I am hunting near salt.

  18. #18

    Smile to me...

    They are memory makers, they are treasures, they feed and protect. One bullet from them can change history.

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    I'm with 338 Mag. in that my rifles are treasures.

    Each one has been carefully chosen for a legitimate purpose or some pipe dream I had. When a rifle doesn't measure up I lose interest, and don't keep it long.

    I have Six center fire rifles that I love and reload for, including my wife's rifle, and they all compete with each other

    Just owning them isn't enough. I wanna enjoy them, so instead of buying more, I'm spending the same money on improving them, and shooting them.

    Sure, a rifle is a "tool", but I can't think of mine as "just tools". They have too much appeal for that.

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    Default Tools to treasure

    I'll be completely honest and admit that I abuse the H3LL out of my rifles and take care of them like they are priceless relics.

    I know every scratch, ding and spot of rust in my rifles and the adventure that goes with them. These stories will be passed to my grandson when he's old enough to understand the words that come out of my mouth, and he'll get my guns when it's time.

    I don't want my grandpa's or my dad's guns..... I'm not ready for that. but when the time comes........ I will accept them for what they are.

    Tools to treasure

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