Are your rifles "perfect" out of the box?


May 22, 2003, 07:59 PM
When you are looking for a rifle, do you want one that shoots reliably and accurately enough for your purposes off the bat, or one that shoots, but that you are eternally tweaking for some reason?

I'm firmly in the first camp, but my brother seems to get enjoyment out of replacing this part, adjusting that piece, or fixing whatever wasn't quite right after each range trip. How do you feel about it?

If you enjoyed reading about "Are your rifles "perfect" out of the box?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
May 22, 2003, 08:13 PM
I think a gun should be made properly right from the start, with no need to have it "fixed" to correct the factory's mistakes.

Unfortunately, that seems like a hard thing to find these days.

I have custom work done to meet my particular tastes and preferences, but I WON'T pay to have the factory's mistakes fixed. That's their job. If they can't or won't make it right to start with, I won't buy from them. Period.

As a practical matter, that means I end up buying Pre-'64 Winchesters, old Mausers, and CZ 550s when I want a good bolt rifle. :D


Art Eatman
May 22, 2003, 09:24 PM
Car or gun, there's always something I'd rather have different than Showroom Stock or NIB.

I figure that whatever I buy, new or used, I'm gonna tweak something just to make it suit me and not necessarily the 85% of the target market.

I have yet to find any factory's standard trigger that can't be improved upon--any rifle, any pistol, any shotgun.

Given my 35" sleeve length, few mass-produced rifles will be long enough in length of pull.

Most non-specialty rifles can benefit from a bit of tweaking with the bedding.

Hey, it's mine! I bought it and paid for it and it absolutely must suit me--and to my own standards. Besides, I find it quite soul-satisfying to take an average critter and make it work as well as if not better than somebody else's high-dollar thingummy. Call it my po'-boy ego trip.

:D, Art

El Tejon
May 22, 2003, 10:06 PM
So few manufacturers understand shooting and sell to so few people that understand shooting that I fail to see how economies of scale would allow a perfect weapon. Most weapons need bolt slicking, triggers, better iron sights, bedding, cutting at least 2" off the stock and crowning.

But that's why we have gunsmiths, er, I mean finding one that knows about shooting. Good luck to that! Geez, thank goodness for Robar!

Assuming arguendo that one knows about shooting that does not mean that one could come from a different skul. My sleeve is also 35" as Mr. Eatman (Art, let's hear it for the long and lanky!). However, I like short stocks as they possess a higher degree of utileness as not everyone can shoot the goofy factory stocks that are issued, but everyone can shoot a short stock and a short stock is more utile.

Gunmakers do not understand this and thus the public has been conditioned to long stocks that do not fit and kick them as they hold them incorrectly. Just think how much a "perfect" rifle would cost. No one would buy them and depress the entire market.

May 22, 2003, 10:12 PM
Cutting at least 2" off of factory stocks? When you already have long arms? that's a new one on me.


May 22, 2003, 10:16 PM
i get off on load development and tweaking my rifles. i expect/demand that the rifle feed and eject flawlessly, and that the metalwork (crown, chamber, etc) be of reasonable quality. beyond that, i prefer to do my own bedding, floating, triggers, firing pins, etc.

i rarely find something, like art, that is done to my specs from the showroom floor. as such, i want to make my rifle mine, i want it to fit the way i like, look the way i like, and shoot my own loads, that have been endlessly tweaked for the absolute top performance.

Sir Galahad
May 22, 2003, 11:51 PM
I want firearms that work properly right out of the box. If my Romanian AK works perfectly out of the box (and accurate; didn't even need the sights diddled with), then everything else had better too. Way I see it, I have a Mosin Nagant that shoots perfect after 60 years of storage. A new rifle ought to shoot just as well. Having to buy this and that is fine if you want this and that and it doesn't come stock with the rifle. But having to buy this and that to make rifle WORK says that rifle better be sold at a low price to make up for the money you have to sink into it.

May 23, 2003, 12:12 AM
I don't buy things to add stuff to them/change them. They need to work well out of the box.

Andrew Wyatt
May 23, 2003, 12:37 AM
depends on what's wrong. if it's minor and fixable, i don't call and complain to the company about it.

May 23, 2003, 02:12 AM
Yep, if I buy it new, then it better be problem free and ready to go.

May 23, 2003, 08:04 AM
I want all my rifles to be perfect right out of hte box.

Only one ever was. Most need a little trigger work. Some I have learned to live with not so great triggers, poor stocks, etc.

Wish they could all be like the "one".

May 23, 2003, 08:29 AM
It has to work 100% out of the box. If I wish to 'customize' said article later, OK, my choice.

But if it doesn't work out of the box, goes back to maker until it does.

Art Eatman
May 23, 2003, 08:52 AM
I see a little hint of apples and oranges: Sure, I think we all expect NIB reliability and, of course, some certain level of quality for whatever price we've paid. Seems to me that's part of the old "It goes without saying." thing. This doesn't mean that everything about a quite-functional rifle is "perfect" in the eyes of some beholders.

There must be a hundred threads at TFL and here with negative comments about the triggers on Savage rifles, but almost all have also said that otherwise it's a great rifle for the price. Many other examples abound...

Then there's the purely personal touch. Somebody buys as perfect a rifle as can be found--and sends it to an engraver.

Just sumpn to consider...


May 23, 2003, 10:37 AM
I am willing to do the little adjustments to make a good rifle great. I must say my Sako 75 was a perfect out of the box gun. All I added was a muzzle break for my shoulder (300UM) and a scope for my old eyes. I guess it's me that needed to be tweeked not the gun.

May 23, 2003, 10:58 AM
My philosophy on pistols carries over to rifles. I like to buy things that I could take out of the box, load up, and go use for it's intended purposes. That is part of the selection process. The only exception I have made on pistols is adding night sights. Of course, most rifles need mounts and scopes, so that would be an exception. I could also see cutting some length off a rifle stock to get the LOP correct if the usual 13-1/2 inches doesn't work.

If I buy something and then discover that there is a problem that needs to be fixed, then I'll fix it. But I don't buy with the intent to tweak.

Andrew Wyatt
May 23, 2003, 01:46 PM
what's the threshold for sending something back to the factory to get fixed?

I've seen people who 've had mossbergs with a burr on the interrruptor latch, which would only release the round out of the tube after the action has closed send the gun back to the factory, when fifteen seconds and a rat tail file would do.

Art Eatman
May 23, 2003, 05:00 PM
Anything I could easily fix in under an hour, I'd not worry about sending it back. Heck, it just lets me learn how the toy is all put together. I guess that I just have a big gray area for that sort of doings. I like to tinker. Something like a flawed barrel is a different matter, or off-center holes for the scope bases.

But I've been know to take a brand new engine from a new car and get it balanced and I'd do some porting/polishing on the heads and manifolds...Build a tuned exhaust system (back in the daze before the over-the-counter stuff). Hey, Mauri Rose told me he and his crew would use Arkansa fine stones on bearing shafts and gear teeth and suchlike, for the Indy cars.

:), Art

May 23, 2003, 06:41 PM
I too I think would say that trigger is probably commonest item that might prevent a 100% ''out of box'' satisfaction ......... and to be honest ..... I guess I never expect absolute perfection in that.

Whether a trigger group needs a little ''breaking in'' or perhaps a polishing session .... that worries me not.

Comments on Savage triggers are on the whole justified but ..... gotta say ... my 243 Savage 99C ..... was from shot #1 a real treat. Too old to have accu-trigger but - more than acceptable.

Not had many ''outa the box'' guns in fact ..... most are pre-owned but, the Savage sure is a testament to both value and shootability.

May 23, 2003, 06:55 PM
I'll vote all of the above. I like different things in different rifles.

My hunting rifle is a box stock Model 70 Featherweight. It is rock solid with Leupold mounting and optics. No need to tinker.

My Target/Varmint rifles are Savages and I knew all the modifications I wanted to do to them before I even made the purchase. I could visualize the perfect rifle for my application and looked forward to 'setting it up'. I just have to wait for more funds to roll in to achieve the final product... kind of fun that way.

Byron Quick
May 23, 2003, 10:56 PM

I don't want to brag too much. Murphy might get me.

But I've been durned lucky. Many folks here have more than me. I'm about in the middle of the pack according to some of the polls we've had as far as numbers go.

But I've got about 35 or 37 firearms now.

I've had one have warranty work. And it was just a matter of taking it to a local authorized repair center. As a bonus, I got to meet Jim Moats who is truly a gentleman.

Wish I'd bought that gun twenty years ago so I could have known him longer.

Now I've bought a couple more that weren't up to snuff out of the box. But those simply taught me to avoid the second and third tier of manufacturers. Stuff like Universal carbines, Llama 1911's, and Raven .25's...all bought when young and didn't know any better.

Sir Galahad
May 23, 2003, 11:52 PM
I have a Beretta Neos .22 pistol that shot a FOOT HIGH at TEN FEET right out of the box. Cranked the sights all the way down and still shot high. Some said file a little off the top of the rear sight. No. I know that what happened is a burr or shaving probably got under the jig they clamp the barrel blank in to bore it and caused it to be bored at an angle. The ange just happened to be "up". Sent it back. Got back a repair sheet with the pistol that said, yep, they could not get it to zero at the factory and replaced, yep, the barrel. I get knives from Cold Steel and they are shaving sharp right out of the box. Have Cold Steel Trailmaster that the ENTIRE 9 1/2" of blade you can shave with with the lightest of strokes. THAT is how rifles better come to me right out of the box---standing tall and ready to shoot. I should not have to remove burrs or take a file to any part to make it work. I am not "________Firearms Company" QC department or their warranty department. They get paid to do that. I don't. Plus, the only way a manufacturer knows that there is a problem with a certain make of product is through warranty returns. Doing the work yourself only keeps perpetuating the defect.

Jim K
May 23, 2003, 11:56 PM
Perfect, no. Functional, yes.

It is part of the game to work on new guns to get the best accuracy or to improve appearance. But I don't think it is too much to demand that the gun WORK!

The problem has not been as bad with rifles as with pistols, but I become mildly irritated (spelled furious) when some idiot says a new gun has to be fired hundreds of rounds to "break it in" before it will work, or that jams and misfires are "to be expected" on new guns.

I also become mildly irritated (spelled screaming irate) when people brag about getting great service and being on first name terms with a maker's customer service because their gun has gone back a dozen times and still doesn't work. How does a gun that won't work equate to great customer service? Beats me. I think that some companies have found out that they can get away with making junk if they hire a honey-voiced young woman to keep customers happy with the garbage.

I refuse to embrace the idea that a buyer is expected to shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars for a gun, then take it to a specialist gunsmith and spend more hundreds of dollars to get it to actually work. This is unacceptable to me and should be to any rational person. But the newbies seem to like it that way; I guess they have lots more money than I have.


May 24, 2003, 12:00 AM
I agree with Sir Galahad.

ANY defect gets sent back for repair. Letting defects slide only means more defects down the road. I bet if we all sent back every gun we found unacceptable, and kept sending 'em back until they were RIGHT, manufacturers would get their QC problems straightened out PDQ.


Sir Galahad
May 24, 2003, 02:58 AM
Jim, absolutely right! You know, can anyone imagine buying a new vehicle (besides a British MGB) that the dealer says, "You have to put a few thousand miles on it before it runs right. Expect it to smoke like a chimney and break down and need towing at least once a month." Or eating at a restaurant where the waiter says, "You'll have to get violently ill here the first few times before you can keep the food down without vomiting." (Ok, excepting Flagstaff restaurants.) Or buying a refrigerator where the sales clerk says, "Oh, yeah, got one myself! You'll probably lose a couple hundred dollars worth of food before that baby starts keeping your beer cold."

How about this: It's 1874. Gun shop clerk says, "Expectin' ta pertect yer family with that Winchester? Way-ull, you'll need ta shoot 'er a few thousand times before she stops jammin' up on ye. Prob-lee better spend ye another mebbe hunnerd dollars to get them insides ta workin' right." How about this: "Comrade Stalin. We have SKS rifle ready to issue. Tell troops they have to shoot 1,000 shots each before rifle work right." Yeah, they'd have shot HIM.

If you enjoyed reading about "Are your rifles "perfect" out of the box?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!