A short gripe about rifle cosmetics


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theriflespeaks1863
October 21, 2013, 01:55 PM
Well, the title says it all- in short, I want to hear what you all think about the following:

A lot of modern rifles have no cosmetic appeal. None. Specifically I am thinking of bolt rifles.

I was exploring options for a general-purpose, iron-sighted bolt gun that I am referring to as the Modern Bolt Battle Rifle, which is inspired by the likes of the 03A3, the Gewehr 98/ K98k, and the Mosin Nagant- a full-length, iron-sights rifle firing a full-power cartridge such as the .30-06, that is durable, easy to use and easy to maintain. But, as I perused the gun racks of the various sporting goods stores, I noticed something about the various bolt-action rifles that I encountered:

Irrespective of price, a lot of these guns had chunky, bizzare stock shapes and contours that simply looked awful. Now, this is coming from the guy who thinks that the Mosin and the A-10 Warthog are appealing pieces of equipment, so I think this must mean something when even I can say that some of these rifles are UGLY. :barf:

So much extra meat around the magazine well/internal box, fat forends, ridiculous trigger guard contours, and so on. In fact, it appeared that many of these guns were wearing stocks that were simply too large for the barreled actions they were attached to.

Now, for my rifle concept, I would ideally like a rifle with a trim stock that doesn't add any excessive weight or bulk- but this has no bearing on my cosmetic criticisms. In fact, the polymer stock on the Ruger American- despite the slight 'cheap' feel I got from it, rather impressed me in terms of contour. It's just that some of these rifles look just plain terrible.:(

What say you? Is it just me?

-Chris

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cat_IT_guy
October 21, 2013, 02:07 PM
I agree. Lots of less than gorgeous stocks out there, but I think the main reason for that is cost. A rifle is a luxury to many/most people today and as such only limited funds available to purchase them. If you can get a great rifle with a less-than-attractive plastic stock for $500 or the same great rifle with a pretty/classic-looking wood stock for $800, there is a large portion of the market that doesnt see the value of the wood or simply cant afford it and will opt for the cheaper option. Thats my guess, anyway.

HexHead
October 21, 2013, 02:08 PM
It's just you.
That said, perhaps you should be looking at rifles with wood stocks instead of synthetic ones. They tend to be more traditional looking. Now, finding a bolt gun with iron sights is going to be the challenge. I believe CZ will be in the ball park for you.

Geno
October 21, 2013, 02:18 PM
Take a look at the Winchester M70 Featherweight in say .30-06 Sprg. Take it and have a set of aftermarket sights added, say some of those manufactured by Williams Gunsight. It is possible that due to the Featherweight barrel, that you will have to opt for a banded front sight. I do know that I have seen some old-school Featherweights with iron sights, and they were quite attractive. I don't know for sure about the front sight, banded or drilled and tapped, because I am not a gunsmith. However, if you want an attractive, well-balanced, bolt-action, in .30-06 Sprg, that comes up naturally to the shoulder, and just feels good in the hands, you will have to look long, far and spend a lot more cash to beat a Featherweight. JMHO.

Geno

gun addict
October 21, 2013, 02:23 PM
It's just you, the old wood and blued steel may be "appealing" to some people, but tell me the contour of a Mosin stock is better than that of a Mcmillan M40a5 stock? I personlly find the old world craftsmenship of Mausers and high end Finnish Mosins appealing, but still lets not confuse aesthetic to real world application

Nighteyes
October 21, 2013, 02:48 PM
Meaning no disrespect to anyone, but when this topic comes up -- and it comes up surprisingly often -- it always causes me to grin. I think it all comes down to one's primary motivation for owning a rifle -- do you want one that shoots well, or one that looks great? (And yes, I know that the answer frequently incorporates some of both.)

To my way of thinking, beauty is as beauty does. Back when I could still tolerate the recoil, and at ranges up to about 800 yards, I would have pitted (and sometimes did pit) my older, pre-Accutrigger Savage 10FP against the "pretty rifles." By most accounts that Savage was butt-ugly, but I didn't care. As long as I did my part, it would consistently put a 168- or 172-grain BTHP projectile precisely where I wanted it to go.

To me, that's beauty.

-- Nighteyes

Mike1234567
October 21, 2013, 02:51 PM
I don't need safe queen firearms. I buy utilitarian tools... stainless steel and synthetic. That stated, I do appreciate craftsmanship and refined beauty... but I'll reserve those qualities for my other needs. The latter can take care of my need for rubbed hard wood.:evil:

PJSprog
October 21, 2013, 02:57 PM
I agree with the OP. While I appreciate the utilitarian aspects of synthetic stocks, I just don't find them aesthetically appealing. Good wood doesn't need to be a "safe queen," either. The wear and dings in old stocks tell some great stories.

HoosierQ
October 21, 2013, 03:07 PM
I wouldn't care what they looked like or what they'd be made of. For me, I'd like receiver sights like on the Ruger GSR. I'd like at least some to have sight options that were as friendly as an AR15. If I good get that, I wouldn/t care what they looked like.

Geno
October 21, 2013, 03:55 PM
Of my many rifles, only my M70 Super Grade has a wood stock. It shoots wonderfully accurate, but I obviously have to be concerned about the stock warping thus effecting accuracy. Two of my rifles have laminated stocks, while "wood", they are more resilient.

All of my other rifles have Bell & Carlson Medalist, HS Precision or MacMillian stocks. To me, the synthetics actually are more appealing for how I shoot. Once I go out, come literally rain or shine, I stay out until sunset. That goes a very long way to explain why I prefer synthetics. Then again, I seriously prefer a 26", heavy-contour barrel.

That stated, I do like my couple of wood, and "wood" stocks for appearance. Any of you ever see the former M70 Featherweight with a black, synthetic stock?! Dang those were beautiful, and I wish they would be produced again. I would like an M70 Featherweight, perhaps in .243, .308, .270 or .30-06, but I can't justify it because it would not extend what I currently can hunt with the rifles I already own.

But I get where the OP is coming from. Something warm and fuzzy about a beautiful wood stock.

Geno

ugaarguy
October 21, 2013, 04:20 PM
I think your local shops lack selection.

Edit: Disclaimer - none of the images below are mine. They're just some examples I found online of rifles I've seen before in good shops. The images belong to their respective owners via the hotlinks.


http://www.winchesterguns.com/products/catalog/img/images-by-title-name/Model-70-Featherweight-MID-535109-m.jpg
Model 70 Featherweight, as already mentioned.



http://www.remingtoncustom.com/images/Firearms/seven_custom_ms.gif Remington Model Seven Custom MS



https://czusamedia.s3.amazonaws.com/cache/5a/81/5a812083b6b437b1379c679db379b0f4.png
CZ 550 FS



http://www.steyrarms.com/typo3temp/pics/a02ad5354c.jpeg
Steyr - Mannlicher, Mannlicher Classic



http://0.static.wix.com/media/11638f_a68a7c661d6975712e9bce90105caca8.png_1024
Dakota Rifles Model 76 Mannlicher

MachIVshooter
October 21, 2013, 04:41 PM
I think your local shops lack selection.

Me too. All the rifles ugaarguy posted, plus many others from the likes of Kimber, Cooper, Browning, Etc.

I personally have always favored the look of the 700 BDL with its glossy Monte Carlo stock, or its satin finished CDL counterpart. That said, I really like the Kimber Super America stocks.

unit91
October 21, 2013, 04:46 PM
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. To me, polymer furniture looks much nicer than wood.

MachIVshooter
October 21, 2013, 04:53 PM
To me, polymer furniture looks much nicer than wood.

Well, there are people who think the Prius is a nice looking car, too. Takes all kinds :neener:

aka108
October 21, 2013, 04:58 PM
I
I'm old school. I really like blue or parkerized steel and wood. Have several firearms with polymer stocks and have no gripes about them. What I do think is fugly are the new polymer handguns and some of the AR's seem to get overdressed with a lot of accessories.

another pake
October 21, 2013, 05:38 PM
I've mentioned this gun before, and while it's not lightweight I think the new Model 70 Alaskan is pretty good looking, especially with laminate stock and stainless barrel, and it comes with iron sights if that's your thing. Of course it's also tapped and scope ready as well.

Speedo66
October 21, 2013, 05:40 PM
I think a quality firearm can be so much more than just a utilitarian tool. There is a certain pride of ownership in owning something that is also aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.

To me, that means wood. And please hold the pressed in checkering, if you're not going to do it right, don't bother. Same for the shiny, slathered on poly finish. I think Weatherby did us all a disservice by equating a shiny finish with upscale. I feel it's really just the opposite. A nice flat oiled finish, ala high end British firearms, is understated elegance in my book.

Unfortunately, we live in an era where price is everything. Manufacturers do it in the least expensive place, regardless of which country, or with what unskilled labor that might be. Same for fit and finish. The retail buyer is expected to be the final inspector, some work, some don't. I'm tired of hearing "oh, it'll work better after 500 rounds or so." Stocks being an 1/8" proud of the metal is considered fine, just stamp 'em out.

Even cheap American guns used to have decent walnut stocks. Who knows what tropical wood or stained whatever you're getting anymore. :uhoh:

Jcinnb
October 21, 2013, 06:23 PM
Wood and blue. You boys can keep your plastic.

Having said that, at the range yesterday I saw the first synthetic stock that might have passed muster...at Winchester 70 in 30-06.

I have mostly WWII Mauser's, rechambered. I just like their look and feel.

Mike1234567
October 21, 2013, 06:30 PM
Well, I can use mine without baby-ing them and I won't cry if actually using them puts a few dings in them. Mine are tools. This is why I chose ugly rust-proof... tools. If I want art then I'll hang it on my walls at home. When I need to use one of my hammers I bash the heck out of them without ever worrying about dinging one.:D

jmr40
October 21, 2013, 07:16 PM
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Weatherby started the trend back in the 1960's with their stock style. Remington followed with their BDL design. Winchester followed the pack for a while.

Bill Ruger gets credit for bringing back a classic styled stock with the 77 when introduced in the late 60's. Some have followed his lead, others continue to go for the outlandish bawdy look.

I think many of the current stocks look quite nice. I like all of the Rugers, the Remington Mt. Rifle is a nice looking stock. The Winchester Featherweight is about as good as it gets. The Sako's are nice too.

Don't care for any of the Weatherby's the Winchester Sporter and Super grade are chunky.

I can appreciate quality walnut. I'd 10X rather have a cheap synthetic than a cheap wood stock though. If I'm buying to use it will have a quality synthetic. Many very well designed.

Art Eatman
October 21, 2013, 08:08 PM
Back around 1970 I bought a Weatherby MarkV in .30-'06. #2 profile barrel, 26". Sub-MOA after minor tweaking. I still think it's a good-looking rifle, and it's done well on Bambi.

Same year, I bought a little Sako Forester carbine in .243; 19" barrel. It had definite teething pains, but I tweaked it into a sub-MOA critter. Also good on Bambi. Still a neat-looking rifle, IMO.

Same for my Ruger 77 MkII light sporter in .223. And, I like the overall package that is my 700 Ti in 7mm08, for all that I don't particularly care for black/stainless. But the lines are good.

No great problem in working a good-looking rifle into being a sub-MOA critter. Maybe that's why I generally don't bother with ugly guns. :D (Even though I do have an AR.)

Coop45
October 21, 2013, 08:24 PM
Off topic, but Ruger's No1 International and the bolt gun version of the International are awfully nice.

WVRJ
October 21, 2013, 08:24 PM
I love the look and lines of my 700VTR with a B&C Medalist varmint/tactical stock,bipod on the front ant the target turrets of a Leupold scope sitting tall and proud.And I also love the lines of my sidelock muzzle loader.Different guns and styling theories,but beautiful nonetheless.They all have their little things that make them stand out.

gdcpony
October 21, 2013, 08:43 PM
My preference is Boyds laminated wood. I use their thumbhole on my bolt and single shot weapons.

My daughter though thinks that is ruining them. Her preference is pretty clear in action (despite being a lefty shooter) and stock and even make.
https://scontent-a-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/q75/s720x720/1379439_622907711093681_569836689_n.jpg

DRYHUMOR
October 21, 2013, 08:49 PM
While some of mine are heavy and/or synthetics, I like a wood stock. Here's a few of mine.

M70 XTR 30-06.

http://dryhumor.smugmug.com/photos/i-fJZrDC4/0/L/i-fJZrDC4-L.jpg

Heavy Sporter .260 BDL

http://dryhumor.smugmug.com/photos/i-tbRrVTf/0/L/i-tbRrVTf-L.jpg

Who knew Tikka made beautiful stocks.... .280 Remington

http://dryhumor.smugmug.com/photos/i-XNxmMmG/0/L/i-XNxmMmG-L.jpg

Geno
October 21, 2013, 11:48 PM
Art:
Those West German Mark Vs are so beautiful! I wish Weatherby would bring back the 9-lug variant of the Mark V in .30-06. :(

DRYHUMOR:
That M70 XRT .30-06 is one of the best looking M70s I ever seen. Love the stock and the iron sights. That hooded front sight is awesome! I may be weird, but I like the push-feed M70s about as much as I do the controlled-round feed. They're tough rifles, accurate, reliable.

aka108:
I can't disagree that parkerized steel and wood is a beautiful combination, especially the old mil-specs, M98, M1903, etc.

Geno

WNTFW
October 22, 2013, 12:51 AM
I'll take an ugly shooter over a pretty safe queen every time.
While I appreciate nice wood and good bluing the shooting is what it is about for me. I have to say I am happy seeing the work of art & I don't need to own it. That is why I appreciate people that display or share the beauty of what they own. Same way with cars.

MJD
October 22, 2013, 01:07 AM
Take a look at the Winchester M70 Featherweight in say .30-06 Sprg. Take it and have a set of aftermarket sights added, say some of those manufactured by Williams Gunsight. It is possible that due to the Featherweight barrel, that you will have to opt for a banded front sight. I do know that I have seen some old-school Featherweights with iron sights, and they were quite attractive. I don't know for sure about the front sight, banded or drilled and tapped, because I am not a gunsmith. However, if you want an attractive, well-balanced, bolt-action, in .30-06 Sprg, that comes up naturally to the shoulder, and just feels good in the hands, you will have to look long, far and spend a lot more cash to beat a Featherweight. JMHO.

Geno
I don't disagree with this approach. I would, however, encourage the OP to seek a surplus, good-condition 03A3 for 500-700 dollars. Absolutely meets the KISS mentality, balances well, comes with an excellent pair of irons, and I'd argue it's a better rifle than anything the OP will buy commercially (under the criteria mentioned in the OP) for an all-around rifle.

Also, if you don't think they are easy on the eyes...I don't know what to tell you.

theriflespeaks1863
October 22, 2013, 02:54 AM
Hey all,

Wow, thanks for all the input! I do appreaciate it.

I do wish to clarify a few things:

For those who brought up the difference between utilitarian tools and works of art, I do get that, believe me! In fact, that's part of the reason I like my Mosin as much as I do- it may be wood and steel, but still very utilitarian, and I don't worry about stock dings... ;)

As for the polymer/wood etc. debate, that wasn't really what I was getting at. It's not a question of wood v. plastic- I have seen some excellent polymer stocks that I would pick up it a heartbeat; for that matter, I've had the privilege to shoot a few. Namely, a National-Match AR-15 rifle with OD furniture, and a Remington 700 with a heavyweight polymer stock that was owned by the local SWAT sniper. Both of these were excellent examples of polymer furniture that suited the intended use of the weapon in question. Both were high quality, lacked any 'cheap' feel, and added to the quality and appearance of the weapon.

What I have an issue with is profile and contour- especially in forearms. Some of these stocks appear huge, feel huge, and fit poorly in the hand. I think it would feel like trying to get one's hand around a large, greased watermelon- you can't get enough purchase to effectively grip the surface. What I want is a slim stock- one that just fills the hand, but does not overwhelm it. In fact, one of the best examples I handled recently was a spoterized Gew. 98 that had been given a nice treatment (not a bubba job at all) of stock reshaping and barrel shortening. It had slim, efficient lines all the way back to the butt, and it fit and balanced well in the hand. If I had had $300 dollars, I would have bought the gun on the spot, cheap scope (which I would have replaced with quality irons) and cost of 8mm Mauser be d*mned. I've seen wood stocks on new production factory rifles that I would rather burn as firewood than consider for this so, again, it is not a wood v. polymer issue.

So, in short, yes this rifle concept was conceived as a utilitarian tool. I don't mind polymer- for this application, in fact, I welcome it. I simply want a rifle that has a clean, plain stock that carries and points well, and can take the abuse that a tool will suffer.

Upland- I'd gladly get an 03A3 as you suggested, IF: I had money, and could find an 03A3 for that price locally.

To others who suggested an M70 featerweight- if I could find one that I could afford, you all have no idea how quickly I would jump on it. In fact, it is the lines of that rifle that I appreciate- clean and simple. No extraneous bumps, frills, angles or excess material. I also despise what I refer to as the 'fishbelly-' stocks with an excessive 'vertical profile.'

Ugaary- that is gun porn of the highest order. Don't tempt me so! :what:

Anyway, I hope I've clarified myself a tad. Again, this is not a 'material' debate, but one of contours, fit and profile. To a certain extent, it is about not only a certain amount of cosmetic excess (a prime example are some of the new Remington and Benelli shotguns which, through extensive use of contours and angles, appear to be attempting to look 'futuristic' and 'space age.' In reality, it ends up looking like rubbish, and the excess gets in the way). Maybe this helps with my point? Or maybe I'm just confusing you all.

Anyway, please keep chatting, and keep up the pics! Gun porn for everyone. :)

-Chris

DRYHUMOR
October 22, 2013, 05:20 AM
DRYHUMOR:
That M70 XTR .30-06 is one of the best looking M70s I ever seen. Love the stock and the iron sights. That hooded front sight is awesome! I may be weird, but I like the push-feed M70s about as much as I do the controlled-round feed. They're tough rifles, accurate, reliable.

Thanks Geno. I got it as a barreled action recently. Then I found a good looking stock that just looked "right" for it. This winter will be load development time for it.

The .260 in the previous post was a standard BDL in 30-06, iron sighted as well. I bought it used, basically new, just for the action. It took two us with a vice, action wrench, and a pipe wrench to get the old barrel off.

It's a shooter. That plain wood stock is an Accurate Innovations stock with a full aluminum bed in it. It shoots 1/2 MOA with 120, 123, and 130 gr pills.

Other rifles that look good and well proportioned are the Model 7s, and the M70 Compacts. I have both. They are pretty much to me, some of the most natural pointing and balanced rifles I've held.

theriflespeaks1863

If you can't find what you want, you can always build, combine, modify, to your needs. The only original rifle, as from the factory, is the Tikka I posted.

The M70 will remain iron sighted, as it is. It just looks right the way it is...

Even my Model 7, that I really, really liked with the iron sights; is about to become a 6.5X47 Lapua, without irons.

Lots of possibilities.

mastiffhound
October 22, 2013, 07:05 AM
Most rifles today are made to function not form. Polymer is more durable, has less problems with weather, and won't make you mad when you find a scratch. For me function is a pretty thing. I also love my Mosins, they are built like tanks. Rifles today may not be pretty to some but the ergonomics are wonderful. Rifles are like pickup trucks or power drills. When you're using them you don't really care how they look. My beat up Dodge ain't the prettiest girl at the ball but with her diesel she can really pull some weight. To me rifles are tools first and art second.

fragout
October 24, 2013, 02:56 AM
Holy cow:eek:

There is quite a few nice lookin wood stocked rifles here.

Thanks all for sharing the eye candy.

Synthetic stocks are butt fugly in comparison, and just don't have "the looks and feel of wood and steel".

Mine sport synthetics, as I use them to much, and am too hung up over the beauty of a fine chunk of lumber to ever want to take um to the field via on foot, truck, ATV, or horseback. ( It's a thing I just cant come to terms with......but there it is.)

If your an A-10 fan, look at Ruger's GSR. A " brick dump house" lookin bolt action rifle if there ever was one. (That's gotta be the fugly "est" wood stock I have seen, but just as the A10 is.......it is so ugly in fact that it has a beauty all it's own)

A wood stocked CZ, or older SAKO more resemble the F22/F14 looks in comparison.

By all means ladies and gentlemen. Please continue on with more pics.

DRYHUMOR
October 24, 2013, 06:16 AM
There's an older Sako Finnbear on GB right now. Peep sight and front hooded. Not slim by any means, but definitely a utilitarian rifle with character.

Sako had it going on back then. Pistol grips sweep just right, forearm is more flat bottomed for stability, barrels are just a hair toward the heavy side.

Cocked & Locked
October 24, 2013, 10:21 AM
Wood is good.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/17383006/407814679.jpg

gdcpony
October 24, 2013, 10:49 AM
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I like my stocks like this:

https://scontent-b-atl.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/37389_102954739755650_6054041_n.jpg

This is the most beautiful rifle I have ever owned. Shot to 3/8" out of the box too. However, I got stupid and needed something in the same caliber but handier (more functional) in tight cover so I replaced it with this:

https://scontent-b-atl.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/q82/s720x720/1382359_625498420834610_2145692363_n.jpg
In the end, it was a good call. The Howa was too good a gun for the .223, and the AR shoots just as tight (that was a 500yd kill). I use it for eastern 'yotes as well as these varmints so it's handling helps.

But I do miss the pretty lady!

https://scontent-a-atl.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/37389_102973916420399_7243342_n.jpg
Another 500yd kill.

68wj
October 24, 2013, 11:03 PM
They are still out there for sure. A lot of what we think of as beauty in a rifle is nostalgia for the rifles our heroes and family used (sometimes they are the same person too). The old military rifles and their spawn were built with function in mind, but defined what many find right.
http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h152/bryanseye/Sale/IMG_0095_zps66951e1d.jpg
http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h152/bryanseye/Sale/IMG_0096_zps96d26c8a.jpg

armoredman
October 24, 2013, 11:54 PM
Perhaps this is what you're looking for...

http://www.czub.cz/en/catalog/364-kulovnice-cz/KM/CZ_557_lux.aspx

I have heard it may be coming to America soon...

68wj
October 25, 2013, 12:17 AM
Perhaps this is what you're looking for...

http://www.czub.cz/en/catalog/364-kulovnice-cz/KM/CZ_557_lux.aspx

I have heard it may be coming to America soon...
I don't like you and your constant reference of Czech guns!

I say that purely out of respectful envy. :D

MJD
October 25, 2013, 01:14 AM
Hey all,

Wow, thanks for all the input! I do appreaciate it.

I do wish to clarify a few things:

For those who brought up the difference between utilitarian tools and works of art, I do get that, believe me! In fact, that's part of the reason I like my Mosin as much as I do- it may be wood and steel, but still very utilitarian, and I don't worry about stock dings... ;)

As for the polymer/wood etc. debate, that wasn't really what I was getting at. It's not a question of wood v. plastic- I have seen some excellent polymer stocks that I would pick up it a heartbeat; for that matter, I've had the privilege to shoot a few. Namely, a National-Match AR-15 rifle with OD furniture, and a Remington 700 with a heavyweight polymer stock that was owned by the local SWAT sniper. Both of these were excellent examples of polymer furniture that suited the intended use of the weapon in question. Both were high quality, lacked any 'cheap' feel, and added to the quality and appearance of the weapon.

What I have an issue with is profile and contour- especially in forearms. Some of these stocks appear huge, feel huge, and fit poorly in the hand. I think it would feel like trying to get one's hand around a large, greased watermelon- you can't get enough purchase to effectively grip the surface. What I want is a slim stock- one that just fills the hand, but does not overwhelm it. In fact, one of the best examples I handled recently was a spoterized Gew. 98 that had been given a nice treatment (not a bubba job at all) of stock reshaping and barrel shortening. It had slim, efficient lines all the way back to the butt, and it fit and balanced well in the hand. If I had had $300 dollars, I would have bought the gun on the spot, cheap scope (which I would have replaced with quality irons) and cost of 8mm Mauser be d*mned. I've seen wood stocks on new production factory rifles that I would rather burn as firewood than consider for this so, again, it is not a wood v. polymer issue.

So, in short, yes this rifle concept was conceived as a utilitarian tool. I don't mind polymer- for this application, in fact, I welcome it. I simply want a rifle that has a clean, plain stock that carries and points well, and can take the abuse that a tool will suffer.

Upland- I'd gladly get an 03A3 as you suggested, IF: I had money, and could find an 03A3 for that price locally.

To others who suggested an M70 featerweight- if I could find one that I could afford, you all have no idea how quickly I would jump on it. In fact, it is the lines of that rifle that I appreciate- clean and simple. No extraneous bumps, frills, angles or excess material. I also despise what I refer to as the 'fishbelly-' stocks with an excessive 'vertical profile.'

Ugaary- that is gun porn of the highest order. Don't tempt me so! :what:

Anyway, I hope I've clarified myself a tad. Again, this is not a 'material' debate, but one of contours, fit and profile. To a certain extent, it is about not only a certain amount of cosmetic excess (a prime example are some of the new Remington and Benelli shotguns which, through extensive use of contours and angles, appear to be attempting to look 'futuristic' and 'space age.' In reality, it ends up looking like rubbish, and the excess gets in the way). Maybe this helps with my point? Or maybe I'm just confusing you all.

Anyway, please keep chatting, and keep up the pics! Gun porn for everyone. :)

-Chris
What kind of budget are you looking at? Also, Forgive me if I missed it in your postings, but are you restricting yourself to bolt-action only? If you're open to multiple action types, I think any of the multiple pump action or lever action rifles out there would suit your purposes well. Specifically, any Winchester 94 since it definitely meets your criteria of slim, aesthetically pleasing, a capable cartridge, and can still be found under $400. I also think Remington pump-action rifles in particular may serve the niche you are looking for--wood, good looking wood and blued steel, and many capable calibers.

Back to bolt actions--I routinely see very well sporterized military surplus rifles for $400 and less that will more than meet your needs and can be very well balanced and carry well in the field.

I think these are good options for well balanced, easy carrying, hard hitting, aesthetically pleasing rifles for under $400.

barnbwt
October 25, 2013, 08:57 PM
"What I have an issue with is profile and contour- especially in forearms. Some of these stocks appear huge, feel huge, and fit poorly in the hand"
The type of foregrip described is a "benchrest" style meant to be rested on sandbags. I've seen it marketed as a beavertail forearm by Remington and others. That it doesn't handle as well as a light upland rig is symptomatic only of the decline in demand for upland game hunter rigs. Many places these days won't even let you stalk anymore, because of the density of guys in the woods, so you're stuck in a stand all day with the rifle probably laid on a rest when it's used.

Most public rifle ranges don't allow anything but seated or benched shooting, and the vast majority of folks (myself included) get precious little opportunity to try anything "interesting" off hand while punching paper. It's much more awkward to hold out a full length full caliber rifle while seated than when standing, hence the more common forearm resting. A broad forearm is more stable on bags than a narrow cylindrical one. And new shooters doling out the extra "foolish noob" money for their first gun tend to stick to bench shooting since it's easier to get small groups that way. I know I did, at first :o

When "lacking aesthetics" was brought up, I assumed we'd be talking about stuff like the T/C Dimension; great concept, but what the hell were they thinking by adding so many little eye-catching design features? Looks like a Klingon Battle Axe or something at this point.

http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/images/dimension/TC_dimension_header2.jpg
I need earplugs to look at that rifle, let alone the ad type-face :D

Pretty guns are nice, but don't usually show wear very nicely. These days, I prefer "pretty" guns with wood stocks to be in worn condition so I'm not so concerned about shooting them, and my "modern" guns to have clean lines, so the overall look is unoffensive, and smooth facets so wear is concentrated on the corners, which allows the gun to look new, longer.

I'm not an advocate of gun abuse or stupid "torture tests." I don't see guns as "mere tools" requiring no aesthetic sensitivities whatsoever (even grease-monkeys think certain wrenches are ugly and won't buy them :rolleyes:). But they are tools, intended for use, and I think an awful lot of "ugly" guns finished in modern paint and coatings, made of ageless materials like plastics, will look a hell of a lot better in 50yrs than their wooden contemporaries (even the nice ones) if the they both see any kind of use in that time*. Old Brownings weren't built on Basswood stocks for the same reason most guns aren't stocked in wood at all anymore. Plastics and composites can do an awful lot wood can't, but besides looks, the opposite doesn't really hold.

*A 50 year old gun that's mint in box and always will be isn't a "gun" but a curio like a china doll :neener:. If looks in a gun case are the only issue, there are really cool looking Airsoft copies of exceedingly rare and expensive guns that will meet the task of impressing casual visitors. :evil:

TCB

scythefwd
October 25, 2013, 09:03 PM
Have you looked at the savage hog hunter in a poly stock or a boyds laminate stock?

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