What makes a Rifle "The One?"

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Jun 9, 2010
Maine, USA
When you're browsing online or at a local gun store, what aspects/features of a rifle draws your interest into purchasing it?
More often than not, character! :)

But then again, I'm a sucker for milsurps and older commercial rifles.

If not that, then it's usually just a feeling that it's the right rifle. Not really a way to explain it.
I try to avoid gun stores and online auction sites.

I tend to like EVERYTHING.
It does what I want it to.

Example Marlin Model 795, with scope and bipod. Quiet, effective, and accurate. CCI Velocitor ammo shoots a pretty tight pattern at 75-100 yards, but more importantly, it puts the first and second shots right where I am aiming very quickly.

(some say) Ugly black plastic .... who cares?

Muskrats, beware!
I'm not one to collect simply to collect. Because of that, I tend to shop for a deal rather than for a specific model. From there I look for firearms in good functioning condition that interest me. I figure with this approach, if a firearm turns out to not be "the one" I can in good faith sell it (since it is in good functioning condition) and most often do so while breaking even or coming out a couple bucks ahead. I'm always in the market for a quality rimfire at a fair price, rifle or pistol. With those, if the right one pops up it will come home and if not my day goes on. For centerfires, I have to be a bit more on the hunt for a specific purpose and go from there. I don't shoot the centerfires near as much as the rimfires so I tend to need more justification than to just have another nice one.
#1 - Balance
#2 - Ergonomics and manual of arms
#3 - Aesthetics

So far the only rifle that's ever been "the one" has been a WWI 1903 Springfield.
Unfortunately, they're hard-ish to find and moderately expensive when I do.
There are so many reasons, actually, not reasons at all which implies a function of intellect, but more like visceral responses....

Some, like the civilian knock offs of military rifles, because I want to learn more about the design and construction of the piece. Or the way it feels in my hands, or maybe I shot an example and simply just gotta get one!

Others I saw somewhere as a boy, and long ago forgot them. Then, one day, I see one in a gunstore, and when I hold it and inspect it, I just know it is going home with me.

Yet others when I pick them up they "fart" at me, in which case I return them to the gentle clerk.

Yet others because I have an urgent need... these are more like tools or other items of specific utility rather than desired or coveted rifles. This category pertains more to handguns which have for me the general character of hammers or screwdrivers.

Edit: After looking at my response, I realize that in my life there have been many of the "the one." Not just rifles, either! ;)
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Depends. If I have a purpose in mind, then I'm looking for the ideal tool. If I'm just browsing, it'll be the one that appeals to me at that time and has a very good price. Usually that'll be used and much older, as I know what's out there for new stuff and have all my needs well covered.
For Rifles, it is that it fills a specific function and purpose. Once a precevied need comes up, I start to go shopping. The one exception is my Remington 7600 (30-06) purchased because of looks.

Every couple of years, I look for a winter project rifle that I can rebuild/refinish.

Now handguns, that's a completely different story.

That's why I stay away from LGS unless I need primers or powder.

Example Marlin Model 795, with scope and bipod. Quiet, effective, and accurate. CCI Velocitor ammo shoots a pretty tight pattern...

You do know Marlin suggest that you not use hyper-velocity ammo in your 795 don't you? It will destroy your buffer eventually and sometimes very quickly. I've seen posts of people that said their buffer got destroyed after less than 5 rounds of hyper ammo. Check your manual or the one online if you don't have one. They put it in red letters that you shouldn't use hyper ammo.

I started out buying the best gun (or what I thought was best) for a specific purpose. Once I got that done I generally either buy stuff because I know I can make money on it in the long term or it's just something I really like for whatever reason. The second method leads to buying a LOT more guns BTW. :)
I tend to lean more to the make of the firearm, older S&W, Colt or Ruger, in handgun categories. Older Remington, Savage rifles, maybe even if I have one in that particular caliber, "just what I'm looking for", or maybe one I've wanted, not been able to find. I was in a pawn a month ago, looked at a S&W .38-44 revolver in the case, while waiting to be waited on, I spied an older Colt Trooper 4" .38 Spl just down the shelf, thats the one I bought! Since Colt's aren't made anymore, and I could tell through the glass it wasn't abused, about 96%, w/box, this one was a steal in my book for $425 OTD. When one is just browsing, makes a find like this one, you'd best jump when you can, it won't be there for very long!
I have an attraction to older firearms with good wood and polished bluing. Things like a 1939 Model 70, an early Savage 99, or a 1898 Krag thats been well taken care of.

I also like Number 1's, 1885's or B78's, or most any quality single shot.

It must be partly the function and feel. Its intangible. The other day I picked up a Winchester 1895 in 30 Gov't and was impressed with it. The slim forearm felt right, it was lighter than I expected, and it seemed to fit my shoulder like it belonged there.
Usually starts with aesthetics. Then I handle it... if I like how it feels, I llok in my pocket. If I have enough to buy it, that's "The One"... lol
When you're browsing online or at a local gun store, what aspects/features of a rifle draws your interest into purchasing it?

some points i find important to lead to a solid purchase

1:the durability/reliability of the firearm
2:a large pool of aftermarket parts
3:cost of the ammunition/availability of the ammunition
4:cost of the firearm

i should mention i use these points to buy new firearms
When you're browsing online or at a local gun store, what aspects/features of a rifle draws your interest into purchasing it?
The number one factor for me is cost to shoot it. I do not collect guns unless they have some personal meaning for me. I have a Radom P35 that does not see many rounds, but if my grandmothers brothers had to die so it could be handed down through 3 generations of my family, that is OK with me.

Other than nostalgia, I want to shoot them. We shoot a lot of .223, 7.62x39 and .308 in this house. A sales guy at the LGS recently was talking about his collection and I mentioned I was looking for a FAL. He said he owned two, then I asked what he thought of them. When he said that he had never actually fired either one, I had to grit my teeth and then turn away...
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