In the meantime a blog-meme has been doing the rounds with the usual gun nuts listing the guns they'd most like to acquire. With most of the gun bloggers posting handguns for home defence AKA 'goblin dispatch'. This has never been a 'Gunny Blog' and I'm not really a hand gun kind of chap so I hadn't felt the need to join in, but when the mighty Steve B chipped in with his list of classic firearms for hunting I finally felt the need to publish my five gun battery of choice.
In the past I've listed a few guns in the "I want one" series of posts, some new and clever, some old and reassuringly handmade, this list is partially 'food getters' that are still available new and partially the antiques of tomorrow, nothing on the list couldn't be duplicated in functionality for a fraction of the price, but where's the fun in that?
Cooper Firearms of Montana: Jackson Squirrel Rifle in any rimfire cal. of your choice.
Arguably the best rimfire rifle made, anywhere, at any price. Sweet!
6.5X54 Mannlicher Schoenauer [preferably in rare Take Down spec.] AKA 'Bell's other rifle'
With its rotary magazine this was the Blaser of its day, an amazing example of the machinists craft. Bell used his as his primary meat-getter and his stories are punctuated with praise for this wand-like rifle.
Picture credit and an excellent article about the MS 6.5x57
David Lloyd in .240 (pictured in the barrel burning .244 cal)
Virtually an obsolete calibre, can only be used with vintage glass, but O' so sexy. David Lloyd designed his rifle from the glass down, he wanted a rifle that wouldn't lose its zero even when subjected to the rough and tumble of stalking in the Highlands. He designed his own scope mounts that shroud the scope, and then to really make sure they'd never moved silver soldered the scope to the mounts and the mounts to the rifle! Regular trips to eastern Turkey insured an amazing standard of Turkish Walnut for the stocks, and the barrels were the best money could buy.
Picture credit Emma's custom rifles
'SIGHTED FOR RIGBY'S SPECIAL HIGH VELOCITY / JOHN RIGBY & CO. 43 SACKVILLE St. LONDON. W. / .275 BORE CARTRIDGE. POINTED BULLET 140 GRS.'
My last few stalking expeditions have been with a Rigby, and while I'm usually all about utility - plastic stocks and stainless steel, the Rigby was my introduction to classic firearms. There is something immensely cool about Rigby's rifles, I've seen 'poor man's Rigby's' that would duplicate everything a Rigby could ever be, you could buy a more accurate rifle from pretty much any modern manufacturer, but none of them would ever have the vibe of the Rigby. If I needed to explain it to you, you'd never understand what all the fuss is about. Double want one.
Picture credit and available rifles from Holts
Berretta Super Leggera [Ultra Light] 12 gauge
Like a vist to an italian furniture shop this is both the best and worst of italian design. Not pretty; the engraving is so naff I'd probably have it coated in ceramic paint to hide the true hideousness of what I'll charitably call the 'engraving', but in the Highlands on those long walks after Ptarmigan, snowshoe hunting hares with Perkele or trudging across the prairie after Quail with Chad Love its light weight would be a blessing.
Meanwhile back in the real world I'll keep saving to buy another bag of airgun pellets!