Very interesting, thanks for sharing. Here in the US, I think a lot of older rifles are being sidelined as well. Seems black guns are all the rage with younger folks.
Maybe it is because me mum was a Brit, but, I am a lover of beautiful wood. Burled black walnut or Birdseye maple, properly finished with hand rubbed oil are among my favorites. Although, I do love shooting a plastic AR. The mechanical engineer in me even loves AK's for the admiration of the functional simplicity and the crude laminated wood stocks.Whilst on the range at Bisley yesterday, i took my Handi for a spin, I had two really nice old fellow's comment on the Handi,
They both said, I thought it was a "Rook rifle", Handi rifles in the UK are very rare!
The predecessor to the Handi,
.22lr Conversion of a McNaughton
William Evans in .297/250 circa 1919 with an Oigee 2 ½ magnification telescope sight
Rook rifles can be bought "reasonably" cheap here and some of them are "off ticket" in other words they require no form of licence to hold in the UK, certain calibre's such as .300 rook or .310 cadet are not uncommon, however anything chambered or re barrelled in a modern, or current cartridge are legally firearms
The brass is still available, but horrifyingly expensive
The thing about English guns is names, Purdeys, William Evans and Holland and Holland command a price, as do many London guns
Anything made in Birmingham or Scotland is practically worthless, a good friend picked up a Cogswell and Harrison side by side hand built shotgun, in a red baize case for £300, and its a minter, made in the 1920s-30's its essentially an H&H/Purdey, but almost unused, the stock looks like its made from tiger eye stone
Its truly shocking that some of these guns are just being destroyed, simply because every British man and his dog thinks they have to have a Berretta silver pigeon, or a high end side by side a side by side
A quality hand oiled stock does not necessarily need to be babied or become a 'safe queen.' The best part of a hand oiled stock (aside from bringing out the beauty of the wood grain) is that a ding or scratch can easily be corrected or made insignificant. Any remaining or obvious blemishes become part of the gun's history and be written off as character or distressing.Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I too like AK's and AR's they have a functional design, especially the AK, which is ingenious, it looks so agricultural, its a tube welded onto an open squared section with a mousetrap spring, Its one of those things that works, but it looks like it shouldn't. At one point I was thinking of getting a CZ527 scout in 7.62x39, its such a sweet round and in a bolt gun it would have been a joy to shoot, but I think now it maybe a troublesome cartridge to get due to the issues currently facing Ukraine,
If I had to go to war I'd make the obvious choices Glock for a sidearm and an AR,
But for target shooting and hunting, I just love single shot break action rifles, if only money and stupid red tape where not barriers to me owning more, I think it dates back to my childhood when I was given a .177 Webley Vulcan carbine air rifle, this thing was built right, no plastic anywhere and surprisingly powerful for a child, it accounted for lots of blackbirds crows and rabbits, it made me value the one shot!
Merkel, Kipplauf rifles are something to behold,
Equally I kind of like the look of this Begara Ba13 in .45-70, even though its plastic!
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There is such a thing as too nice, having a gorgeous hand oiled walnut stock can end up making you baby the gun, which is something I've always been reluctant to do, its a bit like getting an Action man or GI joe and never taking them out of the packet