Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Given A Choice

From time to time I am asked if I were to build a rifle for myself just how would I assemble the package. My answer is usually met with a raised eyebrow and a pause. I have suggested my approach to what I consider the ideal magazine rifle many times over the years and yet only a handful of clients have signed off on the plan.

1. It would be built for either scope or iron sight use, not for both. At 56 I'll take the scope every time for the type of hunting I currently do or will likely do in the foreseeable future. Detachable mounts ? No thanks I find it hard enough to keep a scope immobile.

2. The bolt would always be swept to the rear and positioned low enough to allow the bolt handle to clear the ocular lens mounted a close as possible to the centerline of the bore. The knob would always be checkered.

3. I am not a fan of bantam feather weights, I'll leave it at that.

4. The stock would not have an Ebony tip. Why cut of $130 worth of stable french walnut to install $20 worth of Ebony. As they are dissimilar materials by nature the expansion and contraction rates will soon be different.

5. The butt will always be fit with a natural rubber recoil pad without a widows peak. It would be 1" thick and always red in color. No leather covering, no toe and heel plates, no checkered steel, no skeleton butt plates. I want non skid rubber thank you.

6. The swivel bases I use on my Classics were developed by the late Tom Burgess. However I do not shape a platformed border around the swivel base. Rather I contour the steel base to match the contour of the stock. The swivel can't ever twist in the stock.

7. The barrel would be tastefully free floated.

8. It would have a 24 LPI open point checkering pattern.

9. All the guard screws would be engraved Allen heads and surrounded by aluminum pillars. All the scope base and rings screws would be 8x40's with T-15 Torx heads.

10. All the metalwork would be Caustic blued. Not rust blue, not Cera-kote, not MP3.

Below is such a rifle. This 5 shot, Left Handed Model 70 is chambered in 404 Jeffery and follows the parameters listed above with the exception of the Recoil Pad which does have a widows peak.

I have always felt a rifle build in this manner is the epitome of simplistic elegance.

Studio Photo's by Kevin Dilley Kevin@klikphoto.net
Swivel Base pic supplied by LB

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