My first gun was a 1911. I loved it for many reasons, as 1911s have many great attributes. Some of the reasons I really liked it were that it was made in the U.S., where it should be made, it was a design that was almost 100 years old at that time, and both the design and build quality had an air of quality and class about them. It just made it feel like more of a real gun to me.
The 1911 set a precedent for me in what I liked about my rifles. Carbon steel and wood- good. Plastic and aluminum- BAD!!! (that should read like Phip Hartman playing Frankenstein saying “FIRE BAD”). That’s why when I started the blog the Sako 75 just seemed to be right. My other bolt action rifle experience at that time was with a Remington 700. Let’s just say that there might be some disparity in the fit, finish and feel between the two.
I never really stopped liking the Sako, but about the time that I pillar bedded it I realized that it just wasn’t going to do what I wanted it to do. It was not going to be as precise a rifle as I wanted. It was not going to be as durable as I wanted (I discovered a broken bolt stop pin upon disassembly), and the sight mounting and stock options really limited what I could get in the end.
In the Model 70 I found a rifle that would do everything I wanted for half as much money. It was really the perfect rifle for me at the time. I’ve had it for two years now. It’s had a new barrel and an upgraded stock, but everything else is the same and it just works for me. The metal work may not be as pretty, but I haven’t managed to break anything on it yet.
A few months after I switched rifles, I decided that a Glock would make more sense for me than a 1911 for what I carry. I love the feel of wood and steel, but the Glock works. It’s lighter, which I appreciate in a full size carry gun. I like the increased capacity and the thing just works. I don’t worry about scratching it and I don’t worry about it rusting. I don’t have to fit extractors as a hobby (which I used to love but don’t have the time for anymore), and I don’t have to play the aftermarket parts game, which has no end.
I have also revisited the AR as a rifleman’s rifle and find it to be quite a useful and satisfying gun. The longer, smooth, rounded keymod handguard make the ergonomics fall into place, and a good barrel is really the icing on the cake. In the early days of the blog, if it wasn’t a bolt action it wasn’t a rifle. That’s a little silly.
What all this points to is that the need for function and practicality has largely displaced the appreciation of aesthetics and the emotional baggage that people put into inanimate objects. I believe that is an improvement. Improvement is good.
Thanks for reading.