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The only gun I ever owned that was "too nice to use" was one I won in a raffle. It was a very nice very expensive rifle. Unfortunately it was in a caliber I have no interest in. I didn't even shoot it as it had no open sights on it and I had no interest in scoping it. I sold it soon after I got it and bought two guns I did want and enjoy shooting. I'm sure it is a safe queen for the fellow that bought it. Had it been in a caliber I wanted it would have been shot.
 

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My twice-built rifle. Started life as a SAAMI 300WSM; 31-inch and fat Krieger barrel (stainless; nine flutes), Richards Micro-fit stock that ate up $2300 in my gunsmith's handwork, Montana M1999 lefty action and multiple scopes... the last being a $1000 Vortex Viper scope. It was around $4700 in the WSM configuration. The WSM would never shoot less than half an inch, and it fed like krapp in the long-action of the Montana. Wouldn't feed at all, really. I decided I needed to create a mildcat round to remedy the feeding problem. So I created the .300 Nevada Desert Magnum, which is the .30-06 Springfield on a magnum case. Creating a new round requires forming dies, a new barrel, reloading dies, cylinder brass and lots of money to pay for all of it. As broom_jm says, you write five or six fat checks to various people when you deign to create a wildcat round, then you sit back and wait six months to a year to have it come together. Making the 300WSM into the 300NDM was another 4000-some dollars, and took almost four years from the first glint in my mind to the final configuration in wood and steel. But it will shoot, and that's a great joy to me. I just wish I could take it out more often. There's a picture of it in these pages, somewhere. Put it up several years ago. The rifle fired its first round in July of 2012, so it's been here for three years or so...
I understand now, I don't do the math that way because it would make me queasy and quit having rifles rebarreled!
I had a 700 I bought back in the 80's that had 3 different stocks and I think 4 barrels? It was 5 different calibers two of which were wildcats over 20 years, blueprinted once, had the recoil lug pinned on, bead blasted, several different triggers, bolt work.
I never kept track but that action seen alot of rounds cycle through it, and lots of money!
Someone wanted a 308 bolt faced action more than I did a few years ago so it went away, got a 223 action and custom barrel in exchange.
 

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That could be called "Delicious Grade" California English. ;)
 
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I just finished this today. Cross posted to Rimfire Rifle group, too.

An old and dear friend bought this old barn find Model 03 Winchester many years ago. He's got thousands of rounds of ammo and wanted something special. We hunted arrowheads as a kid and studied them, too.

The gun was stoned flat and polished, engraved and inlaid with 24k gold by me. The stock had already been re-finished once and very nearly too much undersized but judicious reshaping of the metal made it work with another light re-finish.
The checkering was done by a new lady in Colorado that specializes in checkering. The blue was done by a local 'smith. The nitre blue was done in Denver by a former student. He's doing rust blue, charcoal blue and hot caustic bluing as well as nitre blue for small parts.

Yes! It shoots great. I ran a box through it today.
 

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I just finished this today. An old and dear friend bought this old barn find Model 03 Winchester many years ago.
The fundamental transformation of that rifle is amazing! Truly a work of art. I congratulate you for saving it from what it was. If that rifle was mine, I'd never sell it. It would go to a son or daughter I do not have. I have no kids. I have no idea what will become of my guns when I kick the bucket...
 

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Thank you! The Model '03 is truly one of the most amazing guns around. It was the first successful rim-fire, semi-auto and has every trick and bell and whistle that a good designer could dream up. It even has a roller bearing! It takes a slave pin to put it together and the magazine tube is silver brazed to the action stud! There's twice the machine work in the fore-end cap as there is in a total 10-22.

Part of my work will be paid for with another Model '03 and a thousand rounds of ammo. They're truly a gem to behold and fun to shoot....if you like throwing silver dollars at floating beer cans.
 

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I just finished this today. Cross posted to Rimfire Rifle group, too.

An old and dear friend bought this old barn find Model 03 Winchester many years ago. He's got thousands of rounds of ammo and wanted something special. We hunted arrowheads as a kid and studied them, too.

The gun was stoned flat and polished, engraved and inlaid with 24k gold by me. The stock had already been re-finished once and very nearly too much undersized but judicious reshaping of the metal made it work with another light re-finish.
The checkering was done by a new lady in Colorado that specializes in checkering. The blue was done by a local 'smith. The nitre blue was done in Denver by a former student. He's doing rust blue, charcoal blue and hot caustic bluing as well as nitre blue for small parts.

Yes! It shoots great. I ran a box through it today.
Nice gun and really nice restoration, customization. Your friend isn't Bart from the gun room later working at Bass pro? Looks like the quality he's capable of.
 

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I don't know Bart. This is my work and my buddy in Florida is the customer.
 

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I share the "use it or loose it" perspective that many forum members have espoused. My personal favorite is a Winchester Model 54 (circa 1932 date of mfg) in 30-06. I am 71 years young and the third generation owner of the rifle. 30+ years ago during a Wy. elk hunt my horse chose to scratch against a lodgepole pine with the rifle in between. I had the old Fajan company put a new stock on it, turned the bolt down, reblued the entire rig and the piece shoots 150 grain Speer sp into sub-inch groups if I do my part. See photo. The rifle will go to my son-in-law in due course but will never be a safe queen.
 

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Never seen a 9,000 dollar target rifle, must be pretty special, what is it?
Let me try to post a picture of it. I tried to include a picture of it in a PM to another member; wouldn't take. I have no idea as to why not. Scope has been replaced with a Vortex Viper 6 - 24X FFP model. A very nice piece of glass...
 

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The easiest way to post pictures on here is open a photobucket account, load your pictures from your computer to there, then copy and paste the image number to here.

My newly rebarreled Anschutz K-hornet.

 

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I do have some real "pretty rifles" in the vault and usually get them out to shoot about twice a year in good weather. They are very pleasing to the eye and then I think about the money I invested getting them put together. My wife just shakes her head now days but never complains!:cool:
 

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The short answer is "Nope". I had a Shiloh Sharps cavalry carbine in .45/70, one of the original Farmingdale New York models several years ago. I killed several caribou with it while living in bush Alaska as a VPSO. It rode in a soft, leather case between the handlebars of my 4-wheeler and the mirrors.

I now have a Winchester 1886 Deluxe Takedown in .45/70, 1 0f 500, with 26" octagon bbl and it goes out with me. So does my Ruger MKII RSM in .416 Rigby. To me, carrying, using, shooting and loving a rifle is the highest compliment I can possibly pay the amazing craftsmen / artists that built these incredible works of art. I feel that ultimately, a great rifle was made to shoot. So I shoot it.

But that's just me
 

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My gun safe queen is a 1874 Shiloh Sharps 45-70 with presentation quality wood. It has a long octagonal barrel with antique bluing. It weighs a ton. Too heavy to carry for hunting for sure. I usually load 500g lead or jacketed rounds with Clean Shot powder. I put towels on my shooting bench to help protect the finish. Super quality fit and finish plus shoots good groups in hands of steady marksman. The original owner went through multiyear process to complete the order then traded it to a LGS in Houston with out shooting it. Managed to buy it just below original buyers purchase price. Length of pull is a little short for my build, but can live with it for my limited use.
 

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I have owned several Rifles and Drillings that I was uncomfortable hunting with,but I don't believe in safe queens. A couple of rifles was made by the Juenke-Saturn shop that were special,one being a 300 ICL take down built on an FN action in a take down in a hard case. But the one I remember the best was a Prussian Daly Drilling that was a double 12 gauge over a 38-55 rifle.It was a true side plate gun with the hammers on the side plate that was even polished. The rifle was cocked with a side lever. It had leaf rear sights and a peep sight inlayed in buffalo horn. All of the screws were timed even the Buffalo horn butt plate. I hunted one year with it but I had to be too careful to enjoy the hunt. But nice to have had the experience.
 

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Boy....this sure stirs some memories from the past!

I can think of a couple I've had that truly fit that "too nice to use" description. One is a Deluxe grade Sako sporter weight .22-250 Rem. I bought it in the late 70's and mounted a Vari-X III Leupold on it in the factory Sako mounts. The wood is some of the prettiest light colored French walnut with dark grain I've seen. It was the wood alone that attracted me to it. It was in the rack at Weatherby's in South Gate. I ended up giving it to my older brother as a Christmas gift some years later. I thought he would take similar pride in owning it. I don't think i put more than 20-30 rounds through it, and my brother never did shoot it. He gave it back to me a few years ago when I retired, and it sits here in my glass case staring at me as I write this. I should spend some time with it, I know.

But, the one that takes the cake handsdown over the years is an L.C. Smith DeLuxe grade side-by-side. It was built in 1939 for the then-owner of the 7-Up Bottling Company in Los Angeles, CA. His wife had it custom made for his 40th birthday. The workmanship, the wood, the gold scroll and profuse gold inlays, engraving, etc. was something to see and behold. He used to do live pigeon shoots, I'm told, and it appeared to be shot very little. It was gifted to me from the family after his passing, and I cherished it for many years. There were only a handful of DeLuxe Grade Elsies ever made. This one was exceptional, I think. I parted with it a few years ago through the James Julia auction site in Maine. They seemed to like it, too, as it made the full page front cover of their catalog that year. I know I'll never see another like it.

It is nice to have such memories in our lifetimes, isn't it?

Regards,

Mark
 
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