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WesternHunter's picture
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The most you would pay for a rifle or shotgun?

Hello everyone.

The March issue of Field & Stream Magazine had a section where it published polls taken from readers regarding favorite rifle, hunting caliber, shotgun preference, shooting habits, and so on. One of the questions was in regards to spending $3000 for a rifle or shotgun if it didn't cause a financial hardship.

Just curious to know if anyone here would spend even $1000 or more on a hunting rifle or shotgun?

I can tell you all honestly that I have spent a bit over $1000 on a Beretta 686 O/U shotgun in the past. Have since sold that gun. Was it worth it? I don't think so. Will I ever spend that much again? Probably not. While it was a very well made shotgun, barrel/reciever fit and finish were impeccable, and had nice wood, it didn't offer anything special over any other shotgun. I own a Franchi Alcione O/U shotgun that fits me better and I shoot very well with. It cost me.....well...less than $1000 and it's a great gun.

I've had the experience of shooting many over priced rifles and many reasonably priced rifles. Can't see where the over priced ones shot any better groups than the more reasonably priced rifles did. In fact in a few cases the exact opposite was true, the lesser priced guns shot better.

Just curious to hear what you all have experienced in this arena.

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The most you would pay for a rifle or shotgun?

$ 1000.00 US is about $ 1200.00 Cdn.

Ya, I'd spend that for something I wanted. Besides, you can't take it with you.

Never seen a hearse yet that had roof racks or a trailer hitch !!

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The most you would pay for a rifle or shotgun?

It's an interesting question. Considering that a decent rifle will go for about $500, what you're really asking is whether you'd pay another $500 to "upgrade." In my case I would, because:

1. I have a weakness for high-quality items
2. I don't expect to own many rifles in my life. I currently own one (a Sako in 7mm Remington Magnum) and that can do pretty much anything in the lower 48. If I head north or to Africa someday, I'd probably get something bigger, and I imagine that I'd pay $1000 for a used Weatherby in something large.

Also, if intelligently bought, rifles that cost more initially will probably retain much of their original value, so I'd figure I could get something out of it someday.

Besides, $1000 really isn't out of line for a rifle. My answer might change if the figure were doubled or tripled.

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The most you would pay for a rifle or shotgun?

I've got at least $10,000 tied up in my hunting trailer, decoys and equipment for waterfowl hunting. I don't know how much I have spent on big game equipment, clothing,and supplies. I'll pay however much I need to make sure that I am comfortable with capability and the quality of the firearm that I am carrying.

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The most you would pay for a rifle or shotgun?

First off, I don't know of many rifles worth owning that one can buy new, for much under $1000 US. If one wants a rifle to simply shoot at paper, or an occasional deer, or Coyote, and will not be put off by poor fit, and finish, and some-times reliability, then almost anything will do. Even Junk guns start at around $500! Wal-Mart is chock full of stuff that will push bullets out of the muzzle, and some even shoot tight groups, without any addtional work. However, if one hunts things that bite back, my take is, if you have a $1000 life, then use an unimproved $1000 rifle! Think

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The most you would pay for a rifle or shotgun?

The finest rifle I own is an 03A3 Springfield. It was built by Paul Jaeger in 1945 and cost $500. In 1993 I had it appraised and it's value then was $7500. I turned down $8500 for it in 1995. I cannot afford a rifle like that today. If I could, I'd throw away every other rifle I have. As for shotguns, I have several AyA Matador's and they are better than any American SxS I've ever seen except the Model 21 Grand American; I held one twice! When I win the lottery this sat, I'm going to order probally, a new Purdy in 16ga with double triggers and straight grip. You can't appreciate good finish until you've held it in your hands!

Until sat, I'll struggle along with my Win 70 Featherweight, 700 Remingtons, my AyA matadors and my 16ga Ithica mod 37. Theres a few more on m struggle list but some guy grumped about Africa and a fixed income or something like that and he caught a bit of hell, I'm not gooin' there! Yes

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The most you would pay for a rifle or shotgun?
Don Fischer wrote:
The finest rifle I own is an 03A3 Springfield. It was built by Paul Jaeger in 1945 and cost $500.

Not that I'm disputing you, but...what makes it the finest? Are there objective measures, such as accuracy, or subjective like "fit and finish?"

I got into shooting relatively late in life, but I have a sense that my first rifle is always going to be my "finest."

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The most you would pay for a rifle or shotgun?

I have to say that in my personal experience some of the most expensive rifle that I've shot such as Kimber, Dakota and Weatherby were pretty lacking as far as accuracy goes when compared to some real affordable rifles such as Ruger and Savage, even mid priced Winchester and Remington fair better in accuracy.

My favorite rifle is the one that gets used the most. It's my Winchester Model 70 Classis Featherweight in .270 WCF. It fits me well, I shoot it off-hand very well, and it's proven very accurate from the bench with it's light contour barrel, 1" to 1.5" groups at 100 yrds, more than I need for big game. My first rifle was a Remington 700 BDL in .30-06 sprgnfld. I still own that rifle but never shoot it much, because it just doesn't fit me well. It's also not that accurate from a bench either, about 2" to 3" at 100 yrds. I also no longer see any reason for a high gloss stock on a field hunting gun. Plus there is absolutley no reason why Remington can't send those thing out on the market fitted with a good rubber recoil pad butt plate Ouch!!! I will likely get one fitted on.

Every shotgun I've owned shoot well and pattern well enough for my needs. However the most expensive one I owned, while a handsome and well made gun, just never fit me well and as a result I never shot it very well. I now only own three shotguns and all 12 gage and affordable priced. I bought them at various times for one reason - to hunt with. They may not be the prettiest, but they work hard and never have failed me. My watefowl guns Remington 11-87 Special Purpose and Remington 870 Synthetic Express, and my Upland gun a Franchi Alcione Field grade O/U.

My best friend bought a very well priced russian made Bakail O/U shotgun imported by EAA (before Remington bought the exclusive rights to import them). He paid just under $400 for it. Well made and good shooter. For as inexpensive as it was that gun has an extra feature that in my opinion every high priced O/U should have, it has an ejector shut-off located in the forearm mechanism. This on/off feature allows you to turn those ejectors into just extractors so you don't have to pick up your spent hulls from the ground for reloading. You can just pull then out of the chamber. Neat Thumbs up

Don Fischer's picture
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The most you would pay for a rifle or shotgun?

I doubt that the first rifle you get will be your best, unless you never get another. Going to post a couple photo's of my 03A3.......Well though I would but I took a bunch out of this thing and put it on disc's. That was one of them. Several years ago, the fore end tip came loose so I took it off and re-glued it. I was ammazed to find that the stock was shaved down to fit inside a slot, not hole, in the fore end tip and the thing fit like a glove. That butt plate is steel and checkered and flawless. Everything cosmetic about this rifle must be seen to be appreciated. The fit of action to wood is flawless and that is a beautiful piece of wood. As for shooting, it's over 60 yrs old and will keep good loads inside 1" all day long. When you first pick it up it seem's a bit heavy. But it balances perfectly and carring is no problem. When it is brought up to shoot, its like it has a road map of exactly where to go, its up and its there! The checkering is hand cut, 20 lines per inch. Reason for that. Less lines per inch makes a rough surface for holding and more deteriorates its holding properties. Next time I get home I'll put it back in here and post a photo if you like.

I recall a very fine 28ga shotgun I got to handle once. A J.P. Sauer. When I first saw it it called me to touch it. The guy let me and it was very hard to give it back! For shotguns, fine guns are built on appropate frames. My 16ga AyA is not built on a 12 ga frame, it's a 16ga frame. A bit smaller than 12 and a bit bigger than 20. I also had a Fox 16ga some years ago, it was on a 12ga frame. The handling qualities of the 16 were lost in that gun! Its the handling qualities that I think make the difference between fine guns and also rans. I have a 20ga Citiore thats a beautiful gun and more costly than my AyA but it handles like a fence post after shooting my AyA's.

Same with my 03A3 compared to my Model 70 featherweight. The mod 70 is a beautiful rifle but next to the 03A3, it's a dog!

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The most you would pay for a rifle or shotgun?

I think one becomes used to what he is exposed to, and learns to accept that level of quality. On the other hand, if one sees things that are a cut above the bottom level they accept, but would love to own. This is no different from a person who has always driven a Ford pinto, but sees a Nisson 350Z, and can still see the difference in quality, not only in fit and finish, but in performance as well.

I'm a poor guy who has had to work hard all my life for the things my family "NEEDS", but there are things I set my sights on that are above the run of the mill. Like the guy who sacrifices to get a $25K bass boat, I found a way to collect big bore NE double rifles, which are certainly a cut above the K-mart SavRemchester! They also start life at considerably above $1000.
However, the bass boat starts considerable above the cost of a aluminm jahn boat, and the 350Z, starts at considerably above the old Pinto. It all boils down to what you want, and what you are willing to give up to obtain.
Today, when a reasonably priced decent rifle scope starts in the $250 range, and goes as high as you are willing to go, I don't think $1000 is going to buy much quality in the rifle sitting under it.

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The most you would pay for a rifle or shotgun?

True to an extent. I believe that there are certain levels and aspects of quality.

Yes a rifle or shotgun with a fine hand rubbed and stained turkish walnut stock and fine smooth blued finish do speak of fine high quality craftsmanship and labor intensive work. But really, beauty is only skin deep Big smile I wan't my guns to work for me, not be pretty wall hangers. I look at these pretty guns and I ask myself - did the gun maker actually intend for these guns to be used??

A drab not-so-pretty field gun that's very accurate and has a rugged solid reliable action also speak of a different level of good high quality.

An action or mechanism that's mass produced and deigned to function relaibly and flawless under rough and dirty field conditions may not be as fine fitted as one that's fitted to tighter more accurate tolerances. Still there is a fair trade off between accuracy and reliability. This is especially true for military firearms, but true for civillian owned auto loading shotguns, rifles, and pistols. Again a different aspect of high quality!!!

As a young man I drove SAAB, BMW, and Audi cars and European imported cars back then were good quality. Today I drive Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford F150, American Made. Can't say that they are lesser quality cars than the newer BMW or SAAB cars. Those European imports just cost me more to keep on the road because of their fine tuning requirments. I think all automobiles made today are JUNK regardless of who makes them, and not made to last much longer after you get them paid off. But that's another discussion Talk to the Hand

I've learned and started to believed now in choosing quality in function and reliability regardless of the product. I still always try to buy USA made product, but sadly that's becoming less and less of an option. Price for value is what I look for. Yes in general you do get what you pay for, but today that is not always true anymore, so the consumer has to be smart and educate themselves on products. Companies today know that you can sell dog poop to anyone if you market it correctly. It's true!!! People today get so caught up and brain washed in all the marketing hype and advertisements directed at them, that they are willing to pay a premium for a luxury brand name even if it's quality has slipped over the years and is not as good as it once was.

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