I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s when the nice expensive hunting rifles and shotguns had really fine looking walnut stocks and forearms. Often with checkering.
They looked like they were meant to be hung on the wall after bringing home the deer. Or in the case of shotguns the grouse, pheasants and snowshoe hares.
They were as traditional as the real wood fire place and the guide boat, hand crafted in workshops over a long winter. Yet they had Redfield and Lyman scopes or iron sights and were as practical as a five horse engine on an aluminum 15 foot boat.
Now so many of the fields have become shopping malls, the woods have become housing divisions.
We’ve become so rushed and so competitive that recreational pass times like hunting or fishing have become almost like work.
When I look at an AR platform rifle I wonder where the soul is, where the beauty is. Don’t get me wrong they are as utilitarian as one of those multifunction tools and were you to hand me a box of parts with a manual I could probably put one together in a few hours and have it be super accurate.
But some how it doesn’t invoke memories of farm houses, cabins, fireplaces, a couple of beagles and venison stew on the stove.
That sort of explains why I’m such a sucker for those Remington 700s, Winchester 70s and Ruger 77s. Blued steel, a smooth bolt and checked walnut along with a made in the USA stamp will always have a place in my heart.