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Rating WW1's Rifles by Aesthetic Pleasure!!

Discussion in 'The Guns Galore Section' started by JJWilson, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone, I thought I would continue the Aesthetic Pleasure of weapons I began last week with WW1 pistol's, and move on to WW1's rifles. I absolutely love WW1 era Bolt-action rifles, and many of the other rifles that saw service in the Great War. Many of these rifles saw very limited service, and little action, but I thought I'd add them anyway to spice things up. I will rate each rifle from least pleasing visually, to most pleasing. Feel free to add your input, and maybe your ow list as to what rifles are the best looking. Enjoy!!

    30. Italian Cei-Rigotti- This is not an ugly gun, it does not possess the charm and looks though of it's opponents...
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    29. U.S Winchester M1895- This is not Winchester's greatest product, but it's not a horrendous sight...
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    28. French RSC 1917- France's only attempt at a Semi-Auto until after WW2 wasn't the prettiest of rifles.......
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    27. Italian Vetterli Model 1870- Certainly not bad for 1870, but not great.........
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    26. U.K Martini-Henry- A classic favorite of mine, I want it to be higher, but it doesn't have the looks to compete any higher
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    25. French Fusil Gras M1874- Once again, not bad for the 1870's, but it's not a stunning visual masterpiece....
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    24. Austro-Hungarian Mannlicher M1888- The 1895 is much better in operation......and looks.......
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    23. Portuguese Kropatschek- Portugal did pretty well on this one......
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    22. U.S Remington Rolling Block- Another favorite of mine, but still doesn't have the looks to be higher.....
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    21. U.S/Russias Berdan- This is a unique rifle, I like it's design........
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    20. U.S Autoloading 8.25- A strange U.S creation......but not a bad looking one....
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    19. German Gewehr 88- The first German rifle on this list does not disappoint.....it's still not spectacular though....
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    18. Italian Carcano M1891- I prefer the shorter Carbine version......this isn't bad however
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    17. Mexican Mondargon 1908- For the Mexican doubters out there.......look at what they made....100 years ago....
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    16. French Lebel M1886- A Simple and smooth design from the Frenchies..........it's a shame it's a tube fed.....
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    15. German Mauser Model 1893- A pretty solid looking gun if you ask me........
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    14. Canadian Ross Mk.III- The Canucks make good rifles........but better Maple Syrup
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    13. U.K Lee-Metford- It's higher on this list because of the similarity to the SMLE............
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    12. Austro-Hungarian Mannlicher M1895- A pretty good looking gun with the unique straight-pull action....
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    11. French Berthier Rifle- A short and stubby looking rifle, but pretty nice looking nonetheless.........
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  2. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    10. German Selbstadler M1916- A very modern looking weapon to come out of 1916......absolutely top 10 worthy....
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    9. Belgian Pieper M1893- A cool mix between revolver, and kick ass rifle, a very cool looking creation........
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    8. U.S Remington M1907- A very civilian looking rifle, an attractive weapon though nonetheless.......
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    7. German Selbstadler M1906- A Garand esque rifle.......ironically coming from Germany.....a beautiful gun....
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    6. U.K Lee-Enfield SMLE- One of the best looking bolt-action rifles of all time.....not as good looking as it's successor however.......
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    5. Japanese Arisaka Type 38- A masterfully designed and incredibly good looking weapon......[​IMG]
    4. Canadian/U.S Enfield M1917- A very good looking rifle that get's little notoriety or attention...........
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    3. Russian Mosin-Nagant M1891- One of my all time favorite Bolt-actions of all time.....it's a beauty too.....
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    2. U.S Springfield M1903- This is pretty much a rip off of the #1 Rifle on this list........that's just fine....it's fantastic!!
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    1. German Gewehr 98- The Most Beautiful bolt-action rifle of all time!!!! I'm not crying......you're crying!!!
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    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  3. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Gee, personally I think the 1895 Winchester looks a lot better than some of the others up there. The picture you gave was of a standard sporting 1895 rifle. The one used in WWI had military furniture and a bayonet lug. I believe it also had some sort of clip guide. Half of all '95 Winchesters went to the Czar's army but I'm not sure of how much they were used in that conflict.
     
  4. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it's a bad looking rifle, it just looks a little clumsy too me, that's because this lever-action is Clip fed, not tube like most lever actions. This weapon did predominantly see service with the Russians, I also am unsure as to how much it was used. It probably saw greater use in the Russian Civil War when weapons of any kind were desperately needed by both sides.
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    Here is the Winchester 1894, which is a considerably better looking rifle than the 1895.......
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  5. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Ahh, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'll have to tell you the story of my '95 some day.;)
     
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  6. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    The Win. 95 was designed with a clip fed box magazine so it could fire modern spitzer bullets that armies had gone to. The tube magazine on earlier (and some later) Winchester lever guns could only fire round nose bullets so recoil didn't set off a nose-to-primer detonation in the magazine. Always one of my favorites because Teddy Roosevelt had his officers issued 95s (in .30/40 Krag) for the Spanish-American war.

    I agree though, that the G98 is the most pleasing military rifle of the era.

    .
     
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  7. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I did not realize the U.S used the 95' in the Spanish-American war, were they used in large numbers? I have little knowledge on that conflict........
     
  8. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    As far as I know, only Teddy's Rough Riders (which were kind of a militia group), had 95s and then only for the officers. No doubt other officers in other units privately purchased some as well. The army was not rigid about such things in those days. The enlisted men carried Krags in .30/40 and Winchester was offering the 95 in that same cartridge.

    .
     
  9. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Not to be too nitpicky, but the Winchester 1895 variant which saw the most service in WW1 was the "musket" configuration. 300,000 of these chambered in 7.62x54R were sold to Russia between 1915 and 1917. This is quite a bit more aesthetically pleasing than the commercial sporting model which you posted.

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  10. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I agree Patton, I did not know there was difference in the sport and combat design, besides a bayonet lug......
     
  11. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    One of Akira Kurasawa's best movies is called Derzu Uzala, about a Russian explorer sent by the Czarist government to map the vast Siberian wilderness. I won't throw out any spoilers, but he has a Winchester 95 and it becomes the central point of the movie in the end, being both a treasure and the cause of great pain. It's a fine film by any standard, but keep your eye on that 95 if you watch this.

     
  12. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Actually, the '95 was not originally designed with a clip feed adapter.The adapter was added to the military (musket) version-most being chambered in 7.62X54 Russian. (quibble, quibble) In most 95s the rounds had to be inserted one at a time.

    By the way, Have you ever seen the made for TV movie, "The Rough Riders" with Gary Busby playing Roosevelt? It could have been a little more tightly edited but it was a great film for we gun nuts. They even had some Gatlings and "potato diggers" that may actually have been used in that battle!
     
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  13. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    Tom Berenger played TR; Gary Busey played "Fighting Joe" Wheeler. Sam Elliott played Bucky O'Neill. When I want to park at the right place to visit my parents' grave site in Arlington, I drive around the circle of section 1 until I see O'Neill's marker, a great stone out by the road; that's the place to stop and get out.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
  14. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Aesthetics is a hard thing to get agreement on. I wish it was as easy as the ear, if a violin hits a sour note it can make your skin crawl but then we really do not all agree on music...not at all. I like Bagpipes but some run.

    I have spent my adult life in the field of aesthetics and artists, designers and architects often cannot agree. In WW! rifles I would say if testifying before a jury that the SMLE Mk 1 is a clumsy looking firearm, the metal wrist bad looks like a repair, the magazine well follows the line of its rimmed cartridge but looks awkward to me, the stock projecting below the muzzle reminds me of an English Bulldog, perhaps a character of Winston but based on it's looks and function it would be my winner! Iove that rifle above all others in JJ's fine photo collection. It just says main battle rifle to me.

    Truly the K98 is in my view a more pleasing to the eye weapon but I do not have the feeling for it the SMLE has.

    I rue the day I sold my Enfield.
     
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  15. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I totally understand what you are saying Gaines, it is truly "beauty in the eye of the beholder". Besides the weapons immediate appearance, I also get a sense of personality with each and every rifle. That also sways my rating a bit, and is probably why certain rifles that might not appear attractive, are higher on the list, and those that might seem attractive, are lower.
     
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  16. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    I have raised on bolt actions the cock on opening but once I got used to the SMLE clocking on closing I began to appreciate it's smoothness but in the end it "ugly" looks won me over. Funny but I do not like any of its siblings!. The next Belgium-British hybrid that I loved was the legendary "FAL:"
     
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  17. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    The FAL is definitely a good looking rifle.........
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  18. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Heavy though IMO...and kicked harder than a shottie.
     
  19. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Yeah..........the 50's and 60's Rifles were all that way for the most part, even my beloved M14 and L1A1.........
     

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