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Rating WW2's Rifles by Aesthetic Pleasure!!

Discussion in 'The Guns Galore Section' started by JJWilson, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone! This weeks Aesthetic Pleasure thread is in my opinion, is the best one yet. The rifles used in the second World War were veterans of the first World War, while others were brand new state of the art, works of art. 1890 to 1960 is my favorite rifle design period, and that's exactly what this thread will cover (up to 1945 instead of 60' though). I will be rating each rifle by how I think it looks, and the rating will go from least attractive to most attractive....or in this case, attractive...to gorgeous. Please let me know what your list would be, and share your feelings on these beautiful creations! Enjoy!

    39. Japanese TERA rifle- While not even this gun could be classified as ugly too me....it's not comparable to the others here..
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    38. Japanese Type 44- The other Arisaka designs following this are so much more attractive....but still, this isn't bad.....
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    37. Czech ZH-29- This is a really cool rifle......but it looks rather complicated and chaotic......
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    36. U.S M1941 Johnson Rifle- Largely overshadowed by the M1 Garand, this is a sweet rifle......
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    35. Norwegian Krag-Jorgensen- Despite having a strange action like the Johnson rifle.....it's a nice looking rifle......[​IMG]
    34. French Lebel M1886- This is a good looking rifle, it just seems a little bland compared to others on here......
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    33. French RSC 1917- A neat looking creation of the first World War..........it's not as beautiful as it's successors though
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    32. U.S Winchester Model 70- Don't hate me for this one......it's a great looking rifle...but it's also kind of bland....
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    31. Austrian Mannlicher G.95- A rifle that stood the test of time to see service in both wars......very good looking...
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    30. Italian Carcano carbine- Somewhat short and stubby......but fantastic looking nonetheless.......[​IMG]
    29. Japanese Type 38- A beautiful rifle........love the wood on this particular one........
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    28. French Berthier 07/15- This is an attractive rifle mixed in with beautiful competitors, that's why it's at 28......
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    27. Hungarian 35M Puska- The only rifle I'm aware of that Hungary manufactured......it's a beaut.......
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    26.German Gewehr 41- The 43' is considerably more attractive than the 41'...but it's no slacker either......
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    25. Polish wz. 38M- I had no idea this rifle existed until yesterday.......it's incredibly attractive.....way to go Poles!
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    24. Soviet AVS-36- I don't know how you could shoot something like this at Full-Auto........but it looks amazing!
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    23. Soviet SVT-38- This is almost exactly like the 36, and the 40......but the 40 is better looking.....
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    22. Thai Type 46- Like the wz. 38, I had no idea this rifle existed until yesterday.......Thailand should be proud of this....
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    21. U.K Lee-Enfield SMLE- If this rifle is at 21.....than you know everything below this is absolutely gorgeous......
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    20. U.K Lee-Enfield Mk.V Jungle Carbine- This does not possess the beauty the Mk.IV has...but it's still beautiful...
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  2. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    19. Canadian Ross Mk.III- A beautiful looking straight-pull action rifle made by our friends up North......
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    18. U.S Enfield M1917- Another beautiful WW1 relic that found it's way to WW2.......
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    17. Swedish Mauser 96- The Swedes make amazing rifles......and this is only the first you'll see.....
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    16. Japanese Type 99- The most beautiful Japanese rifle ever made..........
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    15. Chinese Type 24- A knock off of the KAR 98, just with Chinese modifications........it's beautiful..........
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    14. Polish WZ.29- The Poles make beautiful rifles comparable to British and German quality............
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    13. Czech Vz.33- This is a another quality rifle that looks stunning.......and never gets talked about.....
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    12. French MAS-36- This is a truly gorgeous rifle that also gets little to no attention...........
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    11. U.S Springfield M1903- A fantastic and gorgeous rifle I wish could be higher on this list.......but boy the top 10 is glorious.....
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    10. U.S M1 Carbine- A magnificent and simple creation that is absolutely beautiful.......
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    9. Soviet SVT-40- The second greatest looking Semi-Auto rifle the Soviets made........behind the SKS of course...this SVT-40 is astonishingly beautiful......
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    8. Swedish Ljungman- The Swedes most beautiful firearm by far...............
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    7. German Gewehr 43- The greatest lookng German Semi-Automatic rifle of the war.........
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    6. Czech Vz.24- The most beautiful Czech rifle of all time..............
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    5. Soviet Mosin-Nagant M1891/30- One of my all time favorites that is stunning to look at........
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    4. U.K Lee-Enfield MK.IV- Among one of the most beautiful bolt-action rifles of all time......and boy do I wish I had one....
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    3.German Gewehr 98- The second most beautiful German rifle of all time......
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    2. U.S Springfield Armory M1 Garand- Perhaps the most beautiful American rifle ever made......a true work of art and machinery
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    1. German KAR 98- The king of all rifles.....the most beautiful and stunning of them all.........the center of the rifle universe
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  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    There were 2 variants of the G41 one made by Walther (I think that's the one pictured above) and one by Mauser. I like the looks of the G41(M) better perhaps because that's was dad's deer hunting rifle. It wasn't as well though of as the G41(W).
     
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  4. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    That's a really cool hunting rifle to have!
     
  5. harolds

    harolds Member

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    I owned a K43 (AKA: G43) for a short time. This was 30+ years ago. I bought it off my boss who wanted to get rid of it. The rifle was in pristine condition. My boss's father was on occupation duty in Germany right after the war and found a boxcar on a siding filled with crates of new K43s that never made it to the front! I offered $200 and took the rifle home with me. I considered this firearm one of those "It's so ugly it's cute" things. When you see it up close you'll realize that it's the antithesis of what one would normally expect of a German firearm. The finish and polish was almost non-existent except where absolutely needed to function. Since these were obviously some of the last of these rifles made in the war, the QC was obviously lacking. While it functioned well with all different brands of ammo I put through it, I have to say it's accuracy was, shall we say, somewhat indifferent. Because of that, I sold it for about twice what I paid for it. I hate to think what it would fetch now!
     
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  6. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I Would love to own one, but as you say, the G43 only gets more expensive as time wares on......
     
  7. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Any list which ranks the unbattleworthy Ross over any mark of Lee Enfield is using some pretty weird criteria ;)
     
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  8. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Where would you put the SMLE on this list Sheldrake? I can understand your reasoning, but a Lee Enfield did make the top 5.......:D
     
  9. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    The list is ranked by aesthetic pleasure, which is quite subjective and personal. With that said there was a time when I thought any Lee Enfield was a piece of crap. I don't know what changed (possibly a blow to the head), but over time I came to recognize the LE, and particularly the SMLE, as functional art. It's unfortunate that back when I thought they were crap, Lee Enfields were widely available and dirt cheap, and now that I "get it" a matching SMLE in good condition is quite expensive.

    .
     
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  10. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Hell KB, I can remember when hardware/sporting goods stores had barrels full of war surplus firearms (Mausers, LEs, P-17s, etc.) all for about $25-$30! Lugers were advertised in the classified section of Outdoor Life for $40 to $70. Surplus ammo was available for dirt cheap. Ahhh the good old days!
     
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  11. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Most interesting Kieth. I have formally studied and practiced art and aesthetics for 60 years as a continuous study as well as made my living in it. If you ask 10 successful and rewarded architects to select the 10 best aesthetically pleasing buildings all would include a few of the same examples but there would be far more variations and even arguments. To me, it would hold true for judging battle rifles as well. Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright's mentor, created the famous phrase "Form follows function" which I think is highly applicable to battle rifles in particular. , engraving and gold inlays have no particular place on such. Nor would the Bayern walnut sporter spot on a Rigby 7X57. A battle rifle should be capable of sustained fire, have good iron sights, hold a bayonet at length, act as a club as last resort, ie, it must function to disable or kill an enemy. To me, aesthetically it should look as if that is its purpose.

    Like Kieth, I thought SMLE's were clumsy, cobby, awkward looking weapons and much preferred the 03 Springfield. The wristband looked like a patch, the bulldog "chin" oddly projected out looking as if muzzle blast would sear the front in, yuk!! Over the years they began to show up here and I worked for a gun importer, Walther Craig, Inc, cleaning them and may other surplus WW2 rifles and then dumb me could have hand selected a fine example for $20 bucks !! But did not. Over time my appreciation for them grew immensely and it emerged as my favorite WW2 rifle just as the FAL did as my Cold War favorite. I learned to really love what I thought was a truly ugly battle implement as a thing of great purpose and yes, aesthetically pleasing as a battle rifle. Is it "pretty", no, but no self-respecting battle rifle should be.
     
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  12. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad you mentioned Cold War rifles Gaines, I will be doing another thread like this on Rifles made from 1945-65. I want to also add an honorable mention to this thread, that didn't take part in WW2, but came about two years after. The Madsen M47, a really nice looking rifle!
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