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Beautiful guns

34 posts in this topic

Since we are having a separate discussion on gun rights, I thought it appropriate to create a thread celebrating some of the most beautiful guns manufactured today.

There are, in my view, two approaches to gun designs, with two very different kinds of "beauty". The first is extremely utility-focused; the gun is designed for a particular use and optimized for that use.

The best examples that come to my mind of such guns:

The AK-47. Designed for an army short on resources that has to operate in difficult environments and cannot afford expensive equipment. A miracle of robustness. Unfortunately, the people who tend to need this most are also our enemies. But the design is beautiful to an engineering mind nevertheless as the ideal solution to a common problem.

Rifle_AK-47.jpg

(as an aside, the Russians managed to repeat the miracle with another military design, the MiG-21. This cheap and robust Mach-2 capable fighter can be - and often is - left on the side of a runway; it's simple, solid and requires little maintenance and is thus the highest selling fighter jet ever built, with production lines active even today.)

Mikhail Kalashnikov once said he pitied British soldiers after visiting the manufacturing of the bullpup SA-80. The gun was initially highly unreliable, although upgrades were lauded by its users. However, the bullpup that really sticks to my mind as a beautiful, and highly effective design is the Austrian Steyr AUG:

gun0.jpg

The Austrians seem to be quite skilled with weapons design. Indeed, it was another Austrian weapon, the Glock 17, that rapidly became popular amongst US law enforcement personnel displacing the world-renowned Berettas. Not only are Glock weapons extremely durable, operating in sand and iced environments and far outperforming NATO requirements, they are also extremely light due to being about 70% polymer (an unfortunate side-effect is apparently their ability to go through metal detectors without setting them off). It is not, however, the most visually appealing handgun around:

Glock17.jpg

Those guns are the Hummers and F-117s of war and law enforcement. Designed to a purpose, they are beautiful in a design sense. However, guns can also be objects of art, designed with visual beauty as well as (I am told; I have not had the chance to sample it) a thorough pleasure of usage in mind. There are countless examples. I will stick to three, all hunting weapons. Two of those are bespoke.

Fabbri is the Ferrari or Lamborghini of gun making. Their designs are made from the finest woods, their intricate engravings are simply astonishing to look at, and the finish on the steel - a form of quench, if I remember well - delightful. I love those weapons, visually at least, and would love a chance to try one some day. This is artisanat at its highest level, such as this fine over and under:

Fabbri_434_web.jpg

But as in tailoring, the Italians have a serious contender, and arguably a better one, in the British gun makers. Britain used to run most of the world, and as such, wealth was concentrated in London and spent there. This means that even today if you want the finest handcrafted items, be them suits (Savile Row) or shoes (John Lobb), London is the place to go. This also applies to guns. Holland & Holland, for example, has a 2 year waiting list (mostly Russian customers, I am told). They will measure you, spending hours with you watching you shoot, and create a (pair of) weapon(s) perfectly fitting not just your shooting, but your personality. Rather than try and pick a single example of this art, I will let you browse their catalogue:

http://www.hollandandholland.com/gunrooms/...espoke_weapons/

Just look at those woods, that finish...

Not a weapon to carelessly drop in the rack, however. Look at the price tag.

Finally, the most famous company in gun making for hunting is of course Beretta, which is apparently one of if not the oldest corporations in the world. Berettas are just beautiful and exceptional weapons. But I won't put up a picture after the above...

So, which are your favourite guns? Why?

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Glocks don't sneak through metal detectors, by the way. The barrel and chamber are still steel.

As for my favorites, I really like the look of this Colt Python .357 Magnum: colt_python_elite.jpg

Also agreed on the Steyr Aug. It's supposed to be pretty good as well, an interesting feature is the trigger that does both single shots and full auto depending on how far you depress it. Meaning, no switching between fire modes other than safe and live.

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While I do like the Glock, I really prefer the Sig Sauer.

239.gif

The steel handle (as opposed to the plastic of the Glock) means lower recoil and the double/single trigger has a much smother and shorter pull. I personally like the P239, a .40 caliber subcompact for concealed carry, with the optional finger groove grips. One can go with the P229 for a larger grip and doublestack magazine. The question is really whether it's worth almost double the cost of the Glock. That's going to be a personal preference. But I'd definitely choose the Sig Sauer if I had the funds.

And since the title of this thread is beautiful weapons, I have to mention the AA12, an automatic and virtually recoiless shotgun. Click

for a video. (It's really worth watching through till the end.)

AA12GUN.JPG

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Toys for the boys?

I cannot help but notice the fetish appeal of fire-arms. They have their uses, of course. If I had to take one fire-arm to Detroit, it would be the AK-47. Simple but effective.

Bob Kolker

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I know practically nothing about guns, but if I ever get one it would be one of these:

USHIlHAhV.jpg

If i'm gonna shoot bad guys, better do it with style. :D

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Toys for the boys?

I cannot help but notice the fetish appeal of fire-arms. They have their uses, of course. If I had to take one fire-arm to Detroit, it would be the AK-47. Simple but effective.

Bob Kolker

Bob, I cannot help but notice that you often criticize anyone’s love an inanimate object (cars, guns, etc). I don’t understand why you need to do this. I am not a gun nut; in fact, I know very little about guns beyond what I’ve said in this thread. The only gun I own and shoot with any regularity is a .22 target pistol. Target shooting offers a great way to train my concentration and, because it requires me to free my mind from everything else, an opportunity to relax. Guns have many more uses than just killing people.

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Toys for the boys?

I cannot help but notice the fetish appeal of fire-arms. They have their uses, of course. If I had to take one fire-arm to Detroit, it would be the AK-47. Simple but effective.

Bob Kolker

Bob, I cannot help but notice that you often criticize anyone’s love an inanimate object (cars, guns, etc). I don’t understand why you need to do this. I am not a gun nut; in fact, I know very little about guns beyond what I’ve said in this thread. The only gun I own and shoot with any regularity is a .22 target pistol. Target shooting offers a great way to train my concentration and, because it requires me to free my mind from everything else, an opportunity to relax. Guns have many more uses than just killing people.

1. Killing

2. Wounding

3. Threatening

4. Target Shooting

5. Collecting. Some fire arms are very beautiful objects.

Have I missed any uses?

If I were going into harm's way I would surely want a kinetic energy kill device with me.

Bob Kolker

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Perhaps you would appreciate the beauty and justice of guns if you lived here, where we're not allowed nor able to defend ourselves against criminals who rob and beat people to a pulp for fun, since they know everyone is defenseless.

I will eventually leave my friends and my entire family to live in the US, and a big reason for that is your second amendment.

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Perhaps you would appreciate the beauty and justice of guns if you lived here, where we're not allowed nor able to defend ourselves against criminals who rob and beat people to a pulp for fun, since they know everyone is defenseless.

I will eventually leave my friends and my entire family to live in the US, and a big reason for that is your second amendment.

I appreciate fire-arms as a tool. They are cleverly designed kinetic energy mass projectors. They are an application of the second law of thermodynamics and Newtonian mechanics. Any justice (or injustice) lies in how they are used, not in their physics and design. A well aimed rock or spear can deliver the same kind of justice (or injustice) as a kinetic energy chemically powered mass projector. Fire arms are among the best examples of applied Newtonian dynamics, and being a physics fan, I appreciate them as such.

Eventually we will have light projectors (lasers, "ray guns" if you will) and they will be to quantum physics what fire arms are to Newtonian/classical physics and thermodynamics. No amount of physics and cleverness can guarantee justice, however.

In the scheme of things, the first amendment is more important than the second amendment although both are important.

Bob Kolker

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Toys for the boys?

I cannot help but notice the fetish appeal of fire-arms. They have their uses, of course. If I had to take one fire-arm to Detroit, it would be the AK-47. Simple but effective.

Bob, I cannot help but notice that you often criticize anyone’s love an inanimate object (cars, guns, etc). I don’t understand why you need to do this. I am not a gun nut; in fact, I know very little about guns beyond what I’ve said in this thread. The only gun I own and shoot with any regularity is a .22 target pistol. Target shooting offers a great way to train my concentration and, because it requires me to free my mind from everything else, an opportunity to relax. Guns have many more uses than just killing people.

1. Killing

2. Wounding

3. Threatening

4. Target Shooting

5. Collecting. Some fire arms are very beautiful objects.

Have I missed any uses?

If I were going into harm's way I would surely want a kinetic energy kill device with me.

But that doesn't answer his question. He was referring to a pattern he notices in disdain for love of inanimate objects. Is Moriarty a closet Platonist? Was "toys for the boys" a verbal sniping under preference for the First Amendment used as the Second? Are you sure you don't really like JohnRqt's example? Confess!

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Are you sure you don't really like JohnRqt's example? Confess!

I consider them clever and functional. I do not think they are pretty. I cannot get emotionally worked up about these tools. In combat I am interested in what works, not what looks good.

As to confessing, I must admit that some of the instruments I saw in Edmond's Scientific Catalog did quicken my pulse by a beat or two per minute. There are some tools which have the same classical virtues as the Renaissance sculptures; symmetry, flow of line and proportion.

Bob Kolker

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Was "toys for the boys" a verbal sniping under preference for the First Amendment used as the Second? Are you sure you don't really like JohnRqt's example? Confess!

Clearly I was thinking when I put up those pics. What have I done!

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Was "toys for the boys" a verbal sniping under preference for the First Amendment used as the Second? Are you sure you don't really like JohnRqt's example? Confess!

Clearly I wasn't thinking when I put up those pics. What have I done!

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Are you sure you don't really like JohnRqt's example? Confess!
I consider them clever and functional. I do not think they are pretty. I cannot get emotionally worked up about these tools. In combat I am interested in what works, not what looks good.

I agree, you'd better be totally concerned with what works there; there are no superior esthetics in the grave. Except for some antiques, I don't think they are pretty either. But some people have an esthetic appreciation for what such tools are, as viewed outside of combat, and realitycheck44 raised the issue of a pattern he notices in disdain for love of inanimate objects, including cars, etc., not just guns. And what you wrote here doesn't explain the original "toys for boys". So out with it Moriarty!

As to confessing, I must admit that some of the instruments I saw in Edmond's Scientific Catalog did quicken my pulse by a beat or two per minute. There are some tools which have the same classical virtues as the Renaissance sculptures; symmetry, flow of line and proportion.

But only as depicted in catalogs? Is that as close to physical reality that you're willing to confess to? And with your dreams of being a sniper, can't you confess to liking even a picture of the "world's most effective sniper system, the Cheytac"? How about if it were a picture in a catalog? Not even for half a beat of pulse rate? Maybe a pure Platonic Cheytac could do it? We'll get it out of you sooner or later!

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Wow, ewv, you're really on role with the sarcasm tonight. :D

To further clarify my position: I admit that I don't really find any of the inherent beauty in guns (or knives) that I find in cars. My point was merely that your first post in a conversation about inanimate objects that people find beautiful is often to the effect that you don't understand why people love them. Perhaps you haven't noticed this, so I thought I'd point it out. By all means continue to comment in whatever manner you choose.

Like you, I mainly find beauty in usefulness, which is why I posted about the two guns that I did. But really, the only way to solve this issue is a duel: your AK-47 against my AA12.

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But really, the only way to solve this issue is a duel: your AK-47 against my AA12.

The AK-47 has a far longer effective range, so if it's a long distance duel, a decent marksman with the AK-47 would win. At say 50 yards it would probably depend on who shot first. I wouldn't want to be the target of either one.

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Wow, ewv, you're really on role with the sarcasm tonight. :D

To further clarify my position: I admit that I don't really find any of the inherent beauty in guns (or knives) that I find in cars. My point was merely that your first post in a conversation about inanimate objects that people find beautiful is often to the effect that you don't understand why people love them. Perhaps you haven't noticed this, so I thought I'd point it out. By all means continue to comment in whatever manner you choose.

That was Bob's post, not mine. I agree with you.

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I wouldn't want to be the target of either one.

I wouldn't want to be shooting them at anyone either.

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Has anybody watched the show/videos with R. Lee Ermey called "Lock and Load?"

Lock and Load? It has occurred to me that in order to lock one should have a round in the chamber. So, the logical expression is load/chamber then lock. If one locks with an empty chamber one will have unlock, then chamber, then lock again. What a silly expression!

Load and Lock!

Bob Kolker

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Has anybody watched the show/videos with R. Lee Ermey called "Lock and Load?"

Lock and Load? It has occurred to me that in order to lock one should have a round in the chamber. So, the logical expression is load/chamber then lock. If one locks with an empty chamber one will have unlock, then chamber, then lock again. What a silly expression!

Load and Lock!

Bob Kolker

The term actaully means to lock the safety of one's weapon so that one can then load their rounds or magazine in a safe manner and hence the term "lock and load."

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I should also state that my explanation from above is what I was taught in Marine Corps boot-camp as to why Marines state "lock and load" in that manner. So, there could obviously be different meanings such as Bob's example.

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I wouldn't want to be the target of either one.

I wouldn't want to be shooting them at anyone either.

I can actaully think of a lot of people that I would enjoy shooting them at.

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