and execution, a tool can be beautiful.Tools, especially weapons, have been embellished since the first cave man dyed the handle of his favorite club with berry juice. Embellishment is fine, SO LONG as the usefulness of the gun is not reduced. IMO, good lines and function come first; no amount of polish, inlay, engraving, fish scale checkering,or what have you will fix an ill handling or bulbous gun...you are just putting lipstick on a pig.
A related issue is utility. My Parker Hale Phoenix is never going on a farm hunt,and that's a pity,because in some ways it's ideal for birds in the barns. However, the only route to a good vantage point is often through ankle deep liquid cow poo, and the idea of dropping that gun, or even the magazine(close to $100, if I could even find another...)in that mess makes me shudder.So for much of my favorite shooting, the Hammerli 850 is a much better gun than the Phoenix...plastic stock, painted pot metal, and all.
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