A comment by Neil in my last post suggested a post on 'what I would like Santa to bring me in my Christmas stocking' so this is the first item I want to see sticking out the top when I wake up!
Before I go to my box I would really like to hunt a Marco Polo sheep and/or an Altai Argali sheep. I don't relish the thought of altitude sickness and filthy camps but I find the Marco Polo a majestic animal and it has been on my bucket list for many years. 'Thou shall not covet another mans trophies' but I have always done so with my friend and frequent hunting companion Sultan Al Thani's Altai Argali, one which he took in the early 90's and was a very close world record. The size and mass of the horns make me want to steal it every time I see it to add it to the walls of interesting stuff here at WR.
In order to do these hunts I need a nice, light, bomb proof rifle with a fixed scope. A rifle with which I can learn to control my shakes and ineptitude with a scoped rifle when shooting at distance. A rifle I can leave at the top of the mountain if needed. The Plastic Fantastic was born, but, I hastily add, has not yet been conceived. The specifications seemed pretty simple to me, a special alloy sheathed lightweight fluted barrel on a new Mauser 98 action all fitted to a synthetic stock to our normal stock design and shape in a take apart format.
To date retaining crisp lines on our stock profile has been a problem, I have paid for moulds and machining and all kinds of stuff, I have 3 or 4 failed attempts and the cost of my rifle grows with alarming pace and is shortly going to exceed that of one our very best take downs. The trophy fees unfortunately grow at an alarming pace also!
They say a shoe maker never has a pair of his own shoes and the same certainly applies to this gunmaker. I have attempted many times to make my own new guns and rifles but the dealer in me always lets them go before I finish them and I start again. So if Santa could help complete this quickly I would be a very happy hunter!
I can imagine all the traditional readers rolling around in horror at the very thought of Westley Richards doing such a thing but just wait until you see the finished item, you will want one for your mountain trips in your stocking too!