Back in the United States, we don’t have the history of craftsmanship that Europe does when it comes to firearms. Sure we make some awesome functional firearms, but you don’t see the same artistry. We make rifles to use them, not admire them. In the Old World, they’ve been making guns so long that companies have had time to get bored with the process and start embellishing their designs, making them incredibly beautiful to look at as well as functional. One of those companies, Fuchs Fine Guns, has produced what is quite possibly the most beautiful rifle I’ve ever seen . . .
With shotguns, the pros figured out quite some time ago that an over/under design for the double barreled offerings is better than a side by side configuration. But with rifles, the over/under design isn’t really “done.” Side-by-side rifles are abundant for big game hunters, but over/unders are few and far between. Which makes Fuchs’ rifle rare among rare finds.
The rifle is chambered in .416 Rigby (I think…jetlag may have been getting to me) and is available with either a 2- or 4-round magazine. Which means either one or two rounds per barrel in the magazine. The gun is in the style of an African hunting rifle, and the caliber choice is in line with that kind of gun.
What I found really interesting is that the barrel (well, both of them) is free floating. This isn’t just a wall-hanger, it’s intended to actually perform its job. Fuchs pride themselves on making accurate guns, and by all accounts this rifle will produce a 1/2-inch group. At 300 yards.
The internals of the rifle are interesting as well. The gun uses a set of recessed extractor claws in the bolt face to remove spent cartridges, and due to the design of the bolt the locking lugs are located at the back instead of on the bolt face. The triggers are different too. They use a GLOCK-esque sear protector that allows them to set the trigger pull weight to a dangerously light level without having to worry about the gun discharging before the shooter pulls the trigger.
The magazine is the icing on the cake. Fuchs doesn’t do the engraving in house, but the people they use are top notch. This scene of a family of lions is absolutely beautiful and incredibly detailed, almost to the point where you’d have trouble figuring out which side of the rifle you’d prefer to display. And while the bolt handle on this specific rifle isn’t that ornate, they can fix that too.
Fuchs makes bespoke firearms – each rifle is custom made to the customer’s order. Ther’s no such thing as “production runs” and no SKUs, just what the customer wants. As you’d expect, the price tag for that kind of service is on real estate levels. I asked the rep how much that under/over rifle would cost, and he responded simply “400.” That’s not dollars. And it’s not hundreds of dollars, either. That’s 400,000 euros, or about $532,000.
So it’s a gun that will cost you as much as a Ferrari. But it’s worth every penny.