Unicorns

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,823
154
So what's you "Unicorn"?

We all have that one special firearm that we are looking for.
Some are truly rare and very difficult to find, while others are just not seen often in your neck of the woods.

Is yours truly considered a unicorn in the firearms industry, or just a unicorn to you, as you have been looking for one and have yet to find it?

And have you ever found any of those unicorns?

For me I have a couple of unicorns:
One being a true factory original left handed mannlicher stocked rifle. I did find a LH Sako L691FS Carbine in 30-06. Was really hoping to find it in 6.5x55, 280 Rem or 9.3x62 - which they did make but unsure as to any being imported to North America. While it may not be considered a unicorn in Europe, if seems to be one here;
The other being an original Dan Wesson revolver in 414 Super Mag (only 14 made as best I can determine - I would consider this a true unicorn).

A couple of others that I considered unicorns that I have found over the years are:
Marlin 1894S in 41 Rem Mag (not sure of number made, but in separate runs the FG and CC versions have been made in limited runs);
Marlin 336ER in 356 Win (only 2442 made).

A friend's unicorn was the Ruger No. 1 Tropical in 404 Jeffrey. It was announced, but not confirm that they were ever built along with the other cartridges chambered in the series.
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,464
726
Honestly, I don't have any one rifle that I want above all others. I'm quite content with my present firearms.

I could see buying a particular rifle for a special purpose. Like a hunt for a big ol' coastal brown bear... Or going after cape buff. Probably a 375 Ruger Guide Gun. Then, I'd probably sell it after the hunt.

Now if we could hunt unicorns... ;)

Guy
 

RL338

Handloader
Mar 23, 2017
523
265
An affordable 460WBY was mine. After my mother passed away , there was a small amount left over from her final expenses that was split between my brother and me. Months later I came across a Weatherby Lazermark 460 on GB and won it. The rifle was unfired and I got it cheap as the seller had very little feedback ,might have scared off many buyers. Growing up I looked at the Guns and Ammo magazine that listed all the rifle models in the back. I thought some day I own one.
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,505
492
Don't really have a unicorn in mind, but I'm sure there's more than one rifle out there yet that's hard to get or desirable that will show up in good condition at too good a price.

Kinda had one recently at an out of state auction. 2 rifles listed as a pair, and just stated as 98 Mausers. One was a 8mm and the one that caught my attention was a 250-3000. Estimated value on the pair was $900-$1500. The 250 was a small ring 98, and looked like it had a shorter action. I called the auction service and got them to measure the distance between the action screws. They came back with the measurement and based on that I was sure it was a commercial short action 98 Mauser, That would be Pre WWII. Extremely rare. But no way to confirm it more than that.

Figured I could go to the $1500 and with the buyers premium and shipping on top of that, if I was wrong I wouldn't completely loose my shirt. Apparently there was at least 2 buyers on the floor that knew what it was. When that lot came up the bidding started at $2500 and finished at $6500. LOL. At least I know my detective work was correct.
 

Europe

Handloader
Jun 18, 2014
1,116
49
Gil, there are several and for different reasons, but to pick one that myself, Daughter. Granddaughter, and Great Granddaughter all would put into this category is the
Ludwig Borovnik double 9.3 x 74R 'Secret of Artemis" . If you look it up and check out the 4 or 5 pictures of the engraving ---I was not the model--unfortunately ;)
All the females in our family like it and not just because of the engraving. The caliber is a good caliber without breaking a shoulder. However some males in the family also like it, because of the caliber ;)
 

PJGunner

Handloader
Dec 11, 2010
1,708
106
Google "Ludwig Borovnik double 9.3 x 74R 'Secret of Artemis" with the quotes and you can see it. All I will say is WOW!
Paul B.
 

Europe

Handloader
Jun 18, 2014
1,116
49
One of the drawbacks to the rifle, Mr Gunner, is it does not produce the necessary Joules to legally hunt buffalo with it in Namibia, but it is an adequate caliber for all plains game. The girls in my family have looked at and had several rifles made of women, from Europe and America. One of the best "fits" is the Weatherby Camila, but we liked the engraving of "Artemis, goddess of the hunt" on the Borovnik

Ruger #1 in 300 H&H. These fetch a premium but lately it’s become ridiculous.
But I doubt they will decrease in price in the future. If you find one, buy it to go with your collection. I dont think you will regret it. What are you taking to Africa ?
 
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DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
34,810
959
One of the drawbacks to the rifle, Mr Gunner, is it does produce the necessary Joules to legally hunt buffalo with it in Namibia, but it is an adequate caliber for all plains game. The girls in my family have looked at and had several rifles made of women, with from Europe and America. One of the best "fits" is the Weatherby Camila, but we liked the engraving of "Artemis, goddess of the hunt" on the Borovnik


But I doubt if they will decrease in price in the future. If you find one, buy it to go with your collection. I dont think you will regret it. What are you taking to Africa ?
And whom among us has not bought a firearm based on aesthetics? While I enjoy accuracy, if the rifle is not pleasing to the eye, I'll probably pass on it to find something that I can make accurate enough to satisfy my standard while making me proud to hold it.
 

rjm158

Handloader
Oct 15, 2009
533
16
Tikka rifles are my favorites and I have a substantial number of them. In the early 2000's Tikka made a version of their T3 rifle called the Big Boar. It was a blued/black synthetic with a 19 inch barrel. They were made in three calibers, 308, 30-06, and 300 WSM. I located two of the calibers but have never found a 308. I have checked Gunbroker and other sources with no luck but my fingers are crossed.🤞🤞

Ron
 

salmonchaser

Handloader
Dec 13, 2013
3,329
485
One of the drawbacks to the rifle, Mr Gunner, is it does not produce the necessary Joules to legally hunt buffalo with it in Namibia, but it is an adequate caliber for all plains game. The girls in my family have looked at and had several rifles made of women, from Europe and America. One of the best "fits" is the Weatherby Camila, but we liked the engraving of "Artemis, goddess of the hunt" on the Borovnik


But I doubt they will decrease in price in the future. If you find one, buy it to go with your collection. I dont think you will regret it. What are you taking to Africa ?
I was hoping to take the 300 H&H. But I got out bid a couple of times in the last year. I’ll be taking my 06. I bought the rifle (paid for as I was only 13) with money made bucking hay bales back in 1968 or 69.
 

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,823
154
Gil, there are several and for different reasons, but to pick one that myself, Daughter. Granddaughter, and Great Granddaughter all would put into this category is the
Ludwig Borovnik double 9.3 x 74R 'Secret of Artemis" . If you look it up and check out the 4 or 5 pictures of the engraving ---I was not the model--unfortunately ;)
All the females in our family like it and not just because of the engraving. The caliber is a good caliber without breaking a shoulder. However some males in the family also like it, because of the caliber ;)
Even if it isn't legal for buffalo and/or the other members of the Big 7 in all African countries, it would certainly warrant use in the field on non-dangerous game, and if nothing more, just the joy of owning, carrying, and shooting such a work of art.
Just finished reading Boddington's Safari Rifles II book, and it did talk about the capabilities of the fine doubles and the 9.3x74. An enabler of dreams of grand adventures on the Dark Continent!
 

Thankful Otter

Handloader
Oct 8, 2012
775
60
Does it count if you already have it/them. I have two that fit into this category . They are unique and old but still able to hold their own against all the new kids on the block, plus one belonged to my grandfather and the other one was gifted to me.

280 Ross and 275 H & H. The idea behind gifting me the 275 was to add to the 300 and 375 I already had/have, but it is an excellent goat and sheep rifle and the one I carry when we go South.. From memory Dr. Mike also has a Ross but nobody else seems to like/own the 275 H and H
 

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,823
154
Does it count if you already have it/them. I have two that fit into this category . They are unique and old but still able to hold their own against all the new kids on the block, plus one belonged to my grandfather and the other one was gifted to me.

280 Ross and 275 H & H. The idea behind gifting me the 275 was to add to the 300 and 375 I already had/have, but it is an excellent goat and sheep rifle and the one I carry when we go South.. From memory Dr. Mike also has a Ross but nobody else seems to like/own the 275 H and H
Absolutely, they count!
Anyone who has acquired a "Unicorn" or two, or more can count themselves amongst the most fortunate.
Should we coin the phrase "top 1% of gun nuts"? LOL
 

KinleyWater

Handloader
Jun 15, 2019
274
168
Not a unicorn, but I have always wanted a battery of rifles, all of the same type, one in each cartridge based on the -06 case. Yes, there would be a lot of overlap in capability, but this is fantasy, no? In a single rifle, I'd like a compact levergun in .480 Ruger; one that I could actually afford, I mean.

Double-guns are amazing, of course, and I would not say no to one for Christmas... you know, in case anyone was in the giving mood;)
 

Johnly

Beginner
Dec 12, 2020
49
15
One of my bucket list/unicorn rifles was a Ross M1910 in 280 Ross. They were only made from 1910 to 1916 and the 280 Ross nearly delivered 7mm Remington when fired in a 30" barrel. I snagged a beautiful 4 digit S/N first year production rifle in outstanding condition inside and out and the workmanship is inspiring. No extra holes, no rust anywhere, bore is spotless, and the stock checkering is still sharp after 112 years. Ammunition hasn't been made in the US since 1935, but was able to form cases from 375 Ruger brass and hope to make a trip to the range with it later this week. And yes... the bolt is correctly assembled.
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
34,810
959
I have a M1910 in 280 and a M1905 in 303 British listed on a Canadian gun site. These include brass and bullets. I've enjoyed these Ross rifles for some time, but it was time to begin thinning the herd.
 
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