The real test of a rifle like this is to use it as it is used in combat. So, with Field & Stream Senior Editor Colin Kearns holding a stopwatch, I paced off 25 steps from an NRA 25-yard Timed-Fire target (5 ½-inch bull) and cranked off five rounds as fast as I could, which turned out to be 9.9 seconds. I had two 10s, two 9s, and an 8. That is about as good as I can do with a heavy rifle. The bolt fairly flies back and forth, and the gun kicks remarkably little considering its 9-pound weight.

Is this the best I’ve ever seen from a rifle of this type? Very likely. I have a Kenny Jarrett Professional Hunter in .416 Remington that will shoot as fast with as much accuracy, but it only holds four shots, and I’d lose time loading that 5th one. (In fairness I should add that the Jarrett prints much smaller groups than the Legend.)

And now the $14,000 question: If I had that kind of money, would I buy a Legend? Is it really worth it? The answers are yes, in a heartbeat, and very likely. It is the best that can be done, regardless of cost, and things like that are worth the money.

Now a disclaimer or two: In the nasty and suspicious world we inhabit, some of you are asking what I am getting in return for all this fulsome praise. The answer is, I got to shoot a $14,000 rifle and learn what goes into one. The Legend is already back with D’Arcy. I am not getting my own Legend later on for $14,000 or any other price. I have no more chance of buying one than you do.

And how can I, with millions out of work, the Stock Market crashing in slow motion, and General Motors about to go into bankruptcy court, have the gall to write about a $14,000 rifle? Easy. I am an Old Guy, and I just don’t care.


_An Untimely Addition:

_Years ago, I got to meet Natasha Richardson and spoke with her a little bit. I remember thinking at the time what a nice person she was.

It’s better we don’t know what life holds in store for us._