This particular incentive comes from D’Arcy Echols, maker of perfect rifles, and is a .505 Gibbs built on a Hartmann & Weiss Model 98 Magnum Mauser action with Echols’ own magazine assembly, bolt stop, barrel work, sights (pictured below) and, of course, stock. It’s what’s called a stopping rifle, and is intended to make large, unpleasant animals cease and desist whatever they are doing right this instant.

You can’t afford this rifle; however, if you will get off your dead ass and attend a Safari Club International convention, you can see it in person and perhaps handle it and maybe talk with Mr. Echols himself and tell him how much you admire his work*.

As I explained to a friend recently, the thing that sets SCI apart from other trade and gun shows is the fact that it’s comprised mostly of stuff you simply won’t see anywhere else.

Another example is taxidermy. With all due respect to Cabela’s, what you see in their stores is a bunch of dead animals standing around. What you see at SCI is in another realm altogether. The outstanding exhibit at this convention was a piece from Animal Artistry in Reno, and it stopped people dead in their tracks. It was a life-size mount of a bull bison with two arrows in his withers on the left side and one behind his right shoulder (which would kill him in time) rearing up on his hind legs and tossing an Indian pony and its rider. The pony is suspended horizontally across the bull’s head, and the Indian, lance in hand, is clinging to the horse’s back for dear life.

It is simply an astounding combination of mechanical ingenuity and aesthetic vision. How on earth did Animal Artistry do this? You are at liberty to contemplate this in person, but only if you go to SCI. So what if you can’t afford most of what you see? Neither can I. You don’t have to be able to in order to enjoy it. I bought a bag from Boyt (they have a monster sale there every year) for $100 and a knife from Knives of Alaska for $70, did not feel underprivileged, and look forward to going again.

*Custom rifle makers go to SCI to sell guns; it may be fun and games for you but for them it’s their living, so I am always careful to avoid taking their time if they’re talking to someone who is interested in giving them money. I had a long talk with D’Arcy, but it was at the end of the day when the hall was emptying out. I had passed by his booth several times and not stopped to visit because he was doing business.