There’s one more aspect of rifle quality that we’ve touched on but not really covered, and that’s like running over a snake only once. There are now a number of makers who guarantee their rifles will shoot into an inch, or an inch and a half, or under an inch. What this means is that someone at the factory who could actually shoot fired one three-shot group at an indoor range, using match ammo. This is a guarantee of potential, not real-world, accuracy, because the rifle may be bought by someone who can’t hold a rifle steady on a rest, lives in Kansas where the wind never stops, and feeds the gun the crummiest low-rent ammo he can find.

On top of that, you have oafs who mount scopes incorrectly, use crummy scopes or busted scopes, or do not clean their barrels correctly, or at all, any of which will eliminate accuracy right smartly.

Guaranteeing accuracy is an act of extraordinary courage and faith in one’s product, and I can’t recall a single factory rifle that carried such a promise that did not deliver. They would not do it with everything you fed them–no rifle will, regardless of price–but given half a break and some decent marksmanship, they would shoot as promised. Factories turn out some dogs, granted, but they also turn out a great many guns that will cause you to wet yourself when you see how well they shoot.