Over the years I've lost count how many guns I have had...A lot is probably the easiest way to quantify it. I've bought, owned and sold many in the last 28 or so years and whilst I've valued them all, like I do with everything I have, some I have forgotten about altogether.
I currently have many guns, rifles, shot guns and handguns all of which perform different duties; Some are competition guns and other for the purpose of taking life, some for fast run and gun purposes and others for precision shooting at long range. It is those that hold a special place in my heart because despite shooting in many different disciplines it is long range shooting I love the most, and best at doing.
There's nothing quote like getting a bullet onto a target that the naked eye can't even see and I love the challenge of the physical act of it, the breathing and trigger-pull, but also the science that allows me to make what may seem like an impossible shot.
All of my long guns, my long range rifles, hold a special place in my heart, simple tools yes, but ones I know intimately and have spent a long time with and so...I name them.
This rifle my wife is holding was built for long range shooting but it's a little different because I wanted to use it for culling, animal control, also.
It is based on a stainless steel Finnish made Tikka CTR in .243 and sits, professionally bedded, in a custom-made carbon fibre stock which makes it incredibly lightweight. I've fitted it with an APN Gen II "little bastard" muzzle brake, Atlas bipod and the glass (scope) is a Kahles 624i 6-24x50 1st focal plane scope with the SKMR3 reticle (MRAD).
To me it's Tuoni though.
The name is Finnish, because the gun is, and it refers to the King of the underworld, Tuoni. I figured that was fitting as it's a life-taker. Now, I'm not Finnish, and so the translation may not be exact however it worked for me and that's what I called it. The rifle carries its name on the top of the barrel in bold white writing just below the scope.
There's also a phrase there on the barrel, which the top red arrow points to...That's a Finnish phrase I liked and seemed fitting for the competition aspect of the rifle.
The phrase reads Ahkeruus kovan onnen voittaa which translates literally to diligence vanquishes hard luck. I take this to mean that diligence to the job, take the actions required to do it, will overcome bad luck.
I carry this ethos into competitions with me but more importantly I apply it, diligence, in practice and training in preparation of equipment and when making my ammunition. That way, when hard luck visits on competition weekends, I'm more likely to have mitigated its potential to cost me points and placings ahead of time. It reminds me to work hard and not cut corners in any aspect.
Below you can see the phrase carried on the top of the barrel of the rifle.
It may seem odd giving the rifle a name, but in truth I don't see it that way. I spend a lot of time behind my guns shooting and they feel like close companions to me.
Giving my long guns a name gives them an identity and because this particular one is a life-taker what better name than King of the underworld?
The phrase it also carries is a constant reminder that it is the little things I do, the diligent preparation, that brings better results, not just the act of shooting straight or fast. It's a motivational phrase I suppose, and helps me apply that attention to detail, to fine-tune every aspect of preparation for competition and to continuously seek to improve every day even on those days I don't feel like it.
Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default - Tomorrow isn't promised.
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