Friday, October 16, 2009

If I were King...

and the changes I'd make!

Not in how I'd rule the serfs, but in how I'd produce the RBL-16 I've come to like pretty well..

There's not much I would change. The gun has been about as reliable as a Swiss watch with reloads and factories.. Now, where is that block of wood?? But there are some improvements I would make to make an already nice shotgun just a little bit nicer.
First and formost, I'd add a touch of scallop to the rear of the receiver where it meets the cheeks of the stock.. SKB did a nice job of this, but I'd reverse the pattern so as not to create a stock splitting steel wedge as SKB did.. Other makers have carried this off well also, such as the Upland Extra from Poli, pictured here, that I've always admired.. A little bit of enhancement in this area would have made an already pretty gun much more attractive.. but obviously, at a cost!
The fixed choke, 29 inch platform lump barrels are just perfect as-is.. Except, I would substitute a nickle silver or ivory front bead, and add a matching mid bead. Now, beads in an of themselves are completely superfluous on a shotgun, and completely unneccessary for a tool that fits, but tradition demands them, and they do look good..
Next, I would ditch some of the laser engraving.. A small amount of tasteful scroll is far preferable, in my humble opinion, to poorly rendered dogs or game scenes.. A Setter on point that looks like a dreaded "Pointing Lab" is the height of poor taste!

I guess it's no secret why these changes are not part of the RBL package. It's a production gun made to a price, and every little nicety adds to the cost. When you're trying to buld a gun for everyman, sometimes we need to cut corners.. But, not in my kingdom!

Enjoy the weekend!


  1. Bill, I am in total agreement about the engraving. A bit of geometric might have been nice. I would have been happier even with no engraving.

    in the YMMV Department, what first caught my eye about the RBL was the simple, smooth concave arc in the receiver rear. Lovely.

    Glad to read that your RBL is mechanically flawless. I have not put so many rounds through mine, but it's gone bang every time.

  2. Hello Bill,

    It seems you have dissapeared off the"boards"
    Great blog! Hope you are well. I used to frequent the Upland boards as Gordy, you may remember me.
    All the best

  3. Hi Dan,

    Of course I remember, you were one of my favorite posters! Still miss your pictures of "The Rock"..
    I just found your website, and I'll add it to my bloglist. I'm trying to find your e-mail address so I can send a proper response.
    I'm very glad you found us and decided to post!