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They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I believe that's true. My appreciation of the aesthetic value of a painting, sculpture, car, firearm, etc. is my own and others may see things differently. That's what makes the world go round.

That said, I do have two favorites.

For the automatic pistol, I think the Walther PP is the most beautiful.



It's lines, proportions, and the quality of production bespeak a 19th Century appreciation of combining form and function, even though it was introduced in 1929.

For the revolver, I contend that the Colt 1860 Army is a true work of art.



The slim, sleek profile appear to be almost organic. A true product of its era, it is a 19th Century statement that a functional weapon can still be striking in its presentation.

Alas, mine is not an original Colt but a very good Pietta reproduction.



The family resemblance here is striking. The 1860 gets much of its good looks from its older, smaller brethren, a Colt 1849 Pocket (this is a real Colt built in 1864). But the larger revolver brings its own handsome features to the forefront.

Anyway, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.
 

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Excellent thread. This is bound to highlight just how many differing tastes make up our hobby! However, I do agree with you 100% on the 1860 Army, it truly is an elegant pistol.

For me, of the older pistol breed, I consider the Luger to be sheer old-word elegance as well. From craftsmanship to balance, it's a work of art.

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Of the new breed, well, personally, the 226 X5 gets the nod. The refinement is top notch. If it could wear clothes, no doubt it would be tails!
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Regarding revolvers, my old world favorite is the S&W #3.....
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Of the newer breed, the S&W N-Frame, in the 4" version. Elegance....
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Disclaimer: Save the last one, all other pictures duly pirated from the interwebs!!! 😁 😁 😁 😁
 

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Post #5 above illustrates the fact that, while most of the handguns regarded as beautiful are from the 19th and early 20th Century there were obvious exceptions even during that time period!

The handguns I have always regarded as being the most aesthetically pleasing are as follows:

Classic 1911/1911A1 (obviously):
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Colt Single Action Army:
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Luger P.08:
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Beretta 92:
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S&W early Model 3 and Schofield:
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Smith & Wesson Model 29:
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Walther PPK:
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There are others, but that's just a start...
 

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What...rifles are off limits?

Checkmate... View attachment 614121
Your on a pistol forum,,,what do ya expect.

My tastes run more towards the plain utility look.

For auto loading pistols the Colt 1911 govt model wins hands down.
For revolver the Colt SAA is the one.
For auto loading rifle the M1 Garand is the ultimate. As a matter of fact I just refinished the stock on mine last week, so much better than the finish on the new CMP stock.
For bolt action rifle I would have to say it is a tie between the Lee Enfield No1 mk3 and the Springfield M1903A3.
For lever action rifle the Winchester 1873 is beautiful.
And last but not least, the shotgun. It would be a SxS double barrel with exposed hammers.

To say the least I don’t get into engraving,,,

Eric


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They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I believe that's true. My appreciation of the aesthetic value of a painting, sculpture, car, firearm, etc. is my own and others may see things differently. That's what makes the world go round.

That said, I do have two favorites.

For the automatic pistol, I think the Walther PP is the most beautiful.



It's lines, proportions, and the quality of production bespeak a 19th Century appreciation of combining form and function, even though it was introduced in 1929.

For the revolver, I contend that the Colt 1860 Army is a true work of art.
...
The slim, sleek profile appear to be almost organic. A true product of its era, it is a 19th Century statement that a functional weapon can still be striking in its presentation.

Alas, mine is not an original Colt but a very good Pietta reproduction.



The family resemblance here is striking. The 1860 gets much of its good looks from its older, smaller brethren, a Colt 1849 Pocket (this is a real Colt built in 1864). But the larger revolver brings its own handsome features to the forefront.

Anyway, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.
You cannot be wrong on a matter of your own tastes. Though not ranking the PPK so highly as you, the disappointment that my PPK-clone didn't sell during the recent bubble is alloyed with some relief: that little thing can shoot and for a time was my CCW. Never should have offered it.

And for a 19th Century revolver, I respectfully nominate the Remington Model of 1858 or even the 1875. The '58's profile speaks a beautifully functional degree of menace. My Uberti '75 in .45 was a prize at a FONRA banquet ... sometimes while admiring it, I consider acquiring a Pieta '58 in .44 and a metalic-cartridge conversion kit. Then I'd have it in a correct caliber; but it would be a wall-hanger. Still too many of those.
Air gun Trigger Revolver Shotgun Gun barrel
 
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