As a boy, I spent my summers on our family’s farm in southern Indiana. It was a fairly large farming operation, focused on grain and dairy production. I learned a lot about mechanical things: How to fix them when they broke. How to weld. How to drive a tractor and truck many years before I had a driver’s license, and even a combine.
Also, I learned about firearms. They were tools. And like other farm tools, one had to learn how to use them, how to respect them for their capabilities, and how to handle them safely. I also learned how to tell when something was constructed of high-quality components. Well-made tools worked better, lasted longer, and didn’t need repairs as often. It didn’t take me long to learn that my Grandfather’s high-grade Winchester Model 70 was substantially better constructed than my Savage break-action .410 shotgun.
Over the years, I learned how to distinguish higher quality products, materials, and workmanship. Consequently, I found it difficult to resist the urge to improve upon things I found deficient in one way or another.
I started assembling AR-15 platform files in the mid-1980s. Not necessarily because I wanted to do so. But because I could not find assembled, off the shelf, rifles that met my standards, or were built for a particular use that I had in mind. I liked the modular concept of the rifle’s design, but not the self-evident deficiencies that were present in all such rifles as they were built mostly to military specifications—which meant then, as it does today, that they were built mostly of parts manufactured by the lowest bidder.
Do they work? Yes, they do. Are they as good as they could be? Probably not. My boyhood shotgun was good at ridding the grain silos of the occasional four-legged vermin. Even so, it was nowhere near the quality of my Grandfather’s Winchester.
Manufacturing technology has come a long way since the AR platform rifle was designed in the 1960s. And the quality of some manufacturers’ Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) has improved substantially. But there is really no single MSR manufacturer that has established a product line like a Mercedes AMG, or a BMW “M” car. In other words, a rifle you can buy that—like a salesman in a car lot noted years ago—you really didn’t have to do anything else to be satisfied with the quality, components, and functionality.
If the thought comes to mind as you read this last paragraph, “Hey, he’s talking about a luxury product.” You are correct. Avalon Rifle Werx will build a luxury rifle that will have unique appeal to those people who, like myself, recognize quality. And, if it had been available in the marketplace, would have bought it originally—no tinkering, just high-quality components and functionality: A luxury product personified.
We’re going to do some other stuff differently as well.