Luxus Arms Model 11 Review

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posted on March 13, 2012
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To the traveling rifle hunter, the shotgunner with the take-down case is the object of envy at the airport. Sure, take-down rifles are available, but with the exception of a few models, they can be frightfully expensive. Suffice it to say, in a crowded sporting rifle market, there’s a niche to be filled. Enter the Luxus Arms Model 11—a single-shot, take-down, multi-caliber sporting rifle with classic lines and stunning wood.

For aficionados of fine rifles, the name “Luxus” should need no introduction, as it has been one of the biggest names in fine walnut stock blanks for years. Many of the finest factory and custom rifles sport Luxus wood. The three owners of the Mount Orab, Ohio, company combine their talents as artist, engineer and buyer of Turkish walnut to ensure that style, attention to detail and quality materials go into each gun. Far from just wood merchants, the company’s manufacturing efforts have ranged from precision aircraft parts to fine firearms.

As skilled machinists, the designers of the Model 11 were able to incorporate ease of manufacture into every aspect of the project. Even with the widespread use of CNC machines in today’s firearm industry, the modern machines are often used to copy antiquated designs. By designing the Luxus from the ground-up, its creators were able to adapt the best elements of existing single-shot designs and employ modern machining methods to allow for the rifle’s efficient manufacture. With only five moving parts, the rifle’s design is elegant in its simplicity.

The Model 11 is a break-action with an external, side-mounted rebounding hammer. The action opens via an underlever, and thanks to its-tight tolerances, closes like the proverbial bank vault. A simple, robust extractor facilitates the removal of fired cases. Because of the action’s wall thickness, it can accommodate just about any cartridge available yet still maintain a trim profile. Because the action uses a bushed firing pin, it is not married to a single “family” of cartridges. A customer can order barrels in virtually any center-fire cartridge and use them interchangeably. The action’s large, radiused recoil surface and short tangs support the highly figured buttstock via a through bolt without fear of splitting or cracking.

One of the benefits of ordering a rifle from the nation’s largest importer of Eurasian Turkish walnut blanks is that there is some absolutely stunning wood to choose from. Customers have the option of selecting their rifles’ wood from turned, unfinished stocks so the figure, mineral lines, and color are visible without the guesswork of “reading” a stock blank. The Model 11’s buttstock borrows its lines from a classic Rigby design, and its fore-end is slim and trim. Stocks are given a satin hand-rubbed oil finish and feature 22-line-per-inch checkering in the “H&H” pattern; steel grip caps, inletted rear sling swivels, and Decelerator recoil pads are standard. Details aside, the highly figured walnut is one of the most striking features of this rifle. The quality of wood that comes standard on the Luxus Model 11 would be “upgraded” or “exhibition” by most gunmakers’ standards.

To maintain quality control, the entire rifle is built in-house in Ohio using parts milled from 4140 steel billets on the company’s own CNC machinery. By monitoring tool wear and minimizing human error, the manufacturing process creates highly repeatable outcomes, which result in a rifle with close tolerances that contribute to excellent accuracy, even with a lightweight barrel.

A 24-inch chrome-moly steel barrel comes standard, resulting in the rifle’s overall length being 38 1/2-inch. The barrel is mated to the receiver via a proprietary “Accu-Hanger” floating-screw system that eliminates the stress that plagues the accuracy of some single-shots. That being said, because of the angle of the screw securing the fore-end, and pivoting tenon into which it screws, reattaching the fore-end takes finesse and patience. Each barrel features a quarter rib that accepts Talley rings for scope mounting and is fitted with a barrel band sling swivel. In keeping with the classic lines of the rifle, all of the metal work has a matte-blue finish. Each rifle is built to suit the customer, so upgraded options such as rust bluing, case-colored receivers, iron sights, and engraving are all available at an additional cost.

While action-type preferences are as regional as accents and hunting methods, the single-shot is universally considered an arm for the serious rifleman. The Model 11 is petite, well-balanced and carries like a dream: It must be held in the hands to be fully-appreciated. The rifle’s accuracy is impressive, especially for a featherweight single-shot, and its versatility is nearly unmatched. It exemplifies the adage, “You get what you pay for.”

Manufacturer: Luxus Arms; (937) 444-6500; www.luxusarms.com
Mechanism Type: single-shot, break-action center-fire rifle
Caliber: .270 Win. (tested); chamberings from .204 Ruger to .375 H&H Mag.
Overall Length: 381⁄2"
Weight: 6 lbs., 6 ozs.
Receiver: 4140 steel
Barrel: 24" chrome-moly match-grade
Rifling: six-groove, RH 1:10" twist
Sights: optional; quarter rib for scope mounting included
Trigger: single-stage; 2-lb. pull
Stock: exhibition Turkish walnut; length of pull, 14" (others optional); drop at heel, 1"; drop at comb, 1/2"
Accessories: test target
Suggested Retail Price: $2,995 (as-tested)

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