Monday, 12 May 2014

Review: Rolston Rifles

When I was younger, my Mother was on the local Play Centre committee and was a huge proponent of the 'No War Toys' movement. We had the stickers all over our car, our front door, our toy boxes - everything. Growing up in a farming community where most of the kids we knew were shooting real guns and killing real animals, it must have been a radical idea for people to swallow.

One day my brother brought home his woodwork project from school: A handmade, double-barreled shotgun. It was beautiful. The barrels swung on a wooden hinge to reveal two drilled holes emulating where you would put your shotgun cartridges. I remember holding my breath as my Mother looked at the gun and tried to figure out how this work of art would fit in with her ideals and values. We had our paintings on the wall and regularly ate the hokey pokey that my brother had learnt how to make in Home Ec. So why couldn't the gun stay?

In the end Mum relented and this piece of art became part of our toy collection. I was over the moon! I was a farmer, riding on my yellow and red plastic trike with this gun slung over my shoulder. I was an Olympic target shooter, lying on my trampoline yelling "Pull!". That gun changed my life in the sense that neon coloured Nerf guns give me the heebie jeebies. I can hear my Mother's voice talking about glorification and turning war and suffering into a cartoon parody. I would rather my children learnt how to shoot a real .22 than have a bright blue Super Soaker. Is that wrong?

When the Rolston Rifle arrived at our house it wasn't attached to a cardboard backing featuring a muscled cartoon warrior or clip art of explosions and helicopters. It was simply wrapped in corrugated cardboard and bubble wrap and immediately I was taken back to my childhood bedroom and the great standoff between my Mum and Brother. This gun isn't a war toy, it's a lovingly-crafted art piece.

Now featuring a real, functioning scope or a clever hose fitting to replicate a scope - these rifles are incredibly realistic. Made up of a beautifully crafted stock and single barrel, this gun has little details that piqued my interest. The bolt lever is genius and I love the customised name branding on the underside of the forestock (offered as a free option!). My son adored the fact that it had his name on it, possession is everything with an older brother!

Grandfathers and Koros will look at this and think "Now, why didn't I think of that?". Children will cradle it in bed on Christmas night. Believe me, both of these things happened to our family. If you've been sitting on the fence on whether to let your children have guns or if you want something to trade with your children for those Nerf guns - I suggest this. It's incredibly well-made, it's made in New Zealand by an inspiring father of five and it comes with a pretend gun licence so your children grow up knowing the true reality of guns and gun ownership. Awesome.

And because the team at Needle & Nail are so awesome, they've offered up a Rolston Rifle for you to win. All you have to do is follow these three easy steps:
3) login to the nifty widget to the right of this post (if you're reading on the blog) or go here if you're on Facebook.

An eligible winner will be drawn on May 23rd 2014 at 8:00pm (local time).

Have fun and good luck!


  1. classic bro... bet you it doesnt break either!

  2. Friggin amazing write up!!