A Single Shot Rifle by Ed Webber and Lynton McKenzie
By Steven Dodd Hughes


I first saw a photo of the Lynton McKenzie engraved rifle in 1985. I liked the rifle them and still have the letter and photo Ed sent me. During the intervening years my appreciation for the rifle has continued to grow. The passing of Lynton McKenzie doesn't enhance the quality of his engraving, but it does remind us that an individual's creativity is a limited resource. His passing reminds us that this object of quality will remain to be appreciated evermore.
The hard facts of this rifle include its classic, all-purpose .30-06 caliber. The scarce, well designed, functional and desirable Hagn action score points for the future. What Webber did with the action adds to its function and aesthetic.


Webber_Mckenzie Hagn R Close-

The action alterations were numerous and purposeful. The safety incorporates a new sliding button replacing the original rotating variety. Notice the slight dip in the lower tang behind the trigger which allows a thinner grip and with a larger radius grip curve. The rear of the breech block was clipped at an angle, which makes the action look shorter in height and length.
The lever and trigger were reshaped to please Webber's design sense and shooters touch. The inside of the lever bow was altered to an attractive egg shape and a spur was added at the rear. The top of the action was hand-filed with facets showing the character of a masculine signet ring.

Lynton McKenzie engraved the rifle with no namesake McKenzie scroll.


Webber_McKenzie Hagn R Stock- copy

The stock is straight forward and without embellishment. It has the appearance of a rifle meant to be shot and hunted. The stock panels serve to blend the square action into the tapered forend and pistol grip. The are not merely cosmetic nor are they enhanced by shadow lines or sculpting. The grip curve is relatively long and open yet close enough to the trigger to correctly place the hand. Webber made the grip cap slightly larger than normal giving the grip a hand-filling feel. The comb nose appears low in comparison to scope sighted rifles however, for this iron sighted Hagn, the greater amount of drop at the comb and heel will allow rapid sight alignment in a hunting situation.

In talking with Ed Webber about the Hagn .30-06, I mentioned the quality of timelessness. He said that if the maker has an understanding of architecture, proportion and pays equal attention to all the details, timelessness is possible to achieve. He added that the rifle must be useful, functional and shootable. I agreed but added that there are many rifles built 15 years ago with all of those attributes and yet only a few have the special appeal that endures beyond the merely fine.