I have recently been pondering the importance of balance to rifle handling characteristics in the field. I have been thinking about this because I am planning to re-barrel several of my rifles. Most often, when barrel options are being discussed, the focus is on twist, barrel length, barrel profile, and desired gun weight. I have never been privy to a discussion of how barrel choice affects balance and handling characteristics. Among my favorite rifles to carry afield are my Marlin 1895G (45-70) and my Ruger #1A (7x57). The 1895 is short, flat, and easy to carry in one hand. I absolutely love both the carry and handling characteristics of my Ruger #1A. It, too, is easy to carry. What I like most about it, though, is that it points,feels, and handles like a shotgun when I have it shouldered. I would be hard pressed to explain why the Ruger handles as it does. I am only capable of recognizing the sensation. I have experienced the same thing while shooting a quality over/under shotgun. Is it possible to achieve something like that in a bolt action repeater? If so, what elements would I need to consider? In short, what exactly makes a long arm just feel right? This seems to me like it would make for an interesting subject for a technical article. If anyone knows something about this, I would be interested in your thoughts. If someone knows where I might educate myself about this, I would be equally grateful to be pointed in the right direction.