1. magazine fed repeating rifleBut, I get the feeling that some readers are thinking that my definition implies a one-size-fits-all approach, and that's simply not my intention Indeed, many rifles that don't fit this description are useful in many ways. For example, you're probably not going to win many benchrest competitions with a Practical Rifle, and rightfully so. Benchrest rifles are very specialized, built for a specific purpose.
2. weighing between 2.5 and 5 kilos
3.The cartridge must be capable of striking a single decisive blow on the target likely to be encountered at a distance where the operator is capable of placing the bullet in the vital area of the target.
4. Maximum length of 43 inches, with the length of pull properly proportioned to the individual
5. Robust sighting system, properly fitted to the rifle and instantly available to the operator.
Likewise, the police marksman or the military sniper might regularly use a rifle that falls outside the Practical Rifle criteria, even if they only fail in the weight criteria. Also, the single-shot rifles, like my Handi rifles, fall outside the criteria. That is not to imply that they are less than they are, only that they are specialized rifles.
This exercise does not preclude the number of rifles that a person might own. For example, a sportsman might own a levergun for the thickets of the east, with a bolt gun for the plains and valleys out west. There is not a caliber designation, except to preclude the .22LR which is properly in a category all its own. Every rifleman should own at least one (and probably more) .22 rifles.
But, this series let me order my own thinking and the comments provided guidance along the way. Thanks for the trip, the journey isn't over, and hunting season begins next weekend.