I like to think of myself as a rather competent Rifter pilot. This means I take it very seriously when someone else beats me in a Rifter duel. Fortunately, there haven't been many such cases recently and I can only remember three pilots who did that: my corpmate Arquebie, Amamake resident Drek Grapper and, most recently, Brick0Joe, a member of The Python Cartel.
Our first encounter took place in Amamake, right after I had killed and podded some poor chap in an Incursus. I only suffered shield damage and so decided not to leave when Brick0Joe's Rifter started approaching me. Once in scram range, we both employed the same tactics of staying rather far away and shooting with Barrage ammo. But my armour was dropping alarmingly fast while my opponent was still holding quite well. Also, he was faster than me and I overloaded my afterburner too late to get away.
As my Rifter went down, I typed a sincere "gf" and tried to figure out why I had lost. There could be several reasons why I was overpowered: skills (I haven't yet got some of those lengthy level V gunnery ones), modules (I did find out, for example, that Brick0Joe fits Arbalest rocket launchers whereas I usually prefer cheaper ones) or implants (I only had a cheap one giving +3% to small turrets' damage).
I decided to eliminate the difference in modules and try again, this time also without leftover damage from an earlier fight. I got the modules hauled and requested a duel with Brick0Joe who kindly agreed. I warped to Gulmogorod, chose a safespot and waited for my opponent who soon showed up.
This fight went a little bit better: I got him into structure but then went down. After exchanging gf's I asked Brick about implants and he said he was using some without elaborating. So, I guess, a combined difference in skills (I did not ask but suspect his are maxed out) and implants, made him far more lethal than me.
Fortunately, this means I will be able to catch up eventually. In the meantime, I know which fights to avoid.