What’s on your top ten list?
I have been fortunate enough to shoot many, many different firearms over the course of my life. While I have enjoyed most, a precious few have made their way into my heart as towering giants that provide an unparallelled shooting experience that is meant to be savored and appreciated. Know this; this list is nothing more than one man’s meandering opinion on ten firearms that everyone should give a try to maximize enjoyment in marksmanship and to better appreciate firearms technology.
10. Mauser 98
I have called the Mauser 98 the perfect rifle. Everything about them is just excellent and the parts work together in perfect harmony to drive lead downrange. The rifles are strong, easy to shoot, clean, train with, and are as reliable as a toaster, but the 98 makes it to number 10 simply because a bolt action rifle will only entertain many shooters for so long. The trend these days is towards self loading firearms and it is easy (and embarrassing) that many members of my generation will forego the Mauser shooting experience in favor a hod-rodded semi automatic… not that there is anything wrong with that either.
9. M1 Garand
Ah, the venerable M1 “Garand” rifle. A symbol of American might, innovation, and pride… that was invented by a Canadian. Nonetheless the Garand served the USA valiantly for over twenty years as a main service rifle, and the United States Civilian Marksmanship Program offers the ability to have one shipped right to your door if you meet a set of qualifications. In my humble opinion if you have not taken advantage of the CMP, you should do so! The Garand honestly does provide a marksmanship experience like no other. When you get behind a Garand, you have eight rounds of heavy hitting 30-06 ammunition, and the firing of the famous last round results in a harmonious ping that always brings a smile to my face. Garands are incredibly accurate rifles, and even today are used in competitions across the USA, ranging from less formal bowling pin shoots, and up to Camp Perry.