Virtually inspired by a slight derailment in this thread I got to thinking about rifles. Not hard to do, get me thinking about long guns, and we can all agree that some rifles are better than others for specific applications - I wouldn’t hunt elk with an AR-15, nor defend my house with a Ruger No.1. But is there one that could be considered the “best”?
I submit the Winchester model 94 in .30-30
Some might say it doesn’t do anything particularly well, I say it does everything it needs to. If I was to disappear into the Rockies for a couple of years I’d want my old .30-30 at my side. I could drop big game out past 100 yards, but unlike my Remington 700 VLS, I could also hit something closer than 10 feet. The .30-30 doesn’t have the ballistics of newer cartridges, but that big flat-nosed bullet will drop anything close enough to be a threat. It’s also the the right size to bring into play quickly, short enough to use up close and light enough to carry all day, and rugged enough to use as a club or for making your way through dense forest.
Add to that the fact that I’ve had one in my hands since I was old enough to deal with the recoil and so am comfortable with it in a way that can’t be explained to anyone that hasn’t shot the same gun for 25+ years.
I do love the fact that my Remington can reach out and touch someone at almost 1000 yards, and the M1 Garand and 1903 Springfield are almost as versatile as the m94, but I still think the lever action has a slight edge.
Anyone else have an opinion? Do 20th century military rifles beat out sporting arms, or vice-versa?
No debate is necessary on the best handgun of course, that’d be the 1911
“Only accurate rifles are interesting.”
Colonel Townsend Whelen