There are several ways a firearm could be featured on this list – the first was to change the course of firearm design. Remington Nylon 66 made synthetic stocks not only acceptable but desirable, and the Smith & Wesson Model 29 changed our concept of what a pistol could do.
Other factors: longevity (the Mosin-Nagant), absolute excellence (the self-open Purdey) and generally horrible but still acts like a son of a bitch (the Mossberg 500). This list is not compiled in order of size. They are simply the 50 best options without any sort of order. Whoever told you that a Weatherby Mark V is “bigger” than an A.H. Fox allegedly taught his grandmother to suck eggs. Either way, have fun and when you email to let us know, we are a
Pair of ignorant pigs, check spelling and punctuation.
John Browning’s long recoil autoloader design was so innovative that it took any other American manufacturer 50 years to make their own autoloader design. In the A-5’s long recoil action, the entire barrel was moved backward with the bolt, giving this pistol a unique, dragging kick. But it worked regardless of the weather. It was also a distinctive weapon and, in its own way, beautiful. A Belgian-made A-5 was the prestigious weapon among waterfowl for most of the 20th century, and it is also the gun I started hunting with. Mine, with a barrel of snails and a full magazine, was deadly when I was a fighter on deer walks. Browning moved production of the Auto-5 to Japan in the 1970s, and while those guns don’t have the prestige of the Belgian Auto-5s, they’re just as good and tough enough to handle steel shot. The weapon was discontinued in 1995, just a few years before its 100th birthday. —P.B.
The Ruger 10/22
This is the most popular .22 rimfire rifle in the world and, along with the AR-15, the busiest. A member of the 1964 class, the 10/22 started out simply as a beautifully designed rimfire semi-automatic with a magazine that really fed and an attractive price. So someone figured out that if you put a match in one and replace the factory trigger with a good one, the 10/22 will actually fire. And then he went to the races. Ruger now makes their 10/22 variants and if you want to pay a hefty amount of money, any number of gunsmiths will make you something truly outlandish. And everyone will shoot.
Manual labor had come to an end, and arms companies that wanted to survive had to find a new way of doing things. The 721 looked cheap and it was cheap, but also very, very accurate, so it worked very, very well. In 1962 it was replaced by the short-lived 725 model, which gave way to the 700, which turned out to be one of the most successful long guns ever produced. Remington has made 700 million in dozens of indicators and countless configurations. The 700 models have been the basis of US Army sniper rifles and the Marine Corps for decades. The action of the Model 700 was at the core of the rifles more accurate than any other. How do you do better than that? -D.E.P.