Guns Rifles

Your Favorite Guns of All Time

You spoke and we listened! Here's a list of the best rifles, shotguns and handguns picked by all of you, our faithful readers.
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You spoke and we listened! Here's a list of the best rifles, shotguns and handguns picked by all of you, our faithful readers. RIFLES Marlin .45-70 Marlin introduced the first solid-top, side-ejecting .45-70 with its Model 1895. Marlin still makes the Model 1895 along with five other lever action .45-70 models. The guns are known for their durability and knock-down power and have become a go-to rifle in bear country. Click here for Outdoor Life's 50 Best Guns Ever Made >>
Berdan Sharps rifle The Sharps rifle, originally made in .45-70, was a sniper rifle before there was such a thing as sniper rifles. The falling-block rifle was used famously by Hiram Berdan's sharpshooters in the American Civil war, and Berdan ordered two thousand specifically for his 1st and 2nd U.S. regiments.
The rifles had two triggers. The rear trigger set the front trigger, so the slightest squeeze would fire the gun. The gun was also much easier to fire from a horse because it had an automatic pellet primer feeder. Photo:
Hawken rifle In the 1820s, the Hawken was the ultimate plains gun, used by buffalo hunters and trappers. The Hawken rifles were descendents of the Kentucky Long rifle, but they had shorter barrels and were generally made in larger calibers (.50 calibers and .53 calibers were common, but some rifles were made in a .68 caliber). The rifles were ideal for the long shots hunters needed to make on America's new frontier.
Lee Enfield The Enfield was the standard issue British infantry gun during WWI and WWII. It had a ten-round box magazine and was chambered for .303 British rounds. The Lee Enfield is now a popular sporting rifle, but it's not known for hair-splitting accuracy, since it was designed for battlefield combat, not sharpshooting. Photo by: commander zulu
M1 Garand The Garand was used by U.S. infantry forces in Wold War II, the Korean War and even Vietnam. It was the first semi-automatic rifle to be generally issued to infantry of any nation. The Garand is fed by an en bloc clip. When the last round from the clip is fired, the rifle ejects the clip and locks the bolt open. The rifle allowed soldiers to rapidly and accurately fire .30-06 Springfield ammunition downrange, an unprecedented advantage in battle.
General George S. Patton called the Garand the "greatest battle implement ever devised." The gun is still shot today by many hunters and marksmen. Photo by: curiousandrelics
M1 Carbine The M1 Carbine is a lightweight .30 caliber rifle used by U.S. troops in WWII and the Korean War. It was easier to maneuver than the M1 Garand and was used by paratroopers, officers and medics. Later the M1 Carbine became a popular civilian rifle.
Weatherby Mark V For many big game hunters, a Weatherby rifle is about as good as it gets. In 1958 Roy Weatherby came out with the incredibly durable Mark V bolt action, which is still one of the strongest bolt actions ever made. It could handle the wide variety of hot experimental cartridges Weatherby was experimenting with, and it won over big game hunters from the Western Rockies to the African plains.
Browning A-Bolt The A-Bolt is a hunter's favorite because of its reliability, slick action and affordability. The A-Bolt uses a unique non-rotating bolt sleeve. When the bolt is unlocked, three guide ribs aligned with three locking lugs, enable precise movement and smoothness. Because of its design, Browning claims the A-Bolt is one of the fastest bolt-actions out there.
Kentucky Long Rifle Few guns get the patriotic juices flowing better than the Kentucky Long Rifle, which was used widely by militiamen in the Revolutionary War. The rifles had exceptionally long barrels, which increased muzzle velocity and accuracy. Before the war, The Kentucky rifle was a popular gun among hunters and frontiersman. Even though the guns were not made in Kentucky, Kentucky rifleman were known for their deadly marksmanship, earning the gun its name.
SHOTGUNS D.M. LeFever shotguns In the 1800s LeFever's shotguns were on the technological forefront. These days the elegant shotguns are more like working museum pieces and are coveted by gun collectors everywhere. In 1883 D.M. LeFever patented the first automatic hammerless shotgun with an internal cocking mechanism that cocked when the breech closed. LeFever also patented the automatic shell ejector system. Photo by dr. Robert Decker
Benelli Super Black Eagle The Super Black Eagle is an incredibly reliable semi-auto that has become a favorite among waterfowl hunters. Its inertia-driven bolt mechanism enabled it to become one of the first semi-autos to handle 2 3/4-inch, 3-inch and 3 1/5-inch magnum loads. It's one of the few shotguns that is at home in both the pheasant field and goose blind.
A.H. Fox shotguns Fox guns are totally handcrafted and some gun nuts argue that they are among the finest double barrels ever made. President Teddy Roosevelt took an A.H. Fox shotgun with him on one of his African safaris. Here's the letter he wrote back to Fox. My dear Mr. Fox: The double-barreled shotgun has come, and I really think it is the most beautiful gun I have ever seen. I am exceedingly proud of it. I am almost ashamed to take it to Africa and expose it to the rough usage it will receive. But now that I have it, I could not possibly make up my mind to leave it behind. I am extremely proud that I am to have such a beautiful bit of American workmanship with me. Photo by: Connecticut Shotgun Manufacturing Company
L.C. Smith L.C. Smith shotguns are a favorite among shotgun collectors. They were made by four different companies over a period of seven decades with the heyday being in the early 1900s. Some people (who can afford them) still hunt with them today, proving the gun's reputation to be true: "The longer you shoot a Smith gun, the tighter it really gets." Photo by: LC Smith Collectors Association
Savage 24 The Savage 24 is a standing breech, rifle/shotgun combination gun that comes in a variety of different configurations. It has become a popular survival gun for outdoorsmen headed for the backcountry. Photo by:
Ithaca 37 The Ithaca 37, also know as the Featherlight, is a bottom ejecting pump, and leaves its interworkings sealed from the elements. Since it ejects from the bottom, it became a popular gun for southpaws who didn't what a spent shell ejected in their face. The Ithaca 37 has been in production for as long as pretty much any shotgun in history.
Ithaca double barrel Ithaca made a variety of high-end double barrel shotguns from 1880 until 1948. The company no longer offers new double barrel guns, but their classic side-by-sides are still revered by knowledgeable gunners. Some old school gun enthusiasts even put Ithaca's side-by-sides up next to Parker, Fox and Smith.
HANDGUNS Colt Python The Python is a .357 Magnum revolver that was manufactured until 2005. Some firearm writers and collectors believe the Python is the best revolver ever made. The revolver's pinpoint accuracy makes it a sweetheart among serious handgun shooters. It's full barrel underlug helps balance the gun and it was the first mass-produced revolver to be laser bore-sighted at the factory. Photo by: Jeff Dean
Colt 1851 Navy What would the Wild West be without the Colt Navy? Probably a lot less interesting. Famous Colt Navy users include Wild Bill Hickok, Doc Holliday, Robert E. Lee and Richard Francis Burton (a famous English Explorer). The gun was introduced in 1850 and was a favorite for gunslingers, lawmen and military men until 1873 when revolvers with fixed cartridges stormed the scene.
Ruger Security-Six The security-six revolvers (generally made in a .357 magnum caliber) were marketed to law enforcement officials, the military and for civilian self-defensive purposes. It was Ruger's first move to double-action revolvers, and the move paid off. Shooters liked the security-six for its solid construction and affordable pricing. Photo by: Matthew Vanitas
Luger The Luger is toggle-locked recoil-operated German semi-auto. It was made popular by the German military during World War I and World War II. Since Nazi officers often carried Lugers, it was a prized gun for American troops to capture. Ironically, the gun was based off of a design by American Hugo Borchardt.
Desert Eagle The Desert Eagle, which was originally designed as a revolver, uses a gas-operated mechanism that's normally found in rifles, not semi-automatic handguns. The gun comes in a variety of different models, but the most notorious Desert Eagle caliber is the .50 Action Express. Photo by: Rama To see OL's list of the 50 best guns ever made click here.