Mauser-based rifle (courtesy americanhunter.org)

I reckon the greatest rifle ever made is your favorite rifle — no matter what its design, caliber, history or provenance. That’s especially true if that rifle’s associated with a memory, such as hunting with your family or winning a shooting competition or just a grand day out.

desantis blue logo no back 4 smallOver at the NRA’s nramuseum.org, Keith Wood has some love for the 1898 Mauser. He makes decent case:

“So we have an action designed on a military budget with almost no object to cost or commercial viability. This action was designed to be as reliable and as safe as possible and is capable of sub-MOA accuracy at the hands of a good maker with a fine barrel.

“It is so stylistically beautiful that even the famed ‘Golden Age’ English gunmakers did not attempt to improve upon it. It can be scaled to the tiniest of centerfires and stretched to accommodate the largest elephant stoppers. It has been copied and adapted but still, over 100 years after its design, can barely be improved-upon for a sporting repeater.

“It is, without debate, the greatest rifle ever made.”

Yes, without debate, the Mauser 1898 is the world’s greatest rifle. With debate, well, that’s another story. Which TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia will now surely tell. Have at it, y’all! What’s the world’s greatest rifle and why?

123 Responses to DeSantis Gunhide Question of the Day: What’s the Greatest Rifle Ever Made?

  1. My choice, based on the rifle’s effect on history, quality and ubiquity, would be the Winchester M1873.

    But the question makes no sense without specifying the criteria of what makes a rifle “the best.”

    • Although a famous rifle, the fact that it was only chambered in pistol cartridges, the largest being .44-40 WCF, limited its overall utility and range. The 1876 could handle actual rifle cartridges, but neither are a match for any of the subsequent JMB designed rifles that had substantially stronger actions that could handle the .50-90 and the .45-70.

  2. The make/model is irrelevant. The greatest rifle is literally the one that started it all for nearly every single person of the gun. Whether it was a gift or purchased, I believe the greatest rifle on earth is/was my/your first .22. Whether mag, pump, tube, or lever, most gun owners have fond memories of their first .22 rifle.

    Mine was a tube fed Savage, bought from an estate auction for $50 in 2002 when I was 15. I dont remember what model it was but it was missing the mag spring and follower. But it still gave me a taste for rabbit as a single shot.

    • Not a lot of comments so far, but surprised this hasn’t been named by more than one- well, now two.

      Although, I suppose there is something to be said for the lower maintenance of a bolt action as an overall rifle in the event of an apocolypse. As a battle rifle or one that will serve in an environment like today, where original and aftermarket parts are available from knowing individuals, this is it.

      • The m1 has a place of honor in American history. Rightfully so. But a general purpose do everything rifle it is not. It’s not a good choice for hunting, it will work but it’s not really meant for that. And if you lean more towards militia type usage technology has left it way behind. Way behind.

        • True… the garand is not a great hunting rifle. It’s not modern… but it’s reliable and you can’t deny the the 30-06 will drop just about anything

        • That’s why the greatest rifle is not the M-1. It’s the M-14. Now if only it were in 30-06.

        • JP. I agree about the .30-06 and the m1’s reliability. But i’d rather have that round in a 98 Mauser style bolt gun. Just me.

        • Skyler, there was a company called Losok that set out to make .30-06 M14s, but I think they’re out of business now.

    • “In my opinion, the M1 rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised.” George Patton

      And who are we to disagree.

      • That wasn’t the question, Don. The question is what was the greatest rifle, and that covers a far wider territory than a battlefield infantry weapon. As others have noted, it doesn’t make a good hunting rifle. Or as one LGS owner told me, “you’ll take it hunting…once.”

  3. I’m thinking the lever action 30-30, (Win 94?), as it changed the course of the world by allowing a man to defend himself against a crowd.

      • As the Confederates were supposed to have said, “That damn Henry. You can load it on Sunday and shoot all week.” Unlike the 4+1 capacity of the 1894 .30-30, the original Henry had a capacity of 15+1 .44 rimfire cartridges. A group of 14 men at a fort using Henrys were said to have held off an entire company of Confederates trying to storm the fort, because they could maintain a far higher rate of fire than the 1860 muzzle loaders of the day (3 rounds per minute), even though lagging far behind in power. The 1873, 1876, and 1892, all being pistol caliber rifles, also had larger capacities than the ’94.

        • 6+1 for my 94 and my Marlin. Neither of which I still have. The 1866(or was it the 73) allowed the Turks to crap in the Russians cereal bowls during one of their wars.

  4. Mauser 98. It was the heart of so many rifles. Copied by different countries, including the US. Military and civilian.

    If you had to live life with just one rifle a 98 Mauser in a general purpose round like the .30-06 would see you thru and have enough left over to serve your kids and theirs.

    • I completely agree.

      A close second would be the Springfield 1903/1903A3. Very credible riffs off of the 98 design, and well suited to the .30-06 cartridge.

      The advantage of the 1903 is that it makes some choices for ease of manufacturing – eg, the square threads on the barrel tenon where it screws into the receiver. The Mausers actions used 55 degree Whitworth threads – you can put 60 degree UN/ISO style threads on the barrel tenons and screw ’em in just fine, but the speed with which you can knock the square threads onto the 1903 barrel tenon has to be seen to be believed.

      • “but the speed with which you can knock the square threads onto the 1903 barrel tenon has to be seen to be believed.”

        And that was done to expedite wartime production?

        Those folks who whine that “nothing good has ever come from war” are ignorant beyond belief. Improvised combat medical procedures are now commonplace in trauma medicine. Helicopters (another war tool) now get you to that trauma center in time to save your life. Synthetic painkillers developed in WW2 keep you from being killed by shock.

        Technology developed for warfare has arguably saved far more lives antebellum that lives ever taken in combat…

  5. They’re all great.

    But my personal vote is for whichever .22 is the best selling of all time, because .22s are accessible to everybody and that makes them very important.

    I think that makes me a gun-populist.

  6. YOUR rifle. The one that pops into your head when someone says “rifle”. For me its my basic dpms AR I used for 3gun, defense and alot of fun. it isn’t the prettiest but by thunder its the best for me.

  7. The Mosin Nagant 7.62x54R bolt action rifle. Even as most of the examples out there are approaching a century since their manufacture date, you literally never hear of one of these things failing to work short of horrible abuse. It’s a rifle that’s literally designed to be dragged through the mud by an illiterate Russian peasant and still function 100% of the time.

    • From a historical standpoint, that’s not a bad choice. The Garand may take all the glory, but the Mosin is the rifle that really beat the Nazis, depleting their ranks one man at a time (with assistance from the Russian winter).

      • Most first hand accounts that I have read (from german veterans) indicate that the PPSH41 was the most devastating small arm carried by the Russian soldier. Frequently Wehrmacht troops picked them up for their own use, and often times a squad of Russians equipped with them could almost annihilate a larger force when grouped in tight confines.

        • The Russians are the only country i know of during that war that equipped whole battalions with sub guns. It was cheaper to produce the sub guns and the pistol caliber ammo they used than rifles. And the rifles took real time to teach marksmanship.

        • If you’re going to measure a bolt action rif le by it’s effectiveness in the hands of it’s troops I’d have to go with the Lee-Enfield. In the Great War the average British soldier could put 15 rounds a minute in a 12″ target at 300 yards. Although that was probably more of a product of superior training and more practice than the actual rifl es.

        • SMGs were generally preferred (and feared) on the European battlefields. Better for ambushes (and defending against them), better in urban areas where the real grinder often was etc.

          But the reason why Germans reused PPSh in particular is because they could readily use their existing stocks of 7.63 Mauser ammo in them.

          With respect to why Soviets had so many SMGs issued to troops, it wasn’t actually primarily a cost-saving measure. It was rather a lesson learned from the Winter War, where Finns have used their Suomi SMGs very successfully against Soviet troops armed predominantly with Mosins. Stalin actually paid personal attention to this, and the follow-up program to develop a good SMG for the army. It’s also why PPSh was relatively fancy and expensive to produce for an SMG – unlike your typical wartime “do it on the cheap” designs like Sten and PPS. It was basically a first step towards the concept of an individual weapon capable of suppressive fire, to be followed by intermediate cartridges and assault rifles.

          Also, Soviets were lucky in choosing 7.62×25 as the main pistol caliber for the army sometime earlier (which choice was guided by large existing stocks of 7.63 Mauser, and a desire to be able to use them). Because of its lighter weight and higher velocity, it also happened to be more optimal as an SMG cartridge for the battlefield (i.e for 100-200m distances), compared to 9mm and .45 ACP.

      • Now that we’ve seen what is unequivocally the worst rifle ever made, let’s get back to the conversation about the best one…

  8. The single shot .22 I had as a kid.
    But my vote for best gun ever? What’s the criteria? If it were up to me the criteria would be.
    Influence on the gun world, influence on the regular world, innovative design, amount made, popularity and legacy.
    This is a tossup for me. Here are the finalists in no particular order.
    M1 Garand
    Winchester m1873
    Mauser 98

      • They named it the No.1 because it was Bill Ruger’s favorite gun (and I suppose because it denotes the rifle’s ammuni tion capacity). So unless someone can tell me what John Moses Browning’s favorite gun was I’m sticking with the S,R&Co.

    • This will be the first rifle I buy my daughter, with nice wood, some engraving, and in 7mm08. Probably the only gun she would ever really need in Texas.

      • Just my philosophy but if you need a second shot when hunting you’re doing it wrong.

        Can’t speak for all women, but if my wife is any indication the girls like the No.1s. She wasn’t real happy with me buying it but after she took 5 shots at the range she announced that it was HER new rifle. Mine’s a .303 Brit. Some point I’d like to get one in one of the dangerous game cartridges. .375H&H is probably enough recoil though.

  9. Weatherby Mark V. Hands down is the best rifle ever. Caliber? That’s up to you. I say Roy was correct. .257Wby.

  10. The greatest rifle ever made is the one I can confidently, comfortably, and consistently shoot the best groups with from any position.

  11. Awkward question, but here goes:

    For most produced, for most iconic worldwide, for appearing on most countries’ flags, for best bang for the buck, for simplest design, for easiest to manufacture, it’s the AK47.

    For most important to US freedom , for best accuracy, for most American, for easiest to use safely, for easiest to use effectively, for lightest real war weapon, for most effectiveness in the most varied applications, it’s the M4/M16/AR15

    • The single most produced rifle design of all time is still probably the M98. Over 115 million instances made by German manufactures and all licensees. The problem with trying to be definitive about this is that the production records for many German arms plants were destroyed in 1945-1946. The Obendorf plant was destroyed along with records by the French, for example.

  12. Tough Choice. I own a Weatherby Mark V in .300 WBY Magnum, sub moa groups. First .30-06 rifle was an M1903A3. I had a Remington M700 tuned by a USMC Armorer with a Unertl 10X scope like the M40A1. Sheer joy shooting my XM15-E2S

    I dunno, it’s like choosing best girl ever. Whichever one I’m banging now?

  13. ++The greatest rifle; First Rifle ever owned, Grandpas hand me down, rifle shot first Deer with, Most rabbit & squirrel getter in .22,
    Marlin model 60, Glenfield 30.30, Savage model 110 in 30-06, Remington 700 in .270, Rugar American in 7mm-08, Tikka T3 in .243, Chinese SKS 7.62×39, Mossberg in .308
    AH Hell, all of them

  14. Ak 47 showed that intermediate cartridges are great for full auto rifles… Yea I am going with the ak 47 because it has been so great since the 40s.

    • That was my first thought as well, but I had to discard it, as probably only 20% of those rifles were actually rifles. The vast majority were smoothbores.

  15. FN FAL
    It’s not called ‘the right arm of Democracy’ for nothing. 7.62×51 full house hitters in a highly transportable package.

  16. Savage 10/110.. mass produced out of the box accuracy at a decent price….although I mostly hunt with a savage 99..lol

  17. I concur on the choice of the Mauser 98 design as being the greatest rifle design of all time. It possessed more safety features to protect the shooter than any other rifle before or since, it produced the greatest number of derivative designs, and it is the one design where an engineer or gunsmith can make a honest case that the successors, imitators, and derivatives are not as good, since all successors/imitators/derivatives sought to reduce the cost of making a Mauser-like action by the elimination of one or more of the Mauser 98’s safety features.

    The Mauser 98 and licensed copies and variants (and I mean “variants” like the VZ-24, which is a fairly faithful copy of the 98, or the Yugo M48, which is a slightly shorter action – I’m not including the riffs and rip-offs like the Winchester 70 and Springfield 1903/A3) has been produced in numbers exceeding (last I knew) of 115+ million instances. As I indicated above, some production records of the 98 and clones have been lost or buried (sometimes literally).

    Lots of people think that the AK-47 and variants is the most-produced gun in history – and it has come close, but I don’t think it has exceeded the Mauser 98 and variants.

    Then there’s the versatility: The 98 design has been scaled up & down. The K98 military surplus action, as produced from 1900 to 1945, can be (and has been) adapted to handle a .375 H&H down to short cartridge like a .260 Remington. It handles the power of larger cartridges pretty well, because it was a fairly over-built action – and it had all the safety features that many newer riffs off the 98 lack. Perhaps the only action that is better at handling monster African hunting cartridges is the M1917 Enfield, which is vastly over-built for a .30-06. Most semi-auto rifle designs cannot be scaled over such a wide power range or cartridge size. Putting a .375 H&H into an AK-47 action would require significant re-design to accommodate both the size/length of the cartridge as well as the power.

    As for the best riff off the Mauser 98: I think it is a toss-up between the pre-64 Model 70 and the post-68 Model 70 Winchester. Both have important features that make them excellent bolt actions. The swinging-door 3-position safety on the Win70 bolt is a very important feature, a much more ergonomic safety mechanism than the “flop over the top” style safety of the original Mauser. Either way, the capture of the firing pin in the bolt is a significant Mauser 98 safety feature, far superior in safety over the trigger-blocking safeties like the Rem700 and other sporting rifles.

    Worst riff off the Mauser 98? IMO, the factory Remington 700, which is cost reduced to a point where the safety is compromised – and I mean not just in the original Walker trigger. A three-piece bolt that is silver-soldered together isn’t a winning idea with me, and the original extractor on the Rem700 can be described as “cheesy” only if one is highly charitable.

    • Come on now, saying a Remington 700 is a riff on the K98 is like saying the Boxer is a riff on the 911 Carrera.

      • It’s a front-locking, two-lug, turnbolt, cock-on-close action, with a trigger that releases the cocking piece. That pretty much describes both actions.

    • The G33/40 of Gebirgsjäger fame is so hard to find intact because the actions were highly valued for projects. I’ve seen three stocks for every complete carbine on the market, and for every carbine a couple of very well-done sporter jobs. Something about Czech steel forged under German eyes, I guess. The Vz-24 and Polish ones are great too. It’s just getting harder to find examples that don’t look like they were dragged behind a truck.

      • The 33/40 has brought a premium among gunsmiths/gunmakers for years. The VZ-24 is now beginning to acquire a premium, after years of being ignored. I love the way the steel on the VZ-24 works and machines.

        The Swedish Mausers are very good. The inter-war civilian Mauser actions are excellent, but incredibly valuable in most instances.

        The reason why people keep putting money and time into Mauser actions is that new Mauser actions on the 98 design, but without the dovetail for the stripper clip and the thumb cut on the left side of the action tend to cost $3K on up, with some magnum variants costing upwards of $6K in titanium. That’s for just the action – barrel, stock, etc all come on top of that.

        IMO, there isn’t any better bolt action design out there from the standpoint of safety features. Peter Paul Mauser thought long and hard about how to handle a case head failure (or primer blowout) in his action. Everyone since then has started to make assumptions that smokeless powder was pretty safe.

        • And there you have it. Best “bolt action” rifle ever. That’s a qualifier. There is a reason we moved past bolt guns as implements of war. There is a reason the Garand beat it. There is a reason they have started being phased out as sniper systems.

          Do I have an opinion as to greatest ever? Not really. It’s like asking me what the greatest tool in my tool box is. The simple answer is the one that gets the job assigned to it done reliably and efficiently.

        • The most accurate (or precise, depending upon your vernacular) rifles extant are bolt action rifles. The best groups being thrown down by any rifle today are under 0.015″, and they’re being thrown down by bolt action rifles.

          When it comes to shooting for effect, the bolt action rifle is proven to lay more rounds on target at long ranges, faster, than any semi-auto rifle. This was proven in tests by the US Army and documented in Hatcher’s “Book of the Garand.” It is still proven today by Norwegian shooters in competitions at 300 meters.

          So when I say that the Mauser is the “best bolt action design,” I’m assuming that you already knew that the bolt action, as a class of rifle actions, is the best rifle action extant.

        • DG,

          The best guns at putting lead on target, at long range, are machine guns. And that’s by a long shot. I’ll take the 300-1500 meter challenge with a M2 against anybody with a bolt gun. Spin, coriolis, drop and wind drift? Pfffft. Just follow the tracers.

          Certainly snipers often favor the bolt design, the ultimate in accuracy. But when it comes to destroying things yesterday with a fusillade of bullets, the mounted, belt fed machine gun rules. Build a plane around one for even more fun.

        • “When it comes to shooting for effect, the bolt action rifle is proven to lay more rounds on target at long ranges, faster, than any semi-auto rifle.”
          That may have been true 10 years ago, but not anymore. Quality AR10s are shooting 1/2 MOA. If you look at most of the military sniper competitions, they are now being won by guys shooting semi auto rifles. This year USASOC was one with a pair of LaRue OBRs.

    • “Putting a .375 H&H into an AK-47 action would require significant re-design to accommodate both the size/length of the cartridge as well as the power.”

      But I think we can all agree that it would be awesome to see someone try…

      • People occasionally ask me for advice on making mods to guns.

        There’s lots of times I say something to the effect of “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

        Some of these people say “But you try things like this!” I then respond that a) these youngsters are seeing me now, when I’m a good deal older and wiser, b) that wisdom is what comes from thinking about one’s experience, and c) experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted – ie, something when wrong.

    • That 1917 is way overbuilt. And you feel it when you carry it. My 1903 felt trim in comparison to that 1917.

      Still, if I was carrying a rifle in an area where something might eat me, I think I’d tolerate the weight.

    • You like the Mauser 98 because of all its safety features but what do you think about it compared to the Weatherby Mark V? I know people say it is one of the strongest and safest actions out there or do you think the Mauser 98 is still the better action safety and strength wise?

  18. I’ll get some flack for this, but the savage 99 in 300 savage. The design was years ahead of its time and was produced for the majority of a century. If savage reintroduced it with modern metallurgy, they’d have a winner on their hands.

    • The Savage 99 is, indeed, an excellent design, far ahead of its time, strong, slick and takes a scope on top quite easily, unlike the Winchester lever gun designs.

      When people ask me “What’s going to be the next wave of collector bid-up in the gun market?” I respond that I think it’s already starting in the 99’s.

  19. Savage 99C my first rifle as aleft handed kid my dad bought it for me in .243 . Shot hundreds of coyotes instead of getting a job shot my first 5 deer with it and although not recommended shot my first two elk. Your right about memories being important especially with firearms . But the Savage is also very accurate

  20. The best gun ever invented in my opinion is the M2 Browning. The US and her allies have put it on everything imaginable. Ships, planes, trucks, trains, buildings, and more from the .30s to Present.

    It has a range of over 4 miles and is as tough as nails. We put 4 of them together and used them to shoot down aircraft in WWII, then used the same set up in Vietnam against the VC.

    Carlos Hathcock, arguably one of the best snipers in US history, even used it as a sniper rifle

    Best rifle? That is a different story.

    • I wholeheartedly agree, the m2 is the best gun ever made. Served me well in Afghanistan, one of the saddest days I had was turning in my weapon card for it when I EASed. Someday I’ll own a transferable one privately…someday

  21. For me, Mauser. Since I bought the first one, I’ve become a true believer.
    Now I have a K98, yugo war booty, a Carl Gustafs and a Persian Mauser. Next one? Brazilian…………. Or Gew. 98. Original.
    Simply perfect!
    And I love each and every rifle!
    But Mauser simply got me.

  22. I recall the old WW1 bolt action arguments –

    If you want a hunting rifle – the Mauser 98
    If you want a target rifle – the Springfield 03
    If you want a combat rifle – the Enfield

    I own two WW2 Enfields, a Winchester Model 70 Classic with the old Mauser bolt design, a Remington 700, and a Garand. In this tired old man’s opinion if I absolutely had to go to war with a bolt gun I’d carry the Enfield. I like the 10 round magazine and its accurate enough to do the job. If I go to war with a full power semi auto the Garand is a no brainer for me. Yeah I know that I’ve only got 8 rounds but I like the power – and tradition – of the 06. For hunting, the Model 70 is my choice. Its accurate and looks good – which counts to in my book. If I have to pick “the greatest” rifle I’ll go with the Enfield as a military rifle and the Model 70 for the sporting category

  23. This one is easy.
    Hi-Point 955 Carbine.
    Inexpensive
    10+1
    Cheap 9mm ammo
    Picatinny rail
    MInute of bad guy at 100 yards
    Runs like a Glock

    What’s not to like?

      • I did in response to DG, although maybe I was being a smartass. A M2 isn’t exactly shoulder-fired. The M60 can, be, however. And the M240 can fire 6-8 round bursts through a torso-sized target at 500 yards pretty well.

        • Well the Paris Gun wasn’t exactly shoulder fired either but it could put a 234 pound projectile through a few torso sized targets at 81 miles. Probably a bit expensive to shoot, but hey, it you want the ‘greatest’ you’d better be prepared to pay. (Railroad extra.)

  24. I don’t think there is one. Rifles and guns in general are tools. Some are better at certain jobs than others. All have their pros and cons over one another. Granted I have some that I prefer but it does not mean I see them as the best of all time. The answer is subjective to be honest.

  25. For simplicity, smoothness, accuracy, all around flexibility, durability, and the all important aftermarket support, I nominate the Remington 700 bdl in .308. An older one, before Remington sucked.

  26. The hell with all those old bolt and lever actions. Modern semi-autos with external magazines are now too damn accurate and reliable and have too high a rate of fire to be ignored. If I could only have one rifle, it would be one of those. Take your pick.

    • If you’re being supplied with ammo at bargain basement prices by Uncle Sugar, sure, a semi-auto is a great way to go.

      If you’re paying for your own ammo, a bolt gun is far easier on your brass. When you’re reloading for a semi-auto, you have to full-length size your brass, your brass gets banged up on ejection, etc.

        • Why? Don’t let the flute marks worry you. Resize and polish and that brass is just fine. I’ ve reloaded 10’s of thousands of 308 that came out of my 91 and 51.

          H&K doesn’t hate us. They love us, which is why they make such nice things for us.

      • I have been reloading .223 cartridges without full length resizing. They are going back into the same gun they came out of (not someone else’s brass).

        I have only fired a few hundred of these reloads so far, buy they have cycled flawlessly in my AR-15.

        • You’ll get away with that once, perhaps a couple of loadings.

          Then one day, you’ll push on your forward assist, and the bolt will move forward a bit, and instead of wondering, as most AR shooters do, “Why did they put this thing on the AR, anyway?” you’ll have an answer.

          At that point, I’d strongly suggest you start resizing your brass. “Strongly” is a word I like to use when I’m trying to tell gunowners “You’re taking your personal safety into your hands if you don’t pay attention.”

          With a bolt gun, the massive cam force you have at your disposal from rotating the bolt into battery means you can get away with only neck sizing your brass for quite some time. In some of my bolt action rifles, I can honestly say that I’m on my sixth to eight reloading of the brass and I’ve never full-length sized it. This works because a bolt gun shooter a) is able to cram an unsized case into the chamber, and b) you can tell, without doubt, when your bolt isn’t fully closed.

          With a self-loading rifle, any self-loading rifle (I’m using the term ‘self-loading’ to bring in semi & full auto) – regardless of whether we’re talking of a Garand, AR, FAL, AK, whatever, you have a limit on how hard your action is pushing the brass into the chamber. At some point when you don’t resize your brass to the base, the brass starts to become tight enough going into the chamber that the action won’t quite finish closing. The bolt might be ever so slightly out of full lockup. In some self-loading rifles, you don’t have a good external indication that your bolt isn’t fully in battery – the AR is one such rifle.

          So let’s say that the bolt isn’t fully locked up. And then you pull the trigger… what happens? Well, you may get the privilege of finding out what happens to a rifle when you pull the trigger and the action isn’t fully in battery. It sometimes is very un-good. Sometimes, it causes the action to rapidly disassemble in your face. Sometimes, it just damages the bolt or action with how violently the action slams open.

          Regardless of the extent of the damage, none of these things are good – and they’re brought about by the action not closing fully and forcefully, and that happened because the cartridge brass being very close to, or at, full dimensional size of the chamber results in the bolt slowing down dramatically in the last few thousandths of travel to ram the cartridge into the chamber. The cartridge might be giving you only 10 to 20 thousandths of resistance to full chambering, but that can be enough to bleed off much of the energy necessary to rotate the bolt into full lockup.

  27. You guys are arguing the wrong thing. The best rifle ever made may very well be one of the ones mentioned. The Greatest Rifle is the one of the Greatest Generation. The M1 Garand. Unarguable.

  28. The question is way too broad to answer with one rifle, although I do agree the Model 98 Mouser action was pivotal in rifle technology and is still the basis for great rifles today. I also agree that the M1 Garand could be considered the greatest innovation in battle rifles since it revolutionized the basic infantry weapon.

  29. Just to play devils advocate, the t-38 arisaka. If you’ve never shot one you should give it a go.

      • Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, but I thought most of the 99’s were pot metal, last ditch rifles. I do however remember reading that P.O. Ackley hailed the t-38 action as one of the toughest in existence.

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