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.
Over 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?