What are your top 5 picks for rifles and why? Here are my picks.
1. Pre-'64 Winchester model 70 - Hey, it is the rifleman's rifle after all. With the controlled round feed design and based on the Mauser '98 in 1936, they just couldn't go wrong.
2. Remington model 700 - This bolt gun is the action to start with in most custom rifle shops. It came along at (just about) the time when the Pre-'64 Winchester model 70 was discontinued, and is the best selling rifle in our time. If it had controlled feed, I'd put it in the top spot.
3. Marlin 336 - Marlin improved the lever gun design in 1936, and is still produced in great numbers. It's also the deer gun most American's buy first.
4. Ruger 10/22 - This is one of the most popular .22 semi-auto rifles of all time. They are tough, fast-handling, quick and accurate. You can't ask for more.
5. Remington 760/7600 - This pump action rifle is wildly popular in the north woods. It's a tough, accurate, point and shoot rifle. Besides, if it's good enough for the Benoit family, it should be on the list of died in the wool whitetail hunters everywhere.
I know some folks will want to slap me for not having the Winchester 1894 or 1873 on the list over the Marlin. The '94 is a very popular American classic and introduced us to smokeless powder, while the '73 WAS the gun that won the west. They would certainly be on the list if there were more choices.
The same can be said for the Knight MK-85 that revolutionized muzzle loader design......or a Hawken or Kentucky Long Rifle, which were the best front loaders of their time.
My sincerest apologies for not having the Ruger No.1 and the single shot rifle, which Bill Ruger resurrected......or including a double rifle on the list.
The Browning BAR just about made the list, because of it's popularity and cartridge availability. It's also been sold for 41 years, and is a very accurate big game semi-auto.
The Kimber 84 would have made my list if it had not been for the previous thread on this forum regarding what we will dubb, "the broken stock incident."
Lastly, the Mauser '98 would've made the list if it had been offered in more consistent sporterized designs. I know it's still copied today, and without a doubt, Peter Paul Mauser's design was right.....way back in 1898.