For many things — Fine Wines, First Edition Books, Classic Cars, and yes, even Rifles — newer does not always mean better.
Technology presses forever forward, and with it, old favorites are eclipsed by newer, shinier models.
Even so… the ones they replace are not forgotten.
Here are six Old School Favorites that are still worth remembering.
1. Savage 99
The Model 99 was preceded by the Model 1895, the first hammerless lever-action rifle. It’s rotating magazine allowed it to be among the first lever-action rifles to use pointed bullets.
2. Winchester 54
Winchester’s 1925 bolt action rifle sold 50,000 units in eleven years.
Here is a 90 second video celebrating what people loved about it.
3. Remington Model 8 or 81
John Browning’s semi-automatic sporting rifle. Which also happens to have the distinction of bringing an end to Bonny & Clyde.
Browning, already an eminent firearms guru, took the same basic long-stroke recoil operating system as his new Auto-5 shotgun and designed a rifle around it. It had a 22” steel barrel, integral box magazine that could be filled by means of five-round stripper clips (a useful feature at the time) and came in a number of mild-shooting chamberings such as .25-30 Remington Auto and .35 Remington for light recoil. –Guns
Model 81 Woodsmaster
The Model 8 proved to be such a success that a slightly improved descendant was produced for another three decades after the closure of the “Great 8″‘ line. This improved version was the Model 81 Woodsmaster. Some 55,581 of these rifles came from Remington’s plant from 1936-1950.
4. Sporterized Military Rifles: Enfields, FN actions, German 98
When the war is over, and everyone goes home… now what?
Now you find a more peaceable use for your rifles… train your sights on deer instead of the guy in trenches opposite.
The glut of them on the market, at reasonable prices guaranteed they’d find their way into common use. Even if that did spell the end of other sporting rifle lines.
5. Winchester 88
After the war, sportsmen wanted a rifle with a flatter trajectory and better punch. Winchester answered that call.
The Model 88 was a completely new design in lever actions. It had no visible hammer; the bolt rotated when operated by the lever, locking up with three lugs just aft of the chamber similar to a bolt action. It fed from a 4-shot detachable box magazine. Its 22″ barrel—a 19″ carbine was available as well—had a featherweight profile leading to the rifle’s 7 1/4-lb. weight. Cartridges ejected from the side, allowing a scope to be mounted center over the bore. To cap it off the one-piece walnut stock with a pistol grip borrowed much of its lines from the bolt-action rifles of the day, sleek and fast-handling. Winchesters marketing guys even called it the “bolt action rifle with a lever.” –American Rifleman
6. Remington 760/7600
Another post-war rifle, the 760 and 7600 are based on a front locking, rotary locking bolt operated by dual action bars. They’re fed from detatchable box magazines.
An expert can shoot a 7600 almost as fast as a 750 autoloader, although pumping the forend undeniably disturbs the aim more than the self-loading action. The pump gun’s big advantage over the autoloader is increased reliability, since its manually operated action is independent of cartridge performance. -Chuckhawks
If a person looked to Scripture and paid particular attention to the passages within the Bible that address the topic of hunting, then they’d walk away thinking not only is hunting animals tolerated but it is endorsed by God. And that’s exactly what this little book is about: proving that God, from Genesis to Revelation, is extremely cool with hunters and hunting. I’ll go out on a biblical limb and claim right off the bat that you cannot show me, through the balance of the Bible, that the God of the Scripture is against the responsible killing and the grilling of the animals He created. ~Doug Giles
In his killer new book RISE, KILL & EAT: A Theology of Hunting From Genesis to Revelation Doug carries on with his courageous war against the lunatic fringe who dare recommend Bambi solutions to the annual production of edible wildlife. –Ted Nugent