Doing certified gun safety course is not enough as you have to gather additional information also. We have my CZ-452. This little bolt-action has taken more small gain than any other rifle I own and coincidentally I bought it on a whim. I had owned a 22 suppressor for a while, but never had a bolt gun to put it on. I wanted a bolt action to get the most out of my suppressors so I went to a gun shop with a coworker on lunch break, in, I believe 2011. He wanted a 10/22 and ended up with one that day while I was talked into the CZ by a salesperson who was really singing the praises of their Rimfire rifles and I thought that 350dollars was a good price for a factory threaded barrel 22 from a very reputable company. The trigger on the 452 is wonderful. The action is great. The accuracy is right there from the factory as well.
I flip-flop on which of my22 rifles I like the best, my hot rodded Ruger 10/22 or my CZ, and really it often comes down to which gun I’m in the mood to shoot that day. While my Ruger is lighter, the CZ is a bit more accurate, and certainly quieter and easier to clean. Again, a lot of this comes back to hunting. Shooting targets and trying to tighten up your groups on paper is a tremendous amount of fun, and I love doing it, but hunting to me is more fun. Bagging some rabbits with your handy 22 is great fun and also yields you some good food. I’m a redneck in Texas, so cut me some slack here. You can also use your 22 to bag squirrels and we have a year-round season with no bag limit on them in most counties. Same goes for rabbits and hares as well. So the ability to hone my shooting skills for cheap with no punishment imparted on my shoulder, or damage to my hearing, are all plusses for this list.
And these have the ability to bag a plenty of edible game making my CZ-452 a favorite to shoot. Lastly, we have a predictable entry, a Mauser 98. There’s just something charming about a well-constructed bolt-action that really does it for me and the Mauser 98 action is the quintessential bolt-action. Nearly every bolt gun produced after the 98 is either an outright copy or borrows many of its elements. Guns in production just like the Ruger M 77 or Kimber 8400s are essentially very good versions of a gun adopted in 1898. So thi design has certainly stood the test of time. It really is incredible to think about. Imagine a car designed in the 1890s that was still in production today and regarded as the best option by many consumers.
But still, many people prefer other actions. The old saying is that the Germans came to war with a hunting rifle, the Americans with a target rifle, the British came with a battle rifle, and the Russians brought a rifle. I find this old adage pretty funny, and with so many rifles built off 98 actions, it certainly has some truth to it. But I prefer a rifle that cocks on open for a number of reasons, one being that it makes sense to accomplish primary extraction and cocking in a single motion, getting all the resistance out of the way in a single movement. And two being on a cock-on-close design when you pull forward, the resistance throws the rifle off-target much more due to the shooter fighting spring pressure. This is personal preference though. I am sure I’ll bear the brunt of in-field fanboys here telling me I’m an idiot, however true that may be.
But 98s are sturdy, reliable, and cheap. You can buy surplus Mausers for cheaper than most people think and in an online retailer right now, as of the posting of this video, is selling M48s for 30 dollars more than Mosin-Nagants. While eight-millimeter is no longer priced at five cents per round anymore, guys with MG 42s and 34sgobbled all of it up, it is widely available and very popular. Of course, you can also find large-ring Mausers chambered in all sorts of calibers if the original eight-millimeter cartridge is not your cup of tea. Learning to accurately shoot a big bore rifle with consistency and without flinching is difficult to master, but it is a skill that is most pertinent to hunting large game and a surplus iron-sighted rifle is perfect for accomplishing this. You all have probably seen many of my videos with me shooting old bolt guns at 300 meters, and really that’s a tough thing to do with military iron-sights.
However, if you can do this, then you will be more than able to accomplish it with an optic or small-bore cartridge. It’s kind of like how if you can master skeet shooting with a 4-10, you would certainly dominate with a 12-gauge. So an old Mauser with irons is a barrel of fun. Taking your time, lining up the sights, mastering your breathing, and ringing a small target from hundreds of yards away is very, very satisfying, and I love when I get to do it. So that’s my list. I know a bunch of folks are probably wondering where the pistols are, but to be honest, I don’t get nearly as much enjoyment out of handguns as I do long guns. Long guns are more versatile, and simply provide me with more amusement.