If you are looking for the most advanced, practical and versatile rifle in the world - it's the AR15 hands down. It's not even an argument anymore. About the only work it can't handle would be that handled by the big magnum rounds - but you can buy AR variants that can handle those too. If you're looking for the same in a pistol - it's a Glock. You can beat the chit out of those things and they just keep going.
But sometimes the bestest and greatest just doesn't scratch some of the odd itches that the gun nut gets. AR's and Glocks are cool - but they have no romance, no soul, no mystique and no real history. And - what is 'cool' anyways? What does it mean? The older I get the more I love revolvers and antiques. I don't care that they aren't the best - these days I love the stories the old guns may have and their value as conversation pieces has become more important. Getting old does funny things to gun nuts.
This is a hot rodded M1 Garand. It looks like a tanker/scout
build that has been exceptionally well done.
For me, when it comes to shooting fun - nothing... and I mean NOTHING - beats the old milsurps for being fun AND cool. There's a jillion old service rifles out there but one of the undisputed kings of milsurps is the M1 Garand. This gun is so damned odd that you just have to love it! It feeds from an 'en-bloc' clip - that thing with all the shells in it in the pic. That is inserted down into the receiver and the gun is ready to function like any other semiauto. But, when the last shot is fired, the gun spits out not only the brass - but that clip too! It has a distinctive clang when it does that.
The best shooters in the world are the United States Marines. And while they are the toughest sonsabitches in the world - they are, at the same time, the biggest bunch of bitches and complainers you'll ever meet! They have elevated griping and complaining to a high art form and when Uncle Sam introduced them to their new rifle - they shat bricks and they were square! Previously they were shooting the superlative Springfield bolt gun - it was robust, deadly accurate and reliable enough to stake your life on. Can you imagine your CO telling you to hand it over - and giving you this oddball thing? The squaddies had a bird! "It's a fuggin semiauto! Everyone knows they bung up in dirty and dusty environments! What are those? Target sights? On a battle rifle??? Wah! It's so heavy...!!!" Grumbling squaddies openly considered mutiny and revolt over the replacement of their beloved Springfields.
But the first few engagements proved to even the bitchiest squaddie that this rifle was a tough and mean as they were. For all intents and purposes battlefield accuracy matched the Springfields, Mausers and Arisakas that ruled the roost. In speed shooting it blew everything else away - literally! Those 'target sights' were armoured and tough and held their zeroes. Recoil was moderate enough to allow for real precision shooting - and America's enemies found themselves sorely outgunned.
Today these old relics are respected and beloved veterans at formal target events like the Nationals at Camp Perry. Competitors will pay small fortunes to armourers to tweak and tune them for maximum accuracy. Aftermarket gun companies make their living supplying parts and accessories to keep these guns shooting. That one in the pic has probably been rebuilt from the ground up.
I've always wanted an M1 for my collection but got turned off by the price tags. A good shooter up here starts at $1700.00 CDN and goes up from there. For me that's a lot of money for a milsurp and you have to be careful with these old soldiers - some are collectors and worth a pile of cash - you don't want to lower their value by shooting them out or kicking them round the range.
If one of these should fall into your hands through inheritance or a shrewd deal - the gun gods have smiled upon you, and you need fear nothing that walks in the valley either.