U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- We’re living in it. The simple fact is bad guns are few and far between. Accurate guns are available on the cheap and the cost of optics has plunged.
I credit new modern manufacturing techniques, but also a growing market for guns. That growing market means more room for innovation and profits that allow gun manufacturers to improve and expand. The recently signed tax bill will do nothing but help with expansion and innovation.
20 years ago a buddy of mine ordered a brand new Weatherby in 7mm. In 1990’s dollars he spent $2 grand for a new hunting rifle. It shot 1.5 inches at a hundred. He was elated. Back in that day Rifles came in 3 calibers .22, .308 and .3006. Why would you need anything else? Rifles were Weatherby’s if you had the money, but mostly Winchester and Remington. Smith and Wesson only made revolvers, and if you wanted a 1911, you bought a Springfield but more likely a Colt. Your choices were simple, and the few exotic guns that were around were more novelty than a functional shooter.
Many of the brands you know and trust today were not always well thought of. Ruger only made .22s. Savage was joked about or not mentioned out loud. ARs and AKs were rare. Surplus rifles were a dime a dozen and sold by the stack at gun shows. A re-imported M1 Carbine was $150.00, and an SKS was $50.00. You could get 5 for $200 on sale. But cheap guns does not mean good guns. Glocks had more failures than you could count.
Now we have a broader range of calibers to choose from and an expanded AR platform that shoots most of then very well and are available for a modest price. Then there are the new bolt guns. A Ruger American or Savage in the right caliber shoots sub-MOA out of the box. Yup, a $300 gun will do that today.
Glock is the tinker toys of guns, with everything interchangeable and customizable. 1911’s come in a dozen brands, and most of them are as good as anything ever products in the past. With Springfield bringing production back to the US their quality and precision has tightened up. Today their guns are a good buy and ones you should consider.
But let’s be blunt there are no bad guns.
Then there are the micro-calibers. 17HMR, 17WMS and a few others. Tiny little bullets that leave the barrel at 2,500 – 3,000 feet per second. Again Sub-MOA, dirt cheap and use cheap factory ammunition. There is a whole new world of shooting here if you care to look. As for the old venerable .22; you can easily build a rifle that shoots .33 at 100 meters. No kidding.
We live in this golden age of accurate, inexpensive firearms. You should enjoy it and explore it. There are so many guns to shoot, but only 52 weekends a year. Time to explore and get to the range.
About Don McDougall:
Don McDougall is an NRA instructor and member of the Los Padres “Friends of the NRA”committee. If he’s not at the range you will find him setting the record straight with on gun issues and gun safety on AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.