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Big Game Rifles

The Best Big Game Rifles of All Time

by Brad Fitzpatrick   |  April 24th, 2014 2

What does it take for a rifle to qualify as one of the best big-game rifles of all time? Some win this acclaim through innovative design, others through their reputation for hell-and-back reliability. Many of the best big-game rifles have been copied, and some—like the 98 Mauser—are the inspiration for dozens of other similar designs that have remained popular over the course of the last century.

Modern machining technology has allowed companies to build cheaper rifles to tighter tolerances. With the accuracy revolution of the last decade, we’ve seen the development of rifles that cost less than $500, yet still promise sub-MOA accuracy and a great trigger. With that kind of competition, it’s hard to believe that anyone would pay for a rifle designed 50 or even 100 years ago.

None of us would consider driving a 1916 Studebaker Speedster through rush-hour traffic every day, but hunting big game with an early 20th century rifle doesn’t significantly limit the hunter’s ability to fill a tag. The enduring nature of these firearms—and their innovative designers—is a testament to just how good they were in the first place.

And, in my opinion, they’ve all earned a spot in the big-game rifle hall of

fame. Check out my list of the best big-game rifles of all time.

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