There are quite a few firearms that did not make it into your collection. There can be quite a few reasons for overlooking a firearm. The main reasons include bad performance, bad looks or bad publicity.
Many guns that chamber oddball cartridges are overlooked by collectors or self defense experts because they cost more to shoot, or they have not been adopted by the mainstream or just because they are different. Likewise, many of the cartridges and the weapons that fire them have been labeled obsolete or have been neglected by ammo makers.
Here are the top ten firearms that many shootists and collectors overlook that could easily diversify your collection – making it more diverse and lethal than ever.
Don’t have a hand cannon in your safe? You may want to consider a revolver that chambers the heavyweight 325 gain, .475 caliber bullet - bigger than the .44 Magnum and .454 Casull. This is the sidearm that you should be holstering in Brown Bear and Grizzly country.
Ruger offers a snub-nose, less than 3 inch barrel, revolver chambered in .480 - the RedHawk Alaskan. Finding ammo or affordable ammo for this large frame gun is tough and you may have to search high and low on the internet for a seller, however, in the field, when you need high kinetic energy and knock-down power, you can’t go wrong with this gun.
The M1 Garand became the mainstay of US infantry during WWII. The M1941 was similar in size and weight to the Garand, but mechanically it was a totally different creature. It’s innovative design used a reciprocating barrel and rotary magazine that held 10 .30-06 rounds. Despite displaying some significant advantages over the M-1, such as a higher capacity magazine and the ability to be loaded by 5 round clips or by hand, the M1941 did not make it out to the battlefield in significant numbers.
The M1941 is a tough gun to come by on the surplus market. Only 22,000 were made and collectors and with bid’s well over $4,000, it may be a little tough to justify putting one in your collection. To put in perspective you can probably buy a M-1 Garand off the “used gun” shelf for about $1,000.
Not many tough guys will be calling their buddies over to take a look at their new “mini” gun. With that being said, one of the most overlooked and underrated guns out there is the .22 revolver. North America Arms has been offering the Mini Revolver in .22 short, .22 long and .22 Magnum since 1971. These diminutive guns weigh in at less than 4 oz but can still pack a wallop.
If you asked one group in the personal defense area what gun they would most likely carry, they would probably tell you the only gun they would have in their arsenal is the .22. The round and guns that chamber it are affordable, easy to shoot and are in abundance. Regardless of the caliber of the weapon you need to know how to shoot it - accurately. Many fights, fists or guns, end pretty quickly after the first shot is fired. Many assilants will turn tail and run even if hit with only the peppy .22 LR. Having a .22 in your hand in a fight is better than having to firearm at all.
This hammerless, lever action rifle was manufactured for over 100 years (with the last new ones being shipped in 2003), and became one of the most popular big game hunting rifles in the world as well as seeing service during WWI. One key feature of this rifle is that it sported a rotary magazine vs the traditional tube magazine with allowed it to load spitzer bullets (more aerodynamic) instead of round-noses.
Many of the collectors can find this rifle at an affordable price in the “used gun” rack. The rifle was chambered in everything from, .22-250 Winchester to .38-55 Winchester and everything in between, so you made have a tough time looking for the chambering of your choice. One good fit would be the 99 chambered in .250 Savage. The combo pushes an 87 grain bullet at over 3,000 fps. This lethal combination of lever action and a high performance round was popular with big game hunters around the world. Eventually, the more accurate, modern bolt-action rifles took the place of the lever action 99. Its a gun of a past time but you can keep it alive in your safe, on the range and in the field .
This unique dual operation, pump or semi-auto action shotgun, can send a 12 or 20 Gage slug downrange quickly and reliably. Military, police and civilians? This shotgun is popular with all of the above. The dual operation allows police to quickly change from firing, non-lethal rubber slugs to high power shells that produce enough recoil to allow for semi-auto firing.
This shotgun totally rocks and is featured in the movie Heat when the character, Cheritto steps out and fills an oncoming truck with lead. The M3 has been overshadowed by its little and big brothers the M2 and M4, but continues to offer a good tactical scattergun that anyone would be proud to have hanging in their safe.
This French made firearm fires the NATO 5.56 mm Ball round and is compatible with the M-16 A1 30 round magazine. The rifle is equipped with a folding stock with a cleaning kit in the butt. Like the M-16 rifle, it is designed to be easily field stripped. The rifle was built with forward looking thinking and was equipped to handle optics in an era where service rifles employed iron sights.
Manufacturing of the FNC and its parts ceased in 1999. Most have been bought by European nations with slender defense budgets, been destroyed or have been sold in private markets. The story of the FNC is that of a “good gun” not being able to compete with other “good guns” in a market that is highly political. It’s also nearly impossible to find a FNC that is legal in the US. Semi-auto models are banned from sale in the US.
Pump action rifle? They make those? Yes, even though Americans prefer to field a traditional lever action or bolt action, the pump action centerfire is revered by many as a reliable and accurate way to launch a bullet. Still manufactured today, the Model 7600 is one the most popular pump-action, centerfire rifles out there. This versatile rifle comes chambered in .223 Winchester and accepts AR-15/M-16 magazines - just what police departments around the country love to order.
This pump action rifle is just going to be more reliable than other semi-automatic rifles. Chambering a bullet is done by your action, not springs, recoil or blowback from the round you’re firing. The 7600 comes chambered in hunting rounds from .243 all the way up to .30-06, making it pretty versatile in the field whether you’re hunting Whitetail or Elk.
This Taurus multi-purpose revolver was shot down by critics before it even left the assembly line. The Judge, even through it ran through the gauntlet with experts and firearms writers, gained popularity and were cleared out of gun stores by outdoors enthusiasts and personal protection practitioners.
The Judge takes both .45 Colt rounds as well at .410 birdshot and buckshot rounds. While birdshot will probably just piss someone off, the buckshot and the .45 Colt have sufficient stopping power to turn an enemy. The Judge can chamber a 255 grain jacketed hollow point and sling it at over 950 fps. I don’t want to be at the wrong end of this diverse gun.
If you can afford it, you’ve got to have a Weatherby in your locker. Touted by many as the “best of breed” bolt action files, the Weatherby rifle line offers sleek, flashy weapons that shoot super hot and fast rounds.
The Mark V is a Sheridan, Wy manufactured weapon that has a lineage of some the finest bolt actions rifles ever made. The Mark V can be chambered in .243 to .460 Weatherby Magnum or with more traditional loads like the Springfield .30-06 round . These rifles are highly prized and you’ll find yourself forking out quite a bit of dough to carry this rifle.
The A17 chambers the amazingly fast and flat-shooting Hornady .17 HMR (Hornady Magnum Rimfire). An interesting round that is less than 20 years old that was developed to provide a rimfire magnum round that could easily reach out to 200 yards and ethically devastate rodents like ground squirrels and prairie dogs.
You can purchase this gun new for under $500, and with a good scope and bipod, you’ll be ready in a jiffy to start plinking or taking out farmer Johnsons’s prairie dog problem. The rounds used to be pretty expensive due to the niche market for .17 HMR but the price has dropped down to around .25 cents per round, still more than the .22 LR but the Hummer well outperforms the cheaper round.