In the following entries, I will countdown my 5 favorite handguns and 5 favorite long guns. Today is August 30, 2023 and as of today, my favorite number ones from each category will follow.
When it comes to choosing a favorite gun, choice is as much about who we are as collectors, as it is about the guns. As collectors, we are a group of people for whom every little difference in the guns matter.
The size of this gun lends itself so well to making it easy to incorporate carrying into daily life. I have carried it almost daily since 2001. I paid $750 plus $25 shipping and $25 transfer fee for a total of $800 in 2001. I wouldn't sell this particular gun for three times what I paid.
Because I have carried this gun so often, I've invested a great deal in different holsters for it. In addition to holsters, I've invested in extra magazines and mag carriers.
The few times I've strapped this gun on to carry, I was persistently aware of its presence. I imagine this 4" Python is the largest and heaviest gun in my collection, with the exception of the Smith & Wesson Model 58.
My friends used to always be surprised to learn this gun was fired more than any other in my collection. In the past, it was an opportunity to give a friend a chance to shoot a gun they might never have had again. That changed in 2020 with the Czech owned Colt brought the Python back in 2020.
Choice is our ability to make a decision when presented with two or more options. The thing about choosing a favorite is that the distinguishing factors can be so different. What do I mean? There are varying factors between a favorite gun to carry and a favorite gun to collect.
Choice Theory is a term coined by William Glasser in which he proposes that all choices are made to satisfy 5 basic needs; survival, love, power, freedom and fun.
Rational Choice Theory dictates that I will choose whichever gun will maximize my interest and provide me with the greatest utility or benefit.
This was the first production K-22 Masterpiece completed in 1946 and was used by the factory to showcase their K-22 line of revolvers.
In 1950, this revolver was removed from the display case and given to Assistant S&W Sales Manager Fred Miller, who placed this gun in one of the 1947 K-Frame blue fiberboard presentation cases. Mr. Miller then presented this revolver to Gil Hebard of Knoxville, Illinois, an important target shooter and a new S&W Distributor. The gun remained in the personal collection of Gil Hebard from 1950 until 1991 when it was acquired by Roy Jinks.
The Colt Cobra from the mid-1970's is one of my favorite revolvers and my all-time favorite revolver to carry.
I believe the Colt Cobra of the 1970's was Colt's last desperate attempt to redesign an older revolver to keep the public's attention on revolvers. By 1981 the public was already beginning their love affair with and headed down the road of thinking semiautomatics are king. It is true that Colt continued to produce revolvers after 1981, but they were all nostalgic old designs.
Winchester introduced the .410 bore Model 42 in 1933 along with the new 3" shells, as a gun for the whole family. The guns were very popular and the company sold approximately 50,000 of them up until World War II came along.
After the war ended, Winchester picked up where it had left off and really kicked things into high gear which resulted in 1946 to 1954 being the highest production years for the Model 42. Then the brakes went on in 1955 and production remained much lower but steady until 1963 when it ceased.
All my life, I had considered the Belgian made Browning’s to be superior to the Japanese made shotguns. Why did I hold that opinion? Well, it wasn’t because I had actually compared the two.
The Citori is manufactured for Browning by the Miroku Corporation in Nangoku, Japan. Browning was the first firearms company to offer factory back-boring to shotguns for reduced recoil and improved patterns. Back-boring increases the inside bore diameter to its ideal, maximum allowable specification. This reduces friction between the shot cup and the barrel, allowing the energy developed by the powder to propel the shot pellets to a higher velocity.
One of the things I have difficulty with as I grow older, is the ability to quickly identify with how many years have passed since the 1970s, 1980s or 1990s. I was graduating high school (Class of 1978) when this gun was made.
At the time Winchester produced these 1,500 guns, they were commemorating 5 million of the Model 94 guns being sold. Of course since that time, they sold another 2 million of the Model 94, making it the most popular sporting rifle in history.
Savage 250-3000 model 99 lever action in ultra super high grade, The wood is ultra deluxe grade and the blueing is fantastic. The color case on the lever shows very little use.
The year was 1915 and the man was Charles Newton, a lawyer and firearm enthusiast who designed and created the .250-3000 Savage Cartridge to be used in the Savage Model 99 hammerless lever action rifle. Newton wanted to load 100 grain bullets in the cartridge, which would achieve a velocity of 2,800 feet per second, but Savage knew that by reducing the bullet to 87 grains and obtaining the record velocity of 3,000 feet per second would sell rifles.
Six months from now, my answer may be different. Pose the question another way and my answers will be different. Contemplating the favorites was a fun exercise for sure.
The .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) handgun and .270 WCF (Winchester Centerfire) rifle are mainstream, accepted and approved by the masses since 1911 (actually 1905 for the cartridge) and 1923 respectively. Whatever you do, don't go changing or qualifying the question of favorites right now. Let me just enjoy the moment and the fact that I was able to come to a conclusion.
John Browning said his favorite accomplishment was the A-5. Oliver Winchester's favorite was the steel-framed Model 1873. John Wayne's favorite gun was the Winchester 1892.
In my exercise, I kept it very simple. No subcategories were used like, semi-automatic, revolver, shotgun, rifle, hunting, target, self-defense, etc. or else my article would have taken two weeks instead of two days.
The handguns were:
During the process, I was not conciously focusing on any brands or calibers.
The Long Guns were: