My Favorite Rifle

While I fired just about every small arm in the aresenal while I was in the army, I spent most of my time armed with the M-16. My first tour in Hawaii I carried the M-16A1. My next duty station, Germany had the M-16A2. When I transferred to Ft. Carson, CO, my unit still had A1s, but reequipped with A2s before I had a chance to shoot one again.


I also had a chance to fire the M-4 Carbine, which is basically a cut down M-16A2. I shot the “vanilla” model and not the “Gucci” version with the fancy sights and the rail system.


For a brief period of time, I was also lucky to carry and shoot the M-21 sniper rifle. I never went to sniper school, and wasn’t a particulary good shot, but greatly enjoyed this fine weapon.

M-21 Sniper Rifle
M-21 Sniper Rifle

Oddly enough, the first military weapon I fired was the M-14, which I had a chance to shoot in high school. A few of us at JROTC were invited to the range at the nearby Naval Air Station and shot the M-14, M-16, and the M-60. Not a bad way to spend a school day.


So the question is, which is your favorite rifle? Be creative, don’t limit yourself to US weapons.

Update: I should  note, this doesn’t include civilian or foreign weapons that I shot. Lots and lots of those. But you are welcome to opine away.

14 thoughts on “My Favorite Rifle”

  1. Mosin-Nagant. Virtually idiot proof. In fact, I just bought one.

    The M-16 is great, but too much work zeroing and grouping. Also, a bit of dirt could f&ck it up big time.

    I guess that’s why I had to clean mine all the time.

  2. Well, if we’re gonna be throwing a bolt, might as well go for the granddaddy and get a Mauser. Kar 98 works for me and they’re about $299 in American Rifleman.

    Zero and group for the M-16 was pretty much just cuz the way the army sets it up. You can one shot zero one from a bench rest.

  3. Well, I don’t have much experience with rifles (yet), having only shot a couple of ARs and an M-1 Carbine, as well as handling (but not shooting) a couple of Garands, but I know that my “to shoot” list includes pretty much every bolt action military rifle ever made (Krag, 1903 Springfield, Mosin-Nagant, SMLE, and Mauser 98 being the big ones) as well as the Cold War battle rifle trio of the M-14, FAL, and G-3 and the bad guy guns, the SKS and some type of AK. Coincidentally enough, my “to shoot” list looks pretty similar to my “to buy” list.

    As for favorite…hard to beat the greatest battle implement ever devised, although its little brother is pretty fun to shoot. If we’re gonna go bolts, my first purchase is gonna be a Mosin-Nagant, so there’s that.

    Now, handguns would be an easy decision. 1911, hands down.

  4. One of these days I’ll put up a list of everything I’ve ever shot. I used to be very good a begging a little range time.
    And yeah, it’s funny on the handguns. One of the cobloggers at Ace’s asked for advice and got 175 comments. Dude? There really is only one answer, and it has been that way for 97 years…

  5. The answer to that question has changed for me over the years. One of several handguns that I miss the most is a SW model 19-3, 2-1/2″ snubbie. I could (I did not believe it at the time so I do not expect you to, but I did it all the time) hit a milk jug full of water at 75 yards 5 out of 6 times. It was small relatively concealable and packed a punch.
    My current fave is my Kimber Ultra Carry.
    As far as rifles, I really like my M1 Garand. But I also love my Weatherby 300. Once I zeroed it, it hits what you put the scope on. No questions, no maybes It hits.
    The rifle I shoot the most is my Ruger 10-22, it has the heavy bull barrel with the hammer forge spirals, I have shot flies with it.

  6. I would love to have the M-21/M-14. I’m getting old so I need something with a scope. I liked my M-16A1, never had a problem but I paid our armorer to clean it since they would never allow me to pass inspection because they enjoyed being pricks. A six-pack to clean it and I was out of the line forming for inspection.

    I’d love to have an M-1, but I’ll buy the M-14 first. Handguns? Kimber 1911 Custom II. I can drive nails with that thing. Literally. One heavy hunk of steel.

  7. I have a right shoulder that is beginning to show signs of arthritis. I’ll put my money on the AR-15/M-16 family. It accepts a wide variety of calibers, mags and accessories without having to to worry about wood warping or iron rusting. I have seen 90-80 lbs women and 200lbs plus men fire 5.56mm based weapons with ease.

    The new crop of piston-driver AR’s looks very good. FN-FAL/AK reliability with the accuracy of an M-16. Shotgun News recently called the AR “America’s Rifle”. I agree.

    I just can’t wait for the civillian HK-416 or the new guns from LWRC or Lewis Machine and Tool.

  8. I just got my first AR last month, and I love it. As someone who’s right-handed and yet left-eyed, loading an M1/M1A while it’s on your left shoulder can be a bit tricky. And that’s “tricky” as in “Ouch! Oh well, I wasn’t really using that thumb anyways” tricky. 🙂

  9. I was rated “Expert” with the M-16A1. I loved it. But my favorite is the M-60. I was assigned as an M-60 gunner in the NEGDF at Naval Station Rota. Lots of lead on target from the business end. Accurate as hell and, if you’re not carrying 3 days worth of ammo and an extra barrel, light and easily maneuverable.

  10. Well, we’ll get to favorite machine guns later, Master Chief. But I’ll tell you right now, the 60 didn’t make my list.

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