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The long gun review.

The new hunting season and impending Christmas shopping period have quietly crept upon us once again, bringing with them customers who often are uninformed, last-minute shoppers. "Where can I get a gun like this?" and "Who makes a gun like that?" are just a couple of the questions that'll soon bombard gun dealers.

The following review of available long guns is intended to help dealers quickly locate the general categories of sporting arms and better serve their customers in our industry, where good service is becoming so important.

American Arms, Inc. specializes in imported shotguns such as the Franchi autoloaders and over-unders along with the Lanber over-unders and assorted makes of fashionable side-by-side shotguns, all at low to moderate prices in their fields.

Armsport, Inc. offers imported shotguns in every mode along with air rifles and accessories such as snap caps. The company emphasizes affordable pricing.

Beretta U.S.A. Corp. is the stateside extension of the giant Beretta enclave, handling Beretta side-by-sides, over-unders, and autoloading shotguns in field and competition grades. New this year are several variants of the OVER/UNDERs and the versatile Model A 390 ST autoloader.

Bernadelli doubles in both side-by-side and over/under stylings are distributed by Magnum Research, Inc. The line includes the Roma series of doubles and some excellent clay target models.

Brown Precision, makers of synthetic stocks, has recently announced an upgraded version of the Ruger 10/22 semi-automatic rimfire rifle. Called the Custom Team Challenger, this rifle will be produced on a custom basis. It is intended to give optimum accuracy to the Ruger 10/22 by fitting it to a synthetic stock and giving it a Shilen match grade bull barrel with 0.920-inch diameter. The job includes a fine trigger tuning, simplified bolt release, and extended magazine.

Browning catalogs an extensive line of rifles and shotguns for every sporting need. Big Game rifles include turnbolts, autoloaders, and lever actions in many chamberings. The shotgun line is extensive with three autoloading designs and reproductions of the Winchester Model 12 and 42.

The Churchill name is again being applied to break-action shotguns by Ellett Brothers, the large wholesaler. The guns have good lines and point well for economy level products. There is also a Churchill autoloading shotgun made by Franchi of Italy.

European American Armory offers several shotguns and rifles made by Sabatti of Italy. The newest 12-gauge sporting clay pro shotgun is made from select European walnut and has a hand-checkered stock with pistol grip, extra-wide sighting plane, and fluorescent front sight. The Sabatti Rover 870 bolt-action rifle is available at an affordable price in .22-50, .243 Win, .25-06 Rem, .270 Rem, .308 Win, .30-06, 7mm Rem Mag, .300 Win Mag, and .338 Win Mag.

Harrington & Richardson, 1871, Inc. has brought back the famous "Topper" single-shot shotgun in myriad models for all-around and specialized use. There are also lower-priced singles in both rifle and shotgun types being made under the New England name.

Heckler & Koch, Inc. imports the increasingly popular Benelli auto-loading shotguns from Italy. The finely made Heym rifles from Germany are also handled by H&K.

Ithaca Gun continues to make the Model 87 pumpgun in various grades and styles, including a new slug outfit to match the Brenneke slugs. Fully camouflaged guns are available.

Krieghoff International, Inc. remains one of the world's foremost builders of competition guns (K080 and KS-5) as well as being a most capable builder of fine European-style break-action hunting arms and combination guns. All Krieghoff products are in the higher-priced levels for sporting arms.

Magtech's recent introductions include the MT586P pump action 12-gauge shotgun built out of Brazilian hardwoods. Its extended tube magazine holds six 3" or seven 2 3/4" shells. Another shotgun, the 151 single shot, is available in 12, 16, and 20 gauge and comes with standard or youth stock at no extra charge. The Model 122 rimfire bolt-action rifle has a 10-shot clip that can be loaded with .22 short, long or long rifle cartridges.

The Mark X Mauser-type rifle that met with success in the U.S. is still obtainable through Interarms, which also distributes Rossi, Star, and Walther products. The Mini-Mark X is a scaled-down copy of the larger Mauser action for the .223 Rem. and 7.62x39mm cartridges.

Marlin Firearms Co. annually has one of the hottest .22 rimfires on the market, the Model 60. The company also chambers for the .22 WMR in some rifles and continues to supply the long-barreled Model 55 "Goose Gun." Marlin lever-action carbines enjoy a wide variety of chamberings from .218 Bee to .35 Rem., .444 Marlin, and .45-70 Government.

The fine Merkel doubles are now being distributed by GSI, Inc. These include the side-by-sides which have been largely ignored due to the popularity of the Merkel over/unders. The side-by-sides have somewhat lower prices than the stackbarrels.

Maverick Arms, Inc. manufacturers a low-cost pumpgun. Recent models have been given the 3 1/2-inch, 12-gauge chamber and overbored barrel, along with camouflage.

Mossberg & Sons, Inc. has long-dominated the low-priced category of slide-action shotguns. These include the .410, 20-gauge, and 12-gauge. The Model 835 Ulti-Mag is chambered for the 3 1/2-inch, 12-gauge load. Mossberg offers economical accessories and extra barrels as well.

Oregon Arms, Inc., is a little-known American maker of the "Chipmunk," a .22 rimfire scaled for smaller folks. It weighs but 2 1/2 pounds and can be had in standard grade, camouflage finish, or deluxe wood.

Parker-Hale bolt-action rifles are made by the Gibbs Rifle Co. but distributed by Navy Arms. Not only is there a wide variety of models, from lightweight to African magnum, but the chamberings are extensive with many of the metric calibers available. Navy Arms also brings in a miniature Mauser-actioned rifle chambered for the 7.62x39mm as well as black powder shotguns.

Precision Sports offers an extensive array of moderately priced doubles in both English and American stylings. These are among the first side-by-sides to have screw-in chokes in some models. The company also handles the Bill Hanus "Birdgun."

Remington Arms Co., Inc. has the largest catalog of American-made shotguns and rifles. Extremely popular are the Model 870 "Express" and camouflaged turkey guns, along with the many versions of the Model 700 centerfire rifle.

Sturm, Ruger, & Co., Inc. keeps increasing the number of models in its rifle and shotgun lines. Left-hand and stainless steel rifles, along with English-gripped and sporting clays shotguns, join the line. There is also the single-shot rifle and a bolt-action .22 rimfire. Ruger's blowback .22 rimfire 10/22 is always among sales leaders in this group.

Savage Arms, Inc. continues to make a comeback with domestically made rifles and some imported over/under shotguns. The bolt-action Savages are being made in an expanding number of models and chamberings, and the famed Model 99 lever-action is on its way back.

The SKB line of doubles has increased with advanced grades in the over/unders and a reintroduced smallbore side-by-side. The competition grades have the features currently in demand by target gunners, and the SKB trap combo is the least expensive around. The Model 505 hunting series is attractive and reasonably priced.

Sako rifles, along with IGA (Brazilian) and Tikka (formerly Valmet) shotguns are distributed by Stoeger Industries. The Sako rifles speak for themselves and range from varminters to lightweights. The IGA shotguns are economy guns but serviceable. The Tikka has many interchangeable barrel possibilities, including rifle barrels.

At U.S. Repeating Arms Co., Inc. the Model 70 rifle has been upgraded to include a claw-type extractor. The Model 70s have been designed for a number of different weights and profiles with all the popular chamberings. The shotgun line includes economy-priced pumps and autoloaders with aluminum alloy frames. Turkey-style shotguns with camouflage seem to sell well, as do the slug guns.

The Weatherby line of magnum rifles now made in a classic stock styling as the former Weatherby-California rifle. The original line of rifles remains intact. The over-under shotgun line has been increased with the addition of a sporting clays gun, while the Orion remains a field-grade piece. The Athena is a step up with fancy walnut and sideplates. Weatherby rifles have always been popular with hunters who believe that ultra-high velocity contributes to the shocking power needed for a clean kill.
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Title Annotation:rifle and shotgun manufacturers
Author:Zutz, Don
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Oct 1, 1992
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