Some firearms just are more fun to shoot than others, and in this list Alex runs through his five favorite guns to shoot (at this time). Guns don’t have to be expensive to be fun. This list includes some unusual stuff: A single shot breechloader, a centerfire bolt action, a shotgun, a rimfire bolt gun, and one submachine gun for good measure!
What guns in your collection are the most fun to shoot? Let us know in the comments below.
– [Voiceover] Hey guys, it’s Alex C with TFBTV.
Last week I did a video about five firearms I’m glad I bought, that consisted of guns that introduced me to new sub-sections of marksmanship or helped me develop a deeper appreciation for firearm history, intentionally leaving out my favorite firearms or guns I enjoy shooting the most.
While this list isn’t necessarily a list of my favorite firearms, it goes without saying that a gun I enjoy shooting the most generally gets some points in that department as well.
First off, the Remington Rolling Block.
I love single-shot breech-loaders.
They represent a crucial period in the development of small arms where soldiers who were previously relegated to two or three shots per minute could now quadruple their rate of fire by using a revolutionary invention, the metallic cartridge.
Today we take for granted that our primers, powder, and projectile come conveniently packaged in a small bit of drawn brass, but it took a huge advancement in chemistry, metallurgy, and material science to arrive at what today seems like an obvious solution.
While metallic cartridges today all have uniform composition, early examples used pinfire systems or rimfire ignition for large calibers.
The logical development was drawn brass, centerfire cartridges using black powder with big bore projectiles, like the American 45-70.
But eventually, the oh-so-crafty French developed smokeless powder.
That’s another thing modern shooters take for granted, that is to say on battlefields prior to smokeless, which was introduced to the world with the Lebel rifle in 1886.
When hundreds of men at a time all fired their rifles alongside cannons and artillery, the amount of smoke made seeing a few feet in front of you impossible.
It also gave away the position of anyone trying to be stealthy.
That said, the metallic cartridge brought us a smorgasbord of interesting rifles like the Snider, Trapdoor, Martini-Henry, Sharps, and to me, the king of them all, the Remington Rolling Block.
Remington was not in a great financial position after the American Civil War.
There was a huge amount of surplus rifles left over from the conflict involving 3 million soldiers, which many historians argue was the first modern war.
Because of this, the market for new rifles, especially in a military application, was small.
Arms makers went from 60 to 0 as soon as Appomattox happened, and the need for new, advanced rifles was small.
The U.S. went the way of the Trapdoor rifle instead of the superior Rolling Block because existing Springfield rifles could be converted to breech-loaders, but Remington found over 40 customers abroad who wanted a piece of this new, fantastic rifle.
This was unheard of back then, a company in the 1860s and 70s selling rifles to so many nations abroad in 20 calibers, a feat that would not be matched until the Mauser company’s dominance set in, largely in 1889 and lasting until the 1940s.
History aside, the Rolling Block’s incredibly fun to shoot.
The mechanism is elegantly simple and smooth to operate, and I get a tremendous amount of enjoyment pulling the hammer back and letting the breech block fly to the rear, letting the spent shell casing shoot out of the chamber.
The fact that Number Fives can use powerful smokeless cartridges like seven-millimeter Mauser, eight-millimeter Lebel, or 303 British, means also that you can reap the benefits of nitrocellulose and eschew the corrosiveness of black powder.
Rolling Blocks are accurate as hell, fun to operate, interesting to shoot, and their nature as a single-shot means that it is up to the marksman to make every shot count, and that is why the Rolling Block makes the list.
Next ups a pretty modern offering, the H and K MP5.
The MP5 is the greatest submachine gun of all time and that becomes immediately apparent when you get some trigger time on one.
The roller delay blowback action that HK made famous with their G3 rifle was scaled down to work with nine-millimeter Parabellum.
Who knew that this would be a perfect pairing? The harsh snap of a simple blowback gun is eliminated with the MP5s roller delay blowback action, and is a closed-bolt weapon, it curb stomped the competition in the accuracy department.
Overnight, competing designs like the Uzi, the MPL, the Sterling, and so on, that all fired from an open bolt, were suddenly outclassed by an order of magnitude.
But this is a list about my five favorite guns to shoot and why, not a history lesson.
Sorry, I can’t help but geek out a little bit in these videos.
Anyways, the MP5 and semi-automatic is brilliant.
Recoil is much lower and smoother than other nine-millimeter SMGs and the only one I’ve ever shot with lower recoil is the German MP-40 with its pneumatic delay and telescoping firing pin.
The MP5 has a decent trigger for an SMG-2, and can accept a multitude of trigger pegs.
The sights are wonderful, and gun is quite modular.
You can attach all sorts of tactical do-dads on a railed forend if you want, stocks come in different configurations, and you can get a rail for the top if you’d like to put an optic on there.
For me though, the HK diopter sights are wonderful, and with an MP5, I can shoot outstanding groups.
It got a perfect 30 out of 30 on the Run and Gun course, and it just feels natural in my arms.
Full-auto is also extremely controllable.
The layout and action of the MP5 help eliminate muzzle rise.
In fact, many people say that the gun swaying left to right under fire is more of a problem than any elevation change.
For a little nine-millimeter blaster, you can’t get better than an MP5.
Recoil is low, accuracy is there, reliability is unparalleled, and a day at the range with an MP5 or a Clone will certainly bring a huge smile to your face.
Third we have a somewhat unpredictable offering.
As most viewers know, we primarily showcase historical and modern military-style rifles and pistols on this channel, but I’m an avid hunter and I absolutely love shotgun sports, so I chose a pretty broad category for this one, any sporting shotgun.
I say sporting because a shotgun with an 18 and 20 inch barrel reduces effective range and opens up your pattern quite a lot, and a shotgun with a big magazine tube adds unnecessary weight and bulk for hunting and shotgun sports.
It is worth noting that the law prohibits more than two rounds in a shotgun’s magazine for hunting where I live as well, and if you get caught with an unplugged shotgun, then you are in for some trouble.
So seen here is a Beretta Silver Pigeon in 20 gauge.
This over-under is a great scatter gun from the world’s oldest gun manufacturer, and I have used it for skeet, traps, sporting clays, and lots and lots of dove.
Shotgun sports to me are the most fun thing you can do with a firearm.
You can get together with some buddies and cut up while turning clay into dust and honing a practical skill that puts food on your table a couple times a year.
By the way, I seriously feel bad for anyone that has not enjoyed dove breast wrapped in jalapenos, cheese, and bacon.
Hunting dove is my favorite type of hunting as well.
It’s fast-paced, and you can do it with a large group of friends without worrying about being quiet.
And there’s always enough birds for everyone to limit out.
And of course, it doesn’t hurt that after everyone limits out, you put the guns away, get the fire going, cook up the bounty, while enjoying some booze of your choice.
Again, just remember to tuck those guns away before you start getting into the sauce.
So I like sporting shotguns because of the joy they bring me while using them.
Again, I absolutely love hunting fowl and the challenge that comes along with busting clays is easy to learn, but impossible to master, and that makes for a great experience.
Fourth, we have my CZ-452.
This little bolt-action has taken more small gain than any other rifle I own and coincidentally I bought it on a whim.
I had owned a 22 suppressor for a while, but never had a bolt gun to put it on.
I wanted a bolt action to get the most out of my suppressors so I went to a gun shop with a coworker on lunch break, in, I believe 2011.
He wanted a 10/22 and ended up with one that day while I was talked into the CZ by a salesperson who was really singing the praises of their Rimfire rifles.
And I thought that 350 dollars was a good price for a factory threaded barrel 22 from a very reputable company.
The trigger on the 452 is wonderful.
The action is great.
The accuracy is right there from the factory as well.
I flip-flop on which of my 22 rifles I like the best, my hotrodded Ruger 10/22 or my CZ, and really it often comes down to which gun I’m in the mood to shoot that day.
While my Ruger is lighter, the CZ is a bit more accurate, and certainly quieter and easier to clean.
Again, a lot of this comes back to hunting.
Shooting targets and trying to tighten up your groups on paper is a tremendous amount of fun, and I love doing it, but hunting to me is more fun.
Bagging some rabbits with your handy 22 is great fun and also yields you some good food.
I’m a redneck in Texas, so cut me some slack here.
You can also use your 22 to bag squirrels and we have a year-round season with no bag limit on them in most counties.
Same goes for rabbits and hares as well.
So the ability to hone my shooting skills for cheap with no punishment imparted on my shoulder, or damage to my hearing, are all plusses for this list.
And the ability to bag plenty of edible game makes my CZ-452 a favorite to shoot.
Lastly, we have a predictable entry, a Mauser 98.
There’s just something charming about a well-constructed bolt-action that really does it for me and the Mauser 98 action is the quintessential bolt-action.
Nearly every bolt gun produced after the 98 is either an outright copy or borrows many of its elements.
Guns in production today like the Ruger M 77 or Kimber 8400s are essentially just versions of a gun adopted in 1898 so the design has certainly stood the test of time.
It really is incredible to think about.
Imagine a car designed in the 1890s that was still in production today and regarded as the best option by many consumers.
But still, many people prefer other actions.
The old saying is that the Germans came to war with a hunting rifle, the Americans with a target rifle, the British came with a battle rifle, and the Russians brought a rifle.
I find this old adage pretty funny, and with so many rifles built off 98 actions, it certainly has some truth to it.
But I prefer a rifle that cocks on open for a number of reasons, one being that it makes sense to accomplish primary extraction and cocking in a single motion, getting all the resistance out of the way in a single movement.
And two being on a cock-on-close design when you pull forward, the resistance throws the rifle off-target much more due to the shooter fighting spring pressure.
This is personal preference though.
I am sure I’ll bear the brunt of in-field fanboys here telling me I’m an idiot, however true that may be.
But 98s are sturdy, reliable, and cheap.
You can buy surplus Mausers for cheaper than most people think and in an online retailer right now, as of the posting of this video, is selling M48s for 30 dollars more than Mosin-Nagants.
While eight-millimeter is no longer priced at five cents per round anymore, guys with MG 42s and 34s gobbled all of it up, it is widely available and very popular.
Of course, you can also find large-ring Mausers chambered in all sorts of calibers if the original eight-millimeter cartridge is not your cup of tea.
Learning to accurately shoot a big bore rifle with consistency and without flinching is difficult to master, but it is a skill that is most pertinent to hunting large game and a surplus iron-sighted rifle is perfect for accomplishing this.
You all have probably seen many of my videos with me shooting old bolt guns at 300 meters, and really that’s a tough thing to do with military iron-sights.
However, if you can do this, then you will be more than able to accomplish it with an optic or small-bore cartridge.
It’s kind of like how if you can master skeet shooting with a 4-10, you would certainly dominate with a 12-gauge.
So an old Mauser with irons is a barrel of fun.
Taking your time, lining up the sights, mastering your breathing, and ringing a small target from hundreds of yards away is very, very satisfying, and I love when I get to do it.
So that’s my list.
I know a bunch of folks are probably wondering where the pistols are, but to be honest, I don’t get nearly as much enjoyment out of handguns as I do long guns.
Long guns are more versatile, and simply provide me with more amusement.
So out of curiosity, I’d like to hear from you guys.
What are your favorite firearms to shoot? Put yours in the comments below and I’d love to hear what you have to say.
Special thanks to Ventura Munitions for providing ammo for our shooting videos, and we hope to see you all next time.