16. Winchester Model 1894 Rifle. The Winchester 94 was the first center fire rifle for millions of Americans, and I’m one of them. Something like 6 million have been produced over 110+ years. The 94 in its iconic 30-30 cartridge, proprietary 32 Winchester Special, and early 38-55 was powerful in a light package. However, it has manageable recoil and is pleasant to shoot.
17. The Sharps Rifle. The sharps rifle and its variants were an early breach loader design that evolved from percussion caps to metallic cartridges. It was the quintessential light weight cavalry carbine in the Civil War, heavy long range target rifle that was victorious at Creedmoor, and destroyer of the great buffalo herds. Quite possible the most versatile rifle ever. It has enjoyed a rebirth, and is possible the finest black powder target rifle ever made.
18. Browning High Power Pistol. This masterpiece was designed by John M. Browning and D. Saive and was produced first in 1935. The BHP was produced and used by both the Allies and the Axis in WWII and served world-wide since. It’s still in the hands of the Canadian Army (and possibly others) in the war on terror. The simple fixed cam design, high magazine capacity, and ergonomic grip have been incorporated in almost every pistol design since.
19. The Mauser C-96 “Broom handle” Pistol. The C-96 was designed when nobody really knew what an auto pistol should look like. As there were no viable designs to copy from, the Mauser C-96 is completely original. It’s simple grip earned it the nickname “Broom handle”. The broom handle looks like a it came to like from Jules Verne or H.G. Wells novel. Although the design is awkward and unconventional, the Broom handle is very accurate and reliable. It was on nearly every battlefield in the world from 1898 to 1945.
20. The double barrel shotgun. There are so many different makers of the SxS shotgun that I’ve grouped them all here. In every western movie, the double barrel graces the stagecoach and saloon. For nearly 100 years from the 1850s to the 1950s the double barrel was the shotgun most people relied on to put game on the table and protect the home.