10 Reasons Why Sporting Rifles are Better than Ever

A sizable portion of hard-core rifle shooters are traditionalists, reminiscing about the days when every gun wore a wooden stock, when white-line spacers were in vogue and when every rifle had iron sights and shooters knew how to use them. They scoff at all things plastic and synthetic, and they still appreciate the value of a piece of well-figured walnut. Bluing is acceptable, stainless is pushing it, and these new baked-on finishes are the pits. The good old days were, well, good. Nothing produced today could ever match the guns of yore.

I don't reject the idea that there were some excellent guns produced in years past, and one needs only to attend any gun auction to understand that old guns are worth money. Perhaps it's partly because of sentiment, but some of the best engineering designs in modern firearms originated in the early 20th century.

However, over the past decade production rifles have seen tremendous improvement in overall quality — in large part because companies are finding more economical methods to build rifles, and the average consumer has grown weary of bad triggers, poor finishes and sub-par accuracy even in entry-level rifles. Today, some of the least expensive rifles carry accuracy guarantees or are certainly capable of producing sub-m.o.a. accuracy.

Indeed, the good old days were good, but right now even the most basic rifles have features that were once reserved for only the finest guns. Here's a list of the 10 best things to happen to rifles in the last decade.

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