by Jim Grant, Lew Rockwell:
Ask anyone who has been in the shooting industry for more than six months what the best starter rimfire is and they’ll answer identically, like an overly-rehearsed infomercial: Ruger 10/22. This answer hasn’t changed in the last 20 years because the Ruger has a disproportionately low price point when compared to its quality.
When the same question is asked concerning centerfire instead of rimfire, you’ll get numerous different responses with prices ranging from $150 to over $1,000. The problem with nailing down an inexpensive, quality centerfire weapon lies with ammunition. The fact that ammo prices increase as surplus dries up, consequently affects the price of the weapons. Back when Simonov rifles (SKS) were $70, it was impossible to argue that anything else, at that price point, was anywhere near as nice or durable. The closest rifle was the Mosin Nagant, but it isn’t semi-automatic and has much greater recoil.
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