The cowboy legends the Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, the singing cowboy Gene Autry, etc. had their best times a little before my time. The riders of the silver screen still had an influence on a huge amount of people for over a generation and
Bat Masterson, Gunsmoke and Bonanza bridged the gap to my age group. You see nostalgia in furniture, car shows, antique fairs, etc. and the age group from 50-70 certainly embraces it.
Take, for example, the Winchester Model 94 lever carbine (or rifle). It’s considered the most popular sporting firearm ever produced with Winchester producing over 5 million of the 1894 Model Winchester. Many hunters and shooters forego the synthetic bolt actions, the fast firing semis and the multitude of so called new innovative firearms, to purchase a lever Winchester.I have to say I enjoyed deer hunting with my Win94 30/30 Trapper as much as any firearm I own. Years ago, when I was hunting “the Cape” up near Owen Sound, I would carry a bolt action scoped rifle because quite often you were blocking a wide open field grazed off by beef cattle. If I were driving or pushing the woods a certain day I quite often would carry the short lever 30/30. I think there are less hunters going north from Southern Ontario, since the black powder and shotgun seasons are more productive in this area, but I know there are still a lot of guys who head to Port Loring, Huntsville, Parry Sound, Pickerel River, etc. with their Dad’s old hunting box and his Winchester lever rifle even after Dad has long departed to the happy hunting ground.
Every year, in the fall, we have many customers looking for Winchester lever carbines. The reasons seem to be:
So, is the popularity of the Winchester nostalgia, wanna be cowboys or that it’s a good firearm for the job? I promise a “report” on how good a deer gun the Winchester lever is against other competitors soon.
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In 1962 Remington announced the new model 700 ADL (Average Deluxe) and BDL (Better Deluxe) and within a year or so even Remington management was stunned by the rifle’s success.
Remington would follow this success with the 700 Classic, a straight stock with no monte carlo or cheek piece and satin finish. In 1981 Remington offered the 700 Classic in a limited production in caliber 7mm Mauser and every year there after the Classic was only offered in one special caliber.