by Keith Wood - Thursday, August 4, 2016
Editor's Note: The list below is a general roundup, not an all-inclusive list of rifles that are made in the USA.
If you’re a reader of American Hunter, it’s a somewhat safe assumption that you’re a patriotic American who wants the best for your nation and its people. If you’re like me, you buy American-made goods whenever possible. “Buying American” isn’t always as easy as it sounds, though; sometimes it is hard to tell where exactly a products is made and assembled, even if it is sold by a U.S. company. Current production Winchester Model 70s are made, or at least assembled, in Portugal. Many Browning products are made in Japan. There's absolutely nothing wrong with those guns, but American made, they are not.
If you're looking to make sure your next rifle has American roots, you've come to the right place. I've done some homework in order to find five hunting guns that are 100 percent made in the United States.
Marlin 1895 SBL
Like all of Marlin’s firearms that I researched, the 1895 model is built and assembled in the U.S. The SBL model is primarily constructed from stainless steel and those forgings are made at American plants. The forgings head to Remington’s facility in Ilion, New York, where they are finish-machined to their final dimensions. The laminated wood stocks are produced in Lexington, Missouri, and the final assembly is done back at Ilion. Some small parts including screws and pins are outsourced to companies outside of Remington, but they are all manufactured stateside.
New Ultra Light Arms Model 20
Melvin Forbes, the founder and owner of NULA, has become an American rifle building icon. Forbes engineered the Model 20 (the receiver weighs 20 ounces) when one of his customers asked him to build a lightweight hunting rifle, and his small gunsmithing operation became a custom rifle business. 6,000 rifles later, Forbes still builds the rifles from raw materials in his West Virginia shop. 4140 steel bar stock sourced from Pittsburgh is machined into rifle actions in-house and his triggerguards are cast in Wisconsin. He sources kevlar from a supplier in Texas and uses it to make his own synthetic stocks. The barrels come from Douglas down the road and the lightweight rings that he designed himself are made in South Carolina by Talley.
Ruger American Rifle
Ruger’s American series of rifles have become some of the most popular bolt guns around. It would be pretty bad if a rifle called the “American” wasn’t actually made in America, right? Rest easy, this rifle is 100 percent made in the U.S. Ruger manufactures the American rifles in two facilities located in Newport, New Hampshire and Mayodan, North Carolina.
Kimber has reigned supreme as one of the premium hunting rifle brands of the past decade. Premium comes at a price, however, and Kimber’s rifles were out of financial reach of many hunters due to their price tag. With the 2016 introduction of the Hunter model, hunters can own a Kimber for hundreds of dollars less—the Hunter uses the same stainless steel barreled action as the popular Montana model, but does so in a more economical synthetic stock with a detachable box magazine. The majority of the Hunter’s construction takes place in Yonkers, New York just outside of the Big Apple, though selected components are made elsewhere in the Northeast.
Proof Research Summit
It’s sort of rare for a hunting rifle to offer much in the way of innovative technology; by and large, most hunting guns have been made using the same materials and procedures for decades. Proof Research is a company that has not followed the pack when it comes to innovation. Proof’s rifles use stainless steel barrels wrapped in carbon fiber to cut weight, dissipate heat, and add rigidity. Those barrels are made in Columbia Falls, Montana, in the same Flathead Valley where their actions (made by Defiance Machine) are manufactured. American-made and American ingenuity.
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