Originally Posted by Don Fischer
I think what need's defining is the word best! I'd like to have a Purdy as much as anyone but my dream has always been a mod 21! Found it too on the internet. Used one for a meer $48K! Killed my dream!
The problem is, you cannot define what is 'best'. Mossberg's best-made gun would get gales of laughter from any British gun manufacturer - but it is their best!
IMHO, no American made gun could possibly be on the same 'best' scale as the British and European manufacturers who have been perfecting this art for centuries. Parker, LC Smith, Winchester, LeFever, etc were never made with the same attention to detail, inside and out, AT ANY COST to the hand-made Brit/Euro custom guns. The Winchester 21 came closest, but was still designed with production in mind.
Yes - Parkers were sold to Russian royalty - but they were the same guns sold to the U.S. public, except with lots more engraving and gold inlays. Same mediocre overly-complicated internals. Such does not a 'best' gun make.
Smith hi-grades - same thing, just highly decorated field guns, with the same lack of stock heading to support the actions. Looked good, but like all LC Smith guns, looks was about it.
Remington, Krieghoff, all other previously mentioned guns - none qualify as best. If you want to go by 'best commercially successful' in o/u the Miroku tops the list - over 2 million Citoris made. Pump - Remington 870, pushing 12 million made.
Best? No - damn good, though!
I am not denigrating US manufacturers, most of mine are made in USA - but face it - different markets completely.
Just my thoughts. YMMV