THE BEST HUNTING GUNS OF 1964
In this article I will make a list of the best hunting guns of 1964 and introduced in the 1960s era. Winchester would certainly get the headlines over the years for what they did in 1964. A big move on Winchester Arms that would effect them for many years. Several firearms companies did introduce some great firearms and variations of existing models in 1964
This would be a year of transition for Winchester. It would be the year that the Winchester gun company would introduce some major changes to their firearms manufacturing process. Many of us think it was not a great transition for Winchester (IMHO). Interesting to look back over the last 50 years and we can say that time and transition were not good for the King of the 1950’s.
Winchester Gun Company in 1964
Some of the best hunting guns of 1964 would be overshadowed by the Winchester gun company in 1964. Many new and exciting firearms would be introduced in 1964. I will introduce a number of fine firearms from 1964 and give a list of my top five firearms of 1964. This will also include a few firearms from 1965 that I think are important to the time period.
The M70 Winchester rifle would make available a new version of the popular hunting and sporting rifle in 1964. Over a half million model 70 pre-64 Winchesters were produced since its original release with very few changes in that time. New features on the new M70 Winchester would be a newly designed extractor and cocking indicator at the back of the bolt. The ejector would now be a plunger type system and the bolt face would enclose the head of the cartridge.
Other modifications would be made and some would be improvements over the old style. But the main issue in my opinion would be the look, feel, and quality of the new firearm versus the old-style. One of my complaints on the new model 70 was that the pressed checking was very lacking for a quality rifle like the Winchester 70 was. I did like the checkering style on the new Winchester 88 model that was released in the 1964 update. A new distinctive look on the new Winchester 88. The model 70 just did not have that good look (IMHO). Not the best hunting guns of 1964 for sure.
Winchester would also have considerable more competition than they did in the 1950s. Many more firearms companies would be making quality firearms and would be giving Winchester some stiff competition. I will list some of them in this article and we will see why I think that Winchester made a costly mistake by changing so rapidly. This also would be evident with the Winchester model 94. Not the best hunting guns of 1964 to be released that year.
Winchester arms would introduce a new cartridge in 1964. This would be the new 225 Winchester cartridge and would be available in the Model 70 standard rifle with a 22 inch barrel. It would also be available in the Model 70 target heavy barrel version with a 24 inch barrel. It would never became a real popular cartridge. The little 222 Remington cartridge and the 22-250 would be the favorites of the 60’s time period. With many quality rifles now being made and chambered in the 222 Remington and 22-250, Winchester could not compete with the revamped model 70. The new rifles would include the Browning Safari, Savage Anshutz 153, Remington 700 and 600 rifles just to name a few.
Winchester arms would also do some significant changes in the shotguns they would make. One significant change would be adding the new Winchester model 1200 in 1964. A cheaper version of the Winchester Model 12. There would be no comparison between the two (IMHO) and they would now have a pump shotgun that was much like all the rest of the commercial made pump shotguns . The Winchester model 1200 would be the new pump shotgun to compete with Remington 870 and the just released Mossberg 500 shotgun in 1962. In my opinion, Winchester would make too many changes in a very short time. But profits are the bottom line and this may have worked for a time. But loyal Winchester fans were watching.
Remington Arms Company in 1964
Remington arms Company in 1964 would introduce a new very radical rifle design that did become quite popular at the time. It would be called the Remington model 600. It was a true bolt action carbine that weighed 5 1/2 pounds. A short action rifle with a ventilated rib that was totally new in the firearms world. In early 1964 it would chambered in the 222 Remington, 308 Winchester, and 35 Remington. Eventually the 243 and 6mm would be added. In my opinion the 308 and 35 Remington cartridges were a bit much for this lightweight rifle that came with no recoil pad. The 222 was a great cartridge in this firearm and really enjoyed shooting them in this lightweight fun to carry rifle. One of the best hunting guns of 1964 and of that era.
REMINGTON 600 MAGNUM IN 1965
Remington XP-100 in 1964
A very similar firearm to the model 600 would be another totally new concept in a single shot bolt action pistol. It would be chambered in a new Remington cartridge called the 221 Remington fireball. Had a bolt action like the model 600 and the new Remington style nylon stock. Drilled and tapped for a scope and would sell for around $100 in 1964. A pleasure to shoot and very accurate and is quite collectible today.
Interesting to note that in 1964 you could buy a Winchester model 70 featherweight or standard model for as low as 139.00, or a Remington 700 ADL for 114.00. In 1964. We could say the Remington rifle was the best hunting guns of 1964 and best hunting guns of the 1960s period. (IMHO)
Savage Firearms in 1964
Savage arms would also introduce the new 22 rifle in the model 63. It would come with a Mannlicker stock and was advertised as a 22 rifle that look’s like a big bore rifle. It was also available in the new 22 Magnum cartridge. The 63 model was 23.50 and the 63M model was 26.50. These are good collectible firearms today and getting more difficult to find.
Savage arms would introduce a new Anschutz model 153 in 1964. This would be a custom grade rifle in the 222 Remington cartridge. A great firearm that Savage sold and is very desirable today. A great gun to collect and a favorite of mine. A great rifle and a great cartridge. A fine classic firearm and old world quality. Another of the best hunting guns of 1964 and great firearm of the 60,s.
In 1965 Savage would also add a couple of great upgrades to their rifle lineups. Savage arms would add the model 99 C to the model 99 lineup. The 99 would now be available with a detachable magazine. This would be in the 243, 284, and 308 cartridges. This would be very popular with the Savage 99 in the 1960s. You could have the original Rotary magazine in all other models in the Savage 99. Another one of the best hunting guns to be introduced in 1964.
SAVAGE MODEL 340 IN NEW 225 WIN IN 1964
Savage arms would now offer the 225 Winchester in the Savage 340 model in 1965. It would be called the model 340V. This would be one of those 340 rifles that would have good collector value. Not many made and can probably be bought at reasonable prices.
Another Savage arms rifle introduced in 1965 would be the Savage model 110 Premier grade big-game rifle. Came in the 243, 30-06, and 7mm magnum. It came with a French walnut stock with roll over cheek piece and hand checkered. A very nice well-made rifle from the Savage arms Company. Another good collectible firearm from Savage Arms Company.
Marlin Arms Company in 1964
The Marlin firearms company would introduce a new model 336 in the 44 Magnum cartridge. This would be a very desirable rifle in the lever action carbine. It would be called the Marlin model 336 marauder. It would be a 6 ½ pound lightweight rifle that would complement the man now carrying the 44 Magnum revolvers coming on the market. The compact size with a straight stock and 20 inch barrel would make an excellent brush gun for Whitetail hunting. Marlin would sell this firearm for $86.95 in 1964. Very collectible today and desirable in any good firearms collection. Yet one more of the best hunting guns of 1964 and another classic of the 1960s.
NEW MARLIN SCOPE
Colt Industries in 1964
Another interesting bit of history for 1964 would be the Colt Firearms Company. They would release the new Colt AR-15 sporter to the general public. It would only fire semi automatic and had a five shot spacer in the 20 round magazine that could be removed. In all other respects it was just like the military version. More info in a separate article on the Colt AR-15.
NEW COLT SCOUT IN 22 AND 22 MAG
The Colt firearms company would also introduce the frontier scout single action 22 with two cylinders. It would be just like the Ruger single six with both the 22 and 22 Magnum cylinders. The cylinders would be very easy to exchange. Standard barrel length is 4 ¾ inches and would come in three different models. Standard blue finish, full nickel plated, and a deep luster blue with stag horn grips. These are very collectible today and great Colt revolvers of the 1960s.
Colt would continue to be one of the best firearms manufactures of the Golden age of Firearms(IMHO).
Weatherby Rifles in 1964
The Weatherby gun company would release a new rifle in 1964. Seems everyone was getting involved with developing varmint and target rifles. New cartridges were being released, like the new 225 Winchester cartridge. Weatherby would enter that market with the release of the new .224 Weatherby Varmintmaster. This would be advertised as the only belted varmint cartridge in existence. The Weatherby Varmintmaster would sell for around $295.00 in 1964. A great looking firearm and is very desirable in the collectors market today. One of the best hunting guns of 1964 for varmint hunting in the 1960s.
NEW WEATHERBY 224 IN 1964
Strum, Ruger and Company in 1964
Strum, Ruger and Company would be very busy in 1964 and 1965. They like Savage arms would be very busy with the new firearms and upgrades. Probably one of the biggest success stories of the 1960s and beyond would be the new Ruger model 10/22 that would be released in 1964. A wonderful firearm with clean classic looks and very reliable. One of the best firearms of 1964.
In 1965 Ruger firearms would add a new cartridge to the single action Blackhawk model. That would be the new 41 Magnum cartridge. It would join the Ruger Blackhawk with the 357 Magnum and the 44 Magnum cartridges. They would also release the new Ruger single six and call it the super single six. It would now have the adjustable rear sight just like on the Blackhawk models. They would advertise that you would get target pistol performance with the new super single six. Of course the single six convertible revolver with non-adjustable sites would be introduced in 1961. They would be manufactured for three years and they are very desirable and hard to find. These are great guns to collect.
Hi-Standard Firearms in 1964
NEW MILITARY GRIP HI STANDARD SUPERMATIC / Hi Standard firearms would introduce a new Supermatic target pistol in 1964. It would come with the new military grip design to make their 22 target pistols feel like the grip of the military Colt 1911. A new style rear site would be installed and attached to the frame. This would allow the slide to move free of the rear sight. Good-looking high standard firearms and very collectible. Maybe not the best hunting guns of 1964 but certainly one of the best handguns of 1964.
Savage 99F in the new 284 Winchester cartridge (My favorite for the year)
Remington Model 600 in the 222 Remington cartridge (Great look and fun to shoot)
Savage Anschutz Model 153 in the 222 Remington cartridge ( Great quality and classic look)
Colt Scout Model in the 22 / 22 magnum (Fine Colt finish with perfect style)
Ruger 10/22 Model in the 22 LR (Fun to shoot and ahead of its time)