Firearms

Five Ultimate American Firearms

Colt AR-15 Magpul MOE 6920

We all love American-designed, American-made firearms. Thank goodness that even in these times of outsourcing and globalization, there are still plenty of American guns to choose from. Here are five outstanding examples that are some of the best of the best at what they do.

870 Marine Magnum

870 Marine Magnum
870 Marine Magnum—Shiny but Deadly

The iconic 870 is the best-selling shotgun in history, with over ten million produced. Of course, there are a bunch of different models at different pricing levels, but the whole point of a pump shotgun is to be tough, am I right? The king of tough 870s might be the Marine Magnum. The silver finish is electroless nickel plating that covers all metal parts, even internally. This gives the Marine Magnum unmatched corrosion resistance; they are often found on boats and ships operating in salt water. Even if you aren’t going to be fishing off the coast of Alaska, it’s nice to know that you can buy an 870 Marine Magnum and it will last the rest of your life.Click Here to Start Shopping Online at Cheaper Than Dirt

Dan Wesson Valor

Dan Wesson Valor
Dan Wesson Valor—You may not understand, until you shoot one.

In my opinion there is no firearm more American than a 1911 in .45 ACP. One of the best values in 1911s is the Dan Wesson Valor. “Best value, at over $1,600? How is that possible?” I hear you say. “My $500 1911 does just fine!” The Valor is similar to a $500 1911 in the same way that a Dodge Viper is similar to a minivan. They both have an engine in front and four tires made of rubber, so what’s the difference? When you put a Valor in your hands and fire a magazine down range, it’s like getting behind the wheel of a 500 horsepower muscle car for the first time. Sure it costs more, but value is about what you get for the money. One online reviewer managed a 1.18-inch wide, five shot group from his Valor at 25 yards using quality Hornady ammunition. Vrooom!Click Here to Start Shopping Online at Cheaper Than Dirt

Colt SP6920 MOE

Colt 6920 MOE
Colt SP6920 MOE—Larry and Curly not included, nyuk nyuk nyuk!

There are many brands of the AR-15 rifle made in the USA, but none has such a rabid fan base as Colt. They like to say, “If it’s not a Colt, it’s a copy” and brag about how the Colt 6920 is as close as you can get to a military M4 carbine. The thing is, they are pretty much right about that. Colt is now making a “6920 MOE” version that comes from the factory with a pistol grip, forend, forward pistol grip, rear sight, and collapsible stock made by MagPul, another American company that has earned a huge number of fans. If you happen to be both a Colt fan and a Magpul fan, the SP6920 MOE combination is only a hundred bucks more than a standard 6920, giving you a big cost savings over buying the regular rifle and upgrading it with the same parts. What’s more American than that?Click Here to Start Shopping Online at Cheaper Than Dirt

Smith & Wesson 500

S&W 500
S&W 500—They make 700- grain bullets for this pistol. Really.

Smith & Wesson is another American company with a long and proud heritage. They lost their way in the 1990s and many gun owners boycotted them after Smith and Wesson made a rotten “smart gun” deal with the Clinton Administration. The boycott was effective and caused the company’s owners to sell it at a huge loss. The new ownership brought a new attitude with them, building the S&W .500, the largest caliber production revolver in history. Anti-gun people went bonkers, claiming that the .500 could be used to shoot down airplanes and such. Pro-gun folks looked at how angry the anti-gunners were with S&W and decided to end the boycott. So how big is the .500, really? A complete .44 Magnum cartridge will drop straight through the chambers of its cylinder, rim and everything! This may be the most powerful handgun ever produced in large numbers— the BATFE has declared that any pistol with a larger bullet diameter would be a “destructive device” requiring registration similar to owning a machine gun.Click Here to Start Shopping Online at Cheaper Than Dirt

Barrett M82A1 .416

Barrett M82A1 .416
Barrett M82A1 .416—This rifle is as long as your couch. God bless America!

California banned .50 BMG-chambered firearms in 2004. When Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the bill into law, Ronnie Barrett publicly announced that he would no longer sell to, or service .50 calibers in possession by California law enforcement agencies, which had pushed for the ban claiming that the .50 cals were “a terrorist threat” while ordering more of the same rifles for themselves. A year later, Barrett released the .416 cartridge, an ‘improvement” on the .50—yet still legal in California. Using a computer-designed bullet shape for maximum aerodynamic efficiency, the 400-grain .416 bullet sits in a necked down .50 cal casing until it leaves the muzzle at over 3,000 feet per second and 2,000 yards downrange it is still supersonic and stable. At first, the .416 could only be had in the bolt-action M99, but now Barrett is chambering the mighty semi-automatic M82A1 for this long-range monster. Barrett started with a banned caliber and replaced it with a legal caliber actually offering an improvement in effective range, causing the anti-gunners to wring their little hands and crap their little all-natural organic fiber underpants.  That’s really what makes the .416 M82A1 so uniquely American.Click Here to Start Shopping Online at Cheaper Than Dirt

What firearm that is made in the U.S.A. your favorite? Tell us in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (17)

  1. las.,>st comment (1ooo% i have all the big name customs big auto 45 in such some u never heard of big singleaction six wheel gun love them but also love fast draw doen it befor sass was thought of but a gun run through a pro machine shop compered to a stamped out gun factory is like nite and day if u know what i mean but i love em (ALL) every body got to start sumwere> PS u youngens 2 year machine shop class custem gun buliders make bank and u can fish a lot costtarica ya cum on

  2. “…Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the bill (banning .50 BMG-chambered firearms)…”

    What an F’n HYPOCRITE. “Hasta la vista,” meat-head.

  3. Norinco 1911 patterned after the Colt 1911 is just as good. The parts are interchangeable and a LOT cheaper when they were available pre-ban era. Looking back, wish I’d have bought several rather than just the one.
    I know all the China Sports haters will come out now. Unless you own one or have fired it YOURSELF, then please reserve the negative comments for something you actually know about..

    1. RPK I have a Norinco 1911 a colt A1 2 kimbers and a couple of Turkish 1911s. The Norinco is no where close to the quality of my colt or kimbers and takes a distant 3rd behind my Turkish guns (379 at buds guns). You are either joking or lying because its no even close

    2. I had a Norinco 1911. Its functioned fine, If you don’t mind file marks.
      I also don’t think it has been imported many years into the United States.

  4. Wyndham Weaponry is about as American as you can get! And makers of some mighty fine rifles!!

    Don’t forget Mossberg, American as apple pie, and just as good, if not better than Remington.

  5. Too much money for a 1911 model. Cheapest model with a heavier spring and a Wilson neoprene buffer, with 8-shot mags will serve as one of the ultimate fighting weapons known to mankind. I only need to hit a 10-inch pie plate (heart/lung area) out to 50 yards. It doesn’t much matter which lung I hit or which side of the heart I nick. But good article, it should stir up quite a bit of controversy.

  6. That argument about a Viper and a mini van might work to justify your purchase with your wife but it don’t hold water with gun owners. 1911’s should all have the same mil spec frame, grip size, internal parts, magazines, barrel dimensions and it uses the same ammo. A cheaper 1911 can have a few internal parts added for a few hundred bucks and do everything the Valor will do with same ammo. One of my 1911’s is a Springfield that has a match grade barrel and bushing added and it will do groups just as good as your Valor for less than a grand invested.

    I think a better comparison would be two Mustangs one built for a $100K in Detroit for the auto show and the other built as a Rum special for $40K in the Philippines. Same car just a different levels of quality and bells and whistles. The Philippines car can be modified for $20K or less to perform just as well as a the Detroit car. The down side you will always have to tell your buddies that you have a Philippines special and not the auto show beauty. If you are just talking appearance get the Valor, if you just need performance it can easily be done for significantly less.

    1. I agree 100% , I also have a Springfield 1911 A-1 and I don’t think it can be beaten by one of those $$$$ 1911’s. Don’t get me wrong I would like to have one, but I’m not going to pay the hyped price for it. Besides there are better guns out there for a lot less money.

  7. PARA GI Expert 1911. Made in the USA, retails for $600. 50 meters using Remington Bulk 230gr shot a 2 inch 8 round group. $1600 1911 argument is invalid.

  8. Hi,
    I have a 30 rem., a 32 rem., and a 35 rem., 2 model 8’s and the 35 is a model 81. The 25, 30, and 32 ammo is no longer available but there are a lot of guns still in use. It might be worthwile to make obsolete ammo on a limited basis. Just a thought!

    1. Louis,

      I have a model 81 in 35 Rem. also. I have found the Hornady “LeverRevolution” ammo at various outlets. It’s not always in stock, but it is from time to time.

  9. I’m usually to blogging and i really recognize your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your web site and keep checking for new information.

    1. If you’ve never held/shot a Dan Wesson, or Les Baer (1.5 @ 50 yards) you have no idea! Best value for money in the 1911 world. Look into it!

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