I have recently been rethinking how I feel about different brands and calibers of rifles. I would be the first to admit that I have bought brands and selected calibers based much on emotion and the options of others. For years I have shunned the venerable 30-06 Springfield, for no good reason other than in my youth, my Uncle told me it was not a very good choice for deer. It would seem that brand and caliber loyalties run deep and appear to be handed down from father to son. For the last few years I have made an effort to expand my comfort zone and try some new brands and calibers as well as different platforms, ie bolt rifles, lever guns, and even auto-loaders.
I wasn't raised around rifles other than a few shotguns and 22s. I learned to hunt big game with a bow and have only been rifle hunting for the last 10 years or so. Being raised in the south, to me a 300 Win Mag was a BIG BORE. I also made the mistake of shooting a .338 Win Mag that was improperly setup and had the recoil of a Howitzer. That experience made me recoil shy for years. As a matter of fact, I have only recently discovered that not all large bores recoil as extremely.
I recently purchased a Marlin Guide Gun in 45 70 Gov. It is still early to say that I'm in love, but I do really like the feel and handling of it and I found the recoil on this ported model to by quite manageable.
I'm going to continue to experiment with different brands and calibers, however I'm seeing a trend starting to develop. For me the Winchester Model 70 in CRF seems to be my bolt rifle of choice.
So what are your rifle prejudices and why?