Every now and than, a hunting friend who has not been reduced to living in his pickup will sidle up to me and say: “I want to buy a ______. What’s the best ______ you can get?” And I will tell them, because if I don’t, they think I know but am holding out on them for some sinister reason. The truth is, it’s almost impossible for anyone, even with the experience, good taste, and discernment of myself, to say what’s “best” in the wonderful world of guns and hunting. This is because:

*I haven’t used everything that’s out there.

*Of the stuff that I have used, my experience has sometimes been pretty limited.

*We tend to like what conforms to our prejudices, and I am pretty prejudiced. That said, here are a few nominations in which I feel pretty confident. If they are not the “best,” I don’t see how it’s possible to do better.

Elephant-squashing dangerous game rifle: One of Ryan Breeding’s $20,000-plus masterpieces.

Dangerous-game rifle: Ed Brown Model 704 Express

Light big-game rifle: New Ultra Light Arms Model 20

Hunting Knife: the DiamondBlade line

Hard Gun Case: The Beartrack (aluminum) and Hardigg (resin) lines. The ramp apes’ despair.

Boots: Kenetrek.
Tough-Game bullets:** Swift A-Frame or Barnes-XXX

And so on. Now, if we only had the money…