Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 20

BY BOB SOPCHICK

To gain a historical overview
of the vast array of manually operated rifles favored by
America's deer hunters through
the years, you need to look no
further than Pennsylvania.
With great numbers of gun enthusiasts and
a rich deer-hunting heritage, Pennsylvania
stands out as a keystone state in the annals
of deer-rifle history.
Factors that have determined what rifles
deer hunters use change through time, but
include: regulatory guidelines; new firearm
and ammunition designs; economic and military influences; mainstream design trends;
terrain and cover hunted; hunting styles;
hunter demographics and marketing; peergroup influence; and, of course, reliability
and performance.
With the advent of smokeless powders
and growing expectations for the recreational
hunting that upstart game-conservation
programs would provide, genius firearms
designer John Moses Browning in the late
1800s envisioned an exciting future in firearms development.
In 1895, the same year the Pennsylvania
Game Commission was created, Winchester
introduced the .30 WCF (.30-30) smokeless
cartridge in the John Browning-designed
Model 1894. But back then, there were
few deer to hunt here. The ravaged land20

scape and depleted wildlife populations
required visionaries and resources to meet
the challenges of management, protection,
regulation and restoration in what would
be a monumental and perpetual effort that
continues today.
As the Game Commission celebrates
its 125th anniversary, we'll dive deeper
into deer-hunting history by examining
the smokeless-powder centerfire rifles that
made significant impact between 1895 and
2020. This period is comprised of three
distinct eras. The first and longest is from
1895 to 1960, a period when the first rifle
designs geared to the recreational deer hunter
emerged. We'll cover this era below.
The second era, from 1960 to 1990, was
one of rapid evolution, as manufacturing
methods, materials and modernistic design
changed the way guns were built. And the
modern era, from 1990 to 2020, is one of
specialization and refinement, with an enormous range of choices and price points for
a diverse market beyond the baby boomer
generation. It also encompasses revivals
of many older designs. These eras will be
covered in coming issues.
You'll probably find some iteration of
your deer rifle along this timeline, as well
as why the design emerged and, within that
story, a reflection of the relentless spirit of
American ingenuity as driven by sportsmen.



Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 5
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Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 7
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Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 22
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Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 26
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Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 28
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Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover4
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