Single shot rifle


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pwillie
January 3, 2011, 10:59 PM
I am currently looking at three single shot rifles,Blaser 95,Dakota Model 10,and the Merkel K......all these rifles are expensive to say the least,so does anyone have any input in a selection? Quality,workmanship and accuracy...waiting for opinions,Willie:cuss:

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Jim Watson
January 3, 2011, 11:15 PM
Beats me, that decision is way over my pay grade. I make do with a Browning and a Winchester.

There used to be a nice single shot made right here in Alabama, but Alan Hall quit them in favor of bolt actions for benchrest shooting.

sappyg
January 3, 2011, 11:21 PM
hey P,
i saw your earlier post re: falling blocks. i didn't comment then b'c you had experience with the # 1's which i have and enjoy. a bit out of my league but the only rifle sexier than a #1 is a Dakota #10. seriously!
i think the others brake open if IIRC and are probably lighter. can't speak to the D10 but #1's are heavey IMO.
i quess the question is what about these rifles interest you? what specific use do you have for one of these excellent machines?

SaxonPig
January 3, 2011, 11:35 PM
No experience or knowledge of the listed rifles except that they are very expensive.

This works for me...

http://www.fototime.com/2B252A97154B18D/standard.jpg


So does this...

http://www.fototime.com/CB84FA1DE4AB967/standard.jpg


And this...

http://www.fototime.com/9389A6BC8A769C4/standard.jpg

HOOfan_1
January 4, 2011, 12:08 AM
If you like those break opens, how about the BRNO effect?

Personally I like the falling blocks better and the Farquharson most of all. But I have no experience with them.

eastbank
January 4, 2011, 06:45 AM
this is my favotite single shot,a browning low wall in 260 rem. eastbank.

pwillie
January 4, 2011, 08:54 AM
I have looked at the Brownings and Winchesters,have owned several Rugers.The weight is the problem,and it seems the Dakota action (model 10) is one of the lightest....its hard to part with 4-5 grand for a safe queen(maybe use it once or twice a year)...but how about the break opens? Any experience with these?.. I love the Ruger # 1,but they are so heavy...anyway to lighten them?

MMCSRET
January 4, 2011, 09:33 AM
Browning is reintroducing the B78. I think, and have for almost 40 years that the B78 is one of the most attractive SS rifles I've ever used or owned.

jem375
January 4, 2011, 10:29 AM
The trouble is that most single shot rifle makers like Browning, Ruger, and Dakota think their rifles are made out of gold. I have 2 T/C rifles, G2 and Encore and they are not cheap and they are very good rifles also...At least they are good enough for me..

SaxonPig
January 4, 2011, 11:01 AM
The #1 is "so heavy?" I think the typical example goes about 8 pounds. What do you want? Maybe you had better stick with a plastic Air Soft gun.

Jake1996
January 4, 2011, 11:07 AM
Browning 78 Winchester 1885 (they reintroduced them) and Ruger No.1

pikid89
January 4, 2011, 11:09 AM
go with the NEF...you could have at least 20 of them for the price of the blaser lol
or 10 with nice scopes

BrocLuno
January 4, 2011, 11:41 AM
For the budget mentioned, I'm sure you could get a gunsmith to build any moderate caliber on a CBC shotgun action (or any break-open action you supply). That way you could get a carbon spaced liner into a shotgun configuration and it would be almost as light a field grade.

There are some lovely older 410's out there that could be simply re-barreled to say 22-250 or something if you want a real hot rod? What is the end goal here?

GunTech
January 4, 2011, 04:30 PM
I was shocked that the Dakota 10 didn't shoot as well as my Browning 1885. For the money, one expects superb accuracy. However wood fit and finish are first rate on the Dakota.

I'll keep my low walls as well.

http://guntech.com/single/low_walls.jpg

243winxb
January 4, 2011, 04:54 PM
Remington 40XB rifles. They have a custom shop, pick wood, metal work, what every you want to $pend.

32 Magnum
January 4, 2011, 04:58 PM
Get an old H&R - tried and proven - and cheap. Of course you don't get the "bragging rights" with these little gems.

133344

133345

Paul47
January 4, 2011, 05:37 PM
I've drooled a lot over those guns, but I won't carry a gun if it makes me feel bad, or makes me several hundred dollars poorer, to put a scratch on it. Who needs that?

My faves are the High Walls and Low Walls. The only real problem with these (or any falling block single shot) is scoping them. I hate scopes over the action, they really make the gun clumsy and cover the loading port. I have scout scoped a Low Wall and much prefer it that way. My eyes are too old for irons.

I have a Thompson TCR and a Contender Carbine. They have their place, and barrel interchangability is nice, but they are a notch below the "Walls" in my opinion.

pwillie
January 4, 2011, 07:17 PM
PIG: The problem with the weight of the Ruger,is carrying the 10 +lbs around all day while stalk hunting (Plus the weight of the scope) .The Merkel comes in around 6.5 lbs,and the Dakota is about the same.I have owned several Rugers,and the weight plus the triggers are a problem....I just sold one in 257 Weatherby..Stainless with a laminated stock....heavy,heavy,..!!.Made it a great shooter!I am leaning towards a 280 Dakota model 10....:fire:

pwillie
January 4, 2011, 07:18 PM
I have looked at the Browning High Wall's but "Made in Japan" turned me off..

Robert Wilson
January 4, 2011, 07:21 PM
The early Dakotas weren't always the most accurate guns around. Those of more recent vintage tend to be above average. I understand the company is in flux at the moment, which might affect your decision.

The break-opens don't always have a great reputation for accuracy either, and they're not as strong as falling blocks. Extensive use with high-pressure cartridges - especially handloads assembled by the "The loading manuals are written by lawyers" types - can accelerate wear on break-open guns. Having said that, such guns can be very accurate and perfectly strong, with sane loads.

The limited experience I have had with European single-shots leads me to believe that they are at least as accurate as the typical American magazine rifle, but not as accurate as "specialty" bolt rifles meant for exceptional accuracy. You can almost certainly count on the Merkel and Blaser to be honest 1.5 MOA guns, which doesn't light any fires among the internet cognoscenti but will, in Mr. Cooper's words, do everything that needs to be done in the field. The Dakota has the best workmanship of the three, IMO, with better machining tolerances and wood-to-metal fit. The Euros are no slouches in either department, with the Blaser probably the Dakota's equal in machining tolerances. For some reason, though, the Europeans don't seem to regard wood-to-metal fit with the same importance as do the Americans and Brits. Merkel in particular likes "proud" wood, which still strike me as less pleasing to the eye.

Regarding weight, the Ruger #1 is a more-or-less copy of the Farquarson, which was originally used primarily for cartridges now regarded as on the large end of the scale. Most of the original Farkys are chambered in things like the .450 NE, which really ask for nine or ten pound rifles. So to my mind, the Ruger is a great gun in the "Tropical" guise, but maybe less than ideal for the 7x57 and the like. For a stalking rifle to be used on light-to-medium game, I absolutely understand the desire for a six or seven pound gun, and it's there that the OP's choices shine, IMO. On the other side of the coin the Dakota 10 looks kind of silly to me when chambered in something like the .450 Dakota. Each to his own, of course...

pwillie
January 4, 2011, 08:18 PM
I agree about the Big Bore Dakota 10. I have no problem with a heavy loaded Ruger(which is very strong). I was impressed with the Merkel and Blaser singles weight for medium size cal. Am still thinking about the Falling Block Works action.MPI makes a light weight stock for a Ruger that I had chambered in 300 Wthby.The new accurizer that E Arthur Brown sells really works.;)

Robert Wilson
January 4, 2011, 08:25 PM
Is EAB selling the the Hick's Accurizer? I've heard good things about it, but have had good success simply drilling and tapping the spring hanger, then using a set screw to force the hanger away from the barrel. Same principle as the Hick's, but cheaper (albeit more work.)

Frankly, despite all the badmouthing Ruger takes, I've found most of their newer (<10 years old) production #1s to be fine in the accuracy department, and generally haven't needed to go to the trouble of "fixing" the spring hanger - especially with the heavy-barreled "Tropicals", which I adore.

FWIW, this thread has made me decide to take a close look at the Browning Low Walls. Beautiful guns!

HOOfan_1
January 4, 2011, 08:29 PM
I have looked at the Browning High Wall's but "Made in Japan" turned me off..

But made in Germany doesn't put you off about the Merkel and Blaser?

I thought everyone knew that Made in Japan wasn't a put down anymore....

How about made in New Zealand?

http://www.sorokarifle.com/

pwillie
January 4, 2011, 10:08 PM
HOO DO:! "Made in Japan" doesn't appeal to me as an investment....German,and Italian guns keep their value much better.I grew up when Made-in Japan was junk.Austria and most of the European gun makers set the bar in fine rifle making.Japan is having trouble making Toyota's...Arisaki ring a bell?:D

pwillie
January 4, 2011, 10:12 PM
My "Hicks" accurizer was fitted by a smith that does bench work in Selma,Al. He was trained at the old Walker Arms in Selma. I may end up with a Falling Block Works rifle,who knows?:evil:

GunTech
January 4, 2011, 10:50 PM
Miroku in Japan has been making guns sold under the Winchester and Browning name for quite a while. They are a first class maker. The following Browning products are made in Japan: Citori, Cynergy, BLR Lightweight, BLR Lightweight '81, A-Bolt II, X-Bolt, BT-99, BL-22 Rifle, Auto-22 Rifle, T-Bolt, BPS (all), and Gold 10 ga.

Jim Watson
January 4, 2011, 10:59 PM
I thought FBW was long gone.
Has somebody resumed making them or do you have an action stockpiled?

eastbank
January 5, 2011, 07:03 AM
i like single shots and have quite a few of them. i was thinking of making a 7x57 or 260 rem. out of this ruger #3 in 45-70. a barrel change and 243 or 308 ejector swap from a #1 should do it. and while i,m at it maybe differnt wood, or just slimming it down. eastbank.

JTH
January 5, 2011, 07:14 AM
Why would anyone want a single shot rifle? Are they that much more accurate? Not that I'm ragging on them, it just seems when there are bolt action, lever action, and semi autos what is the advantage/practicality of an expensive single shot rifle. Just curious!

JT

Abel
January 5, 2011, 07:56 AM
Why would anyone want a single shot rifle?

1. Who needs more than one shot?
2. They look cool.

pwillie
January 5, 2011, 08:05 AM
Jim: If your interested, I can give you his ph# Leo Fix,and yes he is still putting actions together,Willie.....Weatherbys value dropped like a rock after they started making rifles in Japan..Mercedes Benze is not made in Japan,neither was a Rembrandt,or Van Gogh! The old masters,are from Europe,not Tokyo!I do agree,Japan can copy very well,but are not that great of creators!:fire:

Paul47
January 5, 2011, 11:55 AM
Well, it seems pretty silly to sneer at Japanese products, particularly where things like manufacturing tolerances are concerned. But hey, whatever floats your boat.

Why have a single shot? How about:
1) Just to be different? Not everyone wants to be part of the Remington 700 crowd.
2) The notion of "what one needs (e.g. for hunting deer), and not a bit more"?
3) A shorter rifle without the drawbacks of a shorter barrel?
4) A lighter, trimmer gun, easy to carry?
5) No need to limit cartridge length to fit the magazine (some bolt guns force you to seat bullets far from the rifling).

Just think of it as the opposite end of the spectrum from hunting with an H&K MP5. :)

One mistake it is possible to make, I think, is too large a caliber. I had a Browning Low Wall in .260, which is not normally thought of as a kicker, but with the hard, small buttplate and the low weight, it was actually not that much fun to shoot, so I sold it. I now have the same rifle in a wildcat caliber, 6.5 TCU, which is a lot more fun.

BrocLuno
January 5, 2011, 02:31 PM
Seems to me and investment gun and shooter are two different things?

pwillie
January 5, 2011, 02:52 PM
Not sneering at MFG in Japan,just stating the facts,look at the price of a Browning 3 inch made in Japan,and one made in Belgium! Case closed....European MFG holds its value. If Browning had their High Wall made in Belgium or Europe,the rifle would sell for a much higher dollar.MFG in the USA brings a higher dollar than Japan...all about the value.Why does the Weatherby made in Germany hold its value? Did not say Japan didn't build quality products today,but the old stigma seems to hang on after the war years debacle.I have a friend that I sold an A bolt made in Japan too,many years ago,and he swears by its accuracy????:banghead:

BloodyCactus
January 5, 2011, 03:04 PM
Have you seen/checked out the 97D
http://www.eabco.com/Brown97DRifle.htm

Owlnmole
January 5, 2011, 03:55 PM
HOO DO:! "Made in Japan" doesn't appeal to me as an investment....German,and Italian guns keep their value much better.I grew up when Made-in Japan was junk.Austria and most of the European gun makers set the bar in fine rifle making.Japan is having trouble making Toyota's...Arisaki ring a bell?:D
That was one of the more inane and ignorant comments I have heard recently.

Without getting into a history lesson, it is a fact that the US authorities openly promoted racist, bigoted attitudes towards the Japanese (and Asians in general) during the war as a method to motivate troops and the folks on the home front. Those attitudes were also a reflection of fundamental racism in American society--there were no internment camps for German-Americans, only for Japanese-Americans. I say Americans--people born in the USA or naturalized as citizens.

In fact, an objective look at Japanese technology of the war, for example aviation, shows that they were on a par with the Allies technologically but simply did not have the industrial capacity to back it up. Imagine a Zero one on one with a Wildcat, which would you rather be flying? "Made in Japan" was a put down in the decades after the war as the Japanese rebuilt a country that bombing and rationing had knocked back almost to the stone age. Those that seize on the Toyota recalls have a short memory for absolute crap that the American carmakers were building in the 70s and 80s, both in terms of quality and complete disregard for fuel economy. Brings to mind the old saying about glass houses....

pwillie
January 5, 2011, 04:45 PM
OWL Hole: Whats race got to do with gun mfg? All I did was say that Jap guns don't hold value like European mfgs.....You must be Al(Owl) Sharptons nephew! I would like to have a general conversation in the next two years without "race" being brought up! This is a gun forum,and I opened this thread about single shot rifles,not what you ate for breakfast...do you understand?....didn't think so...:neener:

pwillie
January 5, 2011, 04:48 PM
Bloody Catus: I have seen the "Brown" rifles,thats the company I bought the Hicks from.Don't know anything about them as far as the rifles.would like some ones opinion if we can keep race out of the equation..LOL!:D

Dobe
January 5, 2011, 05:18 PM
I wonder what kind of grouping the Browning 78 will shoot? I just got off of their site. It looks nice.

Coal Dragger
January 5, 2011, 05:28 PM
Pwillie,

I have no direct experience with the Blaser single shot, but the R-93 is a hell of a nice well made rifle at least the ones I have handled have been.

As for Merkel First Stop Guns in Rapid City, SD carries a few Merkel doubles and shotguns. Beautiful wood and metal work, don't know how they shoot though.

First Stop also carries a lot of Dakota Arms, and they do have or have had several Model 10's on display. From a workmanship standpoint they are very very nice, at least as nice as the Merkel but they seemed to be better balanced and obviously trimmer since I haven't seen a Merkel single shot. The last Model 10 I handled was in .219 Zipper or something like that, so it was this tiny little wand of a rifle. Just gorgeous.

pwillie
January 5, 2011, 05:50 PM
Thanks for the info Coal Dragger. I will check out your guys...Does Dakota make their own barrels are some one else:D

Coal Dragger
January 5, 2011, 06:58 PM
Not sure if they make their own barrels or not, probably not. I am not sure who they source them from, the largest local barrel maker is HS Precision in Rapid City and Dakota is in Sturgis, SD so is just about 30 minutes west on I-90. My guess is that they probably buy their barrels from Pac-Nor, Wilson, Lothar Walther, or Douglas. All of which will shoot very well thank you.

Oh if you go to www.firststopguns.com and check out their gun classifieds you can look at what they have for inventory. Lots of Coopers and Dakotas. I bought my Cooper M52 in .280AI from them, and they were great to deal with.

jcwit
January 5, 2011, 07:08 PM
Not sneering at MFG in Japan,just stating the facts,look at the price of a Browning 3 inch made in Japan,and one made in Belgium! Case closed....European MFG holds its value. If Browning had their High Wall made in Belgium or Europe,the rifle would sell for a much higher dollar.MFG in the USA brings a higher dollar than Japan...all about the value.Why does the Weatherby made in Germany hold its value? Did not say Japan didn't build quality products today,but the old stigma seems to hang on after the war years debacle.I have a friend that I sold an A bolt made in Japan too,many years ago,and he swears by its accuracy????

Just wondering, how are those RG and Rohm revolvers from Germany holding their value?

pwillie
January 5, 2011, 07:17 PM
The Germans invented the "Mauser98"...the Japanese made the Arisaki!Which would you prefer?:D

Coal Dragger
January 5, 2011, 07:25 PM
I'll have to agree here. Hauling out examples of some cheaply made post war replica revolver as representative of all German made firearms is intellectually dishonest and disingenuous.

pwillie
January 5, 2011, 07:31 PM
Coal Dragger: Did First Stop have a R8 Blaser? I was told the new R8's are an upgrade to the '93...I do business with Eurooptics,and he is a Blaser dealer.Good buys on high end glass (Swarovski,Zeiss,etc..)

oneounceload
January 5, 2011, 07:36 PM
The Merkel is an excellent gun, but if your budget allows, look at those from Peter Hofer:

http://www.hoferwaffen.com/hofer_52s.php?id=9&lang=en

or from Phillipp Ollendorf:

http://www.jagdwaffen-ollendorff.com/index.php?node=1&lang=DE

Both make some of the finest guns in the world, including single shots

oneounceload
January 5, 2011, 07:44 PM
Miroku in Japan has been making guns sold under the Winchester and Browning name for quite a while.

Browning, yes.....Winchester was made by Nikko

Why would anyone want a single shot rifle?

Because you shouldn't need more than one shot

Seems to me and investment gun and shooter are two different things?

No, some people actually like to shoot well-made, nice guns

jcwit
January 5, 2011, 07:44 PM
The Germans invented the "Mauser98"...the Japanese made the Arisaki!Which would you prefer?

Well according to Hatchers Notebook the Arisaki was the stronger of the two, and IIRC both were stronger than the Springfield.

I'll have to agree here. Hauling out examples of some cheaply made post war replica revolver as representative of all German made firearms is intellectually dishonest and disingenuous.

No more so than using expensive made firearms from any era as being representative of firearms made in that particular country. This of course hold true for anything manufactured, whether it be cars, scopes, or the computors we're all pecking on.

jcwit
January 5, 2011, 07:51 PM
Quote:
Why would anyone want a single shot rifle?

Because you shouldn't need more than one shot



Many years ago I used to go hunting in Wy. with a gentleman who was in his 60 then 70's, We hunted together for 8 to 10 years if I remember. He carried a Winchester single shot with 1 handloaded cartridge, that was all. We traveled 1,000 miles to get to Sundance and in the years I hunted with him he never failed to being home the meat.

BTW he had no reloading components either.

YUP, one shot was all that was needed.

eastbank
January 5, 2011, 07:55 PM
early japanese rifles are very well made as are german early rifles,both late war rifles are below par., but the japanese rifles were proven to take more pressure than the german 98,s, just not as refined as we may have liked. i shoot a ex condition very eary 7.7 japanese 99 naygola first series in war rifle matches and do better with it an i do with a ex condition ax41 98 mauser in 8mm. with reloads in both,the peep sights may help me over the open sights on the 98 mauser. you can find the winchester japanese high walls on sale for 7-9 hundred dollars if you look,and that is in the ruger number one ranges and well below the others and are way better than the rugers,i own both and have no axe to grind. eastbank.

pwillie
January 5, 2011, 08:46 PM
I thought the Winchester High Wall was made in the USA??:o

Coal Dragger
January 5, 2011, 10:05 PM
Pwillie,

No First Stop didn't have any Blasers to my memory. Last time I personally handled an R-93 was a the Cabelas in Kansas City, KS. Nice Attache model that was a two barrel set, .375 H&H and .300 Winchester if I recall.... nice $9K+ price tag on it too. I've shot one of the old R-93 tactical rifles, and it was pretty slick, but not as accurate as the owner's SAKO TRG-41.

HOOfan_1
January 6, 2011, 12:00 AM
.Mercedes Benze is not made in Japan,neither was a Rembrandt,or Van Gogh!

But all of the Gorō Nyūdō Masamune swords were made there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masamune#Honjo_Masamune

However, there is no doubt that the B78.1885 is not in the class of the Merkel or the Blaser or the Dakota. It is more in the class of the Ruger No. 1

S. Hill
January 6, 2011, 02:10 AM
I have a Dakota 10 action sitting in my safe. Haven't decided what caliber to build it into.... :scrutiny:

pwillie
January 6, 2011, 07:34 AM
Japan has a history of making fine swords,but so does Britain!As far as a "Zero" being a better aircraft,that is debatable ...and where can a Dakota action be purchased????

pwillie
January 6, 2011, 07:40 AM
Added note: My father-in-law was IG in India during most of WW2,and he was able to acquire a "Samurai" sword that was authenticated by the Smithsonian as over 500 years old.My son is the owner of this fine work.

S. Hill
January 6, 2011, 09:58 AM
Japan has a history of making fine swords,but so does Britain!As far as a "Zero" being a better aircraft,that is debatable ...and where can a Dakota action be purchased????
The Dakota action is listed on their website. www.dakotaarms.com

I have no idea of the availability, but they are listed. $1875.00

Jim Watson
January 6, 2011, 10:02 AM
I think the Hagn single shots look real nice.
More expensive, though.

http://hagnriflesandactions.com/

Water-Man
January 6, 2011, 10:47 AM
I like the Ruger # 1 and for less money, the TC Encore.

pwillie
January 6, 2011, 10:58 AM
Looks like I am more into the Dakota than any of the rest..I will be searching for more info,thanks guys...Willie

jem375
January 6, 2011, 11:05 AM
That was one of the more inane and ignorant comments I have heard recently.

Without getting into a history lesson, it is a fact that the US authorities openly promoted racist, bigoted attitudes towards the Japanese (and Asians in general) during the war as a method to motivate troops and the folks on the home front. Those attitudes were also a reflection of fundamental racism in American society--there were no internment camps for German-Americans, only for Japanese-Americans. I say Americans--people born in the USA or naturalized as citizens.

In fact, an objective look at Japanese technology of the war, for example aviation, shows that they were on a par with the Allies technologically but simply did not have the industrial capacity to back it up. Imagine a Zero one on one with a Wildcat, which would you rather be flying? "Made in Japan" was a put down in the decades after the war as the Japanese rebuilt a country that bombing and rationing had knocked back almost to the stone age. Those that seize on the Toyota recalls have a short memory for absolute crap that the American carmakers were building in the 70s and 80s, both in terms of quality and complete disregard for fuel economy. Brings to mind the old saying about glass houses....
Interesting, put that zero against a Corsair which happened quite a bit during the Second World War and who won???

highlander 5
January 6, 2011, 11:16 AM
I have a freind who has a Browning 78 in 45/70 and its biggest problem,the curved steel butt plate. It will pound yuo in to submission it short order. I'm suprised no one here has mention an 1874 Sharps. IN .40 or .45 cal it will take anything on the continent and they can be found easily and at a prce that you won't have to sell a kidney for.

S. Hill
January 6, 2011, 12:10 PM
I have a freind who has a Browning 78 in 45/70 and its biggest problem,the curved steel butt plate. It will pound yuo in to submission it short order. I'm suprised no one here has mention an 1874 Sharps. IN .40 or .45 cal it will take anything on the continent and they can be found easily and at a prce that you won't have to sell a kidney for.
Except the Sharps are HEAVY!!! The OP is looking for a lightweight, high quality, single shot. His choices are limited, as most falling block rifles are on the heavy side, and the break-open ones are either cheap (like the NEF and TC) or quite expensive.

I love the Dakota 10, and if you have the budget for it, it is a sweet little rifle. Dakota is/was making a mini-Sharps with a 26" barrel that weighs right around 8 lb. That is still not a lightweight! Their Model 10 weighs between 6 and 7.

I don't know what will change, now that Remington (Freedom Group) owns it. I do know that the head of the Remington Custom Shop is involved out in Sturgis, and I know that he is a very good manager. So we'll just have to wait and see.

S. Hill
January 6, 2011, 12:20 PM
I was just down in San Antonio, and visited KDF Guns. They are a Blaser dealer, and have a K95 in their rack. I didn't even take a good look at it. I'm not much into break-open rifles.

If you are interested, you can contact them at www.kdfguns.com Ask for the owner, Phil. I know that they will take good care of you.

Owlnmole
January 6, 2011, 02:24 PM
Interesting, put that zero against a Corsair which happened quite a bit during the Second World War and who won???
I am happy to take this discussion offline as this is not an aviation discussion group. I hope you are better informed about guns than aircraft.

That said, the Zero made its combat debut in 1940 and dominated the opposition in the early years of the war. The Corsair made its combat debut with the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943, by which time the Japanese has deployed far better aircraft than the Zero, like the Nakajima Hayate and the Kawanishi Shiden, but not a carrier-based fighter to replace for the Zero. So Japanese naval aviators continued to fight, and die, in Zeros. That doesn't change the fact that, in the words of legendary British test pilot Eric Brown who flew just about everything allied and axis, the Zero was "the finest fighter in the world until mid-1943."

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