If I could have ONE rifle that resonates with the heritage of the Frontier Partisans, it would not be one of the obvious choices. No Jacob Dickert longrifle for me; no Hawken nor Winchester nor even the Sharps Big Fifty. No, it would be a later model, the apogee of firearms craftsmanship — the Mannlicher-Shonauer Model 1903. The rifle of Karamojo Bell, Werner von Alvensleben, Ernest Hemingway.
I just read a magnificent article on this fine, fine rifle in the September/October 2013 Gray’s Sporting Journal. Terry Wieland explored the history of the Mannlicher and left me with that pang of nostalgia to which I am so terribly prone. It’s worth tracking the article down. Read it and sigh…(Psst…. regarding all those rifles I mentioned… if the firearms gods are listening, I actually would like one of each. Please. The Mannlicher first.)