Best WWII Sniper Rifle is...
This is easy if you are a student of the platform.
The Winchester Model 70 (Pre-'64) was FIRST PRODUCED in 1936.
The Second World War OFFICIALLY began on the 1st of September, 1939.
The Winchester Model 70, Pre-1964, action is THE BEST action that was available at the time of the war.
Whether someone used it or not is irrelevant. The technology was AVAILABLE at the time of the war.
Carlos Hathcock used a bull barrel, off the shelf, Model 70 in .30-06 in Vietnam (arguably a much tougher "hunting" environment) and he was credited with 93 CONFIRMED kills.
Charles "Chuck" Mawhinney, recorded 103 confirmed kills with a very similar (practically the same) rifle.
Simo had the benefit of working in -20 to -40 degree CELSIUS weather when the Soviet Union made the mistake of trying to invade Finland.
Yes, he has the most in service kills!
Yes, he has the most kills in the shortest period of service time!
Yes, he was a bad ass of epic proportion!
But he was facing an enemy, on HIS TURF, that was constantly advancing and was highlighted by the fact that every breath was exposed to anyone that was looking.
Shooting fish in a barrel (the guy recorded an average of FIVE KILLS
a day, which is no accident) is an easy description.
But as effective as he was, he wasn't as instrumental as other snipers have been in other wars.
One shot can make a hell of a difference and snipers of the US have routinely made that difference time and again in all sorts of conflicts. (Did you know that Mark Bowden, Black Hawk Down, credits a DELTA sniper with killing Pablo Escobar?)
The Winchester Model 70, in a long or short action, was the finest action being produced AT THAT TIME
. With a half assed barrel, I would still put it up against the "well made" Mosin or other offering from the Eastern Blok at the time and feel very comfortable.