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7 Great Single Shot Rifle Options for Hunting, Plinking and More

Single Shot Rifles
Winchester/Ruger

These single shot rifles will get the job done efficiently.

When it comes to rifle options on the market, most people go with something traditional. Bolt action rifles, lever actions and semi-autos are all the rage these days for target and hunting purposes. However, single shot rifles are simple, easy to maintain and extremely reliable in the field, making them a great option for people who want to be more disciplined about their shots.

Single shots are also a solid option for teaching others firearms handling and safety practices before they move on to something more advanced like a bolt-action rifle.

Today we will look at some of the current options for single shot rifles on the market today. We have a variety of centerfire rifles and maybe a rimfire option or two. Either way, you are bound to find something that fits your budget and needs.

Thompson Center Encore Pro Hunter

Single Shot Rifles

This classic break-action rifle has earned a sterling reputation as one of the best modern single shots on the market today. Thompson/Center builds several different variations of this rifle in a variety of calibers. Popular ammo options include .308 Winchester, .223 Remington. .45-70 Govt, and .30-06 Springfield to name a few. For hunters looking for a rifle with a bit more punch, they also offer this gun chambered for .460 and .500 S&W. The weight varies depending on model, but most come in at right around seven pounds, perfect for spot and stalk. Barrel length varies between 20 and 28 inches for serious long-distance shooting. There are also options for stainless steel or a Realtree camo finish on the barrel and receiver. T/C fits these guns with nice Flextech recoil pads that will help tame any kick, making this a solid option to carry to the stand for a younger hunter to bag their first deer.

CVA Scout

Single Shot Rifles

While the CVA name is usually associated with affordable muzzleloaders, they have an extensive line of single shot rifles that can fit into almost any hunter's budget. The Scout rifles are most notable here. The company offers these guns in a plethora of caliber options like .243 Winchester, 7mm-08 Remington, 444 Marlin, and .45-70 Government. If you live in a Midwestern state with "straight wall cartridge" rules for deer hunting, there are plenty of options with CVA. One could pick up a popular heavy handgun caliber like .44 Magnum or .357 Magnum. However, the company has also embraced regionally popular rounds like .350 Legend and .450 Bushmaster. Some of these rifles, like the CVA Scout V2 are often takedown models for even more versatility. The company also sells variants with scopes already mounted. These rifles come with either a stainless steel or blued finish depending on your preferences. Some of the Scout rifles start at sub $300, making this a great option for anyone on a budget.

Ruger No. 1 Rifles

Single Shot Rifles
Ruger

Many hunters do not realize it, but Ruger makes a high-end line of single shot rifles that are perfect for serious big game hunters who want the ultimate in reliability. These rifles use an artillery style breechblock design and a falling block breech mechanism. The underside lever makes it easy to quickly eject spent casings and chamber another. These guns have cold hammer-forged barrels that vary in length from 20 to 26 inches depending on the model you choose. These rifles are simply beautiful and offered in a variety of stock configurations and finishes. For instance, the 6.5 Creedmoor comes with a walnut stock and blued steel look while the .450 Bushmaster has a satin stainless steel and black laminate configuration. These rifles have scope mounts already machined in for your favorite optics. Other chambering options include .243 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, 44 Remington Magnum, 35 Whelen, .204 Ruger, .475 Linebaugh, .480 Ruger, .30-30 Winchester and .257 Roberts. The Ruger #1 rifles are pricey, but you will have a rifle that will last a lifetime of hunting and can be passed to the next generation.

Savage Arms Rascal

Single Shot Rifles
Savage Arms

We said we would put some rimfires on this list and the Rascal is one of the best options out there for teaching a young person the rules of safe firearms handling. Savage Arms offers a plethora of options for this .22 long rifle. The overall length of this firearm is just over 30 inches, making it perfect for the frames of smaller shooters. For some variants, Savage has cut the weight down to under three pounds. That would make this an ideal first gun for a young hunter to lug afield after rabbits and squirrels. The 16-inch carbon steel barrel has a 1:16 rate of twist and some models are even threaded. Savage offers this model with dozens of different color configurations for the synthetic stock, from a traditional black to hunter orange, hot pink and even the "Star Spangled Edition" in red, white and blue. Oh, and Savage makes left-handed versions of all these guns so that young southpaws are not left out of the fun. Most of these guns come in at sub $200, making it easier than ever to introduce a young person to the shooting sports.

Henry Single Shot Steel

Single Shot Rifles

When you want simplicity and a proven name, it is hard to go wrong with Henry Repeating Arms. While they may be better known for their lever-action rifles, there are some solid Henry singleshots too. The steel usually starts under $400 and is available in popular calibers like .308 and .243 Winchester, .223 Remington, .45-70 Government and .44 Magnum to name a few. These rifles break open easily with the operation of the lever on the frame. This lever can be reversed, which effectively makes these guns ambidextrous. There is not a manual safety, but there are multiple safety features in place that make this a very safe gun too. For one, the interlock system prevents the barrel from closing while the hammer is locked and a rebounding hammer system that only touches that firing pin when you squeeze the trigger. These guns come with 22-inch barrels and a classic walnut stock and forend with a blued steel finish. Brass bead front sights and a folding leaf rear sight are standard for hunters who want a bit more of a challenge with their new rifle.

Chiappa Little Badger

Single Shot Rifles

Let us look at something more outside the box. These rimfire rifles do not have much in the looks department, but that is because they are function over form. At just $179.99, this is an incredibly affordable and compact rifle for your bug out back or survival equipment on the boat, plane or even just stowed in the back of the truck. Folded, this gun is only 17 inches long and comes in at an unbelievably light 2.9 pounds. These guns feature a folding wire frame black stock, a 16.5-inch barrel and adjustable sights. Another great thing about these guns is that there are three different rimfire ammo options. The obvious one is .22 lr, but these guns come chambered in .22 WMR and .17 HMR too. The Chiappas may not be the prettiest guns around, but they get great customer reviews for simplicity and reliability at an incredible price point.

Winchester Model 1885 High Wall Hunter

Single Shot Rifles
Winchester

It is hard to argue with a firearm that was originally designed by the legendary John Browning. This gun has all the classic looks and long range capabilities of a classic old west rifle, but in a new package. These rifles use a single shot, falling block lever action to cycle. They are fitted with 28-inch octagon barrels, have classic satin walnut stocks and a blued steel finish. Winchester offers this rifle in popular calibers like .30-06 Springfield, .270 Winchester, .243 Winchester, .308 Winchester and most popular of all, 6.5 Creedmoor. These rifles are already drilled and tapped for optics. They are expensive at around $1,500, but this is a design that you can trust for a lifetime of hunting adventures.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels

NEXT: THE SIG SAUER CROSS RIFLE FOLDS THE GAP BETWEEN TACTICAL, HUNTING PURPOSES

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7 Great Single Shot Rifle Options for Hunting, Plinking and More