These bolt action rifles will help fill your freezer this season and beyond.
Are you in the market for a new hunting rifle this season? It's an ideal time to pick up a new bolt action rifle for reaching out on big game at long range distances. However, the market is absolutely flooded with options, so how do you choose?
Well, today we will help narrow down those choices. We'll suggest a variety of options based on rifle features, calibers, practical purposes and more.
No matter what style of hunting you prefer, there should be something to fit your needs on this list. These are our picks for 10 of the best bolt action rifles on the market today.
Remington Model 700
This rifle has a storied history, both in the deer woods and with the U.S. Army and United States Marine Corps. This rifle has been a sniper rifle of choice for talented the talented marksman in both branches. The great thing about this rifle is the plethora of options to fit a variety of uses and budgets. Looking for larger chamberings for long-range shooting? Consider the Model 700 Tactical chassis. It comes in 26 and 24-inch barrel lengths and is chambered in calibers like .300 Winchester Magnum, .308 Winchester and 338 Lapua. Want something lighter and cheaper that will stand up to the elements? Consider their ADL stainless packages. These rifles also often include 3-9x40 scopes and are chambered in popular whitetail calibers like .243 Winchester, .270 Winchester. No matter what you choose, the 700's two lug bolt helps make for a buttery smooth action that will cycle when you need it. Remington also offers a bevy of traditional wood and synthetic stock combinations to fit any shooter's tastes.
The Tikka name is known for accuracy and that shows in the T3x line. In fact, these centerfire rifles come with a one-inch MOA guarantee straight out of the box. Many user reviews even report sub-MOA groups. These rifles offer excellent ergonomics thanks to the generous buttstock recoil pads, comfortable grip patterns on the fore-end and modular stock systems that allow you to make adjustments to the pistol grip. These are also some of the lightest rifles on the market, making them ideal for backcountry hunting adventures. Guns like the T3x Lite weigh just 6.5 pounds. Guns like the T3x Superlite in 6.5 Creedmoor are even more impressive. That rifle comes in at just 5.9 pounds, even with a 24-inch barrel. Tikka recently introduced new variations like the T3x Ultimate Precision rifle which features a picatinny rail and adjustable cheek piece. The T3x models are available in many different stock and barrel combinations including wood and synthetic and blued and stainless steel. These rifles come chambered for popular hunting calibers like .30-06 Springfield, .300 Win Mag, 7mm Rem Mag and more.
Another rifle line with just a bevy of options to fit any hunter's style the Weatherby name is trusted by some of the best hunters in the world. The Vanguards featured cold hammer forged barrels and fluted bolt bodies. Speaking of the bolt, an interesting safety design feature here are the three gas ports which the company built to vent gas in case of accidental case ruptures. Combine that with the three-position safety and you have a very safe firearm. Weatherby guarantees sub-MOA groups straight out of the box when using premium factory ammo. To help with that accuracy, these rifles are fitted with adjustable, match grade, two-stage triggers. This rifle is available in a plethora of calibers from 223 Remington that's perfect for varmints, to rounds for large, dangerous game like .375 H&H Magnum. Want a classic hunting rifle look? Consider something like the Vanguard Sporter with a classic Turkish Walnut stock. Looking for something that's going to be light and easy to carry? The Vanguard Back Country has a Cerakote finish, synthetic stock and comes in under seven pounds, making it a joy to carry up and down high ridges in pursuit of that big buck or bull.
The Browning name has long been associated with high-quality firearms and the X-Bolt is no exception. These rifles feature a free-float barrel, an adjustable feather trigger and a 60-degree bolt throw to make cycling rounds easier without interfering with your optics setup. These rifles have gotten high marks from users for being extremely light weight and for their accuracy at long distances. Browning uses Inflex recoil pads on these rifles that makes them easier to shoot than ever before. We like the X-Bolt Hell's Canyon as a solid option for aging hunters looking for a light, ergonomic rifle to keep them in the game in their later years. The X-Bolt is available in plenty of popular deer hunting calibers like 7mm Rem Mag, .300 Win Mag, and .270 Winchester to name a few. Browning also has a variant called the Max Long Range that comes with a composite stock that has an adjustable comb and spacers for adjusting the length of pull. It also has a threaded muzzle brake for reaching out to extreme distances while mitigating recoil and noise.
Thompson/Center Compass II
While the Thompson Center name may be better known for their single shot rifles and muzzleloaders, they have built a solid and highly affordable bolt action platform with the Compass II. These are rifles rich with features normally seen on more expensive models. Things like a free-floating and threaded barrel ready for a suppressor. It also has 5R rifling that makes for a cleaner shooting rifle. The Compass II has a three-lug bolt with a 60-degree throw to make cycling rounds easier without worry of disrupting the optics. Thompson Center built these rifles with a single stage adjustable trigger, three position safety and detachable rotary magazines. These rifles are built in almost every popular deer hunting caliber. For under $400, there's a lot to like about the T/C's features and capabilities. This would make a solid starter rifle for a newer hunter or a younger one looking to head out into the field for the first time this season.
Bergara B14 Hunter
Available in a variety of popular deer calibers like 6.5 Creedmoor, .300 Win Mag, .270 Winchester and .308 Winchester, the B14 rifles come with a 1.0 MOA grouping guarantee at 100 yards straight out of the box. These rifles feature glass fiber reinforced polymer stocks that make these guns tough against the elements of the backcountry. You can get these stocks with a few nice camo finishes or a more simplistic solid color. Bergara barrels are built at their storied factory in Spain and come with an incredible reputation for accuracy that is hard to beat. Bergara is also one of a few firearms brands to offer the option to use a detachable magazine or an internal box mag. The B14 has a buttery-smooth action thanks to the two lug bolt system and sliding plate extractor. The receivers on these guns are drilled and tapped for Remington 700 style bases and scope rings.
Christensen Arms Mesa
A higher-end option, the Christensen Arms Mesa is a precision shooting rifle built of premium quality materials. These rifles feature 416R stainless steel barrels with a threaded muzzle. To make them even more resistant to the elements, they are given burnt bronze, tungsten or Cerakote finishes. These guns cycle via a two-lug, spiral fluted bolt with an M-16 style extractor. The ejection port is enlarged to help minimize jams and the internal magazines offer either a three or four-round capacity. Christensen Arms has built these guns in a variety of calibers. All the standard deer rounds are here, but so too are rounds like 28 Nosler, 6.5 PR and .300 PRC. They even make an option in .450 Bushmaster, perfect for states with straight-wall cartridge rules for deer hunting.
The Patriot is Mossberg's entry into the affordable hunting rifle market and these guns have a bevy of great features that make them worthy of consideration for any hunter on a budget. For one, these guns feature triggers that can be adjusted from two to seven pounds. Mossberg offers this gun with either a classic walnut or synthetic stock configuration. Many of these rifles come with barrels that are fluted, threaded or both. Barrel finishes include matte blued, stainless and Cerakote. Another reason to consider Patriot is just the unbelievable amount of caliber selections available. Calibers like 7mm, .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .243 Win and .300 Win Mag are to be expected. However, we also appreciate the fact that they included straight wall options like .450 Bushmaster and .350 Legend into the mix too for those of us who live in states with caliber restrictions.
Ruger American Rifle
Another great budget option, the Ruger American Rifle line also offers a plethora of chambering offerings stock configurations and finishes. The options are almost endless. Hunt in dense, brushy areas? Consider one of the Compact or Ranch models with shorter barrels. Want to reach out to great distances? Consider the Hunter models with Magpul adjustable stocks. These rifles use Ruger's "Power Bedding" integral bedding block system to free-float the firearm's barrel. The Marksman trigger is adjustable between three and five pounds and these guns come with a picatinny rail base for optics standard. The three-lug bolt has a 70-degree throw for better cycling and clearance of your optics. Ruger also sells combo packs that come with a Vortex Crossfire II scope already bore sighted. There's a lot to like about the American Rifle, especially the price, which comes in under $400 for some models.
Savage Model 110
The Savage Arms company has continually updated and added new variants of their classic Model 110 for years now. As far as bolt-action rifles go, this one is the oldest continually-manufactured one here in North America. One of the great new features of the 110 is the Accufit system. This allows hunters to change out the comb or add spacers to adjust the length of pull. These rifles also come with the simple-to-adjust Accutrigger that lets you adjust the trigger pull without a gunsmith. These guns use detachable box magazines and come with either blued, matte or stainless steel finished barrels. Savage is another company that offers combos in the XP line. These rifles come with bore sighted Vortex Crossfire II scopes ready to hit the range. For hunters looking to reach to extreme long range, Savage offers guns like the 110 Precision and 110 Elite Precision. The options for the 110 are nearly endless and it seems like Savage is adding more options all the time to fill every shooter's individual niche.