Any serious gun enthusiast will tell you that rifles in general are awesome. However, not all rifles are created equal, and certainly not all of them are good for every type of shooting.
When it comes to hunting, it goes without saying that you can’t just bring any rifle. You want a firearm that is durable but still light enough to carry while you’re in the wild. Also, you want a hunting rifle that can hold large caliber rounds with minimal recoil for making accurate shots.
You also need a weapon that handles well so in the event of a surprise game sighting, you can make off-hand shots.In other words, you want a gun that is very versatile, can take out targets at a distance, and packs a lot of punch.
What we are describing might sound like a dream weapon but all you need is the best hunting rifle. So we put up a list of some of the best hunting rifle that you can use for your hunting trips.
How We Chose Our Ratings
Ranking the best rifles for hunting is no easy task. In reality, there are just so many hunting rifles that excel when it comes to hunting. However, our aim is to list the best guns that will give you the best value for your money.
Thus, we are looking through various factors like accuracy, durability, overall performance, and price. On top of that, we have also looked into the various feedback of actual users.
If many people are using the rifle for hunting and have a positive experience with it, then there’s a good chance that you will have a similar experience as well.
Now, let’s take a look at some hunting rifles.
Comparison Table of the Best Hunting Rifle
Which is the Best Hunting Rifle?
Below are some of my top picks when it comes to the best hunting rifle.
Savage Arms 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP
$499.88 - $549.88 (current sale price)
Savage Arms is a company known for their top quality rifles for the best price. The Savage Arms 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP Bolt-Action Rifle is just one of those models.
This is yet another example of Savage Arms’ dedication to manufacturing rifles at a reasonable rate. This one is a bolt-action model and it features an accuracy enhancing trigger system referred to as Accutrigger. The floating head bolt design is also a standout. The rifle is available in .22 up to .308 caliber.
Another nice thing about this package is that it comes with a bonus Nikon BDC 3-9x40 Scope. This is a pretty good scope that should improve your accuracy for long-distance shots.
WHERE TO BUY
Bergara Premier HMR Pro
Bergara surely is on a roll lately. Last year, the company had a banner year and won many awards.
The company is not about to rest on its laurels as they release the Bergara Premier HMR Pro, an even better iteration of its award-winning B-14 HMR.
If precision performance is at the top of your list, then this rifle should be an easy buy.
The core element of the rifle’s performance is definitely the world-class 416 stainless steel threaded barrel which is produced in Spain. The HMR Pro also features a proprietary Nitride-coated two-lug action which paves the way for some seriously reliable cycling.
The stock system is also highly comfortable, thanks to its integrated mini-chassis for repeatable bedding. This gun is just one of the many reasons why Bergara is a top shooting rifle brand today.
WHERE TO BUY
Tikka T3 Lite
$599.97 - $748.00 (current sale price)
If you are planning to go hunting all day, the Tikka T3 Lite Stainless Steel Bolt-Action Rifle is certainly a good consideration.
As you might have guessed from its name, the rifle only weighs less than 6.5 pounds. So you can lug it around for hours and it won’t become a burden.
The gun’s metal parts are made of Sako’s high-grade stainless steel so it’s more than capable enough to brave the harsh outdoor elements. The stock is made of fiberglass-reinforced copolymer material which is a great combination of lightweight comfort and durability.
The detachable magazine is also a nice touch. I could just detach the magazine while riding around and once it’s time to hunt, I could just pop it in and I’m ready. With some modifications, this is easily one of the best lightweight rifles in the market.
WHERE TO BUY
Browning X-Bolt Pro Long Range
The Browning X-Bolt rifles are known for their out of the box accuracy.
The Browning X-Bolt Pro Long Range Rifle boasts a heavier profile barrel that provides increased accuracy at longer distances.
This is a high-end "semi-custom rifle" and it’s described as such due to specialized finishing touches and higher end construction. This is even more of an improvement to the X-Bolt line which is nothing short of impressive.
The Cerakote finish on the action and barrel offers top-of-the-line durability. The color of the stock is also muted so you can blend better with the environment. A new proprietary lapping process has been used for the barrel in order to improve accuracy and for easier bore cleaning.
The gun is available in 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 WSM, 300 WSM, 7mm Rem Mag, 26 Nosler, 28 Nosler, and .300 Win Mag.
WHERE TO BUY
Remington Model 783
The Remington Model 783 is a hunting rifle that gives plenty of value for your money.
The Remington 783 includes their very own take to Savage’s Accutrigger.
For the most part, I enjoy these adjustable safety triggers when compared to the old gritty, heavy triggers that old models used to have. It’s easy to adjust the trigger a bit more in order to get rid of the creep.
The 783 features some plastic materials that feel grippy and has a rather beefy stock – perhaps the beefiest stock when it comes to budget bolt-action rifles.
The gun comes with a 2 position, nonbolt-locking safety which is located near the bolt. One thing I particularly liked about the 783 is that it’s spring loaded which adds to the usability of the gun.
In terms of quality, you can see that some corners got cut in an effort to keep the price low. The most notable one is the plastic parts. Even so, the 783 is the best hunting rifle for beginners and the budget-conscious.
WHERE TO BUY
Sako A7 Big Game
In the history of the hunting rifle, Sako is known for its accuracy and quality models. With that said, the Sako A7 Big Game is no exception.
There’s a lot to like about the A7 Big Game. At 6.8 pounds, this lightweight model delivers superior accuracy for a good price. True enough, this rifle is one of the most accurate rifles that you can get out of the box.
The stock of the rifle gives off a great feeling that you’re handling a weapon with good stopping power. The barrel is fluted which allows minimal recoil for improving the accuracy of your shots.
Since the rifle is already accurate out of the box, minimal modifications are needed. If you’re new to hunting or shooting in general, this rifle is not a bad place to start.
WHERE TO BUY
Savage 10/110 BA Stealth Evolution
$1799 - $2149
The Savage 10/110 BA Stealth Evolution is the only tactical rifle on this list.
I must say that this is a jaw-dropping bolt-action rifle. The gun features a machined monolithic aluminum chassis finished in bronze Cerakote which just screams “high-end” performance.
Savage promises “pinpoint” accuracy which I might have to agree with, thanks to the carbon steel, match-grade barrel that’s outfitted with 5R rifling and the proprietary AccuTrigger.
The gun also offers additional rail sections to make way for your favorite accessories. The Magpul Gen 3 PRS stock allows various adjustments to help you achieve that perfect fit.
Highly accurate and very comfortable, this just proves that Savage always brings their A-game. Plus, it has a really cool name.
WHERE TO BUY
Hopefully, at this point, you were able to find the best hunting rifle that fits your needs. If not, then there’s always the option of shopping around for yourself.
Take into account these key factors when shopping for the right rifle for your hunting needs.
1. Choose the Right Cartridge
The cartridge is basically just another word for the gun’s bullet which is central to choosing a best hunting rifle.
Keep in mind that every gun is designed to only fire certain cartridges. So you will have to evaluate which size of game you’re going to pursue. For example, if you’re going after a big game like a caribou or moose, then you will also need a gun that can fire a larger cartridge.
For a basic hunting setup, consider a rifle that can shoot 308 Winchester or .30-06 Springfield. For small game and vermin, a basic .22 or .223 Remington should be enough. The takeaway here is to choose a gun that has enough firepower to take out your target in a single shot.
2. Choose the Right Action
The rifle action is basically responsible for firing out and reloading the cartridges. Hunting rifles are either designed to fire single shots or repeat shots. Choosing the ideal action just boils down to personal preference.
A single-shot weapon is preferable for experienced hunters since it increases the pressure of making an accurate shot. On the other hand, a repeating rifle decreases that pressure which makes it ideal for beginners.
The best way to determine which action is right for you is by going out and spending some hands-on time with different rifles.
3. Consider the Materials
The good news is that hunting rifles are available in a variety of price points. In many cases, the price of the rifle is dictated by its materials.
In this regard, it’s important that you can distinguish a good but affordable rifle from one that is just plain cheap. If you want to make your investment count, choose a rifle with the right barrel and stock materials.
Most rifles come with either stainless steel or carbon steel for the barrel along with other metal components. Carbon steel is the cheaper of the bunch but it’s rather prone to rust. However, this shouldn’t be a concern if you’re up to the task of maintaining your gun.
For the stock, you have the choice between fiberglass or wood. Solid wood guns are a thing of beauty but problems can arise when exposed to moisture or high humidity. Synthetic materials like fiberglass are becoming more popular since they’re more affordable and is less affected by moisture.
4. Set your Budget
Many would-be hunters fall into the trap of buying an expensive rifle just because it’s expensive and look cool. At the end of the day, they don’t have the money to buy a rifle scope.
So when budgeting for a best hunting rifle, also take into consideration your optics. There’s no sense in buying a hunting rifle that you can’t use.
Ready to Hunt?
And there you have it, a collection of some of the best rifle for hunting purposes. Hopefully, we were able to help you find the best hunting rifle that will serve you well in the long run.
What do you think of our top hunting rifle list? Is there a particular hunting weapon that you prefer? Feel free to discuss your weapon of choice below!