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What are the best hunting rifles?

What are the best hunting rifles?

close up of a man hunting-Best hunting rifles

Best Hunting Rifles for long range-Buying guide

Hunting rifles come in different styles, sizes, weights, and prices. Your choice depends on where you want to hunt, your hunting style, and your budget. But so will your personal tastes.

A rifle defines in large measure who you are as a sportsman, whether it is a useful beater that stays in your truck most of the time, a handy lever gun, or a costly long-distance hammer.

We’ve narrowed down our list of the best guns for deer hunters to the ones we’ve tested.

Before detailing our list, I want to share with you an advice: To make sure that you will have a successful hunt you have to choose a good pair of hunting boots because it will make you feel comfortable during your tracking and hunting game.

How to Choose the Best Hunting Rifle

There are great all round rifles, and there are specialized rifles, but there are not one size fits all rifles. To choose the right rifle for you, you need to take into account several factors including calibre, weight, accuracy, appearance, fitting, and cost.

Next, compare how those factors fit with how, where, or what you hunt.

Caliber

Most hunters tend to over-analyze cartridge selection. The truth of the matter is that most common medium to large caliber cartridges are entirely adequate for most North American species when matched up with the right bullets.

Caliber is still important, but in general, you want to choose a caliber that has enough power for the distance and type of shooting you plan to do, but not so powerful you can’t comfortably and consistently fire it.

Weight

It may be important for hunting rifles to weigh exactly right, but it doesn’t really matter if they don’t.

If you’re primarily backpacking in the woods, you may be better off looking for a rifle that weighs under seven pounds without optics.

As the distance between where you want to hunt and where you need to be increases, the heavier your gun gets. For an all-round hunting gun, medium-to-heaviest guns (7 to 9 pounds), which are easier to use than lighter ones, are better because they’re easier to handle when carrying them through the woods.

A lighter rifle on a solid support can be easier to shoot than a heavy one.

Accuracy

Accuracy is an important metric for evaluating firearms, but it can be overemphasized too.

It may be reassuring to know that most hunting rifles shoot consistent ¾-inch 5 shot groups, but most of them won’t.

What really counts is how well a gun shoots when used for hunting. If you have a gun that puts a 3-shot group at 200 yards measuring four-inch groups from a practical shooting position, you’re ready to hunt.

Accuracy is most important at short ranges, but beyond 400 yards accuracy starts becoming less important. At long range, you need to be able to hit something even if it isn’t dead on.

Not only is rifle precision important, but so are numerous other factors that affect where your bullets strike. You need to understand the wind speed and direction, the exact drop of your bullets, and employ good shooting techniques if you want to hit your target accurately.

Aesthetics, Handling, and Fit

Some people don’t care if their gun looks good, as long as it works well and shoots accurately. Others put a lot of value on guns that look nice.

Make sure to choose one that looks good to both of you. It doesn’t matter which one you prefer; just make sure they fit you well. Also, make sure that they’re comfortable for you to hold. They shouldn’t feel awkward in your hand.

Choose a rifle with an attractive finish that will withstand the weather conditions you‘ll be using it in. It doesn’t matter if it looks ugly or beautiful; just choose one that will stand up to the elements.

Price

Most people who hunt find that inexpensive hunting rifles (about $500-$600) work well enough for them. There are some good bargains out there.

If you have the money, buy one. You’ll get better results from a high-end rifle than from a low-cost rifle.

Best hunting Rifles

Seekins Precision Havak Pro Hunter

Seekins Precision Havak Pro Hunter-from midwayusa
Seekins Precision Havak Pro Hunter-from midwayusa

The Pro Hunter is a good example of a modern long‑ranged hunting rifle. It has a lightweight 7.3 lb overall length and a lively feel that makes it easy for any shooter to hit targets accurately.

It weighs 2 pounds 5 ounces, and its trigger breaks crisally.

  • Test Gun: 6.5 PRC
  • Avg. Group: .758 in.
  • Best Group: .483 in.

Buy here the Seekins Precision Havak Pro Hunter

This video will show you more features about Seekins Precision Havak Pro Hunter

Browning X-Bolt Max Long Range Hunter

Browning X-Bolt Max Long Range Hunter- from cabelas
Browning X-Bolt Max Long Range Hunter- from cabelas

Browning has released its newest rifle, which offers top-notch long range shooting capabilities at an affordable cost.

The rifle uses a Browning three-lug action, and feeds from its rotary magazine, making it easy to reload. It delivers excellent accuracy with a variety of different ammunition.

  • Test Gun: 6.5 CM
  • Avg. Group: .743 in.
  • Best Group: .330 in.

Buy here the Browning X-Bolt Max Long Range Hunter

Mauser M18

Mauser M18- from eurooptic
Mauser M18- from eurooptic

At just under $700, this rifle from Mauser is one of their best hunting guns for the money. It’s rugged, simple, and highly accurate.

It has a three lugs that run smoothly in the receiver, an excellent trigger, and a stock made in the classic American style

It has been chambered in.243 Winchester,.270 Winchester,.308 Winchester,.30/06, 7 mm Remington Magnum, and.300 Winchester Magnum.

  • Test Gun: .308 Win.
  • Avg. Group: .877 in.
  • Best Group: .673 in.

Buy here the Mauser M18

Proof Switch

Proof Switch from precisionoptics
Proof Switch from precisionoptics

On the field, the Switch is one the most accurate guns we’ve shot. My 6.5 CM Switch has turned in numerous groupings, including an a.181-incher.

It is a really good gun. It weighs less than seven and a half lbs., so it is super portable and easy to carry around.

But the gun is built like a tank and has a solid rest, so it really reaches out there. Its name is the Switch because you can quickly change barrels.

  • Test Gun: 6.5 CM
  • Avg. Group: .598 in.
  • Best group: .181 in.

Buy here the Proof Switch

Savage M10 Stealth

This big brute isn’t made for haulin’ into the hills. With a 26″ barrel, oversized muzzle brake, and stout frame, it weighs in at 11 lbs. 12 ozs. empty.

It features a chambering for 6mm Creedmoor bullets, which makes it capable of hitting targets far away. With factory Hornady ELD Match ammunition, it shoots.5 MOA (or less) at 1,000 yards, making it easy to shoot accurately at longer distances.

  • Test Gun: 6 CM
  • Avg. Group: .774 in.
  • Best Group: .406 in.

Here is a video where they test the Savage M10 Stealth

Christensen Arms MPR

Christensen Arms MPR-source americanrifleman
Christensen Arms MPR-source americanrifleman

Don’t be fooled by its appearance; this isn’t a traditional hunting gun. It has carbon fibre on the front end and a skeletonized folding buttstock. It weighs less than eight pounds and is quite portable!

My.22 LR Ruger Precision Rifle has been an excellent long-distance shooting weapon for years. It shoots groups at 100 yards using factory ammunition in the 4.0 seconds.

  • Test Gun: 6.5 CM
  • Avg. Group: .557 in.
  • Best Group: .401 in.

Bergara B-14 HMR

Bergara B-14 HMR-Best hunting rifles-source armory-auxerre
Bergara B-14 HMR-Best hunting rifles-source armory-auxerre

We’ve seen a few tactical/hunters lately, but the B- 14 HMR really nails the idea. Combining a competition style rifle with a heavy barrel and Bergara’s smooth two-lugs action results in a 9.5 pound gun that can be used for both hunting and shooting competitions during the summer months and then hunted big game in the fall.

It has a number of nice features, including fluted barrels and adjustable cheekpieces and is one of the best rifles for the price.

  • Test Gun: 6.5 CM
  • Avg. Group: .833 in.
  • Best Group: .465 in.

BadRock Precision South Fork

The South Fork is an excellent rifle for the PRS Production Class, delivering exceptional accuracy and performance at a low cost. It is one of our best performing rifles from the factory.

Badrock is made by Defiance Machine, which is one of the leading manufacturers of precision rifles. Their two-lug bolt guns are wickedly fast and easy-to-run. They make the hardest targets look like easy ones.

  • Test Gun: 6 CM
  • Avg. group: .543 in.
  • Best Group: .200 in.

here is a video that will show everything you need to know about BadRock Precision South Fork

 

FAQs

 How much does a hunting rifle cost?

A hunting rifle can range from $500 to $8,000 or more. If you’re new to hunting, start out with something less expensive. But don’t get too cheap.

There are tons of great rifles for under $1,000. We think our best value rifle of the past few years was the CZ Alpha, which cost just $749.

 What should I look for in a hunting rifle?

The most important quality of a gun is that it works well for you when you use it. It shouldn’t be too heavy or cumbersome to handle.

It means that the gun should feel comfortable in your hands and that the controls should be easy to use.

A good rifle should be easy to handle, whether it has an integrated magazine or a detachable one. It should have a crisp, reliable trigger pull that is no more than three or six pound depending on the type of firearm. Its stock and metal work should be sturdy enough to withstand the weather.

 What should I know before buying a hunting rifle?

Don’t worry so much about the accuracy of your rifle; there’s a whole world out there full of people who can tell you whether your rifle is accurate.

Most inexpensive guns with standard ammunition won’t shoot well enough for you to be concerned about shooting them accurately. If you’re able to hit targets at 100 yards consistently with your gun and factory ammunition, you’re doing just fine.

Before trying to improve your shooting skills, first focus on improving your marksmanship.

Final Thoughts

Finding the right gun isn’t easy. But if you’re willing to put some time into it, you’ll be able to find one that fits your needs perfectly. Don’t worry too much about finding the perfect gun; just pick something that works well enough for now.

Start with a rifle that suits your current needs and know that there are better ones waiting for you once you get more experience. There are so many great rifles available that you shouldn’t buy just one.

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