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Best Hunting Rifles: Putting Meat On The Table

SHOT Show always brings out a host of new hunting rifles, and this year's has been no different. Here are the best new rifles you should look at this year.

This year’s SHOT Show unveiled a number of high-quality guns for tactical, competition, and hunting purposes.  

This year looks like it’s going to be a good year for hunting rifles, and it’s the perfect time to add a new gun to your collection if you’re preparing for an upcoming deer or boar hunt.

In this article, we’re going to look at some of the top hunting rifles to hit the market that can help you keep the freezer packed with venison…or your preferred game meat…for months to come.

First up…

1. Bergara B-14 HMR ($949.00)

When it comes to top quality hunting rifles, Bergara is known for their unique design that maximizes comfort while also providing an element of style.  The bolt-action B-14 HMR ($949.00) is a beautifully crafted hunting rifle that’s designed for stability and accuracy.

One of the most interesting features of this gun is its aluminum chassis built into the stock for better weight distribution and accuracy.

Bergara B14 HMR
Bergara B14 HMR

One of the nicest features about the B-14 is its curved trigger design, which is optimized for an easy pull with every fire. Another perk to this gun is the adjustable cheekpiece, an addition that does wonders increasing accuracy while making the gun more comfortable when lining up a target.

Want to see the Bergara HMR in action and learn a little bit more about what it’s capable of?  Have a look at this short video clip from SHOT Show 2017:

If you’re thinking about buying the B-14 HMR for competition shooting or hunting, you won’t be disappointed. Some of the benefits of this gun include:

  • Five-round detachable magazine.
  • Lightweight and comfortable design.
  • Bipod can be attached without any further modifications to the stock.

You can get the gun for the following cartridges: 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester, and the gun can be purchased with a 20”, 22”, or 24” barrel.

To learn more about this stylish new rifle, visit the Bergara website.

2. Marlin 1895 Modern Hunter

It’s nearly impossible to have a top hunting rifle list without having a Marlin feature, and the lever-action Marlin 1895 Modern Hunter ($979.00) brings enough stopping power to take down big game like moose and bears, and will stop the average buck right in his tracks.

Marlin 1895 Modern Hunter
The 1895CB is a nine-shot version of the Model 1895 that has a vintage look and feel to it

The 1895 Modern Hunter has received a lot of praise for being an excellent all-around rifle, and it was even picked by the NRA’s American Rifleman as one of the best guns of 2017.

The 1895 Modern Hunter comes in a variety of different stock colors, from a modern green laminate and black design, to various vintage designs that pay homage to the rifles of the Old West. Some of the top features of the Model 1895 include:

  • A lever that’s stronger and easier to operate than previous lever-action Marlin models.
  • Choice between four, six, and nine capacity tubular magazines.
  • Three different barrel lengths to choose from: 18.5”, 22”, and 26”

If you want a powerful gun that easily takes down big bucks and is designed for hardy game like bears, hogs, and moose, the Model 1895 is the perfect rifle for you.

To learn more about this hunting rifle, visit Marlin’s official website.

3. Montana Rifle Company MSR ($1,731)

Are you in search of a rifle powerful enough to take down medium-sized game but designed with more style and creativity than your average hunting rifle?

The Mountain Snow Rifle, or MSR, by Montana Rifle is a sleek blend of blue camo patterns that give it a stylish look while helping the rifle blend into a snowy environment.   

montana rifle msr
The MSR’s colorful design makes it a great conversation piece, and so does its accuracy

The MSR is a bolt-action rifle that comes available for the following cartridges: .300 AAC Blackout, .204 Ruger, 5.56 NATO, .223 Remington, and .223 Wylde.  Aside from its incredible design and versatile cartridge selection, the following features help make it one of the most awesome rifles of 2017:

  • Comfortable XCoil recoil pad.
  • Ambidextrous bolt-action design.
  • Mauser-type ejector for optimal dependability with feeding rounds.
  • Easy-to-operate detachable magazine box.
  • Swivel studs for easy bipod mounting.

Overall, the MSR model is a great rifle for hunting medium game like deer and boar, and is also great for target shooting on the range. 

4. Weatherby VAC

The Vanguard Adaptive Composite  ($1,269.00), otherwise known as the VAC, is an incredible bolt-action rifle that’s powerful enough for taking down deer and elk, but also designed to shine in tactical situations.

The VAC is available in the following cartridges: .223 Remington, 6.5 Creedmore, and .308 Winchester.  It has a bolt-action lever that’s comfortable and easy to use, making this rifle perfect for hunting trips and tactical competitions.  The only downside to this gun is that the stock is designed only to accommodate right-handed shooters.

Weatherby vac
One of the coolest things about the VAC is its menacing, tactical look

The biggest advantage of the VAC is its accuracy, which is guaranteed to be sub-MOA when firing Weatherby ammunition.  Some of the other incredible features of this rifle include:

  • Triple gas ports on bolt body to helps ensure the safety of the shooter in the event of a backfire.
  • Ergonomic butt and cheekpiece design that provides quick and comfortable shouldering.
  • Adjustable two-stage trigger optimized for a crisp trigger break.
  • Owners can easily modify their VAC with a number of Weatherby products.

The bottom line is that the VAC is a well-rounded rifle that can be used for virtually any situation, and like other Weatherby models, the VAC has a reputation for being accurate, reliable, and easy to shoot.

5. Christensen Arms Mesa ($1,299)

The Christensen Arms Mesa ($1,299.00)  rifle first hit the scene at the tail end of 2016 and is arguably one of the best rifles for under $1,300.  One of the nicest features of the Mesa is its versatile chambering options, which provides shooters with long action or short action cartridge.  

The Mesa is available with the following cartridge selections:

  • 6.5 Creedmoor
  • 7mm-08 Remington
  • 7mm Remington Magnum
  • .308 Winchester
  • .300 Winchester Magnum.

Hunters and tactical competitive shooters looking for a gun that’s lightweight and comfortable will find a lot of joy in the Mesa.  Its stock is made from ultra-lightweight carbon composite, making the short-action gun a total of 6.65 pounds, while its long-action variant is less than a full pound heavier.

The Christensen Mesa is as stylish as it is a top-performing hunting rifle

Anyone looking for a sub-MOA rifle that’s accurate and light enough to carry on long hunting trips will be able to put the Mesa to good use; don’t take my word for it, have a look at this clip:

To learn more about the Mesa or any other Christensen Arms firearms, visit their official webpage for details.

 The Last Word on Hunting Rifles

As you can see, 2017 has given us a range of accurate and excellently designed rifles to choose from. These five are my favorite hunting rifles, hands down, and I’d recommend anyone of them to anybody looking to add a new gun to their collection – especially if you’re getting ready to go on a hunting trip.

If you’re a new hunter who’s just getting started, have a look at our list of good beginner hunting riflesor if birds are more your thing try our best shotguns for beginner bird hunters roundup.

For everyone else, now that you have an idea of which new hunting rifles are hogging the spotlight, which one do you want to buy?  Need glass for your rifle?  Check out our all encompassing Best Rifle Scopes article.

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1 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar

    I am glad you captioned that article, best NEW hunting rifles. My model 70 Winchester is a fine riflrnd more accurate than I am...

    May 22, 2017 4:49 pm
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