If you're a hunting enthusiast, you'll want to read this blog on the best hunting rifles worth owning in 2019. None of which should break the bank.
Entering the enticing world of hunting combines several passions. You get to hike through the splendor of nature, breathe the fresh air and take in the silence. You also participate in the thrill of identifying and calculating factors that lead you to bring down a chosen target.
The gear you chose to hunt with is an investment. It lasts many years and either aids in your task or frustrates it. Acquiring the best hunting rifles for your chosen game makes a big difference.
The combination of instinct, skill, and planning make hunting an engrossing endeavor. This is why hunting remains popular with over 15 million participants each year. The prize at the end, though not guaranteed, also provides food, trophies, and experience to the skilled hunter.
Check out this list of top hunting rifles for the year to learn how to select the right ones for you.
Features of the Best Hunting Rifles
Any firearm that puts a hole in the target does the job. The ease with which that can be accomplished, the regularity, and the durability of the equipment are all increasing incrementally in rifle technology.
Significant progress has been made in accuracy and the versatility of firearms. Still, the best tool for the job is often the tool designed for that job, not rigged to work for the purpose.
Precision and form and function play into the $25.6 billion in annual hunting expenditures . Check out this rundown of features we'll be discussing in the individual reviews.
What you intend to hunt creates the first tier of selection pressures for your rifle. You need to select for a range of ammunition types that will put down your chosen target. You also need to consider where you will be hunting.
Game choice influences effective ranges for a target. Don't forget, depending on the target, you may have more than one chance to land a shot so reload and recoil matter.
When it comes to ammunition, three main factors should be considered
A range of calibers, grain counts, and striking types will all put down a chosen animal. They won't all work at the same range or give the same impact force.
In terms of cost, you don't want to pay over much, but like in any walk of life, you get what you pay for.
Some rounds are more in demand than others. Do your research as to the most popular types of round for your type of game.
Stockpiling rounds both decreases the cost and ups the availability for you. It's a poor choice if only one of your guns uses that ammo while your other three don't. Overlapping your ammunition to multipurpose is a solid cost-cutting measure.
Where you intend to hunt influences your gear. Too much heat and too much damp, in particular, warp wooden stocks and parts. Wet conditions lead to corrosion of ferrous connections and points.
Stay aware of the conditions you hike into. A heavy pack of gear may not hurt at mile one but can lead to fatigue and mistakes by mile 15.
Not all scopes fit all rifles. Changing out a scope on the fly is a good way to be off by yards without calibration tests.
Mobility and terrain affect how close you can take a shot.
One of the most important elements of a rifle is knowing its MOA. The Minute of Angle represents the rifles grouping at range when locked down. This helps you know how much you could be off on a target even if your shot itself is on the money.
Some rifle platforms offer more customization options than others. This is important if you want to invest more heavily in a few solid platforms and build up to your own specifications.
Look for effective mil-spec parts from firms like Aero Precision to make the most out of your hunting gear and take it from the basic to the pro.
With the features and basics in mind, here are the rifles to put at the top of your list when looking for gear this year.
1. Steyr Monobloc
A rarity in the rifle world, the monobloc refers to the single milled chamber and action. By making the business components of the barrel and the action into a single piece, minor mismatches are eliminated resulting in increased accuracy.
The stock and body are aluminum composites, providing reliable wear and no warping in a variety of environments.
Customization of the firearm is low, though scope mountings accommodate traditional Weaver and dovetail scope mounts. It's only available in .298 and 30-06 for now, with more calibers expected in the future.
2. Tikka T3X
Another rifle with exceptional accuracy due to innovations in the barrel and action. In this case, the Beretta subsidiary made the action rigid and the barrel free floated. Even with a short 20-inch barrel, it delivers sub-MOA accuracy without tuning.
The adjustable trigger brings a whole world of precision by adjusting the pull weight to accommodate reflex motion.
This lightweight rifle offers a range of other customization options. It's available in standard .270, .308, and 30-06 calibers.
3. Savage 110 High Country
Leading the charge for big-game at long-range is the Savage 100 High Country.
The spiral-fluted bolt and barrel provide accuracy at a low weight. The patented AccuStock composite absorbs recoil well. Ammunition options are wide but encompass the higher end.
This performs strongly on long trips through difficult terrain for big game. The low-friction coating on the critical parts keeps it healthy and functional in inclement climates.
4. Browning BAR MK 3 DBM
On the opposite end of the spectrum, this Browning masters the small game world. It has a shorter range, with an 18-inch barrel and boasts a 10-round capacity. The 10 round DBM (detachable box magazine) also reloads quickly.
The rifle is semi-auto for taking multiple shots quickly at fast game. The rifle only comes in .308, limiting its use overall. The low price point makes it good to have for multiple tasks with lower investiture.
The grip and stock are wood, so milder mid-west climates are advised to colder or hotter zones.
5. Daniel Defense Delta 5
The perfect starting point for hunters looking for a platform over an out-of-the-box rifle. The high degree of customization starts with the barrel, which features toolless interchangeability.
From there the stock allows for changes to the riser, length of pull, and seating. Trigger customization comes from the Timney Single Stage allowing between 1.5 to 4 pounds of pull weight.
Scopes mount to the Picatinny rail for quick adjustment. With the barrel interchangeable, it accommodates most ammo types. The price point reflects its utility.
6. Mossberg Patriot Rifle
For a lower entry price point, the Mossberg offers a tight range of pre-built options. The free-floated barrel extends the accuracy and range while a recessed crown adds durability.
The stock and grip, like the Browning, come in wood only, limiting temperature ranges but providing a classic look and feel. That feel doesn't offer any adjustments, however. The adjustable trigger helps keep things from being completely cookie-cutter.
Weaver mounting for optics gives a fine variety of standard options. Ammo availability is limited to .308 only.
7. Remington Model Seven SS HS Precision
Any model with a long name keys you into how many times the company has been able to tweak their formula. In this case, Remington offers a compact and lightweight rifle with some serious options.
Adjustments to the stock and trigger are simple. A larger variety of ammo is offered here. You'll find 6.5 Creedmoor, .243 and .308, in addition to the standard 7mm-08 Remington.
8. Steyr Scout
An almost odd offshoot of the usual Styer Scout, this years model is set for 6.5 Creedmoor over the usual .308 Winchester.
Engineering on the model is tight, providing a threaded muzzle with a protective cap for accuracy and durability.
The range of this will outstrips previous Scout models. You'll find a Picatinny rail for optic mounting. All this at a solid lower-end price point.
9. Lipsey's Barrett Firearms Fieldcraft
This is another model for 2019 that pulls away from its history by offering a 6.5 Creedmoor barrel.
It's a super lightweight gun with a longer range 24-inch barrel. The stock and body are durable carbon fiber offering multi-terrain and climate resistance.
It comes complete with an adjustable Timney trigger at a medium-range price.
10. Browning X-Bolt Stalker
What may seem like a classic stock hunting rifle at the outset surprises with a smorgasbord of features.
First, the barrel is free-floated, bedded, and 26-inches to provide the maximum range of any rifle listed here.
Chambering options cover the gamut from common hunting calibers up to the high-end big game cartridges. The short-throw bolt makes reloading faster and less of a problem when holding your aim.
The trigger pull is stronger than most, adjusting from three to five pounds.
Although not adjustable, the synthetic stock provides strong support while keeping the rifle weight down. It's on the heavy side at 6.25 pounds.
Do the Fieldwork
You've taken the first step to find the best hunting rifles for your 2019 season. You'll want to visit a local gunsmith or store and go over your list of wants and needs to narrow down your choices.
Feel free to take a look around the site for more guides and how-tos.