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No matter what, if long range precision is your goal, a precision rifle is the best rifle for the job. You simply can’t get the same precision from a semi-automatic rifle.
But there are a lot of bolt action rifles to choose from. And that’s what we’re here to help you with.
Our Best Choice
Winchester Model 70 Featherweight
SPOILER—If you want an excellent, well-priced bolt action rifle that comes in almost any viable caliber, get the Winchester Model 70 Featherweight. It’s an outstanding rifle with a storied reputation for being one of the best bolt action rifles on the market.
If you’d like to check out all those options we mentioned earlier, keep reading. We’ll cover all the best bolt action rifles. So you can find the best bolt action rifle for any shooting you do.
Best Bold Action Rifle on the Market Today
Top Bolt Action Rifle Reviews: Getting on Target
The overall best bolt action rifle is up first.
The remaining contenders are lined up in order of price:
Least expensive first.
Most expensive, with all the bells and whistles toward the end.
Let’s run a few rounds through this thing.
1. Winchester Model 70 Featherweight - Overall Best Bolt Action Rifle
The Winchester Model 70 Featherweight is a classic bolt action rifle. It’s been one of Winchester’s flagship bolt guns for years. And there’s a reason it’s been around for so long: it’s a great bolt action rifle.
It’s available in the most popular calibers—.243 Winchester, .308 Winchester, .270 Winchester, and 300 Winchester Magnum. No matter what type of shooting you do, you can get this rifle in a caliber that’s appropriate for the context.
Even though all the metal is steel, this rifle is still impressively light. It’s built with a slimmer profile to reduce the weight and make this rifle easier to handle.
The receiver is forged steel, with a bedded integral recoil lug. The barrel is cold hammer-forged steel and free floated. All this means that you’ll be able to make exceptionally accurate shots with this rifle, right out of the box.
Also, the trigger is exceptional. There’s almost no slack. The break is an incredibly crisp snap. And there’s almost no overtravel. It’s incredibly easy to press this trigger and break your shots without moving your sights.
Unfortunately, the trigger isn’t adjustable. But it’s set at a fairly low pull weight from the factory.
And, when you need to run the bolt, the action reliably ejects spent casings and feeds fresh rounds. So you’ll never have a hangup when you need to run your bolt quickly for follow-up shots.
All in all, this Winchester rifle’s reputation is well earned. It’s reasonably priced. And the performance is exceptional enough that you could use this rifle for just about any type of long range shooting, from the forest to the competition bench.
2. Rossi RB22 - .22 Bolt Action Rifle
Even .22LR is more accurate when you fire it from a bolt action platform. The Rossi RB22 is the best rifle on the market for getting the most possible precision from a rimfire round. And it’s super affordable.
The best thing about this rifle is that it’s got all the features of a centerfire bolt action rifle.
Everything is built around a synthetic monte carlo stock that offers a raised cheek piece and mild texturing on the grip and forend. It gives you a consistent cheek weld and sight picture every time you raise the rifle. This means faster, more accurate shots.
The barrel is free floated in the stock to maximize organic accuracy. So, if you miss, it won’t be the rifle’s fault.
This rifle comes with adjustable fiber optic sights. They’re easy to pick up quickly and align. If iron sights aren’t quite enough for you, the receiver is equipped with a ⅜ inch dovetail for a scope mount.
Lastly, this Rossi rifle is fed from a detachable 10-round stick magazine, which delivers reliable feeding. And it’s easy to reload quickly.
The only downside to this rifle is the trigger. It’s a good trigger. It’s just not quite as crisp as a 10/22 or a Savage trigger. But it’s fine for most .22LR shooting.
Overall, this is an exceptional .22 bolt action rifle, especially when you consider the price.
3. Browning AB3 Composite Stalker Bolt Action Rifle - Bolt Action Rifle Package
The Browning AB3 Composite Stalker Bolt Action Rifle might be the best rifle on the market that comes with a complete package. The rifle is excellent. The included scope is great. It’s an all around great buy.
First, the rifle is one of Browning’s best.
It’s built around a synthetic stock that offers excellent texturing from the forend to the grip. The stock is equipped with Browning’s Inflex recoil pad that directs recoil down and away from the shooter’s face for more comfortable shooting and less flinching.
The barrel is free floated to deliver the tightest groups possible. And the barrel is button-rifled, with a target crown to ensure a consistent point of impact.
Additionally, the receiver is solid steel, which produces a very rigid action and tighter tolerances with the barrel. In short, this rifle does everything it possibly can to help you get your hits.
Lastly, this rifle comes packaged with a Leupold VX-1 3-9x40mm scope. It’s nothing fancy. And the reticle is a standard duplex reticle, which may be a bit simple for some shooters. But it’s a solid optic for most types of hunting and even light long range competition.
The main complaint about this rifle is that it’s fitted with a composite trigger. Many shooters don’t mind. But, if you prefer a metal trigger, this is something to consider.
Overall, this is an excellent rifle for the money. You can literally take it out of the box and head straight out to shoot.
4. Weatherby Vanguard S2 Stainless Steel Rifle - Bolt Action Rifle For Hunting
Weatherby has been a household name in bolt action rifles for decades. The Weatherby Vanguard S2 Stainless Steel Rifle is one of their flagship designs that delivers amazing performance for the money.
First, both the action and the barrel are constructed from 410 series stainless steel. It’s a remarkably tough, high-performance metal.
The one-piece bolt body is fluted. And the barrel is cold hammer forged. That’s why this rifle shoots sub MOA groups at 100 yards, right out of the box. Weatherby guarantees it.
Additionally, the stock is synthetic with rubberized inserts on the grip and forend. And the butt is fitted with the Vanguard recoil pad, which is remarkably plush and helps ease the recoil of even the magnum chamberings.
Lastly, this rifle is fitted with a 2-stage match trigger that can be adjusted down to 2.5 pounds. It’s a remarkably crisp trigger that makes it easy to break shots without disturbing your sight picture.
It’s hard to find any fault with this rifle. But it is a tad heavy for a composite stock rifle. It weighs the same as a rifle with a wood stock.
So the synthetic stock doesn’t save any weight. Not a big deal. But there it is.
Overall, though, this is an outstanding rifle that’s surprisingly well priced, given how well-built it is. You can’t go wrong.
5. Ruger M77 Hawkeye African Bolt-Action Rifle - Bolt Action Rifle For Big Game Hunting
The Ruger M77 Hawkeye African Bolt-Action Rifle is for big game hunters. Period.
It’s built around a classic walnut stock, with cut checkering for secure grip when your hands get slick.
The sights are express-style sights with a V-notch rear and a white bead front sight. But, if iron sights aren’t your thing, there are integral scope mounts machined directly into the receiver.
And this rifle is fitted with Ruger’s factory tuned, LC6 trigger that’s ultra smooth, and delivers a remarkably crisp break to help you keep your sights on target all the way through every shot.
Lastly, the action is a Mauser 98 style action that delivers exceptional reliability. So you can count on your rifle if you need to run the bolt quickly and take follow up shots.
Overall, this rifle is built for precision and quick handling with or without a scope. It’s a slam dunk for any big game hunter.
Unfortunately, it only comes chambered in one caliber: 9.3 x 62mm. It’s a perfectly viable big game hunting caliber. But, if you want a different round, you’ll have to get a different rifle.
If you’re satisfied with the caliber, though, this is an excellent rifle for anyone who wants a dedicated bolt gun for hunting large animals.
6. Tikka T3X TAC A1 Long Range Tactical Rifle - Tactical Bolt Action Rifle
The Tikka T3X TAC A1 Long Range Tactical Rifle is an excellent rifle for anyone who needs a rock solid tactical platform that will leave money in their budget for optics and other long range accessories.
This rifle comes with a fully-adjustable folding stock. The cheek piece height and length of pull can both be adjusted to fit any shooter. And the stock accepts a monopod. So you can get a precise fit and perfect natural point of aim.
However, this rifle accepts AR-15 furniture (stock, grip, handguard). It’s easy to customize if you’re not a huge fan of the factory equipment.
The entire chassis is aluminum and the barrel is cold hammer forged to maximize rigidity and accuracy. And there’s a picatinny rail milled into the receiver to ensure that your optics never lose their zero.
The bolt is teflon coated and fitted with a 70 degree bolt throw. So you can run the bolt fast without banging your knuckles on your scope.
Lastly, the trigger is a 2-stage adjustable trigger that can be set anywhere from 2 to 4 pounds. The adjustment range is excellent for tactical precision shooters.
However, the trigger feels just a tad like a mil-spec AR-15 trigger. There’s just a bit of stiffness before the break. It’s still easy to keep your point of aim steady as you press the trigger. But some shooters may want to do a little polishing.
It may not be the most high-speed low drag rifle on the market (but it’s close). However, it’s an excellent tactical bolt action rifle that’s surprisingly affordable, given how precise it is right out of the box.
7. Accuracy International AXSA 6.5 CM - Bolt Action Rifle For Long Range Precision
Accuracy International has been at the top end of long range precision for a long time. And the Accuracy International AXSA 6.5 CM is one of their flagship rifles. It’s easily one of the best precision rifles on the market.
First, the entire action is machined from a single piece of steel and mated to a cold hammer forged barrel. This is where the precision comes from. There’s zero flex in the receiver. And the barrel fit is precise.
So the rounds go exactly where you want them to.
The stock is completely adjustable. The cheek piece height can be adjusted. And the length of pull can be adjusted. That way you can consistently achieve a natural point of aim that’s right on target.
Lastly, the trigger is an adjustable 2-stage trigger that can be set anywhere from 3.3 - 4.4 pounds. It’s a remarkably smooth trigger designed specifically for long range precision. So it’s easy to break your shot without disturbing your point of aim.
There are only two real downsides to this rifle:
The first is the price. You’re paying for every yard you get. But this rifle gets you a lot of yards. So it’s worth it.
However, it’s also heavy. This Accuracy International rifle weighs 14 pounds. This isn’t a hunting rifle. It’s a benchrest rifle for hitting targets that are really far away.
So, if you’re a long range competitor or enthusiast, this is the rifle to get.
Following Through with the Shot
Although they can’t do everything, a bolt action rifle is still an excellent gun to have in your safe. They’re great for recreation, competition, hunting, and good old fashioned hit-stuff-that’s-super-far-away type shooting. And, best of all, good bolt action rifles are really affordable, especially compared to modern sporting rifles.
Winchester Model 70 Featherweight
If you want a great bolt action rifle, without wading through all the options, get the Winchester Model 70 Featherweight. It’s an amazing rifle for the money. And it’ll do almost anything you need it to.
If you’re still firmly in the semi-auto only camp, it’s time to have a look at a bolt gun. Get yourself a bolt action rifle and start getting hits at longer distances than ever before.