Hunters in the market for a new rifle have ample choices with the release of plenty of capable firearms this year. Here are six top deer rifles that caught our eye and are more than ready to chase whitetails.
The curtains have been drawn on the outdoor shows and, expect for stragglers, pretty much all of 2017’s new guns have hit the scene. This includes a fairly good selection of new deer rifles just salivating for the opening of whitetail season. As hunters have come to expect, the market has embraced a wide spectrum of shooting styles and budgets. Though, it’s fair to say long-range hunting trends and bleed-over from competitive shooting competitions have influence the the most recent designs. Still, hunters would have to try pretty hard not to find a deer rifle that doesn’t tick off most if not all their boxes. Here are 6 top deer rifles that caught our eye from the 2017 releases. Click on the images to enlarge.
Winchester XPR Hunter Rifle
Winchester struck a cord three years ago with the introduction of its accurate and economical XPR. The gunmaker is parlaying the line’s success with a couple of new offerings for 2017: the Hunter and Hunter Compact models. Both variation are dressed in a lightweight polymer stock, the hunter decked out in a choice of Mountain Country or Mossy Oak Break-Up patterns, while the Hunter Compact is available in Break-Up Country. The compact model is also almost 3-inches shorter than the Hunter, making the rifle an excellent choice for young deer hunters heading into the woods. The Winchester Hunter is chambered in 11 calibers, from .243 Win. up to .338 Win Mag, while the Winchester Hunter Compact is available in six calibers from .243 Win. up to .325 WSM. The MSRP on both models is $599.99.
Christensen Arms Mesa
Christensen Arms is renown for the use of cutting-edge materials in the production of its rifles. It is arguably the king of carbon wrapped barrels. But getting ahold of the company’s ultra lightweight and highly accurate gems meant putting a pretty sizable dent into your wallet. That is, until the Mesa rolled around. Definitely not a budget deer rifle at $1,295, the bolt-action nonetheless is much more affordability relative to the rest of the company’s catalog. For the money, hunters get some top-end features, including: carbon-reinforced fiberglass stock, adjustable match-grade trigger, featherweight contour stainless steel barrel, and incredibly light overall weight (6.5 pounds). Add in Christensen Arms Sub-MOA Guarantee and the Mesa provides plenty of bang for the buck. The rifle is available in four calibers, from 6.5 Creedmoor to .300 Win. Mag.
Savage MSR 10 Hunter
Savage Arms is a bread-and-butter bolt-action rifle maker, right? Not any more. The Massachusetts manufacturer made a hard turn to the AR-style rifle market this year with its MSR (Modern Savage Rifle) line. The 10 Hunter is the company’s dedicated hunting variant, offering hunters a lightweight and compact field model. Much of the weight saving comes from Savage’s break from regular AR-10 receiver design, making it much more manageable to tote in and out of the woods. The 10 Hunter is available in two popular deer-hunting calibers, .308 Win. and 6.5 Creedmoor. The .308 is outfitted with a 16-inch barrel, while the Creedmoor boasts an 18-inch barrel. The direct impingement rifle is outfitted with a M-Lok compatible handgaurd and includes a full-length Picatinny rail, for the quick and simple addition of an optic. The Savage MSR 10 Hunter’s MSRP is $1,481 for both calibers.
Nosler Model 48 Long Range Rifle
If you live in those lonely opens spaces where long shots on deer aren’t out of the question, Nosler‘s new Model 48 might have been tailor made for you. The heart of this striking new rifle is its M48 Custom action, machined from a single block of steel to provide the rigidity required to deliver accuracy at extreme distances. The rifle boasts a number of other top-end features, including: stainless steel match grade Shilen Barrel, glass and aluminum pillar bedding, Timney Trigger, and Manners MCS-T Elite Tac carbon fiber stock. The rifle comes in six chamberings, from 6.5 Creedmoor to 33 Nosler. Though, procuring this level of performance runs a pretty penny, the Model 48 Long Range Rifle’s MSRP is $2,495.
Weatherby Vanguard Camilla
Weatherby‘s newest addition to its catalog draws a bead on one of the fastest growing segments of the hunting world — women. The Camilla (named for Roy Weatherby’s wife) is dressed in a Turkish walnut stock, shaped to better fit the female form. This includes a higher cheek rest, slimmer pistol grip, and a buttstock that angles away from the body. Weatherby has maintained the rifle’s balance, making it quick to mount, highly controllable, and pleasant to shoot. And at 6.5 pounds the rifle should prove to be little burden heading in and out of the deer woods. The Camilla comes in four caliber choices, from .243 Win. to .308 Win. And the rifle rings up at a very affordable $849 MSRP.
Montana Rifle Company MSR
You needn’t live at the top of the world to enjoy the benefits of Montana Rifle Company‘s Mountain Snow Rifle (MSR). Lightweight, rugged, and deadly accurate this little number out of the wilds of Montana is perfect for any hunting where mobility is a key. The MSR’s barrel contour, barrel length, and twist rate have been optimized for each caliber with plenty of insight from ammunition experts and a ton of ballistic lab tests. The rifle’s X2 synthetic stock has been Hydrodipped in Kryptek Pontus pattern to give it a one-of-a-kind look. The bolt-action boasts the tried and true controlled feed of Montana Rifle Company’s Model 1999 action, a detachable box magazine, and is available in seven calibers — including 6mm Creedmoor, which has been on the accent due to its success in competition. In the scheme of the company’s catalog, the MSR is accessible to a wide spectrum of hunters with an MSRP of $1,731.