Best Hunting Rifle in 2022: Reviewing 25 rifles head-to-head

It can be tough to watch all the individual reviews of rifles that I do on Youtube and get a sense for where each rifle stacks up on the “Jim Scale”, so in this post, I’ll give it to you straight. After reviewing and owning over 30 bolt-action hunting rifles, here are are the best of the best.

If a close friend asked me what hunting rifle to buy at each price point, these would be my recommendations:

  • Under $500 – Ruger American Predator (Order it online at Sportsman’s Warehouse) – I picked the Ruger American because it has reliable build quality and a decent feature set. My Ruger American averages 0.8″ groups at 100 yards.
  • Under $600 – CVA Cascade (Order it online at Sportsman’s Warehouse) – This version of the CVA Cascade offers a cerakoted barrel, super smooth action, and a better stock than a Ruger American. It feels like a big step up for just another $100.
  • Under $800 – Bergara B-14 Ridge (Order it online at Sportsman’s Warehouse) – This rifle is starting to hit a sweet spot where everything more expensive will begin having diminishing returns. It feeds perfectly, has an extremely rigid stock, has a black cerakoted barrel, and it looks great. Oh, and yes, it’s accurate. Very accurate. I think it beats out the Tikka T3x for the top spot.
  • Under $1,600 – Sig Cross (Order it online at Sportsman’s Warehouse) The Sig Cross is a revolutionary platform with a folding stock, requires no bedding, and is lightweight. Watch my Sig Cross review here.

If you don’t want to read this entire post, jump to the section for rifles in your budget.

You have my general answer, but below I’ll provide more detail and reasoning for those selections, as well as some rifles not to pick.

Hunting Rifles Under $500: Be Careful to Avoid the Junk!

It’s really hard to review rifles in the under $500 category. In this price range, manufacturers use very loose tolerances and have very poor quality control. This means some copies of a rifle can come out working perfectly, and others perform very poorly.

I get a lot of negative comments on my reviews of rifles in the inexpensive price range because I sometimes harp on a rifle that is inaccurate, and many commenters point out that theirs shoots well. So keep in mind as you read my review of these guns that I can only comment on what I have personally experienced with each brand.

I have spent hundreds of hours testing rifles in the under $500 price range. In the end, there are really only two rifles under $500 that I personally think you should consider: The Ruger American and the Savage Axis II.

The Ruger American: The best bolt-action rifle under $500

If you’re going to buy a Ruger American, know there are dozens of different configurations available. If you just go in the store, they almost never seem to have any good chambering options. So I’d recommend just paying for it online. Then you can go pick up in your local store in just a couple days and do the government paperwork and walk away with it.

I recommend getting this Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor if you’ll be hunting deer-sized game (or smaller than deer), want to have tons of inexpensive ammo options, and if you’ll also be using it for target shooting. There’s also the option of ordering that rifle with a Vortex Crossfire II scope on it. It’s a good quality scope for shooting out to 300 yards but doesn’t have adjustable turrets so if you’ll want to do some long-distance shooting, order it without a scope.

If you want to hunt larger game like elk, then I’d recommend getting the same rifle in .30-06 Springfield. The ammo is inexpensive and widely available, the recoil in manageable for most shooters, and the cartridge is unquestionably capable of taking elk cleanly. Here’s a link to that rifle in .30-06.

Savage Axis II Rifle – My #2 pick for rifles under $500

The Savage Axis II: A good choice for youth shooters (And adults)

I prefer the build quality of a Ruger American compared to a Savage Axis, but that’s not to say the Savage isn’t a good gun. It would be my second pick for an inexpensive hunting rifle.

The Savage Axis comes with a unique stock that allows the shooter to shorten or extend the length of pull to your body. This is essential for a youth shooter so they can get their face closer to the scope. Otherwise, they really struggle to get into position so they can see clearly, which can cause them to not mount the rifle correctly on their shoulder, and consequently get them hurt from the recoil.

However, the Savage Axis also has a problem. A significant problem in my eyes. The bluing process they use on the metal pieces is very poor quality and does not adequately protect the rifle from rust. I have two Savage Axis rifles and both of them got rust on the outside of the barrel and the bolt handle.

Keeping the barrel lightly oiled with some good gun oil is always a good practice, and one that I do on all my blued firearms; however, I also take my guns on multi-night hunting trips and don’t always have oil with me for a couple days. That’s all it takes for a Savage Axis to get damaged. Most blued firearms don’t need to be babied nearly that much. Higher-quality bluing is easier to maintain than this very cheap job.

If you’re going to purchase the Savage Axis II Rifle, I would recommend highly recommend ordering this version with a stainless steel barrel so you don’t have to worry about bluing at all. They also have some great chambering options. I’d recommend 6.5 Creedmoor for deer-sized game, 7mm-08 for game up to elk if light recoil is important, and .30-06 if you want to hunt everything.

Rifles to avoid in the $500 Range:

  • Remington 783 – The Remington 783 I tested was downright dangerous. The chamber did not properly fit the cartridge causing stuck live cases, and the included scope had about 1″ of eye relief which could cause serious eye injury (normal is 2.75″). Remington used to be the leader in gun manufacturing. They went through bankruptcy and now Rem Arms is producing rifles under that name. It could be that, given time, they improve the quality of their products, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Watch my review here.
  • Mossberg Patriot – I don’t recommend the Mossberg Patriot. I owned one and it was extremely inaccurate. I sent it back to the manufacturer and they replaced the barrel. When I got it back, it was the same thing. Then, Mossberg sent me a new copy of the Patriot and it still wasn’t shooting 1 MOA groups. Most people love their Mossberg Patriots and you may as well, but I can’t give high marks to the gun when our copy failed in testing. Watch my review here.
  • Thompson Center Compass – Thompson Center is now out of business, but you’ll still see some on store shelves. I don’t like the Compass or the Compass II, but others have had better luck. Watch my review here.

Unfortunately, I can’t weigh in on the Sauer 100 yet because I haven’t tried it. We have a complete post on the best rifles under $400 right here.

Hunting Rifles Under $1,000: Three great options, 3 okay options, one bad option

There are quality inexpensive rifles being made, but if you step up into the $500-$1,000 price range, almost every option will shoot accurately and have more consistent quality control.

Overall, I think the best three rifles under $1,000 are the Tikka T3X Lite, the Bergara B-14 Ridge, and the Weatherby Vanguard. So how do you choose between them? I personally prefer the Bergara B-14 Ridge, but they are all good options.

Tikka T3X Lite

  • PRO: Lightweight
  • PRO: Usually comes with a low-maintenance stainless barrel
  • PRO: Superb action smoothness
  • PRO: Accurate
  • CON: Stock doesn’t handle recoil well
  • CON: Most configurations don’t include a threaded barrel

Bergara B-14 Ridge

  • PRO: Stock design and butt pad are well-suited to heavy-hitting cartridges
  • PRO: Accurate
  • PRO: Remington 700 footprint
  • CON: Heavy barrel contour and action add weight
  • CON: The rifle looks a little plain in its design. It’s not at all ugly, but it doesn’t look cool like an X-Bolt.

Weatherby Vanguard

  • PRO: Very rigid stock
  • PRO: Cerakoted barrel reduces maintenance
  • PRO: Accurate
  • CON: Sometimes hard to find the chambering you want since they tend to favor their own overbore Weatherby cartridges
  • CON: Most configurations don’t include a threaded barrel
Tikka T3X Superlite

Tikka T3X Lite

I’ve been a little coy about recommending one specific rifle in this price range because it’s a tight race. However, I’ll simply leave this anecdote. A friend texted me last week and said he had a $750 budget for a first hunting rifle and asked me what he should buy. I stewed over it for a minute but he made me answer, and I said to go with the Tikka T3x Lite.

The Tikka T3X Lite comes with an absolutely fantastic action. The Tikka action is by far the best in this price point because it cycles ammo perfectly, has a silky smooth bolt slide and is manufactured to a high tolerance so every last one I pick up feels just as good as the one next to it. The action quality, as well as the barrel, produces a very accurate rifle.

There is one drawback to the Tikka T3x Lite. It doesn’t handle recoil well because of the stock design. In our testing, we had all of the guns chambered alike, but as soon as any of the reviewers shot the Tikka after shooting the other rifles, they all commented that the recoil felt heavier. The stock is not very rigid, the butt pad is too stiff, and the stock geometry is only acceptable.

So in general, pick the Tikka T3X Lite if you want a lightweight rifle with a fantastic action, and you’re going to be shooting cartridges lighter than a 7mm Rem Mag or .30-06.

Bergara B-14 Hunter

Bergara B-14 Ridge

There really isn’t much to complain about on a Bergara B-14. The rifles are accurate, reliable, and built well. However, they really don’t get enough attention from hunters–mostly because they make few attempts to really stand out from the other rifles on the shelf.

They look standard, don’t include fluting on the (rather beefy) bolt or the (rather beefy) barrel, the action and barrel are just blued, the trigger is fine but not outstanding, the action is quite smooth but not as smooth as a Tikka.

Don’t get me wrong. I like the Bergara B-14 ridge. Actually, I like it a lot. It’s one of the best 3 out of 8 rifles we tested in this price range. It’s just tough to get excited about because it has no single stand-out feature. It just does everything reasonably well. It’s like the girl you almost dated because you were such good friends and got along with great, but just never could fall in love with.

Weatherby Vanguard in Badlands Camo

Weatherby Vanguard

People harp on me for recommending the Weatherby Vanguard because it’s essentially the same thing as a Howa 1500, but costs more money. Sure, it’s the same action and barrel, but it’s dressed up completely differently, and I think it changes the gun significantly.

The Weatherby Vanguard comes in several different editions. The one I tested was in Badlands camo, and is probably the most common edition I see on store shelves. The stock feels like it is created of a very tough polymer. It feels almost as rigid as concrete, and that’s a good thing.

The also Cerakote the barrel which lowers the need for oiling the metals on your gun, and protects it in rainy or otherwise wet conditions.

In our testing, the Weatherby Vanguard shot the most accurately, although the difference between it, the Bergara and the Tikka was so small that I doubt we could call it statistically significant.

The Vanguard does come in quite a few cartridges, but retail stores will only give them so many spots on the shelves, and since Weatherby is always pushing its own cartridges, it’s common to not find the chambering you’re looking for without special ordering it.

Other Options Under $1,000

If the Tikka, Bergara, and Weatherby offerings still aren’t meeting your needs, there are other choices for you to consider.

CVA Cascade – I love the CVA Cascade. It packs in some really nice features for the money. I would generally prefer the Bergara Wilderness Ridge, but for a little less money, the CVA Cascade is great.

Savage 110 Switchback – The Savage 110 comes in many different models, but the Switchback that we tested did not convert us to Savage in this price point. It was very inaccurate and poorly designed.

Howa Hogue – Picture the Weatherby Vanguard. Remove the Cerakote and the cool paint job. Now remove the well-constructed and rigid stock. Replace that stock with a giant high bouncy ball (shaped like a rifle stock). You now have a Howa Hogue. The stock is not at all rigid, which is likely what caused our accuracy issues. It also looks and feels really cheap. There are Hogue rifles built with other stocks, but the one we tested doesn’t get Backfire’s recommendation.

Kimber Hunter – The Kimber comes with a controlled-round feed which is rare to see in this price point. It’s a good action as long as you aren’t too ginger with the bolt as you cycle rounds. It’s also an accurate gun and extremely lightweight. However, I hate the stock design. It’s an old-school sporter stock in a very light rifle, so it’s tough to shoot accurately in a typical hunting situation.

The Rifle to Avoid: The Remington 700

The Rem 700 has been the de facto standard hunting rifle for many decades. Most all other hunting rifles are patterned after the Remington 700. Remington (now Rem Arms) has made a lot of noise about how they are going to clean up the reputation and start producing quality products, but I’ve heard that for years. I’ll believe it when I see it.

If Remington starts producing a better rifle than the other options on the gun shelf, I’ll be thrilled to buy one and recommend it. But until then, do not buy a Remington 700 unless you’re planning to do significant work to the gun and use it as a platform for a custom build.

Best Bolt-Action Hunting Rifles Under $1,500

There are several manufacturers producing rifles in the $1,000 to $1,500 price range, but the options are more limited than in some of the cheaper price ranges.

In my opinion, the best options around $1,200 are the Browning X-Bolt Hell’s Canyon Speed, the Savage 110 Ultralight, the Bergara HMR, and the Sig Sauer Cross.

First, let’s discuss the Bergara HMR. It’s an excellent rifle for long-range shooting, but it’s just too heavy in my opinion for most backcountry hunting situations. In fact, that goes with most of the offerings from Bergara. They make a great rifle, but except for their Mountain 2.0 rifle (around $2,000), they just don’t seem to be creating light enough rifles to suit today’s shooter.

Sig Cross – Great rifle, but some people get a lemon

The Sig Cross: Amazing design after some early quality control issues

The copy of the Sig Cross that I received was excellent in almost every way. It shot nice little groups, the build quality was excellent, and the folding stock made for a supremely portable rifle.

However, too many other reviewers have received lemon copies of the Sig Cross. There was the NutnFancy review of the Cross early on showing an extremely dangerous instant-recall-inducing trigger malfunction. Then the Military Arms channel did a review showing another dangerous condition with a safety that didn’t quite get into position when selected. My safety eventually developed that same issue.

However, as I’ve owned the Sig Cross for almost a year now, I’m surprised by how frequently it’s the gun I reach for in the safe. In fact, I frequently find myself out shooting with a Sig Cross even when I have much more expensive guns that I could be choosing. It has become one of my favorite guns.

I like the Sig Cross because it’s lightweight, easily adjustable to fit me or my kids, very accurate, and the short barrel and folding stock make it easily packable for hunts. I’ve fallen in love. Highly recommended.

Watch my review of the Sig Cross here.

Tikka Wilderness

Tikka T3X Lite Veil Wideland

I really like the Tikka Veil Wideland chambered in 6.5 PRC. It comes with a popular veil camo pattern on the stock (though I wish they had made the grips to match the camo), a Cerakoted barrel, fluting on the bolt and barrel, and a threaded barrel.

However, I do feel like it’s missing some things in this price point. No carbon fiber barrel or stock, the stock doesn’t have a high enough comb for a good cheek weld, and the butt pad is far too stiff to be effective. Also, the trigger comes in at 4 lbs, 7 oz which is about twice as heavy as most serious shooters prefer.

Savage 110 Ultralight

I love this gun. It comes with a very plasticy, but well-designed stock, and has adjustable length-of-pull and comb height to make it fit well. The standout feature of this gun, though, is certainly the Proof Research barrel. That’s a $900 barrel on a gun you can buy for $1,200. Very impressive.

The only things I don’t like about the Savage 110 Ultralight is the very plasticy magazine and mag well. It did affect feeding, and putting in the mag is a chore. I wouldn’t call the feeding unreliable, but it’s not as reliable as the X-Bolt or the Tikka. Also, the stock is well-designed, but it does still feel like cheap plastic.

Someone described this gun to me the other day as “a $500 gun with a $900 barrel.” That’s not far off the mark. Still, they look good, function well, are incredibly accurate, and Savage rarely has quality control issues.

The bottom of a Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed rifle showing the bottom metal and magazine being removed by a gunsmith on a Hoppe's 9 gun vice.
The browning X-Bolt is a great gun, but plan to take out the trigger and put in a Timney.

Browning X-Bolt Hell’s Canyon Speed

The Browning X-Bolt in Hell’s Canyon Camo has been so popular that Browning now makes the rifle in about two dozen different configurations. They all use essentially the same barreled action and stock material, though. So I’ll review the X-Bolt as if it’s one gun, and you can decide what configuration is best for you.

The Browning X-Bolt has a tremendous action. It feeds extremely reliably. I also am a fan of Browning’s 4-screw-per-ring system for attaching a scope ring. Also, the styling of the Browning is by far the best in this price range.

There really is only one thing that I don’t like about the Browning X-Bolt. The trigger! Don’t get me wrong. It’s a premium quality trigger (hello, the blade is gold!), but the trigger is simply too heavy for accurate shooting in my opinion. The copies I’ve tested had a trigger pull weight of about 4 pounds, 5 ounces. (See more in my video review)

So should you buy a Browning X-Bolt? Yes! Just plan to pay an additional $175 on a Timney trigger that you can easily add into the rifle with no gunsmithing skill necessary. It’s easy. My 10-year-old did it for me (not kidding).

Jim, You Gotta Come Up with a Winner for the Best Rifle Under $1,500

Argh. It’s so hard to decide between a Savage 110 Ultralight, a Browning X-Bolt Hell’s Canyon Speed, and the Sig Cross.

Browning X-Bolt HC

  • Poor stock adjustability
  • Good accuracy
  • Better stock
  • Poor trigger
  • Excellent feeding
  • Pick this one if you want your gun to look good, have a great action, be reliable, and shoot well.

Savage 110 Ultralight

  • Good stock adjustability
  • Best accuracy
  • Good stock
  • Good trigger
  • Good feeding
  • Pick this one if you want 3/4 MOA groups, light weight, and can look past a cheesy stock.

Sig Sauer Cross

  • Best stock adjustability
  • Better accuracy
  • Best stock
  • Best trigger
  • Excellent feeding
  • Pick this one if you value something adjustable, packable, light, accurate, and fun to shoot.

I. Just. Can’t. Decide! These are three great options. If I could only pick one, though, it’d be the Sig Cross. Over the last year I’ve just found myself choosing it so often that it has to be my pick.

Best Bolt-Action Hunting Rifles Over $1,500

This is probably the easiest section of this post to write. If you’re buying a rifle between $1,500 and $2,500, I can sum up my recommendation in just 5 words: get the Springfield 2020 Waypoint. Period.

However, if you’re spending more and want to get into the <$3,000 price point, then the Fierce Reaper just can’t be beaten. It looks like it was designed for a video game, it’s light, has all the creature comforts of a fine precision rifle, and shoots like a dream.

Springfield 2020 Waypoint

The only problem with a Springfield 2020 Waypoint is they don’t offer it in enough chamberings. If they sold one in 7mm SAUM using a long action and long enough magazine to give me full freedom to reload, I’d buy one so fast it’d scare the neighbors.

I don’t say that lightly. I’m well aware that there is stiff competition in the “semi-custom rifle” category. The Bergara Mountain 2.0, Kimber Mountain Ascent, Bergara Premier, Browning X-Bolt Pro, Seekins Havac, Weatherby Mark V, Fierce Edge, Christensen Ridgeline, and others are all rifles I’m familiar with. Still, it’s the 2020 Waypoint in my opinion. Watch my full review of the Springfield 2020 Waypoint.

Having said that, in this price range, a lot of the decision is matching the rifle to your unique circumstances and preferences. So, here are my quick thoughts on some of the competition for the best premium factory rifle under $2,500.

Christensen Ridgeline – So many people have asked me to review one, and I just can’t justify spending $2,000 on one because I’ve heard so many reports of inconsistent manufacturing quality. Some people get a good one, others get a lemon. So if I review it and love my copy, I’d be convincing people to buy one and they very likely may not have the same experience. Christensen needs to improve its quality control in my opinion. Plus, it uses an old-school sporter stock that just isn’t what today’s long-range shooter is looking for.

Christensen MPR – I came so close to buying an MPR a couple weeks ago. Of all of the guns Christensen produces, the MPR is by far the best in my opinion. The thing that keeps me from buying is that when I watch reviews, it’s the same story. They are just sending too high of a percentage of lemons out the door. But boy that MPR looks good.

Browning X-Bolt Pro – I like the X-Bolt Pro. I owned one in .28 Nosler and it was a very poor choice for that heavy-recoiling of a cartridge. It’s a good option for light cartridges, but the light weight and stock design don’t make for a good match on heavy cartridges. Also, I think the X-Bolt Pro just isn’t bringing enough to the table for doubling the price over a regular X-Bolt. In today’s market, it needs a more modern stock design, carbon barrel, and premium trigger to be worth the price they are asking. Watch my review here.

Kimber Mountain Ascent Subalpine – I just don’t like the Kimber Mountain Ascent. I owned one and sold it. The controlled-round feed action is great. People say it’s the most consistent action, but I only sort of agree. I think in theory controlled feed is better, but they also generally don’t feed well (or at all) if you try to feed by dropping one in, rather than mag feeding. Also, it works great if you quickly manhandle the action. If you go slow while trying to be quiet in a hunting situation, it may not feed right. Also, the very aged sporter stock design doesn’t lend itself well to shooting long range–especially in such a light rifle. It’s not for me. Watch my review here.

Fierce Rival – I really like my Fierce Rival chambered in 6.5 PRC. Of all the rifles I own, if you just said “Grab a rifle and go hunting” without any more specifics of where I’d be hunting or what I’d be hunting, I’d grab that rifle. Fierce rifles are accurate, built well, look great, come with good triggers, and feed perfectly. There are only two critiques I have of the Rival: (1) The front of the stock blocks “slide-on” Picatinny attachments such as the MDT Ckyepod or the Hatch bipod, and (2) I do wish the cheek piece went higher like on the AG Composites Alpine Hunter stock. Watch my review here.

Fierce Reaper – I just love it so much. I seriously am not sure how you can improve on it. Excellent in every way… but it’s expensive.

Weatherby Mark V – Weatherby makes a fantastic rifle. Every Weatherby I’ve ever shot has been exceptionally accurate and well-built. I rarely hear manufacturing quality concerns about Weatherby rifles. Really, the only thing that keeps me from owning more of them is that I can rarely find them in the chamberings I want. Their ammo is INSANELY expensive, so I wouldn’t invest in a Weatherby chambering. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a Weatherby if you find one in a cartridge you like, or if you don’t mind shooting Weatherby’s overbore cartridges.

There are so many other options to consider, but hopefully, that gives you a solid starting place if you’re looking for a premium hunting rifle.

I’m holding my breath for the comments section on this post. I know there will be a lot of hate because I’ve been very frank about my opinions, but I test so many rifles that I just wanted one single post that I keep up to date where I can just say it how I see it without any politically correct crap.

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  1. I don’t know even they even sell it anymore but about 10-15 years ago my first .308 was a mossberg ATR. To this day when I pull that out for fun it still shoots tight groups. 150 grain federal fusion groups sub 1inch or better every time. So not sure what went wrong with the patriot, and I don’t really use the ATR except for friends to use but it is a hell of an accurate rifle.

  2. What about the Winchester Model 70? I’d love to hear your thoughts on a modern option like the Extreme Weather SS MB. I’d also like to hear more about the threading on the various barrels and if they are suitable for use with a suppressor – i.e. enough shoulder for secure mounting.

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      I’d love to give one a good in-depth review, but I haven’t yet. I’m familiar with it, but haven’t done an official review.

      1. Frank Albaijes says:

        Jim, I’ve owed most of the brands you’ve mention here. Never bother with a Winchester M70, because I thought it was old fashion. First available in 1936 for Pete’s sake. Then I bought an Alaskan 338 Win Mag Laminate in Stainless. Holy Moses, what an incredible rifle. The build quality was amazing, and shot sub MOA with factory Norma ammo. Honestly, you need to review one.

        1. Jim Harmer says:

          Great comment, Frank. I also have ignored the Winchester M70 for exactly the reason you mentioned. I’ll keep one in mind next time I’m in the market. Appreciate the comment.

          1. The Winchester Model 70 should be the rifle you compare all the others too. It’s the classic , it’s The One , it’s stood the test of time , it’s been around longer than the rest and will still be here long after these other rifles have fallen out of fashion. Get one , in 30-06 for the purest experience , and you’ll be convinced !

          2. Lane Pelissier says:

            Jim, Great content on both the website and on Youtube. I would have to agree that no higher end rifle list should ever not have a Mod 70 or a Sako on it. Thanks for the content you put out!

      2. I’m considering a modern Win 70 as well. Esp in 7mm-08. Are you still doing a full review on that caliber?

      3. Bison Bill says:

        I’d love to hear if the model 70 is still relevant. I’m looking for ANY rifle with a floor plate, metal, and wood but the only two I find are model 70, and browning. There is a nice Bavarian Sako but there’s isn’t much data on accuracy on the range with a scope. Most of the videos I see you get two shots touching and a flier on the mod 70. I don’t know if wood and metal rifles are extinct but it looks that way in Scheels.

        P.S. I used to not care about if the bolt locked on safe but after a walk in the woods of ND with a Ruger American and the bolt falling out, to not be recovered on the opener, I now only have guns that lock the bolt on safe. Which leaves Winchester, Weatherby, Tikka/Sako. I’m not sure why Bergarra and other premium manufacturers don’t do this but I’m sure there’s a reason.

        Thank you for your great videos especially on moderately priced optics and arms. Along with the detail you put into your reviews of new ammo like the 6.5 and now 7 PRC.

    2. I have the weather extreme in 25-05 that I purchased for a Pronghorn hunt topped with a Leupold VX6 HD. Took my buck at 325 shooting Federal Premium 110gr bullets. Was very happy with all of it. PS. Cannot find the Federal rounds anymore so Shooting the Hornady Precision Hunter 110’s now.

  3. If you are looking at that sub $1000 rifle check out the Bergara Wilderness Ridge (Mine was $850). Threaded barrel, cerakote barrel, hand painted stock. Plus all the pros of the above B-14 review. Action is amazing and a really great factory trigger. My 6.5 CM shoots sub MOA groups.

  4. Andrew Duerksen says:

    Mr. Harmer, I really appreciate your reviews on the Sig Cross and Waypoint. I have narrowed my next purchase down to those two. Probably going to be the Waypoint. Same as you, I wish the offerings were a bit better. I would love a 300 Win Mag. I was unaware of the QC issues with the Cross. I’m a big fan of Sig pistols and never had an issue with QC. Thanks again and I look forward to future content.

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      Great choices, Andrew. Since recording the review of the Sig Cross, my copy of the gun did develop the issue with the safety where it doesn’t quite go to the correct position. So I do still think they have some QC issues to deal with.

      HOWEVER, since recording that review I’ve also had the opportunity to hunt a good bit. I just can’t keep myself from grabbing the Sig Cross. It’s just so short, light, and accurate. It’s way more fun to shoot than the other guns.

      I still think the 2020 Waypoint is just a better gun overall. It’s incredibly well built. Zero quality control issues. Surprisingly accurate. It would also handle bigger calibers MUCH better than the Cross. The Cross is great for 6.5 Creedmoor or 6.5 PRC, but the stock just isn’t suitable for heavy recoiling cartridges.

  5. Man I really love your reviews! Thanks for doing great work. I’m really interested in the Benelli Lupo, any chance your going to get your hands on one of those?

    1. Yes please, there is a major lack of opinions out there on the LUPO.

      1. PHILLIP MCCOLLUM says:

        I’ve owned a Lupo chambered in 30-06 for several months now. What would you like to know?

  6. Tom Joyce says:

    Hi Jim,

    Really enjoy your advice and reviews on guns and equipment, I appreciate your opinions. I do have a question that I hope you will address.

    I am looking for a semi-auto gun for hunting, been looking at the Savage MSR 10 in 6.5 CM and the Smith and Wesson M&P 10 in 6.5 CM (I would really love to see an AR10 in 6.5 PRC). The reason I am more interested in an AR instead of a bolt action is because:

    I would like to have an adjustable stock for hunting in multi layers of clothing and backpack straps, the need to adjust my length of pull is important. My arms are a bit short and most hunting rifles are just too long for me, length of pull wise. The SIG Cross would be a best second choice.

    The need for fast follow up shots, I know with practice a bolt action is fast, but I also don’t want to break my right hand grip on the gun and trigger.

    I have been looking at the Browning BAR for years, it’s a great gun, but I would really like to have an AR format.

    I have not seen a semi-auto in 6.5 PRC, should I wait?

    Any suggestions?

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      Those all sound like good options. A lot of states don’t allow semi-autos for big game hunting so check your regs. The Sig Cross has really become one of my favorite guns to shoot. So small and packable, and I’m getting incredible accuracy out of it.

      1. What ammo are you shooting in your cross? I have one in 308 and Federal premium 168grain Berger hunter (or hunter hybrid, can’t remember now) shoot less than an inch at 100 yards, but now they are hard to find. I’ve tried a lot of others, including Hornady PH (178gr I think) and Hornady Match 168 gr, and they are lucky to shoot 4 inch group with huge point of impact change. Is yours that picky?

        1. Jim Harmer says:

          Hornady Precision hunter was working well in mine.

  7. I would also love a video on the Winchester model 70 extreme weather! I want your opinion on there trigger system. I don’t think any mauser action rifles allow you to drop around in because of the claw extractor.

  8. Jim,
    After getting what I believe to be a ‘bad copy’ of a Ruger American in 308, I am looking to upgrade. My search is with an elk/mule deer hunt in mind. I have been looking at the 6.8 western. Any chance you would do a review on that caliber? My assumption has been that given the limited rifles and ammos out, the x-bolt with browning ammo would have to work well together right out of the box.

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      An XBolt in 6.8 Western may be a great option. You might also consider a more traditional 7 Rem Mag or .30-06.

      My personal favorite elk cartridge is a 7mm Rem Mag.

  9. tony milliner says:

    Jim, I think you misspoke about the Ultralite. It has the Accufit stock, but not the Accustock with the aluminum rail system. I was down to the Ultralite or the Savage High Country and went with the High Country because of this. Even though I’m happy with my decision, the Ultralite might have been the better way to go. (weight)
    Anyway, love the Backfire channel. Keep the vids coming, I look forward to seeing them

  10. I’m at a point that I can spend $1500+ for a hunting rifle. Never spent over $500 before. Mostly hand carried, thick timber and hills in foul weather. It truly needs to be able to handle rough handling. I thought of the Waypoint myself but I also like the Sako Finnlight II. I like the cleaner lines without the mag sticking out. Just easier to carry in hand, never a sling. Is the Sako worth the that premium price though? Is the quality that good? Everyone else says so but I figured I’d ask.

    1. Travis Thorn says:

      Sako has major problems with there stocks , I have owned several finnlight 85s and the stock will get sticky , Its not if its when , Sako will not do anything about this issue , They blame it on det in insect spray , I had one still in the box that got sticky and they didnt have an answer for that , You can read about this issue online its everywhere , Browning took care of this problem when they had this issue , I will never buy another sako for this reason , Do your research before buying one

  11. I would like a 280 Ackley and Fierce only makes it in the Rival. What is your opinion on the Edge vs Rival? I’m really down to the Fierce Carbon Rival vs the Weatherby MarkV Backcountry. Fierce is about $400 more and almost a pound heavier. Is it worth it?

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      I just purchased a Rival this week. I really like the stock design. The action is a little sticky at the back because it’s a 2-lug so there’s a little play at the back if you aren’t pushing straight. It appears that Fierce is stretching the truth a bit on weight because mine weighs 6 pounds, 4 1/8 oz and it’s a short action with 24″ 6.5mm barrel so it should be about the lightest one they have. Haven’t shot it yet, but we’ll see how it performs.

  12. John Field says:

    Have you fired the Sako 85 Finnlight? If so, what are you impressions of it.

    1. I own one in a 30-06, with 3 safes full of guns, it is my favourite. Definitely the most accurate rifle I have owned right out of the box. Dumped lots of Deer, Black Bear and Moose with it. (Live in northern Alberta.) stock not sticky yet?

      1. Jim, after watching the review of your Rival I wanted you to know I had the same problems with mine. I sent my Rival back for repair and after six weeks it came back with the same problem. I decided to to send Fierce an email basically telling them how disappointed I was with the tight chamber and extractor design issues and failure. To my surprise John Mogle responded and told me to send in my gun and they would replace the barrel and fix the problem. John did tell me that they are currently working on a fix for the extractor problem. I was very impressed at the response I got from John and can tell you Fierce is a company that stands behind their products. I decided to go a different direction by changing out the barrel for a 20 inch Proof. I will be hunting suppressed from now on and want to keep my rifle as short as possible

  13. Hi Jim Im trying to click your links to the guns but its not working.

  14. Derek Mesh says:

    Jim great reviews. As I’m new to the shooting world I’m still undecided on a long range target rifle. Would like to buy a Tikka Super Varmint barrel and action with MDT chassis but am also considering Bergara UpR. Thoughts?
    Question. Since Bergara use a Rem 700 barrel (action and trigger too?) what makes it a Bergara?

  15. austin ackerman says:


  16. Have you had a chance to look over or review the Savage Impulse? That one is on my radar and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

  17. Daniel R. says:

    Can you do a in-depth comparison review of the CVA Cascade vs. Ruger American?

  18. Hey there Jim. First let me say your videos are absolutely fantastic. Sorry youtube is being such a pain in the ass to you as well.

    I’m in the market for my very first rifle and I have been eying up the Weatherby Vanguard ever since I saw you pick it. Like you I love the idea of the cerakote on it and I think a stiffer stock lends itself to shooters well. I looked at the Tika’s as well and for the calibers I’m looking at, I just think they’ll beat the hell outta my shoulder.

    The trouble I’m having wracking my brain over is caliber. I’ve narrowed it to 3, but just can’t quite choose. 7mm mag, 300 Win mag and 30-06. Price points on the ammo don’t put them too far apart when searching on Ammoseek, usually within 5 bucks a box depending upon brand.

    Usage for the rifle would be long distance hobby shooting, but also potentially taking it on everything from whitetail up to moose for a hunt should I ever get in to the sport with my brothers and dad.

    What are your thoughts?

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      Great choice in a gun. I would pick 7mm Rem Mag since you mentioned long range. It’s an EXCELLENT do-all caliber.

    2. Nelson L Dotson says:

      I own 30-06, i own a 300 win mag , now never pull anything out but the 300 win mag , it is a Browning A bolt with the belly clip , has the sweet spot muzzle break ,that takes care of half of the recoil and have the Remington butt pad . Which takes of the other half of recoil . This rifle broke two scopes I highly recommend the Leupold which I have on it now .team this up with the Barnes TTPX BT. Solid brass bullet ,which I really like. The muzzle break sends recoil back into the rifle which breaks cheap scopes .

  19. Steve Melo says:

    If you had a choice between XBolt Pro & Dako finnlight 85 in 300wm what one would you choose. Surprised you didn’t mention anything about the Sako 85

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      I’d go with the Sako in that case. XBolt Pro is a good gun but needs a new trigger.

  20. Agreed on the MarkV. I bought the MarkV Weathermark LT in the .257 WBY. I understood going into it that it was a boutique and emotionally motivated cartridge choice, but the performance and build quality is excellent. (Solid review on your part.)

  21. Could you please do a review on the Sauer 100 stainless xta. I’m really interested in them but can hardly find a proper review of them. They are built in the same factory where they produce Mauser and Blaser rifles (all owned by the same company), so I guess “quality” shouldn’t be an issue but unlike Mausers and Blasers, these rifles are far less expensive.

    They come in the same price bracket as Tikka rifles but from what I have read, unlike the popular T3X rifles, Sauer 100 rifles
    1. can be top loaded,
    2. have a metal finish at the trigger-guard,
    3. and three-stage safety.
    And contrary to most German rifles today, the barrel is threaded into the reciever (not heat shrunk).

    The only downsides I have read of it is its screw-on bolt-knob and the fact that you may need a few more tools to disassemble the rifle. But honestly these are not deal-breakers (or at least I think so).

    I’m sure a video review by you would certainly help clarify and perhaps sway my views on the Sauer 100s.

    **sorry for posting this comment on another article, but I guess this is the more suitable article for this discussion

  22. James Muzynoski says:

    I’ve seen your comments that fierce rifles have poor fit and finish and that customer service is also poor. Do you still recommend them. Thanks

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      James – I probably wouldn’t recommend Fierce Firearms right now. They need to get their stuff together first. Nearly every touch-point I’ve had with the company shows obvious signs of errors.

      1. Hi Jim. Went on my first hunt (elk) this October. Fit me like a glove. Going to take the plunge…deep. Looking at a Seekins Havak in 300 PRC. You mention it just once in this string but don’t come back to it at all. I know it’s very high end but with a replaced hip and knee, I want anchored shots and believe that cartridge is a slight upgrade on the venerable 300WM. I have been taking in everyone of ur vids I can find and sincerely appreciate your work and am interested in your take on the Seekins product? Thank you for your time.

        1. Jim Harmer says:

          I hear a lot of people liking the Seekins Havak, but it just hasn’t grabbed me. The stock feels really cheesy. It’s a well designed stock, but the fit and finish feels cheesy–especially the checkering pattern they use. Anyway, sorry but I don’t have much experience with it. Some day I’ll give one a more fair look.

          1. Jim, I’ve had three X bolts in 6.8 western in the past 8 months and all shot well but velocities were a good 100 fps or more below what was stated on box on three different brands. I did achieve the box numbers through hand loading and Magpro powder for the 170 Bergers and Staball 6.5 for the 129 lrx. In the end I still believe the 7mm RM is more versatile. The Tikka Superlite 7RM is my dedicated high country rifle, weighing in at 7.1 lbs scoped. Keep up the good work!

  23. Duke Williams says:

    Jim, based on your reviews and several others, I’d really like go with the 6.8 Western. That limits my choice of rifles. I can stretch the budget to a Browning if I have to, but the Winchester XPR is more in my price range. You haven’t included Winchester in your reviews.

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      I just took the first shots with the Winchester XPR in 6.8 Western today. Overall, it seems like a decent gun for the price. The trigger is heavy, but that’s true on the Browning XBolts as well. The stock is cheesy feeling, but nicely shaped and rigid.

      I would definitely buy the Winchester XPR SR version, which means suppressor ready, so you get a threaded barrel. Suppressors are DEFINITELY the future, so I wouldn’t buy a non-threaded barrel anymore.

      1. Duke Williams says:

        Thanks for such a speedy response. And all the great work you do!

  24. Duke Williams says:

    Thanks for such a speedy response. And all the great work you do!

  25. Know it is not a bolt action rifle, but how does the Henry Long Ranger stack up against these options? Have to admit I love Henry’s, so am trying to take my heart out of the decision with wisdom from someone more experienced like you.

    1. Hey Jim, I think your doing an amazing job on bringing us unbiased information all hunting gear not just rifles. Have you ever tested any Franchi hunting rifles? I’ve been looking at the varment line in a 6.5 cm.

  26. Grant Morrison says:

    Hello from Bozeman, MT!
    Would love to know your thoughts on the Seekins Precision Havak PH2 rifles.
    Also would be cool to see you do a semi-custom rifle (Bighorn action, prefit barrel, Ag composites stock, trigger tech, etc.) and see how it stacks up next to the high end factory rifles. It would be a tiny bit more expensive, but really not much.
    All in 7mm Rem Mag of course 😉

  27. Travis Skurray says:

    Would love to see your review on the Australian built Lithgow if you haven’t fired one yet I am sure you will be blown away by it in build quality, accuracy and value considering we are paying $900 for rifles worth $350 in America. Great to see honest reviews that are very entertaining hope to see many more. Travis Skurray from Australia.

  28. I have been looking for a carbon barrel rifle in a .308 due to ammo availability. I really like the Springfield waypoint but it is out of my price range but definitely the nicest rifle I’ve held! I am looking to spend around $1200, and I am between the Savage ultralite and the Howa carbon kratos. The Howa is around $200-$300 cheaper than the Savage. I like the action of the Howa better but the Proof barrel on the Savage.
    I see that you really like the Savage, but I was wondering if you have shot the Howa? There are very few reviews and almost zero information about how the Howa carbon shoots. Do you have any information on the Howa, or an opinion on which way I should. Thanks.

  29. I really enjoy your reviews and opinions. I was in the market for an affordable hunting rifle this year and you helped me a lot and changed my mind on my first choice. Wish you would’ve done a review on Mauser 18 or sauer 100 as I became interested in those two guns and did ultimately pick up a Mauser this year based on some other reviews. So far really like it FYI

  30. For the record the cheapest gun I’ve ever owned is a TC compass in 6.5 Creedmoor and it has shot sub MOA with most factory offerings from day one and consistently shoots sub 1/2 moa with handloads. Best 5 shot group was .320 so I wouldn’t knock the compass for a budget rifle. It shoots as well as some of my full blown custom rifles I have thousands invested in. Paid $230 bucks for it out the door . LOL.

    1. My experience as well Tim! Mine is in 223 for chucks. With plain Jane 55 grain hornady soft points and max listed load of H4895, it shoots 1/4 to 3/8″ at 100 yards if I lay off the coffee. I got mine during their initial recall for $199. Best purchase I ever made. My brother and another buddy bought one (223 and 22-250) because mine shot so well and they had similar results. Now they are North of $400. Hold on to it.

  31. Aaron L Flint says:

    Hello I love your videos and your reviews the only comment I have is that the savage 110 ultralite does not have the accustock. It has the accufit system but they did not put it in that rifle I assume it’s to save weight.

  32. Hi Jim,
    I just have to say thank you I really appreciate your unbiased and honest opinions. Your input has influenced some decision I’m making for future hunting rifles and calibers. I know you get requests for reviews a lot but I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts on the CVA Cascade line of bolt action rifles. They seem to check a lot of the boxes I’m looking in a rifle and seem to have a lot of bang for the buck for a rifle just over $500. Also, at least in my area, they are readily available which is a huge bonus right now.


    Benelli Lupo should had definitely made the list Better rifle than most others mentioned in my honest opinion.

  34. Anthony F says:

    Have you considered the recently released rifles introduced by Franchi? (Momentum 2018 followed by the Momentum Elite 2019). I believe the momentum rifle could easily stack up against the models outlined in the under $500 category. I recently purchased the Momentum Elite in the 6.5 creedmoor and respectfully think an honourable mention for the under $1000 would be appropriate.

    Just my two cents, but would love to hear an honest review of these rifles.



  35. I have played with many of the rifles you have. I agree with you.

    I have been trying to get a Waypoint…. Just hasn’t been available.

    As a side note, I have a Sako 85 from Cabelas. It was made for them as a throw back to the Finbear (now Discontinued) It’s chambered in 270. As of now it’s my most accurate and favorite rifle.

  36. Why no ones talk about the sakos in the states??

  37. 99% sure the next rifle is the sig cross but real question is 6.5 cm or .308 I can’t decide. Never shot 6.5 but all I hear are good things what’s your opinion. Will be used mostly for white tail and hogs in Texas.

    1. I have the same question.

  38. JOHN E MAY says:

    when buying a boltaction rifle to be used for hunting,do you prefer a safety that locks the bolt down,or one that allows you to work the action.I prefer the type that locks the bolt

  39. James Helms says:

    Jim. I am looking for a 6.5 creedmoor bolt action hunting rifle for our place in north central west Texas. I have been eyeing the ruger go wild.I like the heavier barrel profile. As I completely dislike sporter pencil barrels. Have you reviewed one yet?

  40. Jon Reese says:

    I know they are two different price points, but I’d love to see a side by side comparison between the 2020 Waypoint and the Savage 110 Ultra Lite. With them being two different price points, I’d be interested in your thoughts on spending the extra amount on the waypoint. I have watched your reviews on both, so maybe your opinion on whether it’d be worth the additional money To go with the Waypoint. (Great videos by the way!!)

  41. I would love to hear your thoughts on the savage impulse big game. Seems like a solid gun for the money and straight pull seems fun.

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      I have shot the Impulse and wasn’t impressed. It’s very heavy, the straight pull was difficult to work with and made a few of my shots not go off because I didn’t quite push it ALL the way forward. It’s an interesting concept but I prefer a traditional bolt.

  42. Why would anyone purchase a rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor when 7mm-08 will do everything the 6.5 can but with a bigger bullet, flatter trajectory, and comparable wind drift at typical hunting ranges?

  43. Albert Hotz says:

    Hi, I really enjoy your reviews on YouTube. I have been considering the Winchester xpr spotter (walnut stock) in 308 Win. What is your opinion on this gun? Is there a far better option for the money? I just want an all around deer rifle that is easy to find ammo for. Thanks so much, you guys are great!

  44. Cory Gill says:

    Jim, any thoughts on the Venture 2 from TC? I had settled on this for my next rifle based on the Weatherguard coating, price and MOA accuracy guarantee but now it seems we may never see them. I have monkey arms so a new stock is in the future for whatever rifle I choose … another reason I’m trying to keep the price down. I was looking at the Tikka for a while but I’m not crazy about the slower twist in .30-06. Loved this article … keep ‘em coming!

  45. Great reviews, but nothing on the Browning AB3? Looking for a good review of it after months of no Tikkas available locally in 308.

  46. Hey 👋 Jim! Love your videos and reviews thanks a ton. I am really interested in a waypoint. Have you heard any news about springfield adding additional calibers for it? I would really like one in one of the 7mm flavors. Is it ever gonna happen or should I just buy a 6.5 prc? Thank you

  47. Brent Gilbert says:

    I am finally biting the bullet and having a custom gun made. I want a lightweight rifle that has mild Recoil with ballistics similar to 270 Winchester but in a short action. My builder said (because of the bad Winchester brass) he would not recommend the 68 Western. He recommended a wildcat round, 7 mm SAW. Are you familiar with this cartridge? Any opinion on it?

  48. Hey Jim I recently found your stuff and have been doing a deep dive. I have a bunch of ARs and tactical style stuff but sold the only bolt action I had before I ever fired it(Tikka CTR). Now I want another one and to get in to some long range and MAYBE some hunting. I used to hunt as a kid. I’ve narrowed it down to a Sig Cross in 6.5, a JTAC Screech Owl in 6.5 22” barrel. And outside chance of a Bergara HMR or sauer 100 Pantera. Do you have any experience or thoughts on the JTAC? It’s a Howa 1500 action in their own pretty cool stock. A little heavier than the cross but the little feedback I’ve seen has been good. I love that Fierce Reaper but would probably have to sell another nice gun to get it and not sure I quite want to do that. Thanks!

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      All good options, but I’d go with the Cross if you’ll be using it for any backcountry hunting. Those are cool, but very heavy guns.

  49. darin plumb says:

    I\’m a big fan of your videos and expertise. I\’m in northern Arizona and hunt in everything from dense forest to open desert, shots rarely over 400 yards. I\’m looking for a good \”all around\” big game hunting rifle (elk, whitetail/mule deer, and antelope mostly). I really like the sig cross but I cant decide between 308 or 6.5 Creedmoor, or if I should instead go for a different rifle with chamberings more suitable for my kind of hunting and if so what chamberings and rifles would you suggest.

  50. Alex Suarez says:

    Hey Jim, big fan of your Youtube channel and I always enjoy watching/reading your content. Had a question, What are your thoughts/opinion on the Wilson Combat AR10’s? I am looking into ordering a 20″ Super Sniper chambered in .308 and was curious to know if you have had any experience with it? I am a huge fan of their 1911’s and know they are big into precision rifles. I wanted to get a Bolt Action rifle for hunting and also had always wanted an AR style rifle too. I figured I could get an AR rifle with Sub MOA accuracy that could maybe hit 2 birds with 1 stone.
    Curious to hear your thoughts/experience with it.
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hello Jim. Love your reviews.
      What do you think about the CZ 557 line and the new 600s?
      I haven’t seen you review any CZ rifle, any cause un particular?

  51. Hey Jim,
    Really enjoy reading your reviews and opinions!
    I had a Waypoint 2020 6.5 PRC on order for a long while- when one finally showed up and I was able to handle it, I just could not warm up to it. The forend felt fat and a bit chunky, and the detachable mag looks like it could get in the way when carrying, hunting, using rests, etc. The stock looks like a varmint/tactical/long range/hunting compromise, and may do those thing well, it’s just not what I was looking for.
    I ended up buying a Bergara Mountain 2.0, which checked all the boxes for me as a hunting rifle. And true to their ads, it is a sub-MOA shooter.
    I also own a Savage 110 Ultralite in 6.5 PRC- fantastic accuracy, but I just could not warm up to the ‘plasticy’ stock. have since restocked it with a B&C M40, and will use it for long range targets and steel.

  52. Nathaniel says:

    Torn between CVA cascade or bergara b14 ridge in 7mm-08. Will be used for 100-500 yd plinking and occasional deer hunting. Is the bergara name worth it? Or is the lighter, cheaper, better looking cva more applicable?

  53. I am looking to buy a new rifle and I’m between the Franchi Momentum Elite and the Weatherby Vanguard MeatEater edition mainly because of availability. Do you have any experience with the Franchi? It’s hard to find info anywhere on it.

  54. Kevin Woolley says:

    What about the JP Sauer 100?

  55. Hey Jim, your videos are great not only on rifles, but optic’s too. Have you or will you be doing a video on Franchi hunting rifles. Thank you and keep up the great job!

  56. Bergara seems to have just come out with a Walnut stock… maybe as a result of one of you comparing their stocks to garage floors???

  57. Strider_Wolf says:

    Love the guns review vid on ones under $500 and everything else! Fun to read through this after watching all the vids.

    Would love to hear your review and/or thoughts on military surplus and/or rifles you and friends first started on. I recall in a vid you talked about hunting with Mosin Nagans, the Russian 30.06! I think many of us started on something like that, dad’s old rifle or grandpas. Ha!

    Can’t wait for what you put out next!

  58. Hey Jim, I would love to hear your imput on which rifle you prefer between the Ruger American, CVA Cascade, and the Winchester XPR. I watched each individual rifles review from you and the best option under $350, but I would like to hear your feedback from either a new video or just through here about which of the 3 rifles you think is the best in that category since you havent put them head to head in that category. Thanks for your time Jim, love the channel!

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      I’d pick the CVA Cascade from that group. I’ll update the post.

  59. Kelly John Klawon says:

    Instead of light gun oil, I wouldwipe gun with a rig rag.

  60. Jim,
    You mention that you felt the Browning X-Bolt Pro was not a good fit for a heavy recoil gun. Do you have a suggestion for a backcountry hunting rifle that does well with heavy recoil? Specifically, I am looking at 300 PRC and .28 Nolser, or 300 Weatherby Magnum. I am looking at loading with heavier grain bullets such as the Berger 30 cal 215 Hybrid or Berger 7mm 180 or 195 Grain bullets. Thank you for your time and consideration of this request.

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      The Bergara B14 Wilderness with adjustable cheek piece would be a great choice, as well as anything in the Bergara Premier Series. I also like the Fierce Reaper and the Sako S20 for heavy-recoiling cartridges.

  61. Mark Schmidt says:

    The Weatherby Vanguard Meateater edition comes with Cerakote, threaded barrel, stiff stock and a pretty decent 2 stage trigger. Weatherby also makes it in some non Weatherby calibers. The only downside I see is the weight at 7 plus pounds if your looking for a ultralight mountain rig. A stock upgrade is also an option, Stockys is producing several different carbon fiber drop-in stocks for the Vanguard/Howa rifle line. I purchased a Stockys carbon stock for my Vanguard 6.5 PRC Meateater rifle and was able to shoot a suppressed 5 shot group at 100 yards that measured under 1/2 moa.

  62. Hi Jim,

    I’m sold on the 7mm-08 for hunting but am having a hard time deciding/finding a decent rifle chambered in that caliber. I’d say I’m in the sub-$1,500 range. What do you think? Savage 110? Bergara B14 Hunter? What?



  63. Pls recommend as I need a rifle under 1500 $ including Scope for shooting upto 600 Yards with cheaper ammo to practice more. Which one do you recommend

  64. William Chipman says:

    God-bless you for being a second amendment supporter I will pray for you your wife and your family God-bless

  65. Wow! Do you know a lot about rifles. Thank you! I was about to buy a Christenson Arms rifle but you and a few others have commented about the quality. I love to hunt white tail deer in Arkansas. I’m looking at the Waypoint now.

  66. John Rose says:

    I enjoy watching you on YouTube and it’s really nice to see your reviews before purchasing guns and related stuff. I saw your video on the 7mm prc and considered waiting till they came out. I purchased a 280 AI in a Mark V Weatherby instead. I recently had a chance to sight it in and run everything over the chronograph . My loads averaging 3050 fps with the 162gr eldx. Keep the good work buddy on your show

  67. Not sure what caliber you tested the bergara b14 ridge in but, I bought one from Scheels last year in 6.5 prc and it would scratch up the casings, and jam up on the last round. I took it back to Scheels and the guys said it’s the second time someone has brought one back with that issue in a week. I loved the way it shot and felt. And have heard mostly good things on it, so I kinda think it was mostly a caliber issue for that gun. Like I said not sure what you tested it in, but I just wanted to let you know.

  68. Mark Bucher says:

    I just bought a Savage Axis II XP in 308 after much research and debate amongst my hunting partners. I too had nailed it down to the Savage or the Ruger American Rifle. The deciding factor for me was the trigger, and that 3 of my buddies shoot the Savage. Two of them shoot 270’s and one in 25-06. One issue that has come up with all three of their guns is having to check and tighten the front and rear action assembly screws. Seems that they manage to work loose occasionally. And yes, I did get the stainless barrel, but it’s cerrakoted, so reflection should be minimized.
    I bought a Tikka M550 in 308 while stationed in Germany back in 1984. The action is butter smooth and the stock has a palm swell the sold me when I first picked the gun up. The scope I bought is a Sea Adler, 3x9x40. I’ve never seen Sea Adler anywhere in the US, do you know if they’re imported? Thanks

    Mark, Rolla Missouri

  69. Sammy Gill says:

    I am from Canada- and watching your channel for quite a time. I purchased Savage Axis II XP- 6.5 Creedmore from Cabelas.
    I found barrel engraved with 6.5 Creedmore and read manual before use
    Manual cover also says- Do not use without reading Manual.
    Manual dont talk about 6.5 Creedmore !
    It talks about every calibre Savage Arms is selling in Canada – but dont talk about calibre I purchased.
    Do you think this is normal business practice ?

  70. John R Sims says:

    Jim, Love your channel and have spent most likely 30 plus hours reviewing your videos. I have a slue of rifles in many calibers 22LR up to 338WM, except the 7mm mag. There lies my hole and question to you. If you had 1500-2500 just for one, which make would you drop that cash on? Or, even better if your choice cost less. Would like a rifle that print a sub MOA with factory ammo. I load for better, but what would you choose? Thanks for your thoughts and time!


    1. Jim Harmer says:

      I’d probably go with the Bergara Wilderness Ridge. Very accurate, handles recoil well, and easily in your price point with room to spare.

  71. Jim love the reviews and the Channel. I have been looking at the savage 110 ultralite 6.5 creedmoor.
    You mentioned the cheap filling stock. Is it like the other cheap stocks you mentioned
    and not hold up good with the recoil? Is it felt more? Its for my 3 teenage daughters (all first year deer tag draws) . It’s that or the ruger American in 6.5. They have shot the ruger and no problem but alittle heavy to be packing around the mountain. We hunt in northern Utah.

  72. Robert Gardere says:

    Hi Jim, I love your reviews and think you are the best reviewer I have come across. I have 13 riffles in calibers from 7mm08 , 270 ( my favorite caliber), 300H&H and 300 WM and 300WSM in Weatherby Mark V and Vanguard, Sako, Tika, Winchester model 70 pre 64 and new one, Kleingunther, Browning Xbolt, Browning medallion, BAR in 270 and 300 WM, 7mmMag in Weatherby Vanguard and Sako composite, Bennelli Lupo in 270. My 2 favorite calibers are 270( I have 6 of them) and 300H&H ( one pre 64 Winchester Model 70 and one Cooper). As you can see I am a gun collector and have not used my 7 mm Mag. After reading you, I am going to use them now for hunting. I really don\\\’t need an other gun, but what is the best 7mm Mag you suggest?

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      That’s a nice collection. Boy, so many good 7 mags. I didn’t see a Bergara in your list. How about a Bergara Wilderness Ridge in 7 mag?

  73. have you try the weatherby mark v accumark in 300 win mag? what do you think of it? and the weathermark? this are what i like long range in a good rifle, with hornady ammo. enything under 2k. or browning. under 9 lb 7 mm or 300 w m