10 Best Hunting Rifles in 2023: I tested 40 rifles to find the best

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 40 bolt-action hunting rifles, here are are the best of the best.

This post contains affiliate links to help monetize this site. I can be an affiliate for just about any gun brand, so it doesn’t impact my recommendations.

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

  • Under $500CVA Cascade Blued. It has a nice Bergara barrel on it so you can expect excellent accuracy, it feeds reliably, and is built solidly for the price point.
  • Under $600CVA Cascade CRKT. This is the same rifle as the CVA Cascade recommended for under $500, but this version has a Cerakoted action and barrel for more durability in the elements, and comes in a nice camo pattern. It’s a worthwhile upgrade.
  • Around $850Bergara B14 Ridge is exceptional with a great barrel and action, paired with a very rigid stock. The only drawback is it’s a little hefty for mountain hunts. The Tikka T3x is lighter, but doesn’t have a threaded muzzle, which is a travesty at this price point.
  • Under $1,000Howa Carbon Stalker is a very lightweight rifle due to its carbon fiber stock, which is impressive for this price point. It comes with the same barreled action as the Weatherby Vanguard.
  • Under $1,600 – If you’re looking for a rifle chambered in a short action, I’d get a Springfield 2020 Waypoint with a steel barrel or the Sig Cross. If you want more cartridge options, hold out a few months for the Bergara B14 Squared Crest to start hitting stores (probably around March 2023).
  • Around $2,300Fierce Rogue. I think it just barely edges out the carbon-barreled version of the 2020 Waypoint.

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!

I have purchased about 12 different rifles in the sub-$500 price point over the last 3 years to test out for this review. In this price range, manufacturers use very loose tolerances and have very poor quality control, so I’m careful what I recommend.

Let’s weed out a few rifles I DON’T recommend first.

  1. Don’t get a Mossberg Patriot. I own two and the accuracy is embarrassingly bad on both. I showed this on my Youtube channel.
  2. Don’t get a Savage Axis II. My friend took one on a hunt. The barrel was COVERED in rust after one night of rain, and the included scope filled up with water immediately and ruined his hunt. The bluing they do on their metal is simply not sufficient for durability.
  3. Don’t get a Remington 783. I bought one that was horrific. Tolerances on the action were the worst I’ve ever seen, accuracy was bad, and build quality was awful. Rem Arms has now taken over the Remington brand, and I’ll wait a year or so before I dare try a Remington again.
  4. Don’t get a Thompson Center Compass if you still see one on a store shelf. Terrible all around.

So, if those ones should be avoided, what rifles SHOULD hunters consider? In my mind, there are only two good options in the sub-$500 price point: (1) The CVA Cascade, and (2) The Ruger American and preferably the Predator version.

CVA Cascade

The CVA Cascade is an exceptional rifle for the price. It uses the same barrel as the more expensive Bergara B14 rifles, because they are both owned by the same parent company and come out of the same factories in Spain.

The reason I like the CVA Cascade over the Ruger American is because it has a much more rigid stock, a better action, and it still comes with a quality barrel.

The sub-$500 version of the CVA Cascade comes with just blued steel. It’s decent, but if you can possibly squeeze another $100 into your budget to get a version with Cerakote, get the CRKT version as it’ll be more durable in the woods.

Ruger American Predator

The Ruger American

Ruger Americans are fantastic. I’ve never shot one that couldn’t achieve a 1″ group at 100 yards. My personal Ruger American shoots 0.8″ groups consistently.

However, Ruger American rifles are not perfect. In fact, I did a whole video showing the limitations of the Ruger American.

The reason I put the CVA Cascade above the Ruger American is: (1) It has a better action with more reliable feeding, (2) Its stock is more rigid, (3) It doesn’t have a super loud safety like the Ruger American, which I found to be tricky to hunt with.

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.

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 $850: 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 action is easy to get upgraded parts for
  • CON: Heavy barrel contour and action add weight
  • CON: The rifle looks a little plain in its design. It’s not at all ugly

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 Model. I prefer the “Ridge” model because it has a threaded muzzle.

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.

Best Bolt-Action Hunting Rifles Under $1,600

One might think that in this price range, you’d have a multitude of choices, but in my opinion, there are really only three hunting rifles I’d consider. (1) The Springfield 2020 Waypoint with a steel barrel, (2) You could wait a few months for the new Bergara B14 Squared Crest to come out, or (3) Get a Sig Cross.

Springfield 2020 Waypoint
Bergara B14 Squared Crest
Sig Cross
Springfield 2020 Waypoint (Steel)Bergara B14 Squared CrestSig Sauer Cross
Around $1,599Around $1,799Around $1,599
7.2 lbs6.8 lbs6.8 lbs
Guaranteed accuracy of 3/4 MOA. I verified it with factory ammoGuaranteed 1 MOA accuracy, but probably beats thatGuaranteed 1 MOA. Mine shoots 1/2 MOA with handloads
Available in: 6 Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .308 WinAvailable in: 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .308 Win, 300 Win MagAvailable in: 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, 277 Sig Fury.
Stock: AG Composites Alpine Hunter. High comb, rigid, modern stock lines. I love it.Stock: A carbon version of Bergara’s excellent HMR stock. Looks great.An innovative modern design with folding buttstock, pistol grip. I’m in love.
Order it online at Sportsman’sComing soon (Announced January 2023)Order it online at Sportsman’s
See my review on YoutubeSee my review on YoutubeSee my review on Youtube

Why I Picked These Three Rifles Over the Competition

  • Tikka T3x Veil Wideland – I love Tikka, but I wish they would improve their feature lineup. The standard Tikka T3x would win my recommendation in the $850 price point if they’d just thread the muzzle. In this pricier $1,200 configuration, it still has no carbon fiber, no real upgrade to the stock. It just gets a paint job, threaded muzzle, and cerakote. It’s not quite competitive in this price point. For just $300 more, the three I recommended above would be a HUGE improvement in rifle.
  • Bergara B14 Wilderness Ridge Carbon – This is a compelling offering and definitely one to consider, but I don’t think the stock design can compete with the Cross or Waypoint that only costs a little more.
  • Savage 110 Ultralite – I gave this rifle high marks when I reviewed it on Youtube. Just getting a Proof Research barrel is a major selling point. However, the action doesn’t feed 100% reliably, the stock feels like cheap plastic, and the mag and magwell are too flimsy. I think since this rifle was released, better options have come out.
  • Browning XBolt Speed SR – Oh, Browning. They make great actions. They make good barrels. Their guns look cool. The manufacturing quality is great. However, they use proprietary scope rings to annoy customers. They refuse to thread the muzzle on rifles in a standard 5/8 x 24 (except for this SR version). They put heavy lawyer triggers in their rifles. There are just a few things that drive me nuts about Brownings. Many gunsmiths can’t even work on them because of the weird metric threading. I feel like Browning could easily dominate this price point if they’d listen to their customers. The “Speed SR” version of the XBolt is the only one I’d consider, and it’s fantastic, but doesn’t give me any compelling reason to choose it over the other options.
  • Sako S20 – The Sako S20 is fantastic. It comes with either a precision stock or, what I prefer, a thumbole stock. One problem. It tips the scales at 8.6 lbs, which just isn’t competitive with the other rifles in this price point. Many european manufacturers struggle to understand the American hunter, and this is an obvious example of it.

Overall, if you forced me to pick a winner in this category, I’d probably give it to the Springfield 2020 Waypoint. The stock is among the best I have ever used, it’s reasonably lightweight, excellent on accuracy, and the manufacturing quality is reliable.

Sig Cross – Great rifle, very limited chambering options

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

The Sig Cross is the rifle that I have consistently used more than any other hunting rifle in my gun vault. It’s short, compact, lightweight, sinfully accurate with my handloads, feeds 100%, and adjustable so it fits me perfectly.

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.

Springfield 2020 Waypoint

Best Premium Bolt-Action Hunting Rifles (Over $2,000)

If I were buying a new hunting rifle today and I could drop $2,300, I’d pick the Fierce Rogue with a steel action. They do have a more expensive option for a titanium action that is even lighter, but I feel the titanium actions just aren’t as smooth in the hand.

Fierce Rogue Pros

  • Obscenely lightweight. It’d make a Backstreet Boy jealous. Weighs under 6 lbs.
  • Excellent 3/4 MOA accuracy with Hornady Precision Hunter ammo
  • 1-3lbs Bix ‘n Andy Trigger
  • Carbon stock and carbon-wrapped barrel
  • QD Flush cups and picatinny embedded in the stock
  • Available in all the most popular chamberings for custom rifles (including 7 PRC)

Fierce Rogue Cons

  • I personally would have preferred that they went with a more modern vertical grip
  • I wish there were an arca rail on the bottom of the forend for connecting to a tripod

In the video below, I review the Fierce Rogue and show what I like/dislike about the Fierce Rogue.

The other option is the Springfield 2020 Waypoint. It and the Fierce Rogue are tight competitors. The only problem with a Springfield 2020 Waypoint is they don’t offer it in enough chamberings.

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 – The MPR looks fantastic, but I do feel like it’s a little bit of lipstick on a pig. I found accuracy to be okay but not great, feeding was okay but not great, and the design was usable, but not really “modern.” Watch my review of the MPR here.

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. 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?

        1. I’m not the person I asked the question but I am also looking at one chambered and 308 and another shop down the road has a 30-06. The gun feels good in hand and the trigger feels great. What do you think of the weight of the gun compared to some of these lightweight carbon stocks? What’s the pros and cons in your opinion? Thank you

  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.

          1. David Moyers says:

            I heard you mention a good handload that worked well with this 18\” barrel. I\’ve been perusing the site trying to find it as my rifle should be here today or tomorrow.

            Thanks for what you do

          2. Jim Harmer says:

            It’s in my review of the Sig cross.

  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?

    1. Looks to me like an “Apples to Oranges” request. CVA all the way.

  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

    1. I agree! I’d like to see how the Sauer 100 performs.

  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

  74. Jim, I know you are a fierce fan. Have you had any experience with the new fierce rage? If so have they made any notable changes to this model over previous models?

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      I haven’t tried the Rage yet, but I have used that same action and stock in different configurations. Great rifle.

  75. Major Shong says:

    I’d be interested in seeing a review of the q fix. It’s an expensive gun but I’ve been hearing good things. Thanks for the videos, they have been great!

  76. Kjetil A B Strandengen says:

    As an Skandinavian hunter i must say we do have some different taste in rifles, and that is great. I am over 50 now an i have owned and hunted 21 different rifles, that will be all brands from Rem 700, Browning , tikka, several Blasers and Sakos, Heym and some more. At present time i run Sakos and Blaser. I use Swaro and Zeiss optics and i use moderators on all of mine. As i get older i am now back to 6,5×55 and 8x57IS and 308win when it come to calibers but that is more related to the hunting i do than the rifles .Love your tube videos and the fact that you have your own opinions an are not afraid to tell everyone about them. keep on the good work and excuse my poor englis.
    Regards kjetil A B Strandengen

  77. Ken Lepley says:

    I think you did a good job in your review of 25 hunting rifles at various price points. I like the fact that you backed your reviews with a substantial reason for the review vs nothing to substantiate the review. I do like the Weatherby rifles as well as Tikka’s. And you’re right about the cost of Weatherby ammo. It is very expensive. I own a 6.5-.300 Wby and reload my own ammo. Wow, what a shooter! Fastest/flattest 6.5 using 143 gun ELD-X bullets. I’m looking for another LR hunting rifle and was seriously looking at Christianson arms but not so much now. Keep up the good work of educating shooters in a neutral way.

  78. Kelly Satterfield says:

    Jim, between the Savage 110 Ultralight and the Weatherby Mark V which would you pick for accuracy? Also, I am 62 and getting tired of the recoil my 7mm Rem Mag and .270 has, would the 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC or 7mm-08 be a good alternative? Really enjoy your channel and dialogue on your reviews. Thank you for your time and effort.

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      I’d probably go with the Weatherby, but both guns will be very accurate. Problem with the Savage 110 ultralight is the plastic magazine.

  79. Monte Frantz says:

    Good Morning Jim
    In regards to the CVA and the Bergara, I’m looking at getting one or the other in 7mm Mag. I like the reviews on the CVA but the Bergara is hard to beat, the Terrain Wilderness is the one I’m leaning towards.
    In regards to the Howa 1500 I got one in 300 PRC, it had a Houge stock, I installed a Bell & Carlson, put a Konos M30 on top and got a group the size of a 50 cent piece at a 100 yards. I enjoy your video’s on YouTube, very informative and you don’t pull any punches, I like that.

  80. Hi Jim,
    I am looking to buy a Savage 110 Timberline in 300 win mag, what is opinion about it ?
    Thank you

  81. Andrew Atwell says:

    October 15 2022 – Christiansen Arms Traverse, 28 Nos. Quality control issues, I’m about to send it BACK in for a 2nd time for them to figure out why it’s damn near impossible to open or close the bolt after a few shots. Doesn’t do it when there is no round in the chamber. FRUSTRATING

  82. Hi
    Have you ever made a review of the Schultz & Larsen rifle?
    A very accurate danish produced rifle.
    I can not find on your website. I enjoy watching your videos but havent found any with this specific manufacture.

  83. mark lang says:

    hey jim i have a 2022 ridgeline in 308 it shoots 1/4 to 1/2 moa looked a long time and read many bad reviews butt talked to many people and am very happy with mine thanks

  84. One thing I always know I need in any rifle, hunting or range, is accuracy. Yes, even if my hunting situation means most shots will be shorter range, I want a rifle that will reach out and make a 250 or 350 yard shot accurately in case it needs to. The reason…when I’m going to kill an animal, I want to kill it stone dead…one we’ll-placed shot. I don’t want it to feel pain or the anxiety of dying slowly. Sure, it’s not always possible. Things happen and every animal is different, but I feel like it’s my duty to show that respect.

  85. Question about the vanguard vs the bergara. My concern is that with your test, the vanguard with a #2 profile barrel threw shot #5 basically everytime. I looked it up and the barrel profile is exactly the same for bigger calibers. So if you are shooting 300 win mag, will it throw inaccurate shots on the 3rd shot (or even the 2nd)? Seems like the bergara barrel profile would be better for larger cartridges. Am I wrong in my logic? I’m looking for an elk rifle.

  86. Jade Sumsion says:

    Thanks Jim. Good read. We watch all your videos on YouTube. I’m looking for a 7mm-08 in a left handed model. And I need it in a shorter stock. For my boy. He’s not huge. 80lbs maybe. Threaded barrel for a brake. Any thoughts. Thanks

  87. Can you review the Sako S20 or why haven’t you done it yet? You mentioned it once but I can’t find a video where you review it?

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      It’s a great rifle for heavier cartridges. Overall, the rifle is kinda heavy so it’d be nice to reduce recoil a bit.

  88. Tim Peterson says:

    I have the 2020 waypoint. I got it in 6.5 creedmoor for deer hunting. I’ll use my customized REM 700 in 300 win mag for elk. I absolutely love the 2020 waypoint! It is so fun to shoot and is extremely accurate! I agree with you 100 percent it is a home run for Springfield!!!

  89. Jim- Have you tested/reviewed any of the Sauer 100 rifles?

  90. Owen Ross says:

    Hi Jim
    Not a Sako to be seen ?
    Wondering if you have a reason for this

  91. Hi Jim love your content I was wondering if you had a chance to fire a Benelli lupo I own one and love it also have a Tikka tac t3x a Daniel Defense delta 5 pro a accuracy International at. Wondering your opinion on those I understand they’re not hunting rifles I just thought you would enjoy those rigles as I do.

  92. Philip Arensen says:

    Would you please review the a CZ 600 Alpha?

  93. Seekins having review?

  94. I would love those see a review of the Benelli Lupo.I’ve been shooting mine for little while now and I have to say it is a very accurate hunting rifle with a great ability to conform to just about anybody.Hope to see a review in the near future.Da Butcher

  95. Russell Day says:

    My mossberg patriot shoots like a custom rifle. No doubt, it has s lot to offer.

  96. Lee Harder says:

    Hi Jim,
    I am about ready to purchase the Springfield Waypoint 2020 in 6.5 prc… then, i see the Proof Elevation MTR is offered in a 7prc, as is the Rival in a 7prc…
    can you give me your thoughts on
    1) the quality from rifle to rifle
    2) the 6.5 prc vs the 7 prc ( i have 2 338 win mags i am planning on keeping for elk +)

    thanks in advance

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      My thoughts? I might just know about a new rifle coming in January 2023 that might change your mind…

  97. Dan Sellhausen says:

    Awesome reviews Jim. Myself being a lefty, I have been on the hunt for a good rifle for midwest deer and western hunting in 6.5 PRC. Im down to the Savage 110 Ultralite and the Christensen Ridgeline. I just wish there was a better feeling about the Ridgeline…

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      Might want to hold off a month or so. There’s something cool coming.

  98. Hunter Anderson says:

    Hello Jim, I am in the market for a new rifle and have really narrowed it down between the Fierce Rival and the Springfield 2020 Waypoint. In your opinion, is the Fierce worth the extra you pay or does the Springfield give you more value for the money you spend. Any information is greatly appreciated. Keep up the good work. Really enjoy your content!

  99. Savage just came out with a Savage 110 carbon predator. It seems to boast a sturdier stock. Would this interest you? Also, what about the Bergara MG Lite with their proprietary carbon barrel?

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      The Carbon Predator looks cool, but really just a slight variation on the 110 ultralite. I don’t see the stock being much different really.

  100. Jim,
    I know you like the CVA Cascade, but there are 2 things very important to know about those! These are deal breakers. You never mentioned. 1 is the Footprint for the Action is proprietary, It is NOT made by Bergara. So it is not a 700 rem action like the Bergara, So no MDT chassis at this time to match. Second is the on top the receiver scope mounts are based on Savage Accutrigger not Remington. But the chassis is the killer for me.

  101. Great Content. If you were to build a rifle what action would you use. I’m thinking a 6 creedmoore with a proof carbon barrel, MDT onyx chassis, timmey trigger but can’t decide on the action. I have mostly x bolt now and really like them but don’t think onyx chassis is made for brownings so thinking the tikka t3x but wanted your opinion.

  102. You mentioned in your latest live video that you’re off the Savage Ultralight these days. That’s unfortunate because they’re chamberimg it in 7PRC. If not the ultralight, what’s the best 7 PRC for around $1500? Thanks!

  103. Darian Caldwell says:

    Hey Jim, love your reviews and videos, just wondering when we might start seeing 7mm PRC rifles becoming more available in stores?

  104. Ben Williams says:

    Hi Jim,
    Love your content man, great job building the channel and the webpage.
    I’ve got a line on a used Seekins Havak Element in 6.5 PRC. I haven’t heard you talk much about the Seekins rifles, any thoughts on them?

    1. Bill Zuppinger says:

      Did you pick up the Seekins? Any thoughts?

  105. Bradley Downs says:

    When will you be putting the Seekins HAVAK PH2 through it’s paces?

  106. Phil dolan says:

    Thanks Jim Harmer, great video and data to follow. I did go looking for the reloading equipment you mentioned and more on acquiring lowers ahead of time, yet unable to find.
    I appreciate your knowledge and insight.

  107. I own the X-Bolt in 7mm Magnum and it is fantastic. I really like the trigger feel, but it is a little heavy. Can you review the spring kit for the factory trigger?

  108. Hello Jim, great article. I own a Tikka T3 in .300 WSM and love it as my go-to big game hunting rifle. I’ve been kicking around trying out the 28 Nosler just to pick up a bit more performance at 500+ ranges. Not real excited about paying for a custom build so wondering what you would recommend I consider? My main criteria is staying sub 6 lbs if I can for the rifle only and sub moa guarantee. I expect to spend a few thousand or more to get what would meet my needs. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Keep up the good work! DK

  109. Jim, would love to hear some feedback on Cooper firearms if you have any input?

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      Haven’t ever shot one, sorry.

  110. Id like to see a comparison between all the weather resistant advertised rifles, quality of weather protection materials, pros and cons of the different coatings or metals

  111. I want to buy a new rifle in 30-06. I am going to use the rifle for mainly whitetail deer hunting in Wisconsin but I occasionally like once every 5-10 years go out west and hunt pronghorn or elk and have recently tried to hunt moose in Alaska. I am stuck between the tikka t3x and the Bergara b14. Any help deciding?

    1. Nic Gibson says:

      My main gun is a Tikka T3 in 30-06. It’s great out to about 400. I reload, so I’ve been able to work on the load. But it’s a great all around gun out to 450 when most hunters can only shoot 250, if that. I’ve killed elk, mule deer and whitetails, with it. IT’s one of hte most versatile calibers since you can load down to 125 gr bullets and turn it into a .243 in recoil to train kids with a light load.

  112. Nic Gibson says:

    I would love to hear you critique rifle makers that offer nothing left handed in their main lines. Most of the great rifles you’ve taken time to make us salivate for do not make left handed models. Those that do could at least be highlighted. some of us realize we would be charged a certain premium. But I can’t understand why offering left handed guns seems impossible to some manufacturers. Savage, Tikka, Browning, Christensen- all offer LH options and should be commended for it.

    1. Hear hear. I’m a lefty that has to shoot cross over right handed bolts. Unless you spend 4-5 G on a custom built left handed.

  113. Franklin Drury says:

    Hey Jim,
    I really love your channel. Great info on the ins and outs of shooting and the rifle reviews.
    Just curious, have you had a chance to review the Benelli Lupo.
    It looks like a real great gun.
    Keep up the great work.

  114. Bill Zuppinger says:

    I looked at the Waypoint locally and thought is was a really nice gun. I\’m also looking at the Seekins Havak PH2? I was considering the Sig Cross, but the safe selector issue concerns me.
    Would you take the Waypoint over the Seekins?

  115. Hello Jim,
    Wish I discovered your content sooner and thankful for all your hard work. I’m looking for a great elk rifle/big game in left handed. I do like the 300wm type power but it’s been a challenge researching top recommendations. What r your thought for a high end choice up to around the 3k range?

  116. Byron Poole says:

    Great review
    In depth and honest
    Iv shot most all
    Hunting rifles per say but not many of the new techno rifles

    What is your honest opinion of the CZ 600

    All things equal
    Trigger pull is most critical for me

    From down in the bayous

  117. Purchased an Sig Cross in 6.5 today. Interested in loading this cartridge. Any tips on bullet weight and powder brand?

  118. I appreciate the blunt honesty. I wish more gun writers would be as informative. Non custom rifles are often a hit or miss affair. It’s become a turn off. And although most of my center fires are Deluxe grade, the aforementioned still holds true. Problem is , I’m not sure it is practical to spend so much on a custom for some folks. And the thought of upgrades on a new rifle seems stupid to me. My two next rifles will be a Weatherby Mark V and a Sako 85. I still love wood stocks. But after that, it’s likely going to be a custom. Thanks for the info , it will certainly help those with no interest in spending too much to have a good rifle.

  119. If a person is willing to invest the money; would you recommend the reaper above all else for a do it all hunting rifle? I’ve been eyeing them for a while, but the MPR turned me off from the chassis rifles…

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      Yeah, the Reaper is pretty awesome. The only competitor would be a full custom on the amazing MDT HNT 26 chassis.

  120. What are your thoughts on the Remington Model 700 Alpha One? Will the new/faster twist rates make a difference to users?

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      I’ll be curious to see them for myself, but I’ve heard good things.

  121. James Voorhies says:

    I am a big Fierce fan. I own a Fury in 6.5 Creedmoor that will shoot the smallest 5 shot group you ever seen. Fierce are not perfect but over all compared to everything else on the market there really hard to beat.

  122. What’s your opinion one the tikka t3x upr vs the waypoint 2020?

  123. Jeffrey Jones says:

    I was disappointed to see that you no longer recommend the Savage 110 ultralight, having watched the original review which just about made up my mind to spend the $1200. Unfortunately now I see it for $1700. That\’s not a total game changert now there are other choices.
    I would like something under 6# for $2000 or less with a carbon wrapped barrel. Do you have any other recommendations or would you like to sell the Savage? (I\’m in Denver and could use a road trip).
    I really enjoy watching all of your youtube reviews. Keep up the great work.

  124. I’ve been pouring over your channel’s videos, and a lot of Ron Spomer’s content (as well as a few others for the past months). I really wanted a 6.5 PRC for my first hunting rifle but with the ammo limitations I’m probably going to get a 6.5 Creedmore instead. I’ll be using it in the Southern Rockies for context. I’ve got a lot of autoloader pistol and AR experience, but my only bolt action is an old Mosin Nagant.

    Trying to decide which roughly $1k or less rifle to get has been no easy task, and I still don’t feel that I’m close to deciding. I was pretty confident in the 110 Ultralight that I found locally for a hair under $1000 but your updates here are making me rethink that. The Weatherby Vanguard threaded, Bergara B14, and Howa Carbon Stalker are all models I’m researching more to try to come to a definitive decision.