While the MeatEater crew may not publish directly a list of their specific equipment, with a little patience and some research we have identified some of the rifles that Steve Rinella does in fact shoot. These rifles are all similar but each are unique. Each of them is a high quality option, and represents a variety of budgets.
Steven Rinella shoots a variety of rifle models but always chooses left-hand actions and currently prefers the Weatherby Mark V Meateater Edition Rifle that he helped design. He has also been seen using a Savage Arms 110 rifle, a Custom Carolina Rifle, a custom built Weaver Rifle, and a CZ Model 452 for small game.
A similarity between all these rifles is all are left handed actions. Below we will talk about each one of these rifles. Keep reading to find out more about these rifles.
Weatherby Mark V Meateater Edition
If you were to find Steve Rinella out hunting today, there is a good chance Steve would have his custom Weatherby Mark V MeatEater edition rifle in tow. This rifle was designed by Steve and is exclusively available in a left handed action. The rifle has the legendary Mark V action, which is one of the strongest bolt actions in the world thanks to its 9 locking lugs.
It also boasts an amazing 54 degree bolt lift, providing plenty of room for the largest optics. Like all Mark V rifles, the MeatEater edition has a SUB-MOA accuracy guarantee, a custom Trigger Tech Trigger and threaded barrel. The rifle comes with the with Weatherby’s Accubrake ST installed on the threaded barrel to reduce felt recoil.
The custom features of this edition include a unique #2 contour barrel with spiral fluting. The fluting allows the use of a heavier barrel contour, which helps with accuracy, but keeps the rifle weight down for those long spot and stalk hunts Steve is known for. The fluting also helps keep the barrel cooler between shots, another great way to increase the shot to shot accuracy of the rifle. All the metal of the rifle is coated with Cerakote to withstand any weather. The color scheme was pick by Steve, and is a combination of tungsten and black.
This custom rifle is paired with a hand laid, fiberglass stock. The stock is black with custom brown and gray accents. The stock is a Monte Carlo style for a solid cheek weld, and classic look. Currently this edition is only available in three calibers: .257 Weatherby Magnum, .300 Weatherby Mangrum, and 6.5-300 Weatherby magnum. I wasn’t able to determine in my research which of these calibers Steve has personally selected, but if I had to take a guess I would put my money on the .300 Weatherby magnum, with the 6.5-300 Weatherby magnum as a second choice.
Currently the rifle is listed with an MSRP of $2099.00 dollars on the Weatherby website. While the cost of this rifle is high, a full custom rifle easily exceeds this price. Should you wish to have something similar without the high cost, consider the MeatEater Edition Weatherby Vanguard, a full featured rifle for less than half the cost of the Mark V.
Savage Arms Rifle
Prior to his partnership with Weatherby, Steve was partnered with Savage Arms. This partnership comes as no surprise, Savage makes fine hunting rifles and Savage has a long history of providing left handed rifles, something Steve prefers as a left handed shooter. While my research didn’t turn up a lot of specifics regarding the specific rifle Steve was using from Savage, a few educated guess can help us have an idea of what he was using.
Steve said of his savage rifle, in a video on rifle fit, that he liked his Savage rifle because for an off the shelf rifle it fit him great. Paired with Talley scope mounts and a Vortex Razor scope Steve felt like he never had trouble finding his target even when shooting from very unconventional positions.
After watching some video and looking at photos of Steve using his Savage rifle I determined a few details. The rifle was most likely from the Savage 110 family of rifles. Steve’s specific rifle appeared to have stainless steel barrel with a very heavy contour. The stock appeared to be the classic Savage Accustock. Steve did confirm in a video that he uses Talley scope mounts.
If I were to venture a guess on his specific caliber for this rifle, I would lean towards 7mm Remington magnum or .300 Winchester magnum, as Steve has made mention on the MeatEater blog about preferring cartridges that are capable for taking cleanly all the north American game animals and those two calibers are mention specifically as good choices. Prices on the Savage 110 varies from low cost to high-end, allowing a wide variety of budgets the ability to have a quality hunting rifle.
Custom Carolina Rifle
Prior to his partnership with Savage Arms, Steve could often be seen hunting with his Custom Carolina Rifle (CCR for short) in the field. This rifle made by Carolina Custom Rifles was, and likely still is, one of Steve’s favorite rifles. His chambering of choice for this rifle was the 7mm Remington Magnum.
Custom Carolina Rifles builds solid, accurate, high end rifles. When you choose to hunt with a Custom Carolina Rifle, this company will become your partner, including you in all the decision making to make sure your rifle is exactly what you need it to be. While I wasn’t able to track down the exact specs of Steve’s CCR rifle, I can tell you that CCR uses only the best actions, barrels and stocks. Some of the parts are from Lilja, or Hart custom barrels. Actions from Stiller Predator are blueprinted and paired with stock options from companies like H-S Precision, McMillan, or Manners. Buyers can expect triggers by Timney or Jewell triggers, according to the CCR rifles website.
A quick look into the MeatEater social media posts and photos and you can tell that his CCR has a custom fluted barrel, paired with a solid and great looking camouflaged stock. One of the points that Steve makes about his experience with CCR rifles is that they not only built the rifle based on the demands of his hunting schedule, but CCR service also includes pairing the rifle with the perfect Vortex optic and provided assistance establishing a great custom hand load for supreme accuracy.
Rifles from CCR begin at $4795.00, no small sum of money, however this expense provides not only an amazing rifle guaranteed to shoot 1/2 MOA or less, but includes amazing customer service and additional resources and help beyond just the rifle.
Weaver Custom Rifle
A deep dive into Steve’s twitter revealed another great custom built rifle from Weaver Custom Rifle based out of Peyton, CO. Chambered in .270 WSM this rifle was described as a lightweight mountain rifle. Using a left handed Winchester model 70 action, Steve paired it with a 4-16 x 50mm Vortex optic. The stock is a Synthetic HT stock, color is tan with black webbing. Weaver Rifles included a custom floor plate engraved with the MeatEater Logo.
Should one wish to build a Weaver custom rifle, you can expect to spend $3000.00 dollars or more. They have tons of pictures of the rifles they have built available to view on their website. I recommend checking them out if you are in the market for a custom rifle.
One of the most unique parts of this rifle is the caliber selected. .270 WSM is a great flat shooting cartridge with a short action, perfect for a lightweight mountain rifle that doesn’t have punishing recoil. Finding the ammunition on the shelf might be trickier that other calibers, but this is great choice for big horn sheep and mountain goat hunting.
If you spend a little time looking through Steve Rinella’s social media, you might find a picture of him hunting squirrels. His pictures often show him shooting at his quarry from a variety of unconventional positions, but if your looking at what rifle he is shooting, high chance it is his left handed CZ 452. I couldn’t determine for sure the caliber for Steve’s rifle, but if I were to guess I would bet it is a .22 LR.
The CZ model 452 is a classic bolt action rimfire rifle. Available in all the classic rimfire cartridges, what likely made it the choice of Steve Rinella was that it was available with a left handed action. Should you wish to obtain one of these high quality rifles, you’ll either need to find the model 452 second hand or move to the updated model 457. MSRP on the 457 is around $475.00 or more depending on configuration.