In the market for a new rifle? Who isn’t, right? The 2015 SHOT Show offered a variety of new options in a wide range of price points, as well as some upgrades to old favorites. Check ‘em out:
Mossberg’s got an all-new bolt action, the Patriot (pictured, top). It has the company’s Lightning Bolt Action (LBA) trigger that’s adjustable from 2 to 7 pounds; a spiral fluted bolt; box magazine; a 22-inch fluted barrel; a classic hunting stock in walnut, laminate, black or camo; stippling instead of checkering and — get this — a street price of around $350. The Patriot comes in 11 calibers, including .375 Ruger — it’s the first Mossberg available in this chambering. You can also get it in a scoped combo with a 3-9×40 Weaver scope for around $450-$500.
Browning AB3 Hunter
Browning’s AB3, a throwback to the classic (and now discontinued) A-Bolt, debuted a year or two ago, but this year Browning is offering it in a Hunter model — Hunter is Browning language for “with a wood stock.” The AB3 is a whole new design with a new bolt that has the same 60-degree bolt throw as the old A-Bolt. Features include a box magazine, bolt unlock button and a recoil pad. The AB3 is Browning’s value gun and comes at a lower price than the company’s higher-end X-Bolt. You can get an AB3 for around $500 street price.
Winchester’s big reveal at the SHOT Show was the XPR, a no-nonsense price-point bolt-action rifle (pictured, center). It’s got a new bolt with a nickel-Teflon coating for smooth operation and corrosion resistance. Other features include a two-position safety, bolt unlock button (so you can cycle the bolt with the safety still on), drop-out magazine, free-floating chrome-moly steel barrel, recessed target-style crown, and the M.O.A. trigger, which Winchester claims has zero take-up, zero creep and zero overtravel. It’s factory-set at 3 ½ pounds. Right now you can get the Winchester XPR in .270, .30-06, .338 Win Mag and .300 Win Mag. MSRP is $550, and you’ll find it for less than that on dealer shelves.
Ruger American Rifle — Predator Model
Ruger’s popular American Rifle line has been expanded this year into some new configurations. In particular, the Predator model (pictured, bottom) comes in a variety of calibers — with the .243, 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 being of most interest to deer hunters. It’s designed to be lightweight (6 ¾ pounds) and maneuverable. Features include a green composite stock, two-position tang safety, Ruger’s Marksman trigger, and a threaded barrel that’s ready to accept a muzzle brake or suppressor (where legal). Keeping with the “bargain rifle” trend we’ve seen in the last few years, MSRP on the Ruger American Rifle Predator is $499.
Remington 700 SPS Threaded
Another trend we’ve seen recently is the slow but steady acceptance of suppressors for hunting. Hunting with a suppressed rifle is now legal in 30-some states (that number increases frequently), and Remington is rising to meet this trend with a threaded version of its 700. Features include a 20-inch threaded barrel, adjustable X-Mark Pro trigger, SuperCell recoil pad and black synthetic stock with rubber overmolded grips. It’ll come in .223, .308 Win, .243 and .30-06 with an MSRP of $775.
Savage Model 11 Long Range Hunter In .338 Federal
Built on the .308 case and necked-up to hold a .338-diameter bullet, the .338 Federal has gained popularity as a versatile, high-performance big-game cartridge. It offers faster muzzle velocity than the .308 Win with a heavier bullet. This year Savage is chambering six of its most popular rifles in .338 Federal, including the popular Model 11 Trophy Hunter XP. Features include carbon steel barrel, detachable box magazine, black synthetic stock, and Savage’s AccuTrigger. As a package with a Nikon 3-9×40 scope, it has an MSRP of $629.
Sako 85 Carbonlight
For hunters with demanding needs and a higher budget, Sako has created its lightest rifle ever — just 5 ½ pounds, thanks in part to a carbon fiber stock and materials and technology borrowed from the automobile and aerospace industries. Features include a fluted, free-floated, stainless steel barrel; stainless steel action; and optional single set trigger (single stage is standard). Right now it comes in five calibers — .22-250, .243, .260 Rem, 7mm08 and .308 Win — and will run you around $3,000.
Tikka T3 Forest
Tikka is Sako’s little brother, and the company has developed a reputation for smooth actions and superb accuracy at a value price. The popular Tikka T3 was rolled out in a Forest model this year, featuring a Monte Carlo stock and upgraded wood. It’s got all the standard T3 features, like a single-stage adjustable (2 to 4 pounds) trigger, Sako barrel with hand-crowned muzzle, two-stage safety and an exceptionally smooth action with spring-loaded plunger ejector. The Forest model has an MSRP of around $900. Tikka also now offers the Hunter model in a left-handed version.