GEAR ROUNDUP: Predator Hunting Rifles

Here are a down a dirty dozen rifles designed with fur takers in mind.

GEAR ROUNDUP: Predator Hunting Rifles

Predator hunters with an appetite for precision and in-the-field durability appreciate the commitment and extraordinary treatment that go into building special-purpose rifles that serve a wide variety of hunting wants and needs — from anchoring beasty wild boars and black bears to chasing down speedsters such as coyotes, foxes and bobcats. Whether it’s a quick-handling AR-platform rifle, pistol hybrid or lever action for swift and decisive action or a precision-built bolt gun, fine-tuned for superior long-range performance, these fur-centric firearms are tailor made for today’s equal opportunity predator hunter. And rifles that are specifically designed with fur takers in mind come in a wide array of platforms, calibers, finishes and configurations, with a mind-boggling array of upgrades and accessories available. The following are some fine examples to start you down the road to acquiring your next predator rifle. Do the research, narrow down the options and choose wisely.


ATI Mil-Sport 6mm ARC

The semi-auto Mil-Sport 6mm ARC rifle from ATI features an M-Lok compatible free-float handguard and five-position buttstock. It sports an 18-inch barrel, and the rail is 15 inches in length, with an overall rifle length of 33 inches. The thread pattern on the barrel is 5/8x24, to accommodate a recommended .30-caliber or higher suppressor. It has a 10+1 magazine capacity and 4-pound trigger pull. The ATI Mil-Sport is chambered in Hornady’s 6mm ARC, which is essentially a 6.5 Grendel necked down to 6mm. It is a highly accurate, low-recoil cartridge and the bullet maintains a velocity exceeding 1,000 fps beyond 1,000 yards. MSRP: $829.95


Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT

Utilizing an aerospace monocoque shell, Flash Forged technology eliminates unnecessary internal weight in the new Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT bolt-action rifle. The result is a stock that is up to a full pound lighter than traditionally manufactured carbon fiber composite rifle stocks and several times stronger and stiffer than current production models — creating a more consistent shooting foundation while reducing user fatigue in the field. The Ridgeline FFT weighs in starting at 5.3 pounds and color options include a stainless action with black and gray stock and burnt bronze Cerakote action with green, black and tan stock. The rifle is available in 20 chamberings with a magazine capacity of four/standard and five/magnum. MSRP: Starting at $2,399.99


Daniel Defense DD4 RIII

This lighter weight, fully ambidextrous version of the Daniel Defense industry-standard DDM4 — the DD4 RIII —offers right- and left-handed shooters even more flexibility and control. A 12.5-inch RIS III rail provides easy attachment/detachment of M-Lok accessories, and a mid-length gas system provides smooth, reliable cycling while also reducing perceived recoil and wear and tear on parts. It features a 16-inch chrome-lined, heavy-phosphate-coated Government-profile barrel for accuracy and durability, and the fully ambidextrous lower enables the shooter to operate important rifle mechanisms without moving the dominant hand from the rifle grip. Chambered in 5.56mm, the DD4 RIII weighs 6.52 pounds. MSRP: Starting at $2,278


Faxon Overwatch Hunter

The Faxon Overwatch Hunter blends the impressive new capabilities of 8.6 BLK with a refined, modern take on a classic bolt-action rifle. It features a 16-inch 1:3 twist BLK barrel w/thread protector, tapered adapter and Remage-style nut. It comes fitted with an Iota EKO Midnight Gray stock, Faxon TAC 30 action and bolt by Stiller, Timney Elite Hunter 510-V2 trigger, Hawkins Precision bottom metal and is AICS magazine compatible. The Overwatch Hunter weighs 6.66 pounds and is 35.5 inches in length. MSRP: $3,499


Henry Long Ranger Express

Carrying on with Henry Repeating Arms’ popular Long Ranger series, the Long Ranger Express, chambered for .223 Rem/5.56mm, is a utilitarian, multi-purpose and exceedingly capable rifle. It weighs in at 7 pounds, sports a threaded 16.5-inch round blued-steel barrel, water-resistant birch laminate stock, internal transfer bar safety, black solid rubber recoil pad, integral fore and aft sling swivels and a five-round detachable steel-box magazine. Atop the black-anodized aerospace-grade aluminum receiver sits a factory mounted Picatinny rail, ready to accept a red-dot sight, versatile low-power variable optic or precise fixed-magnification scope. From foxes to wild hogs, this rifle is ready to go to work. MSRP: $1,235


Howa Carbon Stalker

Legacy Sports International’s Howa Carbon Stalker is available in Mini-, Short- and Long-action versions — chambered in 11 calibers, ranging from .223 Rem. to .300 Win. Mag. Its standard threaded barrel — 22-inch Mini and Standard and 24-inch Magnum — is fitted into a custom super lightweight carbon-fiber-wrapped stock for a total starting weight of only 4.11 pounds (base rifle Mini action). Other features include an Accublock superior lug bed, Limbsaver butt pad, two-stage match trigger, three-position safety, detachable magazine and sub-MOA assurance. Providing exceptional accuracy at a value price, the Howa Carbon Stalker is a great companion for numerous hunting and shooting applications — everything from varmints to bears. MSRP: Starting at $999.

Mossberg .450 Bushmaster Patriot Predator

Joining the family of Mossberg’s Patriot bolt-action rifles chambered in .450 Bushmaster is the suppressor-ready Patriot Predator with an FDE (Flat Dark Earth) synthetic stock, 16.25-inch threaded standard contour free-floating barrel and fiber-optic rifle sights. At the core of this bolt action is Mossberg’s proven twin-lug, push-feed machined-steel action, fed from a polymer four-round box magazine. For added versatility, a top-mounted Picatinny rail provides for ease of adding optics. The .450 Bushmaster chambering has a 1:24 twist rate. For consistent shot-after-shot placement, every Patriot rifle features Mossberg’s patented LBA (Lightning Bolt Action) user-adjustable trigger with a 2- to 7-pound range of adjustment. Completing this feature-packed rifle is an oversized bolt handle, spiral-fluted bolt and sling swivel studs. MSRP: $552


Savage Arms Impulse Predator

The Savage Impulse Predator rifle features a straight-pull action that refines the basic function of the conventional bolt into one fast and intuitive movement. At the heart of the rifle’s bolt is Hexlock, six hardened steel bearings that lock the bolt in place inside the receiver’s barrel extension. As pressure increases, Hexlock’s hold tightens, ensuring there can be no rearward movement of the bolt. Once the round has left the barrel, the pressure subsides, and the action can safely open again. The smooth bolt throw allows the shooter to cycle rounds intuitively, without the need for the four changes of direction common to a conventional bolt’s path of travel. Features include a user-adjustable AccuTrigger, 10-round AICS magazine and one-piece 20 MOA rail. MSRP: $1,379


Shaw Mk VII Gen II

Expanding upon the success of the Mk VII (Seven) Custom Rifle, Shaw Barrels has released its latest version, the MK VII Gen II, with a choice of two barrel contours, long or short actions and multiple barrel lengths up to 26 inches in both right- and left-hand models for all action lengths. The rifle features a glass and pillar bedded action with precision button rifled fully free-floated barrel, checkered stocks with Pachmayr recoil pad, Savage AccuTrigger or Timney Trigger, three-position safety, polished feed ramps and rails and .25-inch heavy-duty recoil lugs. MSRP: Starting at $1,010


Sig Sauer M400 Tread Predator

Sig Sauer has expanded its M400 Tread series of rifles with the introduction of the M400 Tread Predator, chambered in 5.56mm and designed specifically for predator hunting. It features an aluminum frame with a Cerakote Elite Jungle finish, precision lightweight stock that is adjustable for comb height and length of pull, 16-inch stainless-steel barrel with thread protector, lightened free-float M-Lok 15-inch handguard, hardened polished trigger and ambidextrous controls. It also has optional Tread branded accessories that include an M-Lok handguard with lightening cuts to reduce weight, three chamber compensator, aircraft grade aluminum ambidextrous charging handle, flip-up front and rear iron sights that are easy to install, adjust and deploy quickly, factory upgraded flat blade, single-stage trigger and much more. MAP: $999.99


Stag 15 Classic

The Stag 15 Classic from Stag Arms is a high-quality, durable, military proven M4 design rifle that is an excellent choice for predator hunting. Made to mil-spec standards, this rifle satisfies the need for a standard GI carbine. The Stag 15 M4 features a 5.56x45mm NATO chamber 16-inch 1/7 chrome-lined barrel with a slimline free-float handguard, a mil-spec trigger guard, a six-position buttstock, A2 birdcage flash hider and a mil-spec manganese phosphate coated M16 BCG. Every complete AR15 rifle from Stag Arms comes with a Transferable Lifetime Warranty, Infinite Shot Barrel Guarantee and a magazine. MSRP: $999.99.


Weatherby’s Mark V Backcountry 2.0 Carbon 

Weatherby’s Mark V Backcountry 2.0 Carbon combines the company’s popular tensioned carbon-fiber barrel with the classic steel Weatherby Mark V action in a lightweight rifle built for outback hunting. Starting at just 5.8 pounds, the Backcountry 2.0 Carbon owes much of its weight reduction to the new Peak 44 Blacktooth stock and second generation 3DHEX recoil pad. Pronounced spiral fluting on the bolt body not only trims more weight, but also reduces bearing surface within the action for smoother function. The threaded bolt handle is equipped with a lightweight aluminum extended and skeletonized knob. Weatherby’s titanium Accubrake ST muzzle brake is blended to match the profile of the 2.0 Carbon’s No. 4 carbon-fiber barrel. Available in nine cartridge offerings. MSRP: $3,299$3,399


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