Gear Roundup: Predator Rifles

Here are some fine examples to start you down the road to acquiring your next predator rifle.

Gear Roundup: Predator Rifles

Wilson Combat Ultralight Hunter 

Hunting rifles come in a wide assortment of flavors — bolt actions, lever guns, precision rifles, modern sporting rifles, muzzleloaders, oh my! — it’s enough to make your head spin. And there are so many things that need to be considered when purchasing one, to make sure it’s the perfect fit. Type of hunting, location and terrain, type of game, long range vs. short range, etc. — these are all factors that come into play when selecting a hunting rifle. But there are rifles and then there are predator rifles. Predator/varmint 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. Do your homework to narrow down the options and choose wisely. The following are some fine examples to start you down the road to acquiring your next predator rifle.  

Bergara B-14 Squared Crest 

Bergara’s new ultralight high-performance B-14 Squared Crest Rifle is designed for the highest standard of mountain hunting adventures — anchored by a 100 percent carbon fiber monocoque stock with an incorporated carbon-fiber spine throughout the stock to provide greater rigidity and strength. It is equipped with a 20- or 22-inch fluted 4140 CrMo steel barrel, depending on the caliber, and the muzzle is threaded and includes a Bergara Omni muzzle brake. Other features include a 90-degree bolt throw, cone-shaped bolt nose ejector, sliding extractor and an AICS compatible detachable magazine. The B-14 Squared Crest Rifle has an adjustable Bergara Performance trigger and a two-position safety and comes chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .308 Win. and .300 Win. Mag. 

MSRP: $1,999

Big Horn Armory AR500 

The Big Horn Armory AR500 semi-auto rifle comes chambered in .500 Auto Max — the most powerful AR-platform firearm available, matching the energy and versatility of the company’s Model 89 lever action that’s offered in the powerhouse .500 Smith & Wesson Magnum. The .500 Auto Max, a rimless .50-caliber cartridge designed to feed in a semi-automatic rifle, puts an unparalleled amount of power into a pleasant shooting, rapid firing, versatile rifle. This combination of size, familiar feel, available accessories and energy on target makes the Big Horn AR500 a great choice for hunting black bears and wild hogs. It is also available in a braced-pistol configuration. 

MSRP: $2,399

Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT

Utilizing an aerospace monocoque shell, Flash Forged technology eliminates unnecessary internal weight in the 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 a black and gray stock and burnt bronze Cerakote action with a 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

CZ 600 Trail .300 Blackout

The CZ 600 Trail, a super lightweight bolt-action rifle with an aluminum receiver, polymer chassis and aluminum forend, is now available in .300 Blackout — its cold hammer-forged 16-inch barrel threaded to accept an aftermarket suppressor. Its two-stage trigger and a 60-degree bolt throw make shooting pleasurable and CZ selected the controlled round feed design for round-cycling consistency. A quiet, two-position safety compliments the action, allowing a locked or cycling bolt with the safety on. The CZ 600 Trail is equipped with a pistol grip, adjustable stock and controls similar to modern sporting rifles. An integrated Picatinny rail on its top aluminum receiver and forend and additional M-Lok slots on the forend simplify optics and accessory mounting. 

MSRP: $1,079

Daniel Defense DDM4 V7 AR-15

The DDM4 V7 AR-15-style firearm features M-Lok attachment technology with the Daniel Defense MFR 15.0 rail. Built around a cold hammer forged 16-inch barrel, the V7 has a DD improved flash suppressor to reduce the flash signature. The mid-length gas system provides smooth and reliable cycling under any condition and reduces both perceived recoil and wear on moving parts. With the M-Lok attachment points that run along seven positions and an uninterrupted 1913 Picatinny rail on top, the V7 has plenty of room for the sights, optics and accessories the user may require. The independently ambidextrous Grip-n-Rip charging handle accommodates left- and right-handed shooters. This rifle also comes with the ergonomic Daniel Defense buttstock and pistol grip.

 MSRP: $2,098

Faxon Sentinel AR-10 

Faxon’s Sentinel AR-10 rifle has a custom look and feel right out of the box. At the heart of the rifle is Faxon’s Match Series 18-inch heavy fluted .308 Win. barrel with a MuzzLok ported muzzle brake. Machined 100 percent in-house at the company’s greater Cincinnati facility, the barrel is made of 416-R stainless steel and features 5R rifling, NP3 coated barrel extension and a salt bath nitride finish. The Sentinel is rounded out with a 7075 billet aluminum receiver set, Faxon G3 aluminum streamline M-Lok handguard, superfinished BCG and a host of other upgrades. Other features include a B5 adjustable stock and pistol grip, Rise Armament trigger, ambidextrous charging handle and safety selector and rifle length gas system. 

MSRP: $1,899

Franchi Momentum Varmint Elite 

For 2023, Franchi’s Momentum Varmint Elite Bolt-Action Rifle is available in five chamber offerings and a new TrueTimber Prairie pattern camo finish on its Evolved Ergonom-X synthetic stock. This abstract pattern in muted greens, tans and browns is highly effective across a broad range of environments, from open grasslands to woodlands. Out-of-the-box accuracy comes courtesy of its fluted and heavy-contour free-floating barrel and 2- to 4-pound adjustable Relia trigger. Other features include an adjustable stock system and cheek piece, TSA recoil pad and removable checkered polymer grip, one flush and one extended box magazines, 5/8x24 threaded muzzle, integrated QD sling/bipod mounting points and a one-piece Picatinny rail. 

MSRP: $1,179

Howa Hera H7 Bolt-Action

Shooting enthusiasts will not want to miss Legacy Sports International’s newest addition to its 2023 firearms lineup, the Howa Hera H7. This affordable bolt-action rifle comes chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win., sporting three different color options — Tan, OD Green and Black — and is equipped with a modern and easy-to-use Howa short-action chassis system. Made from fiberglass-reinforced polymer, with aluminum V-block bedding and an aluminum fore stock, this stock system comes with two spacers, a polymer cheek piece support and two AICS-compatible five-round magazines. The H7 stock system also has M-Lok mounting points for attaching accessories. The Hera H7 is available with three different barrel options: 24-inch heavy, 24-inch carbon-wrapped and 22-inch standard. 

MSRP: $839-$1,299

IWI US Zion-15 SPR 

Continuing to expand the Zion family of rifles at IWI US, this Special Purpose Rifle (SPR) chambered in 5.56mm NATO pays tribute to the MK12 with modern day updates that include a 17-inch free-float handguard with integrated ARCA rail, steel barrel nut, B5 Systems stock and grip, IWI two-stage precision match trigger and one 30-round Magpul PMAG. It features an 18-inch 4150 chrome moly vanadium SOCOM profile HB barrel and rifle-length gas system. The Zion-15 measures 31.5 inches with the stock collapsed and 34.75 inches with the stock extended and weighs 7.6 pounds. It is proudly manufactured and assembled at the IWI US facility in Middletown, Pennsylvania.

MSRP: $1,299.99

Mossberg Patriot LR Tactical

The Patriot LR Tactical Bolt-Action Rifle from Mossberg — housed in an adjustable, customizable chassis system and fed from AICS-style magazines — is designed to enhance long-range performance and accuracy. It is available in three flat-shooting chamberings: 6.5mm Creedmoor and .308 Win. with a 22-inch barrel and 6.5 PRC with a 24-inch barrel. The Patriot LR has the standard features found on all Patriot rifles, but what sets it apart is the MDT Field Stock Chassis System that features V-block aluminum bedding, a Magpul M-Lok-compatible forend and an adjustable buttstock. The trigger guard is oversized and equipped with an integrated magazine release lever. Completing the design is an ergonomic, straight-wrist grip with texturing, and front and rear sling swivel studs. 

MSRP: $1,085

Rock Island Armory TM22 Feather 

Rock Island Armory Imports has announced the launch of the semi-automatic TM22 Feather, a lightweight rifle equipped with polymer furniture. It features an adjustable stock, rear handle with front sight post and target barrel performance and is compatible with an AR-type grip, commercial buffer tube adapter and top rail. This 18-inch barrel 36.5-inch overall length .22 LR rifle was built with no shortcuts, and comes with two 10-round polymer magazines — with aftermarket factory 15-round and 25-round magazines available. The TM22 Feather weighs in at 4.9 pounds and comes with a black anodized finish. 

MSRP: $249

Savage Arms 110 Carbon Predator 

Savage Arms’ newest member of the iconic Model 110 bolt-action rifle family, the 110 Carbon Predator, is built to withstand the elements and perform in extreme conditions. Weighing in at 6.5 pounds and sporting a user adjustable AccuTrigger (1.5 to 4 pounds) and a matte black carbon steel receiver, the 110 Carbon Predator provides the performance needed for turning the hunter into the hunted. Other features include a granite textured stock using AccuStock with AccuFit technology, AICS detachable box magazine, carbon fiber wrapped Proof Research stainless-steel cut rifled barrel with threaded muzzle, two sling swivel studs and two-piece Weaver-style bases. 

MSRP: $1,695

Springfield Armory Model 2020 Rimfire 

The Model 2020 Rimfire Classic with a Grade A Turkish Walnut Stock from Springfield Armory is built around the gun maker’s smooth operating action with dual cocking cams and a hard chrome bolt. Featuring a classic look and feel, the matte blued finish 20-inch barrel is sporter contoured and free floated for an accurate day in the field or at the range. The bolt is made from 4140 steel with a high polish white chrome coating. Guaranteed to shoot 1-inch or less groups at 50 yards with quality ammunition in the hands of a qualified shooter, the rifle and magazine are cross compatible with Ruger 10/22s of the same capacity. 

MSRP: $690

Stag Arms 6.5 Grendel Pursuit 

Chambered in 6.5 Grendel and built around an 18-inch Ballistic Advantage nitride barrel with a 16.5-inch  handguard, the Pursuit from Stag Arms is a lightweight, accurate AR-platform rifle made specifically for hunting. It comes in a Midnight Bronze Cerakote finish and features an adjustable CTR stock with a custom Stag Arms branded leather piece over the cheek weld. Rounding out the features is a black Magpul K2+ vertical grip and Timney USA curved short two-stage trigger allowing for increased accuracy. The rifle is designed to shoot right- or left-handed, and users will appreciate the breach charging handle and fully configurable ambidextrous safety that makes manipulation of the rifle comfortable from any angle. 

MSRP: $1,599.99

Stoeger Model 3500 Predator/Turkey Shotgun

The Model 3500 12-gauge Predator/Turkey Shotgun from Stoeger is specifically engineered for turkey and predator hunting, with a rubberized pistol grip that offers a solid grasp in any weather. Two included Mojo hunting chokes deliver consistent patterns, and a ported barrel tames recoil from magnum shotshells. The shotgun’s red-bar front sight is highly visible in hunting in any light condition. The bolt assembly of the Model 3500 includes an inertia spring and rotating locking head, two features that distinguish the bolt as an integral part of an Inertia Driven System. It comes in a head-to-toe Mossy Oak Overwatch camo finish and includes a strong and silent paracord sling. 

MSRP: Starts at $929

Weatherby Model 307 Range XP 

The Model 307 Range XP Bolt-Action Rifle from Weatherby features a lightweight, vertical grip stock that includes an adjustable cheekpiece and adjustable length of pull, providing a custom fit for the shooter. Touch points are textured for a non-slip grip and dual front swivel studs allow for multiple accessories to be attached. The Range XP comes standard with an adjustable TriggerTech trigger and is equipped with a Magpul removable magazine. The spiral fluted barrel is threaded and comes with a recoil reducing Accubrake. The Range XP is finished with a durable Graphite Black Cerakote. Meant to complement the historic Mark V and Vanguard lineups, the Model 307 has a two-lug, fully cylindrical action compatible with many aftermarket accessories. 

MSRP: Starting at $1,199

Wilson Combat Ultralight Hunter (pictured above)

The Ultralight Hunter by Wilson Combat combines a slick side Mil-Spec forged receiver set, Smoke Composites carbon-fiber stock and match-grade, tapered and threaded 16-inch barrel to create a fast-handling precision AR carbine that is ideal for hunting. Like all Wilson Combat custom rifles, the Ultralight Hunter is equipped with an M-Lok capable rail and time-tested light and crisp Tactical Trigger Unit. The cutting edge Smoke Composites carbon-fiber buttstock gives the shooter a rigid and lightweight platform. It comes in Wilson Combat’s exclusive Armor-Tuff thermally cured finish, and is available in .300 HAM’R, 5.56mm and .300 BLK chamberings. Other features include a mid-length gas system with a low-profile gas block and black Mission First tactical grip. 

MSRP: $2,250/Base price


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