Best Long Range Hunting Rifles – 2021 Guide

| Last Updated June 14, 2021

With another year ahead of us, there’s another hunting season to prepare for.

A hunter’s toolbox should always have an option for long range shooting. If you’re unsure which rifle to purchase, we’ve got you covered.

In this list, we’ll go over the best long range hunting rifles on the market today.

Comparison of the Best Long Range Hunting Rifle

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Lightweight bolt-action rifle has classic looks
  • Has magazine capacity of 10 rounds
  • Aluminum chassis is machined from carbon steel
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  • Best 6.5 Creedmoor Long Range Rifle
  • Tough finish, extended handle and muzzle brake
  • Rated for extreme long range precision applications
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What Makes a Rifle Great for Long Range Hunting?

Long Range Hunting requires patience and the right tools. For the best chance, a hunter should look for rifles based on certain qualities.

Weight

A heavy rifle is hard to use, especially when shooting from an elevated position. However, the inverse isn’t perfect either, as lighter rifles suffer more recoil. A balanced weight on a gun is best.

Stock

The rifle’s stock is one of the most critical components. A stock designed for long-distance shooting provides extra support. The trade-off for additional support while shooting is the weight. Specialized stocks generally weigh more on average.

Photo credit: Ballisticmag.com

Barrel

The barrel length, rifling, and material play into your choice of a firearm as well. Longer barrels with improved rifling offer greater accuracy over long distances.

Chambering

The ammo your rifle is chambered for determines the general velocity and how far the weapon can shoot effectively. Most long range rifles will be chambered in calibers between .22 LR and .308. Some rifles will fire higher calibers, such as .338 Lapua, designed for taking down big game.

Review of the Best Long Range Hunting Rifles

Presented below are the best long range hunting rifles for the upcoming hunting season. Each product is discussed based on its pros, cons, and the opinions of the buyers. There’s no particular ranking system, so one may be better than its predecessor or the opposite.

Best Overall:
Savage Arms 10 BA Stealth

PROS

  • Aluminum stock and monolithic chassis build weighs under ten pounds
  • M-LOK forend and Picatinny rail allow for easy customization
  • Adjustable buttstock and cheek piece for ease and accuracy
  • Ten round box magazine allows for taking out multiple targets
  • Adjustable Savage Arms AccuTrigger allows for personalized pull

CONS

  • Bolt may over-tighten during construction
  • Metallic rifle build may rust

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of buyers are happy with their purchase. The gun’s value was a topic of conversation. Some buyers were upset regarding the build, including rust on the barrel despite being fresh from the package. Others found the bolt overly tight, though others had dismissed this claim.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What makes this firearm stand out from the competition is the sheer customizabilityWith a Picatinny rail and M-LOK forend, the BA Stealth can fit any shooter. Any compatible attachment will attach to the BA easier than on most. The integrated rail allows a scope to be used with ease.

The box magazine holds a total of ten rounds. With almost double the capacity of some competitors, the BA Stealth can go for longer without reloading. The adjustable stock and trigger allow for maximum personalization. This firearm is perfect for a long day in the woods.

Bottom Line

The Savage Arms 10 BA Stealth hunting rifle is a top-quality firearm. Although it can fire anywhere from .223, .308, or 6.5mm, the chambering is nothing special. The customizability of the BA Stealth sells it above all else.

Best 6.5 Creedmoor Long Range Rifle:
Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon

PROS

  • Factory muzzle brake reduces recoil when firing
  • Composite body weighs less than eight pounds when assembled
  • Quick detach cups allow for easy attachment of a sling
  • Accepts detachable magazines without requiring tampering with the firearm
  • Easy bipod attachment through swivel lock at the front of the firearm

CONS

  • No iron sights/integrated scope rail
  • Long barrel is awkward to store

What Recent Buyers Report

The vast majority of reviews are positive and cite the gun as accurate over long distances. Complaints regarding the firearm typically dealt with the Cerakote finish. The primary issue was that the Cerakote finish would chip, scratch, and peel off very quickly during typical use.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The accuracy of this firearm is average, but the accessories available are stellar. The gun can be equipped with detachable magazines without modification. The Browning X-Bolt Hell’s Canyon is also surprisingly lightweight for the caliber it fires. 6.5 Creedmoor rounds require a longer barrel than average, but the stock makes it a lightweight and easy-to-use rifle.

The factory muzzle brake offers an in-box solution to the recoil presented by the 6.5mm cartridge. The design of the stock also reduces recoil by directing it downward when firing. Overall, the Browning X-Bolt Hell’s Canyon is a quality long range rifle.

Bottom Line

The Browning X-Bolt Hell’s Canyon is of average quality at the base level. The Cerakote finish lacks durability and wears off with repeated use. Despite this, the firearm excels in utility. Accessories can be attached to the X-Bolt with ease, and the factory muzzle brake reduces recoil.

Best Long Range Hunting Rifle Out of the Box:
Bergara B-14 HMR .300 PRC

PROS

  • Synthetic frame and lightweight build weighs under ten pounds
  • Integrated sling compatibility allows for easy carrying and travel
  • Buttstock with adjustable cheek piece and buffer pull length
  • Integrated stock mini-chassis provides superior bedding and accuracy
  • Free-floating barrel design offers superior precision

CONS

  • Lightweight frame may cause heavy recoil
  • 26” barrel may be awkward to store

What Recent Buyers Report

There have not been many reviews of this rifle. In general, the reviews that we found were positive. Some reviewers have even gone as far as to state that the weapon performs better than described. Others comment on the value of the device.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The lightweight construction and long, high accuracy barrel give the Bergara B-14 rifle a high level of versatility. The customizable cheek rest on the stock allows for comfort and ease while sighting. The steel construction of the barrel resists wear and tear. The integrated sling mounts will enable you to carry with greater ease. The rifle is accurate and precise over long distances.

We featured this firearm on the list because of its affordable pricing, sleek appearance, and versatility. We could find no faults with the B-14. A well-rounded tool for the avid long range hunter.

Bottom Line

The versatility of the Bergara B-14 is matched only by its affordability. The cheek rest and integrated sling mounts are top points. Less expensive than competitors without being cheap, the B-14 is a prime example of a long range hunting rifle.

Best Budget Long Range Rifle:
Ruger American .30-06

PROS

  • Affordable and easy to use for its quality
  • Weighs less than seven pounds when fully assembled
  • Adjustable trigger offers pull weights between three and five pounds
  • Easy access to safety when sighting a target
  • Free-floating, forged alloy steel barrel offers superior precision

CONS

  • Recoil is more severe due to the synthetic stock
  • Low magazine capacity

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are happy with the Ruger American, though some have expressed concerns. General complaints about the firearm include the recoil, action, magazine, and sights. The American does not come with iron sights, and the bolt can be rough to use but fixable. Other reviewers made notes of the magazine’s capacity and difficulty to load final rounds.

Why it Stands Out to Us

For the price, the Ruger American is one of the best firearms available. The rifle weighs around six pounds when fully assembled. The forged barrel and integrated rail offer greater accuracy over distances. The adjustable trigger and thumb-accessible safety make sure you only fire when you want to.

The magazine is relatively small at only around four rounds. However, this can be overlooked for the ability to make use of it on a budget. The Ruger American chambered in .30-06 is one of the best long range hunting rifles for the sharpshooter on a budget.

Bottom Line

The Ruger American is a rifle designed for the budgeting hunter. The integrated railing allows for easy use of scopes and other sights. However, the gun lacks iron sights and possesses a low ammunition capacity.

Best 300 Win Mag Long Range Rifle:
Winchester 70 Featherweight

PROS

  • Wooden body and stock appeals to veteran hunters and newcomers alike
  • Featherweight build weighs around seven pounds when fully assembled
  • Metallic components are forged instead of machined
  • Three-stage safety prevents accidents and offers security when traveling
  • Free-floating, cold hammer-forged steel barrel offers superior precision

CONS

  • No iron sights or integrated scope rail
  • Low magazine capacity

What Recent Buyers Report

There haven’t been many reviews about the Winchester 70. Despite this, the rifle’s reviews are typically positive, with reviewers citing the wooden stock’s appeal. Others make mention of the ergonomics of the body. Overall, the reviews for the 70 make it out to be a fantastic choice for a .300 Winchester magnum.

Why it Stands Out to Us

For fans of Winchester, the 70 Featherweight is a top tier. The wooden stock appeals to hunters and firearm enthusiasts. Despite the typical weight associated with wooden stocks, the 70 Featherweight lives up to its name, weighing less than some synthetic firearms of similar quality. Not only that, but the precision and accuracy of the hammer-forged barrel match the competition. All of this for a cost that’s below the competition’s average.

The rifle boasts a wooden body and Forged metallic components that offer a greater degree of uniqueness to each firearm. The Winchester 70 Featherweight is the firearm of choice for the hunter looking to mix old and new.

Bottom Line

A classic Winchester product, the 70 Featherweight is the best long range hunting rifle for the .300 Magnum fan. There’s a lack of “out-of-the-box” usability, with no iron sights or integrated rail. The magazine for the firearm is small at three shots.

Best Long Range 22 Rifle:
Ruger Precision 22 LR

PROS

  • Adjustable quick-fit stock allows for adjustment of butt and cheek
  • Glass-filled nylon chassis weighs less than seven pounds
  • AR-pattern pistol grip and safety gives ease of use
  • Adjustable trigger with wrench stored in stock adjusts between two and five pounds
  • M-LOK rail system allows for maximum customization

CONS

  • Shot pattern may be inconsistent after prolonged use
  • Factory defects may occur

What Recent Buyers Report

There’s an overwhelming amount of positive support for the Ruger Precision 22 LR. The only issues with the firearm reported by buyers appear to be factory defects or user error. The gun is cited as accurate, durable, and reliable after up to 1,200 rounds.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The style of this firearm is reminiscent of tactical military hardware. The M-LOK railing allows you to use various attachments, even more than the competitor’s average M-LOK capable rifles. The 15-round magazine will enable you to keep going for hours before reloading. Finally, the AR-pattern pistol grip allows the user to fire with greater ease. All while sporting practically no recoil, due in part both to the stock and the ammunition.

Issues with this rifle are hard to find and difficult to confirm as genuine. The high quality makes this one of the best long range hunting rifles for .22 LR.

Bottom Line

The Ruger Precision 22 LR is a high-quality firearm for any experience level. The Ruger makes up for its lower caliber than most long range rifles with its sheer versatility and customization. It may, however, take a more skilled shot to grab prey.

Best Long Range Rifle Under $1,000:
Savage Arms 110 Hunter

PROS

  • Adjustable Savage Arms AccuTrigger allows for personalized pull
  • Synthetic build weighs less than eight pounds
  • AccuFit system allows for quick comb height and length-of-pull adjustment
  • Affordable rifle does not sacrifice quality for sales
  • Soft overmold forend with pistol grip texture allows for extra accuracy

CONS

  • Barrel susceptible to rusting over time
  • Adjustments may unbalance firearm

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are mixed in their opinions of the Savage Arms 110 Hunter. A customer who purchased the firearm noted the trigger would not adjust correctly. After returning the gun, the trigger would not adjust to their preference. Positive users will swear by this firearm, citing excellent accuracy and experience.

Why it Stands Out to Us

As expected of a Savage Arms rifle, the 110 Hunter performs well overall. The rifle is inexpensive for the quality it provides, and customer service is responsive to any issues. The adjustability of the firearm makes it a practical choice. The synthetic body of the rifle makes it lightweight and maneuverable.

The AccuTrigger and AccuFit systems allow the user to personalize the use of their rifle. The grip reduces rifle sway and allows for easy targeting. The synthetic stock reduces recoil better than most without being overly heavy when compared to competitor synthetic stocks.

Bottom Line

The Savage Arms 110 Hunter is a smart choice for a hunter willing to spend a bit extra for a gun without breaking the bank. The rifle has the same Savage Arms quality with inexpensive parts. The affordable components may not last.

Best Long Range 308 Rifle:
Tikka T3X

PROS

  • Interchangeable grip and forend allows user hold options
  • Synthetic build weighs just over six pounds
  • Hammer forged free-floating stainless barrel delivers improved accuracy
  • Affordable rifle does not sacrifice quality for sales
  • Foam stock inlay reduces noise while hunting

CONS

  • Heavy recoil, potentially low accuracy build
  • Low capacity magazine

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers appear satisfied with the Tikka T3X. Positive reviews cite the rifle’s accuracy, weight, and comfort when firing. Negative reviews find faults in the firearm’s accuracy, especially with repeated shots. User discretion is advised when looking into this long range hunting rifle.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The lightweight and affordability of this firearm make it a cut above the average rifle in its range. The Tikka T3X establishes itself with the upgrades to the action off of previous models. These include a widened ejection port that removes spent shells. The interchangeable handle and forend offer the gun another level of quality when in use.

The noise reduction of the firearm allows you to get closer to the target. The low weight of this firearm makes it easy to carry and make use of over long periods.

Bottom Line

The Tikka T3X is a quality firearm for the value. There are concerns regarding recoil and accuracy that reduce the potential of this rifle. Overall, the firearm seems to do its job just fine without a hefty cost.

Best Long Range Elk Rifle:
Remington 700 7mm Rem

PROS

  • Tactical grip and stock provides the user with exceptional accuracy
  • Adjustable X-Mark Pro trigger allows for external adjustment of pull
  • Free-floating barrel with heavy contour provides precision
  • Rifle retains high quality without heavy costs
  • Military-grade hardware for the experienced hunter

CONS

  • Heavy weight, long barrel design weighs nine pounds
  • Low capacity magazine

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have made mention of the weight of the firearm. While being generally positive, comments regarding replacing components with better ones are prevalent. Negative reviews cite seemingly poor craftsmanship. Some discuss having to forcefully remove rounds stuck after firing. Overall positive, but there are prevalent issues with the firearm.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Remington 700 is a classic as one of the best long range hunting rifles. The design hasn’t changed much since 1962, and it shows in the tactical formats. The military-grade hardware makes hunting a question of skill instead of gear. The heavyweight and long barrel encourage you to fire from farther away. The customizability of the firearm allows for straps, rails, and bipods to be attached to the rifle.

When looking for a rifle to take down prey from a long distance, the Remington 700 is a strong choice.

Bottom Line

The Remington 700 is the grandfather of the modern long range rifle. Used in military combat and hunting alike, the weapon is of high quality. The firearm’s heavy weight and extremely long barrel make for a cumbersome haul.

Best Long Range Deer Rifle:
CZ-USA 557

PROS

  • Palm-swelled grip and contoured forend for enhanced accuracy
  • Synthetic stock and sporter barrel weighs under seven pounds
  • Two-step, push-button safety prevents accidents while in the field
  • Integrated dovetails makes scope integration quick
  • Fully adjustable trigger to suit the shooter’s needs

CONS

  • Scope required, no iron sights
  • Low capacity magazine

What Recent Buyers Report

All recent reviews that we found have been positive. The 557 generally receives praise for the accuracy of the firearm. The weapon can be adjusted to several settings, with some reviewers preferring specific settings over others. The consensus with the firearm is that it’s a well-made tool for the job.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The CZ-USA 557 is not simply one gun, but an array of firearms that serve their purpose spectacularly. For the avid deer hunter, the CZ-USA 557 American offers the widest array of options and is designed with transportation and comfort in mind. The gun does what it’s designed to do, and doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel.

CZ-USA 557 as one of the best long range hunting rifles stands the test of both time and travel. As such, this firearm was designed with longevity in mind. The small magazine and sporter barrel are made to last.

Bottom Line

The CZ-USA 557 is a versatile and comfortable shot for the patient hunter. The design is meant to be used at long range, firing off only a few shots during regular use to reduce the chance of wear. The 557 gets the job done.

Characteristics of Our Favorite Long Range Hunting Rifles

The best rifle is always subjective, but we can narrow down three qualities that matter the most when dealing with firearms. The weight, material, and barrel length play major roles in determining how well a hunting rifle will perform.

Weight

When discussing the weight of a firearm, the biggest question always comes down to travel versus recoil. A lighter rifle is easy to carry around for long periods. A heavier rifle suffers less from recoil when fired. Lighter rifles can also be outfitted with more accessories without being too heavy.

Photo credit: Codyenterprise.com

Material

The material in a rifle can play into the weight, but it also plays into recoil on its own. Wooden bodied rifles will dampen recoil as it travels through better than synthetic. Metal frames or chassis don’t dampen recoil as much but can be more compact than synthetic or wood.

Length

The length of the barrel once again is about ease of travel as compared to use. A longer barrel will add to the velocity of a firearm but will be cumbersome and awkward to use. Smaller barrels are easy to use, store, or carry along with you. Many hunters prefer the shorter barreled rifles for their comfort.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

When considering purchasing a firearm, we all know that there are questions to ask first. Important factors to consider are budget, target, and frequency.

Budget

Budget does not typically refer to how much the firearm costs on its own, but how much you’re willing to spend on the firearm, accessories, ammunition, and maintenance. Owning a firearm is a responsibility, especially for recreational use such as hunting.

Target

When purchasing a hunting rifle, the first question to ask is what are you looking to hunt? This question will help you determine the caliber, barrel, and other aspects of the firearm. For example, when hunting deer you can purchase a lower caliber hunting rifle such as a .22 LR or a higher caliber such as .30-06.

Photo credit: Fieldandstream.com

Frequency

The frequency of use of a firearm can determine what you buy from the get-go. If you want to hunt year-round, a firearm designed for regular, repeated use would suit you better than something such as the CZ-USA 557.

However, if you only want to hunt once per year, such as for the holidays, then a rifle that looks nice and is easily maintained is better suited for you.

Types of Long Range Hunting Rifles

Long range hunting rifles can generally be separated based on just how “long” your idea of long range is. Target shooting with long range rifles, and subsequently hunting, can occur at ranges of or between 500, 750, and even 1,000 yards on average.

500

The typical range that a long range hunter will fire at is 500 yards. This quarter-mile range can be done with just about any caliber of a firearm provided the shooter is of a high enough skill level. These ranges typically foster .22 LR and other small arms rather than high powered rifles.

750

At 750 yards, the average firearm will begin to struggle. This is where the higher power rifles such as .30-06 and higher start to come into play. From this range is also when wind, thermals, and even the curvature of the earth can start to wreak havoc on the uninitiated shooter. Sticking with 500 is better when learning how to deal with these issues.

1,000

This is where the professionals will test themselves. Ranges such as this are few and far between, but often attract the most skilled sharpshooters. Hunting from this distance is extremely uncommon and, in some cases, purely foolish. This is where the even higher power ammunition such as 6.5 Creedmoor rounds will come into play.

Long Range Hunting Rifle Comparisons

Here are some helpful comparisons when looking at rifles for long ranges.

Precision Rifle vs Long Range Hunting Rifle

Precision rifles, also called sniper rifles, are almost always identical to their long range counterparts. The differential factor between them is not in the rifle itself but rather in the attachments and dressings.

A precision rifle will be designed to give the most advantage to the user without risking exposure, especially when employed by the Armed Forces.

Long range hunting rifles will be designed with giving the most advantage to the hunter possible while fitting with the comfort of the user. 

Photo credit: Ridgelineshooting.com

Firearms are typically modular, and technically a long range hunting rifle and a precision rifle are no different. The Remington 700 is employed in both precision shooting and long range hunting using the same action, barrel, and trigger mechanism placed in a different body.

Bergara vs Savage

When the Bergara versus Savage Arms debate comes into play, it all comes down to preference. Savage Arms rifles for long range hunting provide high accuracy and consistency. In trade, they generally have poor ergonomics with the actions, ejection failures, and occasionally poor craftsmanship.

Bergara rifles on the other hand are easy to use and highly consistent with their quality. Bergara rifles are more versatile but also better suited for new shooters. Neither is perfect, but ultimately it comes down to experience and preference. A new shooter is more likely to enjoy firing the Bergara firearms for their simplicity and ease of use.

Savage Arms vs Remington

Remington and Savage Arms have been rivals for a very long time. They both fire relatively the same rounds using similar actions. Savage Arms rifles are more affordable on average than the Remington of similar quality due to their build. However, the Remington rifles are generally more refined and use fewer moving parts to reduce the chance of failure.

Photo credit: Fieldandstream.com

How to Shoot Long Distance

Shooting long distance comes down to a few simple concepts.

Stability

When firing a rifle long distance, you should always find yourself in a prone position where you’re as stable as possible. This can be achieved through a bipod, bag, or other utility such as a sand sock. The goal is to reduce the movement of the rifle as much as possible before firing.

Sight Alignment

Aligning your scope is just as important as aligning your iron sights. To check your scope alignment and prevent crooked shots, look left and right to examine the scope shadow.

Scope Picture

Once your scope is aligned properly, focus on the reticle and make sure that it overlaps the target properly. If your scope is properly adjusted for the range, you’ll be able to picture the reticle on its own and hit the target.

Trigger Control

When pulling the trigger, picture it as if you were throwing or pulling a heavy load. You want to have continuous and even pressure applied to the trigger before, during, and after firing. The follow-through is important to controlling the trigger.

For a more in-depth explanation of long-distance shooting, refer to the video below.

Conclusion

The best long range hunting rifles are the ones that suit your needs. We compiled what we believe to be the best firearms for this purpose and discussed the why behind each choice. The most important factor with hunting should always be weight; you have to carry it after all. Be safe and good hunting.

People Also Ask

Now that we’ve discussed what the best long range hunting rifles are, there are other questions. These questions are simplistic at first glance but can be difficult to answer fully. Much like shooting in general, a large amount is up to personal preference. Regardless, we’ve got the best answers possible for you.

What Barrel Contour for a Long Range Hunting Rifle?

The primary barrel contours for a long range hunting rifle are tapered and fluted. Contouring the barrel of a gun can be expensive for other methods or detrimental in the case of a repeated shooting. Tapering and fluted serve the purpose of reducing the overall weight of the rifle without loss of velocity from shortening the barrel.

Photo credit: Montana-wild.com

What is the Best Caliber for Long Range Shooting?

The caliber you should use depends entirely on the range you intend to fire from. 500 yards and less can be performed with even a sidearm in the hands of a skilled marksman and is well suited for any ammunition type. Farther ranges such as 750 and 1,000 yards require higher calibers such as .308 or 6.5 Creedmoor.

What Distance is Considered Long Range?

Shooting at a distance between 300 and 1,200 yards is considered a long range. Beyond 1,200 yards is considered an extra long range and requires specialized gear and/or training. Conversely, 200 yards and below is considered standard to close range when shooting a target.

How Much Does a Long Range Hunting Rifle Cost?

A long range hunting rifle can cost a decent amount. The average hunting rifle will cost between $800 and $1,200. Budget-friendly options such as the Ruger American can cost as low as $500 while higher-end rifles can cost up to $2,000 on their own. This doesn’t include modifications or accessories.



My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at admin@biggamelogic.com. Read more about Big Game Logic.