Best Mountain Rifles – 2021 Review

Jeff
| Last Updated March 11, 2021

When you hunt in the mountains, you need different equipment and gear than hunting in open plains. The features your weapon requires is also different. The game in these areas typically has softer skin and light muscles and bones.

Your rifle needs to accommodate the right caliber for hunting such animals. Finding the right firearm for this endeavor requires research, and you shouldn't take the decision lightly if you want to bring home a prize kill. 

This article will discuss some of the best mountain rifles available. It’ll also mention the advantages and disadvantages of each. 

Our Top Picks for Mountain Rifles

  • Ideal for all activities
  • Stainless steel barrel
  • AG Composite stock
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  • Best for the Money
  • Strong, lightweight
  • AccuFit stock
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  • Best Lightweight Rifle
  • Capacity of 4 rounds
  • Durable and strong
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Comparison of the Best Mountain Rifles

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Ideal to take up brutal mountains or into the woods
  • Stainless steel barrel endures additional quality procedures
  • AG Composite stock is built to reduce weight
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  • Best for the Money
  • Stainless steel receiver is lightweight with a melanite finish
  • AccuFit stock has adjustable comb height and length of pull
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  • Best Lightweight Hunting Rifle
  • Bolt action rifle has capacity of 4 rounds
  • Carbon fiber/Kevlar stock is durable and strong
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What Makes a Rifle Great for Mountain Hunting?

Rifles aimed at mountain hunters need to have specific features that make them practical in that terrain. 

The most important factor on a mountain rifle is its weight. It must be light but solid enough to absorb the recoil. It needs to use a caliber that can neutralize the target instantly and humanely. 

Photo credit: Argalioutdoors.com

The weapon needs to be durable. It needs to withstand rain, temperature fluctuations, and other harsh elements. It also needs to be able to work well if it accidentally falls or gets knocked against rocks. 

The rifle's quality also needs to be assessed. The best mountain rifles utilize strong, dependable materials and are professionally crafted. Cheaper options may be of inferior quality and fail you when you need your weapon the most. 

Precision is another criteria that must be of an optimum standard. This is vital for ensuring that killer shot. The weapon should also be safe to use, with easy functionality. The final aspect that one of the best mountain rifles need to have is reliability. 

Review of the Best Mountain Rifles

This section of the review discusses some of the guns that meet the best mountain rifles' criteria. We mention the pros and cons of each product as well. 

PROS

  • Tactical gray cerakote barrel finish
  • Carbon fiber stock
  • Two-position safety
  • Cone-shaped bolt nose for smooth feeding
  • Triggertech trigger

CONS

  • Unknown Spanish brand
  • It's an expensive weapon

Bergara is a Spanish brand that uses advanced manufacturing techniques to produce premium barrels. The company prides itself on supplying quality products with excellent performance capabilities.

What Recent Buyers Report

Customers who bought this rifle were satisfied with the performance, weight, and construction. They commented that it was easy to use and handled well. 

Some remarked it did well in cold temperatures typical of higher altitudes. In general, owners of this gun are happy with their purchase and claim that it's a quality product.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Regarding the build and weather resistance, you can't fault the Bergara. It features a high-quality barrel, a frictionless release, and a triggertech trigger. These triggers remove slide friction. 

It has zero creeps and an excellent reset. This adds to the overall accuracy of the firearm. The weapon is also attractive looking and easy to maintain. It has a hinged plate magazine with a two-round capacity.

It has a twist rate of 1:9 inches and has a stainless steel barrel and receiver. These attributes make it one of the best mountain rifles. The rifle weighs 6.5 lbs and has an AG composite carbon fiber stock.

The bolt head is free-floating, and the action is a two-lug system. This gun is ideal for mountainous surroundings. 

Bottom Line

This mountain rifle is an excellent choice, whether your hunting trips take place on rugged mountain tops or in thick brush. It has a carbon fiber stock that's strong, stiff, and lightweight. The Bergara Premier Mountain 2.0 .300 PRC meets all the criteria for one of the best mountain rifles. 

PROS

  • Has an Accu trigger
  • Carbon wrapped stainless steel barrel
  • Accufit stock
  • Adjustable comb height
  • Adjustable length of pull

CONS

  • Low cartridge capacity
  • Costly

Savage Arms combines innovative technology with hands-on experience in the hunting environment to create high-performance products. The company makes modern firearms with special features exclusive to the brand.

What Recent Buyers Report

Owners of this gun remarked that the best feature was its ability to adjust to the user preference. They stated that it was a firearm the whole family could use, as the adjustable comb height and length of pull fit women and young hunters comfortably.

The soft grip forend and safety features of the weapon are of excellent quality. Those who purchased the Savage Arms 110 Ultralite 6.5 PRC have no regrets.

Why it Stands Out to Us

When looking to purchase one of the best mountain rifles, you need to ensure that the gun you choose isn't just physically appealing, but it should fit well too. The Savage Arms 110 Ultralite 6.5 PRC's adjustable features make it user-friendly, and the proof research barrel adds to its superior quality.

The barrel is carbon wrapped and has a larger diameter. This means that it's lighter and cools faster than its steel opponents. The action is coated with a melonite finish, and the trigger can be set to break anywhere within the range of 1.5 to 4 lbs of pressure.

Bottom Line

If you're looking for a gun with a comfortable fit and a slim design, this is the rifle for you. The attribute that put this weapon on the list of the best mountain rifles is the exclusive barrel, which will assist you with precision shots.

Best Lightweight Hunting Rifle:
Kimber 84M Mountain Ascent

PROS

  • Extremely light
  • Camouflage appearance
  • Four-cartridge capacity
  • Sub MOA accuracy
  • Carbon fiber reinforced stock 

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Significant recoil

The Kimber brand aims to create outstanding sports firearms utilizing modern techniques. Product quality and customer satisfaction are of utmost importance to this company.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers of the Kimber are satisfied with the quality and accuracy of the gun but noted that it had quite a bit of recoil. They said that it was so light that they had to get used to the way it handles. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

When you're in an uneven and mountainous setting, you need a rifle that won't be burdensome to carry. Every extra pound makes a difference when you're out hunting. 

Kimber did an excellent job of ensuring that the gun doesn't compromise accuracy at the expense of its weight. It features a fluted barrel that's 22 inches long and has the capacity for four rounds. 

The weapon uses 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges and offers sub MOA accuracy despite its petite size. The recoil is quite distinct, but the muzzle break alleviates some of the “felt” recoils. 

The standard of materials used is exceptional, especially the Kevlar/carbon fiber stock.

Bottom Line

This item undoubtedly belongs on the list of best mountain rifles. It's small, light, accurate, and its construction is exceptional.

PROS

  • Accuracy
  • Classic design 
  • Stainless steel fluted barrel
  • Interchangeable grips
  • Stocks forend can be widened

CONS

  • Low magazine capacity 
  • Hard recoil pad

Tikka is a Finnish brand associated with accuracy. They only make bolt action rifles and guarantee 1 MOA accuracy or better with every gun they produce.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are impressed by the accuracy, smooth bolt, and feeding, as well as the crisp trigger. Some customers said that they didn't like the plastic aesthetics but had no complaints regarding the weapon's performance. Some commended the high-quality barrels and commented that it was money well spent.  

Why it Stand Out to Us

The weapon comes in a light camouflage color that blends well with the rocky mountainous terrain. The gun is durable and performs well even in severe temperatures. 

The barrel has cerakote coating, which makes it even more weather-resistant in temperatures where competitors may rust. The firearm is lightweight, and the manufacturer included a fluted bolt to reduce weight even further.

The bolt knob on the Tikka T3X Lite .270 Win is large and allows faster reloading. It features a muzzle brake. It has a detachable magazine with a capacity of three rounds and a two-position safety. 

Bottom Line

The camouflage and coating on this weapon make it one of the best mountain rifles available. It's accurate, lightweight, and budget-friendly. Its durability and fluted barrel contribute to peak performance, and the muzzle brake reduces the amount of recoil.

Best Remington 700 Mountain Rifle:
Remington 700 SPS

PROS

  • Hammer-forged barrel
  • Mark Pro trigger
  • SuperCell recoil pad
  • Affordable
  • Reliable

CONS

  • Heavier than other mountain rifles
  • No adjustable features

Remington Arms has been around for more than two centuries. They produce reliable guns, ammunition, and other firearms products. Recently, the business split, with the firearms belonging to one company and the ammunition to another.

What Recent Buyers Report

Those who purchased this gun report incredible value for the money. Most claimed that the rifle is excellent for hunting various types of game.

They also report that the recoil is minimal and that there's plenty of aftermarket products available to enhance the firearm. The reviews were all positive, and the only negative remark was that the stock wasn't adjustable.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It's a bolt action weapon that holds three rounds. The Remington 700 SPS is a reliable, fully-featured firearm that many regards as one of the best mountain rifles. It offers everything a suitable hunting weapon needs, without the hefty price tag.

The Remington has low recoil and is accurate enough to take down a target swiftly. It has a bead-blasted steel-barreled action, and the fire control components are plated to protect it from corrosion.

The stock is made from synthetic material and has overmolded panels to improve the shooter's grip. It has an ergonomic design and an impressive trigger.

Bottom Line

Although this mountain rifle is slightly heavier than others, it offers reduced recoil. The firearm is durable and dependable and fits the shooter's hand comfortably. It's also relatively affordable and will make a fine addition to any hunter's collection.

Best 280 Mountain Rifle:
Browning X-Bolt Hunter

PROS

  • Tang-mounted two-position safety 
  • Large bolt handle 
  • Dual purpose: target/hunting
  • Right-hand palm swell
  • Rotary magazine

CONS

  • Heavier than other mountain rifles 
  • Polymer magazine

The history of this firearm company dates back to 1882. After a long journey of patents and partnerships, Browning has become a household name synonymous with good quality weapons.

What Recent Buyers Report

Owners of this rifle declare it a high-powered hard-working gun with a rugged appearance. They appreciate the dual purpose of the weapon as well as the safety features. Consumers say that it's an accurate rifle with an attractive appearance and also state that it performs well. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The best mountain rifles are accurate, well constructed, and easy to use. The Browning X-Bolt Hunter meets all those criteria. It's got three locking lugs and a plunger style ejector. 

The rotary designed magazine is made of polymer, and the release is part of it. This ensures that when you remove it, it’ll fall into your hands and not on the ground.

The gun features a feather trigger set at 3.5 lbs, and you can adjust it between 3 to 4 lbs if you so wish.

Bottom Line

The X-bolt is a sturdy and rugged product that packs power and handles comfortably. The weapon is accurate and easy to maintain. The bolt movement is smooth, and there are no feeding issues. It has excellent features and is an affordable mountain rifle. 

What Is a Mountain Rifle?

A mountain rifle is a weapon you use when hunting in higher altitude settings such as mountains. The game in these regions are usually deer, mountain goats, snow sheep, antelope, and other CXP2 game.

These animals have light muscles and bones and thin skin, which shouldn't be too hard to penetrate with the right ammunition. 

These are the factors that you need to consider when choosing a firearm for such expeditions. A mountain rifle must be light enough to carry over long distances as mountain hunting adventures can take days.

It needs to be weather resistant and able to withstand the elements while still delivering accuracy. It's also essential that the weapon can instantly neutralize the type of game you're hunting. 

What Are the Components of a Mountain Rifle?

To be able to choose which of the best mountain rifles suits your needs, you need to have adequate knowledge. You have to know the most essential components of the weapon and the function of each of these parts.

Stock

This refers to the frame of the firearm that holds the barrel and the action. It's also the part of the weapon that you hold against your shoulder. 

Various materials are used for stocks; some are wood, metal, or plastic. Recently, carbon fiber has gained popularity to make stocks that are both solid, strong, and lightweight.

Barrel 

A barrel is the long protruding metal tube at the front of the rifle. The projectile is ejected from the barrel when a shot is fired. 

Photo credit: Montana-wild.com

Leading manufacturers place great emphasis on ensuring that the ones they produce are high-quality and durable. Some even apply protective coatings to make them weather-resistant and corrosion-resistant. 

Trigger 

This is the part of the weapon that causes the ammunition to exit out of the barrel toward a target. A shooter uses the index finger to squeeze this component and fire a shot.

Action  

The action of a firearm is where most of the activity takes place. The rounds are loaded here, and the cartridge is ejected here as well.

Magazine

This is where cartridges are stored in a weapon. They are loaded into the chamber from this component. 

Chamber

The chamber holds the cartridge when it's ready to be discharged before the shooter pulls the trigger

Cautious Considerations to Keep in Mind

When purchasing a rifle, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of its features and overlook certain aspects. This section of the article will highlight a few considerations to remember when buying one of the best mountain rifles.

Photo credit: Riflemagazine.com

Recoil

Lightweight guns cannot often absorb recoil. If you're recoil sensitive, you'll want to look at alternative solutions such as a muzzle brake. You'll also want to check that the butt pad is up to standard.

Different shooters find that certain materials absorb recoil better than others, so you should find what works best for you. Some prefer a rubbery texture on the butt pad, while others claim that a more rigid rear minimizes the kick.

Weight Vs. Quality

It may be tempting to choose the lightest affordable firearm, but be careful not to compromise quality for weight. Some rifles may have a heavier barrel that adds to the gun's accuracy. 

Quality parts such as stainless steel are heavier than plastic but can withstand harsher conditions. Opt for a product that meets all the criteria of the best hunting rifles, rather than focusing on only one factor. 

Mountain Rifle Comparisons

The best mountain rifles have noticeable differences. Understanding these will help you make an informed choice. 

Tikka vs. Savage Mountain Rifle

Tikka is a Finnish branded rifle that was acquired by Sako. Later, both companies fell under the ownership of Beretta. 

Tikka is renowned for its accuracy. The brand is so confident about this characteristic of their product that they even guarantee an MOA of 1 or better on all their weapons. 

Photo credit: Thefirearmblog.com

Savage mountain rifles are American made. The most notable feature of this gun is its barrel. It has PROOF Research components and is made of carbon-wrapped stainless steel.

This gun offers consistent accuracy on follow-up shots and cools quickly. The weapon doesn't come with a muzzle but is designed so that one can easily be fitted. 

Scout Rifle vs. Mountain Rifle

A scout rifle is a general-purpose weapon that meets specific criteria. The checklist changed over the years, but some of the main requirements that a rifle has to meet to be considered a scout rifle are a weight, action, length, and ammunition feeding. 

Photo credit: Fieldandstream.com

These weapons also had to be accurate, accommodate specific calibers, and the sling and optics have to adhere to certain specifications. The bolt action also needs to be smooth.

A mountain rifle is designed for the primary purpose of hunting in mountains and challenging topography. These guns must be lightweight, accurate, and reliable in fluctuating temperatures. It also needs to be accurate and powerful.

Bergara vs. Savage

Bergara is a Spanish brand. The company is well known for the exceptional barrels they produce and the reliable weapons they make. They use the finest materials and craft their barrels using a five-step technologically advanced process. This results in improved rifle accuracy.

It starts with a straight barrel of cylindrical steel that's quality inspected. When it's been straightened, it moves onto a machine to drill a hole through the length of the bar. Bergara uses a special tool to keep the diameter of the hole consistent. 

Photo credit: Ultimatereloader.com

The next step is where the company does things differently. Instead of moving the cylinder to ream, it goes through a barrel honing process that's less likely to leave marks on the bore. This is followed by button rifling and stress relieving.

Savage Arms also feature an incredible barrel, but barrel production isn't the manufacturer's special niche. The barrel is manufactured by PROOF Research and is designed for exemplary performance and accuracy.

Savage Arms vs. Remington

The Savage Arms mountain rifle is lightweight, reliable, and has multiple adjustable features. It's ideal for mountain hunting, and its main disadvantage is its price point, which exceeds that of competitors. 

The Remington is stable, dependable, and affordable. It's not as light as the Savage but makes up for this with low recoil and an X-Mark Pro trigger.

Top Mountain Rifle Brands

Mountain rifles are manufactured by multiple reputable establishments. Each has unique attributes that give hunters an advantage in mountainous settings. 

Brands that have already been mentioned, such as Tikka, Savage, Remington, Bergara, Kimber, and Browning, top the list. Other mountain rifle brands not included in this review but are worth mentioning are Winchester and Weatherby.

Winchester

Winchester has a rich history in the firearms and ammunition industry. The featherweight rifle from this company ticks all the boxes for a great mountain rifle.

Weatherby

This family-owned business has a heritage going back as far as 1945. The weapons made by Weatherby are carefully crafted and offer exceptional performance.

Conclusion

Finding the right mountain rifle for your hunting expeditions requires you to sift through multiple viable options. Knowing what makes a rifle ideal is only half the process. The weapon also has to fit correctly and handle well. 

This means that even though this list supplies you with information about the best mountain rifles, the final decision comes down to personal preference. 

Recap | Best Mountain Rifles

People Also Ask

This part of the review addresses some frequently asked questions about mountain rifles.

How Heavy Should a Mountain Rifle Be?

Ideally, a mountain rifle should weigh less than 8 lbs. 

Photo Credit: TheFirearmBlog.com

Is a Heavier Rifle More Accurate?

Heavier guns tend to soak up recoil better and are more comfortable to hold steady, thus making them more accurate.

Is Kimber Worth the Money?

The Kimber rifle is well-fitted, reliable, and a worthwhile investment.

Jeff

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.