Best Hunting Rifles For Women – 2021 Complete Guide

| Last Updated June 14, 2021

Hunting was initially a male-dominated activity. It's making considerable progress in becoming more inclusive, and as a result, the number of women partaking in the sport is increasing. 

Certain firearms are more comfortable for women based on the weight, size, and level of recoil. This article will highlight a few of the best hunting rifles for women.

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What Makes a Hunting Rifle Great for a Woman?

Although the focus is usually on mechanical accuracy, a great hunting rifle needs to meet several requirements. Some of these include handling features, trigger quality balance, and reliability.

One of the first assessments you need to make is the optimal size and weight. Another element to look at when checking on a hunting rifle is the design. The barrel action should seat itself in the same way after each shot, and it also needs to fit the shooter comfortably.

If it's designed for scope use, it should have a high comb for eye alignment. There should also be a minimal drop from the comb to the heel. The stock should also have adequate rigidity and reduce the amount of flex the rifle has during recoil. 

The trigger needs to have reasonable pull weight and should be tuned to the shooter's preference. Accuracy, safeties, and magazines should also be assessed when looking for one of the best hunting rifles for women.  

The firearm qualities are similar to other hunting rifles, and the difference is that the stock size should fit properly. The length of the pull should be short, and the recoil should be moderate to low. 

Review of the Best Hunting Rifles for Women

This section of the review will provide the details about the best hunting rifles for women currently available. Each product's advantages and disadvantages will be highlighted, making it easy for you to compare options.

Best Overall:
Sako 85 Carbonlight

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Bolt action
  • Adjustable trigger
  • Uses CFPR technology
  • Functions in various temperatures

CONS

  • Expensive
  • You can't put the bolt in when the safety is on

Smith and Wesson is an iconic brand in the firearm industry, dating back to 1852. Products from this brand are usually innovative and reliable, regardless of the price.

What Recent Buyers Report

Customers appreciated the product's modern design and Finnish engineering, but a few mentioned that the accuracy based on the grouping results were poorer than expected. They complimented the fact it was lightweight, stated how convenient it was to carry, and noted that the rifle's quality was exceptional.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It has a carbon fiber stock with a hard recoil pad and is easy to handle. Its bolt action is straightforward and can be ejected with the push of a button. The magazine is metal and releases at the base plate.

What makes this weapon one of the best hunting rifles for women is that it combines lightweight with rigidity thanks to the stock material. The combination eliminates the problem of inaccuracies experienced with other lightweight firearms.

The finish is also attractive, as it's rubberized. This also facilitates better gripping. The construction is sturdy and durable, making it a reliable option with a hefty price tag.

Bottom Line

It's a high-quality hunting rifle with a fluted barrel and simple functionality. It fits comfortably, and installing a moderation on the front is a quick process. The CFPR technology used in the materials makes it structurally sound and convenient for carrying on longer hunts.

2. S&W M&P 15 Sport 11 5.56

PROS

  • Mil-Spec grip
  • 103.2 oz weight
  • 30 round capacity
  • Gas-operated semi-automatic
  • Front sight is an adjustable A2 post

CONS

  • Handguard plastic can get hot during a vigorous test
  • Mediocre trigger pin that’s not as sharp as other brands

What Recent Buyers Report

Owners of the S&W M&P15 Sport 11 5.56 are generally satisfied with the product's accuracy and reliability. They report that finding the ammunition is sometimes a challenge, and some mentioned that the purchase was money well-spent.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It's a lightweight hunting rifle, and you can easily accessorize it thanks to the extra rail on the gas stock. It has an adjustable stock, making it great for women who have a smaller physique and struggle to find a rifle that fits comfortably.

The grip is Mil-Spec, as is the functionality. It's user-friendly and attractive looking, with clear Smith and Wesson markings. 

It's an affordable option that doesn't compromise quality, and it's suitable for entry-level shooters. The only major drawback of this product is the lack of heat shields in the handguard.

Bottom Line

Users of this firearm express satisfaction with the product. The accuracy is consistent when tested with various ammunition brands. The built-in trigger guard is slightly larger than the Mil-Spec alternatives. 

The magazine is also broader on this weapon, which makes reloads easier. The features make it one of the best hunting rifles for women.

3. Savage Arms 110 Hunter 308

PROS

  • Free-floating barrel
  • Adjustable accutrigger
  • Adjustable comb height with five options
  • 12 - ¾ "to 13 - ¾ " length of pull (adjustable)
  • Action is secured three-dimensionally by the AccuStock rail system

CONS

  • Bolt removal is tricky
  • Magazine doesn't insert smoothly

Savage Arms is an American brand with a central focus on ingenuity and peak performance. The company has a proud history of producing firearms for diverse shooting preferences. Products from Savage Arms are created from a combination of hands-on and technological engineering.

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers of this hunting rifle gave positive reports and also stated that the adjustable comb made shooting effortless. Others commented that customizing the stock was straightforward and that the functionality of the weapon was superb. 

The only two negative remarks were that the magazine required a firmer insertion compared to other rifles and that removing the bolt wasn't easy. Overall, customers were pleased with this firearm.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The firearm is a free-floating, bolt-action rifle with a 20 MDA rail and a dark grey soft grip forend and pistol grip surface. It features a ten-round Polymer magazine and a threaded barrel. 

The adjustable accutrigger and accufit system give you the freedom to customize the weapon to your preferences. All the spacers and customizing parts come pre-packed and are relatively easy to use. The recoil pad at the back of the stock is soft rubber. 

Another great design element is that the stock is suitable for both left- and right-handed shooters. This is a convenience that makes this one of the best hunting rifles for women. 

Bottom Line

This firearm has all the functions you'd expect from a hunting rifle, with the added benefit of customization. The soft, synthetic exterior makes it comfortable to hold and reduces the impact of recoil. It comes in two color choices, and the design is appealing.

4. Weatherby Mark V Camilla Subalpine .240

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Raised comb
  • Adjustable trigger
  • Designed for women
  • 54 degrees of lift to fit most scopes

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Only a right-handed stock is available

This rifle is from the Camilla product line. It's made with female hunters in mind. The Weatherby company started in 1945 with a small store in California. Items from Weatherby have the strength and a sterling reputation.

What Recent Buyers Report

The look and feel of the Weatherby Mark V Camilla Subalpine .240 are well-loved. Recent buyers state that the fit and finish are excellent, but they hope to see a left-handed option from the company soon. The accuracy is claimed to be adequate, but the price is regarded as high.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The stock is designed with a slimmer grip, and the forend has a shorter length of pull. The stock shape caters to how a woman shoulders a gun and is compact compared to most other options. 

The cheek piece also accommodates women better, as it takes into account that women have higher cheekbones. It has an attractive appearance, but this doesn't detract from the fact that it's a serious hunting rifle. It features a 24-inch barrel with incredible velocity and a premium trigger.   

It also has the trademark Weatherby 6 lug action bolt to handle heavier calibers. The pistol grip's overall reach to the trigger is smaller, allowing a comfortable fit for women.

Bottom Line

This is a hunting rifle with a crisp trigger, decent accuracy, and lightweight structure. This weapon was designed by women and created by an iconic company, making it one of the best hunting rifles for women.

5. Ruger 10/22

PROS

  • Compact 
  • Affordable
  • Great balance
  • Semi-automatic 
  • Easy to customize

CONS

  • Buttstock is plastic
  • Doesn’t hold open on the last round

The Ruger brand is a household name offering over 40 product lines to consumers for decades. Ruger has developed a reputation for moderately priced, dependable firearms that performs satisfactorily.

What Recent Buyers Report

There are generally no complaints about the Ruger 10/22, and most buyers claim that it's a fantastic product. One customer mentioned that it jammed after it got dirty, but it functioned flawlessly once they had cleaned it. There were also comments regarding the smooth action and quality.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It has a compact design that can easily be customized to suit your preference. There are several options in terms of barrel size, and it uses a ten-round box magazine. The magazine is a rotary, and it snaps snugly into the rifle, streamlining it. 

The weapon works well with a variety of ammunition options. The Ruger 10/22 has been a popular choice for many years.

Bottom Line

It performs excellently and is ideally suited to hunting small game. It's not just one of the best hunting rifles for women, but a great hunting rifle in general. It's easy to use and serves its purpose well.

Characteristics of Our Favorite Hunting Rifles for Women

Hunting rifles designed for women are compact and have a shorter stock. The stock is essential as it's the firearm's backbone that holds the action and barrel components. It needs to fit correctly as it directly impacts the accuracy, control, and comfort of the shooter.

Another characteristic of these weapons is that the comb height accommodates women's higher cheekbones and neck length. A firearm that fits well will absorb recoil while inflicting minimum bruising on the user.

These firearms are less bulky and lightweight, making it easier for women to carry over long distances. The firearms classified as the best hunting rifles for women are manufactured by reliable brands that produce durable rifles that can withstand harsh conditions. 

An additional feature that most of the best hunting rifles for women have is options for customizing and adjusting. Having an adjustable accutrigger, accustock, and comb height ensures that your rifle will be positioned comfortably on your shoulder, with minimum impact from recoil. 

The firearms that top our list also have great functionality and are unlikely to jam if they're properly maintained and cleaned regularly. They're user-friendly, and magazine loading is straightforward. All the listed options are also aesthetically pleasing, with quality finishes and solid construction.

Can You Really Find a Quality Hunting Rifle That's Affordable? 

Quality is often associated with price, and in most cases, high-end products from reputable manufacturers are costly. As far as rifles are concerned, it's possible to find an affordable option that still packs a punch.

Photo credit: outdoorlife.com

If you opt for a very cheap option, you will compromise on several aspects such as build quality and bolt smoothness. Aim for a medium-priced firearm with the features you require the most, as decent budget rifles are usually not multifunctional.

An affordable rifle usually has a less appealing finish but will still provide accuracy on the range. Most well-established brands offer an affordable variant that's still dependable.

Best Types of Hunting Rifles for Women

There are five main types of rifles. What sets rifles apart from earlier guns is that they can fire projectiles through a series of spiral grooves inside the barrel. This section of the review discusses these firearm types.

Pump Action Rifles

The action of this type of firearm uses a slide mechanism that's built around the barrel. It ejects the old cartridge and simultaneously loads a new one. The pump action is more commonly found in shotguns than rifles, as its primary objective is rapid-fire and not precision.

Some manufacturers produce these rifles, even though they aren't popular. They often use tube magazines which hold more rounds. The main benefit is that the pumping operations are done with the shooter's supporting hand instead of their trigger hand. This allows for a higher fire rate. 

Lever-Action Rifles

A lever-action rifle uses a handle located behind the trigger. This weapon's main benefit is that it usually has a high cartridge capacity but isn't as accurate as other rifles. 

The action on lever guns is fast, and the shot distance is moderate. These are light and handy and ideally suited for hunting mid- to close-range targets.

Bolt-Action Rifles

Bolt-action rifles are popular for both men and women and utilize a small handle that protrudes from the firearm's side. You can eject a used cartridge or load a new round by moving the bolt upward, backward, and forward. There's a wide variety of bolt-action rifles available, with a broad range of cartridge sizes.

Semi-Automatic Rifles

The user-friendly nature of semi-automatic rifles makes it a popular choice for sport shooters as well as marksmen. You only need to move the action into the firing position once. Old rounds and reloads occur automatically after that with every trigger release.

Rifle Actions (Photo credit: hunter-ed.com)

Break-Action Rifles

These have a hinged barrel that opens like a door for loading and unloading cartridges. Break actions usually only offer a single shot at a time.

Bolt-Action Rifle vs Semi-Auto Rifle for Women

Bolt-action rifles have a history dating back as far as 1864. These weapons are accurate, durable, and reliable. The main reason behind this rifle's reliability is its simple design. 

There aren't too many moving parts, which can cause jams or other complications like with different action types. The mechanics are straightforward, which makes this an excellent option for novice firearm enthusiasts. 

Cleaning and maintenance are also convenient. Bolt action firearms are lighter and accurate due to the one-piece stock that supports the barrel better than two-piece stocks do. They're also quite versatile and work well with several ammunition types. 

Finding the right bolt action to suit your preference is also relatively easy as most gun stores stock a wide range. There are also affordable options for this type of action. There are also certain disadvantages of this weapon, such as a slower fire rate and strong recoil. 

Semi-automatic rifles have a quick rate of fire, which is beneficial in multiple situations. The recoil is also reduced compared to the bolt action as it's divided into three parts. A semi-automatic can also carry more ammunition and is also popular due to its lightweight. 

Photo credit: gtitraining.org

Using a semi-automatic is more convenient as you don't have to move the action into a firing position continually. The disadvantages of a semi-automatic are that malfunctions do occur often, and maintenance is slightly more complicated than with a bolt action. Both action types are suitable for hunting, but you need to establish if your priority is reliability or quick-fire before making your final decision. 

Common Women’s Hunting Rifle Issues 

One of the major issues women experience with hunting rifles is that some manufacturers reduce the stock's size and make no other modifications to an existing gun. While the shorter stock does accommodate women's petite frame, it doesn't cater to the higher cheekbones or the impact of recoil. 

You can resolve this issue by purchasing a firearm designed especially for women. A significant problem that occurs in hunting rifles is the loss of accuracy. There are several reasons this happens. 

There could be damage to the muzzle crown and barrel. If this is the issue, you'll need a gunsmith to radius the crown. Inaccuracies can also be caused by throat wear. If this is the case, you might have to re-barrel the rifle.

If you don't maintain your rifle, it will be subject to erosion and corrosion from the repeated deposits of burned powder. To avoid this issue, clean your weapon regularly. 

How to Clean a Hunting Rifle

An essential part of gun maintenance is keeping it clean. There are many ways to clean a gun. Some people take pride in taking their time to do it thoroughly, while it may seem like a chore for others. 

This guide will give you a quick and efficient way to clean your hunting rifle with the assistance of a gun cradle or bench vice. Other items you'll need include a bore guide, a plastic container, cotton patches, cleaning solvent, a bore mop, oil, and a copper brush.

Photo credit: besthuntingadvice.com

Use the gun cradle with padded jaws to hold the gun in place. Use a bore guide to facilitate cleaning and ensure that the rod passes through the action into the barrel without causing any damage to the chamber.

Soak your patches in the plastic container using the solvent. Use a bore mop or a cleaning rod with some of the wet patches, allow it to soak to break down the grit that accumulated over time. After a few minutes, use a copper brush soaked in solvent to break down any further dirt.

Repeat this action ten to 20 times to remove most debris, then run three or four wet patches through the bore. The first two will come out dirtier than the last two, demonstrating that the bore is mostly cleaned. 

Then dry the bore by running three or four dry patches through it. Follow this with one oiled patch and another dry patch to soak up any excess.

Conclusion

There are several excellent options when deciding between the best hunting rifles for women. The most important aspects are fit, reliability, and accuracy, although the weight and appearance should suit the shooter's preference. 

Our top picks are mainly bolt action and semi-automatic options from well-established manufacturers that produce quality products. 

People Also Ask

This review has extensive information regarding the best hunting rifles for women. However, there may be a few unanswered questions that this section aims to clarify.

Can Any Rifle Be Used for Hunting?

Technically you could hunt with any rifle, but you may end up with problems like the animal taking too long to die or too little meat left after you've fired your shot. The best way to decide on a rifle is by a method called backward induction.

It involves establishing what sort of game you want to hunt and then deciding the best ammunition. If you choose to use ammunition that is too strong, you won't preserve much meat, and if you use a weaker one, the animal may suffer for a long time resulting in an inhumane kill.

How Much Does a Hunting Rifle Cost?

Hunting rifles come in various qualities, types, and calibers. Some cheaper firearms cost slightly less than $500, while some of the limited-edition options are valued at more than $800,000. Some of the best hunting rifles for women range around $3,000. 

How Much Does a Hunting Rifle Weigh?

Light rifles can weigh as little as 5.3 pounds, while heavier variants can weigh up to 10 pounds.



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.