Best hunting rifles ammo & guns in 2019
Here are our best hunting rifles, ammo and other firearms of 2019.
|Savage High Country Rifle
This rifle is built to maximize accuracy with a spiral-fluted barrel and bolt, as well as the Model 110 action secured three dimensionally along its entire length within the AccuStock internal chassis. The AccuFit system lets hunters customize length-of-pull and comb height of the TrueTimber Strata synthetic stock. Plus, the user-adjustable AccuTrigger offers a crisp, clean pull, which is critical for making precise shots at extreme distances. The low-friction, coyote-brown PVD coating on the barrel, receiver, and other critical parts is hard and protects against corrosion and heat. At just 2- to 4 microns thick, the coating does not interfere with the rifle’s tight tolerances. It is available in 11 calibers from .243 Winchester to .300 Win Mag.
|Black Hills Ammunition Black Hills Gold .243 WIN 95-grain Hornady SST Bullets
These bullets shoot flat and produce tight groups. They have enough knock-down power for well-placed shots on blacktail deer. They leave the muzzle with a velocity of 2950 fps with an energy of 1835 foot-pounds. Black Hills Ammunition produces a wide range of great ammunition and we’ve appreciated the consistency and performance of their bullets. The Hornady SST bullet (Super Shock Tip) is designed to provide substantial shock on impact and to expand on entry. It features a polymer tip that drives into the lead core to initiate expansion.
|Weatherby Mark V Sporter
We tested the Weatherby Mark V Sporter in a .300 Wby Mag; this rifle was a real pleasure to shoot. Our tester felt confident about this gun’s accuracy as he was able to consistently shoot three shots within the size of a quarter. He said he fired shots that put holes in the holes he had already made with the target using Weatherby Select Plus Ammunition in the matching cartridge. That’s congruent with Weatherby’s SUB-MOA accuracy guarantee (.99” or less 3-shot group at 100 yards when used with Weatherby factory or premium ammunition). A 26-inch hand-lapped chrome-moly barrel with field crown with a sleekly designed stock define this Mark V. A 9-lug Mark V magnum action and LXX trigger makes for smooth precision. It’s available in .257 Wby Mag, .270 Wby Mag, 7 mm Wby Mag, .300 Win. Mag, and .300 Wby Mag.
|Blaser R8 Rifle
Contributing Editor Steve Meyer had this to say, “I didn’t warm to the non-traditional appearance of the R8, until Christine brought one home, and I started shooting it. In short, it is a remarkable accomplishment in the gun-making art, with innovations of design too extensive to do it justice in a brief manner. Being an old M70 guy, it doesn’t come easy to say that this rifle is a shooter, welcome in my gun safe. Perhaps as important, I’ve gotten to know the Blaser company a bit, and they represent hunters and shooters in the best way it can be done. Have a look, you won’t be disappointed.”
|Hornady .30 caliber 200 grain ELD-X Bullets
We asked Contributing Editor Casey Dinkel to tell us his ammunition preferences, “As a big-game guide, I believe there are several criteria that need to be met when selecting a projectile, all of them of equal importance. A bullet must fly straight, perform well, and be heavy enough to swiftly dispatch your quarry. The Hornady ELD-X or Extremely Low Drag-eXpanding bullets have done exactly that from my experience. These bullets fly exceptionally well and with very little tweaking of hand loads, my Kimber .300 Win Mag will place a sub one-inch group at 300 yards on a good day at the range. Performance has been no exception either, as I put the 200-grain projectiles to the test, taking a moose, grizzly, and Sitka blacktail in the fall of 2018. From moose to blacktail the ELD-X caused maximum damage with high weight retention and pinpoint accuracy. The real proof was when the ELD-X dispatched an interior grizzly at 309 yards with ease, breaking both front shoulders of the bear. With excellent ballistic coefficients, high weight retention, and great expansion, this is one of best projectiles I have ever tested. The Hornady ELD-X is my new standby and an excellent option that I recommend for big-game hunting.”
|Kimber Mountain Ascent .300 Winchester Magnum
Contributing Editor Casey Dinkel shared, “The Kimber Mountain Ascent has quickly become my favorite rifle. It’s one of the most lightweight factory-production rifles on the market today. I make this point since weight is a very big deal to most mountain hunters, myself included. Kitted out and chambered in .300 Win Mag, my Kimber only adds 7 pounds, 14 ounces to my pack, a full pound lighter than my previous mountain rifle in a smaller caliber! In my opinion the .300 Win Mag is also well suited for all Alaskan big-game species. From brown bears to blacktails the .300 Win Mag can handle them all. Thus far, I have embarked on several fly-in hunts employing my Kimber and put it though the rigors of the harsh Alaskan climate. The tough, carbon-fiber stock and stainless hardware stood up to everything Alaska has had to offer, staying deadly accurate while I successfully harvested a moose, grizzly, and Sitka blacktail deer during the fall of 2018. The Mountain Ascent is an excellent rifle and I would recommend it to any North American big-game hunter.”
|Stoeger M3000 Shotgun
Contributing Editor Paul Atkins stated, “This solidly constructed M3000 shotgun will more than fulfill your hunting needs. It’s the perfect choice for waterfowl in Alaska, plus grouse and ptarmigan. For reliability and performance, no other semi-auto in its price range compares to the rugged, practical M3000. My good friend and hunting partner, Lew Pagel, uses this shotgun on all bird hunts. It’s reliable even in the toughest conditions and priced right!”
|Blaser F16 Game Gun O/U Shotgun
Contributing Editor Steve Meyer offered input on firearms worthy of an Editors’ Choice Award. He shared, “When Christine insisted I try her Blaser F16 Intuition on clays she said: “Shoot it until you miss.” After breaking 30, she took it back, shaking her head. When she offered it up in the field, hunting wild birds, the result was the same. The F16 Game Gun, in whatever version you choose, presents the classic O/U look with innovative design features too numerous to mention here. After carrying and shooting it in the field for a couple of seasons, I’ll say it is to the modern shooter what Browning’s Superposed was to the wingshooter in 1931. I cannot imagine a better endorsement.”
|Savage 110 Wolverine Rifle
Chambered for the straight-walled 450 Bushmaster cartridge, the Savage 110 Wolverine offers both precision and power for big game like Alaska’s bears. Its AccuFit system lets you easily tailor the length-of-pull and comb height for a perfect fit, while the user-adjustable AccuTrigger offers a crisp, clean pull. Together with the AccuStock, which secures the action three-dimensionally along its entire length, the 110 Wolverine provides the fit and function of a custom rifle—right out of the box. It features a Magpul AICS magazine, as well as an 18-inch carbon-steel heavy barrel with a ported muzzle brake and 11/16-24 threading. A one-piece, 0-MOA rail mounted on the receiver makes it easy to set up the rifle to your unique needs.
|Nosler Trophy Grade Long Range Ammunition
Contributing Editor Paul Atkins rifle hunts more than most and each year he relies on what his rifle can and cannot do. Since switching to Nosler ammo, he started to see the difference in his groups and the knockdown power that he gets from using Nosler ammunition. The ammunition’s consistency and precision give him confidence no matter what species he is hunting.