Long-range precision rifles, big bore (and repeating) air rifles and creative rimfires are among the high points of the 2018 sporting rifle class. Adjustable stocks on many crossover models are a welcome change, better allowing shooters to get a solid cheek-weld with optimal eye alignment with their scopes.
Here are some rifles that caught our eye at the 2018 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show, better known as SHOT Show, in Las Vegas. All prices are suggested by the manufacturer.
BERGARA HMR PRO
What: The HMR stands for Hunting and Match Rifle, and this new offering fits the crossover look that many manufacturers hope will appeal to long-range shooting enthusiasts who may also want to use the rifle for hunting.
What else: The stock is a Bergara HMR molded with mini-chassis that supports a fully, free-floated barrel. It has an adjustable cheek piece and length-of-pull. A five-round Accuracy International Chassis System-style, detachable magazine carries the ammo. The trigger is a TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology system. The muzzle is threaded and protected with a knurled cap.
Weight: 9.2 to 9.7 pounds, depending on chambering and before optics.
Calibers: .22-250 Rem., .223 Rem., .308 Win., 6.5 and 6mm Creedmoor.
BERGARA B-14 RIDGE
What: Bergara’s new entry in the pure hunting rifle category; I’ve used the original B-14 Timber on several hunts and it’s a gem. The sixth model in the B-14 lineup, the Ridge has a molded synthetic stock made of glass fiber reinforced polymer with a “SoftTouch” coating that always gives it a nice, sure sticky feel.
What else: The rifle has the B-14 Action, which is a two-lug system with a sliding plate extractor and a coned bolt nose and breech. The Bergara curved trigger is set at 3 pounds. It has a hinged, floorplate magazine that holds four standard rounds or three magnums. The muzzle is threaded. The rifle is drilled and tapped to fit Remington 700 style rings and bases.
Weight: 7.9 pounds (short action); 8.1 pounds (long action).
Calibers: .22-250 Rem., .243 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win., .308 Win., 7mm Rem. Mag., .300 Win. Mag., .30-06 SPRG.
CZ-USA 557 AMERICAN
What: Early models of this rifle looked promising, with chamberings designed to appeal to fans of flat-shooting Nosler ammunition and the .300 Win. Mag. The rifle has a 26-inch cold hammer forged and lapped barrel. The high-comb, walnut American-styled stock has classic checkering, a strong pistol grip and slight palm swell.
What else: It’s set up for a scope, with built-in dovetails, allowing scopes to be mounted directly to the action. Also available in a left-handed model.
Calibers: 26 Nosler, 28 Nosler, 30 Nosler, .300 Win. Mag.
Price: $849, but likely not available until spring (check here for updates).
CZ-USA INTEGRAL RIMFIRE
What: OK, this isn’t a full rifle — yet, but it’s cool enough to note. When most people think of a rifle with a suppressor, it’s typically of a “can” threaded onto the end of the muzzle. This innovative design of CZ-USA’s standard 455 Varmint barrel has a patented, screw-in baffle system integrated into it. Shots from .17 HMR regular, factory ammo deliver a report of about 117 decibels, well off the nearly 160 decibels unsuppressed. The barrels are initially offered as swappable options on the Model 455 platform, but company reps said they’re looking at building a full, integrally suppressed rimfire rifle in the future. It takes about 5 minutes to swap this barrel out. Shooters can put the baffles in different locations, essentially tuning the suppression.
What else: Barrels come in 16.9- and 20.9-inch variants. CZ-USA also makes a separate rimfire suppressor with the same tunable baffle system that threads onto the Varmint barrel.
Price: $399 ($349 for the Varmint-barrel suppressor).
STEYR ZEPHYR II
What: The original, larger-caliber Zephyr was produced from 1955 through 1971. This new bolt-action rimfire gives some nods to the original’s classic styling, with an attractive European walnut stock with a Bavarian cheek piece, fish-scale-pattern checkering on the grips and handguard, and the distinctive Steyr Mannlicher bolt handle and tang safety.
What else: Features a detachable box magazine. The barrel is a little less than 20 inches long.
Weight: 5.8 pounds.
Calibers: .17 HMR, .22 LR, .22 WMR.
Price: $995, add $25 for a threaded barrel.
SEEKINS PRECISION HAVAK PROFESSIONAL HUNTER
What: Another innovative crossover design. One of the most unique features of this rifle is its 24-inch match-grade, stainless steel, spiral fluted barrel threaded for a suppressor or muzzle brake. The design shaves weight and promotes barrel cooling. It has a ProComp CH1 carbon fiber stock. Idaho-based Seekins designed the action, which features a full diameter bolt and four locking lugs with 90-degree bolt throw. It cycles exceptionally smooth and tight with no slop as you feed and extract rounds.
What else: Each gun is hand-bedded with aluminum pillars that pairs the stock to its action and free-floating barrel. The PH1 comes with a three- to five-round carbon fiber magazine (caliber-dependent) and a Timney 510 trigger factory set at 3-3.5 pounds.
Weight: 7 pounds.
Calibers: 6mm and 6.5 Creedmoor, Hornady’s new 6.5 PRC (precision rifle cartridge), .308 Win., 28 Nosler .300 Win Mag.
Price: $2,200. Short-action versions are being built to order.
BROWNING X-BOLT PRO
What: This rifle came out in late 2017 and is something Browning calls a “semi-custom,” meaning it has some high-end features such as a true carbon fiber stock filled with a noise-dampening foam, a burnt bronze Cerakote finish on the action and 22-inch barrel, spiral fluted bolt, enlarged bolt handle, and a threaded muzzle with a muzzle brake or thread protector cap.
What else: Browning also launched the Browning X-Bolt Pro Long Range, which has a 26-inch barrel.
Weight: 6 pounds, 1 ounce.
Calibers: 6.5 Creedmoor (Pro), 6mm Creedmoor (Pro Long Range).
Price: $2,069 (both variants).
HOWA H-S PRECISION RIFLE
What: This is a straightforward hunting rifle, with a custom feel courtesy of the H-S Precision stock, designed to fit seamlessly with the Howa barreled action. The stock’s aluminum bedding block is cut with CNC machining and then placed in a mold and hand-laminated with Kevlar, fiberglass and carbon fiber. The mold is then filled out with a proprietary mixture of a dense polyurethane foam material.
What else: Available with 22-, 24- and 26-inch barrels. The 26-inch version has a threaded bolt handle.
Weight: 7.8 to 9.2 pounds, depending on caliber.
Calibers: 11 to choose from, long and short action, standard and magnums.
HOWA KRG BRAVO
What: Here’s another rifle bridging the appearance gap between traditional sporting rifles and newer-chassis, long-range offerings. People who prefer more traditional varmint-style stocks with the benefits of a full-length, skeletal aluminum chassis are liking this style. The comfortable pistol-grip stock, made by Kinetic Research Group, has adjustable comb and length of pull, which can be adjusted down to 12.5 inches (comfortable for smaller-stature shooters).
What else: It has a detachable, 10-round AICS magazine and comes in two colors (black and dark earth) and three barrel lengths — 22, 24, and 26 inches, threading optional.
Calibers: .223 Rem, .22-250 Rem, .243 Win., 6mm and 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win.
Price: An affordable $1,279 to 1,339.
LITHGOW LA105 WOOMERA
What: A long-range, precision rifle made by Australian manufacturer Lithgow — “Woomera” is an Australian Aboriginal word for “spear thrower.” Legacy Sports International, importer of the brand, says the rifle was developed in consultation with American and Aussie snipers. It has a KRG chassis system, the full-length aluminum backbone X-Ray chassis with polymer panels. It has several mounting holes at various positions to allow flexibility in accessorizing.
What else: The 24-inch heavy barrel is threaded, and it comes with a detachable 10-round magazine. The trigger is three-way adjustable for weight, over-travel and even sear engagement.
Calibers: 6.5mm Creedmoor, .308 Win.
Price: TBD — it’s not available until summer. Betting is around $2,100.
SAVAGE MODEL 110 STORM
What: Savage launched more than two dozen new products at SHOT Show, with many of their rifles now fitted with the “AccuFit System.” Basically, it’s a stock that lets shooters quickly adjust comb height and length of pull. The design is similar to that being seen on many of the new crossover long-range/hunting rifles. All of the rifles have Savage’s user-adjustable AccuTrigger, with a range of 2.5 to 6 pounds. The Storm has a stainless steel barreled action, gray synthetic stock with a soft overmolded forend and pistol grip, and detachable box magazine. It is drilled and tapped for scope mounts.
What else: Other 110 models getting the AccuFit makeover include the Hunter, Varmint, Long Range Hunter, Predator, Scout, Bear Hunter and Wolverine. The fluted barrel Bear Hunter ($999) is, well, loaded for bear, chambered in .300 WSM, .338 Federal, .300 Win. Mag., .338 Win. Mag. and .375 Ruger.
Weight: 7.15-7.35 pounds.
Calibers: 17 of them, plus left- and right-handed models.
RUGER PRECISION RIMFIRE
What: A scaled-down version of the Ruger Precision Rifle, it’s built with the same ergonomics, trigger and manual of arms as the larger centerfire rifle. It features a molded, stiff, one-piece chassis and adjustable buttstock assembly manufactured from glass-filled nylon. The “Quick-Fit” adjustable stock allows fast length of pull and comb height adjustments. Ruger wanted to make that .22 you’re shooting feel more like you’re chambering a larger centerfire round, so they let you easily switch from a rimfire 1½-inch bolt throw to a short-action centerfire 3-inch bolt throw. It’s especially nice if you’re used to the larger-caliber bolt actions.
What else: The rifle has an 18-inch threaded target barrel. A 15-inch, black anodized aluminum, free-float handguard features Magpul M-LOK slots on all four sides for compatible rails and accessories. The trigger adjusts from 2.25 to 5 pounds. The rifle comes with a single 15-round BX-15 magazine or two 10-round BX-1 magazines. It’s topped with a 30 MOA Picatinny scope base.
Weights: 6.8 pounds.
Caliber: .22 LR.
What: A bolt-action rifle from the shotgun maker, the Momentum’s synthetic stock has raised curves and checkering, and recessed sling-attachment points that eliminate the need for swivel studs. The barrel is a cold-hammer-forged chrome-molybdenum, free floated and sporting a matte finish. Threaded variations are optional.
What else: The trigger is adjustable from 2 to 4 pounds. The bolt is spiral fluted and features three locking lugs and a short, 60-degree throw for fast cycling. The magazine has a hinged floorplate.
Calibers: .243 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win. .308 Win., .30-06 SPRG, .300 Win. Mag.
Price: $609, but a combo version featuring a mounted Burris Fullfield II 3-9x40 rifle scope is available at $729.
What: For many years, vintage surplus Mausers were plentiful and cheap at gun shows. The newer models often were out of most hunters’ price ranges. But Mauser has joined the chorus of manufacturers making an affordable hunting rifle; they’ve even nicknamed it “Volkswaffe,” or “the people’s rifle.”
What else: It has a synthetic stock with soft, easy gripping inlay in key spots, a steel receiver and cold-hammer forged barrel, three-position safety, adjustable trigger and 5-round magazine.
Calibers: .243 Win., .308 Win., .270 Win., .30-06, 7mm Rem., .300 Win. Mag. A 6.5 Creedmoor is expected soon.
Price: From $699.
SPRINGFIELD ARMORY M1A 6.5 CREEDMOOR
What: The new M1A 6.5 Creedmoor has a precision-adjustable (length of pull, comb height) stock and a parkerized 10-round magazine. The M1A’s National Match grade, 22-inch medium weight, stainless steel barrel has a California muzzle brake.
What else: An NM-grade .062 post front sight is paired with a NM-grade nonhooded .0520 aperture rear.
Weight: 11.4 pounds.
SAKO CARBON WOLF
What: Finnish manufacturer Sako, distributed by Beretta USA, has the new Carbon Wolf. The stock is made entirely out of carbon fiber and features simple, push-button adjustable length of pull and comb cheek piece height.
What else: The entire stock has a tactile, soft-touch coating. Features a Sako 85 action and single-stage, adjustable trigger from 2 to 4 pounds.
Calibers: .308 Win., .30-06 SPRG., .300 Win. Mag., 7mm Rem. Mag., 6.5 Creedmoor.
TIKKA T1X MTR
What: Another Finnish manufacturer, Tikka, debuts its first rimfire rifle. It’s based on the popular T3x centerfire platform, having the same bedding surfaces and inlay pattern.
What else: A threaded, 20-inch, cold-hammer forged barrel, stainless steel bolt, synthetic stock with finely textured pistol grip. A 10-round magazine is standard.
Calibers: .22 LR, .17 HMR.