Skip to content

15 Finest Deer Hunting Rifles
[For Any Hunter]

By Patrick Long |

two men deer hunting

As a hunter, one of the most important pieces of hunting gear you can buy is a weapon. For those that choose a rifle, there are a lot of things to consider before you check out at the gun counter. One of the most significant factors any buyer looks at is the price, but many performance factors can make or break a rifle and are difficult to judge before shooting.

So I have put together a list of 15 extraordinary rifles that are sure to help you harvest your next buck. Sure, you can kill a deer with just about any rifle, but it is much easier to do when you know you have a reliable weapon that many other hunters also like to use. Each of these rifles has been tested time and time again and comes in a variety of caliber options so you can get exactly what you are looking for.

How I Chose These Rifles

Before you dive into this article, you may ask yourself “what does this guy know, why should I listen to him?”. To be honest, that is a good question to ask. Plenty of people online spread around some pretty bad advice, especially when it comes to firearms.

I do not claim to know everything in the universe, but I have a lot of first hand experience with deer rifles. I have shot more rifles than I have cared to count, stood on the opposite side of the gun counter and sold these rifles, and I have had the pleasure of successfully hunting with many of them.

No, I don’t have every one of these rifles in my safe, but for the ones I haven’t shot, I rely on other expert reviews, and I make sure to listen to what the people have to say, not just one guy who was paid to promote it. So you can be sure that each of these rifles on this list belong here, and I will highlight everything customers are saying about it, and what my experience has been.

Here are all the rifles I am going to cover:

  1. Ruger American Predator
  2. Savage Arms 110 Switchback
  3. Savage Arms Axis II XP
  4. Remington Model 700
  5. Tikka T3X Superlite
  6. Weatherby Vanguard
  7. Bergara B-14 Ridge
  8. Christensen Arms Mesa
  9. Bergara Premier HMR Pro
  10. Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint
  11. Browning X-Bolt Western Hunter
  12. Ruger Hawkeye Long-Range
  13. Savage Arms 110 Apex Hunter
  14. Ruger American Go Wild
  15. Henry Side Gate Lever Action

Deer Rifles Are Not One Size Fits All

I also know that not everyone wants the same kind of rifle. There are thousands of options out there, which is nice, but it can be tough to sift through them all and pick out some real winners. So in this list, I will have a little something for everybody.

Whether you are hunting on a budget, looking for a super nice rifle, a quality but affordable rifle, a long-range pinhole puncher, or a rifle that abides by even the strictest gun laws, you can find a quality rifle on this list. Let’s get started.

Low-Cost Deer Rifles

Many sportsmen try to find the best quality rifles at the lowest price possible. Low-cost or budget-class rifles are the most common and popular rifles. If you want to save as much as possible, you would probably go to a local pawn shop and pick up a sub $300 used rifle that may or may not work very well. Although if you still want a new rifle, here are a couple of affordable options offered by Sportsmans Warehouse.

1. Ruger American Predator

Ruger American Predator

The Ruger American Predator is a bolt action rifle with an integral bedding block system and a free-floating barrel that ensures excellent precision. This is actually a much more accurate rifle than most people would expect at this price point. With the correct setup, you can definitely get under 1 MOA. This is also a fairly lightweight rifle. It is by no means the lightest rifle on the market, but it is certainly lighter than average.

This rifle is made with a cold hammer-forged barrel and is equipped with a three-lug, 70 degree throw bolt. Its barrel is also threaded 5/8″-24 as a standard, so you can add a muzzle brake or even a suppressor if you like. Even without a muzzle break, this is a smooth shooting rifle. You can easily attach your own scope to the factory one piece aluminum scope rail, and be ready to go.

The Ruger American Predator also comes with a four cartridge detachable magazine. You can commonly get this rifle chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, but it also comes in 22-250 Remington, 223 Remington, 204 Ruger, 243 Winchester, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Grendel, and 308 Winchester.

It also comes with the Ruger Marksman Adjustable trigger, offering a crisp release and a 3 to 5 pound pull weight based on the user’s preferences. Users commonly talk about this trigger and about how much they like it. For a factory trigger, it is tough to beat at this price.

It has a soft rubber buttpad to reduce perceived recoil and an ergonomic, lightweight synthetic stock. However, the stock is the most significant complaint about this rifle from users because it is known to slightly flex when experiencing torque. Even still, at this price point, this is an excellent rifle that will take down thousands of whitetails across the country in the coming seasons.

Feature Specs
Price $500 - $600
Weight 6.6 lbs
Barrel Length 22 in
Overall Length 46.25 in
Length of Pull 13.75 in
Capacity 4+1
Stock Moss Green Synthetic
Most Popular Caliber 6.5 Creedmoor
Bullet Velocity (143 grain) 2689 ft/s
Muzzle Energy 2295 ft-lbs
Estimated MOA 0.9 - 1.3

2. Savage 110 Switchback

Savage 110 Switchback

The Savage 110 Switchback offers an excellent price on a well-known manufacturer of reliable rifles. While it is not extremely cheap, it is a very affordable rifle that can definitely help you get the job done this fall.

It has an ergonomic stock with a fixed comb height that is very comfortable to shoot, thanks to the well-made buttpad that is adjustable. The adjustable buttpad allows you to scale this rifle down so children can use it or make it a bit longer if you have longer arms. This feature makes the Savage 110 the perfect rifle for a young hunter, which will fit them now, and they can adjust to be longer, as they get older.

The Savage 110 Switchback has a threaded, 22” carbon steel barrel and a one-piece 20 MOA rail. The barrel is also thicker than your typical hunting rifle, which allows it to cool faster at the range. It is also threaded 5/8‐24 and comes with a flush-fit muzzle break. This muzzle break further reduces the recoil of this already smooth shooting rifle.

One of the best things about this rifle is the user-adjustable AccuTrigger. According to our customers, this trigger is known to be smooth and is often the favorite aspect of this rifle. I can also vouch for that. I have had the pleasure of shooting a switch back at the range, and I can say that it is exceptional for a factory trigger.

The Switchback comes with a 4 round detachable magazine and is commonly chambered in 308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor, although you can also get this rifle chambered in 350 Legend, 6.5 PRC, and 6mm ARC. The most significant complaint about this rifle is that it has a failure to feed on occasion. However, these issues can frequently be remedied with a different ammunition selection or cleared up after a break-in period.

Feature Specs
Price $500 - $600
Weight 8.25 lbs
Barrel Length 22 in
Length of Pull Adjustable
Overall Length 41.75 in
Capacity 4 + 1
Stock Synthetic
Most Popular Caliber 6.5 Creedmoor
Bullet Velocity (143 grain) 2638 ft/s
Muzzle Energy 2246 ft-lbs
Estimated MOA 1.2 - 1.4

3. Savage Axis II XP

Savage Axis II

The Savage Axis II XP is a rifle that I have seen fly off the shelves for budget hunters. You can commonly gen this rifle and scope package for under $500. The scope on this rifle is a 3-9x40 Weaver Kaspa scope that has been mounted and bore sighted.

As many of you know, the scopes that come for “free” on rifles from the store are not anything to write home about, but they certainly work for hunting under 200 yards. That is farther than most hunters will ever need to shoot, and it saves you from having to pick out your own scope.

The scope is not what makes this rifle fly off the shelves though. Sure that adds to it, but what makes this rifle sell is its performance at its price point. In just about any town, you can go to a second hand gun store and get a cheap rifle that doesn't shoot straight for around $300 or $400. The Savage Axis II costs just $100 more brand new, and is super accurate for its class.

As you may expect, it has a synthetic stock. The butt stock can also be extended or shortened for youth hunters, however the version that is adjustable costs around $60 more. Some users have reported rusting issues with the bluing on the standard rifle, so that is why I included the stainless steel version here. This stainless steel barrel is much more resistant to rust, and gets much better reviews from users who don’t have the time to always make sure their barrel is perfectly oiled.

One of the best features in this rifle is the trigger. It has the savage adjustable AccuTrigger, which we talked about in the previous rifle. It is a super smooth factory trigger, and I am impressed that they included it on this low cost rifle. You can get the Savage Axis in just about every caliber out there, but here is a list of the calibers offered by Sportsmans Warehouse: 25-06 Remington, 7mm-08 Remington, 22-250 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, 30-06 Springfield, 308 Winchester, 223 Remington, 270 Winchester, and 243 Winchester.

Feature Specs
Price $450 - $550
Weight 6.5 lbs
Barrel Length 22 in
Overall Length 42.5 in
Length of Pull 13.4 / Adjustable
Capacity 4 + 1
Stock Synthetic
Most Popular Caliber 6.5 Creedmoor
Bullet Velocity (143 grain) 2638 ft/s
Muzzle Energy 2246 ft-lbs
Estimated MOA 1.3 - 1.6

High Quality Yet Affordable Deer Rifles

The next class of rifles that hunters are often interested in are popular and reliable rifles under $1000. These rifles still cost a pretty penny, but they are a step up from the sub $500 rifles. This class of rifle is excellent for the hunter who wants to have a quality rifle that will last for decades but does not want to give up a few weeks' pay in the process. Let’s start with one of my personal favorites, the Remington 700.

4. Remington Model 700 American Wilderness Rifle

Remington Model 700

The Remington 700, It's the number one bolt-action of all time, and is proudly made in the U.S.A. for over 50 years. There have been more Model 700s sold than any other bolt-action rifle before or since. The legendary strength of its 3-rings-of-steel receiver paired with a hammer-forged barrel combine to yield the most popular bolt-action rifle in history.

There are also a ton of variations of this rifle. The sheer success of this rifle warranted its variations to make it all over the world and into the military. The Remington 700 is a rifle that you can depend on and be highly accurate with, just as our military has done for decades.

Specifically, The Model 700 AWR (American Wilderness Rifle) features a black Cerakote finish that protects its free-floated 5R barrel and legendary stainless steel action, forming a virtually indestructible barrier against corrosion and abuse.

I also happen to use a Remington 700 as my main deer hunting rifle right now. I have shot dozens of deer, a handful of coyotes, and even a black bear with this rifle chambered in 308 Winchester. The rifle I have was actually part of my late grandfather's collection, and I can still shoot sub MOA with it. That just attests to the life and performance of these rifles when they are properly cared for over the years.

It comes with a four-cartridge magazine that may or may not be detachable depending on the model; the AWR has an internal magazine with a hinged floorplate. You can find this rifle in just about any caliber, but 270 Winchester, 308 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, 300 win mag, and 30-06 are all popular choices.

The Grayboe fiberglass stock is incredible on this rifle. It is often its most talked about feature. However, the X-Mark Pro externally adjustable trigger is also well-liked by users. All and all, it is tough to go wrong with this rifle. It performs in every situation, and I have personally used my model 700 on dozens of successful hunts.

Feature Specs
Price $800 - $1000
Weight 7.4 lbs
Barrel Length 24 in
Overall Length 44 in
Length of Pull 13.4 in
Capacity 4 + 1
Stock Brown Grayboe Fiberglass
Most Popular Caliber 270 Winchester
Bullet Velocity (143 grain) 2911 ft/s
Muzzle Energy 2635 ft-lbs
Estimated MOA 0.75 - 1.1

5. Tikka T3X Superlite

Tikka T3X Superlite

The Tikka T3X Superlite performs well for its lighter weight. It has a fluted free-float barrel and a steel recoil lug. The T3X’s synthetic stock is also a fan favorite on this rifle. You can adjust the angle of the pistol grip, and it includes a soft rubber recoil pad. The butt of the stock on this rifle is foam-filled, which helps absorb noise, recoil, and cuts down on weight. Weighing in at just 5.9 pounds, this is one of the lighter rifles on this list.

The action is easily the most favorite feature of this rifle for customers. It is extremely smooth, and does well over extended use. Tikkas are made to a high manufacturing tolerance, and that shows in the T3X action. That quality carries over to the barrel, which makes this rifle a very accurate rifle.

The T3x Superlite has a stainless, fluted barrel, which performs well on the range and in the woods. It comes with a three cartridge detachable magazine and is commonly chambered in 30-06 Springfield, but can also be found in .204 Ruger, .222 Remington, .223 Remington, .22-250 Remington, .243 Winchester, .25-06 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Remington, 6.5x55 Swede, .270 Winchester, .270 WSM, 7mm-08 Remington, 7mm Remington Magnum, .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, .300 Winchester Magnum, and .300 WSM.

Combined with a respectable optic, this rifle is perfect for the hunter that frequently goes on long trips or moves around a lot while hunting. This is a great rifle for hunting out west, where you may need to cover miles each day. In this case, you would want a lightweight but durable and accurate rifle over your shoulder, and the Tikka T3X Superlite is just that.

Feature Specs
Price $750 - $850
Weight 5.9 lbs
Barrel Length 22.4 in
Overall Length 46 in
Length of Pull 13.75 in
Capacity 3 + 1
Stock Black Synthetic Modular
Most Popular Caliber 30-06 Springfield
Bullet Velocity (143 grain) 2700 ft/s
Muzzle Energy 2428 ft-lbs
Estimated MOA 0.7 - 1.2

6. Weatherby Vanguard

Weatherby Vanguard

This rifle is easily one of the most liked rifles on Sportsmans.com. With over 100 five star reviews and nill negative reviews, the Weatherby Vanguard is hard to overlook. You can get the Sporter edition of this rifle for a little over $800, but you can also get the Vanguard MeatEater edition that comes with an upgraded, tungsten fluted and cerakote finish barrel, as well as a Monte Carlo polymer stock for upwards of $950. The Vanguard Sporter is a stud of a gun, but the upgrade is well worth it for the money in my opinion.

The thing that everyone loves about this rifle is its accuracy. Combined with its price, the Weatherby Vanguard is the best value sub-MOA guaranteed rifle on the market. That's right, Weatherby is so confident in this rifle that they guarantee it will shoot sub MOA when used with specified Weatherby factory or premium ammunition.

You will also appreciate the match grade two stage trigger, which is adjustable down to 2.5 pounds. The stock on the Sporter is made of walnut and is a monte carlo stock. Being a monte carlo means that it has a slightly higher cheek rest, that is not level with the top of the butt pad. This makes it easier to pull up to your cheek, and makes it a little more comfortable to shoot.

You can get the Weatherby Vanguard in a variety of calibers. You will most often find the Vanguard in a caliber made by Weatherby, but you can also get them in everyday calibers. Although if you want to pick one up in-store and are not ordering online first, you may have to have your preferred caliber special ordered if it is not a Weatherby caliber. You can find the Weatherby Vanguard in 223 Remington, 257 Weatherby Magnum, 300 Weatherby Magnum, 300 Winchester Magnum, 22-250 Remington, 25-06 Remington, 243 Winchester, 308 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum, 7mm Remington Magnum, and 30-06 Winchester on Sportsmans.com.

Feature Specs
Price $800 - $1000
Weight 7 - 7.75 lbs
Barrel Length 24 in
Overall Length 46.5 in
Length of Pull 13.5 in
Capacity 5 + 1
Stock Composite Molded
Most Popular Caliber 308 Winchester
Bullet Velocity (143 grain) 2820 ft/s
Muzzle Energy 2648 ft-lbs
Estimated MOA 0.75 - 1

7. Bergara B-14 Ridge

Bergara B-14 Ridge

As with the entire B-14 Series, the Bergara B-14 Ridge brings Bergara Barrel accuracy to a line of hunting rifles that is affordable to serious big-game hunters. If you are like me, you have always had googly eyes looking at Bergara rifles. They are super nice and perform as you would expect them to at their price points. Bergara knows there are a lot of people like me out there who love their rifles, but just can’t justify the cash on a deer rifle. So they made the B-14 Ridge!

You can get this rifle for less than $800, and still get the performance of the Bergara name. Of course, this rifle is not going to outperform their $2000 rifles, but it is a great quality rifle for the price. The world-renowned Bergara barrel on this rifle is perfect for hunting whatever your heart desires. It is complemented by their super-smooth B-14 Action, which is a two-lug system with a sliding plate extractor and a coned bolt nose and breech to ensure a smooth feeding and extraction of your cartridges.

The B-14 Ridge is also outfitted with a Bergara curved trigger they designed to guarantee a crisp, clean pull every time you fire the rifle. The trigger comes set at about three pounds. It also has a durable synthetic stock made of glass fiber reinforced polymer. You can be sure that this is a rifle you can depend on year after year.

Your favorite rifle is also available in your favorite caliber on Sportsmans.com. That is, as long as your favorite caliber is 308 WInchester, 300 Winchester Magnum, 6.5 Creedmoor, 270 Winchester, 243 Winchester, 22-250 Remington, 30-06 Springfield, or 7mm Remington Magnum.

Feature Specs
Price $700 - $900
Weight 7.5 - 8.1 lbs
Barrel Length 20 - 24 in
Overall Length 38.5 - 48 in
Length of Pull 13.5 in
Capacity 4 + 1
Stock Glass fiber reinforced polymer
Most Popular Caliber 6.5 Creedmoor
Bullet Velocity (143 grain) 2638 ft/s
Muzzle Energy 2246 ft-lbs
Estimated MOA 0.7 - 1.1

High-Performance Deer Rifles

If you really want some of the best rifles out there, you can expect to spend thousands. Although a sub $2000 rifle will do the trick for just about any application. Most of the time, you get what you pay for when it comes to rifles. However, that does not mean that every high-performance rifle costs an arm and a leg. Here are two reasonably priced top-tier rifles that you could confidently take into a competition or a once-in-a-lifetime hunt.

8. Christensen Arms Mesa

Christensen Arms Mesa

Using many of the same features and designs perfected in the Christensen Arms Ridgeline, the Mesa was created as a premium, yet accessible lightweight rifle with a featherlight-contour, stainless steel barrel and a carbon fiber composite stock. Weighing in at only 6.5 pounds and carrying the Christensen Arms Sub-MOA Guarantee, the Christensen Arms Mesa is the perfect rifle to carry deep into the backcountry. Each Christensen Arms firearm is hand built and assembled in the USA to ensure quality and precision throughout the entire manufacturing process.

Sportsmans Warehouse carries a few different variants of the Mesa. Most of the variation happens in the barrel. Most Mesa’s are made with 416R stainless steel, although you can also find them made from tungsten, which will be a little more robust. Regardless of the barrel material, it will come with a cerakote finish that is most commonly burnt bronze in color.

The Mesa fills its role as a lightweight yet high performance rifle especially well. You notice all the little details like the skeletonized bolt handle, and the enlarged ejection port. Features like this make me feel good about a rifle, and it at least makes me feel like the design team really took their time.

You can get the Christensen Arms Mesa in a variety of calibers on Sportsmans.com, including 6.5 Creedmoor, 28 Nosler, 6.5 PRC, 300 Winchester Magnum, 300 PRC, 338 Lapua Magnum, 450 Bushmaster, 7mm-08 Remington, 7mm Remington Magnum, and my personal favorite 308 Winchester.

Feature Specs
Price $1200 - $1800
Weight 6.5 lbs
Barrel Length 24 in
Overall Length 44 in
Length of Pull 13.6 in
Capacity 3 + 1
Stock Carbon Fiber Composite
Most Popular Caliber 300 Winchester Magnum
Bullet Velocity (143 grain) 3160 ft/s
Muzzle Energy 3992 ft-lbs
Estimated MOA 0.7 - 1.0

9. Bergara Premier HMR Pro

Bergara Premier HMR Pro

The Bergara Premier HMR Pro is one of the best rifles on this list. Think of the Premier Series as an extension of the Custom Series, but with standardized features for greater efficiencies in parts production and assembly - providing near custom performance at prices that are affordable to serious shooters.

Bergara's Premium 416 stainless steel barrels receive a proprietary honing process at their barrel-making facility in Bergara, Spain. Then, at the Bergara USA factory, the barrel receives a Cerakote finish and is coupled with our proprietary Bergara Premier action, featuring a nonrotating gas shield, coned bolt nose, and sliding plate extractor. This action is designed as a two-lug system that features a separate floating bolt head to ensure contact with the lug abutments in the action.

It also features a cone-shaped bolt nose for smooth feeding of the cartridge, and a spring-loaded sliding plate extractor located in the front of the lower locking lug. The one-piece bolt body is stainless steel with a pad at the rear to accept the threaded-in bolt handle. The bolt head, the non-rotating gas shield, the bolt handle, and bolt shroud are fully Nitrided for extreme durability, as well as its self-lubricating properties.

The two-position safety is part of the trigger assembly, which in the HMR Pro rifle is a TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology trigger. One great feature of this combination allows the bolt handle not to lock in the closed position, which in turn allows the rifle to be unloaded while in the safe position. The HMR Pro offers three barrel lengths, 20", 24", and 26". It also features a full-length Integrated mini-chassis for repeatable bedding and supports a fully free-floated barrel.

Feature Specs
Price $1500 - $1700
Weight 9.6 lbs
Barrel Length 24 in
Overall Length 41 in
Length of Pull 13.5 in
Capacity 5 + 1
Stock Molded with mini-chassis
Most Popular Caliber Synthetic/Mini-Chassis Black w/Gray Specs
Bullet Velocity (143 grain) 2675 ft/s
Muzzle Energy 2224 ft-lbs
Estimated MOA 0.4 - 1

Best Deer Rifles for Long Ranges

If you want to regularly shoot deer at over 300 yards, you need to plan for it. That means you can not take just any old rifle out there with you. Most hunters rarely, if ever, shoot a whitetail over 200 yards away. So if you plan on hunting from a distance for whitetail, elk, moose, or possibly mule deer, then you need a purpose built rifle. Sportsmans has just the rifle for you, three of them actually.

10. Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint

Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint

The Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint was an extremely hyped up release. This was Springfields first bolt action rifle release, so the hype is understandable. The good news? The 2020 Waypoint lives up to the hype. This rifle does have a high price tag, but it blows the word “quality” out of the water.

The first thing you will notice about the 2020 Waypoint is its 0.75 MOA guarantee. That is an outlandish claim for most rifles, but the 2020 Waypoint is not joking around. If you are not shooting under 0.75 MOA with this rifle, it’s your fault, not the rifles.

The stock design is also super comfortable to shoot from. It is made of carbon fiber, so the rifle doesn’t weigh a ton either, just 6.7 pounds. The barrel is a BSF carbon fiber wrapped barrel. Under the wrapping, the barrel is fluted and the barrel itself is made of stainless steel. This fluting and carbon fiber wrapping makes sure that this rifle cools down as fast as possible.

The feedback on this rifle is extremely positive. This factory rifle goes toe to toe with custom made rifles, and outperforms many of them. However, you get what you pay for in firearms, so the largest complaint about this rifle is its price tag. You will pay over $1,500 for this rifle and up to $2,200 depending on the variant you choose, but it will be the best bolt action rifle you ever had.

The last problem users run into is finding the right chambering for them. Getting your preferred caliber can be a challenge, and there are only a handful of caliber options for this rifle. As of November of 2022, the only caliber available on Sportsmans.com is 6.5 Creedmoor. The following calibers are currently unavailable, but may be back in stock by the time you are reading this: 6.5 PRC, 6mm Creedmoor, and 308 Winchester.

Feature Specs
Price $1,500 - $2,200
Weight 6.7 lbs
Barrel Length 22 in
Overall Length 43.5 in
Length of Pull 13.5 in
Capacity 5 + 1
Stock Carbon Fiber
Most Popular Caliber 6.5 Creedmoor
Bullet Velocity (143 grain) 3020 ft/s
Muzzle Energy 2430 ft-lbs
Estimated MOA 0.4 - 0.75

11. Browning X-Bolt Western Hunter

Browning X-Bolt Western Hunter

The stock of the Browning X-Bolt Western Hunter is made of synthetic composite material that is finished in A-TACS AU camo, AU meaning Arid Urban camo. The most attractive feature of this stock is its adjustable comb. Simply by removing four screws, you can adjust the height of the comb to one of five positions. I really like rifles like this, they allow you to customize and adjust the rifle to be most comfortable to you, and you don’t have to settle for a “one size fits most” stock.

The X-Bolt has a smooth three lug bolt with a 60 degree throw. It also features a free floating barreled action and has a top-tange thumb safety. The trigger is a fan favorite because of its three level design that creates a smooth and easy to use 3.5 pound trigger which is adjustable.

This is a powerful rifle that can give you the accuracy that you need to shoot longer ranges. This rifle is perfect for the hunter that wants an accurate and quality rifle that is still sub $1000. It has plenty of room for adjustability, and with the right ammo you can get some scary good MOA’s.

This rifle has a removable muzzle break that helps reduce the recoil of some of the heftier cartridges this is chambered in.You can get the Browning X-Bolt Western Hunter in 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, 270 Winchester, 7mm Remington Magnum, 28 Nosler, 300 Winchester Magnum, 300 Remington Ultra Magnum, and 300 PRC on Sportsmans.com.

Feature Specs
Price $900 - $1000
Weight 6.8 lbs
Barrel Length 26 in
Overall Length 46.75 in
Length of Pull 13.6 in
Capacity 3 + 1
Stock Adjustable Comb
Most Popular Caliber 300 Winchester Magnum
Bullet Velocity (143 grain) 3160 ft/s
Muzzle Energy 3992 ft-lbs
Estimated MOA 0.6 - 1

12. Ruger Hawkeye Long-Range

Ruger Hawkeye Long-Range

The Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Target, is built for just that, long range shooting. Whether that is at a paper target or at a whitetail across a seemingly endless Kentucky corn field, the Ruger Hawkeye is purpose built. This is a great rifle that is known to shoot far and reliably, when you combine it with the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, you can reliably shoot as far as you can see. This makes it the perfect rifle for western hunting, and is more than deadly enough for mule deer, elk, pronghorn, or moose.

The 5R 22 inch cold hammer-forged stainless steel barrel is free floating and comes threaded on the 5/8-24 standard. This rifle also comes out of the box with a Ruger Precision Rifle Hybrid Muzzle Brake. The stock is made of laminated hardwood and has a nice epoxy finish. The Hawkeye also comes in this nice brown speckled color instead of the seemingly standard black.

The buttpad of this rifle is also nice, it mitigates a fair amount of recoil and is comfortable to shoulder. You can also see from the picture above that it has an adjustable cheek pad, so you can fit this rifle to your style of shooting. People who have this rifle say it is a wonderful shooter, and is a steal at its price point.

The Hawkeye’s LC6 trigger features smooth, crisp performance right out of the box for increased accuracy on the range or in the field. This rifle has a ten cartridge detachable magazine. It is commonly chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor but can also be found in 6.5 PRC, 308 Winchester, 204 Ruger, and 300 Win Mag.

Feature Specs
Price $1100 - $1300
Weight 7.2 lbs
Barrel Length 22 in
Overall Length 43.75 in
Length of Pull 12.75 - 14.25 in
Capacity 5 + 1
Stock Speckled Black/Brown Laminate
Most Popular Caliber 6.5 Creedmoor
Bullet Velocity (143 grain) 3101 ft/s
Muzzle Energy 2562 ft-lbs
Estimated MOA 0.7 - 1.1

Deer Rifles For States With Strict Gun Laws

Reinforcing the fact that not every rifle is viable for every hunter, many hunters live in states that do not allow rifle cartridges that are not straight-walled. So to accommodate those hunters that are more focused on the 350 legend, 450 Bushmaster, or 45-70 Government here are three rifes that Sportsmans Warehouse often has in those calibers and that will not violate any magazine restrictions either.

13. Savage Arms 110 Apex Hunter

Savage 110 Apex Hunter

The Savage 110 is one of the oldest continuously manufactured American-made rifles on the market, and for good reason. This rifle has evolved over the years to meet customer demands, and it has done so nicely. This is a lightweight rifle that has an amazing AccuTrigger, which I have already mentioned was as smooth as could be for me at the range.

The Savage 110 Apex Hunter XP pairs a Model 110 rifle with a 3-9x40mm Vortex Crossfire II scope that comes mounted and bore sighted. The Vortex Crossfire II’s Dead-Hold BDC reticle makes it easy to place accurate shots at extended range, and the optic is securely mounted to a one-piece EGW 0 MOA rail. Factory scopes are not anything to write home about, so if you plan on hunting with this at long ranges, you may want to consider an aftermarket scope.

The platform provides accuracy and adjustability like no other package rifle thanks to the Savage AccuTrigger, thread-in headspacing, floating bolt head and precision button rifled barrel. Plus, its length-of-pull can be easily adjusted to fit any hunter for better comfort and consistency. This makes it a great rifle to get for a young hunter because you can adjust it to fit them as they grow up!

Since this section is specially about stright-wall cartridges, I don’t expect anyone to be shooting extremely far with this rifle. That is not to say the rifle isn’t up for it, but the cartridge is a bit limiting, which is the purpose of the stright-wall cartridge laws in the first place.

Feature Specs
Price $550 - $650
Weight 7.43 lbs
Barrel Length 18 in
Overall Length 38.25 in
Length of Pull 13.75 in
Capacity 4 + 1
Stock Sporter
Most Popular Caliber 350 Legend
Bullet Velocity (143 grain) 2222 ft/s
Muzzle Energy 1640 ft-lbs
Estimated MOA 1.3 - 1.8

14. Ruger American Go Wild

Ruger American Go Wild

The Ruger American Go Wild is one of the best budget rifles out there, and it just so happens to come in 450 Bushmaster if you need it. The 450 Bushmaster is not known for its long range capabilities, but out of this rifle, you can easily hit some reasonable groups out to 200 yards. Within 100 yards, this rifle is highly accurate and very fun to use.

The 22 inch barrel on this rifle is coated with bronze cerakote, and is threaded 5/8 x 24. For the price point, these barrels are actually extremely well made, which helps rein in the heavy 450 Bushmaster. It also includes a muzzle break which makes shooting this rifle a lot more pleasant. You also get a Picatinny rail on this cold hammer-forged barrel that allows you to mount the scope of your choice.

The composite stock features Rugers Go Wild Brush camo, which can help it blend in a bit more than a plain wood or black stock, plus it looks cool. The finish on this stock is also nice, and it feels like a quality product. The Go Wild also has a fairly standard buttpad that absorbs a bit of recoil, and users report that the recoil is very manageable with this rifle, even in 450 Bushmaster.

The Ruger American Go Wild also comes with the Ruger Marksman Adjustable Trigger, which I have had the pleasure of using on one of my Rugers. It is a smooth trigger, and has never given me any trouble.

Feature Specs
Price $550 - $650
Weight 6.8 lbs
Barrel Length 22 in
Overall Length 43.75 in
Length of Pull 13.75 in
Capacity 3 + 1
Stock Go Wild Camo I-M Brush Synthetic
Most Popular Caliber 450 Bushmaster
Bullet Velocity (143 grain) 2200 ft/s
Muzzle Energy 2687 ft-lbs
Estimated MOA 1.0 - 1.5

15. Henry Side Gate Lever Action

Henry Side Gate Lever Action

The Henry Side Gate Lever Action rifle is the next kind of rifle I am buying for whitetail. Sure, functionality is extremely important for long range shooters, but if you are only shooting a couple hundred yards max, why not go with something as good looking as this Henry? As some customers have done, you just need to add a sweet leather sling and maybe a scope and you will be set. Plus, this one is chambered in 45-70 Government, which punches the straight-walled ticket, and will easily drop deer time and time again.

Henry's Side Gate Lever Action offers up the best of both worlds with a standard removable tube magazine for safe and easy unloading and a side loading gate to keep the magazine topped off. The hardened brass receiver is as reliable as it is handsome with the same yield and tensile strength as steel. The brass accents continue through the rifle with the buttplate and barrel band.

Its American walnut furniture is set off by intricate, deep checkering that feels secure in the hand. A semi-buckhorn rear and ivory bead front sight accompanies a 20" round blued steel barrel to deliver accuracy for hundreds of yards. The 45-70 Government is usually zeroed out to 200 yards, but it starts to fall off quickly after that. At 300 yards, you could see more than 20 inches of drop.

From whitetail hunting to days at the range, to standing as a favorite show-piece in the gun cabinet, the Side Gate Lever Action is a must-have for any lever action aficionado, and it solidifies Henry as the first name in lever action rifles.

Feature Specs
Price $900 - $1,000
Weight 7.09
Barrel Length 20 in
Overall Length 38 in
Length of Pull 14 in
Capacity 4 + 1
Stock American Walnut
Most Popular Caliber 45-70 Government
Bullet Velocity (143 grain) 2050 ft/s
Muzzle Energy 3032 ft-lbs
Estimated MOA 2.0 - 4.0

Which One Is Right for You?

While I can not tell you exactly which rifle would be best for you to add to cart, hopefully you found a few on this list that will perform how you want it to. All of these rifles are fairly accurate, with some of them getting under 0.5 MOA with the right loads. Once you get past the budget rifles, the build quality of these rifles becomes increasingly impressive. The size and capacity of all these rifles is fairly comparable, and many of them are available in over a dozen calibers.

Before you buy a new rifle, just ask yourself what class of rifle you are really looking for. Whatever it is you are looking for, I recommend referring back to the headings of this article to find the rifles that work best for each category. Nonetheless, any rifle on this list is a great option for most hunters.