Sure. Today is all about the MSR, aka the Modern Sporting Rifle. They’re nice, all right. Versatile. Accurate. Reliable. And perhaps best of all, enjoyable to shoot. There’s a reason why the Black Rifles have taken the shooting and hunting world by storm, and, for sake of a more accurate phrase, they’re just flat cool.
Still, nothing beats the look, feel, and performance of a more traditional bolt-action rifle. I’m talking Remington M700, Winchester M70, Ruger M77, or the Weatherby Mark V traditional. Walnut stock, blued steel, simple yet quality optics, and a real leather sling. They still exist, somewhere out there in Gunland; however, the new generation of bolt action rifles are certainly worth a look, not to mention an afternoon on the range.
With many, synthetics have taken the place of wood, and technologically advanced range-finding scopes the place of the basic game-getting 3-9 X 40 tubes most of us grew up with. Still, they’re nonetheless great pieces, and here, Game & Fish Digital takes a look at some of the best to hit the market in 2018 and ’19.
Savage M110 Storm
Making its debut in 2018, the 110 Storm from Savage features the company’s AccuFit System that allows the shooter to customize both the length of pull and the comb height, resulting in a higher level of behind-the-gun comfort and on-paper consistency. The 110 Storm, like many fine rifles in the Savage line, sports the user-adjustable AccuTrigger, as well as the popular AccuStock. This means the 110 Storm provides the fit, feel, and function of a ridiculously expensive custom rifle – right out of the box. Available in 17 different calibers ranging from .22-250 to the hefty .300 Winchester Magnum, the 110 Storm offers rugged dependability at an affordable price.
Known for its accuracy, dependability, and exceptional price point, the Mauser M18 is now chambered in Hornady’s hot new 6.5 PRC cartridge. The 6.5 PRC is a magnum version of the incredibly popular 6.5 Creedmoor, but has a flatter trajectory and higher impact velocity than its smaller cousin. Featuring a synthetic stock, three-position safety, five-round magazine, and fully adjustable trigger, the Mauser 18 is up to the task, regardless of the environment or the conditions. With her clean lines, high quality construction, and premium visuals, the Mauser 18 has the look and feel of a rifle far beyond its price tag. Currently, and in addition to the new 6.5 PRC, the Mauser 18 is available in 6.5 Creedmoor, .243 Winchester, .308 Winchester, .270 Winchester, .30-06, 7mm Remington Magnum, and .300 Winchester Magnum.
Introduced in 2018, the Momentum by Franchi is designed to be an extension of the shooter, regardless of the position, conditions, or situation. Feature-rich might best describe Franchi’s entry into the centerfire market. Starting with a revolutionary ergonomic stock design that combines raised curves with crisp checkering for the ultimate in comfort and support, the Momentum includes a fluted one-piece bolt, three locking lug system, 60 degree bolt throw, hinged floor plate for quick unloads, two-position safety, TSA recoil pad, and a free-floating cold hammer forged threaded barrel. The Momentum comes as a rifle-only or rifle-scope combo featuring a Burris Fullfield II 3-9x40 scope.
Mossberg Patriot Night Train
Just the name – Night Train – should be sufficient to strike fear into the hearts of whitetails across the nation. A member of their well-received Patriot Series of bolt action rifles, Mossberg’s Night Train includes a convenient drop-box magazine, Lightning Bolt Action (LBA) trigger adjustable from two to seven pounds, Picatinny rails, fluted barrels, and comes packaged with an adjustable bipod and variable scope. Two versions – the Night Train 2, and Night Train 3 – sport suppressor-ready barrels with a removable SilencerCo Saker Trifecta muzzle brake, and a neoprene cheek raising kit with interchangeable inserts. New for 2019, the Night Train will be available in 6.5 Creedmoor, along with .308 Winchester and .300 Winchester Magnum.
Weatherby Mark V Camilla Ultra-Lightweight
Designed by women specifically for women, the Mark V Camilla Ultra-Lightweight wears the legendary name – Weatherby – and by all accounts, the name is without question fitting for this exceptionally fine centerfire. Available in .243 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08 Remington, and .308 Winchester, the Camilla features a shortened – 13” – length of pull, slender forearm, slimmed-down grip, gentle palm swell, and heightened comb, as well as a unique ergonomic cant to the recoil pad, a innovation meant so that the rifle fits more comfortably a woman’s build. The Camilla’s attributes also include Weatherby’s LXXTrigger, a Sub-MOA guarantee, fluted bolt body, 54 degree bolt throw, and a weight of only 5-3/4 pounds.
Savage XP Series
In 2018, the good folks at Savage Arms introduced 62 different XP model rifle combinations, outfits that included not only a fine Savage bolt action, but options and from-the-factory bore-sighting. Needless to say, the XP Series was a smashing success among today’s busy shooters. Now, Savage has brought to market additions to this popular ready-to-go series. The 110 Apex Predator XP comes equipped with a Vortex Crossfire II 4-12x44 scope featuring the Dead Hold BDC reticle, heavy suppressor-ready threaded barrel, and Mossy Oak finish stock. Likewise, the new 110 Apex Hunter XP enters the bolt action fray with a black synthetic stock, sporterized barrel, and similar Vortex Crossfire II optics. The new Apex Hunter is available in either left- or right-hand versions, Muddy Girl, camo, and a long list of caliber choices.
Remington Model Seven Threaded
Pack one of Big Green’s Model Sevens into the field just once, and it’s easy to understand why she’s considered one of the finest dense-cover rifles in America. Washington state blacktail hunters. New England whitetail hunters. This one’s for you. Lightning-quick in close quarters, but superbly accurate at a distance, the Model Seven comes fitted with Remington’s SuperCell recoil pad, X-Mark Pro externally adjustable trigger, and Big Green’s legendary “Three Rings of Steel” ultra-strong action. Caliber selection for the Model Seven Threaded include the .308 Winchester and the popular .300 Blackout.