Top 10 Bolt-Action Rifles of the Year — SHOT Show 2018

From long-range precision rifles to custom-grade hunting rifles, there was plenty of new product debuted at the 2018 SHOT Show in Las Vegas to make every shooter take notice. If any major trends stand out, it’s the widespread and growing popularity of long-range shooting that has spawned several new precision rifle introductions, like Remington’s Model 700 PCR, as well as the popularity of cartridges like the 6mm and 6.5 Creedmoor. Breaking ground in a different arena, CZ USA showcased its 455 Scout rifle in .22 LR, which was topped with one of the company’s new proprietary suppressors. From budget-friendly to budget crushing, there was a rifle for every man’s taste at the show.

Here’s a look at some of the best new rifles for 2018.   

CZ USA 455 Scout

With a short 12-inch length of pull, the 455 Scout not only makes a great rifle for smaller-framed shooters, it’s also incredibly nimble in the backcountry. A leaf rear and front blade sight make for quick target acquisition, while dovetail mounts provide the option to easily add an optic. Best of all? The Scout, chambered in the venerable .22 LR, comes threaded (½-28) for a suppressor, making it an extremely quiet riot in the deep woods. I had the 455 Scout along for an elk hunt in the Frank Church Wilderness area this past fall, and with subsonic .22 loads it was exceptionally effective for stacking up grouse. With one of CZ’s new cans, the 455 is a backcountry survivalist’s dream gun.

MSRP: $339

Christensen Arms TFM

When quality and sex appeal matter, Christensen Arms delivers. The Tactical Force Multiplier (TFM) is the embodiment of everything the prestigious manufacturer stands for, including precision design and custom construction. The TFM is available now in .308 Win. all the way up to .338 Lapua Mag., and now the ever-popular 6.5 Creedmoor. The rifle features a 416R barrel with aero-grade carbon fiber wrapping, a target barrel profile and adjustable titanium side baffle brake. A carbon fiber, long-range stock features adjustable cheek piece and butt pad, with a fully adjustable match trigger. What Mercedes Benz is to cars, Christensen Arms is to the rifle industry.

MSRP: $4,895

Bergara Premier HMR Pro

Bergara has built a solid reputation for making some of the most accurate barrels in the industry, something that stands out on the new Premier HMR Pro rifle. Chambered in several calibers from .22-250 to .308 Win., as well as 6 and 6.5 Creedmoor, the HMR Pro features a No. 5 taper Bergara barrel, TriggerTech trigger, and HMR molded stock with integral mini-chassis for repeatable bedding. Designed for hunting or match use, the HMR Pro is available in 20-, 24-, and 26-inch barrels and weighs right at 9 pounds. The rifle features an adjustable spacer system for length of pull, as well as an adjustable cheek piece.

MSRP: $1,715

Gunwerks Verdict

If you want to enter the long-range game and money isn’t an object, Gunwerks has a custom-grade rifle that will meet your needs. With its 1000-yard-out-of-the-box guarantee, Gunwerks has introduced several new proprietary stock designs for 2018, including a new stock for the Verdict. The new stock features adjustable length of pull and cheek piece, as well as a squared contour on the grip for better thumb placement and stability, which aids in trigger control. By bringing stock production in house, Gunwerks is able to keep a better reign on quality control. Anything but light, the 16-pound rifle (depending on caliber and barrel selection) is capable of housing everything from 6mm Creedmoor to .338 Lapua.

MSRP: Starts at $6,250

Kimber Open Country

If you’re looking to tackle big game in the most rugged country North America has to offer, then you know the value of a lightweight, long-range hunting rifle. Kimber’s Open Country rifle comes with a sub-MOA guarantee and is chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win. Weighing in at 6 pounds, 15 ounces, the ultralight Open Country comes with a crisp, adjustable trigger (factory set at 3 pounds), 24-inch barrel and finish options of either granite or Optifade Open Country.

MSRP: $2,269


Ruger American Rifle with Modular Stock

Ruger has had tremendous success with its American line of rifles, which got a facelift for 2018. Along with the addition of several calibers, including 6mm Creedmoor, the American now comes with a modular stock that fits Magpul-type magazines, as well as AI-style magazines, depending on caliber. Many of the same stocks are now available in GO WILD camo. In other product lines, Ruger added the Precision Rimfire and Hawkeye Long-Range Target rifle, broadening its already impressive collection of handguns and rifles.

Browning Pro Long Range X-Bolt

Browning has taken its X-Bolt rifle a step further with several premium features on the Pro Long Range edition, including a carbon fiber stock that is filled with noise dampening foam, making it extremely lightweight and rigid for improved accuracy and handling. Proprietary lapping, fluted heavy sporter contour barrel and Cerakote finish on barrel, action and stock make the X-Bolt Pro Long Range an all-weather workhorse. The rifle features a glass-bedded receiver that is drilled and tapped for X-Lock scope mounts, while a 60-degree bolt lift and adjustable trigger give optimum performance. MSRP: $2,099

Savage Model 110

The Model 110 has been a staple in Savage’s rifle lineup, but it’s back in 2018 with the AccuFit system. Offering the customizable fit of a near-custom rifle, the AccuFit system features five different comb risers and four length of pull inserts, allowing personalized fit for shooters of all sizes. With nine total adjustments, the AccuFit system is also ideal for youth, who can adjust the rifle as they grow. The Model 110 is available in everything from .204 Ruger to .300 Win. Mag. and includes other standard Savage features like the AccuTrigger. MSRP: $749

Winchester XPR in Verde & Vias

Winchester’s XPR has already won several awards in the firearms industry, and for good reason. It’s an affordable rifle with a solid barrel and trigger that borrows concepts from the Model 70 but comes in at a very affordable $500. The XPR is available in two new Kuiu patterns for 2018, Verde and Vias, so it’s ready to tackle the toughest of the sheep mountains. It’s also available in 6.5 Creedmoor, one of the hottest new cartridges on the market, and weighs just under 7 pounds.

MSRP: $549

Remington Model 700 PCR

The Model 700 is one of the most trusted rifles around, and now it’s got a fresh new look for long-range competition shooters. It was only a matter of time before Remington made the introduction. The Precision Chassis Rifle (PCR) features an aircraft-grade aluminum chassis, 24-inch barrel with 5R rifling, free-floated handguard and Magpul PRS Gen3 handguard. With sub-MOA accuracy, the PCR is chambered in .308, 6.5 Creedmoor and .260 Remington. The rifle comes equipped with the X-Mark Pro externally adjustable trigger and Magpul pistol grip.

MSRP: $1,200

***Check out GunsAmerica for your next rifle purchase.***

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • David Johnson February 22, 2018, 10:59 am

    OK if you are outfitting Somalian Pirates. Some of the most UGLY rifles made! I myself ordered a Winchester Model 70 withwas the toughest in the field! I have 1942 wood stocked rifles which have never been refinished. Everynsynthetic stock I have owned got REPLACED!

    • Walter September 4, 2020, 7:57 pm

      Well pin a rose on your nose.

  • mike Whitmore February 3, 2018, 9:02 am

    I am a proud owner of a new Ruger precision Rifle in 308, now everyone is getting on board with their version of Ruger but nothing can compare, Nice try guys, but your a little too late. Mike in the mountains!

  • Richard February 2, 2018, 6:21 am

    I love wood but an all weather rifle like the Ruger American is hard to beat. The fit, feel, accuracy and price do it for me.

  • Rob Mears February 1, 2018, 2:51 pm

    Aaaand…nothing but plastic.
    That CZ looks pretty sweet though. Is there still room for heirloom quality firearms in today’s world of “modern (i.e. cheap to manufacture) materials”?

    • Barry February 1, 2018, 11:51 pm

      I agree 1000% – I’m sick of plastic and I’m sick of reviewers telling me how great the rifle is when the manufacturer is screwing you over by using cheap crap to save them money. The days of quality and pride in their workmanship is dead- all these rifles are overpriced- but fools and their money are soon parted so they say.

    • WinchesterMan February 2, 2018, 1:44 am

      For the price of this new Tupperware crap, you can buy a pretty decent pre 64 Model 70 Winchester! Looks to me like CZ still makes some real rifles. Colt botched it when they dropped the Python, Winchester lost it after 64, Browning used to make great rifles in Belgium but they now hire “flat stomach engineers fresh out of school walking around with their IPads who know jack shit about what a real rifle is supposed to be. I’ll stick with real walnut and traditional style rifles. Plastic just can’t match the look and feel of God-Made walnut!!

  • Campbell King February 1, 2018, 1:22 pm

    Yep . I’m with the guy on beautiful wood..I HATE these cheap plastic things and will not buy them…Bell & Carlson or other laid up is fine but not molded plastic which looks cheap..Maybe another $150 for walnut..

  • Norm Fishler February 1, 2018, 11:55 am

    I liked the look of the Christensen Arms arms display. Although $5k is a bit pricey, I figger it’s worth it for all three.

  • tery February 1, 2018, 11:00 am

    Yes I purchase one of each of these.They were so economically priced I may purchase a few more as gifts or beater rifles to throw in the back of truck. Funny these top ten rifle picks the 50+ people I know hunt do not own the expensive ones. When I shoot a 3/4 to 1 1/4 inch group with a Savage Edge or a Ruger American I get thinking?????? Man if I ever get a $3000 – $6000 bolt action rifle I think id get my head checked. I guess I am not a material girl in a material world I am going with the economy model as long as it shoots good and is reliable.

  • kerry purcell February 1, 2018, 9:01 am

    a fine bunch of butt-ugly rifles, with over sized turds for bolt knobs,, a lot of us still use and hunt with the traditional types,,which is lost on most so called gun writers and gun makers,

    • Big John February 1, 2018, 11:16 am

      +1 on your comment, show me a “tacticool” rifle at the range with rails, adjustable cheeks. butts and chassis designs and I’ll show you a guy that is not a “rifleman”. Besides being a shooting brush hooks, they totally lack balance.

      While I agree it is lost on most gun writers, the gun makers see a new niche. Now that they have flooded the market with every conceivable MSR or plastic pistol combination they need to have bolt guns that Walter Mitty can hang every imaginable gadget on.

    • Lee February 1, 2018, 11:19 am

      A lot of rifle makers are trying to jump into the emerging precision rifle game market. Precision Rifle Series, National Rifle League, etc… Its a booming market, literally where the money is.

      I think Ruger is really on the money value wise as far as hunting rifles go. You can pretty much walk into walmart and walk out ready to hunt for $400, with accuracy you just wouldn’t see in that price 10 years ago. Savage is still making the ugliest but best bang for the buck quality product they’ve been making for years. Remington…. man…. what are we going to do with Remington… Everyone makes a great Remington 700 except for Remington hahahahahah…

  • Jeffrey L. Frischkorn February 1, 2018, 8:46 am

    You\’d think that anymore gun writers are also members of the Sierra Club or some other tree-hugging group.. They don\’t seem to understand that a lot of shooters still find a walnut stock – carefully crafter by the fine art of digitalized machinery and Laser engravers – a thing of beauty… Yeah, most of these rifles can shoot the eye of gnat out at 200 or 300 yards but is that more for bragging rights or to get the job done..? I raise my hand for the former.. Sorry, Mr. Conn, but it appears you sped past any rifle display containing high-powered rifles with wooden stocks…

  • Ryan February 1, 2018, 7:23 am

    No price on the most economical rifle of the group?

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