Interested in getting into long range precision shooting? As a former USMC Scout Sniper and a current US Army contractor, I have qualified and tested many “sniper rifles”.
Some of these rifles were fielded to Scout Snipers and Army Snipers, while others didn’t quite make the cut. In this article I’ll be sharing some of my knowledge with you and hopefully help you choose a new rifle to get you into the sport.
First off, understanding the importance of precision shooting is, in my opinion, the most interesting thing in this sport to begin with. Precision weapons have been used to assassinate political figures, high ranking military leaders, and have started and ended many major wars and battles.
One single shot can mean the difference between feeding your family or going hungry. One single shot can turn the tide of a battle and consequently, write history. Let’s look at an example.
May, 1864. Spotsylvania Court house. Union Major-General John Sedwick was watching his troops emplace cannons for an upcoming battle. The cracking of hexagon shaped bullets fired from confederate snipers had Union troops lying down for cover. “I am ashamed of you, they couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance” he said, which would become his last words.
A moment later, a bullet penetrated his skull just under his left eye, dropping him immediately. He was the highest ranking Union officer to be killed in action during the war. One shot.
As time went by, improvements in precision weaponry were made and maximum effective ranges began to increase. It is said that in Vietnam, the average number of rounds expended per kill with the M16 was 50,000. Snipers averaged 3 rounds per kill. That’s a cost difference of $2300 vs. 27 cents. The combat effectiveness of a precision rifle plays psychological terror on an enemy, and the equipment can essentially pay itself off.
Today, precision rifles have come a long way. Specially trained snipers, equipped with the right weapon, have recorded kill shots at incredible distances, with the record being currently held by a Canadian sniper out to 3540m!
Enough with the sniping. Let’s start narrowing down how to find the right rifle for you. The first thing you should consider is how you’re going to be using this rifle. Steel plate shooting? Hunting? Defending your neighbor’s house that’s in another zip code?
Regardless of your intended use case, this guide and list of rifles should definitely help select your next rifle.
For those of you who want to learn more about long range rifles, triggers, stocks, muzzle brakes, suppressors, long range caliber options, scope pairing, types of barrels, barrel harmonics, and more, I recommend reading the guide portion of this article. For those of you who want to skip straight to the rifle reviews, I’ve placed a quick navigation menu below.
- Factors to Consider When Choosing a Long Range Rifle
- Here Are the Best Long Range Rifles
- 15. Sig Cross Rifle
- 14. Mossberg MVP Precision
- 13. Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Target Rifle
- 12. Savage Model 10/110 FCP HS Precision
- 11. Remington 700 5R
- 10. Remington 700 PCR
- 9. Savage Model 10 BA Stealth
- 8. Christensen Arms Modern Precision Rifle
- 7. Daniel Defense Delta 5
- 6. MasterPiece Arms BA Lite PCR
- 5. Remington Model 700 SPS Tactical AAC-SD
- 4. Howa HCR
- 3. Tikka T3x Tac A1 Rifle
- 2. Bergara B14 HMR
- 1. Ruger Precision Rifle
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Long Range Rifle
Long Range Rifle Styles
Target Shooting Rifles
Keep in mind that a good target shooting rifle will generally be much heavier than any other. The increased weight in the barrel and stock adds rigidity to the rifle, which makes it much more precise. These will typically not be practical for your typical elk hunt in which you have to walk 12 miles through the mountains to your hunting spot.
Hunting? You’ll want something lightweight because you’ll likely be going on long hikes around natural obstacles and potentially difficult terrain. Hunting rifles typically are not shot nearly as much as target shooting rifles, therefore a lightweight stock and shaving weight by fluting the barrel might be a good option. Reducing weight may reduce the rigidity and precision of the rifle, but not by much
While looking for a hunting rifle you should be prioritizing getting to your treestand with enough energy to continue the hunt, over a couple of extra pounds for a slight increase in precision. Remember, ounces equal pounds, and pounds equal pain.
Tactical Precision Rifles
Got more of a tactical idea for a precision rifle? Maybe for PRS shooting competitions, or just knowing that you could hit a human sized target at 1,000 yards in a zombie apocalypse? These rifles fall in between a heavy target rifle and a lightweight hunting rifle.
A heavy, bull barrel paired with a lightweight Chassis system typically gives a great precision rifle that the shooter can run with from obstacle to obstacle, taking precision shots at multiple targets in a short time. These are generally the happy medium, which can be carried on a hunting trip and still ping steel at 1,000 yards.
Rating Criteria to Make This List
Here are some criteria rifles had to meet to make this list.
Precision: 1 MOA or better. Face it, if the rifle isn’t holding a 1” group or less at 100 yards, you’re never going to hit human sized targets at 1,000. Toss the rifle and grab a machine gun.
Cost: Less than $2000. Nobody wants to go to the range to do some explosive therapy to come home to an angry wife yelling about how you spent all the savings on ANOTHER gun. We’ve all been there before, right?
Aftermarket parts availability: There’s nothing more convenient than being able to go to your local sporting store and pick up parts that work with your rifle. Or even shopping online for hundreds of aftermarket accessories you can use to tailor your rifle just to you, like a finely fitted suit.
Understanding Precision vs Accuracy
What exactly is precision? Is it the same as accuracy? No, it’s not. Precision is the measured reproducibility or repeatability of a system under unchanged conditions. Accuracy, on the other hand, is a measurement or the degree of closeness to a measurement to a specific target value.
Basically, your rifle either shoots very precisely, or it doesn’t. How accurate you are with that rifle is all on your fundamentals of marksmanship.
Let’s talk about how precision ratings play a role in choosing your first long distance rifle. Many of these precision rifles come with a precision guarantee, usually “1 MOA or less.”
For those of you who do not know, 1 Minute of Angle (MOA) is basically equal to 1 inch at 100 yards. A “three minute gun” would be one that holds a 3 inch group at 100 yards.
For precision and long distance shooting, you want the gun to be as precise as possible. Therefore, strive for the tightest precision rating, such as .5 MOA. If the rifle isn’t shooting 1″ groups or less at 100, it’s not what you want for long distance shooting.
Think about it, 1 MOA means 1″ at 100 yards. That same angle would get you 10″ at 1000. And that three minute gun that’s been tossed around the back of the truck for generations is holding 3″ at 100, which would get you to 9″ at 300.
The best way to find out how precise the rifle is REALLY shooting, is to just ask around the firearms community. Ask people how tight their groups are with a specific rifle, and then ask what type of load they are shooting.
Most precision shooters do their own load development and create their own “recipes” that their rifle shoots most precisely with. Or, ask them which factory off-the-shelf ammo seems to provide the most precise groups.
Long Range Caliber Selection
After you’ve narrowed down the scope of your mission and what you really want out of our precision rifle, let’s make probably the most difficult decision in the selection process. What your rifle is going to be chambered in.
There are so many choices out there. There’s the proven .308 Winchester, the most popular short-action hunting cartridge in the world. The 6.5 Creedmoor, a more recent cartridge designed specifically for long range target shooting, also having success as a good hunting round.
You can go out to extremely long ranges with the .50BMG. And I won’t fail to mention other contenders such as the 408 Chey-Tac, .338 Lapua, 300 Win Mag, etc.
There are so many choices and so much that goes into this decision that ill save it and go in-depth on it in another review. If you’re a beginner looking to get your first precision rifle, I’d recommend a .308 or 6.5 Creedmoor, simply based on the availability. It seems like almost every rifle right now is offered in one of these cartridges and almost every sporting store is basically guaranteed to carry one of these two rounds.
Once you know what style of precision rifle you’re looking for and you’ve decided which cartridge to go with, there are a few other characteristics for you to keep in mind.
Barrels and Barrel Harmonics
Let’s go over barrel harmonics real quick. Every time a round is fired the barrel “whips”. These are microscopic vibrations in the barrel that should be understood. See the picture above for a representation.
The vibrations need to be tamed in order to increase precision. How can that be done? By increasing rigidity. A short, fat barrel, is much harder to whip than a long skinny one. Imagine a short, thick pipe and a long skinny pipe. The long skinny pipe will be much easier to “whip”. This is the idea behind heavy barrels, also known as bull barrels. Another benefit of having a heavy barrel is that there is more metal to conduct heat away from the bore, providing a longer barrel life.
Now let’s get into fluted barrels. Is fluting a barrel bad for accuracy? Not necessarily. The more material that is there, the more rigid the barrel will be.
Imagine taking that short thick pipe we were just talking about, and carving flutes into it. Is it less rigid than it just was? Unfortunately, yes. Is it still more rigid than the long skinny pipe? It depends on the exact dimensions, but most likely yes. The main benefit of fluting a barrel is weight reduction.
As mentioned earlier, ounces equal pounds, and pounds equal pain. Very rough estimate here, but fluting a barrel could get you about a 35% weight reduction, 45% loss of rigidity, and a surface area increase of about 65%.
Increasing the surface area assists in the heats convection process, meaning the heat has much more cooling surface to dissipate from the barrel into the surrounding environment.
Free Floating Barrels
Barrels are considered to be free floating when there is no contact between the barrel and stock.
The barrel is attached to the receiver, which is attached to the stock, but the barrel floats freely without any further contact. This is good, as there is nothing to affect the barrel harmonics or the barrel’s microscopic vibrations. Precision rifles will almost always be free floating.
The golden rule with precision shooting is that consistency is accuracy. If you shoot with a suppressor, always shoot with the suppressor to get the same results. If you shoot one type of ammo, don’t load another type and expect to get the same result.
Say you do not have a free floating barrel, meaning the stock is touching the barrel. And your sling Is attached to the forend of the stock. The tightness of your sling could lead to inconsistent pressures being applied to the barrel, shifting your point of impact around slightly. These slight inconsistencies may seem unimportant and might only cause shifts of about 1/8″ at 100 yards. But, when you get out to 1000 yards, that 1/8″ will open up to 2.5″.Combine a couple of errors and you’ll be seeing a point of impact shift of several inches at longer ranges.
Another thing to keep in mind here is barrel length and rate of twist. You just want the barrel to be long enough to burn off all the powder, and that’s it. Any shorter or longer, and you’ll slow the bullet down. The rate of twist needs to be correct so that it can properly stabilize the projectile in flight. Too fast of a twist, and you’ll over stabilize the bullet. Too slow, and the bullet won’t be properly stabilized. You usually won’t have to worry about this, though, as reputable rifle companies won’t sell a rifle with an improper length or twist ratio.
Types of Barrel Rifling
Here is a good video that explains the differences between the two types of rifling we will be discussing here, conventional and 5R.
A rifled barrel consists of a series of lands and grooves inside the bore. These lands and grooves cause the bullet to spin. The speed of this spin is known as the Rate of Twist (ROT). It is presented in a ratio, inches per turn. So a 1:10 rate of twist means that the bullet will turn one time, every 10 inches. Having a rate of twist too tight, and you can blow out the lands in your barrel and cause serious damage. A twist rate that is too tight can also over-stabilize the bullet, as a rate of twist that is not tight enough will fail to adequately stabilize the bullet in flight.
There are two major types of rifling that I will cover. Conventional rifling, and 5R rifling. Conventional rifling, as pictured above, has 6 lands and groves. They have sharp 90-degree corners from the top of the land to the bottom of the groove. Notice that the lands are perfectly opposite of each other. The bullet will essentially be “pinched” between the lands, leading to the deformation of the bullet under extreme pressure. The 90-degree lands cut the jacket, creating more copper fouling. It is also harder to clean, as the debris is compacted in the corners against the 90-degree lands, which is hard to reach.
The other type of rifling is known as 5R rifling. It was made popular by the US Army’s M24, which was a Remington 700 action fitted with a unique barrel featuring the 5R rifling. The 5R rifling uses 5 lands and grooves, instead of the conventional 6. This places the lands opposite the groves, which reduces the projectile deformation by keeping the round from being “pinched” by lands on opposite sides. This in turn increases projectile uniformity and consistency. The 5R rifling also provides a better gas seal. The lands are beveled out to 110-degrees, instead of 90-degrees. This reduces the amount of copper fouling caused by the lands cutting into the jacket. The 110-degree lands are also easier to clean, as it is easier to reach the debris when it is not packed tightly into a sharp corner.
My intentions are not to steer you away from conventional rifling. If a rifle has conventional rifling, it still will likely shoot just fine. Barrels have been rifled with conventional rifling for a long time without issue and are still being manufactured with conventional rifling. Just understand that 5R rifling is a slightly different, updated method of rifling barrels. There are a few different land profiles to choose from on the market, but these seem to be two of the most popular today.
Now another big one, rifle scopes. This topic is so diverse and so dependent on your shooting goals that it can’t all be covered here. We actually have an entire guide on dedicated to long range scopes here that you can check it if you want an in-depth guide.
What I will touch on is, expect to spend some money. A big mistake a lot of shooters make is not buying a scope that matches the quality of their rifle. What’s the point of having an incredibly precise rifle if you put a beer bottle on top of it as a sight? When it comes to scopes, you generally get what you pay for.
Once the trigger drops the firing pin, the trigger has no affect on precision at all. However, that doesn’t mean go cheap on a trigger. A good trigger will hide a tremendous amount of bad trigger control.
A good shooter can overcome a bad trigger, but I always recommend purchasing a quality trigger, regardless of experience. If you’re flinching, bucking, or jerking the trigger, you’ll notice a decrease in accuracy. Upgrading your trigger can show an increase in accuracy. There are two types of triggers to keep in mind. Single stage and two stage triggers.
Single stage triggers are very basic and simple triggers. In simplified terms, AS the trigger is pulled, the hammer is released.
Two stage triggers are more common in precision rifles. As the name suggests, there are two stages of trigger pull. In the first stage, the trigger is pulled back lightly until a “trigger wall” is felt, at which point it will be slightly harder to pull back, but once the trigger wall is broken, the hammer will be released.
Next, let’s talk about adjusting your trigger. Most triggers either have an adjustable pull weight or are sold in different pull weights. A lighter trigger pull, around 2 pounds, provides that feeling of basically “breathing” on the trigger to fire the weapon. While a heavier pull can be around 9 pounds. The NYC police department outfitted its officers Glocks with a 9 pound trigger pull. This is due to the fact that in high stress situations, such as combat scenarios or even a case of “buck fever” in the tree stand, it is common to lose fine motor skills. This can lead to negligent discharges from people not realizing how much pressure they’re putting on the trigger. A Mil-Spec AR trigger is generally around 4-5 pounds, while precision rifle triggers are commonly found to be around 1.5-2.5 pounds.
In my opinion, this is the fun part. Selecting your stock. You could equip your rifle with a beautiful high gloss American walnut stock or go with a more tactical feel on a McMillian A5.
For precision rifles, stocks are generally made out of fiberglass or carbon fiber. Wooden stocks are more popular in hunting rifles. Keep in mind, however, that wood can warp, swell, or crack over time.
If the barreled action isn’t properly mounted in the stock, the rifle will not shoot to its full potential. A technique known as bedding, can be done to stocks to increase accuracy. Glass bedding involves molding an epoxy based product into the stock to fill in gaps and create a precisely fitted contact surface between the stock and action.
Bedding the action essentially creates a perfect fit for the action to fit inside the stock, eliminating the risk of having the action moving around in the stock. Bedding also increases rigidity and durability, which will provide an increase in precision.
Instead of a stock, there’s the option of a chassis system. Chassis are typically constructed of aluminum. A chassis system is much simpler to install correctly.
Chassis systems have a V block to hold the receiver, with two solid points of contact to keep it in place. This mechanical form of bedding significantly improves accuracy and negates the mess of dealing with liquid bedding compounds. Chassis systems usually offer much more versatility than a standard fiberglass stock.
Many accept AR15 parts and accessories, such a pistol grips, adjustable folding stocks, and rails. They are also often outfitted with detachable magazines. The versatility and customization of a chassis system can really allow the shooter to tailor the rifle to fit their body and style. While a chassis system is often slightly lighter than a stock, a properly bedded stock is normally a little bit more precise.
One other form of bedding is known as pillar bedding. Pillar bedding is a relatively simple gunsmithing technique of using “pillars” to support the rifles action, stopping unwanted movement of the action inside the stock. Bedding pillars are a big help in wood stocks, but are still beneficial in fiberglass/composite stocks as well. If the material the stock is made of can compress, it would benefit from pillars. Therefore, pillars are not needed in a metal bedding block.
As wooden rifles are exposed to temperature and humidity changes, the wood can consequently swell or warp. As the wood expands and contracts due to these changes, accuracy is affected. Shooters would use torque wrenches to tighten action screws, pressing the action tightly against the stock, to eliminate action movement within the stock. This helps maintain accuracy and maintain its point of impact over time. Eventually, shooters found that placing metal sleeves, or pillars, in the action screw holes would ensure the correct and consistent screw torque.
Nine times out of ten, precision rifles on the market today will come with a threaded barrel and thread protector included. What does that mean for you as a consumer?
More research will need to be done on your end to choose a muzzle device that fits your mission and budget. Thinking about skimping on the 100 bucks and running your rifle without one? A muzzle brake or suppressor can drastically reduce felt recoil, leading to much stronger fundamentals like trigger control and follow-through that new and experienced shooters must learn and master. Reduced recoil also allows the shooter to stay on target for a follow up shot if necessary.
Now let’s first break down what a muzzle device is and what it can do to improve your rifle system. They can be divided into four categories: Muzzle Brake, Flash Hider, Compensator, and Suppressor. Since only brakes and suppressors are normally found on precision guns, I’ll focus on those two.
A muzzle brake is a female threaded device that takes the rapidly expanding gas coming out of the barrel and redirects it to the side or at an angle opposite of the bullet direction. By redirecting the gas, the brake acts similar to a reverse thrust system on a jet engine aircraft. This counter acting force does not eliminate recoil, but can reduce it up to 60%. Utilizing a muzzle brake on your precision rifle is recommended for shooting calibers 300 Win Mag and above. Some people would even say all precision rifles, except very heavy light recoiling rifles.
One downside to running a muzzle brake on your system is that it creates added concussive force experienced by the shooter and will negatively affect anything near the muzzle. If you have ever been in a shoot house conducting CQB drills or in direct action urban combat overseas, you definitely know the feeling of your buddy shooting his/her rifle in close proximity to your face. That OOMPHH you feel is what I mean by added concussive force. One anecdote I will share is a buddy of mine was shooting my bolt gun off his tailgate, as most of us do. We were shooting steel across a pond in a sand and gravel pit. I was sitting in my chair in the bed of his truck, spotting for him, trying to find what he was targeting. I looked down one last time to check his barrel location to find his target and the words didn’t come out fast enough….BANG. I forgot to warn him to keep the muzzle away from the taillights. Sure enough… broken taillight. He traversed a bit too far left. If a muzzle brake is a part of your current or future build, be mindful of the direction that your brake is configured when firing close to other objects or people.
That being said, as a precision shooter myself, I prefer to have muzzle brakes on every gun I build. Having that extra edge on recoil management is well worth the added money and slight discomfort.
If you’re new to precision rifles or tactical firearms in general, you’ll be interested to find out that suppressors and muzzle brakes are often designed hand-in-hand to create a modular, user-friendly, gas management system.
Purchasing a suppressor today will require you to file a separate application for a tax-stamp to the ATF, along with with fingerprint cards and $200…the original application fee from 1934. God-Willing, you will receive your approved tax-stamp in approximately 4-8 months, depending on current wait times.
As the market becomes further bombarded by these devices due to a massive increase in popularity, you as a consumer must do your homework.
Suppressors can be broken down into two main categories: direct thread and QD or quick detach. I will briefly cover direct thread suppressors because they just simply aren’t as practical. That being said, direct thread does have its advantages. For one, some say that direct thread cans seal better, therefore less loss of gas coming out of the crown of the barrel. Also, direct thread options overall, are cheaper. You don’t need to buy a certain muzzle device to accept the suppressor like you do with the QD options. However, as an experienced long gun shooter with suppressors, I tend to still lean towards the QD option.
Quick Detach suppressors come in all different sizes and variations. All in all, there are at least six reputable manufacturers who make QD options for your setup. The most common suppressor in this category would be the “30 Cal” can. 30 Cal meaning a suppressor to accommodate the 7.62 class projectile. One major plus to purchasing a “30 Cal” can is that you can mount the same device on your precision bolt gun, as you would on your standard go-to AR-15. Many companies now are building smaller and smaller cans that work just as well and are aesthetically appeasing on smaller guns. Some things to keep in mind while looking for a suppressor to fit your needs…overall weight, length, and diameter, minimum barrel length requirement, decibel rating, and cross platform compatibility.
When talking about suppressor dimensions, the most important question to ask is how you will be using the platform. Most precision shooters will most likely be firing from the prone. If that’s the case, overall weight and length do not matter.
Those of you who will likely be competing in PRS style competitions, you may want to shop around for a smaller, lighter can. Despite what you may have heard, size does not mean better results.
Back in the day (10 years ago) suppressors varied greatly when it came to dB rating. Nowadays most reputable designs all hover around the same rating… 30-35 dB reduction. Keep in mind that the metric used and advertised to display dB rating will be a REDUCTION from the muzzle report without a suppressor. In my opinion, the most important factor in choosing a can is how it will work with your system and how it is mounted. Overall, the most user-friendly and practical mounting application will be the ratchet style QD attachment onto a proprietary muzzle brake. Silencerco, AAC, OSS, Dead-Air, and Surefire are just a few companies that offer great mounting options. Combine a great QD barrel mount with a 30-Cal can and you can greatly expand your suppressor’s ability across several different platforms with just one tax stamp.
Minimum Barrel Length
For us precision shooters, the absolute minimum barrel length expected to see is right around 20″. Some rigs sport an ultra-compact and maneuverable design, reaching down to 16″. Most suppressors will give a minimum barrel length requirement that signifies the shortest barrel length to safely fire a full charge load. You will not have to worry about this unless you will be running an SBR or AR-pistol build.
Lastly, let’s talk about aftermarket parts availability. This isn’t exactly crucial or even necessary at all. It’s really more a convenience thing, but believe me, it can make a difference. There are certain rifles or configurations out there that you really can’t buy many aftermarket accessories for unless they are universal accessories, which might not provide a perfect fit. Many chassis systems nowadays are fitted with AR parts, meaning you can use any AR pistol grips, handguards, or shoulder stocks. There are a lot of bolt action rifles on the market today which accept Accuracy International Chassis System magazines (AICS mags). This seems to be the magazine dominating the bolt action market. It is very convenient to use the same AICS mags in several different rifles.
There are other rifles, like many wood stock hunting rifles, which really can’t even accept any attachments due to the lack of any rails. So if you’re looking to attach night vision devices, or would like the ability to swap parts out as you see fit, you’ll want to keep this in mind as you search for your perfect rifle. If you’re more on the minimalist side and don’t plan on using anything but the rifle and a sandbag, then I wouldn’t worry much about it.
Finishing out the previous decade, we have seen an incredible increase in interest in long range shooting sports. Following this increase of interest came several affordable rifles to get shooters started in the sport. Keep in mind, as with many other things, in precision long range shooting you normally get what you pay for. I have come across many products that are worth paying for, and many products that are overpriced due to an increase of appeal, such as winning a military contract. You get what you pay for, but it is easy to overpay due to collector appeal and other reasons. This is why I have selected and ranked a few rifles that will get you out to 1000 yards, right out of the box, at an affordable price. Just remember, know the scope of your mission, your price range, and learn how to do your research. Use this as a guide to navigate the market. Do your homework and watch reviews. Know the product before you spend your hard earned money on it.
Also, just because the rifle you spent a lot of time and money on doesn’t make the list does not mean you are wrong! There are an incredible amount of precision rifles on the market that you can surely be proud of owning. Everyone has different tastes and different applications for their rifle. These are strictly opinions, based on personal experiences. Your opinions and experiences may vary. If there is a rifle you think is worthy of a mention on this list, let me and everyone else know in the comments!
Here Are the Best Long Range Rifles
15. Sig Cross Rifle
Estimated Price: $1700-$1800
Weight: Under 6.5 pounds
Available Calibers: 6.5 Creedmoor, .308WIN, and Sig 277 Fury.
My Review: Sig has been a major name in the gun game for decades, however, only recently decided to throw their hat into the precision rifle business.
I have personally handled this rifle, but have not shot it yet, which is why it’s not ranked higher on this list. What I do know is, this rifle struck me as what (in the Marine Corps) we called an urban sniper rifle.
I was surprised by how small and lightweight it is. I felt like I could put it in my 72 hour pack, whip it out and engage within seconds, similar to a lightweight AR pistol or SBR. This rifle is fully made by Sig Sauer, and is sporting a precision-style skeletonized folding stock, which really helps get the rifle down to a folded length of no less than 25”-36” (model dependent)!
The stock has an adjustable cheek piece and adjustable length of pull. The one piece aluminum receiver houses a 2 stage, match grade trigger adjustable from 2.5-4lbs.The three lug bolt has a 60 degree throw, the safety is ambidextrous, and there is a Picatinny rail for mounting optics. Barrels are 16-18”, depending on caliber. This rifle is complete with a 5 round AICS magazine. MSRP is $1779. I can’t tell exactly how the rifle shoots, because I haven’t tested it myself, but as soon as I have I will update this page. I have been told it shoots “great” out to at least 600 yards.
Here is a good video review of the Sig Cross Rifle that I found on YouTube if you want to learn more about it.
14. Mossberg MVP Precision
Estimated Price: $900-$1100
Weight: 9.2-10 pounds
Available Calibers: .308WIN, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .224 Valkyrie.
My Review: The Mossberg MVP precision is a pretty unique rifle. It’s dropped in a Mossberg made chassis system with Luth-AR’s MBA-3 adjustable buttstock. The chassis also sports a 20 MOA rail, M-Lok slotted forend, and a fully enclosed action.
By far the coolest thing about this rifle is the magazine versatility. The MVP precision accepts AR-10 magazines, M1A, and M14 magazines!
This rifle is offered in .308WIN, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .224 Valkyrie. The barrels are 20” threaded bull barrels, except the 6.5 Creedmoor comes with a barrel 4” longer than the others at 24”. The barrels are button rifled 4140 steel with 5R rifling. Mossberg’s Lightning Bolt Action trigger is adjustable from 3-7 pounds, and is set in an oversized trigger guard, so if you’re into shooting with gloves on, this might be nice for you. Out of the box, with factory ammo, expect around 1 MOA or less, and to be able to reach out past 1,000 yards.
Here is a good video review of the Mossberg MVP Precision Rifle that I found on YouTube if you want to learn more about it.
13. Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Target Rifle
Estimated Price: $1100-$1250
Weight: 11 pounds
Available Calibers: 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .204 Ruger, and .308 Win.
My Review: The Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Target (LRT) might feel like shooting a brick, but the 11lb rifle provides the precision to make it a rifle you don’t want to overlook.
This rifle was designed to take the beating of a .300 Win Mag cartridge but is also available chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .204 Ruger, and .308 Win.
The rifle sits in a composite stock, adding weight and rigidity to the rifle. The stock has adjustable comb height and length of pull to set into the shooter’s body comfortably.
It’s complete with a flush-mounted M-LOK lower rail and QD points to attach bipods or slings as you see fit. The 26” heavy barrel is fitted with the Ruger Precision Rifle Hybrid Muzzle Brake to reduce recoil and make this rifle slightly more comfortable to shoot. This rifle also utilizes 5R rifling in its free floating barrel.
The Ruger Hawkeye LRT utilizes a 2 stage trigger and is fed by AICS mags. Take this Tack driver home for around $1000 and you’ll be shooting ¾ MOA right out of the box. Whether you’re hunting or target shooting, you’ll be capable of hitting out to 1000 yards with this rifle without any worries.
Here is a good video review of the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Target Rifle that I found on YouTube if you want to learn more about it.
12. Savage Model 10/110 FCP HS Precision
Estimated Price: $900-$1300
Weight: 9-10.7 pounds
Available Calibers: .300 Win Mag and .338 Lapua.
My Review: Savage is an American company, with American history. Savage paired with Auto Ordinance in WWII to produce the famed Thompson submachine gun. Shortly after, Savage produced 30 and 50 caliber Browning Machine Guns for the military. They also produced over 1.2 million Lee Enfield rifles for the British. Today, Savage manufactures several rifles well known for their precision, including the Model 10.
The Savage Model 10 is a good choice for any hunter, competition shooter, or military/police unit. The model 10/110 FCP HS Precision will really reach out and go the distance. This factory blueprinted action is set in a HS Precision fiberglass stick made with an aluminum V-block bedding system. This secures the action firmly to the stock, eliminating any chance of movement, even in the large .300 Win Mag and .338 Lapua Mag round it comes chambered in. The 24″ (.300WM) or 26″ (.338LM) heavy barrel is fluted, threaded, and fitted with a muzzle brake to manage some of the recoil.
It is complete with Savage’s adjustable Accutrigger and oversized bolt knob. Take this rifle out of the box, add a scope, and your 1000 yard target might as well be at 400 yards.
Here is a good video review of the Savage Model 10 that I found on YouTube if you want to learn more about it.
11. Remington 700 5R
Estimated Price: $900-$1100
Weight: 8.5 pounds
Available Calibers: .223 Rem, .300 Win Mag, and .308 Win.
My Review: Let me start out by saying this won’t be the only Remington 700 on this list. Some of the other rifles on here that aren’t Remington 700s are still a clone of the famous Model 700 action.
Many military units have chosen, customized and fielded the Remington 700 as their respective sniper rifle. The USMC M40s and the Army’s M24s are perfect examples.
The 700 5R is offered in .223 Rem, .300 Win Mag, and .308 Win. The interesting thing about the Remington 700 5r chambered in .308, is that the rate of twist is 1:11-¼. This is a unique barrel with the same caliber, rate of twist, and rifling as the Army’s M24 SWS. They have heavy, bull barrels, and are threaded. The Remington 700 5R Gen 2 has fluted barrels, but the Gen 1’s do not. The action is set in the H.S. Precision composite stock, which has full-length aluminum bedding blocks.
This model does not have detachable box magazines, which I actually prefer in a hunting rifle. Like other Remington 700s, it is equipped with the X-Mark Pro trigger. Out of the box, you can expect ½ to ¾ MOA with factory loads. It is an affordable and precise rifle and like all other Remington 700’s the aftermarket accessories are endless. Drop the barreled action in a chassis, or in a classy Boyd’s wood stock. Whatever your taste is, you can turn this rifle into anything you want and still nail targets at 1000 yards!
Other Remington 700 5r variants:
Remington 700 Magpul and the Remington 700 PCR (below)
10. Remington 700 PCR
Estimated Price: $800-$900
Weight: 10.5 pounds
Available Calibers: .260 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win.
My Review: The Remington 700 is a tried and true, great selection for any type of shooting. Target shooters, hunters, snipers, collectors, there is a Remington 700 out there for you.
The Remington 700 is one of the most customizable firearms on the market. The model 700 PCR is one made for long range shooting. The 700 PCR is set in the Magpul PRS Gen 3 chassis, a Teflon coated chassis paired with an aluminum handguard, and magpul pistol grip. It is chambered in .260 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win. The free floating, threaded barrels are all 24”, with 5R rifling.
The rifle utilizes detachable AICS magazines, an adjustable buttstock, and an adjustable X-Mark Pro trigger. The trigger is externally adjustable, and is factory set to 3.5lbs, but is adjustable to 2.5 lbs. The 700 PCR is equipped with a 7.38-inch-long optics rail with 16 cross-slots, ready to mount a scope at wherever is most fitting to you. As with many other Remington 700’s, the PCR is factory tested with Remington’s Computer aided targeting system, and won’t reach your hands unless it is confirmed to shoot sub minute accuracy!
^Keep an eye out for the Remington 700 PCR E (enhanced), announced at the 2020 Shot Show in Vegas!
Here is a good first look video of Remington 700 PCR Enhanced that I found on YouTube if you want to learn more about it.
9. Savage Model 10 BA Stealth
Estimated Price: $900-$1050
Weight: 9.6 pounds
Available Calibers: .223 Rem, .308 Win, and 6.5 Creedmoor.
My Review: This rifle is comprised of Savages factory blueprinted Model 10 short action, offered in .223 Rem, .308 Win, and 6.5 Creedmoor. If you are a long action fan, savage offers a long action model 110 BA stealth chambered in .300 Win Mag and .338 Lapua Mag. My favorite thing about this rifle is the Drake Associates Hunter Stalker Chassis. This chassis is machined from a single piece of aluminum.
It is relatively lightweight and exposes the majority of the 16-24″ fluted barrels. The barrels have 5R rifling, which I always find appealing. These barrels come threaded, ready for muzzle devices. I would recommend one, due to this rifle being fairly lighter, it does have a fair kick to it. The buttstock included is the FAB Defense GL-Shock, which comes with a fully adjustable cheek riser and adjustable length of pull. The buttstock is also fitted with a rubber buttpad for added comfort, and has quick detatch sling swivels on both sides.
Like other Savages, this rifle is also equipped with their AccuTrigger, adjustable from 1.5 to 6 pounds. This rifle will accurately hit out to 1000 yards and will shoot just under 1 MOA out of the box with factory ammo, but of course, groups can tighten up with hand loads!
Here is a good video review of the Savage Model 10 BA Stealth that I found on YouTube if you want to learn more about it.
8. Christensen Arms Modern Precision Rifle
Estimated Price: $2000
Weight: 6.9 to 8.1 pounds
Available Calibers: .223 REM, 6MM Creedmoor, 6.5PRC, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308WIN, 300WM, .300NM, .300PRC, and .338LM.
My Review: The Christensen Arms Modern Precision Rifle is a great long range rifle. I dropped this rifle a couple slots from the top only because of the price. But don’t be fooled, this rifle will still easily keep up with the top 5 rifles of this list.
The Christensen Arms aluminum V bedded chassis has an adjustable length of pull, cheek riser, and foldable stock. Attached to the Remington-700 footprint receiver is a button rifled, free floating barrel with a threaded muzzle. One unique thing about this rifle is that is has a carbon fiber wrapped, 16-27” barrel.
The twin lug, spiral fluted bolt has an M16 style extractor, with an oversized and fluted bolt knob. This rifle utilizes the versatile AICS style magazines. The MPR can be purchased chambered in a numerous amount of cartridges, including .223 REM, 6MM Creedmoor, 6.5PRC, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308WIN, 300WM, .300NM, .300PRC, and .338LM. Odds are, this rifle is offered in your cartridge of choice! I have seen this rifle shoot factory ammunition often around .75 – 1 MOA. However, with hand loads, it should tighten the group down to at least .50 MOA. In fact, the rifle comes with a sub MOA guarantee!
Here is a good video review of the Christensen Arms MPR that I found on YouTube if you want to learn more about it.
7. Daniel Defense Delta 5
Estimated Price: $1999
Weight: 8.9-9.5 pounds
Available Calibers: .308WIN, 6.5Creedmoor, and the 7mm-08REM.
My Review: The Daniel Defense Delta 5, like the Christensen MPR is only low on the list due to the price point. At right around $2,000 the costly price hurt its rating. However the accuracy and quality of the rifle is nothing to overlook. This rifle is still a serious competitor with most other rifles on this list.
Daniel Defense made this rifle from buttstock to muzzle (except the trigger) with quality and precision in mind. By far the most awesome thing about this weapon is the ability to swap barrels in your own garage. With the user interchangeable barrels, you can actually change your rifle to shoot a different cartridge.
Want a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle, but have plenty of .308s laying around? Just buy both barrels and shoot both cartridges! The barrels are threaded, 20-24” long.
The mechanically bedded stainless steel action with integral recoil lug is set into a carbon fiber reinforced, polymer stock with an adjustable cheek riser and buttstock. The Delta 5 is complete with an adjustable single stage Timney Elite Hunter, from 1.5-4lbs.
This rifle comes with a 5 round AICS magazine, and more importantly, a 0.75 or less MOA guarantee from Daniel Defense! This is truly a versatile, awesome, and precise rifle. If it were a couple hundred dollars cheaper, it would be much higher on this list. However, a “cool factor” was not something I used to place the rifles. For something much cheaper, you can still shoot .75 MOA groups. Regardless, I would highly recommend this rifle for long range precision shooting, hunting, or any other shooting sport you have in mind.
Here is a good video review of the Daniel Defense Delta 5 that I found on YouTube if you want to learn more about it.
6. MasterPiece Arms BA Lite PCR
Estimated Price: $1999
Weight: 11.5 pounds
Available Calibers: .223, .308, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5PRC, and 6mm Creedmoor.
My Review: MasterPiece Arms (MPA) has to be my most respected, and favorite, rifle company. The list of victories MPA has claimed is so long that I won’t even begin to name them. Check out some of their victories here for yourself.
The MPA BA Lite PCR is an MPA/Curtis action set into MPA’s famous and unmatched, BA Hybrid Chassis. The Chassis is aluminum, with a V bedding system with additional clearance for glass bedding. It has an adjustable cheek piece, and length of pull. The chassis also has a built in inclinometer, which is unique and convenient.
The BA Lite PCR has a 20 MOA scope rail, a Trigger Tech trigger, and a 3 lug bolt with a 60 degree bolt throw. The barrel is a 26” M24 contour, X-caliber barrel blank, chambered by MPA. It is offered in .223, .308, 6.5Creedmoor, 6.5PRC, and 6mm Creedmoor.
All MPA rifles 6.5mm or smaller have a 0.375 MOA accuracy guarantee, while rifles larger than 6.5mm come with a 0.5 MOA guarantee. New to hand loads, or don’t have the time to do your own load development? MPA will do the load development for you from $350+ depending on your package. MPA also has a custom shop, where you can customize your rifle and make it literally anything you want it to be. Chose between 5 different chassis, over 30 calibers, barrel lengths, contours, twist rates, colors, and many other options. The 0.375 MOA accuracy guarantee, is the tightest precision rating guarantee you will see on this page, and probably anywhere.
Here is a good video review of the MasterPiece Arms BA Lite PCR that I found on YouTube if you want to learn more about it.
5. Remington Model 700 SPS Tactical AAC-SD
Estimated Price: $700-$850
Weight: 7.5 pounds
Available Calibers: .308 Win (20″), or 6.5 Creedmoor (22″).
My Review: The Remington 700 has found extreme favor among sportsmen and target shooters. Numerous police forces and branches of the military use custom Remington 700s as marksmen and sniper rifles.
A large number of rifles on the market today are clones of the Remington 700. There are currently millions of 700 action based rifles in circulation today. If you look at the first picture on this page, you’ll see myself holding my M40A6, which is a Remington 700.
There are an infinite amount of aftermarket parts and accessories to this platform. Stocks, Chassis, custom gunsmithing, mounts, it doesn’t matter. You can do anything to this rifle. The model 700 SPS Tactical AAC-SD comes chambered in .308 Win (20″), or 6.5 Creedmoor (22″). They are heavy bull barrels and are threaded to accept any muzzle device of your choice.
The barreled action sits on Hougue’s Overmolded Ghillie Green stock. This pillar bedded polymer stock is reinforced with fiberglass, providing rigidity and allowing the barrel to remain free floating. This rifle is complete with the X-Mark Pro externally adjustable trigger system, factory set at 3½ lbs. and adjustable to 2½ lbs. This trigger is often replaced with an aftermarket trigger.
Regardless, this rifle straight out of the box will get you sub 1 MOA and will successfully hit targets at 1000 yards.
Here is a good video review of the Remington 700 SPS that I found on YouTube if you want to learn more about it.
4. Howa HCR
Estimated Price: $1000
Weight: 10 pounds
Available Calibers: .308 Win, .243 Win, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .300 Win Mag.
My Review: Howa rifles are made by Howa Machinery, in Japan. Yes, they are Japanese rifles and they are surprisingly good quality.
The Howa Chassis Rifle, or HCR, is Howa’s 1500 action, fitted into an Accurate-Mag aluminum chassis, along with an M-Lok fore-end around a free floating 20” to 26” threaded barrel, in standard or heavy contour. It includes The HACT 2-stage trigger set at 3lbs. It also comes with LUTH-AR’s fully adjustable MBA-3 buttstock. This gives the shooter six positions of adjustment in length of pull, along with an ambidextrous comb to adjust to the cheek weld. Complete with an ERGO grip, the HCR accepts all AR-style furniture to stretch customization ability.
This rifle is another great combination of a competition rifle that can also be taken on a hunt out in the woods. It’s not overly heavy and can be side folded to fit easier in a pack. Fortunately, this rifle does take standard AICS magazines which are easy to find and versatile. The HCR is available chambered in .308 Win, .243 Win, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .300 Win Mag. It is often offered in a package paired with a scope, ready to ding steel at 1000+ yards. Howa guarantees the HCR with a sub-moa guarantee and a lifetime warranty!
Here is a good video review of the Howa HCR that I found on YouTube if you want to learn more about it.
3. Tikka T3x Tac A1 Rifle
Estimated Price: $1800
Weight: 9.5 pounds
Available Calibers: 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 win, and .260 Rem.
My Review: Tikka was founded in the early 1920’s in Finland. 100 years of quality gunsmithing has earned Tikka a top spot in the precision rifle market. Simo Hayha, the legendary Finish sniper of the 1939 Winter War, credited with 259 sniper kills, would surely be proud to carry this rifle into battle.
Unlike most popular bolt action rifles, the t3x is not a Remington 700 clone. There are no clone actions that share the same footprint. Tikka designed the action and then designed a chassis system specifically for the action. The center of the chassis is a solid aluminum block that houses the action, magazine, trigger, and serves as the anchor to the side folding stock.
It is equipped with an adjustable two stage trigger, an M-Lok fore-end with QD mounts, a side folding stock with adjustable length of pull and cheekpiece, and a free-floating threaded barrel. The efficiently designed bolt lugs provide a shorter bolt throw than most two lug bolts, which lead to light and fast cycling of the bolt.
The T3x does not accept standard AICS magazines and instead uses tikkas own center feed, double stack magazines which sell for around $40-$50 for a 5 round magazine. This 9.5lb rifle comes chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 win, and .260 Rem. Tikka guarantees all T3x rifles at 1 MOA accuracy, but you can expect much tighter groups with quality ammunition.
Here is a good video review of the Tikka T3x Tac A1 Rifle that I found on YouTube if you want to learn more about it.
2. Bergara B14 HMR
Estimated Price: $875-$1000
Weight: 9.15 pounds
Available Calibers: .22-250, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag, 300 PRC, and .450 Bushmaster.
My Review: The Bergara B14 HMR (Hunting and Match Rifle) comes from a Spanish manufacturer in Bergara, Spain.
This rifle really is a great combination of a lightweight hunting rifle and a rigid match rifle. You could take it straight off the range after a day of steel plate shooting, to a hunting trip hiking through the woods.
While taking on more of a traditional hunting rifle look, the buttstock still has an adjustable length of pull and adjustable cheek piece! Fitted inside the polymer stock is what Bergara calls their “mini chassis”. Running from the grip to the forend, this aluminum skeleton really gives this work of art the rigidity it needs to provide extreme precision.
The bolt runs quick and smooth and feeds cleanly with its extremely versatile AICS magazines. It’s equipped with the Bergara curved trigger set at about 3lbs. This rifle is available in .22-250, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag, 300 PRC, and .450 Bushmaster. While it comes with a 20″-26″ threaded barrel, it does not come with a muzzle device, instead, a thread protector is included. All B14 rifles are guaranteed by Bergara to produce 1 MOA groups at 100 yards with quality off the shelf ammo.
Here is a good video review of the Bergara B14 HMR that I found on YouTube if you want to learn more about it.
1. Ruger Precision Rifle
Estimated Price: $1300-$2100
Weight: 9.8-15.2 pounds
Available Calibers: .308, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, 6mm Creedmoor, .338 Lapua Mag, 300 Win Mag, and 300 PRC.
My Review: The Ruger Precision Rifle is a serious rifle for the money. It has been a hot seller since the day it was released and it just seems like people cannot get enough of the RPR. I even believe that the RPR is a major reason for the increase of interest in long range precision shooting.
The bolt action rifle, based off the looks of the MSR, is equipped with a fully adjustable skeleton style buttstock, but can be swapped with any AR shoulder stock. The aftermarket parts available to the RPR are endless. It is sporting a threaded, Cold hammer-forged, chrome-moly steel barrel with 5R Rifling, an externally adjustable 2.25lb-5lb Ruger Marksman Adjustable trigger, the RPR Hybrid muzzle brake, and an aluminum free floating handguard.
As mentioned before, all of these parts can be easily swapped at home, and customization possibilities are endless. The RPR is offered in 15 models .308, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, 6mm Creedmoor, .338 Lapua Mag, 300 Win Mag, and 300 PRC. Average group sizes are around ½ MOA with factory loads. Grab one of these rifles at almost any reputable gun store, equip a decent scope, and you’ll be ready to take on targets stretching out EASILY to 1000 yards.
Here is a good video review of the Ruger Precision Rifle that I found on YouTube if you want to learn more about it.
As mentioned earlier, there are lots of great long range rifles out there. Let me know your favorites or if there are any that you think should be included on this list.
Corporal McMahon is a former 0317 Scout Sniper with 1st BN 2nd Marines. He served as team leader for a scout sniper team during the 22nd MEU. Shortly after leaving the Marine Corps, McMahon became a contractor for the US Army, testing small arms and large caliber weapons for potential military contracts. In his spare time, he is an avid gun collector, hunter, and outdoorsman. He is also a passionate supporter of the Second Amendment.