July 31, 2017
Rifle manufacturers are offering one of the widest fields of new guns ever for 2017. With rifle types ranging from ARs to bolt-action chassis guns, there is literally something to fit every shooter's needs from cool new tactical guns to classic hunting models and everything in between. Here are my top 22 picks for the best new rifles for 2017.
Recently branching out into the world of hunting rifles, Barrett has a new bolt-action sporter called the Fieldcraft that features a stainless-steel barrel, receiver, and bolt. The action is hand-bedded into the carbon-fiber stock. The barrels and actions are scaled to the size of each chambering, resulting in lightweight, durable, all-weather rifles. Available in right- or left-hand models, the Fieldcraft is chambered for .22-250, .243 Winchester, .25-06, .270 Winchester, 7mm-08, and .30-06 and has a Timney adjustable trigger. Weights range from 5.0 to 6.0 pounds.
MSRP: Starts at $1,799
Browning BAR Mark 3
The Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) was introduced in 1967 in four standard calibers, and since then it has gone through numerous caliber and grade variations. The new BAR Mark 3 is available in calibers ranging from .243 Winchester to .300 Winchester Magnum. The primary design features have been retained, but the appearance has been gussied up. The receiver has a satin-nickel finish with floral etchings, and the barrel has high-polish bluing. The trigger guard is black synthetic. The wood is Grade II, with a glossy finish and nicely done cut-checkering with delicate double-line border accents on the stock and forearm. Barrel length is 22 or 24 inches depending on the cartridge, and weight ranges from 7.1 to 7.7 pounds.
MSRP: $1,240 to $1,340
The Minimalist-SD is a new compact and lightweight version of the AR-15 from Bushmaster. It's offered in 5.56mm and .300 Blackout with a lightweight chrome-moly barrel with Melonite finish and an AAC 51T flash hider. The 5.56 has a 1:8-inch twist, and the .300 has a quick 1:7-inch twist, so both should be great with heavier bullets. The Advanced Combat Trigger is rated at 5.5 pounds, and the gun is supplied with a 30-round magazine. The upper is the popular A3 flat-top, and the handguard is the rifle-length AAC Square-drop with a full-length rail for optics and accessories; no open sights are provided. The stock is the adjustable Mission First Tactical with a rounded rubber buttpad. Barrel length is 16 inches, and weight is 6 pounds.
CZ-USA 557 Varmint
New to CZ-USA's line of Model 557 short-action rifles is the Varmint chambered in .243 Winchester and .308 Winchester. The 557 is push-feed, and the receiver is precision machined and has a unique "bedding lug" that wedges into the stock as the receiver screw is tightened. The walnut stock has a palmswell, laser-cut stippling, and a flat fore-end. The Varmint's heavy barrel tapers to 0.86 inch at the muzzle. All in all, it's a very nice rifle I'd take varmint hunting anywhere. Barrel length is 25.6 inches, and weight is 10.9 pounds.
Daniel Defense DDM4V7
The new DDM4V7 is all tricked-out with performance features and aesthetics that combine to make a unique AR. In fact, the rifle is a semiautomatic version of what Special Operators and law enforcement SWAT team members use. It is chambered for the 5.56mm, and the lower and upper receivers are made of 7075-T6 aluminum. It has a flared magazine well and a cold hammer-forged, chrome-lined barrel with a 1:7-inch twist and a threaded muzzle equipped with a DD Superior Suppression Device. There are no sights, but the flat-top upper has a rail, plus the free-floated DD MFR XS aluminum handguard has a full-length rail on it. The exterior is coated with mil-spec Heavy Phosphate. Barrel length is 16 inches, and weight is 6.2 pounds.
Available in three action lengths, the new Subalpine bolt-action rifle from Kimber has a reinforced carbon-fiber stock wearing a new soft touch Gore Optifade Subalpine stock treatment. The rifle features a threaded, stainless-steel, fluted barrel; a three-position wing safety; a Mauser-style extractor for controlled-round feeding; and a match-grade chamber. It's offered in .308 Winchester, .280 Ackley Improved, .30-06, .300 WSM, and .300 Winchester Magnum. Barrel length is 22, 24, or 26 inches, and weight ranges from 4.8 to 6.5 pounds.
LWRCI REPR MKII
LWRC International has several new models for 2017, including the REPR MKII 20 chambered for 7.62 NATO. The rifle's NiCorr cold hammer-forged heavy barrel has full-length spiral flutes, and the rifle uses LWRCI's patented short-stroke gas piston system. The rifle has ambidextrous controls, a Geissele SSA-E two-stage trigger, an ULTRA muzzle brake, Skirmish back-up iron sights, a Magpul PRS stock, and a Magpul MOE+ grip. Barrel length is 20 inches, and weight is 10.9 pounds.
Marlin 1895 Limited
Marlin has new editions of the Model 1895 sure to gladden the hearts of serious lever-action fans everywhere. The .45-70 Model 1895LTD Limited Edition features deeply blued metal, an American walnut pistol-grip stock with fancy checkering, and an engraved receiver embellished with the iconic Marlin rifleman in gold. The barrel has deep-cut Ballard-type six-groove rifling with a 1:20-inch twist. Barrel length is 24 inches, and weight is 8 pounds.
Merkel MHR 16
Merkel's MHR 16 is an affordable bolt-action hunting rifle tailored to American tastes. The bolt has three lugs for a 60-degree uplift, and the receiver and standard-contour barrel are cold hammer forged and machined. Stocks are fiberglass reinforced synthetic or walnut, and both versions are available in standard and magnum actions. The caliber list includes the most popular cartridges — from .243 Winchester to .300 Winchester Magnum. Barrel length is 22 or 24 inches, and weights are 7.5 pounds for the wood stock and 6.75 pounds for the synthetic.
MSRP: $799 to $899
Mossberg Patriot Predator
Mossberg has several new rifles, including the Patriot Predator, which is loaded with features and chambered for the .243 Winchester, .308 Winchester, and 6.5 Creedmoor. The fluted barrel is threaded and comes with a muzzle cap. The top-mounted Picatinny rail makes scope mounting a snap, and the oversized bolt handle provides a sure grip even with gloves on. The magazine is a four-round detachable box, and the patented LBA (Light Bolt Action) trigger is user adjustable from 2 to 7 pounds. The stock is a strong, lightweight synthetic. Barrel length is 22 inches, and weight is 6.5 pounds.
Remington Model 700 AWR
For 2017 America's oldest gunmaker offers the new American Wilderness Rifle (AWR), the latest iteration of the Model 700. The AWR's X-Mark Pro trigger is externally adjustable, has zero creep, and provides custom-grade performance. The 416 stainless-steel barrel and action are coated with black Cerakote and anchored in a high-strength and stable synthetic Grayboe stock. The barrel has 5R rifling, and it's offered in .270 Winchester, .30-06, .300 Winchester Magnum, and 7mm Remington Magnum. Barrel length is 24 inches, and weight is 7.4 pounds.
Rock River Arms Predator HP
RRA has added the .243 Winchester, .308 Winchester, and 6.5 Creedmoor to its Predator HP series of ARs. Complete rifles or just uppers are available. With a match-grade stainless-steel barrel, the Predator HP's accuracy is listed as 1 MOA. Barrel length is 16 inches, and weight is 9.2 pounds.
Ruger American Rifle Predator
The Ruger American Rifle Predator (ARP) is relatively new to the marketplace, but it has earned a reputation for combining performance and value. New for 2017, the model is now chambered for the innovative and exciting new 6mm Creedmoor cartridge from Hornady. The new 6mm Creedmoor is built from the ground up to shoot long-for-caliber heavy bullets, and the ARP chambered for it makes a terrific hunting rifle for varmints and medium-size big game. The rifle comes with a one-piece aluminum scope rail installed, and the barreled action is mated to a moss green synthetic stock. Barrel length is 22 inches (1:7.7-inch twist), and weight is 6.6 pounds.
Savage MSR 15
For the first time, Savage produces ARs, and they are offered in two platforms: the midsize MSR 10 and the smaller MSR 15. Both have button-rifled barrels with 5R rifling to enhance accuracy, a slick Melonite QPQ finish inside and out, and furniture from Blackhawk. The MSR 15 comes with a true Wylde chamber, making it totally compatible with all .223 Remington and 5.56mm NATO ammunition. The MSR 15 comes in Recon and Patrol (shown) versions, and both have flip-up open sights. Barrel length is 16.1 inches, and weight ranges from 6.5 to 7.0 pounds.
MSRP: $852 to $999
SIG SAUER M400 V-TAC
The new M400 V-TAC is built in collaboration with retired U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Kyle Lamb, and it features Viking Tactics components. Chambered in 5.56 NATO, the carbine has a Taper-Lok flash hider and an aluminum, free-float V-TAC handguard. Also included are an adjustable V-TAC sling and rifle bag. Barrel length is 16 inches, and weight is 6.25 pounds.
Smith & Wesson M&P10
Smith & Wesson's new M&P10 6.5 Creedmoor rifle has a precision, two-stage match trigger; a 15-inch, free-float Troy Alpha Rail handguard; a Magpul MOE buttstock; and a Magpul MOE Plus pistol grip. Overall length is 39.5 inches. The threaded barrel has 5R rifling in a twist rate of 1:8, and the rifle comes with a 10-round magazine. Barrel length is 20 inches, and weight is 9 pounds.
Springfield Armory SAINT
As highlighted in my recent gun review in the March issue of Shooting Times, Springfield now offers the SAINT AR-style carbine. This 5.56mm AR has a mid-length gas system, a Melonite-coated bore with 1:8-inch twist rate, a Bravo six-position buttstock, and a Bravo PKMR handguard. Barrel length is 16 inches, and weight is 6.7 pounds.
Stag Arms Model 10 and 10S
Stag Arms's new .308-caliber Model 10 and Model 10S ARs feature single-stage triggers, Magpul enhanced trigger guards, Diamondhead VRST handguards, VG6 Gamma compensators, Hogue pistol grips, and Magpul buttstocks. The rifles come with a 10-round magazine. Barrel length is 16 or 18 inches, and weight is 8.3 or 9.4 pounds.
MSRP: $1,570 to $1,615
The synthetic-stocked, bolt-action Compass is now offered in a total of 11 chamberings, including the popular 6.5 Creedmoor. The Creedmoor model Compass has an adjustable match-grade trigger and a 5R-rifled, threaded barrel. Barrel length is 22 inches, and weight is 7.25 pounds.
Tikka T3x TAC A1
For 2017 Tikka has expanded its T3x rifle family. Seven specially designed versions are built for specific segments of the shooting market. The T3x TAC A1 is offered in .260 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester, and its stock has interchangeable pistol grips, a new high-efficiency recoil pad, and a foam insert to reduce noise in the field. The recoil lug is extra strong, and the action's ejection port is larger and angled to make single loading easier. Magazine capacity is 10 rounds. Barrel length is 20 or 24 inches, and weight is 10.3 to 11.3 pounds.
Uberti USA 1886 Hunter Lite
Uberti USA has announced new replicas of the legendary Winchester 1886 big-bore lever-action repeater. One new version is the compact 1886 Hunter Lite. Chambered for .45-70, the rifle has A-Grade walnut stock and forearm and a deep blue and color-casehardened finish, and it will handle Level 2 .45-70 loads (29,000 CUP/psi max). The 1886 Hunter Lite features adjustable sights; the receiver is drilled and tapped for Lyman peep sights; and the tubular magazine holds three rounds. Barrel length is 22 inches, and weight is 7.1 pounds.
The new XPC is a full-house precision chassis rifle based on Winchester's XPR action. It features a fully machined alloy chassis frame; a Magpul PRS Gen III fully adjustable buttstock on an A2 buffer tube; a button-rifled, free-floated, chrome-moly barrel with target crown and threaded muzzle; Winchester's M.O.A. trigger system; a 20-MOA scope rail; an extended, two-piece bolt handle; a Magpul MOE-K grip; and one 10-round Magpul P-MAG AICS magazine and one five-round MDT metal magazine. The XPC is chambered for .243 Winchester, .308 Winchester, and 6.5 Creedmoor. Barrel length is 20 inches, and weight is 10 pounds.