The long-range shooting market is showing no signs of slowing down whatsoever. There are cartridges constantly being developed specifically for this market and the technology behind the ammo, optics and attendant gear continues to evolve. But none of that matters if you don’t have a rifle that can get the job done. Between my own hands-on shooting at Monday’s Industry Day at the Range and nosing around the hundreds of SHOT Show aisles on Tuesday, I found a few rifles that caught my eye as being just about perfect for the long-range shooter or hunter.
Savage MSR 15 Long Range — Savage’s semi-automatic MSR 15 was a hit, and when you combine the new Long Range model with the .224 Valkyrie cartridge, you’ve got a combination that’s hard to beat. The 22-inch stainless steel barrel has been tuned for optimum performance with the .224 Valkyrie and is combined with a two-port muzzle brake that can be adjusted to enhance accuracy. A nickel-boron bolt carrier and a custom-forged upper and lower give a lifetime of service, and the MSR’s gas block can be adjusted to allow the use of a suppressor. The .224 Valkyrie has a low recoil level to begin with, and a gas gun with a muzzle brake will take it down even lower, giving seriously quick follow-up shots.
Ruger Precision Rifle Magnum — Ruger’s Precision Rifle is one of the best values in a bolt-action precision rifle, and it’s now available in .300 Winchester Magnum and .338 Lapua. Using a magnum-length receiver, the RPR Magnum offers the .300 Winchester shooter a perfect platform for launching the longer, high-B.C. bullets, as additional magazine room will accommodate the longer VLD-style bullets without having to seat them too deeply into the case. With a stock fully adjustable for both length of pull and comb height, along with a 26-inch barrel that’s chrome-moly hammer-forged with 5R rifling and an effective muzzle brake, the RPR Magnum makes launching the heavier bullets of the .338 Lapua and .300 Winchester easier on the shoulder. The rifle comes with a 30-MOA Picatinny rail secured with six #8-40 screws, and an 18-inch aluminum handguard with Magpul M-Lok attachment slots. An ambidextrous 45-degree safety gives a nice, positive feel. The Ruger Precision Rifle Magnum Muzzle Brake not only tames the recoil of the big cartridges, it can be tuned to adjust the amount of muzzle jump. If you’re a big fan of the Ruger Precision Rifle and the performance of the big Lapua case and the .300 Winnie, there’s a lot to be happy about here.
Montana Rifle Company Extreme Tactical Hunter — Montana Rifle Company has a well-earned reputation for the integrity and performance of the Model 1999 action; it is surely destined to become one of the classic bolt-action designs. For 2019, Montana has mated that action to a #5 satin stainless steel match-grade barrel to create the Extreme Tactical Hunter. Equally at home in the hunting field or on the target range, Montana’s ETH features the company’s MRC Tactical synthetic stock with a Soft-Pad cheekpiece and graceful palm swell that offers a solid grip on the rifle. The stock’s grip angle is specifically designed for shooting from the prone position. A three-position safety and Timney adjustable trigger round out the receiver features, while the Decelerator recoil pad takes the sting out of even the magnum cartridges. Dual front sling swivels allow the easy attachment of a bipod. The ETH’s barrel, button-rifled and threaded for a muzzle brake or suppressor, is free floated in the stock, and the receiver uses aluminum pillars and glass bedding to maintain solid contact with the stock. The ETH is available in a wide variety of calibers, including .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .26, .28 and .30 Nosler, 7mm Rem Mag., .280 Ackly Improved (seeing a resurrection this year), .308 Win., .300 Win Mag, .300 WSM and .300 RUM. For the shooter who wants the accuracy and long-range potential of the heavier chassis guns, yet the ability to take it to the hunting fields, the Montana Extreme Tactical Hunter makes a whole lot of sense.
Browning X-Bolt Max Long Range — The Browning X-Bolt format is extremely comfortable, with its tang-mounted safety and ergonomic bolt throw. For 2019, Browning introduces the X-Bolt Max Long Range, adding features that the distance shooter and hunter will both require and enjoy. Browning’s composite Max stock is designed from the ground up to give the shooter a comfortable and adjustable platform. Fully adjustable for comb height via a thumbwheel locking screw, the Max stock includes two spacers to extend the length of pull so a custom fit is easy to obtain. A 26-inch stainless steel heavy fluted barrel is threaded for a muzzle brake or suppressor, and a protective thread cap is included should one prefer neither of those options. The black-and-grey speckled finish gives a texture to the stock, enhancing the shooter’s grip. Available in 6mm and 6.5 Creedmoor, .26 and .28 Nosler, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Winchester, .300 WSM, .300 Win Mag. and .300 RUM, the Browning X-Bolt Max Long Range offers something for long-range hunters of many different game species.