Are you confused in deciding which is the best rifle in 2019?
Do not fret, we have been there and trust us, it is not an easy situation to be in. Which is why, we have come with buyer guide to help you choose the best rifle.
In this guide we will be giving a detailed account of the various types of rifles, plus mention all the important factors to consider before buying a best rifle for home defense and in the end, list the most popular rifles available in the market, briefly highlighting their features.
What is a Rifle?
Before we start with the factors to look for, let us understand what qualifies to be rifle. Rifle is a portable long-barreled gun which is designed to be fired from shoulder level, has a long spirally grooved barrel constructed to make a bullet spin and therefore maintaining greater accuracy over long distance.
They are commonly used for warfare, hunting and shooting and can also be used for self-defense purposes.
Different types of Rifles
This is a guide to the five basic rifle actions in use today. It will give you a basic idea of how they work, what are the advantages of owning them and what are their weaknesses. There are five common types of rifle actions; bolt action, lever-action, pump action, semi-automatic action and break-action.
Single shot rifles are generally break or bolt actions. Multiple shot rifles or repeating rifles include the pump-action, lever-action and semi-automatic types. What you have to do is skim through all the types and match the rifle to the type of hunting you favor or the rifle which best suits your self defense purposes.
1. Bolt-Action Rifles
These are not only simple and strong to use but also able to accommodate long cartridges like the .375 H&H. They have the strongest extraction and are extremely reliable and accurate of all action types. It is the best rifle for beginners. To use them you will have to lift the bolt handle up and pull it back to open the action.
If you want to close the action, you will have to push the bolt handle forward and turn the bolt handle down. These actions have extra cartridges in a magazine and therefore are repeaters.
After firing the rifle once, you will have to manually work the bolt because that ejects the empty case and loads a new cartridge from the magazine. It is important to note that various bolt-action rifles come equipped with different kinds of magazines, so you will have to learn where the magazine is and how it works on your rifle.
2. Lever-Action rifles
As the name suggests, these rifles use a lever to load cartridges and unload empty cases. Working the lever helps to move the cartridges from the magazine to the chamber. These are also simple to sue and very reliable. It is not only accurate but also very easy to carry, is quick to get on target and mostly balance very well.
Crucial to note: once a lever-action rifle is cocked, the one way in which you can uncock is to hold the hammer and squeeze the trigger. This can be a little difficult for beginners or novice shooters.
Uncocking it needs skill, strength and some amount of practice. Not every other shooter can control this firearm smoothly. Many lever-actions can have a tubular magazine or some may even have box magazines.
3. Pump-Action rifles
These rifles are also known as slide- action firearms. This rifles action can be worked by pumping or sliding the forend back and forth. Forend is a part of the rifle which is underneath the barrel and is supported by the hand. Top open action you will have to pull the forend back towards the trigger guard.
To close the action you need to push the forend away from the trigger guard. If the gun is ready to be fired, then you shall press a bolt lock lever before the action will open. The lock is generally placed in front or behind the trigger guard.
It is simple and reliable to use. In the hands of an experienced shooter, it gives the most accuracy and works with even more speed. Nevertheless, it is even the best rifle for beginners. It is as strong as the earlier mentioned bolt-action rifles because it locks up the similar way. Pump-action rifles mostly have tubular or box magazines.
4. Semi-Automatic rifles
A semi-automatic rifle is also known as self-loading or auto-loading rifle. But they are not to be called ‘fully automatic firearms’. This rifle works in a way that each time it fires it emits the empty case, and loads fresh cartridges from the magazine every time the trigger is squeezed. The trigger needs to be squeezed for every shot.
The action generally remains open after the final round of ammunition is fired and no more cartridges are left in the magazine.
To operate them you have to open the action by pulling back the handle. A release button shuts the action. If it is a newly bought gun then the action could remain open if the operating handle is pulled all the way back. These rifles too have tubular or box magazines.
These differ from the other mentioned rifles as if the trigger is depressed and there is ammunition in the magazine, then they continue to fire continuously. This is the best rifle for the money as it offers the most decent accuracy. Please note to keep the rifle clean because if you neglect that they can jam on you.
5. Break (or hinge) – Action Rifles
The break action rifle, popularly known as the hinge-action rifle is pretty easy to open, close and check. You just have to push the release lever to one side and the next step is to hold one hand on the grip of the stock and push downward with the other hand to open the action.
Just by looking into the chamber one tell if a break-action rifle is loaded or not. To shut the action you have to push the forend and barrel upward. Break- action rifles may have one or more than one barrels and they do not have magazines.
After shedding light on the different types of rifles available and produced, we hall now proceed to highlight some of the important factors o consider before buying the best rifle for the money.
Important Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Rifles
Define the Need of the Rifle
By now you know that there are five different types of rifles available and there are many different reasons why a person wants to buy a rifle. So before considering buying one you should know the reason behind your purchase.
Some are rifles are best as collectible items, while others are made for sporting action, like shooting trap and hunting, or can be used as self-defense weapons. Whatever be your intended purpose, you need to be sure why you need a rifle and how you intend to use it.
This is the first step and will help to make you choose your firearm easier.
Check up on the State Laws Before Purchasing
While the ownership of a rifle is constitutionally protected, still different states and local municipalities can have various rules of who can buy guns, how many, what kind and from where. If you consult any federal firearms license (FFL) gun dealer, he or she will know the necessary formalities and laws regarding ownership.
It is recommended that you do some amount of research too as it will help to avoid any disappointment after the purchase and clear your doubts. The process of buying a gun can be complex and time-consuming at times, but we highly recommend the transparency of reputable dealers who clearly lay out the process for buying a gun.
Make Sure you Know how to Keep Your Rifle Safe
Buying and keeping rifles is a difficult task because you have to be very responsible to avoid any unfortunate accidents from happening. Keeping gun safe is very important as if any accident happens and harms any other person, you might have to go through a lot.
Make sure you know all the laws regarding keeping firearms and keep them out of children’s reach to avoid any problem because gun are not toys and can be very dangerous for kids. Note that rifles are not easy to conceal as compared to handguns and pistols. So you might just consider buying a gun safe for better protection.
Consider gun Safety and Firearms owner Training Classes
There is no legal requirement in most states to have any sort of training or licensing before owning a firearm. But still education is critical because it will help you operate your weapon more effectively, safely and skillfully. This goes for novice shooters or total beginners in this field.
So you can start with some short training course before purchasing. If you are purchasing a rifle for shooting purposes because you want to inculcate that hobby then training courses become a must. Research online and contact reputable training centers in your city or town.
Ensure the Right Protection for Eyes and Ears
Just as it is important to keep guns safe in your home, it is as crucial to ensure that you wear proper eye care and ear protection. Many people do not bother to consider these things but firearms (especially rifles) can be very loud when they fire.
Even small pieces of metal or even shells emitted after a shot can fly out at your face and damage your eye. So consider buying extra ear plugs or shooting earmuffs and a pair of protective glasses for ultimate protection. Carry all those items in your ammo case along with your ammo.
Nowadays a variety of products are available both online and in stores. The best option is to buy the classic in-ear squishy foam to block any sound from entering the ear or to buy products which deaden the sound as well as allowing you to comfortably have voice calls or listen to music. These are the most advanced products available today.
What Should be the Caliber?
Like any other type of firearm, considering the caliber of a rifle is important too. For those people who want to buy rifles for shooting and sporting action, pick a caliber you have confidence in and learn to shoot well. Smaller hunters or novice ones, those who are sensitive to recoil should likely stick with lighter calibers.
With the right bullets, even the .223 can be an effective rifle for hunting. A step up from there is the .243 caliber which is one of the most popular choices of all times. If you are a skilled hunter and plan on hunting larger game then mid-range calibers like .270 and even.300 will perform a good job.
Note to pick a caliber that fits the area you usually hunt in. If your shots are usually long-range across open plains or fields then choose a flat-shooting caliber because that will offer more space for error in range judgment.
Choose the Right Fit
Whatever caliber you choose, do buy a rifle that fits you. It is tough to accurately shoot in a rifle that is either too long or too short for your arms, especially for beginners. If you get a rifle that doesn’t fit well, then it will increase the felt coil and lead to poor habits in the field or on the range. AR-style rifle is the best if you want ultimate adjustability or a single rifle to fit multiple hunters.
If you are not sure to tell if a rifle fits you well or not then the best step is to shoulder it quickly. Check if it naturally falls into place in the shoulder pocket. Next step is to check if your cheek makes good contact with the stock without having to bend you neck at an uncomfortable angle.
Then check if your eye is in line with either the sights or the scope without you having to move your head back and forth to get the right picture of the sight. If all these points are checked and your answer is yes then the rifle seems to fit you. If any problem then you can adjust the stocks as they can be cut down if too long.
Thicker recoil pads can be added if the stock is too short. If cheeks don’t mat up right then try different stock shapes and various styles or you can add an extra adjustable comb to the stock to fit you well.
Type of Action
Make sure to choose a rifle that fits your hunting and shooting style. If long range accuracy is important to you then it will be difficult to beat a bolt-action rifle. If you need a short, quick handling rifle instead with faster follow-up shots then consider buying an AR or lever action rifle.
If you want a lightweight rifle that adds a bit of a challenge then consider buying the break-action or single-shot action rifle.
If you are still confused about your shooting style or are totally clueless about it, then visit a shooting range near your house or consider joining a short training course to form a style and gather necessary information.
If you hunt in areas that are isolated or remote then you might want to go for a rifle in a popular caliber. It can happen that you might get to the camp and later realize that you have left the ammo at home, probably forgotten.
While most country stores and local sporting goods stores do have at least some variant of the commonly used rounds, but there is a possibility that they might not sell the latest super shot magnum. If such a thing happens and you don’t get your ammo then it might ruin your shooting experience as you will have to go all the way back to your place to get your ammo.
Does it rain frequently where you reside? Or does the temperature keep changing extremely, often on a weekly or daily basis? Then you might require a rifle which has a synthetic stock and a waterproof finish on the exposed metal.
If you buy wooden stocks and expose them frequently to downpour or days of extremely humid weather, then they can swell and it can cause a change the point of impact on your rifle. Standard blue metal can rust most probably after continuous exposure in damp days.
These are some of the points you have to be careful about before considering to buy the best riffle in the world for shooting or self defense. Even the best rifle would not be able to help you if it can’t fit you well or if you are not familiar with basic shooting styles and techniques.
Take care to read about the gun laws in your area, go through all the formalities to insure your rifle. It is recommended to buy a gun safe to protect it from any burglary. And lastly, don’t forget to absolutely be clear about what kind of rifle you want.
The next section of the guide will talk about 12 most popular rifles available online that you can consider buying. You can choose any one of the best rifle to own from the list mentioned ahead.
Top 12 BEST RIFLES in 2018
1. Ruger No. 1 Varminter K1-V-BBZ Rifle
This rifle has been declared the best since its gun test in 2004. It is a brilliant combination of stylish no. 1 action, a latest sizzling varmint round and sub half inch accuracy. This is a great companion to take to a remote field when the prairie dogs beckon in the spring.
The cartridge it employs is .204 Ruger and trigger pull is 5 lb and .2 oz. It is a single shot rifle made of stainless steel with black or gray laminated stock. The length of the rifle is 40 ¼” and the length of the barrel is 24” with a weight of 9 lbs.
2. Marlin 336XLR Rifle
This rifle is from a renowned and trusted brand; Marlin. The accuracy of this rifle is brilliant with a .30-30 cartridge. The trigger pull is 5lb and 11 oz. This is the best rifle ever made because of its spire-point flexible-tip ammunition and a 24” barrel. It is the ultimate long-range evolution of the earlier traditional lever action
Model 336. It also provides weather assistance for those who live in areas where it rains almost all the time. all major components of the firearm are crafted of stainless steel and the woodwork is two-tone laminate. It has a full pistol grip, swivel studs and cut checkering.
3. Runger – 10/22 TAKEDOWN 18.5IN 22 LR STAINLESS 10+1RD
This rifle by Ruger is a very durable design in the long run. Not to mention the brand name which has always been reputed to manufacture rifles which have a great quality and are the most durable. The Ruger and the Remington are competitors in the semi-automatic .22LR regime. Over the years more and more people have voted with their pocketbooks and the Ruger comes out as the number one on the list.
The latest version of this rifle is the take-down version which breaks downs into various component pieces. That is why you can place it easily in your backpack and reassemble it later as the situation demands. It is perfect for those people whose survival plan includes bugging out.
4. Remington 700
Another one from a renowned brand, this rifle has been the ultimate centerpiece of the bolt-action sniper world for decades now. It is the best rifle to buy because of its high quality scope which makes it an ultimate rifle to buy. It is compatible with standard Remington 700 pattern short actions plus stock Remington hinder floor plates.
It is easily upgradeable to removable AICS-spec magazines with the affordable Magpul bolt-action magazine well. It has reinforced polymer shell with type III hard anodized, machine finished, A380 cast aluminum V-bedding block
It accepts all factory barrels of the same brand including VTR triangular barrel contours. The tapered beam design of this rifle provides good rigidity through forend and will free-float compatible barrels. It also includes rubber recoil butt-pad. It has an olive drab green colored finish and accepts most factory and aftermarket triggers.
5. AR-15 Rifle
If you want the best semi-auto rifle with the most accuracy then consider purchasing a scoped AR-15 or at least consider it adding to your list. It is one of the most popular and the best rifle ever made.
The recoil of the 5.56 mm round fired from AR-15 with a good quality buffer is negligible and therefore your aim is less affected. It has the best knock down power and your shots come really quick, with easy acquisition of you second, third, fourth and fifth targets. AR-15 is cheaper that AR-10 and even the 5.56 mm round may be that is why preferred more than AR-10.
6. Brownells- XBRN16E1® RIFLE 5.56MM 20IN BLACK
The Brownwells XBRN16E1 AR-15 rifle is a must have for any firearm enthusiast or a gun collector, who is interested in the history of AR-15 or the M16 rifle. The new firearm is an advanced reproduction of the first AR-style rifle issued to ground troops in the days of the Vietnam War.
It included many of the features that were in the XM15E1 which includes the forward assist, black triangle handguard, and three prong flash hider. The gun has been created using all latest production components and parts.
It is chambered in 5.56 NATO and the length of the rifle is 40 inches. It weighs around 61lbs 13 oz. it comes with a 20-round magazine. It includes all A1-style sights, plus 1:12 rate of twist and gray-anodized receiver.
7. Mossberg – 500 CRUISER 18.5IN 410 BORE BLUE 6+1RD
The Mossberg Cruiser 5+1 pump action shotgun is available in both 20 and 40 gauge. It has a barrel of 18.5” which helps the shooter to have control and generate recoil management while retaining reliable stopping strength.
The 500 cruiser model has a cylinder bore and a bead sight. This rifle is very lightweight and it has a grip which is made of black synthetic.
The finish of the rifle is blue and the magazine type is fixed. It has a capacity of 6+1 rounds. It is the best rifle for home defense as the comfortable grip makes it an easy rifle to start with.
Beginners find it the most easy and smooth rifle to begin with and as many novice shooters have started deciding now to buy rifles for personal safety purposes, this rifle is the best option to consider.
8. Brownells – MODEL BRN-601® RIFLE 5.56MM 20IN GREEN
This one is yet another great model by Brownell. It is designed to offer AR-15 enthusiasts and firearm collectors with a faithful recreation of the first ever AR-15 given to the U.S. military during early 1960s. This can be a classic rifle for firearm collectors and buying it will help them add an eminent element to their AR collection.
The rifle is overall similar in design to the iconic model 601 rifle. But the construction components of this rifle are very different, as it is made from all latest and advanced parts. It is equipped with green furniture and slab-side receivers that are close to the original design as thought out by Eugene Stoner.
It is chambered in 5.56 NATO and the length of the rifle is about 40 inches. Its total weight is 6lbs 11oz and includes one 20- round magazine. It is also equipped with a triangle shaped charging handle, and three prong flash hider and slick side bolt carrier group which make it a best rifle in the world.
9. Ruger® American Rifle® Bolt-Action Rifle with Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×40 Scope
Another amazing product from this great brand, Ruger’s American Rifle bolt-action with Vortex Crossfire is manufactured in America and sports advanced engineering innovations from Ruger.
The trigger is very adjustable’ form 3 to 5 lbs, break clean and offers customization for every individual shooter. It boasts a lightweight black composite stock for a comfortable and natural fit which delivers quickly and offers smooth handling.
The grip serrations it features offer a good hold in sundry conditions. It has a soft-rubber recoil pad which helps to reduce felt recoil. It has dual-cocking cams for better and smoother cycling from the shoulder. The integral block system strongly locks the receiver and free-floats the barrel for unmatched accuracy and to assist easy cleaning.
The rotary-bolt magazine it comes with fits flush and accessorizes the smooth feed cycle. The riflescope boasts total multicoated lenses to increase light transmission for less haze and extra lively colors. It has nitrogen filled tubes which help to prevent internal fogging, plus the hard coat anodized finish of the rifle decreases glare.
10. Tikka T3X Compact Tactical Rifle Bolt-Action Rifles – Blued/Black
What makes this firearm the best rifle to buy is its durability and its weight. This rifle by Tikka is one of the mot sleek, strong, rugged and highly accurate. It is super lightweight and manages to deliver brilliant performance even in extreme conditions.
It is available in .308 win and 6.5 mm Creedmoor, each featuring a ten round steel magazine. This is a multipurpose rifle which is easy to carry when going for shooting or sorting in a rough terrain or remote fields.
The barrel of the rifle is mated to an extremely smooth two lug bolt action with push feed and plunger ejector and teams up with a crisp, single-staged adjustable trigger from 2 to 4 lbs. It boasts a redesigned wider ejection port, metallic bolt shroud and steel recoil lug.
For those shooters who live in extreme humid and rainy weather conditions, not to worry because this model has matte-black synthetic stock with fixed cheekpeice to make it resistant to such weather conditions. The soft rubber coil pad it features helps to absorb mild shock produced due to recoil. It has a single- stage adjustable trigger (2-4 lbs) and 10 round steel box magazine.
11. Marlin® Model 60 .22 LR Semiautomatic Rimfire Rifles
This rifle by Marlin has gained a title as the most popular .22 in the world. This is a Best rifle for beginners and great to introduce youngsters to shooting. It has tubular magazine which holds 14 rounds. The autoloader bolt it features stays open on your last shot and offers a cross-bolt safety. This rifle is equipped with very durable fiberglass filled synthetic stock.
The model boasts a walnut-finish hardwood stock and studs for attaching a sling and a whole pistol grip with modeled-in checkering. The receiver of the firearm is scope mount, plus it has extremely adjustable open rear sight and ramp front sight.
12. Ruger® Precision Rifle™ Bolt-Action Rifle
This rifle by Ruger provides the best long range accuracy and customization level. It comes with a billet- aluminum bolt shroud, a short-action hand guard that increases scope clearance and a hybrid advanced muzzle brake that helps to reduce felt recoil to the maximum. The stock of the rifle comes with QD sling mount, bottom picatinny rail and soft rubber butt pad.
The short action hand guard helps to allow greater level of clearance for the larger objective lenses on long-range optics. The muzzle break minimizes felt recoil by up to 58% thereby enhancing accuracy by reducing fatigue due to shooting during longer strings of fire. It has an oversized bolt handle for positive bolt manipulation.
It features cold-hammer forged 4140 chromoly steel barrel with 5R rifling at minimum bore and groove measurements, minimum headspace and centralized chamber. The three-lug bolt with 70 degree throw it boasts has dual cocking cams and a smooth-running, full-diameter bolt body.
The inline recoil path helps to maximize accuracy and hence makes it the best rifle for the money. The trigger is adjustable from 2.25-lb to 5-lb. pull. The left folding stock hinge of the firearm is attached to an AR-style buffer tube and can easily accept any AR-style stock. It includes two 10 round Magpul magazines.
Choose the Best Rifle Now!
This guide has provided a detailed account of rifles; types of rifles, factors to consider and the popular models you can add to your list. Remember all the key points before purchasing a rifle for the first time, compare the price range, check how comfortably it fits and then only make a final decision.
It can be a little complicated at the start but the more information you keep gathering the easier it becomes, ultimately it will be clear to you that which kind of rifle is the best rifle for you.