The 10 Most Accurate Factory Hunting Rifles We've Ever Tested

The rifle hunter's primary tool has never been more lethal. Among dozens of field guns we've tested in recent years, these turned in the tightest groups

top precision rifles
Today's factory rifles have never been more accurate.Field & Stream

When it comes to long guns, I get asked two questions more than any others. The first is: "What’s the best rifle money can buy?" Well, if you want an answer to that, pour some whiskey and pull up a chair because there are many layers to that question and we’re going to be here a while. The second question is: "What’s the most accurate rifle made?" The answer to that is a lot simpler.

Over the years I’ve tested dozens of new rifles, putting them all through the same rigorous protocol of shooting multiple 5-shot groups with different types of factory ammo. Good rifles will print some loads very well. Great rifles shoot all kinds of ammo well. This list is comprised of great rifles­—shooters all.

As you’ll see, some are made for competition, and some are made for hunting. Some cost several thousand dollars, and some are inexpensive enough that you might be tempted to buy two, just because. But what they all have in common is a remarkable ability to cluster their shots into tiny groups under real-world conditions. So, to answer that question about the most accurate rifles made—here they are.

1. Seekins Precision Havak Pro Hunter

Seekins Precision Havak Pro Hunter
Seekins Precision Havak Pro Hunter • $2,220Seekins Precision

The Pro Hunter is a near-perfect expression of the modern hunting rifle. While its design is influenced by competition rifles, particularly in the stock, it retains the moderate weight (7.3 pounds) and lively handling that a good big-game rifle requires. The barrel’s spiraling is visually distinctive, and the trigger breaks crisply at 2 pounds 5 ounces.

  • Test Gun: 6.5 PRC
  • Avg. Group: .758 in.
  • Best Group: .483 in.

2. Browning X-Bolt Max Long Range Hunter

Browning X-Bolt Max Long Range Hunter
Browning X-Bolt Max Long Range Hunter • $1,270Browning

Browning’s latest delivers top-notch long-range performance at an attainable price, as the company was able to shave costs by making the new stock in-house. The rifle runs on Browning’s smooth three-lug action and is fed by its rotary magazine, which is easy to load and utterly reliable. My test rifle delivered terrific accuracy with a variety of factory loads.

  • Test Gun: 6.5 CM
  • Avg. Group: .743 in.
  • Best Group: .330 in.

3. Mauser M18

Mauser M18
Mauser M18 • $699Mauser

With a price tag under $700, this Mauser is one of the best deals you’ll find in a traditional big-game rifle. Introduced last year, it is rugged, simple, and accurate. It has a three-lug action that runs smoothly in the receiver, a good trigger, and a stock fashioned in the classic American style. It is chambered in .243 Win., .270 Win., .308 Win., .30/06, 7mm Rem. Mag., and .300 Win. Mag.

  • Test Gun: .308 Win.Avg. Group: .877 in.
  • Best Group: .673 in.

4. Proof Switch

Proof Switch
Proof Switch • $3,999Proof

Off the bench, the Switch is capable of terrific accuracy. Mine, in 6.5 CM, has turned in numerous bug-hole groups, including a .181-inch screamer. But it is a hell of a hunting rifle too. At just under 7.5 pounds, it is super-portable and handy. But the stock is built like a tank, and with a solid rest, the rifle ­really reaches out there. It’s called the Switch because you can easily swap out barrels.

  • Test Gun: 6.5 CM
  • Avg. Group: .598 in.
  • Best group: .181 in.

5. Savage M10 Stealth

Savage M10 Stealth
Savage M10 Stealth • $1,799Savage Arms

This big brute isn’t made for hauling into the mountains. With a 26-inch barrel, oversize muzzle brake, and stout chassis stock, it hits the scales at 11 pounds 12 ounces empty. Chambered in 6mm Creedmoor, it has the ability to hit targets a long way off. With factory Hornady 108-grain ELD Match loads, it shoots .5 MOA (or better), making 1,000-yard hits on steel with relative ease.

  • Test Gun: 6 CM
  • Avg. Group: .774 in.
  • Best Group: .406 in.

6. Christensen Arms MPR

Christensen Arms MPR
Christensen Arms MPR • $2,295;Christensen Arms

This doesn’t look like a traditional hunting rifle, but don’t let that fool you. With carbon fiber on the fore-end and barrel, and a skeletonized folding stock, the MPR weighs just over 8 pounds and is quite portable. My test gun printed many groups with factory ammo in the .4s, making it a great long-range rig. Its TriggerTech Diamond trigger is among the best out there.

  • Test Gun: 6.5 CM
  • Avg. Group: .557 in.
  • Best Group: .401 in.

7. Bergara B-14 HMR

Bergara B-14 HMR
Bergara B-14 HMR • $1,150Bergara

We’ve seen a number of ­tactical-​­hunter hybrids recently, but the B-14 HMR really nailed the concept. It combines a ­competition-​style stock, a heavy barrel, and ­Bergara’s smooth two-lug action, resulting in a 9.5-pound rig that can shoot club matches in summer and be used to hunt big game in fall. It has a lot of nice touches, including flush-​­mounted QD cups and an adjustable cheekpiece.

  • Test Gun: 6.5 CM
  • Avg. Group: .833 in.
  • Best Group: .465 in.

8. BadRock Precision South Fork

BadRock Precision South Fork
BadRock Precision South Fork • $1,999BadRock

The South Fork is one of the new rifles for PRS Production Class, which must cost $2,000 or less. It delivers exceptional accuracy and performance for the price. BadRock is owned by Defiance Machine, the foremost maker of precision-­rifle actions, and uses a Defiance action. The two-lug bolt gun is wickedly fast and easy to run. It makes the toughest targets seem like chip shots.

  • Test Gun: 6 CM
  • Avg. group: .543 in.
  • Best Group: .200 in.

9. Daniel Defense Delta 5

Daniel Defense Delta 5
Daniel Defense Delta 5 • $2,199Daniel Defense

This is an impressive debut for Daniel Defense, which is a newcomer to the bolt-gun scene. This highly accurate, no-nonsense rifle is built around an excellent three-lug action that operates nearly effortlessly. The ergonomics of the stock—particularly the vertical pistol grip—are about the best I’ve ever seen, though the cheekpiece tends to bite the shooter’s face under recoil.

  • Test Gun: .308 Win.
  • Avg. Group: .639 in.
  • Best Group: .346 in.

10. Anschutz 1517 ­American Varminter

Anschutz 1517 ­American Varminter
Anschutz 1517 ­American Varminter • $1,650Anschutz

I fell in love with this little rimfire the moment I brought it to my shoulder and dry-fired the 6-ounce trigger. There’s no such thing as an inaccurate Anschutz, so I wasn’t surprised when it clustered bullets in ragged little holes on target. It has the kind of performance that makes ground squirrels quake in their burrows. The thumbhole stock fits like a custom suit.

  • Test Gun: .17 HMR
  • Avg. Group: .287 in.
  • Best Group: .204 in.