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Colt has an unusual history when it comes to modern bolt-action rifles. From 1973 until l984, the company offered what they called the Colt Sauer rifle. These rifles were made for Colt by Sauer and were generally regarded as very fine. Around the close of the century, Colt purchased Ultra Light Arms from Melvin Forbes. But Colt didn’t actually build what would come to be known as the Colt Light Rifle; instead, they purchased Titan Defense to do that, and only around 6000 rifles were produced. Ultimately, Forbes bought his company back. In 2021, Czech-based firearms manufacturer CZ acquired Colt, and now, for 2024, Colt is again offering a rifle whose design originated elsewhere. Colt calls this new rifle the CBX TAC Hunter, and it’s mostly a different version of a rifle in CZ’s stable—which is far from a bad thing. I got my hands on a new CBX TAC Hunter, installed a Trijicon Credo HX 2.5-15X42mm scope, and put the rifle through the wringer at my home range. Here’s what I learned.

Colt CBX TAC Hunter Specs

The author fires the new CBX TAC Hunter offhand, testing it for balance, handling, and ergonomics. Sabastian “Bat” Mann
  • Length: 39.88 inches
  • Weight: 7 pounds, 3.2 ounces, with empty magazine installed (on my scale)
  • Barrel: 20-inches; 1-in-10 twist; threaded at 9/16-24
  • Action: Bolt-action with 60° throw
  • Trigger: 4.0 pounds (as tested on my scale)
  • Capacity: 5+1 (AICS compatible)
  • Finish: Black Nitride
  • Stock: Synthetic, modular
  • Chambering: 308 Winchester
  • Price: $999

Colt CBX TAC Hunter Overview

Testing the CBX TAC Hunter for precision from a bench rest. Sabastian “Bat” Mann

Currently Colt only offers this new rifle in 308 Winchester. The action, as best as I can tell, is the same as the action that CZ uses on their Model 600 rifles, which is rather unique. The bolt has three, dual lugs—six total—and it operates with a 60° throw. Unlike most three-lug bolt actions, this is sort of a hybrid control-round feed (CRF) design. The bottom section of the bolt face is open to allow the rim of the cartridge to slide up behind the 90° extractor, which is located in the face of one of the lugs.

But control of the cartridge is not realized until the bolt is pushed all the way forward, at which point the extractor grabs the rim. With common CRF actions the bolt takes control of the cartridge as soon as it slips from the magazine box. With push feed (PF) actions you must close the bolt for the extractor to take hold. With the Colt CBX TAC Hunter rifle, if you shove the bolt all the way forward, and then pull it to the rear, it will extract the cartridge and eject it. Ejection is facilitated by a plunger, but unlike most plunger ejectors, the one on the CBX is mechanical, as opposed to spring loaded. This means it’s not exerting pressure on the case head while the cartridge is in the chamber.

Closer looks at the Colt CBX TAC Hunter’s rail, bolt, magazine, and buttstock. Sabastian “Bat” Mann

The CBX has a two-position tang safety, and it locks the bolt handle in the closed position. But there’s a bolt unlock button located on the action just forward of the bolt handle. This unlock button also serves as the bolt release for bolt removal.

The action is drilled and tapped for scope installation, and the rifle ships with a 16-slot Picatinny rail. It also comes standard with a 20-inch button-rifled barrel that tapers to 0.625-inch at the muzzle, which is threaded for a brake or suppressor. Oddly, Colt threaded the muzzle with a 9/16-24 pitch, so you’ll need an adapter if your current suppressor has the more common 5/8-24 pitch. The trigger is a complicated looking affair, but it is user adjustable down to about 2.5 pounds, and it broke very crisply out of the box right at 4 pounds.

The CBX’s muzzle is threaded with a 9/16-24 pitch, so you’ll need an adapter if your current suppressor has the more common 5/8-24 pitch. Sabastian “Bat” Mann

The CBX’s stock is molded grey polymer, with stippling along the sides of the wrist and forend, and the forend has a bit of swell to the bottom edge. There are two sling swivel studs on the forend, and one on the belly of the stock just forward of its toe. There’s also a recess in the bottom of the stock for a bag or for your support hand when shooting from a rest. If you remove the soft rubber buttpad, you can also remove or add spacers to adjust length of pull. And, while the butt pad is off, you can also replace the straight comb with one that’s about ½ inch higher. The bottom “metal” that accepts AICS magazines is made of plastic, and there’s an ambidextrous magazine release just forward of the trigger guard.

Precision Test Results

With Remington’s Premier Long Range load, the CBX’s produced a 5-shot, 100-yard group measuring just 0.447-inch. Sabastian “Bat” Mann

Overall, the rifle averaged 1.32 inches for multiple five-shot groups at 100 yards with three different loads. That said, the rifle did not particularly like Buffalo Bore’s 150-grain TTSX load. If you take that load out of the mix, the average drops to a very respectable 1.14 inches. It did like Remington’s 172-grain Long Range load, and with it I fired one of the smallest groups I’ve fired while evaluating any rifle at Field & Stream. That group measured 0.447-inch. This rifle was a shooter, and should provide all the precision necessary at any reasonable range. Here’s a breakdown of bench-rest testing:

Balance, Handling, Functionality, and Ergonomics

I did all the shooting with a compact 5.7-inch Banish Backcountry suppressor installed. This pushed the rifle’s overall length to 46.33 inches. Yet surprisingly, even with the added 7.8 ounces at the muzzle, and the 22.9 ounce Trijicon Credo HX 2.5-15X42mm riflescope installed, the rifle balanced reasonably well, just about an inch in front of the forward action screw. I mounted the riflescope in medium height Leupold Backcountry rings, placing it just a tad high for an optimum cheek weld. So, a higher comb insert would’ve been appreciated. Given the stock’s modularity, maybe Colt will soon offer one.

The bolt was smooth and fast to operate from the bench and from field positions. There were no failures to extract or eject, but the magazine did inexplicably unseat during recoil a couple times. However, the magazine does not drop free, so I didn’t notice its unlatching until I pulled the trigger, and the rifle did not fire. This gives you an idea of how smooth the action is, it was hard to tell if a round was chambering or if the magazine was empty.

From field positions, I interfaced with the rifle reasonably well, but the stock felt more like an expensive canoe paddle than it did a rifle handle. Recoil was also noticeably stiffer than some of lighter 308 Winchester rifles I’ve tested that came with a better-configured stock.

Final Thoughts on the Colt CBX TAC Hunter

The author shoots a suppressed CBX TAC Hunter from the offhand position. Sabastian “Bat” Mann


  • Very good precision
  • Fast-operating action
  • Safety locks bolt
  • Solid value


  • Unappealing stock ergonomics
  • Unreliable magazine latch

There’s no question this is a fine-shooting rifle. It is modern in looks and configuration, and it exemplifies the hunting/long-range precision rifle crossover style that has become so popular with many hunters. It also outshot some of the rifles we’ve evaluated that cost twice as much. The adjustability inserts for the stock are a nice touch, but to me the stock lacked ergonomic appeal. That said, I don’t think my distaste for the stock substantially hindered my shooting. Considering how well the gun did shoot, I’d say that while the new Colt CBX TAC Hunter rifle is not perfect, it is a solid value—and if you can’t hit what you’re shooting at with it, it’ll most likely be your fault and not the rifle’s.

Read Next: F&S shooting editor, Richard Mann, is busy testing all of the hottest new rifles for 2024. You can check out his other reviews here: Aero Precision SOLUS Hunter Review, Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline Review, Ruger American Gen II Review.