The Best New Rifles of 2012

The Thompson/Center Dimension Bolt Action Rifle Platform T/C calls this odd-looking firearm a bolt-action platform, not a rifle. They're not kidding; everything interchanges: bolts, magazines, and barrels. Calibers range from .204 Ruger to .300 Win Mag, and the price is $600 for the rifle, $199 for each additional barrel, and $49 for a new bolt. Also, you can grow root vegetables in the fore-end channel. --David E. Petzal
Mossberg MVP Varmint The Mossberg MVP is the finest centerfire rifle from the company in many years. It is a clever bolt-action that is fed by AR style magazines. Naturally, it is chambered in 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem. The first MVPs were introduced last year but Mossberg is already adding new models to the line. For 2012 it comes in an 18-inch heavy-barreled configuration that should shoot even better than the original, which is really saying something, as the longer-barreled version was a solid sub-MOA rifle when I tested it. It comes with a functional laminate stock and user-adjustable trigger. --John B. Snow
Montana Rifle Company's Dangerous Game Rifle If you want a rifle for messing with death in the long grass, or the medium grass, the DGR (Dangerous Game Rifle) is your huckleberry. It's a stopping gun done right--dead plain, dead reliable, and chambered for the horrifying .505 Gibbs, the appalling .460 Weatherby, and the gentle-as-a-maiden's touch-in-comparison .416 Rigby. For what it is, it's very reasonably priced at $2,399. _ --DEP_
The Savage Lady Hunter Women are turning to the shooting sports in droves, but there is no surplus of good rifles to fit them. Savage has done something about that with this dandy little gun which is scaled down in all dimensions instead of merely having an inch sawed off its stock. Calibers run from .223 to .30/06, and the price is $889. --DEP
Ruger American Rifle The American Rifle is a completely new design that is not based on the Model 77 action. It's synthetic stocked, has a two-stage trigger, aluminum bedding blocks, and a detachable magazine. It retails for $449, and comes in .243, .308, .270, and .30/06. --DEP
Forbes Rifles Model 24B This new bolt gun--the Model 24B--is a semi-custom version of New Ultra Light Arms' illustrious Model 24 but, at $1,500, it costs $2,000 less than the original. It weighs 5 ¼ pounds and comes in .30/06 and .270. I can't tell it from an actual NULA. --DEP
Remington 700 50th Anniversary Edition To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Model 700, Remington is producing a limited run of special edition rifles. These 700s are chambered in 7mm Rem. Mag., the cartridge that debuted with the iconic action. The rifles feature an old-school look with white spacers between the stock and the butt pad, grip cap and ebony forend tip. The barrel is topped with fixed sights and the magazine floorplate heralds the 50th anniversary with a special design. --JS
Winchester Model 70 Jack O'Connor Tribute Edition No one person has been more closely linked with a rifle and cartridge than Jack O'Connor and the Winchester Model 70 in .270 Win. O'Connor, the former shooting editor of Outdoor Life, was a long time champion of this combo and used it on game worldwide. Winchester, marking the 75th anniversary of the Model 70, has come out with a tribute model based on O'Connor's famous "Number 2" rifle, and has produced a gun as close to the original without sending the cost of production through the roof. --JS
Barrett MRAD The MRAD from Barrett is the epitome of the newest generation of tacti-cool bolt guns. It is built for long-range work and designed on a platform that allows for user adjustment of all critical stock dimensions, allowing for precise shooting. At the same time it is built to withstand the rigors of hard use in both the Khyber Pass and at your local gun range. The MRAD is easy to tear down without many tools, so barrel swaps (and, in the future, caliber changes) and maintenance of components like the trigger are simple. --JS
Winchester Model 71 Lever Action There were never a lot of Model 71s made, and it's kind of an odd duck, but there are very few timber rifles as good and it still has plenty of fans. Winchester has brought back the big lever-action in Standard (pictured here) and Deluxe versions for $1,470 and $1,660 respectively. I understand that it's a limited run, so get one most ricky-tick. Or both. --DEP
Nosler M48 Professional The Nosler M48 series is one of the more intelligently designed rifles in recent memory. From butt to crown, it is clear that the M48 was made for hunters by hunters. It is built on a two-lug turn bolt action that is strong, reliable and easy to maintain in the field. The trigger and barrel are both outstanding and the stock is lightweight, comfortable and as strong as a pint of moonshine. The new Professional version features an innovative detachable box magazine and it comes in a variety of delicious calibers, one of which will certainly serve you well._ --JS_

There were more exhibitors and more atendees at this year's SHOT Show than ever before. That means more guns than one could ever see, but we did our best to find the best. Here are David E. Petzal and John Snow's picks for the best rifles from the show floor.