5 Deadly New Sporting Rifles For 2016

From an exciting new caliber, to a must-see ultralight bolt-action and an improved, bombproof premium muzzleloader, the year’s newest hunting rifles have been worth the wait.

by Mark Melotik

HuntStand Pro Contributor MORE FROM Mark

From an exciting new caliber, to a must-see ultralight bolt-action and an improved, bombproof premium muzzleloader, the year’s newest hunting rifles have been worth the wait.


What are the year’s “must-see” new hunting rifles? A very good question, and for the answers, HuntStand hit the road earlier this year to find them. Team HuntStand was among the more than 64,000 industry professionals who attended the 38th Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show held in January in Las Vegas; attendees of the annual SHOT Show also included Presidential candidate Donald Trump, the Duck Commanders, and game-call-making legend Will Primos, but the real “stars” of the show were composed mostly of metal, with composite stocks. Looking for a new hunting rifle or two? Here are a handful of new models worth considering.


Browning Hell’s Canyon Speed Bolt-Action Rifle
If you’re an adventure seeker Browning has built a new rifle to help you succeed. The X-Bolt Hell’s Canyon Speed bolt-action rifle is designed for rough terrain or weather with a composite stock covered with special camo and coating making it easy to grip, while providing concealment and weather resistance. Add Cerakote to metal parts and a Burnt Bronze finish on the barrel and action, which is glass bedded, and you have any extreme hunt covered. The fluted barrel keeps the weight down while the threaded muzzle brake reduces recoil. A thread protector can be screwed into the barrel if you don’t use the brake. Most any shooter will appreciate the target crown, adjustable trigger, 60-degree bolt lift, and a detachable rotary magazine. A tang safety and, bolt unlock button round out the gun, which weighs 6 lbs. 5 oz. to 6 lbs. 13 oz. depending on the caliber. MSRP: $1,199.99 for standard calibers and $1,239.99 for magnum calibers.


Savage Arms 16/116 Lightweight Hunter 
There are lots of hunting situations where we wish we carried less gear and weight. One of the best ways to downsize the load is with a new 16/116 Lightweight Hunter from Savage. Weighing in at just 5 lbs. 10 oz. or 5 lbs. 12 oz. depending on caliber, the lightweight bolt-action rifle is easy to maneuver in tight spaces with a 20-inch barrel, and 40.25-inch overall length. It sports a durable synthetic stock and stainless steel barrel for easy maintenance and use in any environment. Besides having an AccuTrigger, it also features an easily engaged tang-mounted safety and detachable box magazine. The featherweight qualities were engineered by machining out the receiver, fluting the bolt in a fine spiral fashion, and using a 20-inch, light-contour barrel. Savage prides itself on accuracy out of the box and with a hand-straightened, button-rifled barrel, self-adjusting floating bolt head, and locking lugs you know there were no compromises with the Lightweight Hunter. MSRP: $729.





6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum
What came first, the caliber, the cartridge, or the gun? If you’re looking for the ultimate caliber, cartridge and rifle for long-range shooting the 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum will undoubtedly catch your eye. It is the fastest 6.5 cartridge ever made and has the speed and energy to reach out. Weatherby is producing the cartridge with Swift and Barnes bullets, shooting a crazy 3,395 to 3,591 fps. The cartridge is being hailed to shoot 25 to 400-plus yards with a “direct-on” hold through the Weatherby rifles. The unique ballistic coefficient means the energy that each bullet carries downrange is disproportionate to its size, providing great knockdown power downrange. The cartridges are match-grade quality for accuracy and consistency. The 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum will be chambered in the New Mark V family of rifles and offered in the Accumark, Accumark RC and Ultra Lightweight models. Cartridges MSRP: $95 for box of 20; new Mark V MSRP: $2,300.


Traditions Vortek Nitride Muzzleloader
With 30 years of history in the muzzleloader industry, Traditions continues to focus on research and development to bring hunters and shooters better firearms. The Vortek StrikerFire LDR is its premium rifle and this year they’ve made it bombproof by adding a nitride finish. Nitride is a hunter’s best friend providing a durable finish to protect against corrosion, weather, and pitting. The coating can even be added to the inside of the barrel to increase accuracy and ensure improper cleaning doesn’t lead to a pitted bore. The Vortek StrikerFire LDR is a hammerless muzzleloader with a 30-inch barrel, allowing for silent operation and long-range performance. The break-action gun is easy to take apart and clean, and even has extra storage in the butt. MSRP: $614.


Rock River Arms Integrated Rifle Sights Platform
Another exciting introduction at the 2016 SHOT Show, Rock River Arms announced a further development of the company’s Integrated Rifle Sights (IRS) Platform, the IRS-2.  Featuring the raised MS1913 top rail, free-floated aluminum handguards and integrated folding front and rear sights of the original IRS system, the IRS-2 utilizes non-reciprocating ambidextrous forward-mounted side-charging controls. Doing away with the traditional rear-mounted charging handles of traditional “AR” platforms, the shooter no longer has to go through physical contortions and lose cheek weld position when charging the rifle. The IRS-2 is offered in both the LAR-15 and LAR-8 (shown) versions, with calibers ranging from .223 to .308. MSRP: At press time price was tbd, and will vary depending on model configurations.



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