You can use just about any style rifle for hunting, but here are six of the best new hunting rifles for 2022 ideally adapted for either stalking whitetails in a thicket, hoofing it into the backcountry, or for sitting a treestand on a timbered ridge.
Benelli Limited Edition Lupo
If you like a bit of flare in your hunting rifle, the Benelli Limited Edition Lupo might be right up your alley. Unlike most new rifles we’ve seen recently, this rifle has a AA-grade satin walnut stock. It also features a unique gloss finish on the barrel, which is optimized to prevent rust, corrosion, and abrasions. Together they give the Lupo Limited Edition a stylish look. But looks aren’t all this rifle brings to the field. The free-floating barrel is threaded, the trigger is adjustable, and a raised cheek pads mitigates felt facial recoil. The rifle features integrated progressive recoil management and a butt stock with an adjustable length of pull. You can even adjust the trigger reach for custom fit. All these features fall under the category of shooter interface, which relates to your ability to interact with the rifle, and directly impacts shootability. And, after all, a rifle we shoot better is most likely the rifle we’ll hunt with most often. Sling swivel mounts, a detachable magazine, and a two-piece rail for scope mounts are standard. The rifle weighs 7.1 pounds, comes with a 24-inch barrel, and is available chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor or .300 Winchester Magnum. MSRP: $2,199
Browning X-Bolt Speed Long Range – OVIX
Contrary to popular belief, bolt-action rifles designed for taking game at long distances don’t have to be heavy. The new-for-2022 Browning X-Bolt Speed Long Range – OVIX weighs right at 7.5 pounds but is well equipped for stretching the distance. One of the most common features of a long-range hunting rifle is a large riflescope. This usually places the centerline of the scope high above the cheekpiece, often too high to allow for a good cheek weld while shooting. Browning addressed this on the Speed Long Range – OVIX by incorporating an adjustable cheek piece that will perfectly align your eye behind the riflescope. The rifle is also equipped with Browning’s excellent and adjustable Feather trigger. Other features include a target-crowned, free-floated barrel, extended bolt handle, Inflex recoil pad, detachable rotary magazine, and Browning’s famous X-Bolt 60-degree bolt lift. The rifle is offered in 11 long-range capable cartridges, to include the new 6.8 Western, and in all chamberings it’s fitted with a 26-inch fluted barrel, with all metal surfaces having a smoked bronze Cerakote finish. This rifle is designed with cross-canyon shooting in mind. MSRP: $1,399-1,359.99
If you’re one who hunts with an in-line muzzleloading rifle, you’re familiar with CVA. The company has been a major player in the front-stuffer world for almost 50 years. But with their new Cascade rifle, the CVA team believes they have the best bolt-action on the market for less than $700. Just by looking at what this rifle offers, they seem to have a good argument. It has a 4140-carbon steel barrel, and all metal surfaces have a corrosion-resistant Cerakote finish. Muzzles are threaded so you can use a suppressor or an aftermarket muzzle brake. The bolt offers a 70-degree throw, providing plenty of scope clearance, and this is important because the ocular housings on many modern riflescopes are large. The rifle feeds from a flush-fitting detachable magazine and has a two-position safety. CVA uses its own fiberglass reinforced stock, and it has a Veil Wideland camo finish. A Veil Tac Black finish is standard on the short-barrel (SB) version. Maybe most importantly is that the adjustable length of pull makes this a rifle suitable for youths, and it can grow with them. Offered in 12 popular hunting cartridges, the Cascade has a lot going for it. MSRP: $566.95+
Franchi Momentum Elite
Franchi is an Italian gun maker with a well-established reputation for building quality shotguns. Only recently has the company entered the bolt-action rifle market, and they did it with a bang when they introduced the Momentum in 2018. For 2022 Franchi is introducing two new Momentum Elite bolt-action rifles. The first is chambered for the .350 Legend, and it features a True Timber Strata camo finish on a very ergonomic synthetic stock. The .350 Legend is an ideal cartridge for those locations with straight-wall cartridge requirements for deer hunting. The other new Momentum Elite will be chambered for the 6.5 PRC, with an Optifade Elevated II camo stock. Emulating the ballistics of the famous .264 Winchester Magnum, the 6.5 PRC is an ideal big-game cartridge where you might expect to shoot from ridgeline to ridgeline. All Momentum Elite rifles feature a detachable box magazine, muzzle brake, and a one-piece Picatinny rail for scope mounting. For 2022 Franchi is providing two dynamically opposed rifles—one for deer hunting in states with intense rifle restrictions, and another for locations where the only restriction is your shooting ability. MSRP: $899
Marlin 1895 SBL
In 2020 Marlin closed its doors, and for a time many thought that would be the end of more than 150 years of firearms manufacturing. Fortunately, Ruger stepped up and saved Marlin. There was rampant speculation as to what Marlin rifle Ruger would first introduce, and in late 2021 we found out. It would be the 1895 SBL. This is an appropriate choice; the 1895 Marlin deserves the lion’s share of the credit for the revival of the .45-70 cartridge, and the 1895 SBL has become an iconic firearm. It even had a starring role in the movie Wind River. The new 1895 SBL is nearly identical to the original. It retains the big loop lever, the laminated stock, and the XS Sights Lever Rail. But it also now sports a fiber-optic front sight and a threaded muzzle. In addition to these changes, the bolt on the new 1895 SBL features radial fluting. With the wide array of modern .45-70 ammunition, this is a rifle that’s ideal for a bear stand, stalking whitetails or elk in the timber, and even African buffalo, making it one of the best new hunting rifles for 2022. Get in line, they will go fast. MSRP: $1,399
Nosler Model 21
Shooters or hunters who’ve been around the range or the mountain don’t question the quality of anything with the Nosler brand on it. Since the introduction of the Partition bullet in 1948, Nosler has set the standard for bullets, ammunition, and even rifles. The Model 21 is the latest edition to their rifle lineup, and it was obviously created for hunters by hunters. The Model 21 features a wire-EDM-machined receiver, a nitride-coated and fluted bolt, a TriggerTech trigger, a threaded Shilen barrel, and a McMillan carbon-fiber stock. That’s an impressive array of trusted manufactures to collaborate on a rifle. What can you hunt with a Model 21? Well, chamberings start with the .22 Nosler, which is ideal for varmints and predators. Then, of course, there are the usual suspects between 6.5 Creedmoor and .33 Nosler for big game all over the world. If dangerous game is your calling, the Model 21 is also available in .375 H&H. (All Nosler cartridges are available in the Model 21.) Nosler has essentially created one rifle for the world. Finished weights range from 6.8 to 7.1 pounds. MSRP: $2,795
Winchester Model 70 Extreme Hunter – Strata MB
Winchester is looking to continue the legacy of the rifleman’s rifle. Available in 14 different chamberings from .243 Winchester to .300 Winchester Magnum, and including the iconic .264 Winchester Magnum and the newer 6.8 Western, the Model 70 Extreme Hunter – Strata MB should do just that. These rifles feature a free-floating, tungsten Cerakoted barrel, with a muzzle brake, in lengths of 22, 24, or 26 inches.
VIDEO: WINCHESTER MODEL 70 LONG RANGE MB
The rifle’s receiver is steel with a flat dark earth Cerakote finish, and the classic Pre-64 controlled-round-feed action is fitted with Winchester’s M.O.A. trigger system. A hinged floorplate, jeweled bolt body, and knurled bolt handle are standard. One of the rifle’s best features is its rugged, impervious-to-the-elements Bell & Carlson synthetic stock, which has a TrueTimber Strata camo finish and a sculpted cheekpiece. This rifle is designed for those who demand the utmost reliability and seek to get into a legacy rifle that will last for generations. Ideally adapted for big-game hunting from coast to coast in North America and all over the world. MSRP: $1,679.99-1,719.99
Weatherby Backcountry 2.0
When Melvin Forbes of New Ultra Light Arms unveiled his incredibly accurate, and less-than-five-pound bolt-action rifle in 1985, he forever changed the way hunters would look at lightweight rifles. Weatherby has been chasing that standard and has been dedicated to reducing the weight of the hunting rifle without sacrificing precision. The Mark V Backcountry 2.0 is the ultimate expression of that journey. Actual rifle weight will vary with each chambering, but out of the box a Mark V Backcountry 2.0 Ti (titanium action) chambered in .308 Winchester will weight an amazingly light 4.7 pounds. Weatherby achieved this by using a pencil-thin fluted barrel, and what they claim is the lightest carbon-fiber stock in the industry, which is manufactured by Peak 44. These rifles are available in a wide array of conventional and Weatherby chamberings, and the four variants include either a steel or titanium action, with either a steel or a #4 BSF-tensioned carbon-fiber-wrapped barrel. Left-hand versions are also available, and muzzle brakes and a TriggerTech user-adjustable trigger are standard. You’ll have to pay to play; these rifles are not inexpensive. MSRP: $2,499-3,749
Anymore, it’s hard to define exactly what a long-range rifle is. We have long-range rifles for sport shooting, competition, tactical operations, and hunting. Regardless your definition, here are two new options that should do well in any tactical, practical, or hunting, long-range application.
Savage 110 Magpul Hunter
By the name alone it’s obvious that Savage feels this rifle is a hunting rifle. If the way you hunt demands shots at extended range, well, this rifle fits that requirement. But the Savage 110 Magpul Hunter would be equally comfortable in the role of a police sniper rifle or long-range competition rifle. The 110 Magpul Hunter is available chambered for 6.5 Creedmoor or .308 Winchester, both with appropriate fast-twist barrels to stabilize long, sleek, and aerodynamic high-BC bullets.
VIDEO: DEER HUNTING WITH THE SAVAGE IMPULSE RIFLE
It comes standard with a Picatinny rail, the Savage AccuTrigger, and a tactical knurled bolt handle. The barrel is only 18.5 inches long, which makes the rifle ideal for use inside a blind or shoot house, because the overall length is only 38.5 inches. The durable Cerakote finish provides protection from the elements, but the primary appeal of this rifle is the Magpul stock, which offers length-of-pull adjustment, an elevated comb, compatibility with AICS-style magazines, and M-Lok attachment points along the sides and bottom of the forend. The stock is designed to maximize shooter interface, particularly from the prone bipod position. At 8.9 pounds it might be a tad heavy for the hunter, but should shoot the cents off a nickel. MSRP: $1,049
Bergara MG Lite
One look at this rifle and the first thing you’ll think is that it must weigh a ton. It doesn’t. The Bergara MG Lite weighs only 6.8 pounds, which is amazingly light for a chassis-style long-range rifle. The chassis stock is manufactured from magnesium and features a folding butt stock that includes an adjustable comb. M-Lok rail slots decorate the forend, and the entire chassis is finished in burnt bronze Cerakote. Barrel lengths vary from 22 to 24 inches, depending on chambering, which can be in either 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .308 Winchester, or .300 Winchester Magnum. Regardless of chambering, a threaded muzzle and an Omni Muzzle Brake is standard, as is a TriggerTech trigger. Another appealing feature is the compatibility with Remington 700 scope bases, but those with the stronger 8×40 screws. Bergara has established a great reputation for building precision rifles and the MG Lite looks to be an excellent addition to their varied lineup. Yes, this is a serious long-range rifle, but as little as it weighs, it would not drag down a hunter who is headed deep into the mountains. MSRP: $2,999
There was a time when tactical rifles dominated new rifle introductions. Not anymore. Long-range and hunting rifles are now what’s hot. But that hasn’t stopped these three companies from introducing rifles with some tactical personality, while remaining suitable for hunting applications as well.
CZ-USA 600 Trail
This new rifle from CZ-USA might not really belong in any category. It is—more than any other new rifle introduction for 2022—different. The CZ-USA 600 Trail rifle is a compact bolt-action built on a chassis-style frame and it is available chambered for either .223 Remington or 7.62X39 Russian cartridges. The barrel is only 16 inches long and the buttstock is of a four-position, collapsing design. It features an ambidextrous magazine release and safety levers, and it has a long Picatinny rail for optics mounting that should also accommodate a night-vision device. It feeds from detachable magazines and weighs only 6.1 pounds. CZ-USA lists the purpose of the 600 Trail as “utility” and “adventure.” What could you use it for? It has potential as a dedicated marksman rifle in law enforcement—one that would be easy to transport in a cruiser. Similarly, it deserves consideration as a survival or behind-the-truck-seat rifle. One thing’s for sure: Expect to see this unique rifle appear in an adventure movie; it kind of looks like that’s where it came from. Maybe the only category this rifle really and truly fits within is the cool category. MSRP: $1,155.00
Mossberg .300 Blackout Patrol
The .300 Blackout cartridge remains very popular, either in an AR-15 or in a compact bolt-action. It is unquestionably the best subsonic cartridge commercially available today. Mossberg is now offering its MVP Patrol rifle chambered for the .300 Blackout. Like all MVP rifles, the Patrol feeds from a detachable magazine, and in the case of the Blackout version it uses AR15-style magazines. This makes it an ideal companion to an AR-15 in the same chambering. The heavy barrel has the appropriate twist rate (1 in 7) to stabilize heavy subsonic loads, and it’s fitted with open sights and a Picatinny rail. With its 16-inch barrel, overall length is less than a meter, which makes this a compact rifle ideal for transport in vehicles or UTVs. Sure, this rifle has tactical application, but it could also be used for hunting varmints, predators, and big game up to about 300 pounds. After all, some supersonic .300 Blackout loads offer near .30-30 Winchester performance. Regardless of what you want to use it for, at 6.5 pounds it will not weigh you down … or crash your wallet. MSRP: $638
Springfield Armory Saint Edge ATC
Around the turn of the century the AR-15 became the radically modular platform that it is today. You might have thought you’d seen every way this platform could me configured. But you’re wrong. For 2022 Springfield Armory has introduced a truly innovative adaptation of the AR-15. It’s called the Saint Edge ATC and it comes with a three-shot, sub-MOA guarantee. What really sets this rifle apart is the Accurized Tactical Chassis (ATC) monolithic lower. It’s machined from 6061 T6 aluminum and is designed to fully free-float the barrel, barrel nut, and gas system. Not only is there a mechanical advantage to this chassis, but it also looks to be something that will enhance the feel and balance of the rifle. In addition, the chamber in the barrel is cut to .223 Wylde specifications. This means the rifle can safely and accurately fire either .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO ammunition. The standard version is in black, and the Elite version has a coyote brown Cerakote finish and a LaRue Tactical MBT two-stage trigger. A fully adjustable B5 Systems stock is standard. For predator hunting or home defense, this rifle has immense appeal. MSRP: $1,549+