When you are looking to buy a mountain hunting rifle, it has to overcome three obstacles with ease.
1. It has to be durable enough to weather any storm. Whether it be dust, dirt, snow, rain, or hail, the rifle has to hold up to the elements like the mighty Thor himself.
2. It needs to be accurate and powerful enough to drop big games from a distance. This means tight tolerances and perfect barrels are required.
3. It needs to be lightweight. A mountain hunting rifle needs to be so light that you don’t even know you are carrying it on your back. 7 or 8 pounds can quickly turn into 50 if you have been hiking through treacherous terrain for hours. The rifle needs to be light enough that you can still aim when you eventually come across your prey. It also needs to be able to handle recoil, so if it’s too light, expect some sway and a greater snap from recoil.
The guns in this topic have been selected because they gracefully overcome these obstacles, and some exceed these expectations.
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Bergara has made a solid name for themselves in the weapons manufacturing industry. Their secret to success lies in the expert craftsmanship of their barrels. Bergara uses state-of-the-art machinery and decades of barrel making experience to construct the perfect mountain hunting rifle. The Bergara Mountain 2.0 is a testament to their commitment to quality and superior manufacturing.
Every aspect of this rifle exudes a quality that you can see and feel. The stock is made from AG composite carbon-fiber to create an extremely lightweight rifle. We all know how heavy a rifle can get after a day of stalking prey, so this 6.4-pound beauty is the perfect hunting companion. It strikes the right balance of being light but not so much that it feels like a cheap toy. The true star of the show is the barrel. The 22-to-24-inch stainless steel barrel has a tactical Cerakote to weather any condition. It follows a 5-step manufacturing process, so you can expect a near-custom barrel at a not-so-custom price. At 100 yards, you can easily manage groupings within 1 inch of each other.
Bergara combined a beautiful trigger, a lightweight stock, and a custom barrel to create one of the best mountain hunting rifles on the market.
The X-Bolt Mountain Pro is the latest addition to the fantastic X-Bolt series. Browning offers a large range of X-bolt options, from heavy long-range rifles to wooden stock deer rifles. The X-bolt Mountain Pro is an exciting addition to the lightweight mountain rifle category. Browning has refined all their previous models to create an all-in-one hunting rifle.
The Browning X-bolt Mountain Pro bridges the gap between a standard rifle and a custom rifle. The 6.4-pound weight carries easily and instinctively presses into your shoulder. The lightweight carbon-fiber stock has a natural finish and looks awesome with the spiral-fluted barrel. For extra protection against the elements, the 24 inch barrel and other major components are coated with a Cerakote finish. Shooting the X-bolt is an absolute dream. The crisp trigger combined with the HAWG muzzle brake makes for unbelievably smooth and accurate shooting. The stock also includes recoil dampening foam, which adds to the soft shooting experience.
Browning is continuing their legacy of brilliant rifles made for hunters who want to test the limits of their environment. Everything on the X-bolt Mountain Pro is finished with the quality you can expect from Browning.
With the Backcountry TI, Weatherby set out to make the best backcountry rifle and cartridge combination possible. This was achieved by crafting the gun around the cartridge to create the ultimate mountain hunting rifle. Every ounce of weight counts when you are hiking through the wilderness, and Weatherby took this into account with the Mark V Backcountry TI.
The rifle weighs 4.9 pounds without any accessories attached. This was made possible by the carbon-fiber stock and titanium receiver, which also add to the durability of the weapon. When a bigger bore rifle is this light, recoil becomes a concern. Surprisingly, the recoil is not as sharp as you would think. The 3DHex recoil reducing pad takes most of the force. This, in combination with the Weatherby 6.5 RPM (rebated precision magnum) round the gun was created around, makes for a light shooter that doesn’t stray off target. The TriggerTech trigger has an adjustable pull weight so you can find the perfect balance for you. This helps to keep the gun straight while emptying the 4+1 capacity.
I am amazed at how light this rifle is when I pick it up, and even more amazed at how well it shoots.
If you haven’t yet heard of Tikka, what rock have you been under? Tikka is the result of Sako’s world-class engineering and dedication to quality firearms production. Their guns are produced in Finland and offer Sako’s rugged dependability and above-average accuracy.
Tikka brings this dependability and accuracy to the table with the T3x Superlite. The all-black ambidextrous synthetic stock can stand up to any weather condition, as well as shock from droppages and rough use. I usually don’t like polymer stocks, as they can be slippery and uncomfortable. The T3x has the right grip pattern and low-angle pistol grip to ensure a positive and secure hold. The stock isn’t the only thing that feels great. The bolt-action is silky-smooth and incredibly satisfying to use. It helps with getting off those quick shots, but this is where the rifle suffers slightly. The recoil is a little intense for its light weight of 6.2 pounds, but considering you will likely use one shot to drop your game, this is negligible. I did not like the trigger setting, but this is easily fixed with some minor adjustments. The accuracy out-of-the-box is exactly as promised – superb in every way.
While it may be an expensive option based on its feature set, the Tikka T3x Superlite feels effortless to use and is absolutely reliable.
Christensen has experience manufacturing materials for the aerospace and medical industries. Precise tolerances and quality are required in these industries, so this knowledge crosses over well to firearms manufacturing.
The Ridgeline is a really good-looking rifle. I love the carbon-fiber wrapped barrel, and this isn’t only for aesthetics. It helps reduce heat so the gun maintains its pinpoint accuracy shot after shot. Christensen Arms guarantees it will shoot under 1 MOA and, based on tests with the Ridgeline, this claim is true. These radical rifles make maximum use of carbon fiber. The sporter-style stock is carbon-fiber, outfitted with a recoil reduction pad, and weighs in at 6.3 pounds. This is the perfect weight to handle the recoil, which is minimal.
The Ridgeline is available in either a stainless steel version or with a burnt bronze cerakote finish.
The Christensen Arms Ridgeline is a unique rifle that deserves more attention. It is available in 20 different chambers that are all guaranteed to get the job done.
You might ask yourself what a company that has specialized in ARs and .50 BMG rifles is doing creating a hunting rifle. When everyone has an AR and the small market for the .50 BMG is satisfied, you have to focus on something else. Barrett has entered into the world of mountain hunting rifles and they do so elegantly with the Fieldcraft.
The Barrett Fieldcraft was created with tight tolerances where necessary while keeping enough room so dirt and grime don’t cause any failures. This makes it excellent for use in any condition, even those dusty African Safari trips. Don’t let the weight of the Fieldcraft surprise you when you pick it up. It weighs between 4.5 and 6 pounds, depending on the chambering. It’s so light due to the carbon-fiber stock and slimline design. It is remarkably thin, even in the bigger bore calibers. The barrel is available in two lengths, 18 inches and 21 inches. The 18-inch version is mobile enough to have a large suppressor fitted and doesn’t suffer from poor accuracy. The Fieldcraft takes accuracy to a new level since it is kitted with a Barrett Precision Barrel.
The Timney trigger, optimized bolt design, and all-round intelligent features make the Barret Fieldcraft a one-shot wonder worth having.
4. Kimber Mountain Ascent
You might know Kimber for their highly customized M1911 handgun designs. If you are familiar with their weapons, you will understand why a hunting rifle from them is so exciting. The Kimber Mountain Ascent is manufactured to the smallest possible dimensions around each caliber. This means there is no more rifle than necessary.
The Mountain Ascent has a starting weight of 4 pounds and 13 ounces, depending on what caliber you want to drop your big game with. Kimber did everything they could to chop as much weight off the rifle as possible. This includes a spiral fluted bolt assembly, a fluted barrel, a fluted and hollowed bolt handle, and a lightweight trigger guard. The stainless steel match grade barrel is fluted and is completed with a removable muzzle brake to assist with recoil. A 1 inch Pachmyr Decelerator recoil pad also helps to reduce shock running through the lightweight package. The rifle points and shoots beautifully, made even better by the crisp trigger. The camo finished carbon-fiber stock feels soft in the hand thanks to the soft touch treatment.
You won’t even notice if you are carrying the Mountain Ascent through the mountains. Kimber has built a lightweight, accurate, and durable rifle worthy of our attention.
If experience has taught me anything, it’s that you don’t have to fork out thousands of dollars for a custom gun to get the custom feel. Savage teamed up with PROOF research to create a barrel built for a purpose. And that purpose is long-range hunting and competition shooting.
The Savage Model 110 Ultralite comes equipped with Savages’ AccuFit technology. This makes it possible to adjust the length of pull and comb height to give you the optimal fit and performance. This added feature makes the gun shoulder like it was made for you, after some adjustment. The AccuTrigger is also adjustable, between 1.5 and 4 pounds. The trigger is crisp, predictable, and smooth. The synthetic stock has a pistol grip and a soft forend, adding to the ergonomics of the rifle. This is beautifully built around the carbon-wrapped barrel, offering sub-MOA accuracy. An oversized bolt handle and a spiral fluted bolt make for efficient, intuitive handling. The recoil on the Savage is, well, a little bit Savage. Fortunately, the gun is comfortable enough with features like the soft-touch comb surface that it won’t batter your hands and face.
What stands out the most about the Model 110 Ultralite is the price. At $1500 you get what many would consider a custom gun. The barrel, stock, and features all come together to form a dependable gun well worth the price.
The Winchester XPR embodies the company’s more than 150 years of experience.The XPR combines proven concepts from the Winchester Model 70 with the precise manufacturing technology that we have today. This has kept it inexpensive while still providing a high-class hunting rifle.
I have used cheap rifles many times before, and I can assure you that the XPR is far from cheap. The build quality is unbelievably sturdy and has a rigidity you won’t find on other rifles in this price range. It will stand up to whatever conditions you drag it through, with minimal rust and other issues that plague our favored weapons. The black polymer stock has a modern look and feel to it, and the internal carbon parts have been hardened and blued for extra corrosion resistance. The teflon coating also aids in creating a smooth action that’s a wonder to use. The 24 inch steel barrel is surprisingly accurate. While it is not a sub MOA, it is more than enough to easily drop big game.
Winchester saved a few bucks where it counted on the XPR, but not so much that it detracts from the overall quality of the gun. It is as rugged and accurate as you would expect from Winchester. All this in a lightweight package that doesn’t cost more than $700.
If you love using an AR platform, then the Sig Sauer Cross should be your next hunting rifle. The Cross did suffer from a faulty trigger upon release that could be potentially dangerous. Fortunately, Sig swooped in, recalled the faulty batch, and sent it back to their customers, at no extra cost to them.
The Cross was built from the ground up by SIG with the help of hunters, military snipers, and long-range shooters. It looks like an AR and a hunting rifle had a baby. It doesn’t just look this way, the grip, safeties, and hand-guard are all AR-style components, meaning the rifle is completely modular. The skeletonized aluminum stock has an adjustable cheek rest and length of pull, making it possible to find the best fit for you. The stock and barrel are also foldable, so you can shove it into one of your backpacks. Like any Sig Sauer, the cross is undeniably reliable and accurate. The trigger is pretty crisp for a bolt-action, adjustable from 2.5 pounds to 4 pounds. While it looks kitted out enough to be heavy, Sig has managed to keep the rifle at a lightweight 6.8 pounds.
Sig Sauer has bridged the gap between a modular AR and a sturdy hunting rifle gracefully. The rifle looks awesome, shoots perfectly, and will make a great companion for any hunting trip.