Bolt-action rifles are a staple among sportsmen and hunters. It’s a design that has its roots firmly planted in the 19th century (the first was patented in 1824) and has been evolving ever since.

Today’s bolt-action rifles are fundamentally the same as those used in the late 19th century by big game hunters, sportsmen and sharpshooters, but bolt actions have also been developed into exceptional tactical guns for law enforcement and military use, as well as for long-distance competitive shooting. The mechanisms are easy to operate; bolt actions are inherently very accurate and offer any number of cartridge loading configurations based upon design and use.

Most of the models listed here are tactical designs with overall lengths of only 40 inches and weights that average 7.5 pounds. The majority are chambered in the two most common calibers used, .223 and .308, and the average capacity for these long arms is four or five rounds contained in either an internal or box magazine, the latter allowing greater capacity with tactical models.

Nearly every major gunmaker offers a bolt-action rifle, and they include some very famous makes and models such as the Remington 700 BDL and Ruger M77. The bolt-action rifle is truly a multi-purpose design that has seen use in the field for hunting big game to supporting military operations around the world.

The selections include some of the finest classic (walnut and high-grade wood stocks) and contemporary (synthetic stocks) models available.

More Information: Bolt-Action Rifles

Armalite AR-30A1

Barrett MRAD

FN Ballista

Kimber 8400 Advanced Tactical SOC

Mossberg MVP LR/LR Tactical

Remington Custom Shop Model 40-XS Tactical System

Remington Model 700 BDL

Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle

Ruger M77/357

Savage Axis II XP

Steyr SSG 04

This article is from the 2016 edition of Personal & Home Defense. To subscribe, please visit

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