January 31, 2017
Several new centerfire rifles were launched at SHOT Show 2017, and this year's class of guns is more diverse than at any time in recent memory. A handful of lightweight mountain and predator rifles debuted this year, along with several dedicated long-distance bolt guns. There were a handful of ARs, and surprisingly a fair number of new walnut-stocked rifles. Regardless of your discipline or quarry, there's a rifle on this list for you. If you have a grand and you're looking to add a new rifle to the stable, here's what $1,000 will buy you in 2017.
CZ 527 American Synthetic Suppressor Ready
There's a lot to love about this little rifle. For starters, it's built on the 527's compact .223-sized action, and it's chambered in .300 Blackout and 7.62x39. With a 16½-inch barrel and an overall weight of just 5 pounds, 14 ounces, you can carry this gun all day, and the 5/8x24 threaded muzzle makes this gun suppressor ready. Other features include a detachable box magazine, American-profile black synthetic stock and a single set trigger, $750.
Remington 783 Walnut
The Remington 783 has always shot well, but it wasn't exactly a beautiful rifle. The new wood-stocked 783 looks considerably better with its checkered black walnut stock. It still utilizes the 783 action with its reduced ejection port, CrossFire bladed trigger and detachable box magazine. Available in .308, 7mm Rem. Mag, .30-'06 and .270 Winchester, this budget bolt gun should be priced well under $500.
Springfield stepped out with a new AR rifle this year. Known as the Saint, it comes with a 16-inch chrome moly vanadium barrel with a 1:8-inch twist and Melonite finish, a mid-length direct-impingement gas system and Springfield's Accu-Tite tension system that joins the upper and lower receiver. This 6-pound, 11-ounce AR is chambered in 5.56 NATO and comes with a pair of iron sights (folding rear), a buttery NiB-coated trigger and Bravo Company furniture all around. The Saint is a lot of AR for the money, $900.
The T3x actually debuted at the 2016 NRA Annual Meeting, but this was the first SHOT Show appearance for Tikka's refreshed budget bolt gun. Synthetic versions of the rifle have modular inserts in the grip and forearm that can be swapped out to suit the owner's shooting style and hand size. The synthetic stock also gets a foam-lined interior to reduce noise and a fully enclosed bolt shroud. The receiver is now drilled to accept either standard Tikka bases or a Picatinny rail, and the crisp single-stage trigger is adjustable from 2 to 4 pounds. Additionally, a wider ejection port makes single loading simpler, $575.
Ruger American Ranch .450 Bushmaster
The Ruger American Ranch rifle offers a short (70-degree) bolt lift thanks to a three-lug bolt that rides in a one-piece receiver with a reduced ejection port for maximum rigidity. The new .450 Bushmaster version has a 16.12-inch barrel with an 11/16x24 thread pattern, and an attached Ruger muzzlebrake helps keep this pig-punching rifle from pounding the shooter too badly. There's a rail up top for mounting optics, and the Ranch rifle comes with a detachable box magazine that holds three rounds. For the money, you get an accurate rifle that has plenty of knockdown power and short overall length — a budget hog slayer that will leave enough cash leftover for a solid optic and a few boxes of ammo, $600.
Mossberg Patriot Predator
The Predator is an extension of Mossberg's Patriot line, and it shares familial features like a fluted bolt with dual locking lugs, LBA trigger and a two-position safety. The Predator model comes with a standard contour 22-inch free-floated fluted carbon steel barrel with 5/8x24 threads and a protective muzzle cap. The flat dark earth synthetic stock has textured grip panels for a secure hold on the rifle, and there's a Picatinny rail on top for mounting an optic. The Patriot Predator is chambered in .243 Winchester, .308 and the ultra-popular 6.5 Creedmoor. This Mossberg is a great bargain and is a versatile rifle that will work for a variety of hunting applications without complaint, $440.
Winchester XPR Sporter
Here's yet another example of a budget rifle that gets a walnut stock this year. The well-figured stock on the XPR gives this rifle more visual appeal, and caliber options extend from 6mm Creedmoor all the way to .338 Winchester Magnum, so you can hunt everything from groundhogs to grizzlies with this gun. As with all XPRs, there are separate safety and bolt release controls, and the MOA system is simply one of the best trigger offerings in an affordable hunting rifle. Accuracy from earlier XPR models has been exceptional — don't expect anything to change here. This is a limited availability SHOT Show rifle, but if you can get your hands on one, you won't be disappointed, $600.
Savage MSR 15 Patrol
Savage is betting big on the black-gun market with the unveiling of four new AR rifles. The most affordable option in the Savage MSR family is the new MSR 15 Patrol, which comes with a .223 Wylde target chamber, a 16 1/8-inch barrel with 5R rifling, a Melonite QPQ finish, Blackhawk Knoxx pistol grip and Axiom carbine stock. The Patrol also features an A-frame gas block front sight and a flip-up Blackhawk rear sight. The Patrol weighs in at 6½-pounds, making it a versatile and affordable AR worthy of your consideration. It can be used for a variety of applications, including competition, target, defense and hunting, $850.
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