A depiction of a variety of hunting rifles laid out on a wooden table, highlighted by the early morning sunlight filtering through a cabin window. The rifles vary in size, design and technology appropriate for 2024. They are all devoid of any brand names or logos. In the soft background, elements of a rustic hunting cabin interior can be seen, such as a wooden chair and a fireplace, contributing to an atmosphere of anticipation for a hunt.

Best Hunting Rifles to Buy in May 2024

Written By: Ian @ World Deer

Understanding Your Hunting Rifle Needs

Shopping for a hunting rifle involves more than just looking for the best deal.

You should evaluate what kind of hunting you will be doing.

Will you be trekking through dense woods, requiring a more lightweight and maneuverable firearm.

Or maybe you plan to make long-range shots over open fields.

Understanding these aspects can lead you to make a more informed choice.

Top Hunting Rifles for Different Game

Different game species may demand different rifles.

For instance, varmint hunting often requires a rifle with a fast action and precision.

On the other hand, hunting larger game such as elk or moose might call for a rifle with significant stopping power and durability.

Here are some of the top hunting rifles that cater to these varied needs.

1. The All-Arounder: Remington Model 700

If versatility in hunting is what you are after, the Remington Model 700 is a tried and true choice.

With various calibers available, you can choose one that fits your specific hunting needs.

The rifle’s solid action and build quality make it a reliable companion out in the field.


  • Renowned for accuracy
  • Wide variety of models and calibers
  • Durable construction


  • Some models can be on the heavier side
  • Stock designs vary, and some may prefer aftermarket options

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2. The Lightweight Option: Tikka T3X Lite

For hunters who spend a lot of time on their feet, the Tikka T3X Lite stands out with its lightweight design.

Its accuracy is commendable, too, making it a great choice for long treks and precise shooting.

Plus, it has a smooth action that hunters appreciate in high-pressure moments.


  • Lightweight design for ease of carrying
  • Smooth bolt action for quick follow-up shots
  • Adjustable trigger for personalized use


  • Some hunters may find the synthetic stock less aesthetically pleasing
  • May not be the best choice for extremely heavy calibers

3. The Budget-Friendly Workhorse: Savage Axis II

For those looking to get the most bang for their buck, the Savage Axis II is a solid choice.

It offers good performance at an affordable price, which makes it accessible for new hunters.

The rifle has a reputation for accuracy and comes with an adjustable AccuTrigger.


  • Affordable without sacrificing quality
  • AccuTrigger allows for crisp releases
  • Good entry-level option


  • The stock might feel less durable compared to higher-end models
  • Some may find the bolt action less than perfectly smooth

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4. The Long-Range Expert: Bergara B-14 HMR

Long-range hunting requires precision, and the Bergara B-14 HMR delivers just that.

It features a heavy barrel that can handle repeated shots without losing accuracy.

The ergonomic stock design also provides a comfortable shooting position for extended periods of time.


  • Heavy barrel suited for long-range precision
  • Adjustable stock for a custom fit
  • Receives high marks for out-of-the-box accuracy


  • Heavier than other models, which may hinder mobility
  • The price point is higher, which might not suit all budgets

5. The Classic American: Winchester Model 70

A rifle that has stood the test of time, the Winchester Model 70 is often dubbed “The Rifleman’s Rifle.”

With its controlled round feed and three-position safety, it is both reliable and safe to operate.

Its reputation in the American hunting community is almost legendary, and for good reason.


  • Controlled round feed for reliability
  • Three-position safety for enhanced control
  • Solid build quality and classic design


  • Some might find it a bit traditional in style and function
  • Can be on the pricier side, depending on the model

6. The Innovator: Ruger American Rifle

The Ruger American Rifle is known for its innovative design, featuring a Marksman adjustable trigger and a lightweight synthetic stock.

It’s a newer model that quickly gained popularity for its reliability and affordability.

The rifle’s Power Bedding integral bedding block system positively locates the receiver and ensures accuracy.


  • Affordable yet features advanced technology
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • Good accuracy with the bedding block system


  • Stock may feel less premium compared to more expensive options
  • The bolt throw might be a bit high for some scopes

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7. For the Traditionalist: Marlin 336

The Marlin 336 is for hunters who appreciate the feel and function of a classic lever-action rifle.

Its timeless design and mechanical reliability make it a favorite among traditionalists.

It’s ideal for hunting in brushy or wooded areas where quick shots are necessary.


  • Fast lever-action suitable for quick shooting
  • Durable and reliable design
  • A classic aesthetic that appeals to many hunters


  • Not suitable for long-range shooting
  • Lever-action may not appeal to all modern hunters

Selecting the Ideal Caliber

Choosing the right caliber is as crucial as selecting the rifle itself.

You might want a versatile caliber like the .308 Winchester, which is suitable for various game sizes.

Or perhaps a .300 Winchester Magnum for long-range hunting and larger game.

Match your caliber to the game and terrain for the best experience.

Enhancing Your Rifle with Accessories

Enhancing your rifle’s performance can involve adding accessories like scopes, which are integral for long-range precision.

A quality scope can mean the difference between a successful hunt and a missed opportunity.

Other accessories like slings, bipods, and recoil pads can also improve your hunting experience.

Finding the Right Rifle Fit for Your Body and Shooting Style

Finding a hunting rifle that fits you well can greatly improve your shooting accuracy and comfort.

Different shooters have various body frames, arm lengths, and personal preferences.

It may be beneficial to visit a gun shop and shoulder several rifles to see what feels natural.

Look for a rifle with an adjustable stock or one that comes in different stock sizes to ensure a proper fit.

Keep in mind that the rifle’s weight will affect your ability to carry it for long periods and stabilize it when aiming.

8. The Adaptability King: Mossberg Patriot

The Mossberg Patriot is known for its adaptability to various hunting environments and game.

With a walnut stock and fluted barrel, it is both sophisticated in appearance and functional in the field.

The rifle features a user-adjustable trigger, simplifying the process of customizing your shot.


  • Versatile use across different hunting scenarios
  • Attractive aesthetics with a classic walnut stock
  • User-friendly adjustable trigger system


  • It may not be as iconic as some other rifle brands
  • Some hunters may prefer a synthetic stock for harsh weather conditions

9. The Precision Craftsman: Browning X-Bolt

The Browning X-Bolt stands out for those who value precision engineering and innovative features.

Its adjustable three-lever Feather Trigger offers a clean, crisp pull with no take-up or creep.

The X-Lock system secures the scope mounting with four screws per base, offering exceptional stability.


  • Feather Trigger ensures a smooth, precise shot
  • X-Lock scope mounting adds to overall accuracy
  • Sleek, modern design


  • Pricier than some other models, reflecting its premium build
  • May require a larger investment in high-quality optics

10. The Heritage Choice: Weatherby Vanguard

The Weatherby Vanguard is a rifle with a storied heritage, beloved for its accuracy and reliability.

It offers a sub-MOA accuracy guarantee and comes in a wide range of calibers to fit any hunter’s needs.

The Monte Carlo stock is designed for stability and comfort, which is essential during a long day in the field.


  • Sub-MOA accuracy guarantee is appealing for precision hunters
  • Wide selection of calibers available
  • Monte Carlo stock aids in recoil absorption


  • While the quality is high, the price point may be inaccessible to some
  • The traditional design may not resonate with all hunters

The Importance of a Good Rifle Scope for Successful Hunting

A quality rifle scope is crucial for hunting success, especially if you are aiming for game at a distance.

Scopes improve your aim and the accuracy of your shots by magnifying the target and providing clear crosshairs for alignment.

Investing in a good scope also means better light transmission during dawn and dusk, which are peak times for hunting.

Choose a scope that has a strong build and is waterproof and fog-proof for longevity and performance in different weather conditions.

When selecting a scope, keep in mind the compatibility with your rifle and hunting style.

Embracing Technological Advances in Hunting Rifles

The evolution of hunting rifles continues to benefit from technological advances.

From adjustable triggers and modular stocks to integrated ballistic calculators, modern rifles are becoming more sophisticated.

Smart riflescopes that calculate windage and drop can turn even beginners into proficient marksmen.

Embrace these advancements to enhance your hunting experience, but remember the fundamental skills of patience, tracking, and shot placement are still paramount.

Hunting Ethics and Responsible Rifle Ownership

Hunter ethics are an essential aspect of responsible hunting, including the choice of rifle.

Ensuring you have the equipment that allows for a quick and humane kill is a part of ethical hunting.

Practice with your rifle extensively before the hunting season to ensure you are proficient with your weapon.

Responsible rifle ownership also means understanding and complying with all local hunting regulations and storing your firearm safely.

As a hunter, it is your duty to maintain the honor of the tradition and promote conservation through ethical practices.

FAQs About Hunting Rifles

How often should I clean my rifle to ensure it’s in top condition?

Cleaning your rifle after each use or exposure to harsh weather conditions will keep it in optimal condition.

Should I consider a rifle’s recoil when making a purchase?

Yes, it’s essential to consider recoil, especially if you plan to shoot frequently or have a smaller frame.

Can a rifle’s stock be customized?

Many rifles now come with adjustable or replaceable stocks to better fit the shooter’s body.

Is it acceptable to buy a used hunting rifle?

As long as it is thoroughly checked by a professional, buying a used rifle can be a cost-effective option.

What are the benefits of a heavier rifle?

A heavier rifle can aid in stability and may reduce felt recoil, helping with accuracy for longer shots.

What caliber is best for deer?

A .30-06 Springfield or a .308 Winchester are solid choices for deer hunting, offering a great balance of power and recoil.

Is it worth investing in a high-end hunting rifle?

While the initial investment is higher, a quality rifle can provide better performance, comfort, and durability in the long run.

What is the most important feature in a hunting rifle?

Accuracy is key in hunting rifles, but you should also consider reliability, ergonomics, and caliber when making your choice.

Can I use the same rifle for different types of hunting?

Yes, many hunters have a go-to rifle that works well for various game sizes.

However, specialized hunting may require a particular type of rifle for the best results.

How do I maintain my hunting rifle?

Regular cleaning, proper storage, and periodic check-ups with a gunsmith can help maintain your rifle’s performance and longevity.

May 2024 is right around the corner, and with the right information and a bit of hands-on testing, you’ll find a hunting rifle that checks off all your boxes.

Remember to look past the aesthetics and focus on performance, comfort, and your hunting scenarios to pick the best partner for your outdoor adventures.

Seek advice, read reviews, and test rifles whenever possible.

Ultimately, the best rifle for you is the one that feels like an extension of your arm, helping you to bag that trophy game ethically and effectively.

Picture of By: Ian from World Deer

By: Ian from World Deer

A passionate writer for WorldDeer using the most recent data on all animals with a keen focus on deer species.

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