As we roll into the roaring 2020s and go gaga over all the latest ultralight and otherwise eye-catching rifles, let’s not forget that some of 2019’s finest are just now up for grabs and gaining traction.
Here are a few of our top pics from the bumper crop of 2019.
Daniel Defense Delta 5
When AR-platform powerhouse Daniel Defense stepped into the bolt-action market, we knew things would get interesting and innovative. The cold hammer-forged barrels are user-interchangeable while the action is mechanically bedded within a mini chassis system. What looks like a synthetic stock is actually carbon fiber reinforced and adjustable in numerous ways. There’s an adjustable Timney Elite Hunter trigger, ambidextrous mag release with AICS mags, threaded bolt handle, and 20 MOA Picatinny rail. The 24-inch H-Palma barrel balances weight with accuracy and comes threaded and ready for muzzle devices.
The rifle is not light at 9.5-pounds bare, but it shoots with a sub-MOA guarantee. MSRP on this hybrid hunting rifle is $2,199 with the initial launch in either 6.5 Creedmoor or .308 Win.
Henry Side Gate
Polished brass, throwback calibers, and an American-made guarantee lead the way for the much-anticipated new Henry. The H024 Side Gate Model marks the greatest lever-action innovation in decades, not because of the side gate itself–as that’s long been around on Marlins and Winchesters—but now Henry has engineered a way to add the side loading gate to their existing tubular loading magazine so that shooters can utilize both options on the same rifle.
MSRP on the brass side gates is set at $1,077. In addition to the initial calibers of .30-30, .38-55, and .35 Rem, Henry has also added .45-70 and .410 shotgun.
Savage High Country
Hands down one of the best-looking synthetic hunting rifles of 2019 is the Savage High Country. Built on the company’s proven, decades-old 110 bolt-actions, each High Country comes loaded with features hunters crave — a spiral fluted bolt and barrel, metalwork coated with durable PVD, threaded barrel and dropbox magazine. The High Country has everything “Accu” including the adjustable AccuTrigger, internal chassis AccuStock and fully customizable AccuFit system on the True Timber Strata camo stock allowing for both LOP and comb height adjustment.
With 11 calibers on the docket, including 6.5 in Creedmoor and PRC as well as .280 Ackley Improved, this rifle is as appealing as it is accurate. MSRP on the High Country was initially set at $1,129.
If the new .350 Legend caliber announcement wasn’t enough, Winchester also debuted a new semi-automatic rimfire rifle for 2019 and it’s an intriguing one. The Wildcat name is a re-birth of the branding from decades ago, but what makes this young Wildcat appealing is the innovative design. The entire lower receiver drops free from the stock and barrel system with the simple push of a button at the rear of the receiver – no tools required.
The 10-round rotary magazines are reminiscent of Ruger 10/22 mags, and in fact, are interchangeable. While the other rifles on this list ring dollar signs with innovation, the Wildcat comes with a mild $249 price tag.
Nosler M48 Mountain Carbon
Ultra-lightweight rifles with carbon fiber barrels are all the rage in 2019. Nosler launched their brand right to the top with one of the year’s best for mountain hunters – the M48 Mountain Carbon. The bolt-action M48 Mountain Carbon uses the material on not only the carbon fiber wrapped barrel but also as the major material composition for the stock, for an overall weight of only 6-pounds even.
Naturally, the Mountain Carbon is available in all the hottest Nosler chamberings: 26, 28, 30 and 33, as well as the new for 2020 27 Nosler. In addition to Nosler chamberings, the M48 Mountain Carbon also runs .300 Win, Mag, 6mm and 6.5 Creedmoor. The well-balanced lightweight includes a sub-MOA guarantee, a Timney trigger and 5/8×24 threaded muzzle with an MSRP set at $3,140.
Ruger Precision Magnum
Sturm, Ruger, & Co began making factory-production, customizable, precision-style rifles available and affordable for the masses more than four years ago. In 2019, however, they amped up the game by chambering the hard-hitting, long-action calibers of .300 Win Mag, .300 PRC and .338 Lapua Mag in what is called the Precision Magnum. Where the originals had 24-inch barrels, the Magnums wear 26-inch barrels. Likewise, weight increases from 10-pounds to 15.2-pounds along with heavier barrels.
The adjustable MSR stock remains the same, but now there’s a 30 MOA rail, and a hulky muzzle brake with a tunable compensator. MSRP also steps up from $1,599 to $2,099.
With its unique one-piece barrel and receiver engineering marvel, the all-steel Monobloc immediately sets itself onto the shortlist of 2019’s top rifles. This is the only rifle on the market with the barrel and receiver made from a single block of solid steel. The ergonomic synthetic stock goes luxury, with replaceable leather inlays. Also, the Monobloc uses one of the slickest steel dropbox magazines we’ve ever operated.
A hand-cocking safety is intriguing, while the set trigger shines breaking at 2.5-pounds, while the set trigger lets go at a wildly crisp 8-ounces. The attention to detail on the Monobloc will be hard to beat at any price, though MSRP is set at $5,250.