Precision rifles can cost you an arm and a leg, but there are top-notch and highly accurate options that will still leave you with money for ammunition.
What are some affordable precision rifles that won’t put you in the poorhouse?
- Savage Model 10 GRS
- Tikka T3x Tactical Compact Rifle
- Howa HCR
- Bergara B-14 HMR
- Remington Model 700 SPS Tactical AAC-SD
- Savage Model 10 BA Stealth
Truth be told, with a little time, effort and modest investment, a shooter can transform most appropriately chambered modern rifles into precision rifles. But not everyone has an overabundance of those factors.
Luckily, the surging interest in placing a projectile dead on target a country mile away has washed the market with a host of precision rifles. Of course, a gander at some of these fine-tuned instruments can give some shooters second thoughts about their desires for going long. Given the high tolerances the guns require and special material typically called into action, these precision rifles can cost a small fortune.
But take heart; there are precision rifle options for the shooter willing to search that won’t break the bank. And that’s what we’re looking at with the 6 affordable precision rifles listed below, at least when it comes to bolt-actions.
Of course, this talk of affordability is relative. These rifles are $1,500 or less, which is expensive when compared to the average entry-level model. But when measured against the overall precision rifle market, they’re downright steals in some cases. For the marksman dying to really reach out while still putting dinner on the table, these rifles more than fit the bill.
Savage Model 10 GRS
Savage rifles have built a reputation for being tack drivers and affordable at the same time. But the company has gone above and beyond with its newest creation — the 10 GRS. Marrying Savage’s proven Model 10 short action with the Norwegian GRS stock has created a precision rifle ready to tackle the greatest distances.
As solid as the company’s actions and button-rifled barrels are, the stock is the bell of this ball. The fiberglass-reinforced nylon GRS provides the rigidity required for precision work and is intuitive to handle. Additionally, the stock’s pillar-bedding blocks, constructed of 65-percent fiberglass, ensures there’s no play in the Model 10’s free-floating barrel. On top of this, the stock features a fully adjustable cheek riser and length of pull, operated by simple push-button controls.
The rifle is available in calibers perfect for nearly any long-range application, short of hard-target interdiction — .308 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor and 6mm Creedmoor. And the 20-, 24- or 26-inch heavy-fluted barrels on the 10 GRS — depending on caliber — provide superior heat dispersion and plenty of stiffness.
Tikka T3x Tactical Compact Rifle
Featuring Tikka’s rock-solid, single-piece T3 action, this little Finnish gem is accurate and adaptable.
Broached, instead of drilled from bar stock, the action is silky smooth, particularly with the aid of its oversized bolt handle. And it’s stiff as overstretched sheets, thanks to the enclosed action design. Conveniently, Tikka has widened the ejection port on the T3 action, now making it possible to feed one round at a time — a difficulty on older models.
A hammer-forged semi-heavy contour 20-inch barrel provides superior harmonics for its three chamberings — .260 Rem., .308 Win., and 6.5 Creedmoor. And it’s hefty enough to shake off the heat from long shot strings.
Tikka’s TCR has a more traditional stock pattern and doesn’t boast the adjustments found on many precision rifles. But it does have some unique features. Chief among them is the fiberglass-reinforced synthetic stock’s interchangeable grips that make it possible to modify the angle. And it comes with a foam insert that lowers stock-generated noise, keeping shooters stealthy as ever.
The precision rifle has a single-stage adjustable trigger, tunable between 2 and 4 pounds. And to top it all off, the T3x Tactical Compact rifle has an improved rail attachment system with extra screw placements on top of the receiver for a Picatinny rail.
A chassis rifle moving on the street for around $1,000, balderdash you say? Actually, no. Howa has pulled off this feat in exquisite fashion with its Howa Chassis Rifle. The Japanese barreled-action manufacturer has teamed up with a couple of other heavy hitters to turn out this affordable precision rifle that dang near anyone can work into the budget.
Accurate-Mag provides the monolithic 6061-T6 aluminum chassis, delivering a sturdy platform to build the rifle. The chassis free-floats the barrel — as it should be — and comes with ample M-LOK real estate on the forend, so adding a shooting aid such as a bipod is a snap. Furthermore, it accepts all AR-style furniture for further customization.
At the rear, LUTH-AR has tacked on its MBA-3 buttstock, designed to conform to any shooter behind the trigger. The fully adjustable stock gives shooters six positions of adjustment in length of pull. On top of that, there’s an ambidextrous adjustable comb for the perfect cheek weld — a nice touch, given there are left-handed options in the HCR.
The heart of the chassis rifle, however, is Howa’s tried-and-true 1500 action. The two-lug push-feed has earned its share of accolades for its performance, precision and reliability — not to mention affordability — over the years.
Howa gives the choice of 20-, 24- and 26-inch barrels in standard and heavy contours, and offers four calibers in its sniper rifle — .223 Rem., .243 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win.
Bergara B-14 HMR
Precision rifles can get pretty specialized pretty quickly, pigeonholing their application. For those shooting for a something that can equally knock the stuffing out of the 10-ring and a whitetail, look no further than Bergara. The Spanish company’s B-14 HMR (Hunting & Match Rifle) is about as tightly built a precision rifle as one could expect, without going custom.
While Bergara’s actions and barrels are well-respected, it’s the rifle’s stock that steals the show. At first blush, it appears to be just another synthetic job, with a modified benchrest buttstock, vertical grip and the usual length of pull and comb adjustments. But strip away the polymers, and there’s something unique going on underneath this Bergara B-14 HMR. Molded into the stock is an aluminum skeleton running from the grip all the way to the forend. In addition to free-floating the barrel, what Bergara calls its mini-chassis gives the B-14 the stiffness for precision.
The company has embraced the concept of crossover appeal with the rifle, making it sturdy enough to shoot a match, but practical enough to carry into the woods. It sports a No. 5 contour barrel — 22 inches on 6.5 Creedmoor, 20 inches on .308 Winchester — giving it enough material to avoid walking when it heats up, but making it less of a bear on a trudge to a deer stand.
The B-14 action is quick and smooth to work, especially with its oversized bolt handle, and feeds cleanly off an AICS detachable magazine. Some other nice features include Bergara’s trigger that breaks at 3 pounds, threaded muzzle and integrated QD flush cup mounts.
Remington Model 700 SPS Tactical AAC-SD
The Model 700 has been a top choice of professional snipers for more than half a century — just ask Army and Marine sharpshooters. So it’s no surprise it ends up on a list of precision rifles. The Tactical AAC-SD, in particular, has all the bells and whistles to make it a dandy tack driver, while leaving plenty of money for ammunition.
The renowned 700 action — what you’ll find on a lot of custom builds — is bedded in Hogue’s Overmolded Ghillie Green stock. The fiberglass-reinforced polymer gives the platform overall rigidity, while a pillar bedding system free-floats the barrel, ensuring it does not interfere with harmonics.
The AAC-SD is outfitted with a 20- or 22-inch heavy barrel (depending on caliber), injecting another element of stiffness into the platform and preventing barrel whip when it heats up. An interesting point is the twist rate of the .308 Win. — it’s 1:10. This is faster than most, in turn more compatible with heavier bullets.
Remington has topped the rifle off with a threaded muzzle able to accept AAC and other 5/8-24 pattern muzzle devices.
The rifle features Remington’s X-Mark Pro trigger, an adjustable outfit tunable between 2.5 and 3.5 pounds. Other notable aspects of the AAC-SD include sling mounts on the forend and buttstock and a very manageable weight at around 7 pounds. The AAC-SD is not long on capacity, however, with a four-round internal magazine.
Savage Model 10 BA Stealth
It wasn’t all that long ago that a chassis rifle setup would have run a shooter well over $2,000. And that’s talking entry level. Those days are quickly vanishing as the Savage 10 BA Stealth proves. The on-target rifle comes with all the accoutrements
one would expect on similar precision rifles, except the price tag.
Built around Savage’s short Model 10 action, the precision rifle comes chambered for .223 Rem., .308 Win., and 6.5 Creedmoor. If a shooter is willing to get closer to or break the $1,500 mark (and not by much), they can gun up to a long-action Model 110 BA Stealth and pitch .300 Win. Mag., or .338 Lapua Mag.
Drake Associates supplies the chassis for the rifle — its Hunter/Stalker model — which is machined from a single piece of aluminum. The chassis is much slimmer than most and exposes an ample amount of the rifle’s 16-, 20- and 24-inch (depending on caliber) fluted barrel. This is good in terms of heat dispersion, giving air the chance to do its job. But given the barrel’s heavy contour, shots won’t walk much when it gets hot.
FAB Defense supplies the buttstock, its GL-Shock model that comes with a fully adjustable cheek riser and adjusts for length of pull. Like all Savages, the rifle features the company’s outstanding AccuTrigger, adjustable from 1.5 to 6 pounds. A nice touch, the BA Stealth also is outfitted with a muzzle break, which is typically an aftermarket option on most rifles.
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