The Best New Hunting Rifles of 2020

The hottest new bolt-action rifles, including ultra-light backcountry rigs, long-range options, and modular features

Last year at SHOT Show, we noticed bolt-action hunting rifle market trending toward ultra-light mountain rigs. That shift continues this year with substantial interest and investment in ultra-light backcountry rifles, with some long-range options and modularity functionality in the mix. These are the new hunting rifles we sniffed out, many of which are innovative, interesting, and just plain cool. Here are a dozen new rifles that caught our eye, in no particular order.

1. Benelli Lupo

Benelli Lupo Rifle
Benelli introduced its first bolt-action in 2020, a super-adjustable hunting rifle.Benelli

With a bold move into the bolt-action rifle world, Benelli announced Tuesday their brand-new Lupo, a super-adjustable, futuristic hunting rifle. (Lupo is Italian for wolf.) Featuring a variety of cutting-edge features and modes of adjustment, you can configure the shims and spacers to exactly fit your physique and shooting style. Finger reach is adjustable, as is trigger-pull weight. The matte blued barrel is cryo-treated and free-floating, and sports a three-shot sub-MOA guarantee. Barrel length is 22 inches for standard calibers and 24 inches for magnum calibers. The black synthetic stock is adjustable for length of pull, cheek weld, drop, and cast. An alloy chassis supports the action and barrel in the stock. The 5-round detachable box-style magazine is double-stack and radically shaped, and smoothly forms the lower body section of the receiver area. The tang safety is tactile and crisp. Initial chamberings include .300 Win Mag, .30-06 Springfield, and .270 Winchester. The rifle weighs in right around seven pounds, and SRP is $1,699.

2. Sig Sauer Cross

SIG Sauer Cross precision bolt-action hunting rifle.
SIG is calling their new Cross a precision bolt-action hunting rifle.Sig Sauer

This new hunting rifle from SIG is radical in every good sense of the word. The company is calling it a precision bolt-action hunting rifle. As a super-light member of the modular, tactical-inspired rifle family, the Cross will initially be chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Winchester, and a new cartridge from Sig called the .277 Fury. (The .277 Fury will sport a 140-grain projectile downrange at an unholy velocity from a 16-inch barrel. More on that later.) It’s available in a 16-inch (.308 and .277 Fury), and 18-inch (6.5 CM) barrel. Black and camo finishes are available. The rifle weighs in at 6.5 pounds, and folds down as short as 25 inches. That’s pretty awesome for the hunter who wants a modern rifle suitable for backcountry hunting. A two-stage match grade trigger rounds out the package. SIG has not yet announced a price for this. sigsauer.com

3. Anschutz 1782

Man in cowboy hat holding a Anschutz 1782 rifle.
Anschutz 1782Anschutz

The new Anschutz 1782 rifle is beautiful in a classic European way, and the walnut stock smelled wonderfully of linseed oil. The rifle combines traditional good looks with modern innovation and design, including a solid-steel milled action complete with an integrated Picatinny rail, sliding safety catch, and six-lug bolt. The bolt lift is 60-degrees. The barrel is threaded for suppressor or muzzle device, and the detachable 3-round steel magazine is dropped via a release nicely integrated into the trigger guard. A match-grade single-stage trigger completes the package. Available chamberings include .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Winchester, .30-06, 8X57, and 9.3X62. Barrel lengths are 20.5 inches or 23.8 inches depending on caliber, and total rifle weight should come in around 8 pounds. jga.anschuetz-sport.com

4. Weatherby Backcountry

Man in cowboy hat holding a Weatherby Backcountry rifle.
Weatherby BackcountryWeatherby

The new Backcountry actually debuted in the fall, but the rifle is remarkable and has never seen a SHOT show so I’m going to showcase it here. (Read the full Weatherby Backcountry review here). Exceptionally well balanced and graceful, Weatherby’s Backcountry is built around their slender 6-lug Mark V action in standard calibers, and the 9-lug Mark V in magnum chamberings. It’s available in .240 Weatherby Mag, 6.5 Creedmoor, .280 Ackley Improved, Weatherby’s new 6.5 RPM, and .300 Win Mag, as well as a generous handful of additional calibers. A carbon-fiber stock, Cerakoted metalwork, a TriggerTech trigger, and one of the shortest bolt lifts in the industry (54 degrees) make this rifle fast, durable, and exceptionally lightweight at 5.3 pounds. A backcountry hunter’s dream rifle. MSRP is about $2,500, though the rifle is currently out of stock. weatherby.com

5. Browning Fiber Fusion

Browning Fiber Fusion rifle
Browning Fiber FusionBrowning

Browning does a good job of surrounding their fantastic X-Bolt action with new patterns, stock designs, and purpose-built features. This year they’ve announced the new Hell’s Canyon Fiber Fusion, a sporting a fiberglass-wrapped stock with the camo pattern underneath the translucent fiberglass wrap and finish. It’ll be impossible to wear the pattern off this stock. The action and skip-fluted sporter-contour steel barrel are Cerakoted a burnt bronze, and the barrel is threaded and comes with a removable muzzle break. Barrel length ranges from 22 to 26 inches depending on caliber. Ten chamberings are available from 6.5 Creedmoor up to .300 RUM. Weight will come in at approximately six and a half pounds, and the MSRP is just north of $2,000. browning.com

6. Henry Lever Action X Model .45-70

Henry Lever Action X Model .45-70 rifle
Henry Lever Action X Model .45-70Henry USA

Combining the classic and the modern, the newly announced X Model lever-gun from Henry sports dashing good looks, practical modern features and design, and classic attitude. Features include synthetic furniture, a 20-inch round blued steel barrel threaded for a suppressor or muzzle device, a removable 4-round tubular magazine, integrated pic rail and M-LOK slots on the forestock, and fiber-optic sights. The action is drilled and tapped for scope mounts. In-line sling swivel studs, and a large-loop lever polish off the package, which weighs in around 7.4 pounds. MSRP is $970. henryusa.com

7. Ruger Hawkeye Long-Range Hunter

Ruger Hawkeye Long-Range Hunter rifle
Ruger Hawkeye Long-Range HunterRuger

Sporting an attractive speckled tan and brown synthetic stock, the new Long-Range Hunter from Ruger feels solid and capable in the hand. The stock is adjustable for length of pull, and the rifle ships with an AI-style 3-round magazine. A 20 MOA pic rail comes pre-mounted atop the CRF action, and the stainless barrel is 22-inches long and included a radial port muzzle break. A three-position safety and crisp LC6 trigger complete the 7.2-pound package. Currently available in 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 PRC, this member if the Hawkeye family is good looking and possesses long-distance influence. MSRP is $1,279. ruger.com

8. Kimber Open Range Pro Carbon

I love all good rifles, but I have a particular fondness for Kimber rifles. The company’s new Open Range rifle is built around Kimber’s 84M Stainless CRF (Controlled Round Feed) action, sports a carbon-fiber wrapped 24-inch barrel from Proof Research with a removable muzzle brake. It has an adjustable trigger, a 4-round magazine capacity, and a three-position safety, all on a carbon-fiber stock. Currently offered in 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win., the rifle weighs in just over 6 pounds and boasts a sub-MOA accuracy guarantee. What’s not to love? Maybe the price tag, but my hunch is that this rifle is worth it. It’s available in several colors with an MSRP $3,099. kimberamerica.com

9. Savage 110 Ultralight

Savage 110 Ultralight rifle
Savage 110 UltralightSavage Arms

Recognizing the current demand for ultra-light, super-accurate mountain rifles, Savage has risen to the occasion. Their new 110 Ultralight features a 22- or 24-inch (depending on caliber) carbon-fiber Proof Research barrel, Savage’s signature Accufit synthetic stock, and an AccuTrigger that’s user-adjustable from 1.5 to 4 pounds. Weight comes in under six pounds, and the rifle is chambered in eight cartridges including 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .30-06, and .280 Ackley Improved. MSRP is $1,499. savagearms.com

10. Bergara Mountain

Bergara Mountain rifle
Bergara MountainBergara

Bergara is releasing an updated version of their popular Mountain rifle. The 2.0 model features an AG composite carbon fiber stock, 22- or 24-inch number 3 stainless steel barrel, and Bergara’s Premier 2-lug action. The stock is an eye-catching sponge-over-carbon camouflage pattern, the metal components have a tactical-gray Cerakote finish. Available chamberings include 6.5 CM, 6.5 PRC, .308 Win, 28 Nosler, .300 Win Mag, and .300 PRC, with magazine capacity of two, three, or four, depending upon caliber. The rifle boasts a 1-MOA guarantee, weights 6.25 pounds, and sports a TriggerTech trigger. MSRP is $2,250. bergara.online

11. Mossberg Patriot Long Range Hunter

Mossberg Long Range Patriot HunterMossberg

Mossberg just announced a Long Range version of its Patriot rifle to greet the demand for accurate rifles purpose-built for distance. The rifle features a nice spider grey Monte Carlo stock with aluminum pillar bedding and a flat-bottom benchrest-type forend with dual swivel studs: one for your carrying sling and another to attach your bipod to. The rifle comes chambered in .308 Win. and 6.5 Creedmoor (22-inch barrels), as well as 6.5 PRC and .300 Win. Mag. (24-inch barrels). The barrels are matte blue, fluted and threaded for a muzzle brake or suppressor. The trigger is adjustable from 2 to 7 pounds. Total weight ranges from 6.5 to 7.5 pounds. mossberg.com

12. Gunwerks Skuhl Dangerous Game

Gunwerks Skuhl Dangerous GameGunwerks

For the first time ever, Gunwerks has announced a dedicated dangerous game rifle. Built on a ClymR stock with a hardwood-esque finish, the rifle sports a 21-inch barrel, laser-engraved metal work, and a bit of an antique appearance. The rifle looks and feels incredible. It’s available in several calibers, including the .375 Ruger and .416 Ruger. Weight comes in right at 9.15 pounds, and the retail price is—grasp your billfold tightly—$11,581. gunwerks.com