Our Ballistic’s Best Reader’s Choice Awards is now going long distance as we move onto the “Best Bolt-Action Rifle” category. In total, we had 10 nominees — eight in 6.5 Creedmoor, one in 6.5 PRC (PROOF Research), and one in .308 Winchester (Remington).
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Reader’s Choice for Best Bolt-Action Rifle
Bolt-action rifles are undoubtedly popular right now, and they have been for some time. We continue to see new players enter the field and an increasing number of products from manufacturers whose claim to fame may not be bolt-action rifles. For instance, Daniel Defense, known for all things AR-15, now has a bolt-action rifle while another name in ARs, Seekins Precision, dove into this arena just a few years ago. Then there are the storied names like Browning and Weatherby who continue to produce quality rifles for hunters while trying to offer more “general-use” models. Carbon-fiber barrel guru Proof Research is in the mix as well, and tactically focused players like Remington Defense, SAKO and Barrett, who just won the ASR solicitation, are vying for top spot as well.
There were 10 nominees for “Best Bolt-Action Rifle” in total. They are as follows:
- Barrett MRAD (Ballistic review in .308; poll gun was in 6.5 Creedmoor)
- Bergara Premier Ridgeback
- Browning X-Bolt Max Long Range
- Daniel Defense Delta 5 (Tactical Life first look)
- Mossberg MVP LR
- PROOF Research TAC III
- Remington M24A2 SWS (Tactical Life review)
- SAKO TRG 22A1
- Seekins Precision Havak Bravo
- Weatherby Mark V Accumark Elite (Tactical Life review)
Before we get to the winner of the “Best Bolt-Action Rifle,” here are all of the other winners:
- Compact semi-auto handguns (non-1911s) — WINNER: SIG P320 XCompact
- Revolvers — WINNER: Colt King Cobra
- 1911s — WINNER: Wilson Combat EDC X9L
- Full-sized semi-auto handguns — WINNER: Walther Q5 Match SF Pro
- Semi-auto shotguns — WINNER: Benelli M4 H20 Tactical
- Bolt-action rifles
- Semi-auto rifles — WINNER: SIG M400 Tread
And the winner of the “Best Bolt-Action Rifle” category, collecting 1,994 votes out of 7,184 (27.76 percent), is the Barrett MRAD.
Barrett MRAD Details
The following was written by contributor Sean Utley as a part of the 2019 Ballistic’s Best issue. Want to find out the winners our staff chose? Grab digital and/or physical copies of “Ballistic’s Best 2019” at OutdoorGroupStore.com.
Developed for hard use to USSOCOM specifications, the MRAD is packed full of features. You can easily switch barrels and calibers—including long- and short-action calibers—while the chassis offers complete adjustability. All five evaluators, regardless of their preferences when it comes to bolt-action rifles, gave the MRAD the highest points. It just does everything so well and makes precision shooting easy.
Everyone loved the super-slick action, which makes you feel like a rock star with every stroke. It was also easy for everyone to find a comfortable shooting position thanks to the military-focused rifle’s ergonomics. The muzzle brake helped reduce the 6.5 Creedmoor recoil, and because the recoil impulse itself is linear, the rifle tracks so well. Even loading mags on the Barrett is easy.
While I could go on about the Barrett MRAD, there really is no need to. It’s clearly one of the best bolt-action rifles that you could ever pilot. I would urge you to get behind a Barrett MRAD and find out for yourself. And don’t forget that it’s multi-caliber, so you can shoot everything from .308-based cartridges up to the .300 PRC in the same platform. That way you can really get to know the rifle. For more information, please visit Barrett.net.
Barrett MRAD Specs
- Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor
- Barrel: 24 inches
- OA Length: 47.4 inches
- Weight: 13.28 pounds (empty)
- Stock: Folding, adjustable
- Sights: None
- Action: Bolt
- Finish: Tungsten Gray Cerakote
- Capacity: 10+1
- MSRP: $6,154