Best Hunting Rifles of 2013

By PH Online Editors
10/3/2013 10:33:16 AM

No matter if you're stalking a bear or a varmint, odds are you'll turn to a centerfire rifle before any other firearm. Each rifle on the market has its own specific area of peak performance, which makes each gun attractive for different reasons to different hunters.

While there are many multi-tasking rifles on the market, you may also consider buying a rifle or caliber tailored specifically for one particular species or task. Shopping for a new hunting rifle can really become a headache if you're not exactly sure what to look for. Whether you're planning your next hunt or just in the market for a new go-to rifle, Petersen's Hunting has you covered with this list of the best hunting rifles of 2013.

Credit: Petersen's Hunting

Blaser R8 Professional Success

If there is a Bugatti of the gun world, it is the Blaser R8. Remarkable German engineering makes for a superbly accurate, incredibly fast straight-pull, takedown bolt-action rifle with barrel/caliber interchangeability. The most recent finesse on the model adds a thumbhole stock, which may slow down follow-up shots but aids consistent, accurate shooting. Made of high-tech synthetic material, the "Professional Success" stock is available with a leather upgrade, wherein weatherproofed fine leather inlays replace the elastomer grip inlays. It's both beautifully done and very cool.

Price: $5,198

Credit: Petersen's Hunting

Browning A-Bolt III

If you've been longing for an A-Bolt rifle to justify that Browning Buckmark symbol tattooed on your posterior but just haven't been able to afford it, here's your poison. The new A-Bolt III maintains the high performance of the original A-Bolt but sloughs off the bells and whistles. Sleek, sexy, and black, it has a redesigned action, stock, and detachable box magazine. It feels like it was born in your hands and points like your finger. Four calibers are initially offered: .270 Win. and .30-06 with 22-inch barrels; 7mm Rem. Mag. and .300 Win. Mag. with 26-inch barrels.

Price: $599

Credit: Petersen's Hunting

Browning BAR Hog Stalker

Taking a new twist on an old rifle design, I couldn't help including Browning's new Hog Stalker variation on the BAR because of pure cool factor alone. Just look at the picture and tell me you don't want one. Available only in .308 Win., it has an extended 10-round magazine (make sure your state doesn't have capacity restrictions for deer hunting), a vertical pistol grip, and a forearm rail for attaching a light. Or better yet, a bipod, just to stay on your local game warden's good side.

Price: $1,669

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