In 2016, we gave you a guide to the best hunting rifles of the season.

However, we realize in the 3 years since then, a lot of new rifles were introduced; making our older article outdated.

Thus, we figured it was time to publish an update with the 3 best rifles for deer hunting in 2019.

How Do You Know What the Best Rifle for Deer Hunting is?

This is a very complicated question.

In truth, there isn’t any single best hunting rifle. There are too many different factors to consider, which might make one model the best for Deer Hunter A but a pretty terrible option for Deer Hunter B.

So to help narrow down our shortlist, we limited our choices to the most common deer hunting caliber, .30-06.

This means you won’t find any .233 caliber ARs here today. Even though we’re a fan, they’re more of a sporting rifle, and therefore ill-suited for deep woods hunting more often than not.

The 3 Best Rifles for Deer Hunting

Without further ado, here are our top picks for deer hunting rifles:

1. Winchester XPR (Bolt Action)

The Winchester XPR is our number 1 pick. While we’ve chosen to narrow in on the .30-06 caliber, there are 11 in total – from .243 Winchester to the .338 Winchester Magnum.

Based on the famous Winchester Model 70, the XPR is a somewhat more affordable hunting rifle.

That does, unfortunately, mean there’s some good modifications and some bad ones alike.

Luckily, the stock is the only thing that needs some “DIY” adjustment, as cheap, hollow plastic was used.

All you need to do is pack it with some old socks to balance it out better.

The positives far outweigh that small issue. While the Model 70 features an expensive Mauser bolt, the XPR’s new Winchester 3-lug bolt works just as well and can be easily removed for cleaning.

Bear in mind the Winchester XPR is made for right-handed shooters.

2. Winchester Model 70 Featherweight (Bolt Action)

Of course, we can’t simply mention the Winchester Model 70 without giving it the exposure it deserves.

Similar to the Winchester XPR, the Model 70 Featherweight also comes in 11 calibers.

And while this one is more closely related to the pre-1964 Winchester Model 70, it retains the post-1964 3-position safety.

If grip is important to you, you’ll enjoy the fore grip’s stippling, as well as the Pachymayr Decelerator recoil-reducing butt pad.

The only real downside to the Featherweight (which, at only 7 pounds, lives up to its name) is its fixed 4-round magazine.

Well, that and the price tag, but the level of accuracy afforded more than makes up for the cost.

3. Ruger American Rifle (Removable Rotary Magazine)

Plenty folks are skeptical of Ruger’s rotary magazines, but our top 3 picks for the best deer hunting rifles would be incomplete without the Ruger American Rifle.

The composite stock isn’t the most beautiful, but it does its job with excellence.

However, if you want better balance, it’s a good idea to stuff the hollow stock body with some padding (like old socks).

Similar to the Winchester Model 70 Featherweight, the Ruger American Rifle only weighs 7 pounds.

Still, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more accurate hunting rifle: the boring is excellent for medium-range shots and you can use the pre-drilled holes for screwing an optical sight in.

Once again, if you’re not a fan of .30-06 ammunition, there are a few other calibers available too.

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