Regarding durability, repeatability, and pure shooting joy, bolt-action rifles are hard to beat. For 2024, many famous bolt-action rifle makers added to pre-existing lines, while some created new lines. Here are five of our favorites.

by Jace Bauserman

It’s funny. When I shoot shotguns, I prefer semi-automatic builds to pump-action shooters. When shooting rifles, it’s the exact opposite. Give me a bolt-action rifle every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Why?

I could feed you a line about functionality and features, but it would be just that — a line. I’ve shot multiple semi-automatic rifles, AR-style, and others that shoot like dreams. For me, it’s a choice based on feel and style. I shoot bolt-action rifles better. I love the classic look, and there’s something about having to work the bolt after each shot that slows the shooting process for me. 

Rifle manufacturers did a bang-up bolt-action job in 2024, and we’re ready to unveil our 2024 dream team. 

Let’s dive in.

Browning X-Bolt 2 

Browning’s X-Bolt models have filled freezers and created too many grip-and-grin photos to count. Not one to rest on its laurels, Browning unveiled its new 2024 X-Bolt 2 line at the 2024 SHOT Show. The X-Bolt 2 lineup was an instant hit. 

For 2024, the X-Bolt 2 is available in models of Speed SPR, Pro McMillan Carbon Fiber, Speed LR, Target Competition Lite, Speed, Speed Carbon Fiber, Pro Carbon Fiber, and Hell’s Canyon McMillan LR.

I spent time behind the X-Bolt 2 Speed chambered in 300 PRC. I applaud the Vari-Tech composite stock’s adjustable, padded comb height and over-molded gripping surfaces. 

A Cerakote finish on the barreled action boosts protection, and the fluted, contour barrel reduces overall rifle weight while proving exceptionally accurate. The short 60-degree bolt lift promises rapid cycling and quick follow-up shots, and the new receiver boosts bolt guidance surface area for smoother operation. The new DLX Trigger comes set at hunting weight. I found it crisp and precise with zero creep. 

Benelli LUPO HPR

A fan of Benelli’s LUPO rifles since their introduction, my new favorite is the 2024 LUPO HPR. I took the push-button adjustable comb height stock with flat-bottom forearm rifle chambered in .308 Win. on an Oklahoma rifle hunt. It delivered in spades on a mature buck. 

Not a rifle I would want to tote across the landscape, it is ideal for long-range sit-and-wait hunting. The heavy-contour, straight-fluted CRIO barrel blends the functionality of a chassis rifle with the supreme handling ability of a bolt-action.

I cheer the Magpul M-Lok Attachment Points for a sling, and the rifle comes with interchangeable pistol-style grips that are ideal for target shooting and hunting. The box-style magazine is detachable, and the Progressive Comfort System ensures maximized recoil reduction. 

A one-piece Picatinny rail allows for easy scope attachment, and I found the BE.S.T Coated Bolt to be smooth and ultra-functional. 

Mossberg Patriot Synthetic 400 Legend

The Mossberg Patriot line is far from new. Many hunters and shooters put their trust in these value-rich rifles. What is new for 2024 is the Patriot Synthetic in the growing popular 400 Legend. 

A straight-wall caliber cherished by whitetail hunters in states where bottleneck cartridges are illegal, the 400 Legend provides deep penetration, accuracy, and maximum knock-down power.

Pair top-tier ammo, like Winchester’s new Power-Point, with the Patriot Synthetic, and you get a 20-inch barrel shooter that negates recoil, has a crisp trigger, and comes with a spiral-fluted bolt for weight reduction and maximum functionality. 

The Drop Box Magazine means quick reloading and the threaded barrel sports a recessed match barrel crown. The synthetic stock will take a beating, and at 6.5 pounds and an overall length of 40.25 inches, the rifle is excellent for multiple hunting and shooting applications. 

Weatherby Model 307 Range XP

The Model 307 Range XP is a long-range tack driver built on Weatherby’s all-new Model 307 action. The action sports a tool-less disassembly bolt. This allows hunters and shooters to quickly field-strip the bolt if needed. The bolt features an M16-style extractor for precise, positive extraction and ejection. The 2-lug, fully cylindrical action is compatible with many aftermarket accessories.

The Model 307 Range XP sports an easy-to-adjust comb height and a removable, extended magazine. The fluted barrel and bolt save weight and give the rifle an excellent look.  Available in various popular calibers, the Model 307 Range XP is a winner. 

Ruger American Rifle Gen II

Ruger’s American bolt-action builds have deep roots in the bolt-action world. Durable, accurate, and priced right, the American is found in gun safes everywhere.

For 2024, Ruger upped the ante by lifting the veil on its American Gen II bolt-action. Standard Generation II builds showcase a tough-as-nails Gun Metal Gray Cerakote barreled action and dark gray stock textured with black and gray splatter. The soft rubber recoil pad soaks up recoil, which isn’t much via the radial port muzzle break. The installed low comb boosts sight alignment when using optics. Shooters can take the low comb off when using low-mounted sights. Length of pull, by removing a single installed spacer, allows for a 1/4-inch LOP adjustment and the Marksman Adjustable trigger is adjustable between three and five pounds of pull weight. 

Other must-mention features include a medium contour barrel with deep spiral flutes that reduce weight at the muzzle end, a three-position tang safety lock, and a patented Power Bedding integral bedding block system. This system positively locates the receiver and free-floats the barrel for incredible shot-to-shot consistency. 

There you have it five bolt-action beauties that, at the very least, deserve a trip to the range and a little dance.

 

Born and raised in southeast Colorado, Shoot-On contributor Jace Bauserman cut his hunting teeth chasing ducks, geese, quail, and pheasants near his southeast Colorado home. The seed that was planted stuck, and Bauserman’s outdoor pursuits grew. He started chasing elk and mule deer in the Colorado mountains with his 7mm Rem. Mag., and coyotes, fox, and bobcats across the plains. In 2003, Bauserman started writing about his adventures. Today, Bauserman is an accomplished outdoor writer. He has served as editor-in-chief of Bowhunt America and Bowhunting World magazines and has penned thousands of articles for top-tier outdoor publications.

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