When choosing your best rifle for 300 yards (274 meters) or greater, it’s essential to keep accuracy and precision in mind. Your best options are the Howa Mini-Action, Ruger Precision Rifle, Tikka T3 Sporter, and Mosin–Nagant. They’re easy to handle and work well with high-performance cartridges.
In this post, I’ll break down factors to consider when choosing a long-range rifle and suggest some of the best rifles and cartridges for long-range shooting.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Long-Range Rifle
Not all rifles are designed with long-range shooting in mind. To get the most out of your shooting experience, you should consider the following factors:
- Caliber: Rifle caliber corresponds to bullet diameter. When fired, a bullet with a larger diameter will typically have a more horizontal path and retain more kinetic energy at longer distances. However, it may produce more recoil and be more costly to shoot.
- Barrel length: A longer barrel will generally provide more stability and accuracy at long range, but it may also be heavier and less portable.
- Trigger: A good, adjustable trigger can help improve accuracy and shot placement.
- Stock: A well-fitted stock can help improve comfort and stability while shooting.
- Scope: A high-quality scope with a good reticle and appropriate magnification will be important for accurate shot placement at long range.
- Accuracy: Choosing an inherently accurate rifle will be important for consistently hitting long-range targets.
4 Best Rifles for Long-Range Shooting
1. Howa Mini Action
The Howa Mini-Action is a compact version of the Howa 1500 rifle. It’s a bolt-action firearm popular for hunting and long-range shooting. The Mini-Action is designed to be lightweight and easier to handle than the standard Howa 1500 while maintaining the same accuracy and performance.
As for its range, the Howa Mini-Action can shoot accurately at greater distances, depending on the caliber of the cartridge and the shooter’s skill.
Some common calibers that are used with the Howa Mini-Action include:
- .223 Rem
- 7.62×39 mm
- 6.5 mm Grendel
These calibers are known for their accuracy and effectiveness at long-range shooting. They can be used to shoot accurately at 300 yards (274 meters) or greater distances when paired with the right rifle and optics.
2. Ruger Precision Rifle Rimfire
The Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) is a bolt-action rifle for long-range shooting. It features a modular chassis that allows easy customization and adjustments, including changing the barrel, stock, and trigger. The rifle includes an adjustable, long-range buttstock and a 20 MOA Picatinny rail for mounting optics.
If you’re looking for a highly capable rifle well-suited for long-range and precision shooting, the RPR can be perfect for you. Its accuracy and versatility make it a popular choice among shooters looking for a high-performance rifle for hunting, target shooting, or competition.
The RPR is chambered in various cartridges, including:
- 6.5 Creedmoor
- 6.5 PRC
- 223 Remington
- .308 Winchester
These cartridges can shoot accurately at great distances, depending on the specific cartridge, the rifle’s barrel length, and the shooter’s skill.
3. Tikka T3
The Tikka T3 is a bolt-action rifle made by the Finnish firearms manufacturer SAKO Ltd. The Tikka T3 Sporter is also equipped with a three-position safety that allows the shooter to do the following:
- Lock the bolt
- Load and unload the rifle with the safety engaged
- Deactivate the fire safety
The Tikka T3 Sporter can shoot at ranges beyond 300 yards, depending on the caliber and the shooter’s capabilities. Some common calibers for the Tikka T3 Sporter include:
- 222 Rem
- 223 Rem
- 6.5×55 SE / 8″
- 260 Rem / 8″
- 308 Win
The Mosin–Nagant is a bolt-action rifle that was widely used by the military forces of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and various other nations. It was designed in the late 19th century and saw extensive use in World War I, World War II, and numerous other conflicts.
The Mosin–Nagant is chambered for several different cartridges, including 7.62x54mmR, the most common caliber used in this rifle.
The effective range of the Mosin–Nagant, specifically Mosin-Nagant M1891 with this cartridge, is typically around 437-557 yards (400-500 meters). However, skilled shooters may be able to hit targets at longer distances.
The maximum range of the 7.62x54mmR cartridge is around 800-1000 yards (732-914 meters). Still, the accuracy of the Mosin–Nagant begins to degrade significantly beyond 546 yards (500 meters).
Best Cartridges for 300 Yards or Greater
Many different cartridges can be used effectively for long-range shooting. Here are a few options that are popular among shooters:
1. .308 Winchester Ammo
The .308 Winchester is a cartridge commonly used for hunting and long-range target shooting. It is known for its medium power and was designed in 1952 by Winchester.
The .308 Winchester was created as a replacement for the 30-06 Springfield cartridge. It has a case capacity of around 56 grains, or about 2 ounces (57 grams). This is approximately 20% less than the case capacity of the 30-06 Springfield cartridge.
Despite its slightly smaller size, the .308 Winchester is still a popular choice for hunters and target shooters due to its versatility and reliable performance.
2. 300 Winchester Magnum
The .300 Winchester Magnum is a popular short-action, magnum caliber rifle cartridge designed by Winchester.
It was introduced in 1963 and has become one of the most popular cartridges in North America for hunting deer, black bears, and other medium-to-large games.
Many hunters highly regard the .300 Winchester Magnum as a top choice for hunting all types of big games in North America due to its ability to provide both accuracy and power at long distances.
3. 300 Norma Magnum
The .300 Norma Magnum (or simply .300 NM) is a rifle cartridge developed in 2012 by Norma. It was designed to be a long-range, low-recoil cartridge capable of taking all North American game species and most other medium-sized African games at long range.
The .300 Norma Magnum is based on the blown-out case of the 30-378 Weatherby Magnum with a 2.5-millimeter (0.1-inch) rim diameter, optimized for use in magazine-fed bolt action rifles.
4. 6.5mm Creedmoor
The 6.5 Creedmoor is a rifle cartridge developed in 2007 by Hornady. It was designed as a low-recoil, high-velocity round for long-range precision shooting. The case has a capacity of up to 140 grains (9 grams), which is 5% more than the .308 Winchester.
The 6.5-millimeter (.26-inch) bullet diameter is also larger than the .308’s, allowing it to hold more volume of powder by about 10% for increased muzzle velocities without an increase in recoil or report.
5. .338 Lapua Magnum
The .338 Lapua Magnum is a military and law enforcement rifle cartridge developed in Finland by Nammo Lapua and Sako in 1988. It was designed as an extremely long-range sniper round for use in the Accuracy International Arctic Warfare series of rifles.
It has become a popular cartridge for civilian long-range precision shooting and hunting. However, it is unsuitable for small game or varmint control due to its recoil when chambered in most bolt action rifles.
6. 6.5 PRC
The 6.5mm PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge) is a centerfire rifle cartridge developed in 2018 by Hornady Manufacturing. This cartridge was created using the 6.5mm Creedmoor as a base and was specifically intended for long-range shooting and hunting.
The 6.5mm PRC has a longer and thicker case than the 6.5mm Creedmoor, allowing it to hold more powder and generate higher velocities. It is used in various rifles, including bolt-action and semi-automatic firearms. It is known for its accuracy and consistent performance.
The 6.5mm PRC is a popular choice for long-range shooting competitions and for hunting medium to large games at long distances.
7. 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum
The 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum is a high-performance cartridge well-suited for long-range hunting. It is based on the .300 Weatherby Magnum case, which has been necked to accept 6.5mm caliber bullets. The cartridge has a large case capacity and can launch heavy bullets at very high velocities, making it an excellent choice for long-range shots on large games.
One of the main advantages of the 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum is its ability to deliver high energy to the target, even at extreme ranges. The high velocity and heavy bullets commonly used in this caliber contribute to this effect.
Additionally, the 6.5mm bullets used in this cartridge are known for their high ballistic coefficient, which helps them retain their velocity and energy over long distances.
When using the 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum for long-range hunting, selecting the right bullet for the task is important. Heavy, high-BC bullets are typically the best choice for long-range shots, as they can maintain their energy and accuracy over longer distances.
Choosing the best rifle for long-range shooting will depend on various factors, including the intended use, the shooter’s personal preferences, and budget.
Some of the best rifles for long-range shooting include:
- Howa Mini-Action
- Ruger Precision Rifle
- Tikka T3 Sporter
Consulting with a qualified gunsmith or shooting instructor can help you make an informed decision and choose the best rifle and cartridge suited to your needs.
For more, check out How To Choose the Best Rifle for Target Shooting.
Hey, I’m Jim, and I’m the author of this website. I have been teaching people a wide variety of survivalism topics for over five years and have a lifetime of experience fishing, camping, general survivalism, and anything in nature. In fact, while growing up, I spent more time on the water than on land! I am also a best-selling author and have a degree in History, Anthropology, and Music. I hope you find value in the articles on this website. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or input!