The .30-06 has been a reliable round used by the majority of shooters for hunting large games. When you’re on the hunt for the best .30-06 rifles available on the market, you’ll obviously find that there is a wide range of choices to pick from, making picking one out a challenge. To make things even more complicated, these rifles either come as “stand alone” (rifle only) or as a combination with a scope thrown in together. We are aware that folks are often indecisive in between a
Factors to Consider When Buying a .30-06 Rifle
Different .30-06 rifles have different features, and they most certainly come in at various price points too. Keeping this in mind, you’ll need to first decide what your priorities are before purchasing this type of gun to be able to accurately identify one that will make the best fit for your needs. Here are a few factors that you can consider before making the final purchase:
Those who are new to the .30-06 rifle game will obviously be looking at their first purchase in a different light compared to experienced hunters. If you’re new to the scene, you may want to try a variety of options first before deciding.
Discuss with your friends and ask them for advice on which would be an ideal “starter” .30-06 rifle. If possible, you should also visit your local ranges to seek advice and give different models a test run with and without scopes.
You’ll also need to take into account the type of game you’ll be after and terrain you’ll be hunting in. Will you be walking for long periods over differing terrains to get your prey? Then you’ll definitely want to get a lighter gun as you don’t want to get one that is too heavy. A heavy rifle will significantly impact your stature and stamina, especially for extended periods of hunting.
Sling hooks are also related to the weight of the gun. This may not be something that you need to consider if you’re just shooting from your backyard or at the ranch, but you’ll most definitely need to attach a good sling to your gun when hiking. Not only does a sling make your rifle much easier to carry, but it also leaves both your hands free for other activities.
Do you want to buy the .30-06 gun on its own or would it be better to go straight for a rifle and scope combo?
This is important as you’ll need to make sure you have a quality ‘glass’ to mount. The ability, clarity, and features of your scope will do a significant role to improve your accuracy and extend your rifle’s shot.
You don’t always have to stretch yourself financially just to get the best .30-06 rifle. Some of the best .30-06 guns are available at very reasonable prices. This definitely means that a little research and testing can go a very long way.
Those who have a little more money to spare will find that the top-quality guns available in this caliber will do amazingly to enhance their shooting enjoyment and experience. They will be happy to find that their rifle can last them for a very long time.
Top 8 Best .30-06 Rifles – Analyzed
The .30-06 gun has had a long, proud military and civilian history behind it, landing it a spot in American shooter’s hearts. This hunting rifle’s popularity is evident as you can find a large number of hunters who put their trust and favor in this highly accurate weapon.
With so many choices available on the market today, here are the top .30-06 rifle selections and their reviews to help you along.
1. Savage Arms 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP Bolt-Action Rifle with Nikon BDC 3-9×40 Scope Packages
Best .30-06 Rifle and Scope Combination
The Savage Arms is a popular firearms manufacturer that holds a very good reputation among hunters as they offer attractively priced firearms with solid customer service that you can count on.
Aside from the good price and aftersales service, this bolt action rifle is even coupled with a high-quality scope from Nikon. Getting the 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP Bolt-Action Rifle with Nikon BDC 3-9×40 Scope combination means you have a piece of firearm that is up and ready to go hunting right out of the box.
Everyone knows the undisputed quality of Nikon scopes, and the manufacturer continues to prove their excellence with the BDC 3-9×40 Scope. Not only does it have the ability to provide a wide field of view (FOV), it even delivers clear and crisp images to help you quickly spot your target.
Once the rifle is sighted in, you can be assured that its long range accuracy will certainly put a smile on your face. This .30-06 model is able to help you make a shot from 600 to 700 yards away. Hunters who frequently stay out in the field for long periods of hunting expeditions will know that they often need to hike long distances to find the perfect kill. While this is an essential part of the sport, it does mean that you are required to carry your ‘luggage’ a fair bit.
Fortunately, this hunting rifle from Savage Arms comes with built-in swivel studs to help you attach your favorite slings that suit your carry style. This means you can have your hands free to wander through whatever terrain you may be hunting in or to even hold up binoculars.
This bolt action rifle features a durable synthetic stock and a high-quality carbon steel barrel. It even comes with a trademarked, adjustable Accutrigger to help you achieve better accuracy. The rifle’s overall length is 41.5 inches which include a barrel length of 22 inches. The Savage Arms 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP Bolt Action Rifle weights 7.26 lbs, has a recoil pad, and a 5-round detachable magazine.
- Good rifle and scope combination
- Accurate shooting over longer distances
- Suitable for all types of hunting
- Improve confidence
- Scope rings may need adjustment
2. Weatherby Vanguard Select .30-06 Springfield Rifle – VSE306SR40
Best .30-06 Rifle for Regular Ease of Use
The Weatherby Vanguard Select is one of the best for both new to the scene as well as seasoned hunters. The hunting rifle offers a quality design that allows easy and smooth operation.
The .30-06 Springfield rifle features a matte, bead blasted and blued barrel with a barrel length of 24 inches. This gives the rifle an overall length of 44.5 inches. The Weatherby Vanguard Select Springfield’s rifling is 1-10 inches with a length of pull of approximately 13 ⅝ inches long. The drop specs of this hunting rifle are:
- Drop at Comb: ⅝ – 1 inch
- Drop of Heel: 1 inch
- Magazine Capacity: 5+1 rounds
- Total Weight: 7 ¾ lbs.
Shooters that regularly use the Vanguard Select will quickly get used to its Sub MOA accuracy. On top of that, the gun’s recoil pad is even specially designed to dramatically reduce felt recoil. All in all, the gun has been designed to ensure a far more comfortable repeated shooting while out hunting for any big game.
Other features that are worth noting include a solid construction from high-quality synthetic materials to deliver an all-round durable gun. With good care, you can easily expect the Weatherby Vanguard Select .30-06 Springfield Rifle to last you a very long time.
To top it off, the gun also includes a black Monte Carlo stock, a quality, cold hammer-forged barrel, adjustable two-stage match quality trigger, and 3-position safety feature. All those add up to offer a solid, reliable hunting rifle at a reasonable price.
Overall, the Weatherby Vanguard Select .30-06 Springfield Rifle has been designed to meet just about any hunting application. Whether you need one to help you take down a large game such as a hog, deer, whitetail deer, brown bear, black bear, African plains game such as kudu, eland, hogs, caribou and even a moose (if it’s legal), this gun will surely provide you with the right amount of stopping power.
- Quality, long-lasting construction
- Suitable for shooters with varying skill levels
- Powerful and accurate
- Vanguard recoil pad reduces felt recoil
- Does not include a scope
3. Ruger American .30-06 SFPD. Black Composite Stock Rifle 6901
Best Bolt-Action .30-06 Rifle
Next on our list is a gun manufactured by a highly respected firearms company. Ruger is one of the top companies that offer products with high quality, style, aesthetics, and competitive pricing.
The top engineers in Ruger have thought long and hard during the design stage of the .30-06 SFPD gun. This has resulted in a top-notch rifle that is able to benefit many hunters who are after a robust and reliable bolt action weapon to take down game targets.
The Ruger American .30-06 SFPD not only comes with a full diameter bolt, it even features a lightweight stock, the renowned Ruger adjustable marksman trigger, and a recoil pad. The hammer-forged barrel is 22 inches in length to make the gun’s overall length to be 42.5 inches and 6.26 lbs. in weight, while the rotary magazine holds 4 rounds of ammunition. The gun has a right-hand twist of 1:10 inches and a 13.75-inch length of pull.
The Ruger American .30-06 SFPD is made from durable synthetic materials that will last you many years. While it’s not a classic bolt action rifle, this Ruger hunting rifle has got the potential to last a whole lot longer than those with standard wood stocks.
Those who have been in the varmints hunting world will very well know that quality bolt action rifles often take a lot of beating, especially those with the capability to fire .30-06 rounds. Fortunately, the Ruger American .30-06 SFPD has given this a lot of attention to offer you an extremely smooth back and forth action without needing to worry about the occurrence of jamming issues.
This .30-06 rifle lets you accurately hit your target that is standing approximately 100 to 200 yards away without a scope. But once you pair this up with a quality scope, long-distance accuracy is sure for you to appreciate.
- Consistently smooth back and forth action
- Highly accurate
- Adapts well to suit different hunting applications
4. Remington Model 783 Bolt Action Rifle and 3.9×40 Scope Combo
Best Entry-Level Remington .30-06 Rifle
As the country’s oldest gun manufacturer with a history dating back to the 1816, Remington firearms hold a special place in American history with a reputation to be proud of.
At the price point offered, you should take note that the trademarked 783 bolt action rifle is not one of Remington’s top league, but this rifle and scope combination is a good choice for those just starting out in the world of .30-06 rifles or those with a strict budget.
The Remington Model 783 features a newly designed pillar-bedded synthetic stock with striking lines. It also gives you a high-quality carbon steel barrel and SuperCell recoil pad to boost your overall shooting experience.
With a trademarked CrossFire trigger system, this budget rifle is pre-set at the Remington factory for 3.5 lbs. However, shooters still have the flexibility to adjust the trigger pressure between 2.5 to 5 lbs to suit their preference and for whatever reasons.
Next, this free-floating, precision, button-rifled barrel has a length of 22 inches to make the Remington Model 783 Bolt Action Rifle’s overall length to be 42.5 inches. This precision rifle has a 1:10 twist rate, a detachable box magazine with 4+1 ammunition capacity, and a total weight of 8.625 lbs.
- Good entry-level price for rifle and scope combo
- Good starter .30-06 rifle
- Easily adjustable trigger system
- Average scope
- Might be heavy for some
5. Browning AB3 Composite Stalker Bolt-Action Rifle Combo with Leupold VX -1 3-9×40
Best “Out of the Box” .30-06 Rifle from Browning
We are now moving up a few steps in terms of quality and price with our next review. This AB3 Composite Stalker Bolt Action Rifle from Browning comes with a super capable Leupold VX -1 3-9×40 scope that will help you land a target shot while you’re out for big game hunting.
Right out of this box, this super grade rifle offers a stylish, lightweight, yet durable combination that is ready for you to sight in and head out varmint and deer hunting.
With a 22-inch barrel, the Browning AB3 Composite Stalker Bolt Action Rifle weighs just as 6 lbs 13 oz. If you get this, you can be confident that you are buying a rifle that comes with a quality, free-floated, target-crowned barrel that offers high precision.
The .30-06 rifle stock is even made from injection-molded synthetics and design features a pebble-textured panel that simply feels exquisite. Browning has even included an Inflex recoil pad as an integral feature to further enhance the hunter’s overall shooting comfort.
Featuring ultra-strong Browning three-lug bolt design and short 60 degrees bolt lift, this rifle delivers fast and smooth cycling. Another advantage of this feature is that it ensures a wide space between the hand and scope sight. Furthermore, a smooth cycling also lets you quickly acquire your target and fire off more accurate shots.
Thanks to Browning’s top tang safety features, the AB3 Composite Stalker Bolt-Action Rifle guarantees safety is yours. This rifle even comes with an ambidextrous design for use with either hand. The actual bolt locks closed when in the safe position. Additionally, there is even a bolt unlock button to allow easy bolt opening for inspection and loading purposes while the tang safety is still in a safe position.
Other than that, the detachable magazine offers 3+1 rounds of ammo capacity and also to facilitate better loading and unloading procedures. The rifle comes with a Leupold VX-1 optic that has a Plex reticle to give 3-9X magnification along with a 40mm objective lens. This quality scope is a very good option for big game hunters that need superior firepower and will certainly deliver a super clear picture of your targets.
- Quality rifle and scope combination at a reasonable price
- Fast and smooth cycling
- Built to withstand harsh weather conditions
6. Browning BAR Mark II Safari, Semi-Automatic, 30-06 Springfield
Best Semi-automatic .30-06 Rifle
The next review is yet another hunting rifle from Browning and there is a very good reason for this. This superb model delivers quality, accuracy, and effectiveness for many shooters out on a hunt.
If you have enough money to spare, it’s advisable to invest in a hunting rifle that offers style, looks, and functionality such as the Browning BAR Mark II Safari, Semi-Automatic, 30-06 Springfield. As the name suggests, this rifle is a semi-automatic .30-06 Springfield option that comes with a 22-inch barrel and a 4+1 magazine capacity. The overall length of the rifle is 43 inches and weighs at an acceptable 7.37 lbs.
The semi-automatic rifle also sports a stylish design and is an excellent example of a modern-day semi-auto hunting rifle that offers the traits of a timeless design. Robust in build, high in quality, and as reliable as they come.
The Browning BAR Mark II Safari has a beautiful walnut stock with a gloss finish that houses a polished blued, precision-machine steel receiver and scroll engraving. Paired with a hammer-forged barrel, and you get an autoloader that can take on any rifle of similar design out there.
This weapon is not just sheer beauty, it also features the target-type crown that is designed for uniform gas release as well as the 7-log bolt design, in which the gas-operated autoloader comes with multiple lug rotating bolt features locked directly into the barrel.
The rifle has even been engineered for reduced barrel vibration to boost overall accuracy. Thanks to a rigid, strong action bar/inertia block link-up and a quality buffering mechanism, the Mark II Safari is designed to withstand wear and tear for enhanced longevity and reliability.
Aside from that, the charging handle on the bolt has also been sculpted to offer a solid grasp while the trigger gives a crisp, satisfying pull as you let one go at a big game. The rifle also comes with a generous trigger guard opening that lets you shoot with ease even with gloves on.
The bolt-release lever action on the rifle has been built into the receiver for easier access and it includes a quality built-in recoil pad to help hunters reduce felt recoil. All in all, the rifle has been designed to deliver a much more comfortable shooting experience.
If you want to add a scope or sling onto the rifle, no worries as it has been pre-drilled and tapped for you to quickly and easily mount on your favorite accessories. You will also find built-in swivel studs along the rifle to allow ease of sling attachment.
Overall, we are confident to say that this rifle will always be there for you to take on larger game animals such as elephants, hogs, elk, deer, or bigger wild animals.
- High quality, durable, reliable
- Attractive, stylish design
- Classic looks
- Top-notch performance
- Perfect versatility for big game hunting
- May be expensive for some
7. Winchester Model 70 Super Grade Centerfire Rifle
Best High Quality .30-06 Rifle
The Winchester Model 70 Super Grade Centerfire Rifle is one of the best sporting rifles that has been crafted with quality in mind all the way. However, high quality also comes at a high price point, but you should take it as a long-term investment for quality build.
Gun collectors enthusiasts will certainly enjoy having such a high-quality manufacture and beautiful design as the Model 70 as part of their weapon collection. This Centerfire rifle features a Triple-A grade maple stock and checking that is further embellished by the classic ebony forend tip and Shadowline cheekpiece.
The rifle’s receiver is made of steel and is polished and blued so you will immediately get the feeling of solid Pre-64 action and MOA trigger system. These are specifically designed to match the use and accuracy of free-floating, hammer-forged steel barrel which a target crown gives.
To make the shooting experience much more comfortable, Winchester has included a Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad to reduce felt recoil. You can also find drilled and tapped mounts along the gun for scope addition as well as sling swivel studs to attach your preferred slings.
For such a quality build rifle, the Winchester Model 70 Super Grade Centerfire Rifle will deliver impeccable performance on top of ensuring many, many years of loyal service.
- Mechanically beyond reproach
- Beautiful design with top quality material
- Durability that will last you years
8. Kimber Mountain Ascent Bolt-Action Rifle
The final bolt-action option on our list is also the most expensive, but don’t let the high price tag put you off. This hunting firearm’s value is worth every penny with beautiful camouflage finishes.
Kimber factory-makes their Ascent Bott-Action rifles according to strict quality control, exceptional workmanship, and very high production process, which takes this rifle to another level. As proven by Kimber’s customer service and warranty, customers can be confident that they’ll receive a highly accurate and powerful rifle that is also durable, reliable, and able to cope with any hunting conditions you put it through.
Another feature that is unique to Kimber Mountain Ascent is the fact that their action size of each rifle is made specifically to fit the grouping type of hunting cartridge they fire. Their controlled bullet feeding mechanism has been designed to pair perfectly with the bolt’s full-length extractor to ensure slick, smooth cycling every time a bullet is moved to the chamber.
The robust, reliable, and sub-MOA accuracy of the rifle is among the number of reasons that this rifle provides people with immense confidence during their hunt. The quality match-grade stainless-steel barrels, chamber, crisp triggers, shortened bolt travel, and lightweight build increases the speed of use and provides excellent balance.
Overall, this is one of the best top-notch, high-performance hunting rifles that allows for excellent shots in various applications.
With this list of the best .30-05 rifle options, hopefully, you’ll be able to find your next hunting weapon that lets you utilize the incredibly versatile, proven .30-06 Springfield cartridge that is capable of taking any large game species, with the possible exceptions of some dangerous animals in Africa and Alaska.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is a .30-06 a good all-round choice?
The .30-06 drives a 180 grain bullet, which is an all-round cartridge for big-game hunters. The high muzzle velocity for such cartridges/calibers can reach anywhere between 2,700 to 2,800 fps to shoot flat enough to make distant shots feasible, The capabilities of such caliber are not to be underestimated as it can kill large animal targets.
Q: Can a .30-06 hurt a bear?
Yes, a .30-06 is one of the best choices for grizzle, and brown bears with the right rifle cartridge and good bullet placement.