- Weatherby Vanguard Badlands
The Weatherby Vanguard Badlands is built in Japan by Howa, a company with a great reputation for building accurate rifles, Eric says. What really distinguishes this rifle from others is its appearance with a Burnt Bronze Cerakote finish on the barreled action and a stock wrapped with Badlands Approach camo. It’s a really unique and attractive look. The rifle has a push feed action and dual lug one-piece fluted bolt and it also carries the Weatherby guarantee of sub-MOA accuracy and plenty of other great features. Because there are a variety of different chamber offerings, 11 in fact, the Vanguard Badlands can offer something to every hunter and virtually any game they pursue. Eric says you can pick it up in 25-06 Rem, 257 Wby Mag, 270 Win, 30-06 Sprg, 300 Wby Mag, 300 Win Mag, 308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5-300 Wby Mag, 7mm Rem Mag and 7mm-08 Rem. Another standout feature of this rifle, the price point. Although the sleek, unique look gives it a higher dollar feel, buyers can actually get into a Weatherby Vanguard Badlands for under $1000 with retail prices coming in under $800.
- Remington Model Seven SS HS
The compact Model Seven SS HS from Remington is a great offering for 2019. The “SS” in the name points to the Stainless Steel barreled action and the “HS” refers to the HS Precision stock. This stock, Eric says, is where the money is in this rifle with an aluminum bedding block. These features allow the Model Seven to see its true accuracy potential. A trigger is really important for the overall accuracy potential of a rifle, Eric notes. If you have a long trigger with a lot of creep to overcome, you’re not going to be able to group very well. The user adjustable X-Mark Pro trigger on the Model Seven addresses this and allows shooters to maintain tight groups. Even with the HS Precision stock, a well-known target shooting stock, the Model Seven weighs in at just 6 pounds, making it a lightweight field ready rifle. Offered in a limited number of calibers, the Model Seven can be purchased in 308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08 Rem and 243 Win. Coming in at around $1100, Eric says this rifle really hits the value mark, it’s a $2000 rifle for almost half that price.
- Bergara Premier Highlander
Stepping up a little in price, Eric talks the Bergara Premier Highlander ringing in at $1850. This is another lightweight rifle, under 8 pounds, which leaves plenty of room to mount your scope of choice and still maintain a reasonable weight. Bergara is known for their barrels, as they were a barrel company before they were a rifle company, Eric says. The Premier Highlander has a 24-inch fluted barrel with a Sniper Gray Cerakote finish that is very resistant to the elements and a fiberglass stock. One of the many highpoints of this rifle, Eric says, is the TriggerTech trigger with two-position safety and Friction Release Technology. The Premier Highlander is offered in 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, 270 Win, 7MM-08 Rem, 280 AI, 308 Win, 30-06, 7MM Mag, 300 Win Mag and 300 PRC. Each rifle is guaranteed to produce groups of 1.0 MOA or less at 100 yards. Bergara has really dialed in this Premier Highlander to pull the most accuracy possible out of each cartridge offering. This rifle has custom elements mixed with standard features and that really allows buyers to get into a semi custom gun at a very reasonable price. It’s one of the best values out there for a bolt action, Eric says.
- Kimber Mountain Ascent Subalpine
Rounding out the new rifle picks for 2019 is the Kimber Mountain Ascent Subalpine. While it’s at the top of the budget with a $2000 price tag, it is a very refined and custom like gun at a price far less than you’ll find other semi custom/custom rifles. The Mountain Ascent Subalpine is the lightest weight option of all the models listed. With an average weight of less than 5 pounds, Kimber used a Carbon fiber reinforced stock, fluted barrel, spiral fluted bolt body and skeletonized bolt knob and extractor to achieve the impressive light weight. And although it’s light, the rifle still is able to maintain sub-MOA accuracy. Designed for high country mountain hunting, like mountain goats or sheep, Eric says this rifle is one that will stand up to the elements and deliver the kind of precision you need it to when it’s called upon. The Kimber Mountain Ascent Subalpine is offered in 308 Win, 280 AI, 30-06 Sprg, 300 WSM and 300 Win Mag.
Be sure to tune in as Eric Poole, Editor of Guns & Ammo and co-host of “Guns & Ammo” on Sportsman Channel, stops by to talk about some great new rifles under $2000 for 2019. If you don’t already have a subscription to Guns & Ammo, be sure to get one to stay current with everything happening in the world of firearms and ammunition! Catch “Guns & Ammo” on Sportsman Channel, Thursdays at 9:00 p.m., ET, or use MyOutdoorTV to catch previous seasons and episodes of the show.
Happy rifle hunting,