Bolt-action rifles became popular with military forces in the early twentieth century, and hunters soon began using sporterized versions of these early military arms for taking game of all sizes. Since that time, the bolt-action has become the most popular choice for big game hunting for a number of reasons. They are accurate, dependable, affordable, and they lend themselves well to the use of scopes. The bolt-action’s robust design made it possible to utilize powerful new centerfire cartridges that extended the effective range of these firearms. Unlike tube-fed lever actions, they could also utilize spitzer-type bullets safely.
Hundreds of different bolt-action rifles originated in Europe and the United States, and today hunters have a wide selection of turnbolt rifles to meet every hunting situation and budget. The modern bolt-action rifle is lighter and more accurate than at any time in history. Over the past several years there have been numerous upgrades to bolt-action design in the form of synthetic stocks, improved finishes and better machining, but today’s rifles remain very much true to original designs.
A few bolt-action designs stand out as the best in history. Some have a reputation for rock-solid dependability, some have become hunting field favorites, and others have revolutionized bolt gun design. Certain guns, such as the Winchester Model 70, have been the basis for a number of other, later designs that have also been successful. Others, such as the Remington Model 700, have become so widely accepted by shooters and hunters that you’ll find one in virtually every hunting camp in the country. However, all of these guns, have earned a place in history as the best bolt guns ever created.
Here’s a look at the 10 best bolt guns of all time. Be sure to vote for your favorite and enter the debate!
<h2>Springfield M1903</h2>Shown here in an A4 Sniper configuration, the M1903 Springfield saw service in World War I and, in a much more limited role (primarily in the hands of military snipers), during World War II. After the First World War, returning GIs recognized the Springfield’s accuracy potential and durability and began sporterizing the rifle for field use. Hemingway carried one in Africa, and he actually preferred his Springfield in .30-06 to his double rifle for dangerous game. That certainly didn’t hurt the gun’s popularity, but it was readily available and affordable for U.S. sportsmen. It was also the first rifle chambered for the .30-06 Springfield, which has proven to be a pretty effective cartridge for big game. Springfields still pop up from time to time, and some of the early conversions offer a lot of rifle at a budget price.