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The Definitive Guide to the Best Rifles of 2023: Tested and Reviewed


In the ever-evolving world of firearms, it is crucial to have reliable and unbiased information when it comes to choosing the best rifles. That is why the Outdoor Life gun test team has dedicated years to thoroughly testing and reviewing various rifles, handguns, and even 1911s. With our decades of experience in the industry, we strive to provide valuable insights and data to our audience. In this article, we will highlight the best rifles of 2023 that have excelled in terms of performance, design, value, and accuracy.

Best Rifles of 2023: Return of an Icon and Some Amazing Values

Marlin 336 Classic (Editor’s Choice)

  • The Marlin 336 Classic has made a triumphant comeback under Ruger’s guidance.
  • With its superb fit and finish, this lever-action rifle has captured our attention.
  • Its svelte lines, attractive workmanship, and balanced handling make it a standout.
  • The Marlin 336 Classic has been unanimously chosen as the Editor’s Choice for 2023.

Mossberg Patriot LR Tactical (Great Buy, Precision Rifle)

  • The Mossberg Patriot LR Tactical offers incredible value for affordable long-range shooting.
  • This precision rifle handles well and delivers impressive accuracy.
  • Its heavy barrel and chassis stock contribute to its overall performance.
  • The Mossberg Patriot LR Tactical has earned the Great Buy award for precision rifles.
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Stevens 334 Walnut (Great Buy, Hunting Rifle)

  • The Stevens 334 Walnut has surprised the gun test team with its exceptional performance and value.
  • Despite its basic design, this wood-stocked bolt action rifle delivers remarkable accuracy.
  • The three-lug bolt design and adjustable trigger contribute to its overall functionality.
  • The Stevens 334 Walnut is the winner of the Great Buy award in the hunting rifle category for 2023.

CVA Cascade XT

  • The CVA Cascade XT stands out as a solid value among this year’s new rifles.
  • Designed for longer distances, this rifle offers a user-adjustable trigger and a radial muzzle brake.
  • It has a sturdy synthetic stock and a three-lug bolt for smooth operation.
  • The CVA Cascade XT provides hunters with a reliable and accurate option at an affordable price.

Fierce Firearms Carbon Rogue

  • Fierce Firearms is known for producing high-quality lightweight big-game rifles, and the Carbon Rogue lives up to their reputation.
  • This rifle features a carbon fiber stock and a stainless two-lug action.
  • While its accuracy is good, there were some feeding issues that affected its performance.
  • The Fierce Firearms Carbon Rogue offers great balance and handling for mountain hunting.

Nosler CCH (Carbon Chassis Hunter)

  • The Nosler CCH represents a departure from traditional rifle design, featuring a folding carbon-fiber stock.
  • This rifle pairs Nosler’s Model 21 action with a modern chassis made by MDT.
  • It provides a slick and smooth shooting experience, despite its relatively average precision.
  • The Nosler CCH caters to technically savvy hunters looking for a modern and lightweight hunting rifle.

Henry Repeating Arms Homesteader

  • The Henry Homesteader offers a fun shooting experience with its simple blowback design.
  • This 9mm pistol-caliber carbine delivers reasonably accurate results and negligible recoil.
  • It is a reliable and handy rifle that fires affordable ammunition.
  • The Henry Homesteader is an excellent choice for plinking and recreational shooting.
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Bergara Wilderness Ridge Carbon

  • The Bergara Wilderness Ridge Carbon impresses with its handling and balance.
  • This rifle features a synthetic stock and delivers good overall performance.
  • Its accuracy is decent, but its fit and finish don’t quite match its price tag.
  • The Bergara Wilderness Ridge Carbon is a capable hunting rifle that falls in the middle range of the test.

Browning X-Bolt Target Max

  • The Browning X-Bolt Target Max shines when it comes to long-range precision shooting.
  • With its competition-style stock and heavy barrel, this rifle offers excellent handling and balance.
  • It delivers good accuracy, although it can be picky with magazine compatibility.
  • The Browning X-Bolt Target Max is a reliable choice for steel target shooting and precision competitions.

Weatherby Mark V Backcountry 2.0 Ti

  • The Weatherby Mark V Backcountry 2.0 Ti caters to the niche market of ultralight rifles.
  • This rifle features an ultralight design and is chambered with the powerful .338 Wby. RPM cartridge.
  • While its accuracy is average, this rifle offers excellent ergonomics and recoil mitigation.
  • The Weatherby Mark V Backcountry 2.0 Ti is a unique choice for those seeking a lightweight and hard-hitting rifle.


The best rifles of 2023 offer a wide range of options for shooters and hunters alike. From lever actions to precision rifles, there is something for everyone. The Marlin 336 Classic, Mossberg Patriot LR Tactical, and Stevens 334 Walnut have stood out for their exceptional value and performance. Other notable rifles include the CVA Cascade XT, Fierce Firearms Carbon Rogue, Nosler CCH, Henry Repeating Arms Homesteader, Bergara Wilderness Ridge Carbon, Browning X-Bolt Target Max, and Weatherby Mark V Backcountry 2.0 Ti. Regardless of your shooting or hunting needs, one of these top rifles is bound to meet your requirements. Stay tuned for updates on upcoming rifle releases in 2023.

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