Best 30-06 Rifles – 2019 Top Models Reviewed

Finding the best- .30-06 rifle can be a challenge. But if you have a good idea of what to look for, your search might get a little easier. The .30-06 is a rifle that is known to be one of the most trusted and reliable rifles for the purpose of hunting. Many big game hunters will tell you that this is the kind of rifle you’ll want on hand if you’re out in the field and want to knock down a good-sized deer, elk, or any other big sized game.

If you’re a hunter in search of a really good .30-06 rifle, then you’ll want to take a look at the list of six rifles that we’ve put together for our list. They are the most popular models on the market.

Before we unveil our list, we’ll talk about the best uses for a .30-06 rifle. We’ll also discuss how accurate these rifles are and will give you a peek behind the curtain about how we chose these rifles for you to choose.

Comparison Chart of the Best .30-06 Rifles

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Savage 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP .30-06 Spfd. w/ Nikon Scope

  • Best overall .30-06 rifle.
  • Includes a Nikon scope.
  • Stock made from synthetic materials.
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Remington 783, Bolt Action, .30-06 Springfield, 22" Barrel, 3-9x40mm Scope, 4+1 Rounds

  • Includes a 3-9x40 scope.
  • 22-inch free-floating barrel.
  • Runner-up for best overall .30-06 rifle.
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Weatherby Vanguard Select 30-06 Springfield Rifle

  • Best .30-06 rifle for the money.
  • Stock made from synthetic materials.
  • Barrel measured at 24 inches in length.
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Ruger American 30-06 Spfd

  • Lightweight polymer stock.
  • Best bolt action .30-06 rifle.
  • Recoil pad included for felt recoil reduction.
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Browning BLR Lightweight '81, .30-06 Springfield, 22" Barrel, 4+1 Rounds

  • Best lever action 30-06 rifle.
  • Really fast rack and pinion lever-action included.
  • Receiver made from high-quality aircraft quality alloy.
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Winchester- Model 70 Featherweight 30-06 Springfield 22IN 5+1

  • Best 30-06 hunting rifle.
  • Magazine capacity of 4 +1.
  • Stock made from high-quality polymer.
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Best Uses For a .30-06

As mentioned before, the .30-06 is best used for hunting. Specifically, hunters will use this for deer, elk, hogs, and even bears to name a few. The reason being is because these rifles have a lot of heavy-hitting firepower behind them, and you’re going to need it if you’re intending to knock down a big game target in one shot. Aside from hunting, it can also be used for casual target hunting (which also includes test shooting so you can sight in a new scope or sight). 

How Accurate is a .30-06?

This will depend on the weight of the round themselves. .30-06 rounds will weigh anywhere between 140 to 180 grain. Since they are also fired from rifles that have a great deal of recoil, they will have the potential to go quite far. How far you ask? Most users say that they are able to shoot their targets with effective accuracy from anywhere between 600 to 800 yards out. This is a remarkable distance, especially for those who fancy themselves as long-range hunters.

How We Chose These .30-06 Rifles

We did not choose these rifles at complete random. We chose these six based on some characteristics that were interesting and stood out to us in some way. We recommend that you use the same method we did while you look for a .30-06 rifle of your own. Here are some of the characteristics that you need to keep your eyes peeled for:

Price

If you’re a budget shopper, you’re always going to look for an affordable price tag. Mind you, this should not be confused with “cheap”. Affordable is finding the best rifle that you can afford in terms of quality. Even if you have to spend a little higher on your budget scale, it’s a lot better than settling for a crappy rifle just because it was cheap in price.

Performance

The performance depends on a few sub-factors: how light is the pull weight on the trigger? How much “oomph” are you getting with your firepower? How far will the rifle be able to shoot? These are some questions to ask when getting a good idea of how well it can perform in a practice shooting situation and in prime time (i.e.--the real hunting situations).

Quality

We look for rifles that will last you a long time. We’re talking years or possibly decades. So find a rifle that is made from high-quality materials. For example, most rifles will have barrels made from stress-tested steel while it has a synthetic stock made from polymer. 

Review of the Best .30-06 Rifles

The following is a list of the six best .30-06 rifles that are currently on the market. While the list is subject to change between now and the next year, this will give you an opportunity to see what’s popular among .30-06 enthusiasts and hunters.

Be sure to make a note of which features and characteristics stand out so you’ll be able to find your perfect rifle. Now, let’s begin this list by unveiling our “best overall” .30-06 rifle:

Pros

  • Very Accurate Shooting
  • Scope’s Optics Are Perfectly Clear
  • Excellent For Hunting Applications
  • Superior Firepower, It Can Knock Down Most Big Game Targets
  • Nikon Scope is Sturdy and Durable in Quality, It Can Handle a Great Deal of Recoil

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the recent buyers were happy with this rifle. They were even more excited to use it when they saw the Nikon scope included in the mix. Most of them were hunters who were looking for a great rifle for their next hunting trip. The scope allowed them to shoot pinpoint accurate shots from 600 to 700 yards away. One user even reported having landed a whitetail deer in one shot from that distance.

​Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle is equipped with a scope that provides not just pinpoint accurate shooting, but the most crystal clear optics in the business. That’s what Nikon scopes are best known for. There are many scopes that will give it a run for its money. But if there was ever a scope that will give you a wide field of view, high-quality image pictures, and sharpshooting ability this scope will do it.

​Who Will Use This Most

This is for the hunter who is looking for an accurate hunting rifle right out of the box. Granted, you’ll need to sight it in before you are able to get it ready for the big hunt. But make no mistake, once you have it set and ready to go you’ll be more confident in landing your next big target.

​What Could Be Improved and Why

While the added scope is a convenience, let’s make it more interesting and add on a sling. Yes, it’s got the swivel studs to accept most slings. But it would be a nice addition for those who want to carry it around all day but intend to keep their hands free at the same time.

​Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a .30-06 rifle that will wow you right out of the gate, the Savage 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP will definitely do just that. What’s not to love about this rifle? You get a pretty good scope with it, a great deal of firepower, and a force to be reckoned with in the hunting fields. Get this rifle and you’ll be set for a good while.

Pros

  • Easy to Sight in
  • Very Accurate Shooting
  • Recoil is Reasonable and Smooth
  • The Scope Has Nice and Clear Image Pictures
  • Has the Power to Knock Down Big Game Targets

Cons

  • Scope Adjustments Are a Little Stiff
  • Might Be a Little Heavier Than Expected
  • Some Reports of the Scope Sitting a Little Too Low

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers were impressed. The first thing they mentioned was that the scope was surprisingly clear for a generic brand scope, and it was reliable in most hunting situations. They were able to shoot accurately from various distances against numerous big game targets like deer and hog.

​Why it Stands Out to Us

The rifle itself is reminiscent of your classic hunting rifle. Something your father or grandfather would hunt with many years ago. Of course, we can say the same thing about so many bolt action hunting rifles. The only difference is that this rifle is upgraded for modern times. This means you’re working with a rifle that has a durable synthetic stock that will give you better support and is impossible to damage when caught in some nasty weather.

​Who Will Use This Most

This rifle is reserved for those who fancy themselves of being huge fans of bolt-action rifles. In fact, it’s one of the most popular rifle types to use when you’re hunting the big game targets. If you want reliable feeding with one push of the bolt you’ll definitely want to consider giving this rifle a closer look.

​What Could Be Improved and Why

One improvement should be to make the scope adjustments for windage and elevation a little smoother. This way, it won’t be really frustrating when you’re dealing with shots that are too far to the right or left (or too high or low). The easier you can adjust them, the better.

​Bottom Line

The Remington 783 Bolt Action .30-06 Springfield is probably your cup of tea if you’re looking for a rifle that can be your best buddy out in the hunting field. With a maximum of four rounds and a smooth moving bolt action at your disposal, you’ll definitely have fun knocking down your next target no matter how far you go.

Pros

  • Length of Pull Fits Most Shooters
  • Very Powerful and Accurate Shooting
  • Great For Hunting and Target Practice
  • Super Sturdy Quality and Construction
  • Less Felt Recoil With the Inclusion of the Vanguard Recoil Pad

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

Many recent buyers had nothing but positive things to say about this rifle. The rifle is solid in construction, and it shoots like a champ according to one user. He also added that the rifle provides accurate shooting with a lot less recoil than other .30-06 rifles. So far, he was able to land some hogs and a whitetail deer since purchasing it.

​Why it Stands Out to Us

The rifle is the perfect combination of a high-quality, yet affordable rifle. Indeed, it is one of the best ones you can find if you’re on a budget. Aside from that, it’s a classic bolt-action style rifle that is designed for the purpose of hunting made from the best synthetic materials. So it has the potential to last you years or even decades (so long as you take great care of it).

​Who Will Use This Most

This will be used by those who look for a really good hunting rifle on a budget. Once they’ve acquired it, they’ll use it for just about any hunting application where a .30-06 rifle is appropriate. It can be deer, hogs, or even moose (if you live in areas where they are legal to hunt). Either way, you’ve got a rifle with just enough stopping power to knock them down.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Obviously, a bit of a re-design is possible here. Especially when you want to add on a mount so you can apply your scope of choice that will be compatible with .30-06 rifles. This way, you’ll be able to easily up your accuracy game with this rifle if you really want to. In fact, having a scope on this rifle is a must.

​Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an excellent .30-06 rifle without having to break the bank to get it, the Weatherby Vanguard Select 30-06 might be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s the kind of rifle that you can afford, but you’ll feel like you’re stealing once you own it and shoot it the first few times.

Best Bolt Action Rifle:
Ruger American 30-06 Spfd

Pros

  • Very Accurate Shooting
  • Great For Hunting Applications
  • Felt Recoil Reduced Considerably
  • Stock is Lightweight But Very Sturdy
  • Bolt Moves Back and Forth Nice and Smooth

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers were able to use the rifle with thanks to its reliable feeding based on the smooth back and forth action of the bolt. They were quick to report that there was no jamming at all. As expected, it shoots great and users were able to accurately hit targets from as far as 100 to 200 yards away without a scope intact.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Bolt action rifles are by far one of the best types of rifles out there. So it’s no surprise to see one that has the capability of firing .30-06 rounds. The overall construction made from synthetic materials is why it stands out to us. It’s not a classic bolt action rifle, but it’s got the potential to last a lot longer than rifles with standard wood stocks.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be used by bolt action enthusiasts who won’t settle for anything but this kind of rifle. Especially when they’re using it for either hunting or just simply tuning it up at the range. Either way, this is for those who want nothing more than a really smooth bolt action that leads up to the consistently accurate shooting.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Considering the fact that it doesn't have any obvious cons, it would be nice to include something for the hunter who wants to carry it hands-free. Why not include a sling into the mix? This way, you can use your binoculars to find a place to set up shop for the day without worrying about juggling it with your rifle.

Bottom Line

The Ruger American 30-06 rifle is the one bolt action rifle that might be worth using if you want a rifle that’s solid, reliable, and does its intended purpose right out of the box. You’d be insane to pass up on a rifle like this if those three characteristics best describe your dream rifle.

Pros

  • Solid Construction
  • Felt Recoil Reduced Right Out of the Box
  • Smooth Trigger Pull, Not Too Heavy or Light
  • The Front Sight is Accurate, It Doesn’t Obscure the Target
  • Reliable Feeding, Lever Action is Really Quick to Load a Round Into the Chamber

Cons

  • Not a Rifle For Beginner Users
  • Sight May Not Be as Reliable and Accurate For Some Users
  • The Wood Stock Might Damage Easily if it Comes in Contact With Water or Cleaning Solvents

​What Recent Buyers Report

One of the best things that recent buyers were quick to report was regarding the lever action. It was able to provide them with quick loading and reloading. This would give them just enough time to line their rifle up with their intended target and quickly fire off a shot. They were quick to conclude that this rifle is for those who definitely want to improve their timing between loading the rifle and firing off a shot before missing the big target.

​Why it Stands Out to Us

The lever action is probably slightly better than a bolt action. At least, that’s according to some seasoned gun users. But a lever action is a pretty good rifle type to have if you want faster loading and reloading. This rifle has that ability. Other than that, it’s another .30-06 rifle with a lot of reduced recoil right out of the box. That’s always a plus in our opinion.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be used by those who have long used a .30-06 rifle and want a change from a rifle type like the bolt action. It will also be used by shooters who want to waste little to no time with the loading process and quickly be able to get a shot in the chamber so they can fire it off just in time before they write another “one that got away story”.

​What Could Be Improved and Why

One of the things that we think can improve would be including a mount for optics or sights that can co-witness perfectly with the front sight. This will definitely give shooters more of the advantage and make them the most dangerous sharpshooters in the field. Big game targets would never stand a chance against something so powerful and accurate. Especially when you have two sights working together.

Bottom Line

If you want to save time rather than waste it when it comes to loading your rifle, then the Browning BLR Lightweight .30-06 rifle might be something you’ll want to consider. Don’t be surprised if you give this a try and find out that it performs much better than your bolt action rifles.

Pros

  • Bolt-Action Type Rifle
  • Super Accurate Shooting
  • Reduced Recoil Has Been Reported
  • Excellent For Hunting Big Game Targets
  • The Recoil Pad is Tough and Protects Your Shoulders From Impact and Abuse

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers loved the overall look of the rifle. To some, it reminded them of a classic .30-06 rifle. The wood finish looked pretty good and is quite solid according to one user. As far as the shooting goes, they were able to accurately hit targets from 100 to 200 yards despite the absence of both a front or rear sight.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle is as lightweight as it gets. Especially for a heavy-hitting hunting rifle. But nonetheless, it’s quite comfortable to carry even throughout the course of the day. Even with a sling strapped to it, it will make hands-free carrying a lot easier. That’s why we love it and we cannot get enough.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be a favorite for those who don’t like carrying rifles that might be heavy and uncomfortable. It will also be used by hunters who want a rifle that will be able to knock down hogs, deer, and all kinds of big game or even waterfowl. Who says a heavy-hitting rifle can’t be this light?

What Could Be Improved and Why

A front sight would have done shooters some good here. You might be able to install one on your own accord here. But for those who might not want to purchase a front sight separately, adding one would have been convenient.

​Bottom Line

The Winchester Model 70 .30-06 rifle might be one of the best hunting rifles in its class. If you’re looking for a rifle that is surprisingly lightweight and delivers an excellent performance like nothing else, you’ll really want to give this rifle a much closer look. To paraphrase an old term, big power really does come from lightweight rifles.

Why Do You Need a New .30-06?

Using a brand new .30-06 rifle does have its advantages. Especially when you need one that will be best used for your intended purpose. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider getting one of these rifles for your own use:

It’s One of the Best Hunting Rifles

At risk of being repetitive, it is the go-to choice among hunters. If it has the ability to knock down large game targets, then it will definitely be a plus. Especially when you’re more of a deer hunter as opposed to a varmint hunter.

It Has the Ability to, go Long

Hunters can reach out and touch targets from various distances. Depending on which round you use, it can go quite far. So if you’re looking to land a deer or an elk from 100 yards or even 600 yards, chances are you’ll need a rifle that will make it easier to accomplish that.

Trusted for Many Years

The .30-06 has existed for many years. How long exactly? Over a century. So there’s a good chance that your father fired one. Your grandfather probably did too. For something that has lasted so long and has been the trusted rifle of choice for so many hunters because of its reliability and heavy firepower among other characteristics. 

Conclusion

One of these .30-06 rifles will be yours if you’re looking for something that will serve as your best-hunting buddy out in the field. This rifle is powerful, can take on any big target, and will go the distance if it has to. All you have to do is sight it in at the appropriate range and you’ll have a rifle that will get the job done no matter how far out your target is.

People Also Ask

The following is a list of frequently asked questions from new buyers regarding the .30-06 rifle. Use this as a supplemental guide to give you a better understanding of how the rifle works and what it can be used for. Here are the following questions:

Can You Hunt With a .30-06?

Short answer: Yes. A lot of hunters spanning back decades have long hunted game with this caliber rifle in particular. Some of the popular animals that they have hunted with are deer, elk, hogs, and bears among others.

How far Will a .30-06 Bullet Travel?

It will depend on various factors: the weight of the bullet and the rifle you’re shooting it with. While it might be effective in a hunting situation with targets standing out at about 600 to 800 yards away, it has the potential to go even farther. In fact, when these rifles were used in military exercises, they have had a history of traveling thousands of yards.

How Fast Does a .30-06 Bullet Travel in MPH?

It depends on the weight of the bullet. For example, a 165-grain bullet will have the ability to travel at 2,800 feet per second. That’s roughly 2,000 mph. A heavier bullet will obviously go a little slower. One can go as fast as 2,500 feet per second or roughly 1,700 mph.

Is a .30-06 a Good Deer Rifle?

Absolutely. In fact, the rifle itself has just enough stopping power to knock down whitetail deer at various sizes. 

Can a .30-06 Kill a Grizzly?

While it is a matter of debate, most seasoned hunters have killed grizzly bears using a .30-06. You can hunt these kinds of bears where it is legal to do so.

Can a .30-06 Kill a Brown Bear?

Yes. If it can stop a grizzly, it can most definitely stop a brown bear as well. Most hunting rifles in calibers that are smaller than a .30-06 like the .308 may also do the trick as well. 

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