January 24, 2019
By Mark Kayser
The "SHOT" in SHOT Show stands for shooting, hunting and outdoor trade. Firearms are found throughout the show aisles and predator hunting rifles continue to be a hot-ticket item. If you’re considering an upgrade for 2019, here are a handful that might make you hanker.
Savage 110 Apex Predator XP
Are you one of those hunters who enjoy one-stop shopping? Savage understands that marketing concept, and for 2019 you can purchase the new Savage Arms 110 Apex Predator XP already fitted with a Vortex Crossfire II 4-12x44mm scope with Dead-Hold BDC reticle. And yes, they do the bore sighting for you.
The Apex Predator XP bolt action rifle is available in six predator-clobbering calibers, including the .223 Remington, .22-250 Remington, .204 Ruger, .243 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor and the .308 Winchester. A heavy, black matte, suppressor-threaded barrel guides your projectile. The sporter stock is synthetic and decked in Mossy Oak, plus features length-of-pull adjustability for personal fit. Don’t forget the easy adjustability of the trigger weight with Savage’s AccuTrigger. The receiver is constructed from carbon steel and the magazine capacity is four cartridges for follow-up shots. The entire package weighs 8.4 pounds and you can add it to your collection for an easy-to-swallow price of $739.
Remington Model 783 Camo
Remington took it a bit easy in the predator realm for 2019, but you can’t go wrong with a new caliber addition to the model 783 family. For 2019, the company has added the hard-to-ignore 6.5 Creedmoor to the Model 783, which has a long history of bolt-action reliability, precision, durability and holding its value. With the 6.5 Creedmoor you can use this rifle for both predators and big game for additional savings.
The barrel is constructed of carbon steel. The sporter, synthetic stock is constructed using a high-nylon fiber for unrivaled strength and durability. It’s cloaked with a wrap of Mossy Oak Break-Up Country to disappear in the woods. You won’t feel the recoil with the SuperCell pad hyped for 54 percent less recoil. To ensure a crisp trigger pull, Remington includes the CrossFire trigger for personalized adjustability. Lastly, you’ll appreciate the detachable magazine for ease in loading and unloading. It holds four 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges. The entire rifle weighs just 7.5 pounds. If you don’t like the 6.5 Creedmoor — you may be held for observation — the model 783 Camo comes in six other calibers with at least three others fitting the predator category. Pricing begins at $451.
Bergara Premier Series Ridgeback
Bergara is now a household name if you appreciate precision rifles. The new Ridgeback in the Premier series certainly maintains the Bergara standards. A custom-camouflaged, fiberglass stock with an adjustable cheek piece highlights the rifle. It includes the M-Lok system with 12 slots to attach M-Lok compatible accessories you need in the field. And if you really want to shoot accurately at long range the stock includes an embedded bubble level to guarantee you’re level when you depress the TriggerTech trigger. It’s a first. An AICS detachable magazine holds five cartridges in all models except the 6.5 Creedmoor that comes with a magazine capable of holding seven cartridges. You never know?
Bergara premium barrels are crafted from 416 stainless steel and then receive a Cerakote finish. Barrels are threaded and ready for suppressor attachment. The Ridgeback includes the Premier barreled action with its nonrotating gas shield, coned bolt nose and sliding plate extractor. The bolt shroud and bolt stop are Nitride treated for protection, and durability. Weight is a comfortable 10.5 pounds. I think you get the point. The Ridgeback packs a lot including a sub-MOA guarantee that is checked at the factory before shipment. For predator hunters you’ll appreciate the .223 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor and the 6.5 Creedmoor with an MSRP at $2,100.
Winchester Model 70 Coyote Light SR
The Model 70 designation really doesn’t need the Winchester label, but I’ll humor those with a millennial designation in case the iconic reference is lost. For 2019 Winchester has added the Model 70 Coyote Light Suppressor Ready into the lineup. Basically it’s trending with the suppressor-demanding crowd as it comes threaded from the factory. That may say enough, but for those of you that like math the Coyote Light SR also comes equipped with a carbon fiber/fiberglass composite, vented Bell and Carlson stock complete with aluminum bedding. The flow-through vents on the stock cut weight and aid in cooling if the shooting gets out of control. A Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad tames any abuse from the light frame. The action is matte blued and bullets are sent downrange via a fluted barrel furthering accentuating the weight savings.
The receiver is steel and the trigger stainless steel. The barrel is drilled and tapped for a scope, but unlike some package models you get to pick your own optics. You get your choice of seven calibers, but the most popular for coyote aficionados are the .22-250 Remington, .243 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor and the .308 Winchester. The magazine holds five cartridges in case you miss. Now for the good news; all of this weighs in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces. All of this historic convention will run you $1,269.99 with larger calibers costing slightly more.
Weatherby Vanguard Badlands
Weatherby has big news in 2019, and it all doesn’t revolve around their move to Wyoming. Although not specifically marketed as a predator rig, the Vanguard Badlands has plenty to offer to coyotes that stare 5 seconds too long. A textured, polymer Monte Carlo stock that is accented with the Badlands Approach camouflage pattern gives the Weatherby its name. To further minimize the rifle’s signature in the field, Weatherby protects the barrel and receiver in a Burnt Bronze Cerakote finish. They finish out the stock with a namesake Vanguard recoil pad that helps tame any recoil from the 7.5-pound frame. Unloading is completed through a hinged floorplate and depending on the caliber, the rifle holds from three to five cartridges in the magazine. Expect four to five cartridges in popular predator calibers. An adjustable, match-quality, 2-stage trigger sends your projectile and Weatherby guarantees sub-MOA when using Weatherby factory, or a premium brand of ammunition.
Most calibers available double for predators and big game including the .25-06 Remington, .257 Weatherby magnum, 6.5 Creedmoor and even the beefy 6.5-300 Weatherby magnum. It’s a Weatherby, but you don’t have to sit down for the price at $849.
Christensen Arms Ridgeline
If you like the looks of the Weatherby, you’re gonna love the looks of the new Christensen Arms Ridgeline. You'll also love its weight at 6.3 pounds. When you think Christensen Arms, you automatically think accuracy designed in a lightweight chassis. The Ridgeline delivers. You’ll love the feel of the carbon fiber composite gunstock in a sportier design. A Limbsaver recoil pad suppresses any bad energy. You can order the stock with black and gray, or green, black and tan ascents.
Of course the barrel includes Christensen Arms’ distinctive 416R stainless steel, aerograde carbon fiber wrapped barrel. A stainless steel radial brake at the end of the barrel is included. The action is natural stainless or your choice of Burnt Bronze Cerakote for corrosion protection. A sub-MOA guarantee comes with your purchase.
Bullet launch is completed with a match-grade trigger adjustable from 2.5 to 3.5 pounds. A hinged floorplate provides unloading access and the predator calibers are capable of holding four cartridges in the magazine. To ensure your favorite caliber is in the mix, Christensen Arms offers the Ridgeline in 19 flavors. The .22-250 Remington, .243 Winchester and the 6.5 Creedmoor should catch your eye first. This rifle retails for $2,095, but get what you pay for.