8 Great Rifles for Women

In the market for a big-game rifle that will actually fit you? Check out these options.

by posted on April 22, 2024
Deering 24 Rifles Weathery Mark V Camilla Ultra Lightweight
Weatherby Mark V Camilla Ultra Lightweight
Image courtesy Weatherby

When it comes to long guns, we talk about gun fit a lot. A gun that doesn’t fit you will be uncomfortable to shoot and will not allow you to shoot as accurately as you could with a well-fitting gun. This is especially true of shotguns, but it applies to rifles, too. Unfortunately, off-the-shelf guns are made to fit the average male shooter who is about 5’10” and 180 lbs., give or take. That’s not most of us women, is it? As a result, we are often left with rifles that don’t fit us well—the length of pull is too long, the cast might be off and the comb is often too low (because women, on average, have proportionately longer necks than men). This forces to us crank our necks up and over the stock in order to see through the scope properly, or place the buttstock somewhere outside the shoulder pocket.

You can get away with this a little bit on a hunt, most of the time, if you have a couple of extra seconds to contort yourself into position. But you shouldn’t. What you want is a rifle that fits you nicely, so you can throw it to your shoulder and see through the scope without moving everything around until it works “good enough.” The very best way to do this is to take your rifle to a stock fitter who can adjust it to fit you or create a custom stock that will fit you perfectly. But this takes time and money, and you might prefer to find an off-the-shelf gun that’s built for a woman—or at least a smaller-statured shooter—that will fit you better from the jump.

Unfortunately, since the last time we covered this topic, not much has changed in the world of female-specific rifles. There are still only two companies on the market that I’m aware of that are making rifles for and marketed specifically to women: Weatherby and Savage. We’ll cover those first, and then look at some micro models from other brands that aren’t marketed specifically to women, but which might fit you well off the rack.

Savage Lady Hunter
Savage offers two Lady Hunter models: the Model 11, which comes in .243 Win, .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor and 7mm-08 (short actions); and the Model 111, which comes in .270 Win and .30-06 Spfld (long actions). The two models are nearly identical with a few minor differences in weight, length and twist rate due to the different chamberings. This gun is purpose-built for female hunters, with a Monte Carlo comb on the stock and a 12.5-inch length of pull (for reference, the length of pull on a standard rifle is usually 13.5 to 14 inches). The grip and forend have been slimmed down to fit smaller hands, and the balance point of the gun has been shifted to make it feel lighter—and it’s already relatively light at 6 to 6.5 lbs. depending on the model.

Features include a detachable box magazine, carbon steel barrel with a black matte finish, oiled walnut stock and Savage’s excellent user-adjustable AccuTrigger. I own a Lady Hunter in 7mm 08; I bought it for my daughter to hunt with when she was 10, and it fits my own 5’4” frame very comfortably. MSRP on the Lady Hunter (both models) is $1,049.

Weatherby Camilla
Weatherby makes two of its rifles, the Mark V and the less expensive Vanguard, in various Camilla models, designed specifically for women and named after Camilla Weatherby. Pictured here is the high-end Mark V Camilla Deluxe, MSRP $2,499. It comes in .240 Wby Mag, .243 Win, .280 Ackley Improved, 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 Wby RPM. The stock on the Mark V as well as the Camilla Models features a high Monte Carlo comb and a 13-inch length of pull, with slimmed-down grip and what Weatherby calls a “gentle palm swell.” The recoil pad even has a female-specific cant to it to better fit a woman’s shoulder. Weighing in around 6.5 lbs. with an overall length of 43.25 to 45.25 depending on chambering, the Camilla Deluxe (like all Mark V models) is guaranteed to shoot a three-shot group of .99-inch or less at 100 yards from a cold barrel when used with Weatherby factory or premium ammunition. The zero-creep TriggerTech trigger is designed for consistent pulls, and the short 54-degree bolt throw enables fast follow-up shots and better bolt-to-scope clearance.

The “Deluxe” part of the Mark V Camilla Deluxe is a AA-grade Claro walnut stock and hand-lapped barrel. The Mark V Camilla Ultra Lightweight model (about 5.8 lbs.) comes with a synthetic stock and Cerakoted barrel for $2,049, and the Vanguard Camilla models start at just $899 (available in .22-250 Rem, .243 Win, .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor and 7mm 08 Rem).

Ruger American Compact
Ruger’s American has been a huge success for the company, so much so that there’s now a Gen 2 version. But the original American is still a great rifle at a great price, and it comes in a compact model that might fit you well. While not made specifically for women, the Ruger American Rifle Compact has a 12.5-inch length of pull and weighs in around 6 lbs. You can get it in .243 Win, 7mm 08 Rem, .308 Win and 6.5 Creedmoor, all in black synthetic for an MSRP of just $599. These are relatively no-frills rifles, but they shoot well thanks to the crisp, user-adjustable trigger and an integral bedding block system that free-floats the barrel. I own a Ruger American (though not the compact version) and can speak to its accuracy firsthand. For the price, you can’t go wrong.

Mossberg Patriot Super Bantam Scoped Combo
If you’re looking to start hunting with a big outlay of cash up front, this might be the gun for you. Mossberg’s Patriot Super Bantam Scoped Combo is a big-game-capable rifle that comes with a scope already mounted; just sight it in and you’re ready to hunt! The length of pull is adjustable from 12 to 13 inches using a spacer, which makes it especially useful for kids who are still growing. The gun weighs 7.5 lbs., but that’s including the scope (which is not included in the other gun weights listed here). You can get the Patriot Super Bantam Scoped Combo in .308 Win, 7mm08 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, .243 Win, and .350 Legend, and depending on the chambering you want, you can get it in black synthetic, camo or, yes, the popular-but-polarizing pink camo. Features include Mossberg’s Lightning Bolt Action trigger (user-adjustable from 2 to 7 lbs.), drop-box magazine and spiral fluted bolt. MSRP is $529 for black and $592 for camo or pink—including the scope.

Browning AB3 Micro Stalker
Browning’s AB3 Micro Stalker
is among the legendary company’s most compact and most affordable rifles, with an MSRP of $699. The length of pull is 13 inches, which is not a whole lot shorter than a standard rifle, but it might be just right for you. A Pachmayr Decelerator pad tames recoil, and other features include a detachable magazine, free-floating barrel, bolt lock override button (so you can open the bolt to unload the rifle without taking the safety off) and a short 60-degree bolt lift for fast cycling. You can get an AB3 Micro Stalker in any color you want as long as it’s black, and it comes chambered in .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm 08 Rem and .308 Win, all with 20-inch barrels.

Tikka T3X Compact
Tikka’s popular T3X comes in a Compact model, with a 1-MOA accuracy guarantee, two-position safety, and the company’s famously smooth bolt. The length of pull is 12.5 inches, but an included spacer can increase that to 13.5 inches as needed. The Compact model comes in six chamberings: .223 Rem, .22-250 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, .243 Win, 7mm08 Rem and .308 Win. All weigh between 6.2 and 6.6 lbs., and all have 20-inch barrels, with the exception of the 6.5 Creedmoor, which you can get in a 20- or 24.3-inch barrel. There’s also a Tactical Compact version that would be suitable for hunting if you don’t mind the extra weight—it’s 8.6 lbs. The good news is that it comes in left-handed versions. Tikka doesn’t list an MSRP for the T3X Compact, but Cabela’s currently has it listed online for $769.

Sig Sauer Cross STX
The Sig Sauer Cross STX looks a little space-age when you first see it—but the beauty of it is in the extreme adjustability of the stock. This is a bolt-action gun with the controls and adjustability of an AR. It’s got a stainless steel 20-inch threaded barrel, PRS-style grip, stage-adjustable match trigger, folding adjustable stock, and a free-float MLOK handguard with full-length 20-MOA top rail. It takes AICS mags (10-round included), and at 7.7 lbs., it’s neither light nor heavy. The Cross STX comes in .308 Win and 6.5 Creedmoor, and Sig doesn’t list prices on its website, but guns.com has the STX listed for $2,080.99 right now. Sig also doesn’t list a length-of-pull range, but with the adjustable stock, you’re likely to find a position that fits you.

Daniel Defense DD5 V4 Hunter
Really, an AR-15 or AR-10 would fit in this spot as a great hunting rifle for women—because of their inherent modularity, it’s easy to swap out the stock or adjust the one the gun came with to have the proper length of pull and comb height. Pick an adjustable model and you can even change the LOP based on the clothing you’re wearing (a thick coat can change your LOP). Tons of companies make ARs in a wide range of price points, but we like Daniel Defense’s DD5 V4 Hunter, available in 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem and .308 Win for an MSRP starting at $3,204. At 8.6 lbs., this is one of the heavier guns on our list, which is to be expected for an AR-platform gun—but the adjustability of the stock length will make this gun easier to fit. You’ll also appreciate the Geissele two-stage trigger and, if you’re a lefty, the ambi controls. Daniel Defense builds premium ARs, all built in the USA, but you can get the same adjustability out of any AR-15 or AR-10 with a wide variety of stock options to choose from.

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