Going to cover the the best bolt action rifles of the 1950s in this article. What was available from around 1950 and what would be available around 1960. We will see what bolt action rifles would be for sale at the beginning of the 50s decade and those available by 1960. What did the firearms companies of the fifties add to the bolt action line over that great classic firearms era?

I will mainly concentrate on high powered center fired rifles of that era. Any cartridge from the 22 Hornet to the 458 Winchester Mag. would be available at this time. Many new cartridges would be developed at this time and added to the hunting and shooting experience of that great decade.

Great Day Hunting


Will start with this article on the best bolt action rifles of the 50s and also cover the bolt rifles of the 1960s in another article. Will also cover the best lever action rifles of the 50s and 60s, and also cover the great 22 rifles of those decades.


My dad would just be starting to hunt in 1950, and like most people of that time would be using the old military rifles that were available at that time. Money would be tight and military surplus rifles would be very cheap to purchase at that time. They would have 55 gallon drums full of old military rifles in gun shops and hardware stores in those days, and you could have your choice of many types of military style rifles. My Dad at the time would use an old 30-40 Krag military rifle to hunt with.

At the beginning of the 1950s, only a few gun companies would be producing commercial made center fired bolt action rifles. I will primarily talk about American made rifles in these articles. Will do separate articles on foreign gun companies in the future.



Great Rifles of the Early 50s


The classic American bolt action rifles of the early 50s, would be produced by only 3 firearms companies at that time. Winchester Arms with the classic Winchester model 70.  Remington would be manufacturing the newly released  Remington model 721 and Remington model 722. The Savage Arms company would have also recently released the popular  Savage 340 model.


* Winchester would also produce the great bolt action Winchester model 43. A great lightweight bolt action rifle in the 218 Bee and the 22 Hornet.


The Winchester Model 70 would certainly be the dominate bolt action rifles of the early 1950s. It was already established as a great firearm and certainly desired by hunters and shooters around the world. By this time Winchester Arms was manufacturing many variations and calibers of the popular Winchester 70.

By 1953, Winchester would have introduce the new 308 Winchester cartridge. They would also introduce the new Winchester model 70 Featherweight rifle for the new 308 cartridge. At 6 ½ lbs and no recoil pad, it would certainly be a  kicker. Certainly a popular rifle at the time and a very collectible rifle from that early period of the model 70.


      Winchester would offer a great line of model 70 bolt action rifles at this time.

  • Winchester model 70 featherweight.
  • Winchester model 70 standard grade
  • Winchester model 70 super grade
  • Winchester model 70 375 H&H magnum model
  • Winchester model 70 Monte Carlo
  • Winchester model 70 National match

      A great lineup of classic bolt action rifles of the early 1950s.


WIN 70


Winchester at this time would have in my opinion, one of the greatest lineup of bolt action 22 rifles ever produced. Their lineup of 22 rifles of that time are some of the best of the golden age of classic firearms. Top notch workmanship and attention to detail. Winchester was at its best.

More on the bolt action Winchester 22 caliber rifles in another article.




Remington Arms Company would be ramping up the production of the newly released Remington model 721 and the Remington model 722. Distinctly different than the model 70, in that Remington made a long action (721 model) and short action (722 model). A great new idea by Remington Arms and would certainly help sell the newly released bolt action rifle. With a completely new extractor and ejector design and the new short action, Remington would gain a great following. They would certainly give Winchester some stiff competition at this time.

Ammunition boxes 30-06
Classic 30-06 Ammo Boxes


Remington would offer a nice variety of custom grades for the 721 and 722 rifles in the early 50s.

  • Standard Grade
  • Standard Grade with checkering
  • Special Grade with checking and select wood
  • Peerless Grade
  • Premier Grade

The Model 721 300 H&H had a 26 inch barrel. It could be bought in all the custom grades.


Remington would use a varnish finish on the 721 and 722 models.

Winchester would use the Lacquer finish on the 1950s model 70s.


Another commercial bolt action rifle in a high caliber center fired rifle would be the Savage 340 rifle. Very popular at the time and many would be sold. So why was it so popular at that time or for all of the 1950s?  I will give a few ideas of what I think made them so popular in the 1950s era.

If you would check out the average yearly income at that time, you would find the average yearly salary was around 3000.00 dollars. That is around 58.00 dollars a week.


Lets check the prices of the 3 bolt action rifles listed above.

  • A standard grade Winchester model 70 in 30-06 1952    121.00 dollars
  • A standard grade Remington model 721 in 30-06 1952    88.00 dollars
  • A standard grade Savage 340 in 30-30 in 1952         49.00 dollars


Our little Savage 340 was $39.00 cheaper than the Remington 721. It would be about $72.00 cheaper than the Winchester model 70. Economics would sell many of those little 30-30 rifles and many deer were taken with that rifle. A great rifle with a clip magazine that was perfect for young hunters.


In the early 50s the model 340 in the 30-30 was not drilled and tapped for the weaver side mount. I would drill and tap many 340 Savages over the years.




If we now move ahead to the end of the 1950s, we can see some changes to the high powered bolt action rifles of the early 50s. The Savage gun company would release a new Bolt action hi-powered rifle. This would be the Savage 110 Model that was released in 1958.

Winchester would add a few new variations to the Model 70. They would be offering a few new models to the 1960 lineup. New additions listed below.


  • Winchester 70 Featherweight model \ Now comes in original 308 Win and added 30-06 and 270 Win
  • Price in 1960 $130.00
  • Winchester 70 Standard model \ No longer offers the 22 Hornet, 257 Roberts or 220 Swift.
  • Price in 1960 $130.00
  • Winchester 70 Standard Monte Carlo model \ Featherweight, standard, and super grade.
  • Price in 1960 $130.00
  • Winchester 70 Varmint Rifle \ 243 Win and 220 Swift
  • Price in 1960 $144.00
  • Winchester 70 African Rifle \ 458 Win. Introduced in 1956. (new)
  • Price in 1960 $295.00


They would offer several target rifles in 1960. The national match rifle would be discontinued in 1960.The Model 70 Standard Target Rifle, Heavyweight Target rifle and the Bull gun would all be offered in the late 50s. Great bolt action rifles of the golden age. (Love the gun world of the 1950s)


The Winchester Model 70 standard grade would cost $121.00 in 1952 and would be $129.00 in 1960.

The Remington Model 721 Model would be $88.00 in 1952 and would cost $95.00 in 1960.

The little Savage Model 340 would cost $49.00 in 1952 and would only cost $58.00 in 1960.

The average yearly wage in 1960 would be around $5400.00 and be around $104.00 a week.


At the beginning of the 1950s you could buy a new Winchester Model 70 standard grade rifle and need  2 paychecks and $5 dollars to buy it. By 1960 you could buy the same Winchester rifle with one paycheck and $25 dollars. Things were doing a little better for the consumer in 1960.

Great bolt action rifles of the golden age of Classic firearms


Remington would still be manufacturing the 721 and 722 in 1960. 1962 would be the end of 721 and 722 models.


Remington prices for the 721 and 722 models in 1960.

  • Remington 721 standard grade would be $95.00 in 1960
  • Remington 722 standard grade would be $90.00 in 1960

Remington would still be cheaper than the Winchester 70 for the standard models by around $34.00 dollars. Great bolt action rifles for the money.

Remington would introduce a new model bolt action rifle in 1958. This would be the Remington Model 725. Remington would introduce it as the (New Big Game Rifle with Full Custom Features). Hinged floor plate, all purpose stock design and new adjustable sights. New style thumb safety. A nice handling and well made rifle.

Introduced in 1958 and discontinued in 1962.

Remington would release the new model 700 in 1962 and it would now become the Remington Bolt Action Rifle of the future. Remington was starting a long journey into the evolution of bolt action rifles in America.




So lets talk of the Savage rifles in the year of 1960. Savage Arms would have added a new model in 1958 called the Savage model 110. I believe this would hurt the release of the new Remington 725 at this time also.

Savage Model 110 rifles of 1960.

Savage Model 110 standard model with open sights. The 110 model would come in the long and short actions. Chambered in the 30-06 & 270 in long action and 243 & 308 in short action. Would sell for $110.00 in 1960.

The Savage 110 with monte carlo stock would sell for $1.50 more.

The Savage gun company would also release the new left hand 110 model. Only American made left hand high power rifle made at that time. Sold for $122.00 in 1960.

The savage model 110 would not become the dominate high powered rifle of the 60s or 70s. Great firearm and great addition to the Classic bolt action rifles of the 1960s and 70s. Made many left handed people very happy at that time.

Savage Arms would still be manufacturing the great little Savage 340 model in 1960. Very popular and still at a great price. $58.00 in 1960. Still less than half the price of the Winchester 70.

The Savage 340 would offer 3 cartridges in the 340 model. The 22 hornet and 30-30 would be still offered and the great little 222 Remington would  be available. All would be drilled and tapped for adding a rifle scope. Great little rifle and very popular. A personal favorite in the 222 Rem cartridge.

The Savage 110 Model was noted for their accuracy. Many customers in the day would get fantastic performance from the 110 models. Great classic firearm.

The last Savage center fired rifle to add in 1960 would be the Savage Model 219. Available in either the 22 Hornet or 30-30 Win cartridges. A very economical rifle at $38.00. The Little 22 hornet would be a popular firearm at the time.




So what is the best of the 1950s decade? Well I will give my answer from my personal experiences of owning, selling, shooting, and working on these Classic bolt action rifles. We will all have opinions and many will have different ideas of what is best. Hard to be wrong with any of these great firearms.

Number 1

I would have to give the top spot to the Winchester Model 70. This is the Pre 64 Model 70 and has earned the title of the riflemans rifle. The best looks of the three rifles. Great selection of cartridges and good selection of models. My choice for the best looking of all the models. Some of the custom Remington 721 and 722 rifles would certainly be great looking firearms. But out of the box I would give the best to the Winchester rifle.

Winchester would also over time be one of the most collectible rifles in the North America. Still a highly sought after collector rifle. If I had my choice, I would choice the 1953 Winchester Model 70, Super Grade in the 257 Roberts. Well! One can dream can’t he?

Number 2

I would give my number 2 choice to the Remington 725 Peerless Grade in the 280 Remington. A great rifle that was cut short by the release of the Remington 700 Model in 1962. Never had the opportunity to shoot a model 725 that I can remember. Had several come thru the shop and loved the feel and style.

Number 3

On the Savage line for the 1950s, I would have to give honor to the Savage Model 340. For me I would choice the later model in the 222 Remington cartridge. The 22 Hornet would be a close 2nd. Lightweight and great to carry. Fun to shoot and a clip magazine. Great firearm and ahead of its time.

Honorable Mention

The great little Winchester Model 43 in the 22 Hornet. Great lightweight rifle with that sleek design and pleasing to the eye. Also with a clip magazine. Winchester would stop production in 1957. This would be one of the reasons it was not my third choice.




Some will question why I did not include The Weatherby rifles of this time. My reason being is that it and other US Rifles of that period where not totally made in America. Weatherby firearms and other companies would use European actions. (Mauser and others) This article would be for US made rifles. Will defiantly check out the forigen made rifles in another article. Weatherby would defiantly fit into the 1960 to 1970 time-frame in my next article.