Top 10 Best Sniper Rifles

Sniper rifles hold a certain fascination. These tools of the trade demand incredible focus and skill, and they symbolize the ability to deliver unmatched power over immense distances. In the hands of a skilled marksman, a sniper rifle can shift the balance of an entire engagement.

In this list, we're talking about the top-of-the-line, tried-and-tested sniper rifles that have proven their worth both on the battlefield and in high-stakes competitions.
The Top Ten
1 Barrett M82

This gun is amazing! It has a high fire rate and high power. It was originally built in Ronnie Barrett's garage. This thing weighs in at 30-40 pounds and has ten-round magazines. It's semi-automatic - the best .50 caliber rifle around. Just pull the trigger and boom! Your target is gone, obliterated.

It takes out tanks, armored vehicles, and much of what it hits. It's used by law enforcement, the military, and even terrorists due to its great combat reliability and accuracy. This was the first .50 caliber sniper rifle ever! It's the best sniper rifle out there, just under the M107, which is essentially an M82. If you want a really cool-looking and unique weapon, check out the M82A2, a bullpup rifle that sits on your shoulder like an RPG.

2 CheyTac Intervention

I love the M82 Barrett .50 cal, and the Army adopted it for reasons they wouldn't make clear. But if you know the Army, as I was in... initial cost was a consideration, life expectancy before barrel replacement (and also weapon system refurbishment), and finally cost and availability of ammo across many manufacturers, weight of weapon and ammo for fielded soldier, follow-up shot while still maintaining accuracy at range for many different shooters... and finally... as the Army tests ammo and then accepts bids for ammo built to their standards.

The CheyTac is a unique and patented weapons system. If accepted by the Army, the Army would have to pay whatever they (CheyTac) demand for all of the above considerations. Purchasing the Barrett, there is more competition for support, thus keeping cost down. The weapon is only the tool... operated for a purpose, and is only as effective as the shooter and its training make it.

3 Mosin-Nagant

Wonderful rifle, well-made, durable, and long-barreled. With care, it would last forever. The accuracy for a rifle made in 1937, like mine, is amazing, to say the least. I put a scope rail over the open sight and added a Leupold scope. I have no trouble grouping five rounds within a 1-2 inch circle at 1400 yards. It's the best $120.00 I ever spent.

I have since bought two more for myself and one each for my brother and son as birthday presents. Let's just say, during deer season, the tags get easily filled. Soft-tip ammo is available and very accurate at ranges up to 1000 yards with a scope, and 150 yards with an open sight. If you have the chance to buy one at the price they are selling for, get yourself one. It's a great gun and a great piece of pre-WW2 gun history. Also, mine came with bayonets, a plus for collectors who want a useful piece of history.

4 McMillan TAC-50

It's hard to choose just one, as each of these guns is a great rifle and unique in its own way. The TAC-50, however, is an excellent gun and currently holds the world record for the longest kill at 2,657 yards. A sniper rifle is meant to kill at long range, so my vote goes here.

It was used by a Joint Task Force 2 soldier for the kill at the longest distance ever recorded, in Iraq. The distance was 11,000 feet. Imagine the calculations required for that shot.

This gun isn't just good. It's amazing. And it's Canadian! Thumbs up if you're from Canada!

5 M40

It's very simple, as in the rifle is simply a rifle. It is designed as a sniper rifle, accurate with enough power to drop any target, and it is reliable. Even if it does jam, it's very easy to fix, not that a marksman's rifle would ever jam as they are very well maintained.

The M40 is a superb weapon, but having no experience with others on the list, I cannot say it is the best. It is the most accurate modern rifle I have ever shot.

My passion is for black powder shooting, and I would put my .58 Zouave against any rifle, antique or modern, on an indoor range up to 350 yards.

6 Accuracy International L96A1

This isn't just a rifle. It's a weapons system. It's smartly built and serves the British army very well, along with other countries and law enforcement. The .338 Lapua firing model claims the longest kill shot in the world and is perfectly ergonomic, and not too heavy to be battlefield proficient! Unlike the M82 (which is an excellent rifle), this is an anti-personnel rifle, not an anti-material rifle, and is the best in its class!

The AWM AI-style rifles are extremely accurate. The L115 has the longest recorded sniper kill in the world. The sniper rifle is extremely durable in all different climates, has an easy-to-pull bolt, and is a fairly lightweight rifle. There is no better sniper rifle in the modern world.

7 Barrett M107A1

The M107A1 is the improved M82A1 and M107. It's 5 pounds lighter and is slightly more accurate. I agree!

8 Winchester Model 70

My off-the-shelf .30-06 drove tacks with old surplus ammo, maintaining less than 1-MOA until the barrel got hot. A lot depends on the specific gun you get. Some are better right out of the box. Also, every gun has a load it prefers. Being skilled in shooting also helps.

My 2011 M70 .300 Win Mag with a 4-16X Leupold puts 5 190 gr Sierra MatchKings into .400-inch groups, providing one of the smoothest actions and incredible factory triggers ever.

9 Dragunov SVD

The SVD sniper rifle is still in use today. There is no question about it. Built by the Soviet Union, it is bound to be reliable, strong, and accurate. The SVD is like the sniper version of the AK-47, but bigger and badder. If someone were to face you with an SVD, I would suggest hiding your wife and children because it's one heck of a gun. Once again, in my opinion, the SVD is the best there is.

About 40 years ahead of the game, similar in build and use to all AK variants, the Soviets were decades ahead in squad small arms design. The U.S. is only now playing catch-up with the M4, M27, M110 mix.

How many decades ago did the Soviets deploy the AK47/74, RPK, SVD mix? I simply vote for the SVD for its ruggedness, ease of use, the hard-hitting AP round, and of course, the fact that it applied principles 40 years ago that the U.S. is only adopting now.

10 M14

Great gun, unstoppable until full auto. Then from there on, it just becomes an AA gun. From experience, I can say it's extremely accurate.

The Contenders
11 .416 Barrett

This weapon is the #1. We must understand this. I'm sorry for my bad English.

Well, it's the same as a Barrett .50 BMG but with better ballistics and longer range.

12 M24 SWS

The M24 and the M40 are closely related. The M24 is a long-action rifle, and the M40 is a short-action one. No two finer 7.62x51 NATO guns exist. Their accuracy, even with subpar ammunition, is always one minute or less. With good ammunition, both rifles consistently shoot under one MOA.

Gas-operated guns have their place, and many shoot extremely well, but bolt-action guns will always shoot tighter. A well-trained sniper with either the M24 or the M40 is a weapons system that can significantly impact the outcome on the battlefield.

13 Desert Tech SRS

Compact sniper rifle, great accuracy I would say. Said to be the shortest sniper rifle, and their claims are they make more accurate rifles than both Accuracy International and Sako, which are known to make some of the most, if not the most accurate and reliable sniper rifles in the world.

The DTA is top-of-the-line and is comparable to the AI. Look around, and you will not find many complaints, if any, about the DTA. Desert Tactical is also innovative, coming out with more caliber conversions every day.

14 FN Special Police Rifle

I have shot every rifle but the Barrett .50, but the FN Police is the most accurate I have ever shot, using a Schmidt & Bender scope.

My FN-SPR .308 with a US Optic SN-3 will still hold a sub .50 MOA after 5,000 rounds of Black Hills 168 match ammo. I have a video of me splitting playing cards on edge at 130 yards. Would not sell it for anything.

15 Heckler & Koch PSG-1

Great all-around workaday unit. Accurate, reliable, and relatively quiet. Gets the job done with no muss or fuss.

So silent, so lethal! This silent combat sniper rifle is an ideal weapon for espionage purposes.

Favorite of many anti-terrorism forces.

16 Kalekalıp KNT-308
17 M1903 Springfield

When my dad was a soldier in World War II, he carried the Springfield. He still has it and has let me shoot it a few times. One word: awesome.

This is the original sniper rifle! Laugh out loud. Known for its accuracy and dependability, I am very lucky to own this gun.

All around the best. I'd put this one up against all of them in real theater conditions.

18 Barrett M98B

This is the most accurate tool I've ever used. Once it's dialed in, there isn't much that throws off the shot once you let it go. My only complaint is that there is a lot of induced movement and dust from the muzzle brake, which makes it a challenge to stay hidden after you take the shot. But then again, with the Bravo, you only need one shot.

The Barrett Model 98B, in my opinion, is one of the top ten most accurate sniper rifle systems in the world to date. It offers flawless precision up to 1500 yards. When it comes to accurate shots at long-range targets, this sniper rifle delivers. The reason for that is the design of the weapon. Barrett's manufacturers and designers nailed it by making the weapon bolt-action.

Yes, I like to have the option of semi-automatic fire when shooting at multiple targets. However, most semi-automatic rifles aren't as reliable in terms of accuracy due to the kick or recoil of the weapon. As every true competition shooter or weapons expert knows, reducing recoil increases accuracy. This can backfire badly if the system is not set up correctly.

However, if you design the ammunition to level out the gases in the chamber and barrel of the weapon, it should work out perfectly. It sounds easy, but it's a lot of hard work to perfect the perfect - or close to perfect - weapon. In this case, the Barrett Model 98B should take the spot in the top ten sniper rifles ever built.

19 Parker-Hale M82
20 Remington Model 700

I owned one of these babies as my first rifle, chambered in 30.06. It's very reliable, with very consistent groupings even for a beginner at 100 yards. I used a bipod and a simple scope from an old pellet rifle. By the time I was done, my shoulder felt like someone had drummed on it with a brick.

Still, it's the most fun rifle I've ever used, and I regret selling it. I had to, though, as my Husky needed treatment, and my dog comes before my rifle. I do plan on getting another one.

This sniper rifle, although it uses the horrible 7.62 NATO round, has pinpoint accuracy due to its bolt-action nature. Since sniping is also about staying stealthy and scouting, I highly doubt that anti-material rifles like the M82 or the Tac-50 are suitable for this role. Good luck walking around in a ghillie suit with an M82. The American military chose this rifle for a reason: it's battle-tested, accurate, and highly reliable.

21 M21 SWS

I used one in Vietnam and loved it. If it had been a woman, I would have married it. In the harsh conditions of that hot, humid country, my XM-21 rifle never failed me once. I used it for sniping and even took down a wild pig on one patrol. That pig fed a large number of people, including American G.I.s and local villagers.

My XM-21, the predecessor of the M-21, helped me win a sniper-versus-sniper gunfight one night. I learned to shoot that rifle from zero to 900 meters with no problem at all. It was a sweet rifle with great accuracy and incredible stopping power.

22 Windrunner M96
23 M110 SASS

The biggest isn't the best (Barrett M82 .50 cal). You can get the same results from a smaller and quieter rifle like the M110.

This sniper rifle was adopted by the U.S. Navy SEALs, including SEAL Team Six. Its 7.62x51mm round can blow off a head at 750 meters! It's also a version of the proven M4/M16 weapons.

24 Sako TRG-22

Fantastic firearm all around, with very smooth action and comfortable use. It consistently shoots 1 1/2-inch groups at 300m (I know because I own one). Used by many militaries around the world, the Finns know a thing or two about making sniper rifles. It's regarded as one of the best, along with Accuracy International. It's not as affordable as an R700, but remember, you get what you pay for.

Silky action and comfortable shooting make the deadly accurate Sako TRG-22 a top choice. I own a TRG-22.

I just got it, and I hit all targets straight out of the box with a Nightforce scope.

25 Accuracy International L115A3

Not only does it have the record for the longest sniper kill at 2,707 yards twice, but it also holds the record for most kills with one bullet - killing six guys with just one bullet from 930 yards away. Hands down, it's the greatest sniper rifle, period.

Nothing is better when it comes to portability, accuracy, and range. Get with the times, people, and do some research! I'd take this weapon over all of the others in a heartbeat!

British sniper, and it is by far the best sniper rifle in the world. The longest sniper shot of all time was made by a British Royal Marine using this perfectly made rifle.

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