A Rifle for the Next Decade

The Nosler 21 is packed with high-tech features to make any hunter a precision shooter.

A Rifle for the Next Decade

Nosler has aways been known for its world-class bullets, but the company is also making some impressive bolt-acton rifles. 

The latest of those rifles, the Model 21, is billed as a new rifle for the next decade with cutting-edge features, including a Shilen match-grade stainless steel barrel and a McMillan carbon fiber stock. 

“This new firearm marks an exciting expansion of the Nosler rifle brand, offering an economical option that bridges the gap between standard production assembly rifles and feature-rich customized builds,” says Nosler President John Nosler. 

The foundation of the Nosler 21 is its blueprinted Model 21 action featuring a one-piece, Nitride coated 4340 Chrome Moly steel bolt with spiral fluting and an M16-style extractor. Its single-stage TriggerTech trigger is user-adjustable externally to a minimum of 2.5 pounds. The match-grade Shilen barrel is crowned for precision and includes a threaded muzzle. And all these components are framed within the lightweight McMillan Sporter stock wearing all-weather gray epoxy paint. 

The Nosler 21 is available in calibers ranging from .22 to .375 and in several cartridges, including Nosler’s own. Popular standard cartridges include 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Winchester, and .300 Winchester Magnum. In the Nosler cartridge lineup, the rifle is available in 22 Nosler, 26 Nosler, 27 Nosler, 28 Nosler, 30 Nosler and 33 Nosler. 

MSRP clocks in at $2,795.

To the Range

In preparation for a Western deer hunt, I received a Nosler 21 chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. Included in the box were the rifle and components, the Nosler Model 21 Rifle Handbook, trigger lock and instructions to follow for optimized accuracy, including breaking in the rifle before field use. 

Expecting shots at deer to be over 300 yards and potentially past 600 yards, I topped off the rifle with a Sig Sauer 5-30x56mm Tango 6 riflescope. The rifle and scope were perfectly aligned and leveled using a Wheeler Engineering scope leveling kit. 

Since the AccuBond bullet is my favorite, I selected Nosler Trophy Grade ammo with the 142-grain AccuBond bullet. The Nosler 21 rifle propelled the 142-grain bullet slightly above its listed speed of 2,600 fps, measured with a Caldwell Ballistic Precision G2 chronograph. 

To begin, I quickly sighted the rifle and scope combination at 25 yards. In a few shots, the bullet impact was near the center of the target, so I moved to a distance of 100 yards to set the zero. I was able to walk in the combo in only three shots. The rifle and scope were sighted, so I moved the target to an expected range, approximately 450 yards. 

At distance, I shot three groups of three rounds, facing a slight incline and a quartering 5mph wind. Under these conditions, I was able to keep the impact of the bullet at 2 MOA, save for two rounds that I know I pulled slightly. While  my own ability was questionable, the rifle and scope performed exceptionally.

Selling Points

The rifle’s breadth of calibers and cartridges is sure to draw interst from general shooters as well as predator, medium- and large-game hunters. In addition to its wide range of cartridge offerings, the Nosler 21 features several strong selling points catering to various hunters and shooters.


Bolt and Action

Developed through a blueprinting process with advanced wire EDM equipment, the Model 21 action boasts features, making it user-friendly, and focusing on shooting performance. Its one-piece spiral fluted bolt is machined from hardened 4340 Chrome Molybdenum and coated with a Nitride finish. The coating and spiral design reduce debris build-up in the bolt channel, making it function easily in all environmental conditions and less likely to jam.

The bolt also features an M16-style extractor that performs well and can be disassembled without tools for easy cleaning and maintenance. The bolt handle is threaded 5/16-24 TPI for utilizing alternative bolt handle configurations.



The stock TriggerTech Field trigger is externally adjustable from 2.5 to 5.5 pounds. Adjustment is easily made with a hex wrench. The single-stage trigger features Frictionless Release Technology designed to provide smooth operation in harsh environments.


The Nosler 21 features a Shilen match-grade stainless steel barrel with a recessed crown and a threaded muzzle (1/2-28 or 5/8-24 Tpi) to add a brake or suppressor easily. The rifle comes standard with a thread protector cap. Depending on the chambering, barrel lengths are either 22- or 24-inches. The barrel contour is #3 throughout the lineup, except for the .375 H&H Magnum, which has a #5 contour.



The frame of the Nosler 21 is its rugged yet lightweight McMillan Hunters Edge Sporter stock. The stock is carbon fiber throughout with aluminum pillars added for strength and includes a self-indexing 17-4 SS recoil lug for added barrel support. Each rifle includes a standard 1-inch recoil pad and swing swivels front and rear. Across its lineup, the length of pull measures 13.5 inches. The stock is finished with gray-tone all-weather epoxy paint.


The Nosler Name 

Founded in 1948, family-owned Nosler Incorporated revolutionized the shooting industry with several leading hunting bullets, including their Partition, Ballistic Tip, AccuBond, E-Tip and recent additions, the AccuBond LR and RDF.

Its company motto of “Quality First” defines Nosler’s dedication to developing quality products for recreational shooters, military, law enforcement and sportsmen, including their recent entry into the rifle production category.



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