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Deer Rifles

16285 Views 43 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  aroostookbasser
Maybe this topic will liven things up here.

What is your deer rifle setup (make, caliber, favorite ammo, etc.)? And why did you pick these particluar features, was it cost, looks, quality, etc.?

Lets try to keep things friendly and not pick apart others choices. :D
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I use a .30-30 Winchester lever action...

I choose to use this for a couple of reasons. First off, it has been passed down from my grandfather to my dad and well I think it is still his by I use it anyway... :wink:

Secondly, a lot of deer have been shot with it.

Another reason it is real light and usually where I hunt it is thicker'n fleas on a dog's back.... so packing lightly helps.

It is an open sight... never used a scope and don't plan on it. Just my preference. I am confident in my eyesight and shooting performance.
Four people have read this and only one of them owns a deer rifle? :shock:
Come on guys!!! :D
A Winchester 94, now there is classic deer rifle. Simple, economical, and effective.
Actually that gun he speaks of is a Wichester Model 94 saddle gun - 4 shot with a relatively low serial number. Probably worth about 1200 now. It should be retired but what a nice meat cutter.

Me and now I'm looking again for something different, I use a Remington Model 4 Woodsmaster .308 semi-auto with a Redfield 3x9 scope. I chose 150 grain soft point bullet.
One of the likes is an accurate gun and it's in excellent shape.
Faults? - You have to maintain an absolutely, spotlessly clean magazine, action and coil otherwise you'll get jams.
Right now my biggest complaint is the weight. Arthritis and bad back make it difficult at time to tote
I've carried that with me a few times... Got some heft to it compared to that .30-30

I plan on purchasing me a fine rifle in the next year or so to last me a long time. Any ideas on what I should get? I want something simple and easy to maneuver.

I think you're right.. we need to hang that winchester up. :D
As far as the weight on the woodsmaster, have you considered an aftermarket synthetic stock? I have no idea if they are available or not, but it may provide enough weight savings to make it more comfortable. Just a thought. :wink:

As far as a new rifle goes, exactly what are you looking for in a brush gun? Are you concerned about magazine capacity? Do you have a preference regarding action type? How important is weight(remember as weight decreases, recoil increases)? What price range? Are you a left handed shooter?

A few suggestions that I would make without knowing any of the above would be:

1. A Ruger NO. 1 International-A single shot falling block that comes in .243, .270, 7x57, and the greatest caliber ever, .30-06
Although it lists for over $900 it is available from wally world for around $700 or for just a little more from your favorite dealer.
This gun is very short and very lightweight.

More info available at: [color=blue][/color]
Just click on the icons to se more info.

2. A Thompson Center Encore-A single shot break action with interchangable barrels to allow you switch calibers from .22 hornet to .375 holland and holland
I believe it retails for somewhere around $600

More info at :
Click on the Encore link at the top of the page.

3. A ruger M77 Compact - Compact Bolt action avaiable in .223, .243, .260 remington, 7mm-08, and .308
Retails around $500

More info avaiable at:

Also Ruger just introduced a scout rifle same as the compact, but with forward mounted scope for faster traget acquisiton

4. A new winchester 94 or Marlin 336 both retail for less than $500
Also I have heard from numerous sources that the quality of the Marlin is better than that of the Winchester, albeit with a higher price.


1. A savage Arms Bolt of any kind, take a look at their website:

They produce high quality bolt actions that arguably the most accurate out of the box when compared to anything in their price range which is for the most part under $500. I believe them to be better than the Rugers.
They also have the most comprehensive line of left handed guns.

2. A Tikka which is imported by Beretta. Guarandteed 1" 3 shot groups @ 100yds for around $550
More info:

3. Any other rifle made by remington, winchester, Browning, etc.

Sorry for the length hope this is helpful if you have any more info forme about your needs, I could make some more suggestions. Not that I am anykind of expert.
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I almost forgot to add one more to the list the Weatherby Vanguard. Although the action is made in Japan, it is backed by the very same warranty and customer service that applies to their $2000 rifles. Actually, the original Mark V Rifles were made for Roy Weatherby in Japan. These rifles are guaranteed to shoot 1.5" @ 100yds. Retail around $400 or even less.

They also make a Sub-MOA, which cost more on the of $700
more info at :

I have never used or handled one of these in person. But I ahev read great things about them, whatever that is good for. :D
Wow, great reponse. :wink:

As for caliber I think I am interested in the .30-06 myself. Capacity isn't really an issue for me. Anything over 4 rounds is good enough. That's what the .30-30 held...

Action, no preference.

Price range would be another determining factor. I am looking for the best rifle without having to go over $700. If I absolutely had to pay more I would.. :D

I am a right handed shooter even though I am left handed. I am right eye dominant so I learned early to shoot right.

Probably Ruger would be the way to go.
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How important is size? Do you need a compact given your hunting conditions? Or could you get away with a slightly longer rifle? The rugers are nice but from what I have seen of them, the wood to metal fit could be slightly better (although it is OK), and the bolt has a lot of play. However I do not own one so if some says differently then I may be wrong, maybe I have just seen bad ones.

If you feel that you could go with a more standard size rifle I would steer you towards a Savage. Their new Accutrigger is adjustable from 2.5-6lbs of pull without the aide of a gun smith. It is one of the smoothest triggers I have felt. No creep or play just a crisp short pull. They also retail for about $50 less than the Ruger.

Some people are critical of the Birch stocks on the Savage, however they now have a beautiful walnut stocked model (the 114U I believe) for around $500, if you care about what the stock is made of. :wink:

They also have several packages which inlcude a rifle as well as a simmons 3-9x scope. These sell for less than the two items could be purchased seperately. :D
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Nah, I don't think size matters too much where I go. It isn't always that thick in there but enough so I wouldn't want a scope. Length wouldn't matter necessarily.

It would be nice to have a walnut stock. I am into good looking rifles if you know what I mean... :wink:

Function obviously is important too.. :D

As for the trigger, I do like a nice crisp squeeze. A little play wouldn't bother me too too much.

I would probably buy something more standard as I am looking for something fairly simple. Adjusting the trigger may be a nifty thing to have but it certainly isn't necessary.

I was also thinking of buying a shotgun at some point. Looking to use it for turkey hunting. Never been turkey hunting before and would like to give it a shot... (pun intended :wink: )

I am thinking of probably a 12 gauge Browning... I prefer side by each double barrel... Any recommendations would also be fine.. :D

Not much into shotguns myself. More of a high powered rifle kinda guy..
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I too appreciate nice firearms, and sometimes one must spend a little more to get what one wants.

Nice double shotguns are over $1000 and nice side by sides are in the $1500 range.

Probably the most econimcal shotgun is a Mossberg 500. As far as quality goes, they surpass the military's standards which is a heck of a lot more abuse than most people's shotguns sees in decades of use. Oh yeah it retails for under $200 at walmart. :D

If you think you want open sights, there are only a few models of bolt actions available with them. You may want to consider a low power scope such as a 1x or 2x or a 1-4x variable which would provide a wide field of view like with iron sights and the superior aiming characteristics of a scope. These style scopes are very popular on brush guns.

As far as the Savage trigger thing goes, I just mentioned that because it is a cool feature. One which I don't actually use, but some people do. The Savage trigger is as simple as the next guy's. It just provides a beeter trigger pull, which enhances accuracy. :D
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I had been using a Remington 7600 in 35 whelen for the past 12 years, but recently retired it.
I now have a brand new Remington 7600P in .308 cal., I am using a 180 gr. core-lokt sp. It seems to be a very accurate gun and after a trial on the range, I found that it finds it target quickly during rapid fire tests.

I can't wait to get it out in the Maine woods this Nov.
Oh yeah, I call it "The Raven". Only fitting I think, since you will likely see it around a lot of dead carcasses. :D
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With a 16.5" barrel and synthetic stock, that should make an excellent brush gun.

I use a Savage 111GL 30-06, topped with a Leupold VX-1 3-9x Variable. The Savage Accutrigger is very smooth.
The Raven? Dead carcasses? Oh man!
I know, I know..... There has to be something wrong with me.
But hey, If Lanny can give his suburbans names.... Then why can't I give one to my carbine? :roll:

Maybe my posts should be moved to the humor page. :D
Actually that gun he speaks of is a Wichester Model 94 saddle gun - 4 shot with a relatively low serial number. Probably worth about 1200 now. It should be retired but what a nice meat cutter.
Do you know when that gun was made? That model is 1894... There is a good indication it was manufactured before 1900...
Based on the serial number, I did some research and your 94 was manufactured in the year 1900. :D
I have a Win. Mod. 94 30-30, with a serial # of 2003858.
Do you have an idea of its age?
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