Single Shot .308 enough for deer?


April 11, 2006, 09:01 PM
I have an SKS and was considering getting a bolt action, for either deer, long range shooting (not 1000 stuff) etc. Generally should the opportunity ever present itself. I looked at the Stevens bolt guns but started looking at the NEF heavy bbl stuff in .308 and it looks very nice with a very nice price. Any good, bad ugly about this gun? Everything I've read so far puts them in the superior accuracy category....I was thinking that for hunting, it's likely you wouldn't get a chance at a second shot anyhow.


BTW...I'm a handgunner, not a rifle guy, thus I am willing to only make a marginal investment in rifles....I live in the city.

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April 11, 2006, 09:17 PM
Place the first bullet properly and you rarely need a second. Most of the deer I killed were shot with Ruger No 1 single shot rifles (6mm, .25/06).

Good shooting and be safe.

April 11, 2006, 09:27 PM
If you do your part it's like the name of the book about Carlos Hathcock. "One shot one kill". For the past several years I haven't used anything but my #1 in .270. rugerman

April 11, 2006, 09:30 PM

I would say it's good enough. When I deer hunt I use a .50 cal muzzle loader. I just wait for them to stop or I call to them to stop them before I take the shot.

Happy Hunting

Dave R
April 11, 2006, 09:30 PM
A single shot it fine.

Worst case--with practice you can get a 2nd shot off not much slower than a boltgun.

April 11, 2006, 09:42 PM
single shot WILL be fine. every deer I have shot with a rifle was with one shot. right in the steam room. The farthest one went was 45 yards. that was with my marlin
.32 spcl, got two of them with that gun, and missed a buck, due to the rear sight ramp sliding down a notch. :confused: now I shoot a browning A-bolt ss stalker in 30-06. personly I love the gun, and love shooting it. but I think there is some bad luck with it...... the last 2 years I haven't seen a deer in the woods, hunting for a week each year.... mabee this year. yeah a single shot will do fine! especialy a .308! have fun!!!

April 11, 2006, 09:53 PM
That caliber rifle would be great for deer. If you want repeating-shot capability the single-shot is lacking, but ideally you should only need one shot anyhow. Happy hunting.

April 11, 2006, 10:36 PM
I've only ever taken more than one shot at an animal in all my hunts, and that one time I took a second shot it turns out that the first shot was clearly a killing shot (both lungs and the heart in a 120lb piggie) but I was using a new load and wanted to make sure.... Oh, and 308 will take any Texas deer or hog within 250 yards.


Between the Stevens 200 and the NEF, I'd CLEARLY pick the Stephens as the better rifle. Not because it's a repeater, but because it's frankly far better made.

April 11, 2006, 11:35 PM
I would not put the NEF in the "superior accuracy category" but the ones I have fired were more than adequate for hunting inside of 200 yards, perhaps further.

April 12, 2006, 01:44 AM
The single shot will work just fine. I use a bolt action for hunting, but every once in a while, I pull out the T/C Contender single shot and use it. Very rarely has a 2nd shot been needed, but it doesn't take long to reload and shoot again.

rbernie is right about the NEF though. It is not a smooth rifle. You will need to have the trigger worked on and if you can find a replacement trigger spring, I would install it also.

April 12, 2006, 02:12 AM
Maybe I'll just do a Stevens...they don't really cost that much to begin with.

April 12, 2006, 02:13 AM
The only thing I can say is that if you are only gonna spend $150 or so on a NEF rifle, then at least spend about $200 for a scope....and not a $200 20x zoom scope with 50mm objective. I would spend $200 on a 3x or 4x fixed 30mm scope so you at lest get a quality scope. Even a 3-9x zoom isn't too bad. Luepold makes some great scopes for that price.

April 12, 2006, 03:12 AM
yes, you will be much happier with the Stevens as opposed to the nef.

April 12, 2006, 07:29 AM
Just follow Thompson Centers motto... One Good Shot. :)

If for no other reason...having a single shot rifle/pistol will teach you to be a more responsible will pass on more shots in order to get that one good shot in.

Of course, you must learn the rifle...shooting it on bench, standing, whatever condition you might have on the lease...

Stay economical and reliable..find an older Simmons Aetec or Weaver scope to mount. Look in some pawn shops and you might find a Leupold for a good price...remember, you can always send it in to get refurbished for the cost of S&H.


Dave Markowitz
April 12, 2006, 09:20 AM
Nothing wrong with a single shot rifle for deer hunting. Plenty of guys hunt with muzzleloaders, so why not a breachloading single shot?

One cool thing with the NEF rifles is that you can send the action back to the factory and have other barrels fitted. So, e.g., you can put the .308 barrel on for deer hunting, a .223 barrel for varmints, and a 12 gauge barrel for bird hunting.

Concur with getting a good fixed power scope of no more than 4x. If you're on a budget check out the Weaver K2.5 or K4. Good solid optics for under $200.

Ranger J
April 12, 2006, 10:19 AM
I took two deer last season with my .308 Handi rifle. Nothing wrong with the Stevens 200 either and it will probably shoot a little better group. My Handi will do inch groups at 100 yards, which is more than adequate in areas where I shoot. Both my 30-06 bolt and semi-auto stayed home the last season just because I like to shoot the little rifle. If you can shoot the single shot will be fine.

April 12, 2006, 11:09 AM
Some thoughts,

A single shot is PERFECT for hunting.

Why low end "new" rifles, why not a better quality used rifle?

Scopes are very useful, but completely unnecessary at the ranges deer are usually shot at.

April 12, 2006, 11:38 AM
"one shot, one kill"

Yup, you got it right. If I'm not VERY confident that I will make a killing shot with the first round, I won't take the shot. Anything else is inhumane.

As you mention, in many areas, its hard to get off more than one good shot anyway....And, you can reload a single shot pretty quick(with practice), if you need to put the animal down for good.

April 12, 2006, 12:02 PM
There is NOTHING wrong with a single-shot .308 for deer hunting . . . or, for that matter, for hunting ANYTHING that's not likely to chew, bite, gore, or stomp you.

April 12, 2006, 12:56 PM
dfaugh nailed it! I've never used more than one round on a deer. I'm not a gambler, and I hate the thought of an animal suffering. Unless I have a real, for sure, honest to gosh "lock" on a clean kill, the whitetail gets a pass! When offered the shot I demand, no follow-up rounds should be needed.

April 12, 2006, 10:06 PM
I had two NEF rifles. One in .223 and one in .243. I had a 40 dollar scope on both of them and they shot great. I never shot them much of 100 yds. except a few times and I was really pleased with them. I sold them because I didn't really hunt that much so I actually traded them on something else.

April 12, 2006, 11:14 PM
In my mind, the question isn't whether a single shot is appropriate for hunting (it bloody well is) but whether the NEF is a better rifle in general than other rifles in its approximate price class, namely the Stevens 200.

As much as I like the NEF, the Stevens is simply a superior piece for the money - better ergonomics, more reliable operation (especially extraction), much better build quality, a more tunable trigger, and the same ability as the NEF for a mechanically adept owner to swap barrels if desired. Add to that the fact that the Savage has a HUGE aftermarket, and I can't see how anyone could consider NOT getting into the Stevens 200 if your rifle budget tops out well under $300....

Less than $500 will get you a Stevens 200 plus a Leupold VX-I 3x9/40. You just can't get more for less than that, as far as I can tell. Get it in a versatile caliber like 308 and you've got a single boltie that you can use for everything from inexpensive range work with NATO milsurp to coyote control to hunting piggies and deer...

April 13, 2006, 01:54 PM
There's a lot of good confirmation in this thread.

Single shots are fine for hunting deer and other game.

And the .308 is a great round through a hunting/accurate single. Last year for my 13 year old son's first rifle and deer hunt, I bought him a Rossi Tripple Play in youth size. Single shot interchangable barrels. .22, 20ga, and .243. He got his first doe, off hand, open sight, first shot. I looked at the Stevens, and then decided on the Rossi for the versatility of the inexpensive rifle, the youth size stocks, (not that you need that) and the fit and finish. The wood is impressive. The bluing is more of a cheaper.. Blackening. The safety is excelent. It comes with open sights, adjustable front, (elevation) and rear, (windage). Drilled and tapped for a Picanty/Weaver rail. With a good factory recoil pad too. The only thing I don't like is the plastic trigger guard on the youth model. Open sight accuracy from a bench is quite sufficient. But I've recently installed a Nikon Buckmaster 3x9 on the included rail. -We'll see what my hand loads do in this rifle very soon.

Look at the Rossi/Brazetec Matched pairs. There are several neat combinations available for good prices.

The gun store I used in Tacoma had me out the door for less than $250 last year!

I'm buying another one of these for my younger son.

Even if you didn't the extra barrels, the single barrel .308 is available for right around $225.


April 13, 2006, 03:10 PM
Have shot with my Heym-Ruger in .308 since 1978. At a rough guess have shot over 600 deer with it. I'll keep useing a single shot :)

April 13, 2006, 04:03 PM
[QUOTE][/ At a rough guess have shot over 600 deer with it.TE] :what:

April 14, 2006, 09:08 AM
when i lived in England i was shooting some years over 50 deer . you can shoot deer nearly all year there with no limit on how many you shoot. there's a lot of deer in England. Thats without counting the park deer i used to cull.
Will count up in my game book and find out how many i have shot.

April 14, 2006, 09:25 AM
Counted in the book. Total 658 deer, (4 Moose not shot in England) and 52 fox's.

April 14, 2006, 12:32 PM
Yeah, don't forget to look on the used racks at the gun stores - you can find some very fine rifles for not much money there sometimes.

April 15, 2006, 08:19 AM
That will work fine.

Brian Smith
April 19, 2006, 09:57 AM
Being a single shot fan ( 8 of them) you know which way I would lean. Recently I have been looking at the Russian guns imported by Remington. Their single shot is available in .308 and looks really nice for a gun with a sujested retail of under $200. Personally I want the double rifle they offer.
As to hunting with a single shot I'll give you the same explaination I gave my dad 30 years ago when he asked me why I would limit myself to only one shot. "If you are good it's all you need."

April 19, 2006, 10:27 AM
$180.00 nib 25-06.this rifle will print a inch or under at 100 yards with my handloads.scope is a sightron 3X9.

April 19, 2006, 12:11 PM
I've always used a .270 bolt action but strangely enough, I usually find myself loading only one round directly into the chamber and then setting the safe to "on". I don't know why I do this, I just do. Even though I don't fill the rest of the magazine with three more rounds, I've yet to lose a deer or hog to not having a second shot when I need it so I guess my habit isn't hurting me yet. BTW, my current rifle is a Browning A-Bolt Hunter...

April 19, 2006, 12:21 PM
Id think so. Hell at some ranges a .223 should be right?

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