Second Deer Rifle Time......


October 20, 2008, 05:57 PM
I'm in the market for a new deer rifle with a few parameters:
1. My max range will be about be about 200 yards
2. I don't mind recoil but I shoot softer kicking guns a lot better
3. Cost can't be more than $400 without glass
4. It must come with sling studs!
5. The cheaper the better

I have been hunting with a 30-30 for a few years now but it limits my stand location quite a bit. The M94 is great to carry and will certainly continue to be used but the sights stink and it isn't the most accurate rifle but it is PLENTY powerful. I guess the bigger issue is that the Winchester will never be allowed to wear a scope and with a 200 yard shot and antler point restrictions, a scope will be nice. That being said my last few shots have been at 50, 30, and 20 yards :D

Also recommend calibers please.... 22-250, .243, 30-30, .308, .270, 30-06.



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October 20, 2008, 06:16 PM
savage 110 30-06

October 20, 2008, 06:20 PM
So get a Marlin 336 in 30/30 and put a scope on it.

If not that... get a Savage or Remington .243 and put a scope on it. is your friend.

For example...


October 20, 2008, 06:28 PM
For 400 plus a little you can pick up a used Savage 110 or a new Stevens 200, and add a decent scope. I'd consider 7mm-08. For example a new Stevens 200 7mm-08 with a Nikon Buckmaster 3-9 would still be under 500 I think.

October 20, 2008, 06:31 PM
Out to 200 yards, a 30-30 can do the job. The reason I voted for the Marlin, is that the shots you have taken recently have been shorter range, the longer ones would be the exception rather than the rule. I would be looking at a short-medium barreled carbine, in a intermediate-powered cartridge, which can be set up in a way that you can use the iron sights UNDER the scope.

I was talking with my dad this weekend, I'm thinking my next hunting rifle might be a used Remington 760/7600 pump with the shortest barrel, in either .243 or .308, with peep-thru mounts and a flat 4x scope. Sometimes we go out in thick brush, and the terrain and cover varies quickly. I'm not into lever guns, maybe if I were a little more familiar with some of them I would consider similar options.

October 20, 2008, 07:11 PM
Not a bad one on your list, I'd say. My only centerfire rifle is a Vanguard 30-06. Well made, fits me very comfortably, very accurate, and very affordable. I can't compare it to the others, as I don't own them. But the Vanguard is everything I wanted it to be. I like the 24" barrel, that maximizes the -06 ballistics.

October 20, 2008, 07:37 PM
If your longest shots will be 200 yds there is no reason not to go with the Marlin 30-30. It will be shorter and lighter than all but the ultralight bolt guns and is still a good bit handier than any bolt rifle. Nearly all of the Marlin 336 rifles I have owned were quite accurate, with some rivaling my best bolt guns. Slap a nice trim Leupold 2-7X scope on it mounted low and you will have an awesome deer rifle. Why carry around a rifle that is heavier and more cumbersome than you need?

October 20, 2008, 07:40 PM
Just my two cents also, but I would stay away from the see-through mounts for the 30-30. There is no way to get a proper cheek weld with those high mounts and I have never missed a shot at a deer with the scope set on 2X. Keep it on 2x all the time unless you see a deer further off, have a good rest and need the extra magnification.

October 20, 2008, 07:42 PM
For me it would be the Remington If I didn't have one. Savage 110 if I already did.

October 20, 2008, 08:01 PM
"Slap a nice trim Leupold 2-7X scope on it (Marlin 30/30) mounted low and you will have an awesome deer rifle. Why carry around a rifle that is heavier and more cumbersome than you need?"

Amen to THAT !


October 20, 2008, 08:27 PM
Marlin 336.............I just bought one myself...........:D

October 20, 2008, 09:28 PM
Marlin XL7

October 20, 2008, 10:02 PM
Vanguard in 270. put a decent scope on it. pick the spot on the deer & shoot it. leave a gutpile & enjoy the backstrap.

October 20, 2008, 10:18 PM
Less power to destroy less edible meat might prove a sensible answer. Most .30 caliber rifles are FAR ABOVE the task of putting healthful venison into the pot of a starving American family. Some politicians do not actually starve regarding hunting as a necessity, since restaurant fare many be pricey, but delicious. I've learned that a .243 Winchester provides sufficient deer-harvesting ability under nearly EVERY circumstance. I've seen the shoulder aftermath of .300 WSM shooters, and it ain't pretty unless black-and-blue are your favorite primary colors. Still Americans still are allowed their God-Given Rights to shoulder coloration as their badge of manhood. Lets keep it this way forever. cliffy

October 20, 2008, 11:12 PM
+1 for Stevens Model 200

I'm a firm believer in these rifles. They are ugly, but you can go crazy on the paint and it'll look better than the day you got it out of the box. For 200 yard shots, 7-08 is an all around deer killer, much like the 30-30. The Model 200 is a light gun, but even my 300 Mag doesn't kick as bad as one would think. Short action calibers, for what you've described, would be the 7-08 and .308. Long action would be the 25-06, .270, and 30-06...just to keep recoil to the minimum. I just picked the 300 Mag to get more BANG for the BUCK.

Brand new, without a scope, these rifles sell for around $300...give or take $10. Wally World has priced them at around $270 I think, but don't quote me on that, been a year since I shopped for mine.

October 20, 2008, 11:27 PM
For 400 you can get a new Savage 110 if you look around. They're very accurate guns.

As for caliber, since you already have a .30-30, I'd with with .270, .308, or .30-06.

October 21, 2008, 10:10 AM
Here is another inexpensive option...


October 21, 2008, 10:11 AM
id go with the marlin

get a good scope and thats it

i love mine and have it sighted in for 175yards which is the zero in the ballistics so it will be like .25 high at 200 but that is insignificant on a deer in my opinion

ive used the mossberg and for me the stock isnt comfortable idk why but it just doesnt fit well

i do like the marlin xl7 in .30-06 and its only 300bucks

October 21, 2008, 10:19 AM
All of your options in the poll are good choices. I voted for the Vanguard because,to me,it has the smoothest action of all of them. It is a bit heavier than the others but that helps steady the rifle and absorbs some of the recoil.

October 21, 2008, 10:22 AM
I voted for the M700 but how about a decent low to mid power scope for your 30-30 and save the $$ for a hunt in the future that you ordinarily might not take...

I just put a Leupold FXII ultralight 2.5x wide duplex on my Marlin 1894ss with Warne qd rings and will swap that scope between the 1894 and 336 marlins. I really like to compactness of the scope but the quality is better than I expected for $240 new delivered to my door from Optics planet...

Also, I just bought this for general deer hunting, backup/loaner rifle:

Pretty inexpensive, as easy to handle, as your '94, shoots very well with PLENTY of power for most likely anything you will ever encounter and ammo is as common as pimples on a teenager... Lot's of possibilities...

Enjoy the quest

October 21, 2008, 10:46 AM
Here's a thought, just don't take any 200 yd shots. The vast majority of deer are shot at under 100 yds as the OP's own experience states. No-one has to take long shots. Some have even been known to stay out of the trees and actually use some skill to get closer.

October 21, 2008, 03:19 PM
S&W I-bolt in 30-06. $279 new.

If you want a quality rifle buy used. you can find a number of great old rifles for 400 or less.

October 21, 2008, 03:21 PM
My favorite soft recoiling deer rounds:
6.5x55 swede
.260 Rem
.257 roberts

I would suggest either the Tikka T3 or the Remington 700 with the nod to the Tikka

October 21, 2008, 03:33 PM
I have a Remington 700 in .243 which I really really like. It's plenty for the game we have here in the southeast. If you have bigger game you might need to go a bit bigger but if not the .243 is a fine cartridge. It has a little more energy than the .30-30 but not by much. It also shoots very flat. And with lighter bullets you can go after varmints as well.

October 21, 2008, 04:42 PM
"It (the .243) has a little more energy than the .30-30 but not by much. "


Comparing the 100gr. .243 to the 150gr. 30/30....

The .243 15% more muzzle energy

The .243 has almost the same energy at 100yds, as the 30/30 has at the muzzle.

The .243 has three times as much energy at 200yds. as the 30/30

The .243 has as more energy at 300yds. than the 30/30 has at 100yds.

Methinks the energy difference is more than "a little but not much". :rolleyes:


October 21, 2008, 05:27 PM
Some have even been known to stay out of the trees and actually use some skill to get closer.
During rifle season I like to know that I will LIKELY kill a deer if I put in my time. I do bow hunt you know, rifle is just making meat.

Thanks for the suggestions,

October 21, 2008, 08:13 PM
I got my Marlin 336 used for $259 plus tax. The thing looks brand new.....hard to beat that price.....:D

October 21, 2008, 09:01 PM
Savage in your choice of .243, .260, 7mm-08, .270, .308. Any of those will do the job, recoil is light to moderate in all of them, and the deer won't know.

October 21, 2008, 11:01 PM
What kind of terrain are you hunting on?? If it's thick heavy brush/woods... the Marlin would be about the best all around choice... if you split duty between open fields and woods... the Marlin will work just fine, it is one of the most versitile calibers around. But if you're looking at open terrain with 200 yd shots being a realistic option, the bolt action might be a better choice. Any of the previously mentioned calibers will do nicely... my choice would be the 7mm-08 Rem. The Stevens 200 IS a Savage 110... (just rebadged without the accutrigger)


October 21, 2008, 11:08 PM
I have been setting up stands which present me with sub 50 yard shots, but it would be nice to hunt fields on the farm. There is a huge buck with a crazy rack up there and I don't want him out of range with the open sights :D


October 21, 2008, 11:09 PM
just got a Savage as my second (backup) deer rifle. And I am really impressed. I got it used and It had glass on it for $340. looked like it had mabye a box of ammo through it. Shoots like a dream. For the price you cannot beat it. If you had sayed $550 Id say the Remington SPS synthetic, but I doubt you will find a used 700 under 450 unless you get it from a crackhead.

October 22, 2008, 03:52 AM
the 700's can be had for under 450 all day

October 22, 2008, 04:36 AM
if you can get a weatherby in 243, you will do no better, promise.

October 22, 2008, 12:21 PM
hehehehe, Shawnee! Fudge, you love that .243 huh!

October 22, 2008, 12:25 PM
get a .25-06 in your flavor.....

October 22, 2008, 01:21 PM
hehehehe, Shawnee! Fudge, you love that .243 huh!


Yeah, and I love the 30/30 too but it ain't no .243.



October 22, 2008, 01:33 PM
Shawnee, I am actually looking for a .243 for the sexy little lady who sleeps with me. Dont know if I should go with a Savage, Browning, tikka, Chester or a Rem.? Fudge.

October 22, 2008, 03:25 PM
I would have to say get a 7mm ultra mag, sit in the middle of the farm and shoot the whole place :)

Seriously tho, the 110's are really hard to beat for the money when it comes to accuracy, and in 243/257/25-06/260/270, are way more gun than most eastern deer hunters would ever need.

If a western elk hunt is ever a thought for your future, i'd look at 25-06 all the way up to whatever caliber you cant handle the recoil anymore.

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