Suggestions for a New East Texas Deer Rifle (Long)


Charles S
November 4, 2003, 06:16 PM

It is not often that I ask for advice, but I would like your thoughts on my next choice of rifles. My current hunting lease is in Cass County Texas, it is International Paper land that borders Army Corp of Engineers managed public land. My primary game is obviously the white tail deer, an exceptional buck in our area would weigh about 185# with the average much closer to 100#. There are also feral hogs that for the most part stay under 250# with an occasional #350 pound hog showing up. I am hunting fairly deep into the Corps lands and due to restrictions that mean I have to do a lot of walking. My current hunting rifle is a lightly customized Remington 700 BDL in 30-06.

I want something different. No real reason I just feel the need for a new rifle.

I am thinking of a rifle that is stainless steel due to the frequent winter rains we have, and a lighter rifle because I do so much walking and like to still hunt.

My thoughts are that I would like a 6 ¼-6 3/4 pound rifle in stainless steel in an adequate caliber for all the above mentioned game, a little different than the 30-06, but I would like to be able to buy ammo anywhere.

I would like to mount a medium power scope on this rifle in the 2-7 range like the Leupold VX II.

I think that the Tikka T3 Lite would be a good choice, as would the Reminton 700 in the stainless mountain rifle. Am I overlooking anything.

I am really thinking about the 270, just because it has such a great reputation and I don’t own one, but I would not mind the 308. Do you all think that the 260 Reminton would be enough gun.

The lease is supposed to be clear cut this year, the timing is really poor, so I could have some long shots with this gun, but again I would like to use this for an all purpose woods rifle.

I appreciate your thoughts and input.

Thanks for your time,


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Art Eatman
November 4, 2003, 06:46 PM
They're pricey, but my 700Ti in 7mm08 weighs in at 6-1/4 pounds with sling, ammo and Weaver V3 scope. Remington ammo is available from WalMart for about $15. (There's a lot of gun-stuff that may not be on the shelf, but is in their catalogs from providers.)

A 140-grain bullet at some 2,900 will kill most any critter in Texas, given any sort of decent hit.

:), Art

Peter M. Eick
November 4, 2003, 08:25 PM
I am not sure where Cass county is, but I have hunted Texas whitetails around Bandera and over in the Hill country. 7-08 dropped 4 of them now like a rock. Only one required 2 shots (bad shot placement on my part).

I picked up a 25-06 for hunting down by Freer/Laredo but my host has had "paying" customers for the last few years and "freebee" friends like me get to go last so I have not tried it out.

Both of mine are Remington Stainless 700's and work well.

Snake Jenkins
November 4, 2003, 08:59 PM
Why not get a Ruger #1? And if you're a handloader get it chambered in .280 Ackley improved.


November 4, 2003, 09:38 PM
Do you all think that the 260 Reminton would be enough gun.

Yes, the .260 is plenty. Just like the 7-08, it really is a short-action .270. I would recommend a Remington Mountain Rifle in either chambering, or maybe the Model 7 if you can live with the shortened barrel and thus reduced velocity and increased blast. With the .260 I usually endorse it with the caveat that one should handload to have a reliable supply of ammunition. Although, if one looks hard enough, the 140gr CoreLokt offering comes up in some out-of-the-way places, and in my experience is fairly accurate.

FWIW, in my Mountain Rifle I can achieve 2900fps with a 125gr Nosler Partition. With calm shooting, I feel this adequate on any elk-size and smaller critter, but people with more experience than I may tell it differently. And ignore the comments from some 7mm-08 (and larger caliber) shooters about having a "sissy" gun. ;)

November 4, 2003, 09:49 PM
my 700Ti in 7mm08 weighs in at 6-1/4 pounds with sling, ammo and Weaver V3 scope

How is the recoil on that thing?

Sleeping Dog
November 5, 2003, 08:05 AM
I don't have a rifle in .260 Remington, but the bullet should be the same as the 6.5x55 Swede, which is very good on deer. The .260 should be more-or-less a "6.5-08".

If you can get it in a Remington model 7, it will be a light gun.

I'm not sure how it would do against a big hog. It might just annoy him if you bounce one off his skull. :)


Art Eatman
November 5, 2003, 08:18 AM
It might be that the rifle fits me close to perfectly, but off the bench, the recoil of the 700Ti isn't worth worrying about. Offhand, it's a pussycat.

:), Art

November 5, 2003, 11:40 AM
Well.......I'm considering the same thing....sort of.

Its over kill for East or Central Texas Whitetails. But for hogs.....I really want a:

Remington 673 in 350 Rem. Mag
It' kinda different...


Brian Williams
November 5, 2003, 02:23 PM
I really like my Win Classic Compact in 7mm-08, It is great for PA whitetails. Fairly light weight and while not as light as Art's Ti is is very easy to carry. I also recommend the Ruger lightweight and Remington mod 7. I have a local friend who likes his Ruger very well and I have had a Mod 7 youth model that was a 1 MOA gun with Walmart Remington coreloks.

November 5, 2003, 02:58 PM
What about the Marlin 336SS in .30-30? Weighs in at 7lbs. acc'dg to website.

Not enough for the piggies? I don't know, you tell me.

Certainly not good for any real long shots (>200), but you did say "all-purpose" and "buy ammo anywhere." Strikes me as practically the quintessential E. Texas deer rifle.:)

Good luck, and let us know what you get - both the rifle AND the deer!:D

Dave R
November 5, 2003, 04:12 PM
Sure, .260 is enough gun. It IS a 6.5/08.

Ammo may not be as available as .270, though. Have to check that out. If ammo availability is satisfactory, I would go that way. The .270 is going to require a long action. That means more weight.

I would go with either rifle you mention, in short action, with any of the following:

-.308 (best availability and lowest cost)
-.243 (6mm/08--2nd best availability)
-.260 (6.5/08--prolly lowest availability, but best "compromise" IMHO)

November 5, 2003, 07:57 PM
If you handload, you have more options.

One point to consider if there are turkeys on your area, you can shoot them with a rifle. This would lead me to a .30 cal - load FMJ's for turkey, softpoints for deer.

If you handload, a .300 Savage, .30-40krag, or even a 7.62x39 would work for this dual porpose role.

I suppose you could also do this with a .30-30, though you shouldn't use pointed FMJ's in a tubular magazine.

I've shot 3 Texas deer with a .300 Savage, and at ranges under 100yards, it kills at least as fast as a .270.

November 6, 2003, 09:35 AM
I would go with something like a Remington Model 7 in 260 Remington or 7-08. If you load your own, Nosler has the 6.5mm Partition in 100,125 and 140 grains which give you a nice range of controlled expansion bullet options.

If you want to tweak the rifle a bit further, get with speedy gonzalez in Fort Worth and have him do his accuracy package on it. He inspects the barrel to make sure you got a good one, trues everything up, min SAAMI specs the chamber, recrowns the barrel and tunes the factory remington trigger. He also removes the bolt safety key system.

I had him do this on a Remington 700 VSSF in 22-250 and it really made it a nice rifle.

November 6, 2003, 11:55 AM
The .260, 7/08, etc. will get the job done, but are very close to the 30/06 for all practical purposes. Have you considered moving up to say a 35 Whelen or 338/06? Both are commerically loaded now. Both offer a big, heavy, slow bullet and while it might be a bit overkill on the small deer, would be good hog medicine.

If you are wanting to stay in the 260, etc. calibers, I concur with a previous post, give a Ruger No 1 a try. Light, handy, and with just a little work very accurate.

November 6, 2003, 02:32 PM
I know from personal experience about light rifles. My last two new rifles were lightweight SS/Synthetic models. One is a Remington Model 7 in .260 and should be plenty for deer. Accurate rifle for being borderline carbine. the other one is a Tikka T3 Lite SS/Synthetic in .243. Very nice feel, recoil, trigger feel, and shooting rifle (my favorite). I think it's the lightest rifle I've ever held. And, .243 is also a great deer rifle. The deer up here in Arkansas don't get much bigger than what you're shooting at down there, so .243 or .260 should be plenty. I'd also consider a 25-06 in above mentioned models.


November 6, 2003, 04:51 PM
I'm with perfesr. I have a 7-08 model 7 remington with a leupold vxII 2-7 and it's a very lightweight gun with plenty of knockdown power and the lightweight clear scope fits it perfectly.

PS. the gun is great but has quite a kick.

November 6, 2003, 11:15 PM
You can't go wrong with the Tikka rifles.

I have a Tikka Hunter in .243 that shoots 1/2 inch groups at 200 yards.

The triggers on the Tikkas are really nice. No takeup, break cleanly, not too heavy.

For your needs I'd go with the 25.06, or .270, but the other caliber suggestions are great as well.

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