Deer gun for the wife


December 22, 2011, 12:44 PM
I need to buy the ol'lady a hunting rifle. I have been flip flopping around and just can't seem to decide on what to get her. Rather than tell you what I am thinking, I would like to here a fresh perspective.

Couple of things to consider,

She is not afraid of a little kick.

We won't be taking shots over 150 yards..mostly around 80 or so

She wants something kind of light...but does not want a nice wood stock that she has to worry about scratching

She wants to make sure it will leave a good blood trail if it doesn't drop right there. (of course there is some shooting skill involved, but you get the idea)

Does not want the cheapest, nor the most expensive.

So...any suggestions???

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December 22, 2011, 01:06 PM
Take a look at the Rem Model Seven. I would probably go with a 260 or 7-08.

December 22, 2011, 01:07 PM
I don't own one, but there are many fans of the Tikka T3 Lite on this forum. They are available in many calibers, but one in .260 Rem, 6.5x55 swede, or 7-08 would probably be just right.

December 22, 2011, 01:18 PM
I too will recommend the Model 7, though I'd go for a .243 with 100 grain Nosler Partitions - pure deer poison with low recoil. Federal (and maybe others) offer the 100 grain NP if you're not a reloader. I hunted with a .243 for 20 years and knocked down big rockie mountain mulies to Sitka blacktails and even a caribou cow in the 400 pound range.

December 22, 2011, 01:56 PM
Marlin rifles in 35 Remington and 30-30 work great for shots out to about 175 yards or so with "plain" factory ammo.


December 22, 2011, 02:24 PM
Take a look at the Rem Model Seven. I would probably go with a 260 .243 or 7-08 Yup, Model Seven all the way. My kids who have taken deer all started with a Model Seven in .243. Also have one in .308 in the safe, but a .243 with 100 grain Core-Lokts would fit the bill.

But don't buy anything without your wife first having opportunity to handle it and try for fit.

December 22, 2011, 02:34 PM
for years my wife used a savage model 110 in .243 easy on the wallet, accurate, dependable

December 22, 2011, 02:40 PM
Look for a used Winchester Model 88 in .308 Winchester.

They made them in .243 also but I don't think much of that caliber for deer. Another good caliber is the 25-06 but it has better range than the 80 Yards or so you are thinking about.

At the distance you are talking about, 80 Yards, why not just get a 30-30 and be done with it?


December 22, 2011, 02:41 PM
Thing is, she should pick it, with some guidance to appropriate caliber.

She's gotta like it, no matter what. So, unless she just won't go, take her to the store, buy her some shoes or earrings (she's gonna pick those out, too, right?), then take her to the gunshop and have her pick out her rifle, and then buy that.

Jim Watson
December 22, 2011, 03:04 PM
Lacking a wife, I only know two Lady hunters.
One shoots a Model 7 Youth .260.
The other is out today with a 788 .30-30 provided by me because her .270 was stolen.

December 22, 2011, 03:11 PM
Tikka T3 in a 243, under $500. Butter smooth action and dead on right out of the box.

December 22, 2011, 03:18 PM
I have a savage 110 in .270 which I would recomend that rifle if she was interested in a bolt action seems to meet all the criteria. However I think a Marlin 336 in 30-30 is the best and meets all of the criteria perfectly.

December 22, 2011, 03:56 PM
Lever gun, open peep sights, .44 magnum

December 22, 2011, 04:11 PM
Thing is, she should pick it, with some guidance to appropriate caliber.

She's gotta like it, no matter what. So, unless she just won't go, take her to the store, buy her some shoes or earrings (she's gonna pick those out, too, right?), then take her to the gunshop and have her pick out her rifle, and then buy that.
I agree. First of all let the lady choose.

If I were to recommend a cartridge it would probably be the 270 Winchester.

December 22, 2011, 05:07 PM
Cartridges: .260 Rem, 7mm-08, .25 WSSM, 6.5 Creedmoor, .30-30, .35 Rem, 7.62x39mm, 6.5 Grendel

Rifles: Savage Lightweight Hunter, Ruger Compact, Browning BLR, Browning X-Bolt Micro Hunter, Marlin, SKS, AR.

December 22, 2011, 05:20 PM
.257 ROBERTS!!!!!!! But, I like the idea of the M7 in .260 which is about the same ballistically. Yeah, spare me the BCs. I've killed a couple dozen deer with my old .257 starting out at age 11 with it when it was my grandpa's gun. It kills 'em plenty dead. Okay, you REALLY kinda need to handload it to get the most out of it, I'll admit that, but it's pretty deadly with Winchester +P 100 grain silver tip and if the range ain't, but 150 yards per the OP, danged near ANYTHING will do. I just never miss on an opportunity to promote the little quarter bore. :D But, yeah, it won't do anything the .243, the 6mm Rem, the .260 Rem, the 7mm-08, etc, etc, etc won't do. I can tell ya this, old as it is, factory ammo is still out there. That will be the case, I'll bet, when the .25 WSSM is a forgotten memory. I'd go with some established caliber and don't sweat the details. Nothing wrong with the .243, either.

December 22, 2011, 07:51 PM
I bought my wife an H&R handi-rifle in .243 a couple years ago for deer hunting. She loves it, it is light weight, mild recoil, and accurate enough for hunting ranges.

December 22, 2011, 08:09 PM
Generally, I am one to advocate for the 7mm.08 for anyone hunting white-tail as it, to me, is the ultimate white-tail cartridge ever developed. BUT, with the parameters that you outlined, I would have to be put in the old .30/30 club there. At under 150 yards, it's just hard to beat the old girl. On the lighter side of recoil, generally a lighter rifle for carry, ammo can be found ANYWHERE and it will flat knock a deer on it's white-tail :D

As far as choice in rifles, I would stay away from the new Marlin's made by Remington for the time being as they are having some serious quality control issues and getting a good one would be "hit or miss" to put it mildly. If she plans on scoping it, find a pre Remington used one and preferably a pre cross bolt safety. If she doesn't plan on using a scope, find her a good used Winchester 94 and install a Williams Fire Site on that puppy. Ghost ring sites are hard to beat as long as you still have good eyesight. Mine is shot so I have to scope everything. I even have 2x glass on my hunting bow sites.

Most importantly, she will need to hold ANYTHING you get her first for a comparison of length of pull. Too long and she will have difficulty shooting it well. The grip has to fit her as well. If she has to reach too far for a proper trigger contact, it will severely affect her shot placements. Lot of little things like that are often forgotten when shopping for a rifle.

Good luck and happy hunting!

December 22, 2011, 10:57 PM
My wife hunts with a Browning A Bolt in .243 topped with a Leupold VX II 3-9 variable. We had the stock shortened/customized for her.

Art Eatman
December 23, 2011, 02:37 PM
Take her to a gun show or to a gun store with a wide selection. Let her feel and fondle until she finds a rifle which fits and which suits her interest.

Then worry about such things as which cartridge.

December 23, 2011, 11:47 PM
Tikka T3 in a 243, under $500. Butter smooth action and dead on right out of the box.
This would be my choice, or as others have said, 7mm 08

December 24, 2011, 12:48 AM
I would go with any bolt rifle with a better than average scope in .308. They all shoot pretty well, but getting the proper fit and scope distance can be a problem. 308 because you may want to try elk hunting without buying a new rifle or borrowing one that she isn't used to.

Art Eatman
December 24, 2011, 08:27 AM
Proper fit is the main criterion. That affects perceived recoil. Avoids awkwardness when mounting, and thus enhances "shootability". As for the rifle itself, my opinion is that it should be very slightly muzzle-heavy for balance; again, shootability.

December 24, 2011, 09:08 AM
Stock: ask her to reconsider wood. Scratches/dings only add character and provide stories for years to come. That said, having hunted since I was 12, I don't ever recall damaging a gun. I even fell out of a tree, when i shot my first deer, and still jammed the stock into the snow, muzzle to the sky. All was well. I've never had a blued gun rust, either. Most dings on my wood rifles happen in the safe! Synthetic gets cold to the touch after a while in the woods, and can also get slippery at times. Nothing beats a checkered wooden stock, IMHO. I used to really like the fancy Monte Carlos and still do, but a plain wooden sporter stock seems to be appealing to me of late.

Caliber: 243 is easy to shoot and will take any whitetail in my state. 7mm-08 is nice, but look at the barrels lengths. Most 7mm-08s come in a shorter length, meaning more noise - if that'a an issue for you. 6.5x55 is cartrdige that will effectively take any North American game, period. It's highly underated, especially if you reload.

Fit: list calibers she is comfortable with and then, more importantly, find the gun that fits her. A gun that doesn't fit right will kick more, and of course she will not be as accurate with it.

December 24, 2011, 09:24 AM
In this day of factory loaded managed recoil rounds I suggest the rifle that pysically fits her and if that rifle happens to cause recoil issues for her because it's a 308,30-06,270,etc. I would then stock on the milder managed recoil ammo in that particular caliber and go hunting.

Ranger J
December 26, 2011, 05:47 PM
Deer gun for the wife
I can't believe you all left a line like this on without saying. Good trade!All kidding aside my wife likes a 357 Marlin and my daughter shoots a 30/06. One extreme to the other and neither would trade. Let her shoot some of each and see what she likes.


Arkansas Paul
December 26, 2011, 06:13 PM
Yeah, let her handle some different ones.
My wife has a recently aquired tang safety Ruger M77 in .243 and she loves shooting it.

December 27, 2011, 05:17 AM
Like others have posted, you wouldnt be going wrong with a Rem Model 7 in 243, 260 or 7mm-08. Ive always had thing for the 7mm-08. Had a 7600 with 3X9X40 chambered in it ( till it was stolen ) Best white tail combo I ever owned for back east hunting.

December 27, 2011, 07:04 AM
Browning in 7mm-08

December 27, 2011, 07:45 AM
Like Art said, fit is more important than caliber IMO.

I have a friend that has an auto Ruger rifle in .44 mag. Lets his kids use it. Light, handy, accurate. Very low recoil. He took a 173 class deer with it this year, one shot at 85 yards. DRT.

There is one for sale on another forum that appears to be pristine. PM if you want to look at it.

December 27, 2011, 09:06 PM
Buy her whatever she picks out.

Make sure she trys the gun wearing hunting clothing and not summer weight clothing. If she cant shoulder it she wont like it.

When she shoulders it-there should be cheek weld aithout moving check forward--backward so as to see the sights/scope.

December 29, 2011, 12:24 PM
how much of the fit really depends on the quality of the far as cheek contact.. Seems to me that the eye relief is a part of the scope

December 30, 2011, 04:17 AM
I just got back from R&R but while i was home i picked up a 45-70 to play with. O wanted to go do a little hunting but still spend time with the wife so my brother and I talked her into coming with us. She however surprised the hell out of us when she said she wanted to actually hunt too. I was gonna let her take my bubbafied 7x57 but my brother had the idea for me to get her a rifle. long story short I call up every friend and family member trying to find her test guns and she picked a mossburg in 243. we went to academy and they had them on sale. She loves it and im pretty fond of the little thing myself.

December 30, 2011, 06:52 AM
Deer gun for the wife

Forgive the frivolity, but Im reminded of the old joke Henny Youngman joke.

"Thats a real good trade" :)

Sorry couldnt resist.

To atone I offer that my wife likes an old Marlin 30-30

December 31, 2011, 12:06 AM
marlin 336 in 30-30. been using mine for years now and it is great! i have been wanting to get a 30-06 bolt gun but the ol' 30-30 has always done so well i just cant justify spending the money.

my next choice would be for a lever action in .44 mag. leverguns were BORN to hunt!

Big Bad Bob
December 31, 2011, 02:24 PM
a bolt gun in 7mm-08, it has more punch than the .243 and just as manageable on the recoil.

January 1, 2012, 12:21 AM
My wife hunts with a Remington Mod. 7 in 7-08. She loves it. Strongly suggest letting her make the decision, ( with a little coaching from you where necessary)

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