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Which brand/caliber bolt action rifle for Texas hunting

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Minator, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. Minator

    Minator Well-Known Member

    I have never had a chance to go deer hunting even though I have already completed my hunters safety course. So I planned on going this season but Im lost on what to get Ive heard of the seperate issues with different rifles.

    I shoot all rifles left handed so im going to need a left handed bolt action rifle. Also I plan on only having one or two bolt action hunting rifles so I need this purchase to last awhile in most texas enviroments and be in a large enough caliber to stop a black beer, deer or a wild boar/hog. Also having a rather quick cycling rate.
  2. Outlaws

    Outlaws Well-Known Member

    For fast cycling, a level action in 30-30 is something I wouldn't over look, but a .30-06 should would be my choice for a bolt action.
  3. dracphelan

    dracphelan Well-Known Member

    Where are you going to be hunting? Is it the open prairies around Amarillo or the deep woods of East Texas. If I was going for woods hunting (and left handed), I would choose a Winchester or Rossi lever action in any one of several calibers (30-30, 45 Colt or 45/70). If I'm going to more open terrain I would go with a decent bolt-action in 308 or 30.06.
    Remember, Texas is huge and varied. What would be a good rifle for one part of the state would be inappropriate in another part of the state.
  4. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Well-Known Member

    I would look at a Ruger M 77...

    If you were only hunting in TX I would say get the .243, but as you have added bears, I would say get a .308. Ruger's are great guns and if you add a Timney Trigger you will have a real winner. On my last TX hunt up near Telephone we had several Ruger's in action and they all shot great and put up with a ton of abuse.

  5. lev83

    lev83 Well-Known Member

    Check out Brownings A-Bolt Hunter II or Rugers M77 chambered for 270 Win.
  6. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    25-06 or 270 are pretty common in west Texas and the Panhandle, from what I can tell. On the east side, distances are a lot shorter due to the scrub and pine woods - 35 Remington, 30/30 and 7.62x39 are more common.

    Texas whitetails aren't terribly large; mulies and hogs are the only game that might need more punch than a 25-06 (at distance) or 30/30 in the woods.

    If I had to have two rifles for all of Texas, I'd have one stainless Rem 700 SPS in 270 ($500) and one old Marlin 336 in 35 Remington ($300). That'd pretty much let me go anywhere in the state and hunt just about anything I'm likely to find.
  7. A_Swede_17_1911

    A_Swede_17_1911 Active Member

    Ive been going through the same thing with hunting in Texas this year. I have a 336 Marlin in 30-30 WIN. I live in Houston, I plan on probably hunting toward the Sam Houston Natinal Forest. I also have the chance for Hogs as well. I figure with the Hornady Lever Evolution I can feel comfortable out to 300 yards or so.

    If you shots are going to be on the longer side I would look at a 30-06 bases round either 25-06 up to the 30-06, probably settling with the .280 remington.
  8. .45 AUTO

    .45 AUTO Well-Known Member

    Being that the Deer are small in Texas, and the abundance of Wild Boar I would choose either a classic Winchester m94 30-30, a 7.6x39mm CZ bolt- action carbine, or a Ruger Deerfield .44 magnum carbine. All three are good close range brush rifles.
  9. db_tanker

    db_tanker Well-Known Member

    There is nothing here in this part of the state, on 2 or 4 legs, that would require more than what a 170 gr. power point from a 30-30 can do. Your shots will NOT be longer than about 100 yards...150 MEBBE if the wireline right-of-way is cleared out enough. :)

    Mind you I am in the piney woods north of Houston.

    You get up to west and north texas where you might have a cross-valley shot or a good prairie shot, then a 308 would be the right choice. Gives you plenty of punch, bullet and range.

    Fact is, my brother swears by the 243 Winchester in his 700 BDL. It has put everything he has on his walls and in his deep-freeze except an Scimitar horned Oryx...used a 7 mag for it on a canned hunt.

  10. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

    Hi Minator...

    I spent a bunch of years hunting deer, hogs and coyotes in Texas both in East Texas and Southwest Texas near the border. I got to spend at least 45 actual hunting days each deer season.
    If you have to have a bolt action I can't tell you all the different models offered these days but if you can find a left-handed Remington 700 - buy it.
    If you can use a lever action - that's great because you can get a Browning BLR and you'll love it.
    As for the caliber - get any caliber you want as long as it is the 7mm-08. Period.

    Local opinions may vary.

    Good luck and enjoy your search! :)
  11. barnett

    barnett Well-Known Member

    .270 is a great all-round caliber for Texas. i may be wrong, but i don't think there is an open season on black bear in Texas. way too few of them.
  12. beertracker

    beertracker Member

    Minator, you mentioned being left handed. I too am left handed and quickly noticed how few left hand bolt actions are out there. After much searching I came across a Tikka Whitetail 3006 left hand bolt. Its one sweet shooter, very accurate, free floating barrel, adjustable trigger pull, slippery smooth action, detach mag, and it comes with a recoil pad. I prefer detach mags I feel its safer to unload these. I guess its a carry over my my military days.

    I have taken two deer with it; one shot/deer. The Whitetail model has since been replaced by the newer T3 model.

    One Happy Deer Hunter,
    Beertracker :)
  13. AH-1

    AH-1 Member In Memoriam

    savage also makes several left hand rifles and they a good/accurate rifles that won't break the bank.
    in 40 years of hunting I have only killed 2 deer over 100 yards:) .give the 280 rem a good look it is one great round.
  14. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    Savage usually has the most lefties, then I would go with two here. either a 3006 or a 308 shooting 200 grn bullets, for your bear or other big boys, and then a 270 for longer zippier stuff, with a milder recoil, shooting 120 grners.
    If not the 270, then a 25.06 or a 6mm remmy will really get you way over there.
  15. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    oh yeah, if no savage is available, get a cz.
  16. langenc

    langenc Well-Known Member

    308 and never over 165 gr bullets for any Texas. It is big-I spent 2 Army years there. Brand?? Check the local shops and see what you like and can afford. As has been mentioned-Savage will give an awful lot for the money. Accutriggers are very good.

    Many of the central Texas deer will only need 150 gr-308s. Hit em and they are yours.

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