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New rifle for PA whitetail

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by JMPhoto, Jun 3, 2009.

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  1. JMPhoto

    JMPhoto Member

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    I am going to be getting my first rifle for Pennsylvania whitetail, mostly. I am mostly a shotgun/sporting clays shooter and I shoot a Browning Citori 625 O/U, so I am pretty fond of Browning, so I was looking at the X-bolt. Thoughts?
    But I mostly want opinions on caliber. I get people saying 30-06, 7mm, 7mm-08, 270??
    A couple other details are that I don't reload, so I want a caliber that has a lot of available options and availability.
    Thanks.
     
  2. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

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    How far do you think you will be shooting at deer? I love the handiness of a lever action in .30-30. It isn't the thumper that a .30-06 is but for 100 yard shots it will knock them just as dead. Around here (NW Ohio) our shots tend to be under 100 yards, or at least how I hunt they are, though we don't get to use centerfires. All the rounds you listed will drop a whitetail dead. Of those I like the .30-06 just because surplus ammo is available, though drying up, which lets me shoot for cheap at the range and great hunting loads are available as well.
     
  3. JMPhoto

    JMPhoto Member

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    Thanks Benzy, probably around 100 yds. on average.
     
  4. KzoneAL

    KzoneAL Member

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    7-08 excellent whitetail round.
     
  5. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Member

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    A 336 in 30-30 is the perfect Northeast deer rifle.
     
  6. shaggy430

    shaggy430 Member

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    I've heard that Remington 7600 is popular in PA because you can't use a semi-auto. I've got one and they're great.
     
  7. justashooter in pa

    justashooter in pa member

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    i would choose 35 remington in a marlin 336 for anything up to 150 yards. a peep sight or 2X scope and 200 grain ammo. not gonna be splitting hairs, but will knock anthing you get a shot at down and is a lot easier to carry around in the woods than a bolt gun.

    you might also look at remington pumps, if you're willing to buy a used gun. the 760 and 7600 come in 30-06 etc and can maximise a 4X and reach out to 300 yards reliably for powerline and cornfield shots.
     
  8. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

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    7mm-08-
    Savage 16 Stainless.. Synthetic Accustock
    Savage 14 Blued.. Wood Stock
    Savage 11 Blued.. Synthetic Accustock Stock
    Stevens 200 Blued.. Plastic Stock (Economy Model)
    Tikka T-3 Blued or Stainless.. Wood or Synthetic Stock
    Remington Model 7 Blued.. Wood Stock

    30-06-
    Savage 116 Same as the Model 16
    Savage 114 Same as the Model 14
    Savage 111 Same as the Model 11
    Tikka T-3 Same as above.
    Remington 700 Blued, Black Phosphate, Stainless.. Wood or Plastic Stock

    Either one of these calibers are a fine deer caliber, however the 30-06 will be more versitile as far as species are concerned.

    That is not to say you couldn't bag a elk with a 7mm-08 but the 30-06 would be a smidgen better.

    All the above models of rifles will do ya', however you might find the Savage models more accurate right out of the box with no need for aftermarket enhancements, the Tikka's will be a good choice also.

    Happy Huntin'-:D
     
  9. pymi

    pymi Member

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    Being you don't reload I would stick with the basics .308,30.06,.270 and .30-30.
    What part of PA are you hunting?
     
  10. mickeydim468

    mickeydim468 Member

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    I just bought a Weatherby Vanguard in .243 Win for my Black Tail hunts this year. I would like to think I made a wise choice. It shoots Sub-MOA right out of the box. The target that comes with it has a 3 shot group that measures 0.28" center to center of the outside holes. I paid $349.00 NIB but I had to add scope. The .243 ammo has been quite available here so far. The recoil is pretty light compared to my 30.06 too. It's a well made tool for a specific job. Simplicity at it's finest.

    I hope this helps!

    Mikey!
     
  11. Wesson Smith

    Wesson Smith Member

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    I have the X-Bolt in 25-06 and it's probably the most consistently accurate bolt gun I own. It really likes the Hornady 117 gr. SST InterLock ammo. It's a flat, hard shooter and would make a fine deer rifle.
     
  12. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    the 30.06 , is basically the end all-be all of rifle rounds; from 55 grain sabots; to 110 grain varmint rounds, to 220 grain softpointers, there is no game under elk or black bear size, you can't take down with a .06. Now then, a 270, is basically the same thing, with a bit smaller bullet, and will def recoil less, and is all the deer cal rifle you will ever need. and both ammo's are everywhere to be
    bought...
     
  13. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    Oh yeah, the x bolt is a most excellent rifle, have no fear in buying one, it will be a lifetime type rifle. Great choice.
     
  14. a-sheepdog

    a-sheepdog Member

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    I have an X-Bolt in 7mm-08. One word, AWESOME. She is a shooter and looks fine too. I like it and it did not break the bank. I would also mention Tikka, another fine rifle.
     
  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    I would buy the rifle that best fits the terrain/cover of the are in which you'll be hunting. In PA, unless you're hunting on cleared farmland or in a very few other situations, your shots are probably going to be less than 200 yds. There's really no better rifle for that than a Marlin lever-action (I like .35 Rem, but .30-30 works just as well) or a Rem. 760/7600.

    These rifles are not as flashy as the big sleek bolt-guns but they offer a LOT of advantages.

    I see so many of both guns on the used racks at just about every gun shop that I can't imagine laying down $600-$1000+ for a brand new rifle just for deer hunting! The 336 or 7600 will be just as accurate as most bolt guns (and with handloads, amazing!) and WAY more accurate than you need to take deer sized game at our short distances. Plenty of power, too.
    -Sam
     
  16. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    " around 100 yards average."......... Marlin 336 in 35 remington. :)
     
  17. BBstacker

    BBstacker Member

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    I live in Pa. I hunted with my 7mm mag. for years but I hunted farmland. When I started hunting northcentrel Pa. I got a 7mm08 in a rem. model 7. I went with SS do to rain and snow. It is light with a 20" barrel. shooting out to 300yds is not a problem. I use Hornady 139 gr. lite mags.
     
  18. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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  19. schlockinz

    schlockinz Member

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    Get a 30.06, you'll be good for any game in NA.

    Otherwise, a marlin 30-30 would be nice. With Leverution shells you should be able to reach out and touch deer at some good ranges

    Last thought, 25-06. Never shot one, but I've never heard anywhere speak poorly of it as a white tail round.
     
  20. bpl

    bpl Member

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    What is your budget? Is it for just the rifle or for the scope and rifle?
     
  21. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    As the late, great Townsen Whelen said, "The .30-06 is never a mistake."

    You can probably find .30-06 and .30-30 ammunition in any little crossroads store. More exotic fare, like 7mm-08 may be lacking.

    The .30-06 is suitable for anything in North America -- from deer to pronghorn antilope to elk to bear. The .30-30 considerably less so.
     
  22. woof

    woof Member

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    I hunt deer in western PA, Bedford and Somerset counties. I am presently doing a project rifle for just that purpose. It is a Rem 760 in .35 Rem cut to 18 inch and with carbon fiber stock and slide. My range is always under 100 yds in heavy woods. Till now I have used a 336 in .35 Rem. If I were hunting more open areas with longer shots I would go with a 7mm-08 in whatever bolty you like. I assume few things but one of them is that I will remember to take my ammo so I don't worry about availability. Besides, I take a backup rifle too.
     
  23. elktrout

    elktrout Member

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    JM,

    I used to live in PA and killed a lot of deer with the 30-06. I hunted out of a camp of 7 guys in a southcentral county that never got skunked in the seasons between 1972 and 1995. I moved here in 1995. I saw a lot of deer harvested with the '06, and it never failed. But, we also killed a bunch with 30-30s, 243s, and 32 Win special.

    Since you lean toward the X-bolt, get it. For factory loaded ammo, you will have no complaints if you stick with a 270 or 30-06 and will find the ammo everywhere (when things are normal, that is).
     
  24. atomchaser

    atomchaser Member

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    I hunt in North Central PA and use a 308 with a 20 inch barrel and 2x7 scope. I have also used a Rem 760 in 35 rem with peep sites. I really like the first gun for stand hunting. The 760 is great if you are still hunting through the mountain laurel. The key for me is something light and handy. Any of the common calibers work fine. I would just avoid the uber mags with 26 inch barrels and 20x scopes. You'll get real sick up humping something like that up and down the mountains.
     
  25. marineman

    marineman Member

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    For deer, any of your choices will work well. I would stray from the 7mm magnum simply because ammo is expensive and recoil is harsher than the other rounds listed. 7mm-08 is a light, but capable round. The .270 is probably the most popular deer round: flat trajectory and ample power. The .30-06 is one of the more versatile rounds; you can shoot light loads for game smaller than deer and work your way up to 220grain loads for bear, elk, moose, etc. Take your pick. All will work for deer.
     
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