Not your best

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by txcookie, Nov 27, 2014.

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  1. txcookie

    txcookie Member

    Feb 4, 2008
    Little Rock AFB
    Does anyone hunt with a rifle that isn't their best. I have a Remington 700 CDL and a Thompson Center encore that both shoot exceptionally well at long distance but I am wanting to hunt with a lever action rifle 30 30 that has iron sights and is absolutely
    and is not my best rifle. It's accurate but I cannot shoot past a hundred yards
  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    May 26, 2007
    We hunt for fun. I believe in using the gun you enjoy using the most. More often than not that means using the best, most modern, most accurate rifle I own. But at times I do the same as well.

    I'm sort of all or none with not much middle ground. My go to hunting rifles are modern guns in SS with high quality aftermarket synthetic stocks. I have no use for wood, seen it fail too many times. But when I get the urge to go old school, I go old school. I don't want an inline muzzle loader and much prefer a 50 year old recurve or long bow to a modern compound bow. My levers are all wood stocked and iron sighted.

    On a gun used for personal protection whether from human or animal threats I have no use for nostalgia. I only use the best I can afford.
  3. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    South Eastern Illinois
    I echo jmr40's response.
    We hunt for fun in this household. We really don't NEED the meat. We already have big horns on the walls.
    I usully hunt deer with either a flintlock or a Hawken. During bow season, it's my recurve always. I haven't shot my compound in 2yrs.
  4. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

    Jan 22, 2005
    Texas - Born and Raised
    To be honest, my rifles and handguns are simply tools I use to put food on the table. As for having one that isn't the best, hard to say that simply due to the way I have things somewhat organized. I have different ones that aren't the best for anything over 200yds, and I have some that are by far not the best for anything under that as well. But they have all had loads worked up to maximize their accuracy potential, so no matter which one I grab out of the safe I know it will do 2" or usually better at the ranges I plan to use it for.

    My "favorite" if you wanted to call one by that term is my little Ruger Compact in .308. It is simply a dream to tote through the woods weighing in at only 6.5# fully loaded and ready for business. The 1.5x6 scope allows me the accuracy I need out to around 400'ish yards, but it excels at ranges of 75 and less, which is what I primarily use it for.

    When I am headed out to the farm, I usually take a rifle and at least one revolver simply for the feral hogs. Sometimes I take the long range stuff, sometimes the short range. The problem is I cannot control what range the hogs come out at.
  5. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

    Feb 6, 2007
    For the most part, over the last decade or so, most of my deer hunting has been with handguns. At my age, I really care less if I get another deer, only that I can get out and go one more time. I get more enjoyment outta watching the boys being successful. Yesterday I was still hunting and because half the time if one gets a shot, it is a running shot at close range after you jump them from their beds, I took a handgun caliber carbine. Walked up on a little basket 8 in his bed along side a doe in the fresh snow, but it was half a mile from the road and I was by myself. Watched them both from a distance of about 30 yards until a third doe about 15 yards to one side I didn't see saw me move and busted me. Made the day complete, even without a kill or even a shot taken. I probably woulda shot the doe for the freezer had it been easier to get her out.

    Got a coupla ought-sixes that have been collecting dust in the safe that maybe the grand-kids might be able to use in the future. While when I was serious about deer hunting they were used extensively, I haven't used either for several years.
  6. d2wing

    d2wing Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    I do that, I have nice long range rifles but often like to hunt my walking in the woods guns, a 30-30 lever, Win. 94, is my fav for that. It is lighter and quick on target.
  7. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

    May 5, 2006
    People's Republic of Maryland
    Then don't ;)

    I have a custom made, .308, bolt action, "scout" style rifle. I have a variable Leopold scope, and it's super accurate. I have no problems placing a shot at 300 yards with it, and with some practice could go farther.

    I don't use it for hunting these days.

    I built it when I was in a state that I could use a rifle for deer. Then I moved into an area where I had to drive two hours or more to be able to use legally it, or... I could stay closer to home and use a shotgun or black powder, and get the deer in closer than 100 yards.

    Turns out... it was and is much more fun, for me , to work at getting the deer in at 100 yards or even closer, and to use a replica black powder rifle when I do.

    So... don't lament the iron sight .30-30, but instead work with it a bit and see if you don't find it more satisfying, or satisfying in a different way, than your long range rifle.

    IF it turns out to be nothing but a hassle for you... then you'll know, but I think it will help hone your skills some, and you'll have a good experience to boot. :)

  8. Glockula

    Glockula Member

    Dec 10, 2013
    Eastern NC
    I use my Savage 11 .308 win, the trophy hunter package, as the not my best rifle. I have owned this rifle for two years and like it so far. I have an old open sighted 03A3 with a sporterized stock that I like to hunt with as well. The old cap and ball rifle would be a fun way to go to. I have seen them with great looking wood. I would like to try it next year.
  9. retrieverman

    retrieverman Member

    May 23, 2007
    I own a few high end Blaser rifles and have hunted with them, but my current "go to" rifle is a Winchester M70 featherweight in 270 win built in 1961. I traded for it a few years ago and replaced the original wood stock with a McMillan and topped it with a 20 year old Leupold VariX III 4.5-14. It shoots my reloads under an inch at 100 yards and has accounted for quite a few hogs and a few deer.
  10. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

    Feb 1, 2014
    Middle Tn
    I can shoot my .270 to 600 yards consistently with handloads, but more often than not I carry my memories afield in my 336 handed down from my grandfather. That gun was passed around through my dad, his brother, their friends, cousins, and kids, but due to a series of unfortunate events I ended up driving grandma to the pawnshop the day after his funeral to pick it up and forgive my cousins sins...that gun is still "lost" as far as the family knows, but I find it in my deer stand every year. I have killed more deer with it than grandaddy ever did...and I have only shot 2. He never had the heart to pull the trigger except on a cripple that was hit by a car. That 336 is a fine gun no doubt, but my .270 is far superior in nearly every category.
  11. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    Long range accuracy isn't important in my woods. I often hunt with a 50 caliber CVA Wolf, which shoots accurately at 100 yards, about the longest shot I could have. Have been taking it all season, but haven't seen anything shootable, yet.
  12. Ranger Roberts
    • Contributing Member

    Ranger Roberts Become a THR contributing member!

    Jan 3, 2012
    Skook County, PA
    My go to rifle for hunting is my Marlin 30-30. It's not even close to my best rifle, but where I hunt deer it does a great job. My hunting buddy and I will occasionally switch things up for fun. We have days where we will only carry mil-surp rifles, in fact tomorrow is one of those days. Or a hunt where we will only use pistols. If I was hunting out of necessity it would be a different story.
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