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Your Best deer RIFLE and why

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Random 8, Dec 17, 2019.

  1. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    OK, it's cold, I'm bored, can't hunt deer for another year. What the heck.

    Leaving caliber and ballistics off the table...thoroughly covered in another post...what is YOUR best deer hunting rifle and why? Looking for single best, you may select up to 2;). Can be one you own, one you wish for, one that isn't made yet, one you would do a minor tweak on. If Santa was a custom riflesmith, what would he bring you within his reasonable budget?

    In my case, I'm near perfect. I have a Mauser 98 action in .280, RM thumbhole stock that fits me perfectly (it darn well should with the countless man hours shaping and sanding) 22" barrel to be fairly maneuverable in the woods but not short and whippy, and doesn't compromise much for longer shooting. 3x9 Burris FF2 fast focus. It's hefty so it fits my often unsupported and sometimes moving shots in broken woods with a clean hold, swing and follow through in these conditions. It would be perfect if the scope were a 2x7 with a heavy "German" reticle, it were about 8 oz lighter and the trigger pull was cleaner. Not lighter, just cleaner. Working on those minor flaws this winter.
     
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  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I bought this Winchester EW used in a gunshop in 2009. I hunted with it the 1st year in the factory stock but ran across the used McMillan Edge stock for sale in the classifieds of another hunting forum. That completely changed the rifle for me. It is 1/2 lb lighter than before and much trimmer feeling. Weight as shown is just a bit over 7 lbs. I've since changed the scope to a Zeiss Conquest and it is closer to 7 1/4 now.

    I feel that is a good compromise, light enough to carry easily, but not too light to shoot well. I simply trust CRF more for a rifle used in harsh conditions and I often venture well off the road. This photo was taken about 3 miles into the woods at one of the higher elevations in GA. It is steep rugged hunting with unpredictable weather.

    Caliber is 308, but that isn't important. Within reason most all of them kill stuff.

    2013 cohutta 018.JPG
     
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  3. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    For a bumming around rifle, the Rem 700VTR with a modded stock and Timney trigger is perfect.
    If small game, the Savage 93r17 with thumbhole stock.
    I use epoxy to make my rifles balance the same, so they are all perfect.
     
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  4. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    I tend to use my ruger 77 ts 7x57 the most. But any mauser type action is preferred.

    DSCN0133.JPG
     
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  5. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    A pump or lever action in .450 Bushmaster.

    None factory made. Grizzly will custom build one on a Marlin 336 action. Maybe Accuracy Systems will take on a 450 bushmaster conversion to on a Remington 7615. I’m going to pursue one or both of them next year. Have the donor rifles already.

    At least I think it will be my favorite. My most successful hunting rifle is an Ithaca 37 Deerslayer 12 bore rifle. Like those slide actions. I had success with my Marlin 44 mag rifle this year so I like levers too. Guess I’ll get one of each.
     
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  6. George P

    George P Member

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    Older Remington Model 7 with 18.5" barrel - light weight, great for all day stalking/hiking; deadly accurate with my 140gr reloads. Just shot it today for the first time in almost 20 years with 20 year old reloads...........4 3-shot groups at 100 yards averaged between 3/4 and 1"

    Added: Of course I also took my 700BDL that is from 1980 and shot some reloads from 1989 and it shot just as well.................deciding which to keep and which to sell might require more range time!
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
  7. woodshunter

    woodshunter Member

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    I built two deer rifles when I started, one to carry, one for back-up if I fall or bump the scope somehow. They are both the same action and make (Savage) both have short easy to handle bbl & overall lengths, they also both have rifle basix triggers that I love. Both have conquest scopes in talley mounts, and both wear carbon fiber stocks from Stockade. Sounds like a trade-off I know except the one has a mule deer stock the other a sporter, and I love the mule deer with higher comb and fatter forend. Calibers are both 308 offspring so either simply needs me to do my part.
     

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  8. red rick

    red rick Member

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    A CVA Acura muzzleloader , because the bucks are in the rut during the muzzleloader season here . I kill more deer then, than during the firearms season , or dog hunting season as I call it . Rifles are not allowed for deer hunting in my county anyway . I like that law because I lhave state forest land in front of my house and behind my house . They truck hunt if y’all know that style of hunting . I hate it .
     
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  9. Jeff Flannery

    Jeff Flannery Member

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    I used to hunt with a 243. Many deer died, but some I had to track. I switched to it's big brother, a 7mm/08 and so far 4 deer have dropped where the were standing when shot. It's a very accurate caliber too. Not bad recoil either. I use 139 gr Hornady interlock bullets
     
  10. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I have a 700 in 243, a RAR in 6.5 CM, another RAR in 300 BLK, and a AR15 and MVP each in 223. I have cleanly killed deer with all of them except the 6.5. There is no "best" one, since they all result in venison in the freezer. But my favorite one is the 243, just because I like it the most.
     
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  11. IdaD

    IdaD Member

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    My cheapo model 700 chambered in 30-06 that my dad got for me when I was a kid, which I've had almost 30 years. I have much nicer rifles and rifles in more specialist calibers but it's always worked well for me, I have some significant sentimental attachment to it and, while I know it isn't trendy these days, I still think a 30-06 is the best do-all caliber you can get, especially when you factor in ammo cost and availability.
     
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  12. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    My old Ruger M77MKII Canoe Paddle, in 30.06. Just a solid, basic rifle, with a 3-9X40 Leupold scope.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2019
  13. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    My .257 Roberts, old M722 short action Remington that I inherited from my grandpa, has killed more deer for me than anything else in my gun cabinet. Over 90 percent dropped DRT. I can only think of one that ran a ways and he didn't run more'n 50 yards. I push a 100 grain game king out of it at 3150 fps. It's very accurate.

    I really like my little Remington M7 in .308, though, light and deadly accurate.
     
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  14. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    Marlin 1895 22'' barrel topped with Leupold VX2 2-7. Its not too heavy and not too long. I don't like using my muzzle loader cause its long, slug gun is heavy and cumbersome, handi rifle feels like a BB gun. Even if I lived in a bottle neck rifle sate I would use a Marlin 30-30. Just something about a short lever gun.
     
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  15. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    If you hunted some of the open country I've hunted out west, you'd want something with a little more reach. Woods, heck, my muzzle loader is overkill. LOL
     
  16. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I think I bought mine this year when I got my Christensen Ridgeline in .280AI.
    8.5lbs with a 3-15x42 conquest, launches 162 Eld-ms at 3050 with a stiff charge of rl23.
    has all the features I like, and it's based on a 700 action which to this day is my favorite basic design.
     
  17. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    In that case it would probably be a 30-06 or 7mm rem mag in a Savage or Ruger offering. PA and WV are touching states to me and allow bottleneck rifles. I see no reason for a 300 win mag in hardwoods, but prairie and mountain hunting would be the ticket. I did borrow a CVA scout 44mag rifle 2 weeks ago and I really like its size.
     
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  18. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    Well I live in an area where it's either shotgun with a slug (no buckshot) or a muzzleloader. They haven't yet decided on allowing straight walled rifle cartridge rifles, or even pistol caliber carbines in say 10mm. .44 Mag, .41 Mag, or .357 mag. So I was stuck with "either or"....otherwise, due to terrain and the thickness of the woods, IF it had been allowed I'd probably still be using my '92 Winchester copy by Rossi in .44 mag, which was for Cowboy Action Shooting...

    …, so I settled on a muzzleloader, and since I also do Living History at historic places to help attract tourists so that American history is preserved..., I went flintlock.

    I decided to look for a rather plain "longrifle", which to me meant at least a 38" barrel, out to as long as 42", and I wanted a swamped barrel to reduce weight. I wanted a basic rifle, something the average hunter would get at a trading post, such as that run by George Morgan at Kaskaskia (which is today in Illinois), which went for almost 2 month's pay for a hunter. .50 or .54 caliber, either would be fine.

    I found a Cabin Creek Pennsylvania Mountain Rifle in .54. Single trigger, 38" swamped barrel. I swapped out the front sight for a thin, silver blade for better low light use, and finer accuracy.

    IF I can see the deer out to 100 yards (+/- 10 yards), and the deer presents a shoulder or broadside shot, the deer is down. She is amazingly accurate. Her name is Trudy which is short for Gertrude, and that translates from the German to "strong spear", and for good reason. I've taken all my deer with her. A good bit more than a dozen in the dozen years or so, that I've owned her. ;) I've only had a difficult track once. Usually I can seen where the deer is laying when I get to the spot where the deer was first hit.

    EARLY ML DEER 2019.JPG

    LD
     
  19. FTG-05

    FTG-05 Member

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    My son's old Remington Model 7 Youth in 7mm-08 or my new (relatively) Ruger American Compact in 7mm-08. Light handy, compact and the 7mm-08 hits like the hammer of God.
     
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  20. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Because I'd wanted one since I was 16 years old (I'm 71 now), my custom built 308 Norma Magnum is my "best" deer rifle of course. I ordered it from Montana Rifle Company as my retirement gift to myself, and I paid for it with my first 2 Social Security checks.:D
    However, if "best" deer rifle is classified in terms of performance, my 308 Norma Magnum works alright for killing deer. But over the years, so did the 30 Carbine, 30-30, 44 Mag handgun, 50 caliber Hawkins muzzle loader, .270, 308, 30-06, 300 Win Mag and 338 Win Mag - from the time I was 15 until I retired at 62, at one time or another, I used every one of those listed for killing deer. Every one of them worked "alright." In other words, my 308 Norma Magnum is "best" only in terms of sentimental value.:)
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
  21. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Tikka T3, 7-08. Light, accurate reliable, fits nice. Lots of Old world development and modern tech. When I was younger and shoulders were not damaged, Remington 700 BDL stainless in 7 MM Mag. Deadly accurate, reliable and powerful. Since I am limited I won't mention "94 in 30-30. 7400 30-06.
     
  22. hillman23

    hillman23 Member

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    After returning to hunting the “wet” coast of Oregon, I believe I now have the set up I like. I got a 90’s vintage Winchester model 70 classic in stainless steel. I cut the barrel to 23” and put it in an HS Precision stock. It’s at a nice compact length and is weather proof. It’s topped with a Leupold VX3 2.5-8X. I also appreciate the 338 win mag chambering being appropriate for both deer and elk at the various ranges one can encounter from 10 yards in the brush to 400+ (I won’t shoot much farther than that) in a clear cut.
     
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  23. stillquietvoice

    stillquietvoice Member

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    I too suffer from shoulder injury no more 06 or 7 mag for me either. My buddy had win 70 featherweight I shot all the time. I shot it better than he did.

    I've taken 3 with my 7mm08. 1 drt shot the white patch. Had to track the other 2. The interlocks are good bullets, I like the sst's better. This season I used 140 nbt's. Out of my rem 700 sps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
  24. Glockula

    Glockula Member

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    My Weather Vanguard deluxe in .270 win. Some rifles are just tack drivers. I got this rifle from a pawn shop in 1994 and have probably killed close to 30 deer with it. 4 of my five deer this year were taken with this rifle.

    I had a gunsmith put a Bushnell trophy 4x12 on it in the early 2000s with Burris rings. The rig is head and shoulders above anything else I own.
     
  25. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Doncha just love it when you can convince uncle sugar to buy you a rifle. LOL!
     
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