I’ve been researching rifles for deer hunting.
The most popular calibers are .308 and .30-06. These two are essentially equivalent. The .30-06 may have a bit more “oomph.” The .308 may be a slightly more accurate. I lean toward the .308. And I’m hearing very good things about a newer round, the 6.5 Creedmoor.
Most deer hunters use a scope rather than iron sites these days.
A traditional wood stock appeals to me. The alternative is a synthetic stock, such as molded plastic. The latter are cheaper by one or two hundred U.S. dollars.
These are in the running for my choice:
- Savage Model 10/110, Trophy Hunter XP ($745 new)
- Savage Model 14/114 American Classic ($860)
- Savage Model 11/111 Lightweight Hunter ($899)
- Weatherby Mark V Accumark ($1,900) or Deluxe ($2,300)
- Weatherby Vanguard Series 2 Sporter ($749)
- Browning A-Bolt Medallion (.30-06; not chambered in .308) ($1,100)
- Browning X-Bolt Hunter ($899)
- Browning X-Bolt Medallion ($1,029)
- Ruger American (synthetic stock) ($449)
- Sako A7 (synthetic stock)
- Tikka T3 (made by Sako, but less expensive. Wood stock available as Hunter or Forest model) (Herschel Smith has a Hunter and likes it)
- Winchester Model 70
- Tikka T3x Lite
I looked at Kimber, Mossberg, and Marlin websites and didn’t see anything that appealed to me. Nevertheless, they’re popular. Remington 700s have a huge following—the military M40 is based on it—but I’m concerned after seeing a documentary accusing them of deadly or disabling misfires.
Updated Dec 9, 2020