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
I used a Browning BAR in 30.06. Excellent rifle & cartridge
Also the Remington Mod 700 is an excellent rifle.
.270 is another good deer cartridge.
Thanks for your input, Terry O.
The 30-06 and 270 are a lot of gun for our Western PA deer. My own deer rifle is a 243 Winchester Super Short Magnum Browning A-bolt. Great round but it never caught on and may be close to obsolete. Linda has a 270 Medalion A-bolt. It is a BIG gun. My preference today would be the 25-06. Here is a great ballistics calculator:
After you “shoot” your round you can hit VIEW STATISTICS CHART in upper right hand corner. Compare up to 5 ammo types. Notice how the wind drift affects different bullets.
If you are talking long shots then the 270 would be best. The short and super short magnums reduce the length of the gun noticeably. That might make the 250 WSSM worth looking at.
Did you look at Cooper Firearms. Perhaps the most accurate rifle out of the box. My groundhog gun is a Cooper 22-250.
Good to hear from you, Phil.
I hadn’t heard of Cooper before – will check them out.
I hear you on obsoleteness; I hope to choose a gun/caliber that will be usable by my son or daughter many years from now, perhaps even future grandchildren.
My husband suggests considering a Winchester Model 70 Supergrade in .270. A beautiful, classic rifle in a deer caliber.
I appreciate that, Suni.