View Full Version : my first deer hunt this weekend, please advise on gun selection

December 12, 2002, 08:14 PM
i am going deer hunting for the first time this weekend. a guy i know has 80 acres in south alabama (great whitetail country so i hear?)

i have the following guns that would be suitable:

mosin nagant m44
marlin 30-30
rem 870


obviously the first 3 are the better choices. i am leaning towards the m44 because the land is pretty swampy in areas, plus its supposed to rain, and i dont care if the gun gets messed up. its plenty accurate at 100 yards, but this land is dense woodland and its doubtful id see a shot past 50 yards. maybe more like 50 feet.


Art Eatman
December 12, 2002, 08:40 PM
Put a can of WD 40 in the truck and spray the rifle down good before heading home. When you get home, do a good disassemble/clean in the usual manner.

I'd take whichever you can shoot best, although under the circumstances the MN is a good choice. It and the .30-30 are probably the best cartridges, of your choices.

:), Art

December 12, 2002, 08:48 PM
the rifle you are most familiar w/ is the best choice.

good luck on your hunt.

December 12, 2002, 10:20 PM
agree and agree. personaly i would take the 30-30, just because of the added giddyup factor over the .44 and that rnd has proven itself to me, but like dakotasin already pointed out, the gun you are familure with will serve you better.

Gila Jorge
December 12, 2002, 10:25 PM
Take the 30-30 and get some good 170gr Remington CoreLokts for it. You should do just fine. Have used that round with great success many times.
Mine is a Win 94 but same round is a killer on white tails. Good Hunting and stay safe.

December 12, 2002, 11:46 PM
I would take the Marlin. First I would put some car paste wax on it and second I'd keep it under the raincoat if possible.

I don't like WD-40 because it attracts moisture. Instead I'd get one of those little blow dryers that plugs into the car cigarette lighter (one of the advantages of having raised teenagers is there are all sorts of gadgets involved).

AR would not be good due to the fact that expanding lead bullets would probably fragment and both AK and SK would be about like the 30/30 but less power and maybe less accurate, though I know one deer hunter who has harvested many with his SKS. Don't know about the M44. I think in terms of carbine length all would be good in the swamps.

Remington 870, hmmm. I've seen a lot of deer killed with shotguns and it might be easier to clean.

December 13, 2002, 01:11 AM
thanks all! i will probably go with the marlin.

Art Eatman
December 13, 2002, 09:44 AM
M&M: "Attracts moisture"? WD = Water Dispersant. 40 = 40th trial effort of chemical combinations.

Wet a piece of metal. Spray WD40 on it. See the water run right off the metal. Amazing! In the high humidity of south Jawgia, I spray it on saws and chisels and suchlike stuff that live in my wife's garage. Keeps off rust.

I didn't mean spray the WD40 on it ahead of time. The deal is, you get back to the truck with a wet gun, spray on the WD40, and the water goes away. Then, when you get to camp or to home, do the disassembly and "real" cleaning.

I never spray it or any gun oil anywhere near a scope, of course. Bummer.


December 13, 2002, 12:57 PM
well i took the mosin out in the yard (5 acres in the boonies) and fired a few shots, it was pretty much POA at 50 yards or so. i seriously doubt i would get a shot further than that where i will be hunting. im going to go ahead and use it since i really dont care what happens to the rifle, i.e. dirt/mud/rain.

one question though, using the 7.62x54 soft tip ammo, where would be the best place to strike the animal? shoulder? head? should that round do the job no problem?


December 13, 2002, 01:09 PM
Take the 30-30 and get some good ...

Take what you know and shoot well. A hunt is no time to try out something new. That belongs on the range.

Keith Rogan
December 13, 2002, 01:45 PM
Unless that M44 is sporterized with good hunting sights, don't go there! Those old military sights become useless when the light is marginal, which is of course the most likely time to see a deer.

Just go with the Marlin, it was designed for deer hunting. The M44 was designed for trench to trench volley fire at 300 meters.


December 13, 2002, 03:41 PM
i strongly favor the chest area. put the bullet in tight behind the shoulder and you are punching both lungs. keep it low behind the shoulder, you'll likely drill the heart, too. you can also shoot at the shoulder, which will give you the same effect, but will cause a touch of meat loss (which isn't that big of an issue since shoulder meat isn't that great).

head and neck shots are extremely effective, but they are very tough...and if you are off just a tad, you have a horribly wounded animal that you are unlikely to recover. if all goes well, of course, it is an instant drop.

play the percentages! shoot for the chest cavity. you can't go wrong.

for goofy angles...picture in your mind the bullet exiting the offside shoulder...backtrack in a straight line to your muzzle, and shoot...

good luck.

December 13, 2002, 06:48 PM
If you use the Nagant, Norma and Wolf make soft point hunting ammo (around 180 gr's) Given the kind of sights you have I'd avoid taking head shots.

Get a soild 'anchoring' shot behind the shoulder, but no more than 3/4 up the body (you can hit the shoulder blade and not kill the animal).

I still think the 30-30 is a better choice.

December 13, 2002, 06:55 PM
Wet a piece of metal. Spray WD40 on it. See the water run right off the metal. Amazing! In the high humidity of south Jawgia, I spray it on saws and chisels and suchlike stuff that live in my wife's garage. Keeps off rust. Sure it disperses water initially, but what it is doing is like being a surfactant, binding with the water and when the water runs off it leaves a light oil film, which evaporates in time.

In closed areas, like in a gun chamber or under the wood there is a second stage reaction where it will absorb atmospheric water and promote rust, no kidding. It happened to me and a gun I really messed up when I was a kid and an old gunsmith had to set me straight about it.

Try an experiment with an old chisel. Degrease it with toluene or MEK followed by acetone then rub car paste wax on half and rub WD40 on the other half. Wrap it in a dry rag and put it somewhere humid where it won't be disturbed for a month, maybe under an overturned flower pot in the back yard or behind the toilet tank. When you return see which side has the most rust.

Art Eatman
December 13, 2002, 07:32 PM
Well, using WD 40 like I said is a field expedient. Like I said, when you get to camp or home, do a regular cleaning. It just buys time, is all, so you don't get rust setting in before you have a chance to do a proper cleaning. I really don't ever recall saying something like, "Spray it and forget it."

:), Art

December 15, 2002, 03:55 PM
well my first hunt went ok...... i sat overlooking a food plot, and about 4 pm a doe showed up. i waited about 15 minutes and no others showed up so i shot her, it was a perfect broadside at about 100 yards. i het her high behind the shoulder and she flopped all over and jumped into the woods. we couldnt find her before dark :mad:

Keith Rogan
December 15, 2002, 04:10 PM
Which rifle did you use and which ammo?

December 15, 2002, 04:32 PM
the mosin with soft tip ammo. it was a solid hit, i might have hit a little too far back and only gotten fat, who knows. it being my first deer i was probably excited and i might have jerked the trigger. ill be better prepared next time :D

Keith Rogan
December 15, 2002, 05:10 PM
Well, it may have had nothing to do with it, but those old military sights are horrible in low light and all of them are regulated to hit very high - from 6" to 12" high at 100 yards! Those old two stage military triggers make accurate shooting a challenge as well.
I would bet that if you had used the .30/30, you'd have your deer. You have a much better sight picture and you can adjust your sights to hit where you want - things you can't do with an old military rifle where you always have to hold low for anything closer than several hundred yards. Use your M44 for fun at the range, use the deer rifle for deer hunting.

Just my advice.

February 13, 2005, 09:31 PM
i have to agree that the .30-30 would have been a better choice i really really dont like military sights. i have used several milsurp rifles and the triggers SUCKED. to quote someone else "like dragging a brick through wet cement" between that and the sights id say very little was a lack of shooting ability.

February 13, 2005, 10:19 PM
Put a set of MOJO sights on the M44 and I think you'll be really happy with it. Only about $60 and it's a do-it-yourself project. If you have a problem check out surplusrifle.com for a step by step proceedure.

February 13, 2005, 10:19 PM
Sorry - Double Post

bill k
February 14, 2005, 12:01 AM
Anything but WD 40 and firearms. I'm not sure of the question asked, but was just skimming and saw all the WD 40 recomendations. Remington has a nice spray lube as well as many others that were designed for firearms. If you like rust on your firearms, go for it. I made a terrible mistake 30 years ago with wd 40, never again.

February 14, 2005, 12:42 AM
The M44 would be a great choice, especially at those ranges.
The .30-.30 would also excel in your situation.

As far as lubricant, RemOil, Hoppe's, or Break-Free CLP would all be great. We used WD-40 in Iraq for cleaning purposes, but always followed up with dry patches and Mil-Tec.