View Full Version : What is your favorite deer rifle?

January 28, 2005, 11:16 PM
My new favorite, I used it last season is a NEF- Ultra Hunter 270, with a 3x9x50mm scope on her. Don't know what it is about this single shot but it is one sweet looking and sweet shooting 270. I have to admit for an American made rifle for around $260.00 I have fallen in love with it's ability. It also makes me focus and make that one shot count....that much more. This is my favorite rifle now. I think my son's birthday gift when he turns 14 will be a similar rifle in 243? :D

January 29, 2005, 12:00 AM
is a rifle my brother built 20 or so years ago, and ended up giving to me.
It is a Mauser '98 receiver with a Shilen barrel chambered in 30-06.

It has a custom curved bolt handle, a low-profile safety, and a Timney
adjustable trigger set at 2 pounds.

All that steel is set in a hand-carved black walnut stock, free-floated barrel,
with a Pachmayr recoil pad. On top is a Leupold 3 to 9 Vari-X II scope.

It was just a "project gun" for him, but when he gave it to me I spent
many hours working on a good handload, and finally got one that will shoot
a 1 inch group at a hundred yards. That's good enough for a hunting gun
where I live.

It's not nearly as pretty as a Weatherby or a Winchester Model 70, but it
is my number one deer hunting gun. I have a Remington 700 .243 I haven't
even used to hunt with since I got that Mauser.

As a rule, I don't give "pet names" to things I own. I broke the rule for
this gun. I call it my "meat-stick". It has never failed me.


January 29, 2005, 12:35 AM
Winchester Model 70 in 7mm STW. Bell and Carlson Thumbhole stock and Jewell trigger at 18 ounces. Muzzle braked and still pushes 140gr CT Ballistic Tips to 3500 fps. 8x40x55mm scope.

Over-kill in so many ways........Of course, it's never went a season without a kill since I built it (8 years).

Art Eatman
January 29, 2005, 01:46 AM
"Ol' Pet", born in 1970, is a Weatherby Mark V with a #2 profile, 26" barrel in .30-'06. Canjar trigger. Right now, a Simmons 44 Mag 3x10. Heavy critter, at 9-1/2 pounds. Shoots like a dream. Its little brother is a Pre-Garcia Sako Forester, 19" barrel in .243. Also a tack driver, but only seven pounds ready to go.

My old legs are not what they once were, so I indulged myself with a Rem 700 Ti in 7mm08. 6-1/2 pounds, total. Great shooter, but Lordy, it's ugly. But then, I ain't as purty as I once wuz...

:), Art

January 29, 2005, 07:54 AM
Winchester mod. 94 44mag. all around good deer and hog gun here in south central fl. I back it up w/ blackhawk 357.

bill k
January 29, 2005, 11:34 AM
In California I use a Weatherby vanguard in 7MM Mag. Scoped with a Simmons 44 Mag scope, Leopold rings and mounts. It's been glassbedded and the barrell is free-floated. I shoot a 160g sierra game king.
Out of state, Nevada, a Remington Sendero 300 ultra mag with a 6x24 sightron scope leopold rings and mounts. Trigger is set a 3 lbs. This will be the first year I hunt with it. I'm still developing a load for this rifle but as of now it will be either a 150g or 180g nosler accubond.

Dean C
January 29, 2005, 11:48 AM
North Cascade Muleies seem to love to walk out in front of my Marlin 336A, 30-30. That rifle and I have been hunting and hiking (mostly hiking) around the mountains since the early 80's.

January 29, 2005, 11:50 AM
Browning Stainless Stalker in 30-06 with Leupold VX3 3.5X10X50...go anywhere, do almost anything, accurate, reliable. Though a bit heavy, my other choice is my Remington LTR .308 with the Swarovski AV 4X12X50. For hog hunting I use my Armalite AR-10 Carbine because...well just because.

cma g21
January 30, 2005, 07:38 AM
Remington Model 600 .308 with a compact Burris scope (2-7x). Very light and easy to carry, also accurate.

Ruger # 1
January 31, 2005, 09:22 PM
My favorite deer rifle is a Ruger #1-A in 243 Win. topped with a Leupold 2-7x33 scope. It is my favorite gun period. There is a great deal of sentiment that goes along with that rifle. It is a graceful, nimble, beatiful weapon.

We're not allowed to use rifles to deer hunt with here in Ohio, but I usually make an out of state hunt every year, and it is the rifle I take with me. I hunt coyotes with it in the winter, and groundhogs and crows in the spring and summer. When I do my part, it has always done its.

January 31, 2005, 10:21 PM
For me it's my Winchester mod 70 featherweight in 270. With handloads and a floated barrel it will shoot .3 groups at 100 yards. Makes for a good deer gun

To tell you the truth I have three Winchesters and three Remingtons and like them all :D The 270 is the one I like the best but not by much. I do like my Winchester mod 70 classic super grade 7 mag and 25-06. But I do love my Remingtons! 222 ADL, 243 BDL and 308 short action Sendero.

February 1, 2005, 12:52 AM
Browning A-Bolt Medallion w/Boss in .30-'06...we've never missed! I've been getting excellent results with Winchester Silvertips, btw.

February 1, 2005, 09:59 AM
Remington 700 mountain rifle barreled action in 7mm08,Brown precision stock,3x9 leupold. This rig is very light aand shoots into 1/2 inch at 100 yds,120 grain sierra game kings and winchester 748 ball.I have taken deer,antelope and elk with it,all with great results,the only time it stays home is when I hunt in bear country.Then I have something more suited for bears than the game I'm hunting.

February 1, 2005, 11:48 AM
Question: Do y'all have a special affinity for the cartridge with which you took your FIRST deer, that stuck with you? In other words, are these favorites you posted in the same chambering as the rifle you used for your first? Just curious.

February 1, 2005, 11:57 AM
No, an old 99 savage in 300 savage,I was 14 and had 3 empties in the air and one going up the pipe,and was so excited I was shaking....

February 2, 2005, 02:56 PM
My favorite is not fancy or pretty, It's a Remington 788 carbine in .308.
It wears a 3x9 leupold, light, short, accurate! :)

February 2, 2005, 06:56 PM
ive only had 2 deer rifles one was a remington 742 in .243 and the other which i currently have is a Savage 110 in .270. of the 2 my favourite was the 742 rifle wise but i think as a deer gun i like that extra ooomph offered by the .270 not that i have anything against the .243 it just has a little less room for error

edited to add: for smaller game hunting i love my remington 597SS its a sweet shooter (by the way did you hear they fixed the mags :D :D cant wait for one)

February 2, 2005, 10:16 PM
The rifle I have had the most success with in the past 10 years is my Marlin 1894S .44 Mag. Hunting in swamps, and along the creeks that drain or feed them, means close cover. With shots under 40 yards in most cases, the fast handling little Marlin is a good choice.
My favorite though, would be one of my Mannlicher-Schoenauer rifles

February 2, 2005, 11:55 PM
Browning .308 auto with 3x9x40 Leupold

Quickdraw Limpsalot
February 3, 2005, 11:32 AM
Marlin 336 in .35 Remington. It's never let me down.

February 5, 2005, 01:31 PM
Winchester Model 70 in .30-06 wearing a 2.5-10x40 Bushnell Elite 4200.

February 5, 2005, 03:31 PM
My first deer was taken with an 870 pump - 12 gauge....... I was hunting in a shotgun only area in SE Michigan. 99% of my hunting now is in the UP. I have a few friends that started with a 30-30 and still use it today....

February 5, 2005, 05:33 PM
I am another NEF FAN. My favorite is the NEF superlight .243 Handi rifle. I have mine topped with a Nikon 4x32 scope. It is very handy in the woods. It sure brought home the deer this year (a 5 pointer and 4 Does). This weapon just grows on you. I would highly recommend this weapon for your son or any one else that needs a light rifle and takes pride with hunting with a single shot weapon.

February 7, 2005, 10:12 AM
My favorite is my Winchester M70 Featherweight 6.5x55. I've spent a lot of time tuning the rifle and finding that "perfect load" for it. Now it'll shoot a 3 shot sub MOA group, over and over again if I'll give the barrel time to cool between groups. I think it'll do .5" at 100yds in the hands of a truly talented rifleman.

I've glassbedded the action, floated the barrel (pressure pad at forearm end), tuned the trigger, and burned several pounds of powder looking for the right load.

Oh, and I shot my first deer with it last November. :D


February 7, 2005, 01:44 PM
Thompson Center Encore 50 cal. Muzzleloader!!! The only firearm, I'll take deer hunting anymore.

February 8, 2005, 12:48 PM
300 weatherby w/ a Nikon 4-12x50 scope.

February 8, 2005, 04:34 PM
I must say it is my 1983 remington adl 7mm mag.It's topped with a leupold 2x7x33 and has killed many a whitetail here in n.e.Mn. But I do have a new found love that being a tikka t3 ss/syn 7mm. mag. I guess when I hunt out of state it will be the tikka, but at home I'll stick with the remy.

February 9, 2005, 02:28 PM
My .270 Rem 700 BDL, born 1987. It has yet to fail me. I feel more comfortable with that gun than any other.

February 9, 2005, 02:32 PM
Ruger M77 (not M77II, mine has shotgun type safety from 1983), in .30-06 topped with a Simmons 3X9 scope. I've almost always used a .30-06, although I occasionally carry a Marlin 336 in .30-30 with scope, or a Winchester 94 in .30-30 if I need to go light.

February 16, 2005, 11:48 PM
My first deer was with a OLD .22/410 over and over on our family farm in NW Ark. shoot a spike with a 410 slug at 30 yards, My fav is my 1976 Ruger M77 in .270 I got when I turned 14 I have killed sooooo many deer and other critters with it. I have been looking at the Tikka's in 7mm here lately for mullys in West Texas.

February 25, 2005, 11:05 AM
My favorite changes from year to year. I typically use an M1 Garand if I'm hunting somewhat brushy areas of my ranch and when I hunt the open areas, I am prone to take the sporterized 1903 my grandfather built (or stocked and scoped- not built). Both are incredibly accurate and both are more than 60 years old. There's just something cool about hunting with old guns.

Northslope Nimrod
March 9, 2005, 10:30 AM
If I only hunted deer....I would say...the .270. (flat, distance, low recoil).
If I hunted anything larger....defeinately NOT the .270. Then I would move to 7mm or preferrably the 300 or 300 UM.

Quickdraw Limpsalot
March 9, 2005, 01:36 PM
.35 Remington Marlin 336

Drill Sgt.
March 9, 2005, 01:52 PM
A marlin 336 in .35 Remington, and my wife loves her Winchester 94 in 30-30. They just seem to work here in Michigan, So why change them. :D

March 9, 2005, 06:56 PM
http://img51.exs.cx/img51/2341/loads0018gm.jpg (http://www.imageshack.us)

Remington 700BDL .30-06...1968
Leupold 2X7....1978
Box of Hornady 220 grain FMJ....discontinued
Synthetic Stock.....2003
Detachable Magazine (Kwik Klip) ...2004

Old load of 55 grains of 4350 replaced by 57 grains of Re22....2005

Got plans for runnin water in the kitchen next year. ;)

March 9, 2005, 08:39 PM
I guess you have dirt floors too eh, Capnrik? ;) So, praytell, whatever will you do when you run out of 220 gr hornady bullets?

March 10, 2005, 11:37 AM
I guess you have dirt floors too eh, Capnrik? So, praytell, whatever will you do when you run out of 220 gr hornady bullets?

Well,...to 'fess up, I don't really use the FMJ round as much anymore. In another thread, somebody commented on meat destruction and FMJ bullets. Just wanted to illustrate that my old handload from guiding days was hardly a boat-tailed, spire-pointed hamburger maker traveling at the speed of light.

It's just a good old round...lots of penetration with a minimum amount of collateral damage.

I guess if I ever run out, and Bob Palmer won't scrape me up some more, I'll have to switch to Barnes solids.

But I ain't scared...I've got a LOT of 'em. ;)

March 10, 2005, 04:14 PM
A Texas Magnum action with a Shilen barrel, Timney trigger, and Redfield Widefield 3x9 in 7mm Remington Magnum.

My favorite factory gun would be a walnut stocked Savage 110L in .30-06 with a Bushnell Elite 3200 3x9.

My REALLY favorite is whatever one is sighted in and has plenty of ammunition on hand!

March 10, 2005, 05:02 PM
Win 94 in .30-30, 170 grains. It's dense woods where I go anyway, so the shorter range isn't a problem.

March 17, 2005, 07:01 PM
what is the practical difference between the .270(.277) and 7mm (.284)

just curious

March 18, 2005, 11:31 PM
mine is the 7400 30-06.

March 19, 2005, 08:30 AM
My first kill was with a Stevens 311 double barrel 12 ga loaded with Remington Express rifled slugs. 110 yards across an open field on a running 7 pt. Took him through the shoulder on the 2nd shot. That was 30 years ago.

My favorite is a Savage 111FL in 250 Savage (250/3000) loaded with Hornady 117 gr spirepoint boattails. Light, low recoil, much longer range and power than a 30-30, heavier bullet than a .243 can offer. I've put down around 6 deer with it, and one stump (long story). :rolleyes:

Laser Cop
March 20, 2005, 06:06 PM
My favorite deer rifle is a 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser. No kick, plenty of knock down power, flat shooter, sweet action. I only wish it was left handed.

Jeff Loveless
March 20, 2005, 11:50 PM
First few deer, about 35 years ago was with a 12 ga double barrel and buckshot. Back then EVERYBODY used shotguns. Later graduated to the only rifle available :D a 30-30, used it for a number of years with complete satisfaction. At some point I put a Leupold 1x4 little shortie scope on it.

Tried a 243 for TOO long. Shoulda stuck with the 30-30, instead went shopping (during deer season, another story) for something else, happened up on a good used Mod 700 Mountain Rifle in 280. Put a Leupold 3x9 compact on it and have been using it nearly every year since. I use 140 or 150 gr Nosler Balistic Tips @ ~2900 fps. I guess this is MY favorite.

A couple of years ago my teen daughter took over the Mountain Rifle and I got a Ruger M77, also in 280. Put a Leupold 4x12 on it and have used it some, successfully, when school's out and daughter was using 'my' rifle. Later put a 2.5x8 on the Mod 700. Dtr liked it better :rolleyes: Put the 3x9 compact on a Ruger 10/22.

Still have all of them and would feel perfectly capable with either 280 or 30-30. Wouldn't prefer the shotgun now, but I'll never part with it.

I don't think there is any best rifle. Personally, I wouldn't take a 243 if it was given to me, but about anything else should work. A good trigger, a good bullet, and good marksmanship are more important than the brand, caliber, or customization level of the tool. IMHO :o

For Jseime >>> I don't see any practical difference between the 270 and 280. My Dad uses a 270 and I load his ammo too, with 130 gr Noslers. Only real difference is that you 'could' use bigger bullets for bigger game with the 280, but Mr. O'Conner would probably dissagree that it would be necessary.

((( Getting old. I had to edit this, some of the facts over the 35 years were wrong. Dang teen-age kids remember everything and like to remind their Daddies)))

Lawyer Daggit
March 21, 2005, 12:12 AM
Smaller deer- Winchester Featherweight 7x57 (yes its push fed but so what!)
Big deer- Model 7MS 350 Rem Mag

Trav Krause
March 28, 2005, 10:55 PM
Winchester model 70 pre64 featherweight in .308 with a redfield 1 3/4 to 5. use 165gr sierra boattail handloads

April 1, 2005, 03:24 PM
For the deep woods where we start out at in the morning I use my Winchester 94 30-30 open sites mainly because of short distance and thick cover.

But when it comes to afternoon and open shootin, I bring out my baby.
Browning A-Bolt White Gold Medallion - 300WSM fully stainless gloss slect walnut stock along with a 3x9x40 Leupold silver finish scope. beautiful gun. This year im starting to reload for it with Nolser Accubond 150gr. bullets we'll see how that goes

April 1, 2005, 03:32 PM
Three votes for the Winny Featherweight.

Best woods gun after a levergun IMO.


April 1, 2005, 06:23 PM
Tikka T3 .270 with 130 gr. handloads - this combination has accounted for six deer over the past two seasons - not one of them went over 5 steps......three never even took a step.

April 1, 2005, 07:10 PM
Some of y'all like to kill and field dress the deer in one shot :D

I've hunted with '06, 30-30, 7.62x39, 20-ga slug, .50 Optima, but my favorite for the northwoods of Minnesota & Wisconsin is a Marlin 1894C .44M. 16.5" barrel is almost handgun-quick in the brush, easy in-and-out of the stand, relatively cheap practice ammo, plenty of commercial & handload options, little recoil & noise...I'll stop there.

Best of luck hunting to everyone though.

Long Path
April 1, 2005, 08:48 PM
There are often two answers to this question.

Best case scenario: "The rifle I have with me."

The worst case scenario: "The rifle I left behind."

One of the nicest places I've ever hunted is a ranch that the inlaws own in N. Uvalde County, TX. Lots of scrub oak, juniper, and prickly pear. Plenty of deer in the Nueces River valley there, and it's a 5-deer county. First time I went out there, I stalked a fair amount with my iron-sighted Springfield, as I thought all the shots were under a hundred yards. The last morning there, I climbed up a steep hill/small mountain that overlooked the ranch, and saw that I could see the whole of the ranch, into just about every clearing. From my sit, I watched a very nice 8 point buck step out at 250-300 yards and stand in the middle of a clearing, browsing. I grabbed my binoculars and glassed him. As I started to pass them to my fiancee, I noticed something in a clearing beyond that buck. At 400+ yards it's hard to count tines, but that rack on the 2nd buck had to be in excess of 10 points, and it was 'wayy beyond the tips of his ears.

I kind of laughed/hiccupped, and handed the binocs to my future wife. She asked what was wrong. I explained that, with the rough country I'd have to cross and the density of the cover around the deer, I'd never find them on a stalk to them. Worse, that morning I'd made a decision of which rifle to bring with me, and I'd brought the iron-sighted (and rough-bored) Springfield '06 with me again... and left my .300 Win Mag Sendero behind. :( With the 180 g loads I had put together for the Sendero, I could honestly claim 4 inches at 400 yards. Perhaps less with no wind (it's a 3/4 MOA rig at 100), and this was a windless morning. With the Springfield, I was proud and pleased to EVER break 3" at 100 yards. At 400 yards, that would be a 12" group... IF my brass bead-on-post front sight didn't subtend the buck's chest (and it did).

Nice compromise rifles are a joy, though: I've done some good hunting, near and far, with a too-heavy Ruger M77 semi-varminter-barrelled .257 Roberts (that I would have taken that shot with), and plan to do some similar hunting with a .243 M70 Featherweight (Pre-64, first year production for the caliber, and as classic as they come. You are invited to eat your hearts out.) that I MIGHT have taken that shot with. The latter is also handy enough to stalk with, too.

Fat White Boy
April 2, 2005, 11:59 AM
I haven't hunted deer for a while, but have taken some wild pigs up to 200 pounds. I have two that I love. First is a Model 70 Black Shadow in .270 with a 3X9X40 Nikon scope. Using Factory Core-lokt 130 gr ammo I get sub 1" groups at 100yds. I also have a Remington 700 VLS in .308 with a Leupold 3X9X40 that is also a straight shooter. It is heavier than the .270 but I can live with it...

Fat White Boy
April 5, 2005, 01:35 PM
Dis Regard

April 5, 2005, 01:54 PM
Winchester Model 94 in 30-30. Got my first deer with it when I was 12 and except when I was in service at least 2 a year since then. Nothing like it for the areas I hunt. No need for a scope since all my hunting is mostly less than a 50 yard shot.
(My Dad still says he only loaned it to me, I still havent "paid him back" yet. :D )

April 17, 2005, 02:16 AM
Here's another vote for the Winchester Model 70 Featherweight. Mine is a pre-64 in .270, I bought it back in 1969. In my infinite 16-yr old wisdom, I almost didn't buy it because it wasn't a .30/06- but then I figured that if Jack O'Connor thought so well of the .270, it should be OK for a high school boy in East Texas. :D (I used to read all the back issues of Outdoor Life in study hall way back then ;) )

I still think it was one heckuva good choice, & remains one heckuva good hunting rifle today.

April 18, 2005, 10:06 PM
Hey Jeff Loveless, why are you so down on the .243 win? ...just curious. Because I don't have a .243, but I was just about to get another barrel for my NEF handi-rifle in .243, for the ultimate long-hike-ultra-light deer rifle. I don't have a favorite yet, cuz I'm a fairly new hunter, but I used a .25-'06 and a .45-70 last season. I'm also thinking of changing the .25-'06 out for a Winchester 70 featherweight, Howa 1500, or Tikka T3 in 6.5x55 swede instead.

bill k
April 18, 2005, 10:58 PM
Stick with the 25-06 first freedom and get the 243 barrel for the handi rifle. The 25-06 is an awesome caliber for deer sized game on down to varmits.

April 18, 2005, 11:48 PM
Either MY winchester 270WSM, or my encore with the 300 win Mag. with leupold VXII..... A heavier bullet in the 300 actually does less damage than the 270 I find....

Sharp Shooter
April 19, 2005, 11:16 AM
mossberg 30-06 with 150gr winchester PP's does the job quite nicely

April 19, 2005, 02:45 PM
Thanks for the advice, Bill K! I really like the versatility of the .25-06 for sure! I suppose it can do anything that a hot-loaded 6.5x55 can do, and then some, for large deer on down, so it'll be tough to justify a change, in truth. But I was just thinking that in the long run, it will be a barrel-burner more than the 6.5x55, plus I can use heavier bullets in the latter. Plus I already have reloading dies for 6.5x55. IOW, I was thinking of replacing the do-it-all .25-06 with two cartridges in 3 rifles - 2x .243s - a dedicated long-range heavy varminter and an ultra-light, deep-hiking deer rifle (NEF barrel), and then 6.5x55 in a standard sporter config for all large game up to large deer. The main goal is caliber simplification, since I already have a 6.5x55 (milsurp). Then I plan to use .308 win (or .45-70 possibly) for elk and other large critters like yak, bears, moose, etc. Then I'd only be reloading 4 calibers: .243, 6.5x55, .308, and .45-70. As it stands, if I keep the current plan to get the NEF bbl without switching from .25-06, then I'll end up reloading for (or buying factory ammo for) 5 calibers instead of 4: .243, .25-06, 6.5x55, .308, and .45-70. Or, I suppose I *could* look into getting a handi-rifle in .25-06 for that long-hike light rifle if it's offered in that caliber, but I'd still be reloading 4 since I reload for the swede mauser. See my dilemma - I want to simplify calibers and eliminate the .25 cal if possible. Anyway, tough call for sure. Ya know, talking this out has helped me reach a conclusion, so thanks for bringing it up - since I've customized my .25-06 (glass bedding, boyd's laminate stock), I'm loathe to part with it. So now I'm liking the idea more and more of getting the NEF barrel in .25-06 instead of .243, and then my deer reloads are my deer reloads, period, regardless of rifle choice (once I find a load that BOTH rifles like). Then I can just shoot surplus in the swede or reload for it separately when/if I feel like it, but focus my reloading efforts on .25-06.

April 22, 2005, 09:58 PM
Remington Model Seven in .308, mounted in an H.S. Precision stock (olive drab with black web), sporting a Leupold 2-7X compact scope.

David Todd
April 23, 2005, 09:30 AM
I guess my all time favorite is my Robinson replica .58 cal. Hawken.
I've owned it since 1981.
But my current is a Ruger No.1 RSI in 7X57.


April 23, 2005, 12:41 PM
My 1950's Winchester Model 70, 30.06. 150gr handloads. If i can see it, i can kill it.

Andrew LB
April 26, 2005, 03:00 PM
I love my Winchester Model 70 featherweight in .270


April 29, 2005, 10:44 PM
My first time out for deer was November, 2004. Rifles are not allowed in Indiana, so I used my brand new.50 caliber NEF Huntsman Muzzleloader (centerfire), with a 24" barrel. On opening day I got off a shot just 30 minutes after legal starting time. I hit a doe right in the lungs at 65 yards. If I remeber correctly, I got about 80 lbs of meat from her. I don't know how much she weighed before gutting her, but my brother and I were huffing and puffing by the time we got her tied down. All that practice at the range paid off.

The Huntsman is my favorite deer rifle for a couple of reasons. First of all, it's the only one I've ever used (duh). I also like the fact that I can use the same gun for regular firearms season and muzzleloader season. Thirdly, it is very simple, based on the NEF Pardner, which I like a lot. Fourthly, The Huntsman is light, compared to my brother's more 'authentic' equipment. Last, but not least, I like the challenge of a one-shot hunt (even if I did get really lucky my first time out).

For additional information, I'll mention some things I learned about muzzleloading that may be of help to someone else, especially newbies like myself. The load recipe I used, for example, was not a standard configuration. I used a reduced load of ffg black powder (60 grains), and a 350-grain "conical buffalo bullet." The loading sheet for the bullets I bought, and the one in my Huntsman owner's manual, specified 90 - 100 grains of powder, but a friend told me I might get better accuracy with less powder. I tried heavy loads, then backed off until I got good results. Even with the reduced powder load, my 24" barrel still belches fire and produces a fair amount of gorgeous smoke!

At the range I got the best groups with 50 grains of powder (the same results with ffg or Pyrodex), but I went with 60 grains in the field because I was afraid 50 wouldn't have enough energy to do the job. The day I got my deer, the bullet went all the way through both lungs and out the other side. It was an easy blood trail too, about 20 - 30 yards, mostly downhill though. The blood trail led to a small boulder. She lay dead beside it.

Also, if you get into muzzleloading, you'll do youself a favor if you realize up front that accuracy suffers if you shoot too many rounds without cleaning, or at least swabbing out, the bore. Now I practice with 50 grains of Pyrodex, which burns cleaner than ffg. I plan to stay with ffg in the field though. I can get 19 good shots off using Pyrodex before accuracy suffers. With real ffg powder, I just get 4 or 5 shots, at best, before the Huntsman starts to sling lead every-which-way.

Whatever your favorite deer rifle, I hope you have as much fun this year as I did last year. I plan to do the same.

May 8, 2005, 11:12 AM
Sako 75 stainless synthetic in 6.5x55, Schmidt & Bender 6x42 scope. Perfect outfit for deer, over 800 so far and still looks and shoots like new.

May 8, 2005, 05:10 PM
Browning .30-06

May 8, 2005, 05:24 PM
parkerhale double rifle in .470
good on anything from small antelope upward.
iron sights (wide v rear and ball on post up front) makes me stalk up to 50 yards (about) and aim well. recoil is a bit much bit its fun... :D

May 8, 2005, 08:51 PM
gotta be my 300 win mag. i can shoot long and still be accurate.

May 9, 2005, 03:38 PM
gotta love the marlin 30-30. dropped every deer i've shot at (furthest one ran 20 yards and dropped). it's accurate for me out to 200 (pretty much) but i've never taken a shot on a deer with it past 50 yards. Strongly considering a 25WSM, but for now the 30-30 and the encore .50 do the job efficiently.

I love my rifle hunting, but for me bow hunting's where it's really at...

May 10, 2005, 12:21 PM
Trxxx, are we to understand that you've killed over 800 deer with that rifle? (which sounds like an excellent one, BTW). Just asking - seeing if I understood you correctly.

May 20, 2005, 08:25 AM
Yes, that's correct - I live in the UK and do a lot of deer control work, typically shoot between 200 - 300 each year.

May 22, 2005, 03:44 AM
Model 99 savage in 300 savage.

165 grain noslers Partitions at 2650 will kill neatly and efficiently to 300 yards. the Gun will hold +/- a four inch group at 300 yards. a sweet action that is easy to carry and soothing to look at. It looks like what a deer hunter should carry. I have several. two go on every hunting trip I make, one has a 1x4 leupold on it, the other a lyman 66 reciever sight. one for good weather, the other for bad. rain fog and snow cannot block or clog a lyman sight.

May 22, 2005, 08:44 AM
I love and use two primary rifles. A pre '64 Winchster Model 70 in 30.06 for hunting on the family farm where shots are in the 150-200yd range most of the time. For stalking or walking cedar swamps/ corn rows, I use a late 1940's Winchester Model 94 in 30.30 (thuddy-thuddy).

For my 30.06 I use 150gr handloads with ballistic silvertips. They just seem to work on the whitetails here, and for my 30.30 I use standard Winchester Silverbox(CXP"s) 150gr. That lil' rifle loves them!

May 22, 2005, 09:41 AM
Yes, that's correct - I live in the UK and do a lot of deer control work, typically shoot between 200 - 300 each year.

Wow - any man that has shot 800 deer with one rifle - I'd listen to him!

May 29, 2005, 04:52 AM
Winchester model 70 270WSM topped with a Burris 3x9x50 scope. I killed two deer last year... 179lb. doe at 160 yards, and an 8-point buck at 304 yards. I used one bullet for each deer and both dropped immidiatley. I shot my doe through the heart. I shot my buck in what I call the "sweet spot"; just in back of the front shoulder and high. Broke it's spine and went down like a tone of bricks.... It's been said in here before, the 270 and 270WSM are VERY flat shooters, have a lot of energy, and ere extreemly accurate

just one question
May 29, 2005, 09:37 AM
ak47 with a 75 round drum :p ......... No its a winchester m94 :D

June 8, 2005, 07:16 PM
I know - I know - It seems a little Milsurpie but hey I just might take it out a few days to look for whitetails.... It seems to be a close (lesser)cousin to the 308. I am not super impressed with the issue sights so some modification may take place....... It would likely turn into a carbine scout rifle.... a little 2 or 4 power LER type scope might make it a little better for the hunt....

Mine is a 1955 Romanian that never saw a day in the field.... I just am almost 99% sure of it by it's like new blue steel and it's wonderful Beech stock ........I got to get a camera and show this thing I brag of too much.....

Just another idea of a good hunting rifle....and can be had for 100.oo or less.... :D

June 9, 2005, 05:01 PM
Remington 710 chambered in 30-06. Nothing has walked away after being slammed with a 150gr remington express core loct bullet.

June 10, 2005, 11:07 PM
Cwalk: This your current rifle or do you use the Garand?

July 18, 2005, 02:15 AM
An old Savage 99E from the 70s in .300 Savage with a Weaver 4x32 Duplex scope. A gift from my dad on my 18th birthday. Shoots great with Remington factory ammo (150gr.) It's got more than enough power for any deer, blacktail (which is what i hunt in CA), whitetail or mulie.

Greg Bell
July 18, 2005, 08:37 PM
Jeff Cooper Steyr Scout in .308

July 18, 2005, 09:08 PM
Well, I guess TRxxx's choice of caliber pretty well validates my choice, which is the .260 Remington. I hate getting beat up by any rifle, and I have confidence anything one would tackle with a .308, I can take with the 6.5mm on the same case! :)

My rifle is a Remington M-700 Mountain Rifle, DM version, with a Leupold 2-7x33mm scope on top. Shoots well, carries easily, and I suspect a 125gr Partition will do in anything I need to kill with this rifle, and a 140 would likely suffice on elk if I ever got the chance as well. No, I have not killed with this rig; too many times trying to count non-existant tines during the antlered-only season! :rolleyes: This has got to be the year!

July 19, 2005, 01:24 PM
Right now I'm shooting a Tikka T3 Lite Stainless in .308 with a Nikon 3-9x40. I also have a Weatherby Vanguard in .270 that I haven't outfitted yet.

My favorite deer rifle is whatever I'm using at the time.

July 21, 2005, 10:44 PM
I'd also like to add.. this rifle is the only one i've ever used to take deer.. and probably the only one i plan on ever using..

July 30, 2005, 12:26 AM
I use a 308win. My dad has good results with 243.

I actually know a guy who uses a 45-70 on whitetailed deer. I'd imagine that's perfect for him because if he hit it in the front shoulder he'd be dragging home only a rack and a pair of hind quarters--killed and quartered in one shot LOL :)

July 31, 2005, 09:02 AM
Remington BDL in .270. Cheap Tasco 4x12 scope. Bought it new in 1987, and it has never let me down. Played around and found out it likes Hornady Light Magnums in 140, 1" at 100yds. I've never lost a deer with it, and they usually drop where they stand.