View Full Version : I need ya'lls help! Choosing a deer huntin' rifle for hubby as surprise.

Gun Stupid
February 4, 2006, 02:40 PM
Alright! Hi everyone! I want to get my husband a deer rifle for V-day, and I have no clue where to begin :confused: . My father owns about 15... but he'll take forever getting back to me on what kind I should get. I need something that's gonna be good for short or long range. Something versatile, as he will be in brush, open country, and thick woods. I want something that's going to last, and something he'll be proud to pass down to our son. Also something w/ a scope (I'll prolly hafta buy seperate), but could ya'll please give me some suggestions! THANKS! :p

February 4, 2006, 03:17 PM
I have a remington 700 ADL 30-06. It was about 325. Great gun for medium to large game and close or far shots.:)

February 4, 2006, 03:28 PM
What's the total budget including rifle, scope, accessories & tax? Also, where do you live? (how big do the deer get? MN deer way bigger than TX deer). Is your hubby large/small/medium framed; recoil-sensitive at all? Does he spend a lot of time at the range shooting, or not? Need that info first please. Also need to know whether you got a 'sista'? :D

February 4, 2006, 03:32 PM
It might be easier on both of you if you get a gift certificate. :)

Gun Stupid
February 4, 2006, 03:33 PM
I would say no more than 5 to 6 hundred, my hubby is tall and lean, and not recoil sensitive at all. The game would be Whitetail, and we live in NC.

Gun Stupid
February 4, 2006, 03:37 PM
He doesn't spend so much time on the range, as he does shootin' on my father's land. LOL, and sorry... no sisters. I'm one of a kind. :P Aaaand, I rather get something I can put a bow on... somethin' to give him the incentive to bring me some venison home. For jerky. ;x

February 4, 2006, 03:43 PM
OK, good. Sorry, couple more questions.... What all other guns does he own so far (rifle, shotgun, & muzzleloader), and what all else does he hunt, or might he hunt, and has he expressed an interest to go hunt Elk or something like that someday? Also, is buying an American-made gun important to you or him? I swear, that's all my questions, and I'll throw in my 2 cents - just wanted it to be a tailor-made 2 cents... You are one of a kind indeed, buying a rifle for Val Day. Lucky man he is. :)

February 4, 2006, 03:43 PM
Buying a gun for your husband would be like him buying the right style & color curtains for your home....you would smile and politely thank him for his thoughtfulness, but it's probably not what you would have picked out. Get a gift certificate and you'll both be happy with the results.

Not trying to be sexist about it...guy or gal, I wouldn't want anyone picking out my hunting guns.

Gun Stupid
February 4, 2006, 03:47 PM
He has bolt action 12gauge, a 22 rueger, and a pistol. He also does some dove huntin', squirrel, and possibly duck someday. He's never mentioned anything like elk, though.

As for the gift certifcate, lol... I think I have a pretty good idea where to start, and that's another reason I'm here to get ideas. He mentioned a .243, .30-30 so maybe this'll help?

February 4, 2006, 03:58 PM
Yeah , i think Gift Cert is best. Itd be like buying your husband a truck. I think guns are a very personal thing, But if you must insist, Guessing about NC, it is very wooded, but the deer get fairly large. A short barreled 308 would do the trick.Probably Rem 700. STAY AWAY FROM THE 710 Probabably a composite stock, and dont skimp on the scope. This would help with the wooded conditions he would run into in your region. I have hunted there before in old reclaimed logging areas. It is very rough country. Long range shooting is rarely a need. 308 . Its cheap, very effective, very accurate and it beats the pants off a 30-30 or 243. Ammo for 308s is cheaper than 30-30 in most cases too. Best of Luck in your quest for suitable firepower for you r lifelong mate.

Gun Stupid
February 4, 2006, 04:01 PM
Ok, ok... I'll just let him pick out a gun he'd like and find some excuse for the reason I let him do it... and then order it. But, for the record... I COULD buy a truck for my husband he'd be satisified with. A '95 chevy z71, with a 8 inch super lift, w/ 37 inch tires, and dual exhaust w/ a safari kit. Don't forget the glasspacks, a pre-runner spare tire rack, too, and KC lights to boost. ;D

February 4, 2006, 04:07 PM
your my kinda of woman. where you been all my life??

February 4, 2006, 04:08 PM
OK, yes that does help a lot. I was going to recommend a turnbolt rifle in .270 or .30-06, but since he specifically mentioned .30-30 and .243, which are both excellent chambering choices, that helps to tell me he doesn't have magnumitis like a lot of people do, and wants a tried and true chambering on the lower-recoil side.

With that budget, I'd look at getting either a levergun in .30-30 win, such as this Marlin 336:


It can be scoped and scope mounts for it are available about anywhere. But a lot of people like to keep this type of rifle in an 'unmolested' format and just use iron sights. But scoping is easy.


Get a turnbolt rifle in .243 Win (classic cartridge) from either Savage, Remington, Winchester, Howa, CZ, or Tikka. This would be more of a longer-range cartridge than the .30-30, so perhaps a better choice since you said open fields, etc. Since you said something to be proud and pass down, that means getting a wood stocked rifle, not a plastic (synthetic) stock, and preferably a walnut stock. You may have to 'go used' to find a Remington or Winchester in your budget with a wood stock. Are you willing to go used, by checking pawn shops, mom & pop guns stores, consignment guns, etc? If not, then at l would look hard at a Savage or maybe a Howa. But Savage, being American-made, will have a bit more of the 'proud to pass down thing' going on.

Maybe the model 14 classic in .243 or another chambering of your choice shown here:


or a model 11 (hunter series) like the model 11 G:


Or maybe one from the "package series", which means it includes the scope - that way you don't need to shop for and mount the scope (you or him) - like this model 10 GXP3 package (perhaps your best bet):


If you can find a Remington model 700 in your price range (NOT the model 710), or a Winchester model 70, with a nice wood stock, then I'd go with that. If you have an Academy Sports in your area, they have pretty good deals on guns - they can almost always match walmart and sometimes beat them.

I don't know if Remington and Winchester have any package deals (with scope) that have a wood stock, or only plastic. But something like a Remington CDL, BDL, or Moutain DM rifle would fit the bill:


Besides the .243, other good caliber choices would include .308 win, .270 win, and .30-'06 spgfld (maybe 7mm-08 as well). But if he said .243, I'd go with what he wants. Excellent deer caliber for all but the largest of midwestern deer, perhaps.

February 4, 2006, 04:08 PM
But seriuosly, a bolt action composite stocked 308 would foot the bill nicely

February 4, 2006, 04:16 PM
I like the suggestion of the Marlin .30-30, but it isn't a long range gun. Given your criteria and your price range, I'd go for a Savage (http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_12_48/ai_93317493/pg_1) in .270, .308, or .30-06, all common and more-than-adequate calibers. The economical Savage would leave you more money for some decent glass, maybe a middle of the line Nikon, Leupold, or Burris. If you can find the Savage on sale, you should come in around $600 or a little more.

Still, I think folks here are right. Give him some say in the matter. Why don't you just blindfold him and then take him to the gun store? :D

Gun Junkie
February 4, 2006, 04:24 PM
For anyone looking for the ultimate all-around centerfire rifle there is no denying the .30-06 is THE choice. It will put venison on the table without pounding recoil and yet is large enough to use for elk or even bear. It's the most used caliber in the US today. The terrific part about it is that it is so common that just about anywhere that you can buy ammo you can buy .30-06 shells. The .243 and .30-30 are decent deer calibers but the .30-30 will not shoot any decent distances and the .243 is too small if your hubby were to someday want to hunt something bigger.
I Own rifles in .223, 7.62X39, & .30-06. If I had to pick only one caliber to own it would be the .30-06. It's the most versitile, PERIOD.
As far as a rifle to hunt with any man would be proud of any of the rifles Remington makes in the 700 series (NOT 710). More good options are Ruger with it's mauser-like action, or a Howa rifle. Howa is a Japanese company that manufactures a really top-notch rifle at an affordable price. I own the "thumbhole Sporter" model and love it. Bought my Howa through Gander Mountain for $600 with the scope.

Gun Stupid
February 4, 2006, 04:26 PM
Ok, ok... ya'll have won me over.I'll just let him do the pickin' out. A trip to the gun store makes for a nice little Saturday, don't it? And you can blame me for bein' the kind of woman I am on my upbringin'. :D

February 4, 2006, 04:27 PM
SAY it with me NOT THE 710!!!

February 4, 2006, 04:28 PM
You sound like a might fine woman to me, have fun, not the 710!NO NO NO!!
You probably ride right next to your hubby in the pickup in the middle of the seat. I know the type

Gun Stupid
February 4, 2006, 04:29 PM
lol, My father wouldn't allow it.

February 4, 2006, 04:29 PM
Well she's gonna get a gift cert. And yeah, not the 710. But, not the composite stock 700 either - she said 'proud to pass down'. I'd be happy to pass down a synth stocked gun, but *proud* to pass down one with a walnut or laminated wood stock. Wonder if I got enough gas in the pickup to get me to NC? By Mon I could be back with a southern-drawlin, gun-totin dixie chick!

Dave R
February 4, 2006, 04:29 PM
I think it would be GREAT for you to buy him the rifle. In fact, since it came from you, it'll have a lot of sentimental value.

And there are some rifles and chamberings that are ALWAYS the right answer. Classics. "Universal truths."

Any of the ones FirstFeedom recommended would be fine for most any hunter, most any game. Of those he lists, my vote would be the Savage combo (with scope) in .243. Or the Marlin in .30-30 (which would require separate scope.

February 4, 2006, 04:29 PM
270 Savage would be perfect. It can be used as a brush gun or long range. I also think that you could not go wrong with a Marlin 336 (30-30). It would be good shooting out to 100 yards.

February 4, 2006, 04:40 PM
Before I bought a Savage combo, I'd look long and hard for just the rifle at a good price sans scope. Lots of folks have less-than-nice things to say about the durability/quality of the combo's scopes. Do your husband a favor and at least put a decent $200 Nikon Buckmaster on there.

February 4, 2006, 04:41 PM
There will be probably many opinions so here is mine.

Marlin 336SS .30-30

The deer in NC are relatively smallish and you indicated hunting grounds that would be in mostly close quarters. (Not elk or mule deer and no 400 yard shots of open range)

Ammo is abundant. The caliber is perfect for white-tail. The 336SS stainless steal is better than blued metal especially in the crazy humidity and dampness of NC.

I know you said that recoil isn't really much of an issue, but compared to the "other" deer rifle, the .30-06, the .30-30 is a much friendler rifle.

Sounds like a great present.

I have this rifle and went out to the range just last weekend and with only the flip-up iron sights put many in the bullseye at 50 and +/- an inch or two at 100 yards with no adjustments.

I hope this one anecdote helps with your quest. All the best and Happy Valentine's Day.


edit $$: I bought mine slightly used for $380. Walmart sells it for $444.

Gun Stupid
February 4, 2006, 07:51 PM
ya'll have been so much help! I really appreciate it. And that was exactly my point on getting the gun for him myself, I wanted to have something engraved into it... more than likely, our last name. I wanted that o' sentimental value as said. He really prefers bolt action, but I'm sure he won't care as long as he gets his gun, LOL. I also prefer the wood stock myself, after watching my dad for so many years rebuild, refinish his own guns. It's an amazing art to watch.

And you could come to NC for a southern drawlin', gun totin' chick, but you'd have better luck in Texas. ;D

February 4, 2006, 07:58 PM
If you have a Wal-Mart or Dick's Sporting Goods nearby, you could take him by on Valentines Day and let him pick out what he wants. Then, let him take you out to dinner!!!

The Weatherby Vanguard in 30-06 or .270 might be a fine rifle for what you want to spend. Remington 700 BDL and CDL are excellent, but like the Winchester Model 70, may be a bit more than you want to spend.

Savages are good shooting rifles, but aesthetics and ergonomics are not as good as the Remington, Winchester, and Weatherby.


Gun Stupid
February 4, 2006, 08:10 PM
Dinner? Yeah, right! LOL. We'd end up going to the shootin' range that evening! We have both a Dick's and Walmart, though I thought about making a special trip to the Cabella's store.

February 4, 2006, 08:22 PM
Oh come on, G.S., you can be more creative than that!! Suggest going out to dinner, then after a nice meal, go shopping for the rifle. It will be too late that night for him to shoot the new gun, but he'll be in the mood to shoot a different one, for sure!!!


February 4, 2006, 08:22 PM
Sorry, double-post.

Dean C
February 4, 2006, 10:26 PM
With a gift certificate, I'll bet a Marlin 336A 30-30 would catch his eye.

After this thread, you should change your user name from "gun stupid" to "gun inundated".

If you're anywhere near Morganton, say HI to my sis Nancy and her husband Ron.

Please let us know what he picks.


February 5, 2006, 01:25 AM
Weatherby Vanguard 30-06 about $450

Leupold Vari X III 2x-7x (or 3x-9x) about $400

Nikon Monarch is very nice... about $300

For an excellent "budget" scope, Bushnell Trophy about $150

ALL THESE PRICES should be OTD... :)

(Pardon the expression...) ;)

You will be very happy with this rifle...
There is nothing "cheapy" about it.

I gave two to my "brothers" for their birthdays...
They are really happy with every aspect of the rifle...

The brand
The accuracy
The caliber (30-06)
The color (black composite stock w/blued metal)
The scope (Leupold 3x-9x) Matte Finish
And the glow of pride that comes with the admiration of friends
and the "braggin rights"

One has a number of "toys" in his gunsafe nowadays, but he ALWAYS grabs the Vanguard when the hunt begins... :rolleyes:


HOWEVER, if my wife bought this rifle/scope/caliber combo for me...

I'd be euphoric and delighted!! :D

Whatever you do... don't get the 710 :p :D

Omega blood
February 5, 2006, 06:09 AM
Forget the gift certificate.:barf: YOU buy the rifle. If my wife showed up with a firearm for me, I'd love regardless.:cool: :D As someone stated before it will have sentimental value.:)

February 5, 2006, 11:45 AM
Yeah, but Texas chicks have a twang, not that knee-weakening *drawl* of southeastern gurls. I am undecided on whether buying the rifle or giving a gift certificate is best here. Tough call. Has he ever hinted that he'd be receptive to an outright gift of a gun?

February 5, 2006, 12:47 PM
My wife gave me a Remington 700 BDL 30-06, with a Burris 3-9, as a wedding gift 25 years ago. i still love her for it. it's still my favorite.

February 5, 2006, 03:24 PM
Remington Model 700 BDL in 270, 30-06, or 308 is hard to beat as a deer rifle. Its a bolt action rifle. Choose the walnut stock version. Leave the scope to him. Make sure you know left or right handed model.

February 5, 2006, 08:45 PM
Has he hunted before? What type of action does he like? Bolt, semi-auto, lever, pump? Some counties don't allow semi-autos so check the areas he will hunt. What is taste in rifles? Wood, synthetic stocks? Blued or Stainless steel ? Before spend lots of money, try to find out answers to some of these questions. Only then can you proceed to focus on a rifle. It would be a shame to buy something he does not like. Talk to his friends, co-workers that he hunts or shoots with. And, your father!

February 6, 2006, 09:38 AM
GIFT CERTIFICATE....are you kidding.....my wife surprised me with a Ruger No.1 (7mag) and I STILL tell the story!

One of the prettiest guns in a reasonable price range has to be the Rem 700BDL. Nice, compact, WOOD stock. Without arguing over calabers, 270 or 3006 will put plenty of venison on the table.

Top it off with a Leupold VX-2 and you'll have a fine rifle/scope combo that will last for generations!!

Be sure to tell us what you get him.

February 6, 2006, 10:17 AM
get one of his friends to be nosey and find out what he wants. be sneeky?
I would rather get him what he wants than what Someone thinks he needs.

February 6, 2006, 10:34 AM
Weatherby Vanguard Sporter in .30-06 or .270

February 6, 2006, 10:48 AM
2005 will be the last year that Remington is manufacturing their "Classic" model. The 2005 caliber for the Classic is .308 Winchester. I bought one, and it is a great rifle.

But any rifle by a major manufacturer in .308, .270, or .30-06 will do fine.

February 6, 2006, 02:20 PM
If you can find a Winchester 94 in .30-30 I would suggest it as the best deer rifle, been using mine for many years and never had a problem, brought in lots of venison.:cool:

February 6, 2006, 03:02 PM
Mrs GunStupid, can we clone, like say, 1,000,000 of you? :D

February 6, 2006, 03:17 PM

Just a follow up... ;)

How would you like a gift certificate? :(

The Vanguard should be packaged with a really pretty negligee... :rolleyes:

The people who have recommended the other brands...
Have likely never had a Vanguard... I've had the best Wnchester 70 Super Grade pre-64 and the Remington 700 and Ruger 77 and Browning BBR and Weatherby Mark V and I really believe you cannot go wrong with the Vanguard... :)

February 6, 2006, 03:39 PM
My vote would be for a Remington 700 or a Winchester Model 70. Either are fine, personal choice would be the Winchester. Hands down it needs to be
.30-06. The .30-06 can be loaded from small critters to big critters. Also because it's the 100th anniversary of the .30-06.