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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-30-2010, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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First deer rifle?

For someone wanting to get their first rifle (all I've ever owned were handguns and shotguns) what do you look for? I've been reading all over and it seems that the common suggestion is a larger caliber for someone less experienced since they will be less accurate and need to create a larger hole. I was looking at a .308 to start with since its a common round and relatively cheap. Any rifles to stay away from or look for in particular? Or even a different caliber instead of the .308?

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-30-2010, 02:01 PM
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We hunt with 30-06s, I've seen and know people who hunt with nearly every common caliber out there and if they place their shot right, it is dead.

Where you are hunting maybe important as well. I mean if you want to take long ass shots you may want to invest in a higher end rifle and a caliber that is prove to have a decent trajectory. All my hunting is 150-200 yards, more like 100 yards or less though usually.

Also a big lesson I learned recently is the scope is as important as the rifle - if not more important. Unless of course you're just going to use sights.

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-30-2010, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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We hunt with 30-06s, I've seen and know people who hunt with nearly every common caliber out there and if they place their shot right, it is dead.

Where you are hunting maybe important as well. I mean if you want to take long ass shots you may want to invest in a higher end rifle and a caliber that is prove to have a decent trajectory. All my hunting is 150-200 yards, more like 100 yards or less though usually.

Also a big lesson I learned recently is the scope is as important as the rifle - if not more important. Unless of course you're just going to use sights.
I'll be out near Abilene, so anywhere from 100-150 probably where we will be set up at.

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-30-2010, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Probably would help to say that I shoot left handed. Messing with a right-handed bolt sucks

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-30-2010, 08:02 PM
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I'm a big fan of the 7mm wsm. Nice round that will reach out there and works on anything that lives in texas.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-31-2010, 02:31 PM
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Have you ever shot a high caliber rifle? Recoil/reaction will play a huge factor in your accuracy.
The bigger the caliber for the less experienced hunters is the biggest crock of shit I have ever heard. I would suggest just the oposite. A well placed shot is better then a bigger hole. With a smaller caliber it is easier to learn and become a better shooter. I know a shit ton of folks still hunting with a .243.

I have been through every common hunting round and now shoot a 7mm-08. I suggest it to everyone I can. Me personally I think it is as close to perfect as it gets for Texas hunting. 25-06 is another awesome round.

For brand it all depends on how dedicated you are going to be.

I hunt about an hour southwest of Abilene, where about are you?
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-31-2010, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
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Have you ever shot a high caliber rifle? Recoil/reaction will play a huge factor in your accuracy.
The bigger the caliber for the less experienced hunters is the biggest crock of shit I have ever heard. I would suggest just the oposite. A well placed shot is better then a bigger hole. With a smaller caliber it is easier to learn and become a better shooter. I know a shit ton of folks still hunting with a .243I have been through every common hunting round and now shoot a 7mm-08. I suggest it to everyone I can. Me personally I think it is as close to perfect as it gets for Texas hunting. 25-06 is another awesome round.

For brand it all depends on how dedicated you are going to be.

I hunt about an hour southwest of Abilene, where about are you?

This, I bought a Rem 700 in .243 as my first deer rifle, and found it to handle most anything in Texas with a good shot placement, and absolutely outstanding with varmits. I have had thoughts of upgrading and am only thinking about a 270.

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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-31-2010, 03:50 PM
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I would have to say a 270 if most of your hunting is less than 200 yards. Savage, winchester, Weatherby Vanguard, or a Remington Model 700. These are some good choices, just my .02
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-31-2010, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chopped54 View Post
Have you ever shot a high caliber rifle? Recoil/reaction will play a huge factor in your accuracy.
The bigger the caliber for the less experienced hunters is the biggest crock of shit I have ever heard. I would suggest just the oposite. A well placed shot is better then a bigger hole. With a smaller caliber it is easier to learn and become a better shooter. I know a shit ton of folks still hunting with a .243.

I have been through every common hunting round and now shoot a 7mm-08. I suggest it to everyone I can. Me personally I think it is as close to perfect as it gets for Texas hunting. 25-06 is another awesome round.

For brand it all depends on how dedicated you are going to be.

I hunt about an hour southwest of Abilene, where about are you?


Albany, TX is where I'll be

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-31-2010, 05:36 PM
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My favorite deer rifle I've ever owned is my Browning A bolt 308 w/ a Leupold VX-lll and 180 grain Federal Premium. If I had to grab only one weapon out of my safe before I bugged out, it would be it. And the A bolt is cheap now since the X bolt came out.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-31-2010, 05:43 PM
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Albany, TX is where I'll be
Good deer out there. My uncle runs and is part co owner of a 10k acre ranch in Albany. I've seen some great bucks from his game cameras.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-31-2010, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Good deer out there. My uncle runs and is part co owner of a 10k acre ranch in Albany. I've seen some great bucks from his game cameras.
Whats his name? I might know him

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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-31-2010, 10:13 PM
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I hate to sound like a broken record, but Savage makes some pretty good left-handed guns, in almost every flavor they make a righty, too.

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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 08:13 AM
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Whats his name? I might know him
Chris Hobbs
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Chris Hobbs
Oh yea. That's a little outside of town towards stanford right? Small world

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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 12:48 PM
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Another vote for a .243

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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 01:00 PM
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and another vote for a .243

my son got a doe saturday and with that he is 4 shots 4 kills. and they didn't have to track them, they all dropped with heart/lung/spine shots. so if you are a good shot, a .243 is all you need.

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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 01:02 PM
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Winchester 30-30 all day long, I've had my lever action since god knows when, I still love it. They pack good punch power and can be had for pretty cheap.

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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 01:22 PM
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Oh yea. That's a little outside of town towards stanford right? Small world
Something like that. I havent been out there in years. I remeber once you leave payment it takes 20mins of dirt roads to reach his house. If you run across him and mention Carolyn's son, he'll know who you're taking about.
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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 01:36 PM
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Winchester 30-30 all day long, I've had my lever action since god knows when, I still love it. They pack good punch power and can be had for pretty cheap.
x2

Lever action 30-30 is a great gun.

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post #21 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 09:53 PM
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You seemed like a responsible cat when I met you, OP, so it may go without saying, but don't forget to practice every chance you get.

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post #22 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-02-2010, 06:17 AM
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Being a lefty I went for a lever over bolt action when I was younger. Left handed bolts are easier to come by these days though.

I'd say shop around for deals, handle some rifles, and shorten your list. Then decide on caliber based on what the calibers the rifles you like can come chambered in, availability, and cost. I've killed deer with .45-70 down to .257 Roberts, even with an old 8mm Mauser I bought for $60 in between. They all do the job. The good thing about a larger caliber is the versatility to hunt larger game if the opportunity presents it's self. But, a smaller caliber will give you the excuse to buy another rifle if that opportunity presented it's self too.

Not mentioned, but Ruger makes some nice rifles also.

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post #23 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-02-2010, 06:35 AM
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They all do the job. The good thing about a larger caliber is the versatility to hunt larger game if the opportunity presents it's self.
To add on to this a bit, the main reason I hunt with a larger caliber (and based off my Dad's recommendation) is because black bear have a habit of sneaking up on you. (woods of PA) Now, 95% of the time if you're passive and slowly retreat...etc it is not an issue. However, a couple of times he had momma bears with cubs. Given all the activity and shooting in the woods the wildlife is already on edge, now be stuck within 100 yards of a momma bear with her cubs and it can be a nerve racking situation. His mentality is if he has to fire w/ a manual action rifle it should be a decent caliber cause you're going to be lucky to get that one shot off much less 2 or more. Thankfully that has not been tested.

So that's why I have the 30-06. He has it cause when he was 13 or so it was the cool thing to have amongst him and his friends so they all got one.

In regards to the 30-30 as well. My Dad's best friend has been hunting deer with a 30-30 forever (over 40 years) with open sights with good success too. Hell, 2 years ago I saw a guy dragging a small bear out with one slung over his shoulder.

Anyway, just some of my thought process on the larger caliber. For hunting it's all good really. hehe, I know one guy that went out hunting with us and brought a side arm with his rifle. That could be an option if you think it'll take down pissed off game.

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post #24 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-02-2010, 08:14 PM
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no one has said .223

It was my first and worked just fine, but the last time I went hunting I did move up to a 30-06

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post #25 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-02-2010, 08:19 PM
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I use a 30-06, dad uses a 7 and female cousin uses a 243 we all kill deer... its really just up to you

I've shot dads 7 and used to shoot a 3030 but I like the way my 30-06 feels in my hands
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post #26 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-02-2010, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Ok well how about this... any models or brands to stay away from? Like I found a deal on a Remington 770 but I hear those were absolute crap.

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post #27 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-03-2010, 11:48 AM
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Ok well how about this... any models or brands to stay away from? Like I found a deal on a Remington 770 but I hear those were absolute crap.
You heard right....
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post #28 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-03-2010, 07:01 PM
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You get what you pay for,just remember that.
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post #29 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-04-2010, 07:14 AM
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