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Good Rifle for begining hunter

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Loudcherokee, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. Loudcherokee

    Loudcherokee SouthPawGlocker

    Likes Received:
    Oct 17, 2004
    the buffet
    Hello everybody. never visited this forum before, and dont know much at all about rifles, but would like to learn, and ask a few questions.

    I would like to start hunting deer. What would be a good rifle, something thats not too expensive, to hunt with? The most important thing for me is if there is a left handed model available. I've seen some nice rifles at Savage's website, the prices look pretty cheap too, but how do they perform? Are they accurate? Anybody have any experience with these rifles? Also, what is the difference in a bolt action gun between long action and short action? which would be better? I have shot rifles before, shotguns, bolt actions, 30/30 lever actions, so I am not unable to handle a real rifle. My main reason for a cheap rifle to start off with, would be incase I wind up not liking hunting. I dont want to invest alot of money in a rifle just to not like it and end up selling it for less than it is worth.

    Also, what is a good caliber for deer? Something where a beginner that is not the greatest shooter could still kill a deer without getting the best of shots? I have heard different opinions from different people. I hear alot of people reccomend .308 or 30-06. Living around here, people have reccomended a lever action 30/30, because they say its a good brush gun, and that here in TN I'll never get a good wide open shot. Reccomendations and help is greatly appreciated, and thankyou in advance.
  2. Hunterjbb


    Likes Received:
    Feb 7, 2003
    Midlothian Va.
    you have asked probably one of the more contreversial / opinionated questions there is in hunting... my thoughts are as follows.

    If your going to hunt brush country with shots ranging from 0-100 yds.. you can never go wrong with a lever action rifle, Marlin 336 or Winchester 94 either in 30-30 or .35rem.. The model 94 is probably responsible for more deer kills then a lot of other types of rifles combined. You can scope them if you like although the Marlin would be easier to do that with, not really needed out to 100.

    If your going to hunt distances further then that say to 200yds.. you may want to consider a bolt, and or a Pump rifle. Savage makes a very good rifle for the buck, Tikka T3's are cheap and good to although i've never used one.. Remington & Winchester.. awesome factory guns either of which would last you forever.. Check your local Trading post paper or go to the gun shop and check Used weapons out you might find a decent weapon cheaper this way, though take someone that know's guns a bit to help with selection. Get a decent scope, as much as you can afford. With a scope you pay for what you get.

    Savages and most of the more popular bolt rifle brands all have left handed models, the lever actions are kind of ambidexterous.. Go to a popular gun store and pick a few up and feel what is comfortable to you,check how it feels when you put it up to your shoulder, do you have to stretch to reach the trigger, when you put your cheek to the stock how do the sights line up? things like that.. remember your going to be wearing heavier clothes the hunt in so take that into account also..

    Caliber.. wow.. For white tail deer, .243 and up. Most popular. 30-30,.35 rem .270,.308, 30.06.. all have abundant choices of ammo and all get the job done. depending on the weapon felt recoil will vary.. Personally if your going lever, go with the 30-30, bolt.. 30.06 or .270.. although there is nothing wrong with the .308 i just prefer the other two. Ammo is available in every mom and pop and walmart etc. anywhere in the country.

    Personally i have shot lever, bolt and pump rifles.. My pump rifle fits me the best and is a good all around gun, nothing is better for quick tough close hunting then a lever action and if you want long range accuracy bolt guns are a must..

    I don't recomend semi auto rifles, i just don't think they are needed for deer hunting.. and they are a tad more expensive.

    good luck and i hope you enjoy the experience i know i have for the last 34 years.


  3. vafish


    Likes Received:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Commonwealth of Virginia
    Well two things in your post stand out to me.

    1. You want somthing cheap.

    2. You want something left handed.

    I say get one of the H+R handy rifles. Single shot, works fine for left or right handed folks, comes in .243, 7-08, .25-06, 270, .308, or .30-06. All are good deer calibers.

    The Savage rifles are good servicable guns and well known for accuracy.
  4. ithaca_deerslayer


    Likes Received:
    Jul 11, 2000
    Upstate NY, USA
    Savage bolt action in .308 would be cheap and good. Even comes in packages with the scope.
    Nothing wrong with other brands such as Remmington, Winchester, Ruger, Browning.
    Nothing wrong with other calibers such as .243, .270, .30-06.

    Don't worry about short action vs long action, that is just the shell length, and how they can build a certain type of action to fit a group of calibers (but each rifle is still just one caliber).

    Now, the real issue is when to shoot. Any of the above rifle brands and calibers are fine for deer.

    After you sight in, using a bench, you need to practice some shots off-hand (no bench rest). Shoot 5 shots at 100 yards. Hopefully all your shots are inside an 8" circle. If not, try 75 yards. The distance that you can put 5 shots inside an 8" circle, off-hand, without resting, without thinking too much about it, is the distance you can shoot a deer at.

    What type of shot should you make at a deer? Not at a running deer. Not at a deer heading away from you (where all you see is the butt). Not at the waving white flag.

    Look for a walking or stopped deer that is broadside to you. Shoot at the heart/lung area. I aim just behind the front shoulder, but not at the middle of the deer, and certainly not at the guts. Hitting the front shoulder is better than hitting the gut. Ideally I'll shoot just behind the front shoulder so I don't wreck that shoulder meat, but if I do hit the front shoulder it will likely be a good kill shot, too.
  5. Chuck TX

    Chuck TX CLM

    Likes Received:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Republic of Texas
    .50 BMG ;g

    Everyone has different opinions on the subject, and nobody's right or wrong they're all capable rounds, etc. I'd personally go with a .308 because there is a wide variety of high grade hunting and match ammo that doesn't cost all that much. Also you can get large quantities of ammo for cheap to plink and practice with. If feasible I'd get a rifle with a bull barrel so you can shoot the heck out of it at one sitting and become quite proficient. And don't forget a nice piece of glass on top. Cheap scopes work, but they'll wear on your eye.
  6. Burncycle


    Likes Received:
    Aug 31, 2004
    In my opinion, milsurps would be a good choice for someone in your position, especially if budget is a concern. Most of these battle rifles fire full power rounds (like .308, .30-06 class stuff) and ammunition is still widely available, including modern, commercial rounds for hunting. Plenty powerful to take down anything you'll find here in Tennessee (and most of North America, for that matter!). These aren't old, shot out rusty buckets... most of these can be found in very good condition for less than the cost of most .22 rifles.

    Mosin Nagants (M44 or M38) are handy, and are usually less than $100. Enfields, 8mm mausers, and others can be found in decent condition for around $100-120.

    An SKS would be decent as well given the ranges involved, if you perfer an intermediate powered round in semi automatic. The ammunition is similar to .30-30 in power, and cost ranges from ~$100 for beat up shooters to $150-175 for excellent or unissued condition.
  7. iiibbb


    Likes Received:
    Jun 1, 2004
    I'm a lefty.

    Among the manufacturers out there you will find the most options in 30.06 for a left-handed rifle. I really wanted .308 and stainless. Savage really has the most options for a left-handed person. The Savage's trigger is awesome, but their action is very rough. Tikka was supposed to release a lefty T3 in .308 and if that's available I woudld defintely look at that. Glass smooth action, and stainless.

    Because I wasn't happy with the Savage's action, and the LH Tikka T3 wasn't out yet, I wound up getting a Thompson Center Encore in .308. This turned out to be very fortuitous because I wound up liking hunting so much I wanted to expand my activities into muzzleloader season, and a ML barrel was a relatively inexpensive upgrade on the Encore.