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ive never fired a rifle till i joined the army,i havent been big into hunting until my stepfather took me on one of his whitetai

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  • ive never fired a rifle till i joined the army,i havent been big into hunting until my stepfather took me on one of his whitetai

    ive never fired a rifle till i joined the army,i havent been big into hunting until my stepfather took me on one of his whitetail hunts. an now i am hooked and although i have never fired his rifle im looking for a good rifle but am tossing back and foruth about what to buy what brand?what caliber?any suggestions?????

  • #2
    There are a number of quality guns out there. If you are limited on the amount you want to spend take a look at the Marlin XL7 and XS7. I have seen them selling new for less than $300. They are excellent rifles. Choose one in 30/06 or .270 for the XL7 or .308 or 7mm-08 for the XS7. All common calibers for which ammo is readily available. The XS7 in 7mm-08 would be my choice.


    • #3
      If Mule Deer is the largest on the list, then I strongly recommend the 25-06 and if not the 30-06! My favorite out of the box rifles are all Remington 700's!

      Be careful of all the hoopla out there for what to get! LOL!!


      • #4
        You will not go wrong with a Remington 700 in .308 or .30-'06 with a Leupold 3x-9x and Leupold rings and bases. You can pay more or even less but this outfit will work for you in almost any situation you are likely to encounter.


        • #5
          Remington 700 in .270 Winchester, or even a Weatherby Vangard in .270 Winchester for under $400.00. Outfit either one with a Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40 Scope, and you'll have a great scoped rifle!


          • #6
            My advice, spend a few hours reading the F & S Blog. anything (well most) in 25-30 caliber will work for white tail. If I was going low dollar I'd get a Savage in a 308 with a tasco world class scope 3-9 and be done with it. If you want top of the line (well at least well repected) go with a Remington 700 in 308 or 30-06 with a Leupold 3-9 or 4.5-14. They're good rifles, its also very similar to a M-40 if you've ever seen one.


            • #7
              Listen to Clay, but keep Savage and Marlin on your list. Just go check all these rifles out at your local gun store. Hold them, mount them, aim them, work their bolts. See what feels good to you.


              • #8
                Savage in a military caliber (.308 and .30-06). Savages are super accurate for the price and the .30-06 will be the last cartridge to go out of production.


                • #9
                  Sorry, forgot, Savage makes a number of package guns with the scope pre-mounted. I was able to "try-on" a couple at Cabelas, gives you a good feel for eye releaf on the scope and how the whole rig will work.


                  • #10
                    J_harp11 . . .

                    Before you go out and spend your hard-earned money on a new rifle, get together with every friend or semi-friend you've ever had who has a rifle and beg, bribe, or otherwise induce them to go shooting with you so you can test their rifles (in various calibers) and see which ones you like the best.

                    Since you are new to the shooting game--and all of us here were once in your shoes--I recommend a .243 Winchester or 6mm Remington or 250-3000 Savage or 257 Roberts or 260 Remington or 7mm-08 or 7x57 Mauser as your first deer rifle. None of these calibers in a decent rifle kick to any significant degree. All of these calibers have taken vast numbers of deer and similar-size creatures, in some cases for many decades. All are wonderful cartridges for anything from varmints to deer. Rifles by Savage, Winchester or Remington are the Gold Standard in America in terms of price, accuracy, and reliability.

                    A good quality 3x9 scope is perfectly adequate for your needs, although a 4x12 or 4.5-14x might be even better, depending on the terrain and cover in the areas in which you will hunt or shoot.

                    The 7mm-08 and 7x57 Mauser are even perfectly adequate for elk and moose, if you use premium bullets, practice your shooting until you can always put a shot in the heart/lungs area of your intended game animal, and keep your shots to 300 yards or less.
                    These rules, by the way, apply to whatever rifle/caliber you use when hunting game.

                    My very first "real" rifle was a .257 Roberts. These days, my 14-year old daughter has one--her first "real" rifle, with which she is an ace shot, and I recently obtained one, too.



                    • #11
                      Remington is always a good choice. As far as caliber, it depends on what and where you are going to hunt


                      • #12
                        TWD and the others as usual gave you some very good advice. The 25-06 is my personal favorite. Just remember the rifle is only as good as the scope and rings you put on it. An economy rifle with good scope and rings is deadly in the hands of anyone that can shoot. The pity is that many folks spend most of the budget on the gun and then buy a cheap scope. That said I recommend Leupold VXIII scopes. Have owned many and none has ever failed to perform.


                        • #13
                          I agree, TWD and the others gave good advice. If you're an Army man, you're not a kid anymore, and can handle any caliber, so it depends on what you'll hunt. If it's strictly a deer rifle, the 25-06 or .257 roberts are perfect, as are the 7mm/08 or .270. If you may hunt elk or bears or other big game, club up a little. Personally i think the .308 or .30/06 are the ticket. That said, i'm interested myself in buying a 6.5mm caliber.


                          • #14
                            Notice that no one is recommending any magnums for whitetail. And, so far, everyone is recommending American brands (though some might be made overseas) ... not that there aren't excellent foreign brands, because there are. Country of origin should be marked on the barrel, if that is important to you.

                            Most any centerfire will work for a whitetail, though most people will say to go bigger than .224 (5.56mm) bullets. Some still use it, but some use a .45-70, too. A nice things about the old standards, like the .270Win, .30-06, and .308, is that a good selection of ammo is probably available pretty much anywhere. But, when we find a round that we fall in love with, we find a way to deal with it. Take a look at the price of ammo before you make a decision. Premium ammo is not usually necessary for whitetails

                            You can also research cartridges on the Internet, reloading manuals, books, and magazines. Lot of opinions in other F&S Q&As. You'll pick up info about the bullet types along the way.

                            Each make and action has its own feel and quirks ... and price, so handle and shoot as many as possible. It's mostly what you like paired with some common sense. No one right answer.

                            Once you get a short list post again!


                            • #15
                              J-Harp11 . . .

                              In my post I forget to mention the 25-06, for which I apologize. Fortunately, others here have pointed it out. The 25-06 certainly belongs on the list of great first "real" rifles, although I would choose one in a wooden or laminated stock rather than a Savage plastic stock, both because the wooden/laminated stock would be prettier and quieter in the woods, and also because wood/laminated stock would be heavier than the Savage plastic-stocked rifle, which would effectively eliminate any recoil issues.




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