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What is a good rifle to start out for whitetail deer season?

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  • What is a good rifle to start out for whitetail deer season?

    What is a good rifle to start out for whitetail deer season?

  • #2
    Check the answer just below. Can't start better than a .30-30 Win.

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    • #3
      A single shot 30-30. Some newcomers will rapidly fire all their shots without aiming and taking one good shot. Good Luck

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      • #4
        A bolt action .308 with a 3X9X40 quality scope on it.

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        • #5
          Ruger, Savage and Remington all make a good quality reasonably priced 30-06 rifle.

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          • #6
            Im with sarge, .308 or 30/06 are both great deer calipers. will enter and exit no matter what. i'd only add get one with a weather resistant finsh stainless or just melonite anything is better then blued. blued has a shiny finsh and will start rusting wihtout touching water if humidity is high enough.

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            • #7
              Another vote for the .308! It's basically a 30-06 with a shorter casing. It's got less recoil but the ballistics are about the same.

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              • #8
                .270 remington

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                • #9
                  if you hunt in conditions that are tough, get a gun with a synthetic stock and a stainless steal barrel. I like both the .308 and 30-06. I prefer less magnification on my scopes 2-7x35

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                  • #10
                    Keep it simple. Go with the old .30-30, and you don't even need a scope in most whitetail country.
                    Ammo should be abundant in every town and hamlet from coast to coast.

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                    • #11
                      A 30-06 should do the job. A few good choices would be a Remington 700 for a nicer rifle, and for the most affordable rifles, the Marlin X7, Ruger American, or the Savage Edge would be best.

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                      • #12
                        When you say starter rifle, to me that means inexpensive and deadly but low in recoil so the shooter can get lots of practice and not develop a flinch. I'd also recommend a rifle you can use to shoot lots of targets and varmints to develop your marksmanship skills. If you have to hunt over beanfields, on the prairie or shoot running game, you will want a very fast, flat shooting rifle to minimize the holdover and windage considerations of long shots. For hunting in timber conditions, you will want a rifle that can hit a twig but still find its way to the target without veering off on a tangent. I tried several when I started out.

                        1. I used the 35 Rem and the .30-30: Great for low recoil and close timber shots; sucked at running deer over 75 yards away and couldn't make a 300 yard shot easily.

                        2. 30-06 and .308: The recoil of the 06 was so bad I hated shooting it. My friend's dad made him shoot one his first season and he quit deer hunting because he hated it. Told me never to tell his dad though. The .308 is OK but I don't like it as well as a much faster rifle at long range or for running deer.

                        3. .243: I loved this rifle at first because of the low recoil. I shot it a lot at targets and varmints. The 58g V-Max bullet is fast and sweet for practice. My confidence in it caused me to hit where I wanted to all the time. I discovered that accuracy was the secret to success in hunting. The 100g bullets will push through brush well enough to succeed but a good 85g bullet (Barnes) will deck a deer in the open. It wasn't until I started shooting out to 400 and 500 yards that I noticed it fall off.

                        4. .270... now you are talking. Great for all conditions and excels at long range. Can flatten a deer out to 500 yards if you get a good shooter. The 130g -140g bullets still gave me one of the sharpest recoils of any but it seemed to be more tolerable than the 06. I really didn't like it for target practice and varmints and started to shoot it less because of this. I began to lose my confidence and accuracy. Remember... I was a 140 lbs ringing wet and my shoulder felt like it was made of Tinker Toys at the time.

                        5. .220 Swift: I liked the low recoil and blazing speed. The good bullets we have today make it great for antelope and even deer hunting on the prairie but it just can't shoot in the timber... too bad, because that is one sweet shooter (similar to the 22-250).

                        6. 25-06: I tried one of these by accident as they were rare wildcats when I was young. I recognized quickly tht this was the beginner's rifle for me. It had the low recoil of the .243 but the long range knock down power of the .270. The noticable difference was that it was faster than all of them I had tried except for the .220 Swift and it made shooting long range and running game a high percentage shot. I enjoyed shooting lots of 75g and 87g (very low recoil) bullets at targets and varmints to hone my shooting skills. Even my 100g deer loads had the low recoil of the .243 but they could deck a deer at 500 yards with authority. In the thick soup, 120g bullets have always seemed to peform as well as the round nosed .35 Rem bullets did; certainly as well as the .308. Please note that if you look at Chuck Hawks' recoil table, the lightest bullet he has listed for the 25-06 is the 100g with a recoil similar to the .243 100g (its a little higher because it is going faster). If he were to show the 75g 25-06 varmint bullet, it would be pretty similar in recoil to the 22-250 shooting 55g bullets.

                        Bottom line: for me the 25-06 filled the space from the ultra-fast .22 calibers (22-250 and .220 Swift) to the long range thumper .270 Win. That quickly became my favorite. By reloading, I could make inexpensive varmint bullets to the best deer bullets available. I could handle close up deer in the brush to 500 yard Muleys on the prairie. I have yet to find a better prairie dog rifle and consistently outshoot the big .22s at long range (400-600 yards). It is clearly one of the best antelope rifles one can shoot. It smashes deer similar to anyting up to 30-06 in size but seems to have more hydrostatic shock. You will begin to discover what that is if you shoot a 25-06.

                        Pick your first rifle... Accurate low cost rifles are available from Tikka, Howa (Weatherby Vanguard & Howa 1500), and Savage. If you can find a used Rem 700 that shoots, it might be good too. Above all, if you get a 25-06 get a 24 or 26 inch barrel... more barrel equals more speed and you will learn to love speed.

                        Oh, and I forgot to mention that after 45 years with my beginner's rifle, it is still my number one "go to" rifle for everything I hunt and even at the range! I have lots of other rifles but none have the broad functionality of that rifle. Best of luck with your shooting future. Shoot accurately and you will be an exceptional hunter!

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                        • #13
                          I started with my uncle's lever action 30-30

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                          • #14
                            243 winchester

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                            • #15
                              Hi...


                              To start out (and FINISH!) your deer season, my personal preference is the Savage .308 lever action. Great gun.

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