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The Quartermaster's Stores => Weapons & Ammo => Topic started by: Lumber on August 27, 2018, 11:52:23

Title: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Lumber on August 27, 2018, 11:52:23
I've always wanted to buy a gun but never really had a need for one; well, now I do.

My wife and I just moved back to Nova Scotia and raw dog food prices are just too high. So, we want to take up deer hunting to make our own dog food. It might turn out not being that much cheaper, but it would be a fun process nonetheless, (plus deer steak :D)

Right now, I don't intend on hunting any else than deer, and I don't intend on owning any other guns than I need.

So, my question is, what kind of gun should I get? What manufacturer and what caliber? I always wanted a Remington 700, but don't think I want or need to spend that kind of money (especially since a prime reason for this is to save money on dog food.

If I had to choose, I'd rather go for slightly more powerful than I need; not because I expect to hunt anything bigger some day, but simply because I'm tired of only ever firing 5.56 NATO, and want to shoot something with more kick :D.

Thanks!

Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on August 27, 2018, 11:57:18
I've always wanted to buy a gun but never really had a need for one; well, now I do.

My wife and I just moved back to Nova Scotia and raw dog food prices are just too high. So, we want to take up deer hunting to make our own dog food. It might turn out not being that much cheaper, but it would be a fun process nonetheless, (plus deer steak :D)

Right now, I don't intend on hunting any else than deer, and I don't intend on owning any other guns than I need.

So, my question is, what kind of gun should I get? What manufacturer and what caliber? I always wanted a Remington 700, but don't think I want or need to spend that kind of money (especially since a prime reason for this is to save money on dog food.

If I had to choose, I'd rather go for slightly more powerful than I need; not because I expect to hunt anything bigger some day, but simply because I'm tired of only ever firing 5.56 NATO, and want to shoot something with more kick :D.

Thanks!

.270 Winchester is a good round for deer. 

Savage is cheaper than Remington but has a good reputation for accuracy still.

Link to Cabelas website:

https://www.cabelas.ca/category/bolt-action/1130?caliber=.270%20Winchester (https://www.cabelas.ca/category/bolt-action/1130?caliber=.270%20Winchester)

You can see you've got plenty of options chambered in .270 Winchester.

And you've got Bass Pro and Cabelas in Moncton.  is there a Cabelas in Halifax?
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Lumber on August 27, 2018, 12:13:03
And you've got Bass Pro and Cabelas in Moncton.  is there a Cabelas in Halifax?

There's one opening up in Dartmouth in a couple weeks, just over  5 mins from my house! :)
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Halifax Tar on August 27, 2018, 12:39:30
I've always wanted to buy a gun but never really had a need for one; well, now I do.

My wife and I just moved back to Nova Scotia and raw dog food prices are just too high. So, we want to take up deer hunting to make our own dog food. It might turn out not being that much cheaper, but it would be a fun process nonetheless, (plus deer steak :D)

Right now, I don't intend on hunting any else than deer, and I don't intend on owning any other guns than I need.

So, my question is, what kind of gun should I get? What manufacturer and what caliber? I always wanted a Remington 700, but don't think I want or need to spend that kind of money (especially since a prime reason for this is to save money on dog food.

If I had to choose, I'd rather go for slightly more powerful than I need; not because I expect to hunt anything bigger some day, but simply because I'm tired of only ever firing 5.56 NATO, and want to shoot something with more kick :D.

Thanks!

The heresy of hunting a deer to turn it into dog food! 

You wont find very big deer that often in NS, but if you and your wife both get licenses; and are lucky, you could end up with 3 tags each per season.  You would need to buy a bow or a muzzleloader for that third tag.

.270 is a fine round, .308 or .303Br are my two preferred with .12ga coming in close behind.  .12ga is so so versatile, you can effectively use it for all game in NS, not sure about moose.  But for deer, bear, small game and waterfowl its more than enough.

The Mossberg 500 3 Barrel Combo would be my number one recommendation:

http://www.bullseyelondon.com/mossberg-500-3-barrel-combo-12-gauge-shotgun-3-chamber-24-rifled-24-ported-28-ported-waterfowl-barrels-model-53341-canada.html

It gives you the ability to hunt just about anything in NS and for a 700$ or less value.  Good starter option to cover all of your bases. 

My second would be a sporertized Lee Enfield.  They are cheap, usually less than 200$, and the .303Br round will do great for Deer or Bear.

https://www.google.ca/search?q=sporterized+lee+enfield&safe=active&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjV0aaiyI3dAhXG4IMKHUhVAwoQ_AUICigB&biw=1536&bih=750

You can pick one of them up pretty readily online or at gun shows. 
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Fishbone Jones on August 27, 2018, 13:07:03
One of my main hunting guns is a Remington 742 in .308, but they dont make them anymore. That calibre will take anything in NA. If yòu want more of a jolt, Marlin makes a lever gun in 45-70. Or a .300 winmag is another popular hunting cartridge.

Or a Ruger #1 in .458 African. That'll suck the wax right out of your ears😉
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on August 27, 2018, 14:18:58
Go full ghetto and hunt deer with an SKS if you really want to be cheap  ;D
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Lumber on August 27, 2018, 14:27:22
Go full ghetto and hunt deer with an SKS if you really want to be cheap  ;D

Honestly, they are selling them so cheap at the Army Navy surplus store that the thought crossed my mind.

I'm leaning toward the Savage Axis XP.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Halifax Tar on August 27, 2018, 14:34:54
Go full ghetto and hunt deer with an SKS if you really want to be cheap  ;D

I am retrofitting my SKS into a deer rifle lol The 7.62x39 has similar ballistic characteristics as a 30-30 I have read.  Could be a good little brush/truck gun.

Honestly, they are selling them so cheap at the Army Navy surplus store that the thought crossed my mind.

I'm leaning toward the Savage Axis XP.

I have heard good things about the Savage Axis.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Fishbone Jones on August 27, 2018, 15:58:05
I know lots of people that use a SKS for deer. Just make sure to use modern hunting loads, no surplus for hunting. And keep your shots to under 100 yards with it.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Halifax Tar on August 27, 2018, 18:54:41
I know lots of people that use a SKS for deer. Just make sure to use modern hunting loads, no surplus for hunting. And keep your shots to under 100 yards with it.

All good advice.  Thanks recceguy!
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: RomeoJuliet on August 27, 2018, 18:57:06
Tikka T3 .270.  My first and last hunting rifle.  Tack driver.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Lumber on August 28, 2018, 09:15:40
Tikka T3 .270.  My first and last hunting rifle.  Tack driver.

$900+ at Cabela's... guess you missed the part where I was trying to keep this cheap :P
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Lumber on August 28, 2018, 09:19:25
Also, I didn't realize you can only bag 1 deer per year in Nova Scotia. That won't give me much dog food, and going to New Brunswick and paying for an non-resident tag ($247) would defeat the purpose of this saving me money on dog food (but could still be fun).
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Not a Sig Op on August 28, 2018, 10:21:44
Savage Axis is the best bang for your buck (pun intended) in the budget range.

Don't forget to consider used options, $200-300 and you should be able to get something.

Don't write off an SKS as an option either, the price is right, and they're capable against a deer, and they're still available for $200-250.

There's all sorts of overpriced and useless "tactical" upgrade options on the market but you can make a few actual useful upgrades as a hunting rifle for a few reasonable price (either upgrade the iron sighs or add a scope mount.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Lumber on August 28, 2018, 10:39:50
How hard is it in NS to actually hunt deer? I mean, I see a couple per week crossing the street near my place in Dartmouth. How likely is it that I wouldn't even see a deer on a Hunting trip? Would I have to sit in a blind all day, or am I likely to show up after breakfast and be dragging a deer out by lunch, just be taking a hike through the woods? (moving "vawy quiet" like Elmer Fudd, of course)
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Halifax Tar on August 28, 2018, 12:01:03
Also, I didn't realize you can only bag 1 deer per year in Nova Scotia. That won't give me much dog food, and going to New Brunswick and paying for an non-resident tag ($247) would defeat the purpose of this saving me money on dog food (but could still be fun).

You can bag 2.  1 Rifle season, and 1 ML/Archery season.  If you and your wife both max out your licenses you could optimally get 4. 

I was in correct when I said 3 = 6, as your doe tag allows you to take a doe with either your rifle or primitive tag, season dependent of course.

Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Halifax Tar on August 28, 2018, 12:44:09
How hard is it in NS to actually hunt deer? I mean, I see a couple per week crossing the street near my place in Dartmouth. How likely is it that I wouldn't even see a deer on a Hunting trip? Would I have to sit in a blind all day, or am I likely to show up after breakfast and be dragging a deer out by lunch, just be taking a hike through the woods? (moving "vawy quiet" like Elmer Fudd, of course)

It requires effort, and don't get discouraged if you get skunked some seasons.  I would suggest you link up an experienced hunter to help you out.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on August 28, 2018, 13:18:54
How hard is it in NS to actually hunt deer? I mean, I see a couple per week crossing the street near my place in Dartmouth. How likely is it that I wouldn't even see a deer on a Hunting trip? Would I have to sit in a blind all day, or am I likely to show up after breakfast and be dragging a deer out by lunch, just be taking a hike through the woods? (moving "vawy quiet" like Elmer Fudd, of course)

Come up to my camp on the Tabusintac River in NB, we can get some deer or if that fails, enjoy a few bubbly pops  ;D
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Blackadder1916 on August 28, 2018, 16:16:03
It's been many years since I last went hunting, and our preferred quarry was moose.  While some of the attraction was to augment the larder with a cheaper meat source (even if unrealistically optimistic), the main draw was to get out in the woods with friends for some "He-Man Time".  If your main reason is a cheaper meat source, do a cost comparison of beef with (hunted) venison, much like this (though it is dated and based on US circumstances)

https://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/hunting/2013/05/ultimate-red-meat-venison-vs-beef#page-3
Quote
In February, USDA choice steak and sirloin had a national average retail cost of $7.08 per pound, the highest since July 2004. Ground chuck cost a national average of $3.40 per pound retail, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But how much does wild venison really cost? It's impossible calculate a perfect figure. The farmer who shoots three deer off the back 80 acres spends significantly less money than the nonresident hunter who flies to Kansas for an outfitted hunt.

But we can at least get a close estimate…

The average cost of a deer hunting license is about $21 across the top 10 whitetail states in the country. But a lot more goes in to the cost of venison than license fees. A 2006 survey conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that deer hunters spent $885 per year on hunting and trip expenditures. The survey also found that only about 50 percent of the deer hunters across the country killed one or more deer in a season. This isn't perfect math, but we can figure that deer hunters take an animal about every other year. This means it would cost $1,770 per animal. Factor in about 60 pounds of venison per deer and you get $29.50 per pound. Even if you take a deer every season, the cost per pound still runs $14.75.

Unless you want to go into the woods and kill something, have a look at what it would cost to buy beef in bulk (say a full side) compared to outfitting for a safari.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Nuggs on August 28, 2018, 22:49:07
More deer have been killed by a .30-30, I would hazard a guess, than any other caliber.

Especially in NS, as its pretty rare that your taking a shot over 75-100 yards.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Eaglelord17 on August 29, 2018, 06:45:09
Also if your looking for a cheap effective hunting rifle, don't discount old sporterized military rifles. Some can be done up quite nicely for hunting and be fairly cheap (100-300$). Just pay attention to what the caliber is (i.e. go for something that can be found on the shelf like .303 or 8mm Mauser). They aren't going to be as accurate as even a Savage axis (firearm manufacturing technology has come a long way), but provided they are in good condition they will do the job more than adequately.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Halifax Tar on August 29, 2018, 08:09:59
More deer have been killed by a .30-30, I would hazard a guess, than any other caliber.

Especially in NS, as its pretty rare that your taking a shot over 75-100 yards.

.30-.30 and .303Br have probably culled more game in Canada than any other round I would bet.  But I think .308 and 30-06 are catching up fast as 30-30 and .303Br become less and less used.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Fishbone Jones on August 29, 2018, 12:12:49
More deer have been killed by a .30-30, I would hazard a guess, than any other caliber.

Especially in NS, as its pretty rare that your taking a shot over 75-100 yards.

The 30-30 is an anemic cartridge. It lacks good hard hitting. There are more deer killed with it, because everyone wanted the lever gun and there are hundreds of thousands of them. Any shots outside the 25-50 yards that most deer are taken at, in woodlots, and you're pushing the limits of the cartridge. I would be hard pressed to use a 30-30 at 100 yards and over. It's an outdated cartridge, suitable only for close in work.

.303 British has killed more deer in Canada, because everyone had a surplus rifle chambered in that cartridge. Similar to the States where the 30-06 (.30 Browning) was the king cartridge, because that what hunters used when they returned from the wars. Surplus guns. It's more a matter of available platform, than cartridge characteristics.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Nuggs on August 29, 2018, 18:08:02
Apologies my above post should have said deer not game. And while I agree a pile of Enfields entered circulation post war, far more 30-30 existed in civilian hands prior to that.

I can't think of a farmer that I knew in NS that didn't have a pre-64 1894, and even the ones that had Enfields preferred the 30-30 on whitetail. Especially as a 1894 trapper was a 33" gun weighing 6lbs. Far far easier to maneuver as a bush gun than a 9lb 44" enfield.

In my personal opinion you need 1000 ft⋅lbf for white tail. With 150gr out of a 30-30 at a max of 100 yards, your still over 1200, more at closer ranges, which we agree is where your white tail kills in NS will be. Sure a 180gr @ 1800 ft⋅lbf will kill whitetail, but in my opinion its overkill, especially for the extra 3 lbs and 10" in thick NS underbrush.

Remember too that a 30-30 is 20% more energy at 100 yards than 7.62x39 but I don't see anyone calling sks anemic on deer.

Now if we were talking moose very different story.

Regardless 30-30, .303, 7.62x39, .308, 30-06 all solid deer guns.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Lumber on August 29, 2018, 18:34:25
Regardless 30-30, .303, 7.62x39, .308, 30-06 all solid deer guns.

What's your opinion on the .270 recommended early by HB?
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Nuggs on August 29, 2018, 18:43:45
Compared to the similar 30-06 the .270 produces less recoil and has a flatter trajectory, so purely as a deer cartridge I’d take .270.

It's a great range cartridge due to the flatter trajectory, excellent for mountain game.

I'd suggest 30-06 is better for elk, and definitely better for moose and bear. The .30-06 with a 180-grain bullet it’s a hard hitter for larger game.


What is your use case?
IE tramping through the bush, or sitting in a blind at the edge of a field.

 And budget?

Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Nuggs on August 29, 2018, 18:48:08
I don't think anyone mentioned .243Win either.

Very very solid whitetail round.


Edit... 7mm-08 as well
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: AbdullahD on August 29, 2018, 19:37:06
I don't think anyone mentioned .243Win either.

Very very solid whitetail round.

I love the .243 but he wanted a hard hitter from what I understood.. but if he is open to options I'd preach .243 all day long.

Bought my wife a mossberg patriot, came with a 3x9 entry level scope in .243. Barely any kick at all and amazingly accurate.

Any rate I love the cartridge and for a deer rifle I think it cant be beat.. but if one wants a sore shoulder it is not one I would recommend for that lol
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Target Up on August 29, 2018, 19:41:51
I have a savage axis in .243 that came with a semi decent piece of glass. Got rid of the flexi stock in favour of a Boyd's laminate stock ($110 delivered to my doorstep), and a bolt on bipod. It can knock down deer, and has put a dent in the local coyote population, all for under about $500.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Fishbone Jones on August 30, 2018, 02:02:06
I've  taken a fair amount of deer with a Parker Hale Safari in .243.  Hell on groundhogs and yotes.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: X Royal on September 09, 2018, 23:49:43
I have a Ruger M77 in 25.06.
Excellent deer cartridge.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Will M on November 16, 2018, 11:18:29
Good suggestions for the 270, 30-30, .308 etc. Shot placement is more important. Sourcing guns such as auctions, you need to know what to look for or have someone look at what you like so you get a rifle that does not require repair. New firearms are more accurate than in the past with the use of cnc machining. A $500 rifle can shoot an inch group at 100 yards if you can.
Make a list of must have, ie: ability  to mount a scope, type of action, bolt, lever, single shot, semi auto.
Most hunters I know and that includes me want the ability of quick follow up shots so a semi and lever fit. Now add a scope so a lever tends to be difficult for a scope but a semi works well with one. Next what are you allowed to shoot in your hunting zone? If rifle a semi with a scope works, if restricted to shotgun/muzzleloader then a semi shotgun with rifled barrel works. A 20 ga is best, shoots flatter and less recoil and weight then a 12 ga. I have a 20 ga Remington with rifled barrel capable 0f 200+ yard shots. Very accurate for a shotgun and puts down deer quickly.
If you decide rifle the new type cartridges that cost 4x more do not take a deer any better than the 100+ year old 30-30, 30-06 etc.
New expensive chamberings are mostly marketing with negligible differences in ballistics for hunting purposes.
Buy first what you need with the features you like and make sure you can shoulder it with your hunting coat on. Don't want a stock too long or short.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Retired AF Guy on November 16, 2018, 18:48:49
Well its been many moons since I've done any hunting, but my rifle was a Browning BLR in .308 with a 4X Leopold scope. Nice and light if you are doing lots of walking and short in length which makes it idea when moving through bush.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: 6point5screedmoor on December 05, 2018, 17:37:47
I would go with a savage, probably a model 10 because you can upgrade the riffle as you want. It's cheap and you can expect about half MOA with the right ammo/handloads. I know your eager to kick Buble gum and chew *** but I would stick to something short action like 308 or even better 6.5creedmore. the ballistics at range of those two are excellent, with 6.5 winning in my mind because it shoots flat, and shooting flat allows you a larger margin of error if you call the distance to target a bit off. either way, go to a store and ask to hold some riffles because the feel of the riffle in your hands is a hugely underrated factor people often forget about.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: Cloud Cover on December 05, 2018, 18:32:58
I've  taken a fair amount of deer with a Parker Hale Safari in .243.  Hell on groundhogs and yotes.

My father transferred his to me, it was my first love. We also put lead through coyotes from snout to *** in a head on profile shots with it.
Title: Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
Post by: TimneyTime on March 19, 2019, 15:12:42
I have a Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Long Range in 6.5 Creedmoor with a 5.5-22x56 Nightforce on top.  It'll get me out to 1000 yards no problem.  It's a dream to shoot medium to long range. 

I added a picatinny rail, and mounted the NF on a bracketed mount so I could swap it out with my Leupold VX 2 4x.

If it were any higher caliber it would really make a mess up close, especially with the Hornady ELD-X rounds I find best for it.

The tradeoff on that round is the expansion helps at longer ranges, but really tends to bungle things up close range.

It comes default with a free floated barrel, and a muzzle brake, which really reduces kick, and allows for less hassle on subsequent shots.

If you wanted to upgrade a Remington 700 at a Gunsmith, it'd cost more than buying the browning stock.  I debated buying a Remington 700 Sendero for a long time, because it's basically the Cadillac...  But I went with the Browning anyhow.  I had the liberty of trying a friend's 700 in 300 win mag, but it was a funny setup with an ATN Thor-HD 384 on top.

I gotta say, the number of options aftermarket for the 700 is amazing.  So if you want something you can customize all day long without buying 10 different rifles, I'd go with the Remington 700.

I was just going to use mine for specifically hunting White Tail, and maybe some random varmints occasionally, and it's perfect for that.