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I've never been hunting but at some point would like to (after taking a course of course).

My question is, what type/model of rifle have any of you found to work best? What level of optics?

Again I'm just getting started in looking into the world of hunting, so if I'm leaving out needed info let me know.
 

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You have to take into consideration terrain, range.

In open country I like a bolt action rifle with at least a 3-9x40 scope for longer ranges I would go with a 4-x12 or 4-16x40.

If your hunting in dense thick brush a fast repeating action is best ( lever, pump or semi-auto)for optics a 3-9x40 scope on low 3 power will work fine or open sights.

For scopes I've had good luck with Nikon and Leupold.

For bolt action rifles I like Weatherby Vanguards and Savage's

I don't really have a opinion on repeaters, I would recommend a semi-auto to be based on a military action.

As for caliber selection I'll leave that for someone else.

Hope this help you out.
 

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Very cool, thanks for the response. The more info tossed my way the better so please keep the info coming.
 

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For a caliber, the 30.06 is very popular, and also available just about everywhere. The .308 is another that is popular, and available just about everywhere..(I am speaking of ammo)
Quite a bit depends upon where you will be hunting.. I like the 30 cal myself, but, if you are hunting deer, you don't even need a gun, you can use your car, just find a long road in the forest.. Just kidding of course..
The 223 will work fine on deer, but again, in my opinion, it is a little to light. Then again, most things die when shot in the head..
If you are looking for a flat shooting rifle, then look at the higher velocity rounds.(magnums)
 

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If I remember correctly, in Wa. it had to be at least .30 cal. and above 150 gr. for deer. But that's probably changed by now....My bro in law uses a .44 S&W for elk, not sure where he goes tho...

Back in my youth I hunted both sides of the state...30-30 for the west, 30-40 for the east....
 

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If I remember correctly, in Wa. it had to be at least .30 cal. and above 150 gr. for deer. But that's probably changed by now....My bro in law uses a .44 S&W for elk, not sure where he goes tho...

Back in my youth I hunted both sides of the state...30-30 for the west, 30-40 for the east....
I think I've heard something like this as well... Obviously I would have to look into it prior to purchasing a rifle. Assuming that the above is the case, are there any specific rifles you (open to all responses) would recomend from either personal experience or you've heard good reviews about?
 

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I've shot my share of Deer in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota, and my favorite is my .30/06 Browning BAR. 180 Grain Remington spire point soft nose. I've scored with a Savage .300 99E (what a mortar round!),a BSA 7MM Magnum, a SKS 7.62 X 39 MM, and a 12 Gauge Browning A-5. I like a straight 4X power scope on my Browning. I would go for the .30 calibers for all around Deer hunting, whichever action you prefer. The 7MM Magnum is popular also, but that's as high as I would go for power. The .300 Winchester Magmun was popular for a while in the north, but too much ruined meat saw it fall in popularity.
 

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Most any 'medium' or above caliber does fine, assuming it's appropriate for your terrain & animal size. I use a lot less gun than a lot of folks, but where I hunt the ranges are short and the deer aren't huge.

Anything from a .30-30 or 7.62x39, up to a .30-06 or .308 are fine for 90% of the country imo. If you're in brush, an open-country scope is not only unhelpful, it's actually detrimental. If you're in open country, then a little scout scope probably isn't enough.

Me personally (and I would NOT recommend my choices for large northern animals or open Wyoming country), I typically use a .357-magnum levergun with a red-dot sight. Used to use a .308 with a scout scope, but that's actually more gun than necessary in my area so don't use it any more personally. (Other folks I've let use it still have good luck with it; nothing really 'wrong' with it, just a lot more gun than necessary imo.) Sometimes I've used as 'small' a gun as a .45 revolver with heavy loads, but that wouldn't make sense in a lot of areas, and again not something I'd recommend on a broad basis.
 

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#1- Pick the most common round suitable for deer size game and up in your area. Example:.30-06 maybe?

#2- Pick a common brand run of the mill rifle in your chosen caliber. Examples: Remingtom Model 700 or Winchester Model 70.

#3- Buy the best quality scope you can afford. Too many times people buy cheap scopes that work okay at the range but don't hold up in the field.

#4- Practice and handle your chosen firearm enough to be able to take deer size game at the distance you will encounter in your area while hunting. And from positions like in the field not on a bench.
 

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it is best for a beginning hunter to start with the one that ammo is easiest to find doesn't kick to much and is able to shoot as accurate as a beginner could. that would be a Remington 700 adl in 30/06. you can go to academy and get a package that will get you started at a reasonable price. with a little practice it will be capable of killing almost all animals in North America.
 

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Most guns from .243 on up to .470 Nitro Express will take a deer quite cleanly. Yes a .223 will to but if you fail to make a good side lung shot the .223 slug can blow up and not get to the vitals.

As for what is the 'best'. If you mean all around in capability I'd go with the old 30-06 or something close to it. 20 inch barrel. Can be bolt,lever,simi,pump, or single shot (in fact a Ruger No. 1 in 30-06 with a good Leopould scope will do quite well just about anywhere.)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the great responses and I'm looking forward to hearing more... It's giving me plenty to think about!
 

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No one can probably say the "best" for all conditions is such & such...

It always depends on what the conditions are...and what the laws for that area are...

Find out whats legal, and what ain't -
take the hunters safety course (required in almost all states)
talk to others that hunt where you want to go-
pick a firearm and practice
if your new at it, or don't know the area - never hunt alone!

Have fun!
 

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me, I'm a fan of the .280 - though I've taken deer with .308 and .338 too. (I've also varmint hunted with .22wmr, .223, .280, .308, and .338winmag)

If you do your part, just about any rifle / round will work. (did I mention the .280? it is a great round!)
 

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Personally I believe the terrain and conditions of where you are hunting will impact what is the "ideal" hunting rifle. If it is brushy, close terrain where 75 yards is a long shot, I don't think you can do any better than a lever action rifle, be it a used Winchester Model 94 (no longer being made, except for collectables) or one of the Marlin 336s in .30-30 Winchester. In flatter, more open terrain, bolt action Rifles tend to shine. For a beginner, Savage, Marlin and Mossberg offer rifles packages that come with variable power scopes (3 to 9 power) for prices well below $500. The accuracy for those rifles is surprisingly good. As for a round I would recommend either .308 Winchester or .30-06 Springfield. The reason I recommend these rounds is they don't have excessive recoil, both are extremely popular and therefore have an easy time finding ammo for both. Both will stop pretty much any game in the U.S. with a well placed shot.

P.S.- Some states have shotgun laws in effect, where in certain areas you can only hunt with shotguns (no rifles allowed). Some states also have minimum caliber requirements ie., rifle must be greater than .22 (meaning hunting dear with a .223 Remington is illegal). Look up the area you will be huntings laws and regulations and get a rifle or shotgun that meets the criteria. Good luck and hve fun with it.
 

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Best deer rifle????

More info is required.. Hunting conditions on the West side are in thick cover, so I use a Win 94 in 30-30 or 44 mag for deer, and a 45-70 or 338 mag for elk.

East side is open for the most part, so longer range shot are the rule, 7mm-08 for deer, and the 338 for elk, moose, or bear.

good luck, terry
 

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I have an M1A in 7.62 that has served me well and expect will in WA when I get there in a few months. I'd like to try 30.06 with a Garand or a Springfeild '03.
 

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I have an M1A in 7.62 that has served me well and expect will in WA when I get there in a few months. I'd like to try 30.06 with a Garand or a Springfeild '03.
When are you going to be in WA? What part of WA? How long are you going to be here for?
 

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My favorite deer rifles are a '92 .44-40 and a '94 .30-30. Best? They are for me. .44-40 ammunition is a little hard to find, so it probably wouldn't be best for many folks.

DC
 

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243 is a good choice if you are new to rifles. 270, 308, 30-06 are all good rounds. In my opinion, you don't need anything more than a 30-06 except for moose and grizzly bear.

Bolt action is not only the most accurate and most efficient, but using one will teach you to be a better marksman. But, stay far far away from lever action (imo) because they are incredibly inaccurate unless you wish to spend a fortune on leverevolution ammo. The only time they are beneficial in my experience is when you need to take multiple shots and cycle through while continuing to track your target. And again, in my opinion, if you learn to shoot well and use an accurate bolt action rifle that will not be an issue.
 
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