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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-15-2008, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
Scrub Buck
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 7
Tight Budget Deer Rifle

Hello to all, in the merry land of firearms. If I had one wish it would be a giant personal armory filled with weapons and to have nothing in the world to do but cherish them in every way possible. Unfortunatly, firearms are expensive... very... expensive.

I've loved firearms all of my short life (I'm only fourteen, but I consider myself a bit more... intelligent... than the average fourteen-year-old), and generally understand them, but I'm not very in tune with the current market. Actually, I'm not in tune to any market other than the Soviet Mosin-Nagant market, of which I am a connoisseur.

Now that my introduction is finished, I present to you my problem:

I live in semi-rural Kentucky, prime deer hunting land, and I am on a VERY tight budget. I won't say the specifics, but it is very tight. All of my life I've borrowed firearms from family or friends of family, be it a bolt action 12 gauge deer rifle or a .300 WinMag. I hate borrowing things... anything, really. A pencil from a classmate, money from friends, or a rifle from family. I like being independant and self sufficient.

It's about time I purchase my own rifle so I can stop pestering everyone else. What do you reccomend, specifically? Recoil does not matter in the slightest, I will shoot anything. Take into account where I live, with many rolling hills and a mix of thick forest and open farm plots. Also take into account the cost of the cartridges. I am not opposed to muzzleloaders. Please do not reccomend youth-only rifles, unless it's just a wonderful rifle for the money. I honestly find them to be a little bit lighter and smaller than I prefer.

As a final thought, wish me luck, I'm heading into the woods tomorrow morning for that elusive buck!

Thank you in advance.
Whootsinator is offline  
post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-16-2008, 12:49 AM
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Don't be in a hurry to guy a deer rifle. You are most likely still growing. A rifle that fits you well now may not fit you well in the future. To get all the potential accuracy out of a firearm, the firearm needs to fit you well. You also may change your mind about the caliber in a year or two. Would this only be used for deer, or would/could it also be used for bear, elk and/or moose? Recoil does make a difference. How accurate/consistant are you with a heavy recoil gun? I am not talking about a short range shot but a shot of 300 to 400 yards. Go to the stores and check out the regular price of ammo for the different deer calibers. Make sure it is a deer load and not a practice, target or varmint load.

Look for quality and not just price. Do your research. Price does not alway mean quality. The Mossberg ATR is one of the lower priced bolt action rifles, but I am not impressed with its accuracy in the reviews I have read. I suggest a Remingon 700 or a Savage for a bolt action. A single shot is also a consideration. I have not shot them, but people seem to like the Thompson Center Encore. A used gun can be a good deal. However, take someone with that truly knows a lot about firearms and what to look for in a used gun. Have them check everything! Bring your own ammo and test fire a used gun under favorable weather conditions. Some guns are only accurate with a speciic hand load. If they don't allow you to try out a used gun, I would not buy it. Also take an expert with to check out a new gun. I check everything on a new gun before we start the paperwork (trigger, barrel, action, stock, fit, finish, sights, magazine, etc.). More than once, I have found a problem with a new in box gun.

Do you have access to a 22LR rifle that you can shoot often? If not, you may want to consider buying a 22LR first (this could also be a used gun). This is not a deer cartidge, but it is a great practice and small varmint rifle. A 22LR has the least expensive ammo which means you can afford to practice more often. Work on correct shooting form and accuracy. While growing up, I would shoot 1,000 or more gophers each year on my parents pasture lands. This really helped me to develop my shooting skills. I could consistanly have a clean kill on a gopher over 100 yards away with my open sight 22LR. Be aware that a 22LR is more prone to ricochet, and it is still a deadly cartridge. In September, I would take out my scoped 30-06 and shoot two or three gophers. If I could hit a gopher at 150 to 200 yards with my deer rifle, both myself and my deer gun were ready for the deer season.

Good luck and be safe!
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-16-2008, 09:15 AM
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Posts: 62
i agree with country. dont be in a hurry to buy a rifle, but if you do... i currently shoot a remington 30-06 (with a scope actually from walmart) I love that gun and dont really find the ammo that expensive. shoots great, and wasnt really that expensive. just my .02
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-16-2008, 09:36 AM
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Location: Tennessee
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wranger is prob talking about the remington model 710 30-06.. about $325.00 total.. comes with a bushnell scope mounted..

If thats to high a pawn shop is your best bet.

Countryboy had some good pointers for you to think on as well.. Nice post
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-16-2008, 09:51 AM
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Lightbulb Don't hit me (or wor

Don't hit me (or worse) for saying so, but with the off-colored tenecsopilg stock, the AR looks like a toy. Don't know why I thought that, but there you go.Try it with an M-1....

Last edited by Davidf; 04-19-2014 at 07:55 AM. Reason: QABeo2Bh4
post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-16-2008, 10:42 AM
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I am 16 so i know about the fact of being on a limited budget but you also have to remember you get what you pay for. I just bought a gun 2 years ago its a ruger 30-06 wood stock with a simmons 4-10-44 I love my gun and can hit a quarter at a 100 yards but the way you are talkin you probably can't afford something like that if I was in your situation I would probably buy a used Savage in 270 or 30-06 you can probably find a used one at a pond shop for about 250 its not going to be perfect on the outside but it matters what it looks like on the inside. My dad has a savage 7 mm and its has took a beating for 15 years and it still keeps on killing so savage makes some durable guns to say the least but it will kick harder than most ather guns. I would not buy a 243. but thats just my .02
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-16-2008, 06:49 PM
Scrub Buck
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 28
Savage makes a great gun for the money. The scope is as important as the gun. I tried to go with a cheaper scope last year and ended up ditching it for a Burriss that I love.

As for caliber, anything from .243 to .300 Mag will do. Don't get caught up in the endless "best cartridge" debate. I'd say get the biggest caliber you can comfortably shoot, but don't turn down a good deal just b/c it's not a certain round.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-16-2008, 08:39 PM
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Whootsinator, how did the hunt go?

I used Dad's 30-30 until I bought my own deer rifle. When I bought my deer rifle as a teenager (I was about 16), it was a 30-06 that I bought on sale after the deer season. I could not afford a high dollar scope as I did not have a lot of money and neither did my parents. For a scope, I ended up putting on a Bushnell 3-9 X 32 as a recommendation of the salesman at the gun shop. This scope was also on sale. That was many years ago, and I still have the same scope, bases and rings on that gun.

I recently bought a different brand scope at 1/2 off in 3-9 X 40 that I will eventually be putting on this gun. I will also be upgrading the rings, but I have not decided on the bases. IMO, one of the biggest factors in a scope is being waterproof, fogproof and shockproof along with the manufactures warranty and the coatings of the optics. Also look at the field of view (FOV) at 100 yards. This will be very important as you stated you could also be hunting in heavy cover. I have never used a power setting higher than 3X for deer as all my deer were shot while brush hunting, while they were running up a hill or running from cover. I have not shot a deer over 200 - 250 yards. I did use the 9x setting for gophers. I also used the 9X setting for a very long shot on a furred predator.

A person could spend thousands of dollars on a scope. I would suggest taking a look at a Tasco World Class. The price is reasonable, and they are a decent scope. You will find many favorable reviews on these scopes on the internet. There is a post on this forum about a hunter who purchased a $250 Nikon scope, but he is not happy with it. According to this hunter, his Bushnell is just as clear at 1/3 the price. Until recently, all my scopes have been Tasco or Bushnell, and they have served me well.

Be more concerned about having a quality rifle and less concerned about the glass at this time. This rifle should last you a lifetime, and you can upgrade the optics later. You could even go with open sights for a time. I have one deer rifle that is not scoped, and I do not have plans to scope it. Dad's 30-30 also has never been scoped.

Don't buy a scope or rings until you buy a rifle. Not all scopes have a center tube long enough to be mounted on a long action rifle. The objective size of the scope will determine the height of the rings needed. Be aware that some scopes have a 1 inch center tube and some have a 30mm center tube. Be careful if you use a bench rest. Some guys have cracked their stocks because their bench rest had little to no give under recoil. This is something to look for on a used rifle.

I sugget that your rings have screws with either an Allen Wrench or Torx head. Stay away from rings that have a standard or phillips screw head. Message me if you would like a suggestion on sighting in the rifle from a bench or the bullet weight if you go with a 30-06.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-16-2008, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
Scrub Buck
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 7
Thanks for all the tips guys. Unfortunatly I didn't even see a deer today... atleast not while hunting. I saw about 10 in various places on the road, and my uncle got one big doe while his friend got two smaller ones. Oh well... gave me a few hours alone to think, at least... even if they were spent cramped in sub freezing weather...

I've really been looking into a Savage 110 or Stevens M200. I borrowed a Savage 110 today in .243, and thought pretty highly of it. The action was very smooth, it was considerably light, and outperformed it's owner's .300 WinMag today.

Whatever I get, I just found out that one of my good neighbors is actually somehow connected to one of the local gunshops. I'll be sure to ask him about whats in stock and to keep an eye on things.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-16-2008, 11:32 PM
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Sorry you did not get a shot at a deer. Sometimes that is the way it goes. However, a day outside in God's creation and a safe hunt is always nice.

The Savage 110 is a nice rifle. Did that one have an Accu-Trigger? I have a 111F that I recently bought without an Accu-Trigger (have yet to shoot it), but it still has a decent trigger.

I agree with 10point regarding the 243. I consider a 243 to be a varmint rifle that is capable of taking deer and antelope with the correct load and right conditons. However, the 243 offers very little margin for error. Be aware that some states and/or private ranges do not allow the 243 for deer hunting. Before I bought my deer rifle, a relative of my dad said he never took a shot at a moving deer with a 243. He was a sniper in the military (stationed off the Japanese islands in WWII), a FFL and very knowledgable in firearms. He suggested the 30-06 as it is capable of also taking bear, elk and moose (although it is not the best bear, elk or moose gun). A 7mm Rem Mag and 30-06 are great on deer and can also take larger game. The 7mm Rem Mag has quite a bit more kick (and more of a snap) than a 30-06. The 7mm Rem Mag ammo is usually much more expensive than 30-06, but it is a better big game gun than a 30-06. My brother has a 7mm Rem Mag in a Rem 700. My 30-06 is a Winchester Model 70.
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