This is my first time posting here and I have a couple questions that I am hoping can be answered. First an introduction is in order though:
From the ages of 12 to 17 I hunted whitetails in South Eastern Oklahoma with my dad and three uncles every season for modern arms. Never enjoyed muzzel loader or archery. At 17 I joined up in the Marine Corps and left Oklahoma and didn't return until 4 years later. I came back in 1997 and although my dad and uncles have continued to setup deer camp every year I have just never had the time to go back and hunt. Work, Wife, Kids and I just never got around to it.
Now it's been 18 years since I have been deer hunting and due to some medical conditions with my dad, this will guranteed to be his last year to hunt so I have to go this year and get my son into hunting . Now normally I would have no problem picking out my own rifle but I have a 10 year old son thats never been in the woods with anything more than a bb gun and I am trying to decide on what rifle to buy.
First off I'm a blue collar worker and only have no more than 500 dollars to spend on the rifle itself and I have learned through searching the internet that this limits my options on a accurate rifle. My plans are that my 10 year old will kill his first deer with it and then I will get mine as well. Were hunting on private land (about 4000 acres). The land is owned by another family member and he tells me that it is about 50/50 open fields and scrub oak. The open feilds average about 100-300 yds in size. The scrub oak sections are very dense and not huntable with anything more than a shotgun with a slug.
I have decided on a 25-06 calibre. From the ballistics tables I have checked (Winchesters and Remington's) it has the best coeffecients and least amount of drop in 300 yards (the max distance we will be shooting). Additionally it has similar recoil to the 243 which is ideal for a 10 year old (or so I've read).
I have not decided on the gun manufacture and is what I am needing your assistance with.
With a 500$ cap I have found the following:
1. Mossberg 4x4
2. Thompson Center Venture
3. Marlin X7S
4. Savage Axis
I have listed them in order of what I think are the best quality/accuracy. I have not shot any of them, handled any of them nor do I know anything other than what I have read about them online in other reviews. My hope is that some of you have personal experience with these 4 rifles and can tell me how they really are? What kind of shot pattern I can expect out of them (They all say they are sub MOA - but if I was trying to sell a turd I would probably say the same thing). For ammo I will be using Winchester's Premium Ballistic Silvertip 85Gr rounds (Legal down to 55Gr in Oklahoma).
Thanks in advance for anyone who offers assistance with this.