Most popular deer rifle (Redux)

Most popular deer rifle (Redux)

This is a discussion on Most popular deer rifle (Redux) within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; A while back a poll thread ran where everyone voted on their idea of what caliber was the most widely used for deer hunting. There ...

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Thread: Most popular deer rifle (Redux)

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Exclamation Most popular deer rifle (Redux)

    A while back a poll thread ran where everyone voted on their idea of what caliber was the most widely used for deer hunting. There was much discussion as to which was the most popular in each area of the country. Many, including myself, pondered whether the venerable 30-30 Winchester and even the 30-06 had fallen out of fashion in todays super charged world of flat straight shooting magnums.

    Most of those who posted gave their opinion based on anecdotal information regarding what they or their family, friends, and fellow hunters used. Some posted and discussed ammunition sales as evidence that the 30-30 and 30-06 are still alive and well.

    Well, I have some new anecdotal info that I thought might be of interest to those who were interested in the previous discussion.

    Yesterday, the local hunter education range was open to the public for four hours, for the final sight in day before firearms deer season opens here in KS. I was at the range the entire time, helping folks sight in their rifles and doing a little shooting of my own during the lull periods in the action.

    Most people who come to the hunter's ed range to sight in are just "deer hunters" and not gun guys per se. Most of the real gun nuts are members of the local shooting club and probably sight in there. So, the shooters at the hunter's ed range likely give a good cross section sample of the "average deer hunter" who really isn't necessarily into guns other than for hunting deer.

    As closely as I can recall, the tally by caliber for the day was as follows.

    30-06 - 6 shooters - two were shooting Rem 742 semi-autos, the others were shooting Bolt rifles of one type or another.

    30-30 Winchester - 4 shooters (one guy had the new XLR Marlin, 24" barrel and Hornady Leverevolution ammo, the rest were shooting classic 30-30s, all Marlin rilfes; no Winchesters?)

    270 - 2 shooters - Savage bolt rifles

    7mm Rem Mag. - 2 shooters - both firing bolt rifles of some sort.

    8mm Mauser - 1 shooter with a straight surplus Mauser.

    7.62x39 - 1 shooter SKS

    The biggest suprise for me was that there was not a single .308.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.


  2. #2
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    Array HotGuns's Avatar
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    Whatever mood I am in at the time dictate what I will shoot.

    I have gun in all of the calibers above.

    I have killed deer in all of the calibers above.

    Last week I whacked a 10 point with my suppressed .300 Whisper.

    I havent got one with my .444, so that might be next.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  3. #3
    Member Array Derrin33's Avatar
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    I shoot 30-30 or 25-06. The 25-06 is a serious flat shooting bullet. People have gone to alot of weird calibers these days.
    God Bless America!!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array allenruger's Avatar
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    I always used a 30-06 up until a couple of years ago and now it's a 300 Winchester Magnum (got a nice 8-point last Saturday with it). Have also found interest in handgun hunting and got my first deer with a 44 Magnum year before last. Certainly no clear cut answer on which caliber is best. Just not sure that all the short magnums that are all the rage these days have "staying power". Guess we'll see in the years ahead. Here's to you for helping those shooters out. Doesn't matter if a person hunts or not because all firearm nuts are on the same side!
    Allen

    -"I may get killed with my own gun, but he's gonna have to beat me to death with it, 'cause it's going to be empty." -Clint Smith

  5. #5
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    Most of my deer made their 'dinner date' with either a 30-30 or a 12ga slug...there were a couple where I used a Ford truck bumper...
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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Where I hunt dictates what I'm shooting. My go-to, all-around rifle is a Rem. 7400 in 30-06. In the really deep brush, a shotty OR the Ruger .44 mag carbine. I want a deer with a handgun so a Redhawk is in my future.

    In all my years in the woods and hanging around the ranges before gun season opens, the 30-06, 270, and 30-30 reign supreme. 7mm Mags and 25-06's are getting pretty common too. Only see the .308 every once and awhile...not rare but not too common either.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

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    Thumbs up for the 7400 in '06. I've got one that I killed my first deer with. That was the beggining of too many to count with that gun.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldshellback View Post
    Where I hunt dictates what I'm shooting. My go-to, all-around rifle is a Rem. 7400 in 30-06. In the really deep brush, a shotty OR the Ruger .44 mag carbine. I want a deer with a handgun so a Redhawk is in my future.

    In all my years in the woods and hanging around the ranges before gun season opens, the 30-06, 270, and 30-30 reign supreme. 7mm Mags and 25-06's are getting pretty common too. Only see the .308 every once and awhile...not rare but not too common either.
    That's strange to me. In Central and Southwest Florida, me and all of my buddies and my Dad had .308s. One guy we just started hunting with a few years back is from WV and he also shoots a .308 and has since he was a teenager in WV. In FL, 30-30, 30-06, and ,308 were pretty much it for everyone I ever hunted with growing up. A .243 was regularly seen, but not real common. I only ever saw one 25-06 in deer camp in my life down there, but it was up in Perry FL which aint too far from GA ya know, so maybe some GA influence there?

    Dad has a 7400 in 30-06, but never hunted with it since I was old enough to remember. In the woods he'd use and 30-30 marlin or a 12ga Mossberg and if hunting from a stand where he knew he wouldn't get it dirty or scratch it, he'd use his Remington 742 BDL in .308.

    I have killed deer with a 12ga and a bow, and hogs with bow and muzzleloader while my 30-30 sat in the safe for 24 yrs and has never been used for it's intended purpose. I am now intent on shooting my next deer with the ole 30-30. Hopefully, next month.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

  9. #9
    Member Array Dany's Avatar
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    I stir the mix. This season I have used both my Foremost 3040 (Store brand Marlin .30-30) and I have also used my Mosin M44, there is some knockdown power!
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dany View Post
    I stir the mix. This season I have used both my Foremost 3040 (Store brand Marlin .30-30) and I have also used my Mosin M44, there is some knockdown power!
    Hey, we have the same rifle. Mine is a Foremost 3040 too. I think that is the JC Penny brand, but it's a Marlin anyway.

    BTW Ret: I also took a nice deer with a Dodge Caravan once. Nice fat doe. She was some good eating.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

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    Distinguished Member Array Agave's Avatar
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    I hunt our itty-bitty whitetail with a .300WinMag. This year I want to take one with a .45ACP though.
    The preceding post may contain sarcasm; it's just better that way. However, it is still intended with construction and with the Love of my L-rd Y'shua.

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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    My favorite deer rifle is mine. It's taken many deer over the years.

    It is a Marlin Model 336, 30-30 lever action. I love that rifle.
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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtD View Post
    That's strange to me. In Central and Southwest Florida, me and all of my buddies and my Dad had .308s. One guy we just started hunting with a few years back is from WV and he also shoots a .308 and has since he was a teenager in WV. In FL, 30-30, 30-06, and ,308 were pretty much it for everyone I ever hunted with growing up. A .243 was regularly seen, but not real common. I only ever saw one 25-06 in deer camp in my life down there, but it was up in Perry FL which aint too far from GA ya know, so maybe some GA influence there?
    Most of my deer hunting has/was done in NW Louisiana and central Ark. Those calibers I posted earlier was what I've seen the majority of in my 'neck of the woods'. Your right though, I think a lot of what is shot is regional.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

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  14. #14
    Member Array KingPerformance's Avatar
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    7.62x54r here.

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    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    One of my favorites is my 94 Winchester Rifle with octagon barrel and half mag in 38-55. Curved metal recoil pad , buckhorn rear with the original tang peep. I've used .223 up through a .300 Weatherby along with the 45-70, and most calibers inbetween. Hit them in the right spot and they go down fast.
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