View Full Version : Budget Pronghorn / Deer Rifle for my wife?

04-03-2012, 09:47 AM
Hello all! My wife has been seriously bitten by the hunting bug after getting a nice 10pt buck in Nebraska last year. At the time I only had one rifle, a 7mm mag, which I use for elk hunting. It did the job but it is a bit overkill in smaller animal circumstances. This year we will be hunting Pronghorn and I would like to get her a rifle of her own that she could use for both deer and pronghorn.

I don't have a lot of requirements:

1.) Money is a concern. We just got married and we're paying off the honeymoon.
2.) I don't know how you feel about single shot rifles, but she only loads one at a time anyway.

Help me out in choosing an action / caliber / brand?

04-03-2012, 10:14 AM
Vanish.......The 270 would probably be a good fit for your wife. It is a good all around cartridge without a whole lot of recoil, something to consider when outfitting a woman. As far as single shot vs magazine fed goes, i would probably explain to her the possible need for a quick follow up shot and that becomes more difficult in the heat of the moment with a single shot rifle.

Bitterroot Bulls
04-03-2012, 10:26 AM
I can't think of a better option in your shoes than a Marlin XS7 in 7mm-08.

04-03-2012, 10:56 AM
The two Options above are great! Throw in .243 win and 25.06.
All will do the job well!
Keep in mind, a bolt action, you can load a single round if you want, but a single shot, you can't load multiple rounds.

I see cabelas and Sportsmans put the rem 700 series on sale ALL the time for a reasonable price and usually with a scope.

Buying a 700 also leaves room for improvement, they are like a small block chevy, you can get pretty much anything you want aftermarket for them.

04-03-2012, 01:31 PM
25.06 is great all around calibre for antelope and deer. A Ruger #1 will fit the bill for a single shot, but the good ones that shoot usually are a little pricey. If it had a break it would be a good fit for a woman.

04-03-2012, 05:00 PM
CVA Scout compact in .243

Blue Skies Hunting Advent
04-03-2012, 05:55 PM
I can't think of a better option in your shoes than a Marlin XS7 in 7mm-08.

Agreed, I have used the 7mm-08 on a lot of animals and even killed a Kudu bull with it, My 270 kick like a mule but it is a short mag.

04-04-2012, 02:08 AM
Lots of choices.

From Tikka I'd get a 6.5x55, 270 (hate 270s), 243, 7mm-08 or 308 (shoot light recoil ammo out of it).

From Howa I'd get a 243

From Thompson Center I'd get a Icon or Encore 2nd hand in any of those calibers above.

A 2nd hand custom rifle might be available too. 243, 6mm Rem, 257 Roberts, 250-3000 Savage, 300 Savage, 6.5x55, 6.5x57, 6.5x47 Lapua, 270, 260 Rem, 280 Rem (with light recoil ammo), 300 Whisper, 7x57.

04-04-2012, 06:52 AM
Walmart sold 700 packages for $430. t&a last xmas. I bought one in 243, wish it could have been 7-08. My wife has a Browing 243wssm. Howa has some package deals too.
Check a recoil chart before you purchase

04-04-2012, 07:26 AM
I am actually fond of the weatherby vanguards. You can get it in just any caliber you want. 25-06 or 257 weatherby mag.

04-04-2012, 07:37 AM
Thanks guys for all the responses!

I can't think of a better option in your shoes than a Marlin XS7 in 7mm-08.

I'm really liking the features of this gun so far.

04-04-2012, 07:53 AM
Tikka T3 Lite 243

04-04-2012, 09:08 AM
Tikka T3 Lite 243

The Tikka's are awesome rifles, but they run almost twice what the Marlin runs.

Oh, something I forgot and realize I should have mentioned. My wife is 5'8 and hauled around an old 7mm mag last year, so the "compact" versions of these rifles may not be necessary.

04-04-2012, 09:22 AM
I would take a hard look at the TC Venture, probably a .25/06 but it comes in several good calibers and has MOA accuracy guarantee. Around here they are under $400.00. The Marlin and Stevens guns are a little cheaper but don't have the accuracy guarantee, I have heard good reports on both though.

04-04-2012, 09:48 AM
Remington 7mm-08 in a youth model. Very compact, light, and little recoil for the capabilities of the rifle. Then I couple that with a Remington Managed Recoil 140 gr. PSP for my son, we both love it as I think you all will too!

04-04-2012, 12:22 PM
My top 2 would probably be .243win or .270win

270wsm perhaps?
I'd take the 270win over the 25.06

04-05-2012, 05:48 PM
I'd check out the ballistics of the 6.5 creedmoor, it looks really efficient getting excellent velocity for the powder charge. A Savage in this chambering would be my pick for a womens/kids rifle today. Anything between the 243 and 270 would be good, but the 6.5 would be my pick. Also the tang safety of the Savage is harder for a new shooter to bump into the fire position accidentally than the remington style safety on the Tikka, TC, or Remington.

Umpqua Hunter
04-05-2012, 07:54 PM
Just a thought, but maybe it would be worth thinking in terms of a rifle she can hunt any big game with. Do you think she might hunt elk some day? If so, it would be hard to beat a .270 or a 30-06. My family has killed everything from blacktail and antelope to moose and grizzly with a .270 with the proper bullet for the job. Familiarity with one gun will go a long way.

Personally, a few years ago I began to hunt all big game with one rifle (300 WSM). My familiarity and confidence with it has really paid off. The rifle is well ported and is surprisingly easy to shoot. My wife began to hunt a couple years ago and began with shooting my rifle. She has taken an antelope at 265 yards and a mule deer at 310 yards. Whenever I bring up the subject of getting her her own rifle she says likes mine so much she just wants to keep using it when she's the shooter.

04-05-2012, 08:59 PM
A Savage in 25.06 bolt action and a 110grain Nosler Accu Bond.

Musket Man
04-05-2012, 09:46 PM
I think the 270win is as good of an all around cal as anything. I would recommend a bolt action. I would certainly look around at used guns since your on a budget. All of the major brands are quality rifles. A lot of it is personal preference and also what you can find a good deal on especially if you are looking used.

04-05-2012, 09:46 PM
I bought my wife a Savage Weather Warrior last year in .243 and it shoots like a dream. She loves the look of the rifle and the low recoil it gives. It has an extra cushioned butt pad that comes stock on the rifle. I paid around 600.

04-07-2012, 11:39 AM
.243 is a great choice. It is light in the recoil department, but powerful enough to take both deer and antelope. I can suggest Remington packages, you will get a good action and a decent scope for a very affordable price. I would think that for the price you can do no better considering that most packages start at around $299.99. With a couple of boxes of cartridges you can get her up and going for under $500.00. This is just my opinion but weatherby and tikka are not budget conscious choices, Remington is a great choice and the price of cartridges is very budget friendly and accurate. Weatherby brass is too expensive for the budget hunter. I have had more success with Remington Core Lokt, than with Weatherby. Once the hype subsides Remington is a very good choice, it has been around a good long time and it is still a quality product.
Hope this helps!

04-07-2012, 02:25 PM
Although I am a big fan of the .257 weatherby for deer and antelope the amo is crazzy expensive if you don't reload. I would look at the T/C venture in a bolt or the encore if she is dead set on a single shot in .243 7mm08 or .25-06. I have an encore and I love it. The good thing is if she ever wants to bump up in caliber all you have to do is buy a new barrel. I do agree with Dr.HP though you can always use the bolt as a single shot but you can't add more rounds to the single shot. Good luck!

04-07-2012, 04:50 PM
I picked up a savage 7mm-08 for my daughter but my wife really likes it for herself. $320 at Cabelas new.

04-07-2012, 09:58 PM
I highly recommend the Weatherby vanguard II in .243 for your application. It come with an accuracy guarantee that most of the other brands don't offer and is just a quality built gun. They are built by HOWA. The .243 is one of the flatter shooting rounds mentioned so far in this thread and is very reloader friendly to. You can shoot a 58 grn pill at nearly the same velocity as a 22-250 for the varmints, or throw an 85-105 grn on and knock the deer and goats flat all day long with it. Components are cheap and readily available for this load. Good luck on your choice.

6mm Remington
04-07-2012, 10:46 PM
A 6mm Remington or a 25-06 would both fit very nicely, effective, and minimal recoil. The Tikka's are nice rifles as are the Ruger
Hawkey sporters.

04-13-2012, 09:52 AM
Thank you once again for all the recommendations.