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    Input For New Deer Rifle

    I am looking to buy a new deer rifle for mule deer hunting. I want something that shoots flat so I will be fairly comfortable shooting out to 500 yards if needed. It also needs to be light enough to pack around all day. Budget is $1500 (includes scope). Let's hear your suggestions.

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    I am comfortable to 500 yards with my 30-06 and Leupold VX3. I have about $1500 invested in my setup. There are flatter cartridges on the market for sure but the difference in drop needs to be accounted for with all of them out at 500 yards. I have owned and liked the 7mm Mag but the cost and availability of ammunition drove me back to my old trusty 30-06. My current one is a Ruger. This will be a lengthy thread as there are a ton of opinions on posts like this... It will really boil down to your comfort.

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    Some things to consider would be: Is this gun going to be just for Deer? Do you reload? In the areas you hunt, is there combo hunts where you could possible be hunting Deer/Elk at the same time? Are you looking for a particular manufacturer?

    For just a deer rifle, I'd go with something in the 25-06, 270, 280, 30-06 range with a scope that has a BDC style reticle in it. I personally use the 25-06 for this due to it's flat trajectory, but dead is dead and I've yet to see a deer that could tell the difference between calibers.

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    maybe a tikka t3 lite in 270wsm or a remmy 700 mtn ss in 280/7-08.

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    Quote Originally Posted by libidilatimmy View Post
    Some things to consider would be: Is this gun going to be just for Deer? Do you reload? In the areas you hunt, is there combo hunts where you could possible be hunting Deer/Elk at the same time? Are you looking for a particular manufacturer?

    For just a deer rifle, I'd go with something in the 25-06, 270, 280, 30-06 range with a scope that has a BDC style reticle in it. I personally use the 25-06 for this due to it's flat trajectory, but dead is dead and I've yet to see a deer that could tell the difference between calibers.
    You are spot on on all points. I personally think you should first choose a caliber, then a rifle. I have shot a 25-05 Ruger M77 for 40 years and it does the job very well. If you don't already, you should seriously consider reloading as this allows you to get optimum performance, no matter what caliber you choose.
    Colorado Cowboy
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    The Original Rocket Scientist-Retired
    "My Father always considered a walk in the mountains as the equivalent of church going."
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    I have been using a 25-06 for 30 years. It works well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado Cowboy View Post
    You are spot on on all points. I personally think you should first choose a caliber, then a rifle. I have shot a 25-05 Ruger M77 for 40 years and it does the job very well. If you don't already, you should seriously consider reloading as this allows you to get optimum performance, no matter what caliber you choose.
    I also agree, choose a caliber then a rifle. With that said its hard to go wrong with a 300win mag.

  9. #8
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    I can't find any reason not to go with 25-06, and if feel the need to hunt elk once in a while it will be more that adequate. I use Browning and Savage brand rifles. My Browning has the BOSS system, it works. Be careful when adding the scope. I like vx-3 also. I use a z-5 and that was a little too much and the cost of a z-3 might be too much. Like others have said, the bdc will work well for you.

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    My next rifle will be a Tikka T-3 in 7mm Rem Mag topped with a Leupold VX3. That being said, I now deer hunt with a Model Seven in 260 caliber with a Nikon Prostaff that has been more than adequate. Go somewhere you can put your hands on several different rifles. You are sure to fall in love with one. With your budget you can get a nice set up.

  11. #10
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    If I was in your shoes. I would go with the Tikka T3, replace the factory stock with the B&C Medalist (much better fell, handles recoil better, and has an aluminum bedding block, put on some Talley lightweight rings, and throw on a leupold 3.5-10x40 (with the CDS dial or B&C reticle) and call it a day. I have this exact setup with the Zeiss 3.5-10x40 conquest with the ballistic reticle in 7mm Mag, and it is a great rifle, and it weights about 7.5 lbs ready to hunt.

    Here is a pic before I switch to the Zeiss glass (it was too good of a deal to pass up.
    Click image for larger version. 

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