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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is my first post, so if I put this in the wrong forum, please let me know.

I've recently started looking to buy my first deer hunting rifle. I've read scads of blog posts and the such but they all seem to crown a different gun as the best. I'm looking for a bolt-action in the 0.308 caliber, since it'll work for both brush and distance shooting. I want something that is durable, reliable, and accurate; it doesn't have to be pretty, it only has to work well. I would also prefer a more traditional rifle with a wooden stock. Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Super Moderator
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You will get a million opinions with the question your posing as you have already experienced.
Any of the big brand manufactures should surface.
Savage 110
Browning A-Bolt
Sako/Tikta T-3
Winchester model 70
Ruger M77
Remington 700
Weatherby
CZ
on
and
on
I have most of the above but when I go hunting I grab one of my Remington 700's in 22-250, 243, 270, 30-06, 7mm, 300 WM.

I particularly like this Remington 700 SS DM in 7mm, I don't care if I scratch it and loardy its a tac driver.
rem 700.jpg
 

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Philogynist & Sycophant, Looking For Work
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As Ysacres mentioned, you'll find a million answers to such an open question. For a bolt action, you can't go wrong with a Browning or Remington of any flavor. If you want to consider a lever-action, more deer have been taken with a Winchester model 94 than any other, I suspect, but for accuracy, nothing beats a Browning BLR. Your choice of cartridge is an excellent one, as the .308 is almost as useful as the .30-06, but has the advantage of being able to shoot the same ammo that many governments use, should things get totally out of hand.
 

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You will get a million opinions with the question your posing as you have already experienced.
Any of the big brand manufactures should surface.
Savage 110
Browning A-Bolt
Sako/Tikta T-3
Winchester model 70
Ruger M77
Remington 700
Weatherby
CZ
on
and
on
I have most of the above but when I go hunting I grab one of my Remington 700's in 22-250, 243, 270, 30-06, 7mm, 300 WM.

I particularly like this Remington 700 SS DM in 7mm, I don't care if I scratch it and loardy its a tac driver.
View attachment 240200
About covers it............except how much money you want to spend and how “handi”, barrel length and desired weight. A lot of good guns out there. As has been pointed out synthetic stocks have advantage over wood especially for rough service. Laminate stocks are better looking than plastic stocks and are better that a piece of plank stocks but they add expense and weight. It comes down to your priorities.
I have some older Remington 700s, great rifles........however if I was in the market theses days for a good 308 bolt action CZ would be at the top of my list.......or for a bit less money a Savage model 10.
 

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GUNZILLA
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As ysacres stated, you will get a million answers. Of all the ones he listed all of them will be accurate rifles. Technology in rifle manufacturing has advance so much that all factory rifles are MOA shooters out of the box. What is not an MOA shooter is the shooter. So select the one that catches your fancy and buy it.
I love rifles with wood stocks, to me they are like a work of art. Be prepared to get marks and scratches and so on being out in the elements. Be prepared for the rifle to shoot differently depending on weather and temperature as wood will react to the elements. For these reason many rifles used for hunting by many hunters, they like to buy rifles with stainless steel barrels as they resist rusting if there is moisture , rain , or snow outside. Also the rifle stock are not wood so that environmental conditions will not have an impact on accuracy. Buy what you really want and if you do not have the money save for it and do not settle, or you will never be truly happy with your decision and rifle, same thing applies to the scope.
 

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Once bullet weight reaches 100 grains and velocity from 2200 fps and up, any cartridge from 6mm/243 to 35 cal. is more than adequate for deer in just about any scenario. Unless you're talking about sniping game from great distance rather than hunting. I've killed more deer with cast bullets loaded to less than 1800 fps than with jacketed bullets loaded above 2500 fps. and both numbers are significant. Contrary to current, popular belief, deer have not grown armor plate in the last 50 years Buy the one that puts the biggest smile on your face, shoot it, a lot, learn its ballistics and it's trajectory and you won't have to give two spits in the ocean what anyone else thinks.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You will get a million opinions with the question your posing as you have already experienced.
Any of the big brand manufactures should surface.
Savage 110
Browning A-Bolt
Sako/Tikta T-3
Winchester model 70
Ruger M77
Remington 700
Weatherby
CZ
on
and
on
I have most of the above but when I go hunting I grab one of my Remington 700's in 22-250, 243, 270, 30-06, 7mm, 300 WM.

I particularly like this Remington 700 SS DM in 7mm, I don't care if I scratch it and loardy its a tac driver.
View attachment 240200
I've heard that the Mauser style claw extractor that the Winchester m70 has is a more reliable extractor than the extractor in a Remington 700. Do you find this to be the case?
 

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No Power Options
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Million questions, yep. But you will have to sacrifice one or the other to have both. This I really hate to offer up but here it is. You want distance and compact......maybe wood. 20" barrel.
While my first choices would be RugerM77 and the Remington 700, there are many just as suited. Ok, here`s what I hate to say. Given those choices it would be a 6.5 Creedmore. Great performance at both ranges with the 20" barrel. While I favor the .308 greatly, this might be the place to hit both issues you require. Long distance to some is different than others. Since I no longer shoot beyond 3-400 yards I use a 6.5x39. "Grendel" if you will. Once further the .308 and Creedmore come back into play and game size also comes into play.
I don`t see any choice above as a bad choice, it comes down to which you like or feels/fits best at your shoulder.
The man with one rifle is dangerous, so I`ve been told.
 

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The man with one rifle is dangerous, so I`ve been told.
Then there is very, very few dangerous members of this board.... 😁

The CRF, (controlled round feed)/long claw extractor of the Mauser 98 and others of that style does have that reputation. I, along with many others prefer it over push feed/circlip extractor. However, unless one is hunting dangerous game there no practical reason for one over the other except personal preference. If it was really so much better then the Remington 700 series and the Savage bolt action rifles wouldn't have stayed in production for the decades they have.

I'm not a 308 guy nor do I buy into the "short action" hype. The cartridge absolutely bores me out of my skull. BUT, I am not so foolish as to even begin to think that it isn't a fine cartridge, it is and is always a good choice. I'm sort of a cartridge nut and the last thing I want is what everyone else has.. As I mentioned before, there is probably no less than 3,000 cartridges that will do what you're wanting and just slightly less than that number of rifles.

I'm going to be a bit presumptuous and take it that you don't reload. If that's true, availability of ammo should be one of your considerations. Common, popular cartridges are usually available in most places, present times excepted. In this country that puts you into those cartridges generally based on the 30-06 or 308. My personal choice would be the Model 70 Winchester Featherweight in 270. They're light enough, accurate enough, elegant enough and the 270 is as proven as any cartridge extant. Fed the proper diet it will shoot with any of them at any distance. The 280 Rem. is another excellent choice though I doubt it is quite as available as '06, 308, 270, 243 and of course the 30-30...which is only mentioned because it's available about anywhere, any time again, present times excepted.

I still believe get the one that puts the biggest grin on your face....there's less chance it will be wrong than that it is wrong.
 

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With a name like Dominic Savage why not get one with your name already engraved on it? :)
But, I understand. You want to make the best decision possible.

A couple things to look for and consider are overall weight? Will you be hiking in long distances or hunting close with little walking? Personally I do not like light whippy barrels. They just do not steady that well for me with offhand shots. For some, this is not a problem. I would probably prefer a medium weight sporter barrel. I'm used to a heavy inline muzzleloader barrel and love how steady they hold, but on a long walk in, they will get heavy. If you are hunting on private farms, the walk is usually not that far.

Also consider the trigger. Nothing like trying to fight a gritty hard trigger on a long shot. You can adapt of coarse but a nice trigger that is light and crisp and even adjustable is highly beneficial.

Then, when picking out any model, remember to wear the clothes you will probably be hunting in. That will help you find the length of pull on a stock that is best. I've found that with a scope, a little short is much better than a little long for those shots when your body may be contorted around a tree or a shot off to the side.

Then try to find a forum for the brand you are considering. Is it full of complaints and problems? Is their customer service well thought of? Are they out of business? I'm not sure how things will go for Remington with it being sold now. But it is still a popular model and many gunsmiths are familiar with them. Will parts availability suffer? Every model will have some issues but some may have way more than others.

We all love an accurate rifle, but deer have been shot with slug guns and lever actions, hand me down rifles and anything and everything for centuries. As has been already said, most that are available today should have adequate accuracy for deer. You may not want to pay extra for say a 1/2" tighter grouping. How it fits you and how well you shoot are the most important features.

Don't overlook the right rifling twist for the bullet weight you prefer. On many calibers this is pretty well standardized by now.
 

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Any rifle that can throw a .25/.35 bullet at over 1,000 Feet Per Second for at least 100 yards will get the job done.
Pick the one you like and can afford.
 

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I don't hunt over here--too many hoops to jump through, but when I was in the US, I did. Where we hunted deer in Ohio we used shotguns, with slugs. Every year I went out, I came back with a deer.

I am partial to lever action rifles. I like the .30-30, and I own a Browning Lever Rifle in .243. The BLR is light, easy to work. The other advantage to lever rifles is a quick follow-up shot if necessary.
 

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A local club once put on a hunting rifle shoot. We were shooting slightly downhill into the trees and the light was not the greatest. Sort of like a cloady overcast day approaching the last light when the deer are moving. iirr they had a system of pull up targets that remained for a relatively short time and ranges probably not over 50 yards or a little more. I was very surprised to discover that I shot considerably better with my heavy 26" octagonal barreled Winchester 94 with a peep sight than I did with Dad's Husky bolt action 30-06 sporter with a 2x scope. Only time and experience will show you which combination you prefer regardless of what everyone else does.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't hunt over here--too many hoops to jump through, but when I was in the US, I did. Where we hunted deer in Ohio we used shotguns, with slugs. Every year I went out, I came back with a deer.

I am partial to lever action rifles. I like the .30-30, and I own a Browning Lever Rifle in .243. The BLR is light, easy to work. The other advantage to lever rifles is a quick follow-up shot if necessary.
Sheesh, I don't think I would last long over there. I guess that's one perk of living in the US.

I've been using my father's Marlin 336 30-30 since I was 15, and in 4 years of hunting I've taken 4 deer, each with one shot. I like the old thing, it's a nifty gun, but I would prefer a wee bit more power, (plus not having to eject 6 rounds every time you unload would be a perk.) I've also always liked the simplicity and feel of a bolt.
 
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