Swapping stories about “the one that got away” is one of the best ways to spend the spring and summer months while you’re waiting for deer season to open again. Another great way to reconnect with hunting buddies is to discuss your weaponry: specifically, which deer rifles are the best and why.
Whether you are looking for a budget-conscious option or trying to find a rifle that includes all the bells and whistles, these are some of the guns we hear mentioned most often as “best of the best”.
Here are our picks:
Mossberg .308 Patriot Combo
This Winchester model is part of the Mossberg line, and the crossover from reasonably-priced shotguns to rifles has gone well for the manufacturer. While this deer rifle offers some advanced options such as a recessed crown, fluted barrel and drop-box magazine, it’s still on the lower end of the spectrum for quality deer rifles.
Savage Arms 11/111 Trophy Hunter
This impressive hunting rifle is truly for the trophy hunter extraordinaire and boasts extras such as a trigger-enhancing system called AccuTrigger, a Nikon 3-9×40 scope and more. While it is reasonably priced for its range, this bolt-action rifle is still going to run over $400 at most major retailers.
All-Purpose All-Star Weatherby Vanguard Series 2
When you’re looking for a traditional deer hunting rifle with a sleek and streamlined look, the Weatherby Series 2 doesn’t pull any punches. An all-around favorite in the bolt-action rifle category, the Series 2 includes an enhanced stock and trigger and 3-point safety which make it ideal for use in any type of rough weather.
Muzzleloading Thompson/Center Pro Hunter FX
This futuristic looking rifle is exceptionally well-made, easy to shoot and has great ergonomics, too. Open sights and comfortable handle grips support a crisp trigger and a stock 26-inch barrel. If you’re headed out for a day of blackpowder hunting, it would be difficult to find a more versatile option than the Thompson/Center Pro Hunter FX.
Remington Model 783
No list of hunting rifles could be complete without at least one classic Remington! This particular weapon is sleek and powerful with a matte black finish, adjustable trigger system and a well-rated factory scope. Even with all the highlights, the Remington 783 is one of the least-expensive rifles that we reviewed.
Winchester Model 70
Perhaps saving the best for last, the Winchester Model 70 is a rifle that inspires passion and has been called “The Rifleman’s Rifle”. The pure excitement of firing this bolt-action beauty isn’t surprising when you consider that it’s been setting the standards in shooting since 1936. An improved trigger system and accuracy rating, along with the three-position safety and controlled round feeding, combine to make the Model 70 a legend in its own time.
Your hunting rifle truly is the pinnacle of your hunting gear, and you want to know that you have the best possible weapon and ammunition before you hit the hills, prairie or swamp hunting for your next whitetail. Be safe out there!
~ Firearm Daily