My favorite deer rifle
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  1. #1
    Wrangler
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    My favorite deer rifle

    I've got other deer rifles. Some with more range. Some that are lots more expensive. But this one is the most fun to shoot. It's the berries. That's the post.
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    Sweet! Like you, I have a lot of rifles but my go to hunting rifle is my 35 Rem. It just does it.
    rob42049, mikom, VSala and 7 others like this.
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    And on the flip side of the coin, you're hiking through the timber, smell smoke, and walk into a camp of guys. Everybody's having fun and friendly, so you check out their hardware. Leaned up against the trees are a bunch of bolt guns in 7mm Mag and .300 Win Mag. These guys are shooting 150-200 pound deer at 100 maybe 150 yards.

    If I'm carrying my 1894 Marlin they'll always look and say "nice .30-30". I always thank them. Sometimes I'll put my pinkie in the barrel and tell them it's a .44 Mag. Sometimes not. It's very rare to come across members of the general hunting public carrying a levergun.
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  5. #4
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    I have a bunch of deer rifles....my favorite?....whatever I'm carrying that day. I love 'em all. 30-06, 30-30, 35 Rem, and 45-70 on any given day...I mix them up regularly.

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    It depends on where you go I was a guess in a camp in Va and if you weren't shooting a 32sp you were an outcast. Most were Marlins and a couple 94 Wins. According to this crew a 32 was much better than a 30/30. I was not in the click I was using a 1895 Win 30/06 that trip. My first in that area and didn't know the terrain. I did have my Maurader 30/30 with me as a back up. I always take 2 rifles when out of state in case I would have gun trouble. I have a pot full of classic deer rifles but my favorite would have to be my Rem 141/35cal. I do see a lot of hunters using way to much gun and scopes. Magnum BAs with 4x12 scopes to shoot deer at 100yds from a tree stand. Here in Ohio it's 45/70s. Nobody told these guys game was shot to extinction in Ohio with Muzzel loaders of 40cal or less and flintlocks to boot. The 45 & bigger rifles weren't popular until people went west and meet Grizz and buffalo, then the Hawkin big bores were the rage. Deer just aren't that hard to kill. The trick is to make a decent shot. The saying that the size of the cartridge doesn't matter if you get a bad hit isn't true. A 300mg will kill a deer with a gut shot. I've seen deer almost tore in half from magnums. They do so much meat damage that it's a waste to shoot them. I have a 1894 44mg but I don't particularly like it.
    I hunted Ohio for years with 12g slugs. Most deer are shot here at 100yds or less and I've shot a few to 125yds. That's about the practical range of a 44mg. The deer that I haven't been able to shoot are the ones I'm after. The deer that walks into a clearing or hay field at 250yds is the ones I want a shot at. They always seem to be big bucks and all you can do is watch them. I have a 1895 Marlin too but I'm into 375Win with Spitzer bullets to cash in on the opportunity shots.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob42049 View Post
    And on the flip side of the coin, you're hiking through the timber, smell smoke, and walk into a camp of guys. Everybody's having fun and friendly, so you check out their hardware. Leaned up against the trees are a bunch of bolt guns in 7mm Mag and .300 Win Mag. These guys are shooting 150-200 pound deer at 100 maybe 150 yards.

    If I'm carrying my 1894 Marlin they'll always look and say "nice .30-30". I always thank them. Sometimes I'll put my pinkie in the barrel and tell them it's a .44 Mag. Sometimes not. It's very rare to come across members of the general hunting public carrying a levergun.
    lever guns for deer around here are a rare sight!. big bolt actions. scopes like they are using em to look for a comet. many of the city hunters still have there Rem 742s always 30.06. and small game. show up with a double shotgun. they just stare. Black powder. always inlines with the same giant scope. they see me with a flintlock, they always ask. how often does it go off?
    rob42049, Vooch, M700 and 5 others like this.

  8. #7
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    I have a few bolt action rifles for longer range but there is something nostalgic about being in the woods with a lever action. It brings back memories of a simpler time and it still gets the job done.

  9. #8
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    Seems like 100 years ago, when I was a kid, the only rifle I ever shot a deer with was a borrowed Marlin .22, which I have learned must have been a 39(?). Fantasizing, my favourite deer rifle is my Model 70 in .30-06. I hope to be able to take it deer hunting some day.
    M700 and jog like this.

  10. #9
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    I live in S.C. The deer here are pretty small. The largest that I have shot was 176 pounds on the hoof. The ranges are typically very short which is a very good thing given the level of marksmanship that I see. Most of the rifles are some sort of bolt action magnum with a 3-9 scope. I can't remember that last time I saw a lever gun of any description in a hunter's hands. Me? I sometimes use .270 but a Hornady XTP .357 seems to work extremely well. This fall I will be taking my CSBL into the woods a lot.

  11. #10
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    IMG_0035.jpg100_0110.JPG100_0143.JPG
    Buck 2017 (2).JPGWhen we talk about a favorite deer rifle caliber enters in. However, I have accepted the fact that maybe this old Marlin 35R is probably my best deer rifle. Maybe in spite of the caliber. A 30-30 AI or a 308 Marlin would probably be a better caliber for me as they do stretch out a bit. But with the Hornady LE 200 yards, which was about the distance I shot the last deer is doable. Mostly I just like the rifle. The first deer pictured was the only one that ran after being hit, but not far. Saw it about the time I walked into the woods about where it ran off. According to my rangefinder, about a 90 yard shot. The one in the pickup box was an antlered doe. Saw the antler in the scope and shot it and was surprised when I saw it was a doe. The bucks are not trophy's but the one was shot at about 10 feet and the other out of my garage. I was processing another deer an the darn thing started grazing out in the field. I had the 35 handy and shot him.

    The 35R does not blow up meat like high velocity cartridges and does seem to do the job very well. But I shoot left handed and just like the Marlins. Had a Savage 99 in 300S and hated it. Safety on the lever was not practical for a lefty and it had a somewhat inconsistent trigger pull. I love to experiment with different cartridges and rifles, but the old Marlin is the rifle. The 35R is OK, but I like the rifle it is in.

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