Well shoot. That's depends on what mood I am "primarily in".
If I'm primarily in the mood to shoot hogs with big fat heavy lead bullets that will go end to end through a big hog, it's primarily my Marlin 1895 Guide Gun 45-70 with 460 gr LFN bullets.
If I am primarily in the mood to carry my favorite, handiest, little Marlin lever gun for anything that walks in my part of West Texas, it's primarily my Marlin 1894S 44 mag with 260gr WFN bullets.
If I am primarily in the mood to be nostalgic about my childhood dreams of being a "deer hunter", it is primarily (at least lately) my Marlin 336W with factory Hornady Whitetail 150gr Interlocks (because my 165gr Ranch dog bullets have yet to arrive from Jerry at Carolina Cast Bullets).
If I am primarily in the mood to carry my latest lever gun, then it is definitely "primarily" my new 1974 Marlin 336 35 Rem with Remington 200gr RFN Core-Lokt bullets (until my new found MO friend in Michigan sends me some RCBS 200gr FN bullets to try).
Sorry for the "tongue in cheek" response, but shoot picking your favorite gun to hunt with is like trying to pick your favorite son, when you have three that are all so special.
For 30 years beginning in 1981 it was a Browning BAR in 270 cal. All the while relying on a 1976 Marlin 336 in 35 rem. for the odd diversion. Last 2 years has been an H&R model 1871 Buffalo Classic in 45-70.
This year, because of YOU PEOPLE and that dreaded disease called MARLINITIS, I will be carrying a Marlin 1895GS. Oh the Joy!
Oh and the gun with the most rounds thru it would be my Remington 552 Speedmaster 22 cal.
Currently a Savage 99F in 300 Savage, as far as time in the hand goes it is really a SxS 12ga with 3inch 00 buck, we deer drive alot. It kinda moves around every few years, before the 99 it was a Marlin 1894, before that a 358 BLR, before that a 356 Win 94 Big Bore.
For shooting right of ways, long distance always use a 25-06 with Hornady 120HP. Last few years this has been a new production Model 70 Featherwieght.
My everyday porch rifle is a 10-22 Ruger with 4X scope for shooting ground hogs and armadillos. My zombie rifle is a Mini 14 with hi cap mags and a Nikon 3-16X scope. My deer rifle (also for porch hunting) is a JM 336W 30-30. My keepsake, looking and occasional porch rifle is a Remington 514 .22 single shot that I've owned for 64 years.
"I live back in the woods you see, a woman and the kids and the dogs and me"
Vintage Sako .308 with a Mannlicher stock and a Leupold 1.5-5x mounted very low in Sako integrated rings. If there's ever been a production rifle made as well as those old Sakos. I'd like to know what it is. Even custom rifles aren't polished and blued like that any longer. And I like the utter simplicity of classic bolt-actions, with a two-position safety, two locking lugs, and a fixed ejector.
Primarily depends on the game I'm hunting. I've hunted using 30-30 to 35Whelen, although, I sold the later recently and will rely on my 338MX as my heavy hitter - mainly for large game like Elk and Moose. When and where I can I like hunting with my 30AS 30-30, my 32 Special, and for longer range my 308MX or when I need more punch my 338MX.
When I finally find the Marlin 444 I want I will use it for heavy wooded areas. Favorites are tough, I like them all in the Marlin Levers.
JM 1894 .357 for Small Game (Squirrel & Rabbits & Close Range Deer)
JM 336 .30-30 for Deer from a Stand.
JM 444 for Deer, Hogs & Black Bear.
Rem 700BDL .308 for Long Range Deer & Antelope.
Mossberg SSi-1 .223 for Coyotes & Bobcats.
Winchester Bolt .22LR for Turtles in the Pond.
Ithaca M37 20GA for Everything Else.
Guess I use the 1894 the Most though. Cheap to Reload & So Much Fun to Shoot.
In the last 25 years, I think I've used a rifle chambered in a different cartridge every opening day of deer season. The same pretty much goes for the second day of season. I buy at least a half dozen rifles per year and I only get to hunt with 3 or 4 of them, then it starts all over the next year. I've probably hunted and shot more deer with rifles chambered in 35 Remington than anything else.
I've coyote hunted with 222 Rem, 223 Rem, 6mm Rem, 257 Robt's, and 25-06. The 222 has accounted for the most coyotes.
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