Hunting > Whitetails

What Your Deer Rifle Says About You

The five most telling deer-busting, buck-thumping center-fires today and what they say about you

Porsches preach success. Hondas reek of practicality. So goes the reputation of a car guy. For hunters, the deer rifle you choose is no different. Every time you sling it over your shoulder and step out into the field, it speaks to your reputation.

The Everyman
Deer Rifle: Savage 111FCXP3 in .270 Win. Savage is known to have some of the most accurate rifles on the market. With this package, you get that accuracy along with a free-floating barrel and a mounted, bore-sighted scope all at rock bottom suggested retail price. When your kids get older and want to hunt, it’s the perfect hand-me-down.

Personality: You’re a weekend warrior. Don’t get me wrong, you love hunting, but it’s a hobby not an obsession. Your deer rifle makes its weekday home in the basement gun safe, only to be handled on hunting's biggest days (season opener and the following Saturdays). You and your reliable bolt action take a trip or two to the range each year, fire a few rounds at 100 yards and call it a day. A low maintenance, dependable and less-than-pricey rifle will do you just fine, as long as you can take it out on those treasured days in the field, as few as they may be.

The Dirty Harry
Deer Rifle: Ruger M77 ss/syn in 30-06. Comes equipped with a synthetic stock that can take a beating and the stainless steel barrel won’t rust if you clean it every now and then. It also features an integral scope mount and steel rings, so you can be sure that scope won’t budge.

Personality: Your deer rifle better be feeling lucky. You’re about to drag it up every muddy/snowy/rainy hillside on God’s green earth. Each scratch and scar on your deer slayer is a badge of courage, and you’ll be sure to test its mettle at every turn. Tracking through rolling hills of the whitetail-heavy western U.S or the crop-dusted flats of the Midwest buck paradise shouldn’t be a problem—you work hard and so must your deer rifle. You’ll take every chance to hunt whitetails no matter how far you must travel or how big a dent it puts in your wallet. You’re a hardcore hunting soldier and your rifle needs to be a tank.

The Sniper
Deer Rifle: Remington 700 Sendero SF II in .300 Win. Mag.  Fluted 26-inch heavy contour barrel makes it perfect for ultimate long-range accuracy. The X Pro Mark trigger is 100 percent user adjustable—no gunsmith needed to make the trigger all yours. The stock is reinforced with aramid fibers and features a contoured beavertail fore-end with ambidextrous finger grooves and palm swells and twin front swivel studs to accommodate your bipod.

Personality: You love to watch Tom Berenger work his magic – one shot, one kill. You demand perfection out of your deer rifle. She probably has a name like Lola, Marie or the always-eccentric Gen. Robert E. Lee (true story). You may even prop her at your bedside come October, just so she knows you care. You know your rifle inside and out, in fact, you probably have the exploded view hanging neatly above your kitchen table. Your deer rifle is more than a tool with which you dispatch game; it is a part of your camo-clad soul.

The Prince
Deer Rifle: Weatherby MK V Ultramark in .257 Wby. Mag. The hand-selected AAA fancy exhibition grade walnut stock, 20 LPI checkering, maplewood/ebony spacers and rosewood fore-end and grip caps scream highest of high end. This is the only gun on the market at this price range with an accuracy guarantee of 1.5 inches or less at 100 yards.

Personality: Aesthetics, sir, are what hunting is all about—at least for you. Some may call you pompous, arrogant and downright vain, but no matter, you’re probably a better shot anyway. You demand a gun that exudes importance or maybe even royalty, the most regal deer rifle a man can buy (that isn’t custom). Which is undoubtedly a rifle with ripe historical value and the pristine condition to match. You won’t go afield just anywhere or stoop to hunting on public land. Your rifle deserves better. Boone & Crockett bucks are all your rifle will ever harvest. Well, that is if you ever decide to pull the trigger for fear of dirtying up your hunting scepter.

The Old-Timer
Deer Rifle: Winchester Model 70. Tested and proven, this is what some call the “rifleman’s rifle.” The three-position safety is one of the best-known and most copied safeties in the world. The accuracy is second to none and the bolt is one of the smoothest on the market. Over 71 years after its creation this rifle is still the epitome of the American bolt-action.

Personality: Fudd, Elmer Fudd that is. You’re a traditionalist, an old-timer and a man who has spent more time in the woods than most young folks have been on this earth. You don’t need a fancy deer rifle or some tricked out sniper tool, and your firearm is just as stubborn as you are. It may have a few flaws or glitches but it’s trusty, timeless and shoots with the best of them. While your take-it-slow methods may be maddening to the iPhone crowd, you never come home empty handed. You’ve been hunting the same tract of land for decades and you can be found in that same old blind from dawn ‘til dark every rifle season.

Tyler Kreis contributed to this article.

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26 Responses to What Your Deer Rifle Says About You

The lone wolf wrote:
February 18, 2013

I backpack hunt on my own. I walk many many miles to slay elk, mule deer, and blacktail deer. I usually carry my semi custom browning a-bolt 270 win because it's light fast handling and super accurate. Its never let me down. My elk rifle of choice is a Tikka t3 300 win mag. It's light fast and everything else my browning is but with a lot more power. Drops royal bulls dead!

matt wrote:
January 01, 2013

Excuse me sir... ive never shot a roy that was over an inch at 100 and most are half of that. You are also not respecting the reach, speed and knock down power of a wby round. Yes the ultramark may b the prince. What about the accumark? Sporter? Euromark? Much better rifles than a fudd or savage 110.

Ed wrote:
September 14, 2012

make mine a 1940 91/30 mosin nagant does just fine for me with original battle sights and sling. and yes im cheap got less than 100 bucks in it

Loren wrote:
February 12, 2012

The Browning BLR .243 is hard to beat for deer. Evey deer I've shot (3 doz+) has fallen over dead, except 2. With a Nosler partition bullet all of the energy stays in the deer. You usually find the bullet against the hide on the opposite side.

Dale wrote:
December 02, 2011

A Ruger .44 magnum semi auto carbine. Light, short, and easy to carry in the Northeast woods.

Casey D wrote:
January 23, 2011

I shoot a Ted William model 52(Model 70) in 270 Win,I added a Ramline Stock,Pentex Scope I have under 450$ and it shoots 1/2" groups at 100yrds. Works well for me.

Herb308 wrote:
December 28, 2010

Personally, kimber 308, s/s synthetic stock- the lightest out there, gett'r done, with the best choice of bullets available on the market - 308 !

SwampFox2U wrote:
December 13, 2010

I would exposed to the elements without my Remington 700 .308. I wouldn't leave home without it!

Marc wrote:
December 11, 2010

Call me whatever but mine is a Ruger M77 Hawkeye, Stainless Synthetic. in .223. My philosophy is "If you can't Kill it with One Shot from a .223 you shouldn't be hunt'n" It is all about Shot Placement, and the Skill of Controlling your Buck Fever.

Tall Tom wrote:
November 26, 2010

Savage 24v 30/30 20ga.in the early weeks when the grouse are up and s&w 500 for dragging miles into the snow.

Duke wrote:
November 22, 2010

I'll stick with my trusty Ruger M77 SS 270. It has never let me down, and it shoots sum moa.

Big Ernie wrote:
November 18, 2010

I have a Winchester 88 in 308, it was born in '56 and that is my 0 - 300 yard deer rifle. For anything way out there, or bigger than white tails, I love my 1996 Model 70 in 300 WIN MAG. She kicks like a mule, but always knocks 'um down!

Milt S. wrote:
November 17, 2010

First buck taken w/a Norinco AK-47 w/5 shot clip. Second deer, with a '50's vintage 'Nam bring home SKS, taken on the fly at 110 yds through the heart. Ruger .44 cabine for ease in the woods. Rem. 700 ADL 30.06 that shoots 1/4" at 100 yds. with Winchester 180gr. SP. Bushmaster or Colt AR-15's with 55gr. SP....and the list goes on and on....like variety...like I like life.

Capt. Guy Spear wrote:
November 15, 2010

Make mine a Sako carbine in 270Win with full wood to the muzzle. Nice and short but will reach out as far as I need it to with enough thump to get the job done anywhere in North America.

George wrote:
November 15, 2010

Never thought I'd say this but for the past 2 years the only rifle I've take big game hunting (deer/elk/bear) is my 450 Bushmaster. It's over kill for deer but I'm usually hunting more than just deer when I'm in the field. Where I hunt I'...m in heavy timber/bush so I'm never taking a shot even close to 200 yards. The 450 Bushmaster is 1/2 the weight of my Model 86 Winchester in 45/70 and doesn't look funny with a 4 power scope on it. I do draw some funny looks from other hunters, when packing my big bore AR-15 in the field, but the results are what counts.

Chris W wrote:
November 12, 2010

Make mine a custom please...built the way I want it, not the way the factory thinks it should be.

Dale wrote:
November 12, 2010

Really like my Ruger .44 magnum semi-auto, light, short, easy to carry, and powerful. All you need in the Catskill Mtns of NY.

Doanld Loes wrote:
November 12, 2010

My Remington 700 s/a 308 shoots less than 1/2 inch and is my go to gun for White tail..

Jack C wrote:
November 11, 2010

Winchester Model 70, caliber .270 Win., born in 1955, still going strong. Many miles, many deer. Some dings, lots of 'honest' wear. Just call me 'Elmer'!

Lew J wrote:
November 11, 2010

Ive taken deer with a Mod 94, a TC 30-30 and now with a Rem 700 270. I like the Rem the best. It's what you like not what somebody says to!

MarkS wrote:
November 11, 2010

I only bring one shell and my Mossburgh 500 into the woods...I figure I wont be able to drag more than one deer out of the woods.

Preacher wrote:
November 10, 2010

Other possibles. Win 94, 2 power Leupold pistol scope mounted froward of the ejection port - I did the smith work 40 yrs ago and roll my own 150 grain loads. For BP the 45 cal flint is my own take on a Pa Long Rifle. Both do the deed.

everet wrote:
November 10, 2010

my Rem. 3006,model 700 shoots pyramids at 100 yds with factory ammo & gun is pure factory,challengers bring cash only.

George R wrote:
October 21, 2010

I love my old A-Bolt i got from my fathe in law. It's got class and shoots clovers at 100 yards.

Matt D wrote:
September 23, 2010

Winchester Model 94 has been my most productive gun. Open sights. I have hunted with this gun for 25 yrs.

Keith Sage wrote:
September 07, 2010

Just give me my old 03A3 Springfield.Keep your Weatherbys.this rifle shoots just as good or better than any Rifle on the market.