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Best Deer Rifle for Western PA?
Yes, I'm sure this will be a topic with dozens of "best" suggestions, but I don't mind the extra research.

I've checked some rifles and ammo online, so I'm aware of the vast possibilities out there. I'm looking for a rifle in the $250-$500 range, though. I'm not looking to be Annie Oakley's younger brother, so I don't need a $1200 wundergun.

I'd love wood, but at that price range (unless I find used), it looks like I'll be getting synthetic. I'm open to new or used.

Also, concerning calibers: I'm interested in a clean, ethical kill. I don't want to chase the deer for a mile and I don't want to blow a softball-sized hole in it.

This gun will be for whitetail deer in Western PA. Woods, hills, some small-scale farming fields. I suppose I could get into black bear hunting at some point, so please keep that in mind.

So, what's best? Weatherby Vanguard? Savage Model 11? Remington 700? Ruger American? Something else? .270, .308, 30-30, 30-06, 7mm?

I'm not a brand snob or a caliber snob. I'm just looking for good info so I can make a good decision.

Thanks a bunch! Twothumbsup
Well, I'd say my Ruger American in .308 that I paid 360 for... plus 179 for a Redfield Revolution scope = 539 bucks for a kick ass rifle. Big Grin

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But you're right, there are lots of ideas and opinions.

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I don't hunt, but from the market, what I have seen. I would say a savage axis, or edge. Whichever one they are calling it, in 30-06.

For a rifle, and optics, going to be below 400-500. From reviews I have read they are accurate, and easy to maintain.

If you get the "XP" trim it comes with a decent scope.

It would be a good little out of the box package.
This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins. -Ben Franklin
When I hunted, I used an old, worn, surplus Mauser in 7mm that had been sporterized.

With open sights.

Similar to this, but it wasn't that nice looking.

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You could probably find something like it stuffed in a barrel in the corner of a dusty gun shop pretty cheap.

Remington 700 in 30-06, 7mm mag or .300 win mag. Any of those guns are good for deer and bear and will anchor a big game animal with the right bullet (Bullet selection and placement are key for fast kills. Note: "Premium bonded and solid copper bullets are not the fastest killing bullets). The magnums shoot flat and make 300 yard shots a lot easier than the slower calibers.

The Remmy 700 is the easiest bolt gun to modify to suit you. You will always be able to find a smith for it and you can rebarrel into an absolute tack driver if you want to later.
lycanthrope, proud to be a member of since Sep 2012.
By far it is the 35 rem in a marlin 336. It shoots great and it is a brush buster, with a 200 grain bullet
“Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading". T. Jefferson
I don't hunt but I have a lot of family that does and they swear by the .30-30. Should be a able to pick up a Marlin 336 in your price range.

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Certified Range Safety Officer. Proud member of the NRA, GOA and GSSF. PA2A since Sep 2012.
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I second the Reminton 700 for a bolt action.
A .30-30 lever will serve you well too.
The 30-30 is a good round, but really starts to suffer at 200 yards. I have a .35 Remington, but I rarely shoot it. I don't trust shooting through brush because even heavy bullets deflect easy. For the same amount or less recoil, the .308 or .270 have a lot of merit and can take bear as well (just not as "fast" in most cases than a magnum).
lycanthrope, proud to be a member of since Sep 2012.
I like Remington rifles. I have a few model 700's and recommend them. They also make a pump action rifle which is pretty quick, the 7600.

A good all around caliber is the .30-06. I've cleanly killed more deer than I can remember with this chambering. Ammo is available everywhere and you don't need premium bullets for it to work well on deer. All of mine have been taken with plain old 150 grain Remington Core lokt factory ammo. 165 grain Sierra game kings also worked very well out of my reloads.
pennlineman, proud to be a member of since Oct 2012.

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