Your grandfather or maybe great granddaddy’s generation was introduced to some of the best deer hunting rifles ever made.
These classic deer rifles have a blend of form and functionality. The power and reliability of rifles like the Winchester Model 70 or the German-made Mauser M98 are hard to beat even by today’s standards. If you ever had a chance to handle one through the woods and taken down your game, you’ll understand what we mean. (more to it than reading about it)
These rifles are quite simply the best hunting guns ever put out on the market.
And if your grandpa owned one of these guns, and passed it down to you, consider yourself lucky. While these rifles may not all be worth a lot today, they’re still good to have around in case you decide to take down some game.
Have a look at these timeless classic deer rifles:
Winchester Model 70
The Winchester Model 70 has bee a favorite of hunters and sport shooters since it was first introduced back in 1936.
The original Model 70 had a Mauser-style extractor that allowed a reliable feed – a feature that’s important to big game hunters. Another key components of the Model 70 iis the 3-way wing tip safety and highly accurate. This rifle timeless design is just as effective now in the hands of deer hunters as it was when it was first released over 70 years ago.
Winchester Model 1894
This rifle is commonly referred to as the Model 94 and is one of the most popular deer hunting rifles of all time.
Historians also called it, “The Ultimate Lever Action Gun.”
This rifle was light, comfortable, fast-shooting and very effective at short distances. Though, this rifle is not an ideal fit for all deer hunters, with some serious loads. This rifle can still be a powerful weapon for those who chase game in dense forests.
Mauser Model 98
The German-made Mauser Model 98 was an awesome bolt-action rifle on the battlefields of WWI and WWII. American soldiers who fired captured Mauser M98’s quickly realized the rifle’s accuracy and reliability meant it was worth having for hunting.
When we talk about durability and reliability, this rifle can sure take a beating and shoot straight in just about any condition.
Marlin Model 336
The 336 is one of the most reliable and accurate lever-action sporting rifles ever made. Since its introduction in 1948, more than 6 million Model 336’s have been produced.
The rifle has been chambered in many variations, but it’s most commonly chambered for .30-30 Winchester and .35 Remington cartridges. The 336 is still the go-to rifle for many hardcore whitetail hunters.
Savage Model 99
This rifle is considered a classic deer hunting rifle since its released in 1899. This lever-action rifle had amazing long-range accuracy, form and functionality. The Model 99 was chambered for the .250/3000 Savage cartridge.
Do you hunt with action lever rifles? (repeaters) There was a period when lever action rifles were completely out of the picture for hunting.
Thanks to companies like Marlin, Henry and Winchester as they still make these fine repeating rifles. Its amazing to see in this heavy marketed AR-platform and bolt action world that the repeating firearms are making a comeback.
Veteran hunters may be the ones influencing the newer generation of hunters.
Maybe, the newbies are out there looking to be like John Wayne.
Good thing this isn’t a faddish thing because hunting deer are mostly at close to mid range.
From these ranges whats needed is accuracy and maneuverability, which the lever action rifle fits the bill. These repeating rifles are great for spot-n-stalk hunts and brush hunt.
Winchesters and Henry’s are the leading lever action rifle manufactures have been refining these guns and broadening their range of calibers. Obviously, ammo manufactures have joined the band wagon in developing lever specific ammo that have more power and accuracy. So what are some good repeating rifles for hunting? Take a look of these:
Marlin 1894 .44 Mag
Its handy size is punctuated by a quick-pointing, straight-grip stock design and Old West-styled, adjustable semi-buckhorn sights.
Excellent deer rifle/cartridge combination out to 100 yards. Also a good for hogs and black bear too.
Henry Big Boy All Weather .44 Mag/SPL
If you want a rough and tough gun that can handle the harsh conditions. Another plus with this rifle is that it loads quickly with no jams compared to other .30-30 models. This is the ideal rifle for brush hunting.
Henry Long Range .308
The Browning .308 is a good rifle when it came out. Henry firearms came out with its own and is as reliable and accurate at long range as the Browning. Caution when you shoot this, you may not want to put it down. The rifle is amazingly light for its caliber, the recoil was manageable and the geared action kept the chambering and extraction smooth.
Henry Color Case Hardened .30-30
This may be a good starter to get, the fit and finish can withstand generations of wear and tear.
Winchester Model 1873
Definitely, a vintage gun, some folks do take this out for some pheasants hunt.
So, are repeaters just for cowboys?
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In one of the many survey conducted online this one is by Brad Smith an outdoorsman and writer.
The question was asked on Social Media of what is the best rifle caliber for hunting deer.
Supposed you were a newbie and was in the market, the following information may be helpful to you. You can obviously ask the folks running the gun stores and ranges.
The following answers comprises from many different levels of hunters/gun enthusiasts, take it with a grain of salt, this is from the internet poll.
Here are those popular calibers for deer hunting that was mentioned:
There were other type of calibers but the above calibers repeatedly came up in the conversation.
Reasons varied among hunters and gun enthusiasts, but heres a more thorough explanation of each calibers strengths.
–the .243 shines when you want to take a deer from any range up to 300 yards while doing minimal damage to the meat.
–The .270 takes the lead when it comes to shooting longer range with more knockdown power.
–The .30-30 is a great all around deer round, but lacks when it comes to longer-range, open-field settings.
–the .308 does the most damage to the meat (pending shot placement), but you also get the most bang for your buck.
The One to Get
If there was a round for you to choose, look into the .270.
Many gun enthusiasts talk about this as an all-time favorite.
The affordability is a good price point and the availability for a high-quality bullets are great.
The .270 can be used on a variety of games in North America.
The ammo is effective from 500 yards out and some consider as the best rifle caliber out there for deer.
Over the years many firearm calibers come and go.
Here are some that didn’t catch on but worthy a caliber they were.
.22 Hornet Cartridge
This caliber really excels as a varmint reaper rifle.
This usually comes in rifle configuration – small, lightweight, low recoil, low noise and very accurate.
The .22 Hornet was used for added range when the .22 Magnum fell short.
This is still being made but very rare to find.
.32 Extra Long Rimfire Cartridge
If you want a little more punch than a .22 then the Rimfire cartridges was the one to go to back then.
A variety of guns such as Tip-up pistols, pocket rifles and other firearms used the .32 Rimfire caliber for hard-hitting action on close-range targets. Very hard to find and pricey.
The .405 Winchester
Here’s a big caliber for the larger dangerous game, the .405 Winchester can put it down.
Many reloaders are the ones that have this in supplies.
Winchester .25-20 Cartridge
This .25-20 Winchester is on the light side for deer hunting.
It does pack a little knockdown punch than the rimfire calibers.
Which made this a favorite for trappers, hunters and ranchers.
.22 Winchester Rimfire
This cartridge fell between the standard .22 Long Rifle cartridge and the hotter .22 Winchester Magnum cartridge.
It’s pefect for a small-game, but it has plenty of knockdown power and only causes minimal meat damage.
Cartridges are made from time to time for this lost little rimfire caliber that’s otherwise completely obsolete.
There’s a lot of this kind of kit being sold…probably one factory that makes it and a bunch of people brand it as a something else.
But it’s my go-to range kit if I don’t think I’ll actually need to clean.
It’s small, slim, and is supposed to have an empty bottle to put some cleaner or oil.
I’ve modified it through the years to have extra bronze brushes, a dental pick, Allen key, and Q-tips/patches. And yes I’ve lost the bottle but I tend to keep my cleaner and oil separately.
It’s not my cleaning kit for home since the rods seem to be steel and could damage the barrel if used a lot. But it’s great for getting things unstuck! Can’t go wrong as a backup cleaning kit for around $10.
Everyone and their mom have a favorite gun cleaner and oil. Here’s a sample of what you’ll see if you try to find out more:
Hoppe’s No. 9…enough said.
They issued me _____ and I’ve been using it for _____ years.
I can eat my gun oil…can you?
I bought 1 gallon of (insert motor oil) and it will last me a lifetime.
I’ll admit…I started with Hoppe’s No. 9 and it’s an awesome cleaner. Problem is that I like to clean indoors and though I really LOVE the smell…I’d get dizzy and also it started eating away at my nails (now I wear gloves no matter what).
Gun safety needs to be practiced at all times while around guns and this shotgun malfunction shows why.
Shooting accidents are one of the worst things that can occur while on the gun range or in the field. Simply relying on the safety mechanisms present on firearms is not enough.
The hunter in this video uses a shotgun malfunction on his new Winchester pump-action 12GA to prove that point in shocking fashion.
Stephen Floyd’s video quickly went viral and not long after, Winchester announced a recall on certain models of their pump-action shotguns due to this malfunction. The video should serve as a serious reminder to all hunters and shooters that guns can be deadly or cause serious harm when you least expect it.
Check out the image of the ten commandments of gun safety below for a refresher and make sure to share this video with all of your hunting and shooting friends!
[su_heading size=”30″]The Norma Oryx is designed to provide a perfect blend of expansion and penetration, and is available in calibers both popular and rare.[/su_heading]
STORY AND PHOTOS BY PHIL MASSARO
The 180-grain, .30-caliber Oryx, in original form and expanded
[su_dropcap style=”flat”]T[/su_dropcap]hree does jogged across the little valley below me, pausing only to look over their shoulders. It wasn’t long – a matter of seconds – before I heard the telltale grunting.
He wasn’t the biggest buck I’d ever seen, but he had eight points and a big body, and at that stage of the season he was a shooter. Head down, searching side to side, neck swollen, he cruised along giving the does’ scent the utmost attention.
At 90 yards, he stopped and gave me a quartering-toward shot, and I placed the crosshairs of the 6.5-284 Norma just inside his foreleg, gently breaking the trigger. At the shot, the buck ﬂipped backward onto his back, legs in the air, and stayed in that position. The 156-grain Oryx had taken him through the heart and lungs, and proceeded to exit just behind the offside ribs, killing him instantly.
Norma also provides premium-grade, quality brass cartridges, including these for the .300 Remington Ultra Magnum, available as factory ammunition (shown) or as component parts.
THE ORYX IS A PREMIUM BULLET, designed for a perfect blend of expansion – to create a large wound channel – and penetration – to ensure that the wound channel reaches the vital organs. Usually designed in a semispitzer proﬁle, the bullet’s copper jacket is engineered to be thinner at the nose, to initiate expansion, yet gets thicker toward the ﬂat base of the bullet.
In addition to getting thicker, the rear portion of the jacket is chemically bonded to the lead core to make sure that things stay together. Chemical bonding, resulting in what we call a “bonded core” bullet, prevents bullet breakup, and slows the expansion process down to allow the bullet to penetrate deeply. It is one of several methods used to resist overexpansion, a problem common to standard cup-and-core bullets at high-impact velocities, and the Norma Oryx does this well.
Norma loads the Oryx in some rare calibers, such as the .308 Norma magnum.
Being a semispitzer, the Oryx may not possess the high ballistic coefficient (BC) ﬁgures that some of the sleek, polymer-tipped hunting bullets may have, but at normal hunting distances that doesn’t pose a huge problem. Inside of 400 yards, shots can be made with a bullet in this conformation, and the additional terminal performance can make a big difference when it really counts; should tough shoulder bones, thick hide, or gristle plates need to be penetrated, the Oryx will deﬁnitely hold together for you.
Norma loads the Oryx in their factory ammunition, in calibers from .224 inches all the way up to .375 inches. The smallest are a good choice for those who wish to use a .22 centerﬁre on deer and other similar game. The standard big game calibers, say from 6.5mm up to 8mm, can be used with an additional level of conﬁdence, should the shot angle be less than desirable.
The .375 300-grain Oryx.
The heavier calibers, from .338 inches up to the .375 inches, will take full advantage of the Oryx’s stature, as these calibers are often used to pursue the largest animals that can be effectively hunted with a soft-point bullet. Norma offers the Oryx in mid- to heavyweight projectiles for caliber, at standard muzzle velocities. Retained weight is often high – above 90 percent in most instances – with expansion usually doubling the original diameter. THE ORYX IS AVAILABLE IN MOST of the popular calibers, such as the .270 Winchester, .30-06 Springﬁeld, .308 Winchester, .375 Holland & Holland and .300 Winchester Magnum, but also has embraced some of the rarities, like the .308 and .358 Norma Magnums, as well as the Weatherby and Blaser Magnums. Hailing from Sweden, Norma loads many of the metric calibers, like the classic 7×57 Mauser, 9.3x63mm, 8×57 and 9.3x74R, as well as some of those lesser-known calibers here in the States like the 7×64 Brenneke and the 7x65R.
The American PH line includes the 6.5-284 Norma, with the 156-grain Oryx bullet.
Norma also offers the Oryx as a component bullet for the handloader, so for those of you who like to hunt with your own ammunition, the Oryx remains a viable option.
In the ﬁeld, I like the Oryx for any situation where a difficult shot angle may be the only shot you get, or in an instance where stopping an animal may be necessary. The Oryx would make a very good choice for a hunter who wanted to use his or her .270 Winchester for elk; at 150 grains, the heavy-for-caliber bonded core slug will deﬁnitely hold together well enough to reach the vitals. I also like the Oryx for many of the African species, as well as for our North American bears. Thinking lion and leopard, as well as eland and wildebeest, the Oryx – in a suitable caliber – will provide enough expansion to shred the vital organs, yet will break those tough shoulder bones that guard the vitals.
I also think that a .338 Winchester Magnum or .375 H&H Magnum, loaded with a heavy-for-caliber Oryx, would make an excellent brown bear combination, and would certainly handle any black bear that ever walked. For a hunter who wants to pursue bears with his standard deer riﬂe, the Oryx will handle the shoulder bones and put that bear down quickly. For those who hunt deer with the popular .243 Winchester, the Oryx will surely get the job done, at just about any angle.
The classic .30-06 Springfield is even better when mated with the Oryx.
Is it accurate? My 6.5-284 Norma will print three of those 156-grain Oryx bullets into ½ MOA groups, as will my .300 Winchester Magnum with 180-grainers. My .375 H&H puts three 300-grain Oryx bullets into exactly 1 inch at 100 yards. For a trio of hunting riﬂes that will handle most all of the big game scenarios across the globe, that’s more than enough accuracy. ASJ
In the .375 H&H, the Oryx bullet makes a good choice for truly large game.