SHOT SHOW 2015: Best Modern Sporting Rifle for Deer Hunting

Sig Sauer 308_DWToday’s modern sporting rifles offer lots of accessory options, are being more refined by companies as technology improves and demand increases, and deer hunters now have more options with traditional and MSR firearms.

Those are a few good reasons you should give ‘em a try. Another is that MSRs are just darn fun to shoot.

By Darren Warner

“Because many modern sporting rifles come with adjustable stocks and can be customized to fit the shooter, they’re a good choice for young hunters and those smaller in stature,” explained Allen Forkner, a public relations rep for Sig Sauer (

Whether they’re making a statement against the throng of anti-gun proponents or are just returning home from a stint in the military, MSRs are here to stay. They’re also the perfect choice for deer hunting.

“There are many armalite rifle platforms suitable for deer hunting, including the 65 and 6.8,” Forkner said. “For the 65 I recommend a 120-grain bullet, and a 110- or 115-grain bullet for the 6.8.”

Both versions are simply a blast to shoot and provide more than enough firepower for killing deer less than 200 yards away. If you regularly shoot beyond 200 yards, Forkner recommends going with an old standby – modernized of course.

“By far the most popular MSR for hunting big game like deer is the .308,” he said. “It provides a perfect combination of power and distance for taking deer at longer distances.”

Most MSRs also have synthetic stocks and shorter barrels, making them a great choice for still-hunting or maneuvering in tight spaces (think popup blinds and treestands). And any scope that can go on a traditional deer rifle will work with an MSR.

The truth of the matter is that many look at MSRs with furrowed brows not because they’re semi-automatic weapons or because they hold more than a couple rounds, but because they just don’t look like traditional deer guns – and that suits most MRS owners just fine.