So you want a new Deer Rifle, huh?

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shaman
 
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RE: So you want a new Deer Rifle, huh?

Postby shaman » Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:48 am

ORIGINAL: GTOHunter

Yes I want a new Deer Rifle......I have been thinking about getting me a Savage Bolt-action 7mm-08 in the Accu-Trigger,might even consider using the managed recoil shells in it from Remington?Oh Yeah....I still love my Browning .243 A-Bolt Rifle [:D] [;)]


7MM-08 is a WONDERFUL deer cartridge, The Savage bolt guns are WONDERFUL deer cartridges, but I would hesitate to start a system that is predicated on using the Remington managed recoil loads.  

1)  You're tying yourself to a single load.  If that combination doesn't group well, then what?
2)  You're using a band-aid to fix a problem that you sought to create.

Manage Recoil loads in and of themselves are WONDERFUL.  They do a good job of fixing a couple of really serious problems:

1)  You got talked into a rifle with WAAAAY to much recoil.
or
2)  You are loaning a rifle to a wife or yute that is recoil-shy.

Managed Recoil loads are not magic.  They just utilize three old reloader tricks that I've been doing for years.  They use a combination of
1) light-for-caliber bullets
2) medium-burning powders
3) less powder

In the case of the 7mm-08 offering, Remington keeps the bullet the same and just varies the powder.  If I was reloading for it, and I wanted to knock off a bit of recoil, I would do exactly the same. However, I am normally doing this with cartridges that are in the range of 30-06.  7mm-08 is already an ideal deer cartridge out of the box.  When you knock off 5-8% what you end up with is something just a hair better than a 30-30 WIN or a 7-30 Waters.  In fact, out to 80 yards the 30-30 is performing better. That puts it at about the minimum I would suggest for deer.  Frankly, the 7mm-08 can do better.

My advice in this instance is to see if you can manage the recoil in another fashion. 

1) Adding a little mass to the stock would help.  You can add lead bullets into the forearm and butt section of the synthetic stock of the Savage.  I've done it.  It does a remarkable job of taming recoil
2) Check out the 300 Savage. In the 150 grain loading it will have less recoil than a full-house 7mm-08 load. It is also flatter shooting than the Managed 7mm-08 .
3) Invest in reloading equipment.  It's kind of a bum time to be starting out, because of the shortage of primers, bullets, etc. However, this won't last forever.  The 7mm-08 is a great cartridge for reloaders, because of the selection of bullets.
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shaman
 
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RE: So you want a new Deer Rifle, huh?

Postby shaman » Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:50 am

I just thought I'd bump this thread back up to the top, since there is a lot more posting volume the past few days.  I've also been getting a lot of PM's from folks asking for suggestions on a new deer rifle.
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nhdeerchaser
 
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RE: So you want a new Deer Rifle, huh?

Postby nhdeerchaser » Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:25 am

Hey Shaman!

What do you think of the T/C Icon? I would like to get that rifle in 7mm-08. I just love that caliber!
On the subject of calibers, what do you think of the .30 T/C?

Mike
You can't kill'em sittin' on the couch!

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shaman
 
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RE: So you want a new Deer Rifle, huh?

Postby shaman » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:12 am

I have not shot an Icon, but I do know people who have.  The overall opinion is:

1)  Very Accurate-- probably more than required for deer hunting.
2)  Very Heavy for a hunting rifle
3)  Well balanced
4)  The factory wood is nothing to write home about.

The .30 T/C cartridge is another matter.  Basically it is someone yet again trying to take the immensely popular 308 WIN and make it proprietary.  Marlin did it, but they had a reason. The .308 Marlin is deliberately made to run in a 336 lever action with a tubular magazine. I could cite a bunch of good cartridges that have gone down this road before. The first one to come to mind is the .307 WIN.  It withered and died a generation ago-- still a great cartridge, and I may yet have my Marlin 336 reamed out for it after the kids get older.

The .30 T/C is just a .308 Win jacked around so you have to buy the special Hornady ammo that promises faster performance with less recoil.   As I guy who deliberately downloads his 308 WIN loads for deer, I can tell you this is JUST what I need to shoot whitetail at 50 yards.[8|]    However, let's just say you really DO need that kind of performance.  It probably means you'll be doing a lot of walking, and you probably don't want a heavy rifle like the Icon.  I also think that if you're going that far to hunt deer, you're probably not worried about recoil and would just buy a 300 WIN Mag or a 30 WSM.

I can see where Thompson Center is going with this:  build a rifle and cartridge that performs better than a 308 WIN with the recoil of a 300 Savage. For that, I give them credit.   I just don't see going into that little convenience store up on Rattlesnake Ridge-- you know, the one at the top of the hill?.  Dang!  They're out of business?  Okay, well how about the grocery out on Sand Hill Road?  I can't imagine going in there any time soon and asking for a box of "Thutty Thompson Centers" and having the guy say "You looking for 150 grainers or 165?"  In fact, I don't imagine even driving all the way to the the Walmart in Oneida and seeing them on the shelves.  The Big M in Whitley City at least knows what you're talking about, and they can order it for you, but. . .

I'm sure that if someone put an Icon reamed to 30 T/C in front of me, I'd be quite happy with it, and I don't mean to malign it.  This is the  problem with hunting rifles.  You have to keep coming up with things that are new to attract new buyers.  On the other hand, the deer never change, the underlying physics is eternal, and most of the big issues were handled with centerfire rifles a couple of generations ago.  The 30 T/C is a minor modification of a design that was being worked out when my father was a kid.
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nhdeerchaser
 
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RE: So you want a new Deer Rifle, huh?

Postby nhdeerchaser » Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:23 pm

Shaman!

Thanks for the advice! While I'm at it, what rifle would you take if you were to have one chambered in 7mm-08?

Mike
You can't kill'em sittin' on the couch!

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shaman
 
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RE: So you want a new Deer Rifle, huh?

Postby shaman » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:28 pm

I always dreamed of having a Rem 700.  Then I got a Win Model 70 in 30-06 and fell in love with the 3 position safety.  Since then I've had several rifles pass through my hands.  I honestly haven't had one that a I was really all that dead set against.  KYHillChick's Savage 110 was a a very nice package for the money, even though I despise the safety. I've fired Rugers-- another 3-position safety-- and really liked the accuracy and feel.

A wickedly good match for the 7mm-08 in my mind would be the Remington 7600 pump.  Another good one would be something like a Ruger MK II International or a Remington Model 7.  One friend of mine confiscated his son's Remington Yute  gun in 7mm-08 and had it restocked with some awesome walnut and made his dream gun. 

This is not the sort of thing that requires a whole lot of technical thought.  Just about anything you come up with will kill a deer. The trick is finding something that speaks to your heart.  I had a response to a post earlier today on another forum where the guy said his Mosin Nagant was his hands-down favorite deer rifle.  I have two, they are serviceable deer rifles, but not something I can give my heart to -- go figure.

I take a serendipitous view of things.  If I intend on a rifle, I open myself up to the possibilities. I do a little shopping at Gunbroker and a few local gun stores and try to be patient.  Most of my rifles have presented themselves without serious searching, in fact most were ones that were deals that I just fell into. Some were foisted on me.   In fact, I made the mistake just now of going on Gunbroker and there were soooo many good matches in 7mm-08 right now, I wish I was flush.

Here's one tip:  if you're looking for your ultimate deer rifle, go looking for it between the end of season and Christmas.  Everyone and their uncle is selling deer rifles to raise scratch for Christmas. It amazes me how many guys plunk money down in the summer for a new rifle, hunt with it one season, and forget they're going to be laid off as soon as the snow flies.


Oh! One other thing about the 30 T/C.  There's nothing particularly special about the 30 T/C's case or bullet that give it its edge. They just played with the dimensions to make it different. Supposedly it's all in the proprietary powder, but you'll never see a pound of it sitting on the shelf at the store.
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RE: So you want a new Deer Rifle, huh?

Postby nhdeerchaser » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:50 pm

Shaman,

Thanks! I have to say, My BAR is my deer hunting soulmate! I know it sounds crazy, but she fits me like a glove. I pick her up, and she just fits! She's chambered in .30-06, and unlike her predessesor, a Rem 700 BDL also chambered in .30-06, there is a connect.
I just really want to have a deer rifle I'm not afraid to take out in the rain. I love the semi-auto feature, and she is as accurate as any bolt out to 100 yards, but if it's pouring out, I would like something I don't have to worry about in the rain.
I shot a friends model 7600 chambered in .308, and after 3 rounds, I did'nt like her anymore. If that rifle did'nt rock so hard, I would make him an offer. I just figured a 7mm-08 with a 140 grain bullet would be a little tamer.

Mike

P.S. I like the pump idea!
You can't kill'em sittin' on the couch!

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shaman
 
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RE: So you want a new Deer Rifle, huh?

Postby shaman » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:00 pm

A Rem 7600 is my "rain gun."  All my bolt guns have wood stocks, and I'd be afraid I'd warp the fore end if I took them out in the rain.  The 7600 doesn't have that problem.  I just put a coat of Turtle Wax on it just before season starts.

I loved my Rem 742 until it died, and took a lot of deer with it, so I know what you mean about semi autos in 30-06. 

My personal feeling is every deer hunter should have at least one Amish Machine Gun in his collection.
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t99civicsi
 
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RE: So you want a new Deer Rifle, huh?

Postby t99civicsi » Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:08 pm

nhdeerchaser, I happen to love the 7mm-08 caliber!!! It's very versatile and is suitable for almost any game in North America. I have been fortunate enough to try a few different models chambered in the caliber. 1st and foremost I own a Winchester M70 w/synthetic stock, which is my baby. I have taken a ton of deer with this rifle and only had one deer that i did not recover. (my fault i made a bad shot) The gun is nice and compact, lightweight, and accurate. Unlike some of the other posts on here, I have the opportunity to reach out alittle bit farther on some shots. I shoot a 140gr. Sierra Boattail (Reloads) and have killed deer point blank and as far out as 425 yards.
 
I also tried a Remington Model 7, which I did not like very much at all, but then again I have yet to shoot a Remington that I like....just partial to Winchester I guess.
 
Also tried a Browning Micro Medallion which is a beautiful piece, very attractive but never could get the gun to group well @100yds. I'm a real stickler for grouping when trying new loads out so when I say not grouping well, I couldn't really tuck the group under 1.5" where as my Win. Model 70 can shoot 1/2" groups all day long.
 
All in all I'd be happy to have another 08' shooting buddy out there!! If you decide to get one, let us know how you like it.

Massdeer
 
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RE: So you want a new Deer Rifle, huh?

Postby Massdeer » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:35 am

This post has been very enlightening, thanks Shaman for starting it and thanks to all the guys that have contributed.

I am new to the sport of hunting, always wanted to as a kid but didn't really have anyone to go with.  I'm now 25 years old and this will be my first deer season.  I have 3 tags in Massachusetts including one for an antlerless deer and I will be using a shotgun because MA doesn't allow rifles for deer hunting.  I also have a Maine hunting license where I will be able to use a rifle.  I am interested in getting a bolt action .30-06 and mounting a scope on it at a reasonable price, as it is my first hunting rifle and I hope to progress in to more.  Does anyone have any suggestions on a good .30-06 rifle and scope that wouldn't put me over the $700 mark.  I appreciate the help in advance.

Thanks

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