What Is the Best Rifle for Deer Hunting? 4 Awesome Options
Since the dawn of man, humans have been thrilled by the art of the hunt. While it was originally a necessity, people today hunt for food as well as for sport. In fact, there are over eleven million hunters in the United States, eighty percent of which hunt big game like deer and elk.
In 2016, hunters spent over $25 billion on hunting expenditures, underscoring just how big this practice is. If you're interested in becoming a hunter, then it's crucial that you use the best rifle for deer hunting. While there's no single rifle that's going to be perfect for everyone, there are a select few that stand above the competition.
If you're interested in learning more, then continue reading and we'll walk you through the top rifles for deer hunting that you need to know about!
1. Winchester XPR
The Winchester XPR is a .30-06 bolt action hunting rifle and it comes with a three-round removable magazine. This rifle is also available in eleven other calibers. It ranges from a lightweight .243 Winchester all the way up to the powerful .338 Winchester Magnum.
This rifle is based on the classic Winchester Model 70, but with some modifications that make it more affordable.
The main modifications have to do with the stock and bolt. Unfortunately, the stock on this rifle is made from hollow, cheap plastic. You'll likely want to pack it with some padding to give it more balance. On the plus side, the gun's butt pad is made out of heavy-duty leather, which helps to dampen the recoil.
Another major positive about this gun is that its new three-lug bolt works just as well as the more expensive bolt that you'll find on the Model 70. It's also easy to take the bolt off for cleaning.
This gun is built with right-handed shooters in mind. The safety can be found under the bolt on the right side of the weapon, instead of being on the center of the tang.
2. Winchester Model 70 Featherweight
The Winchester Model 70 bolt action is an extremely popular deer hunting rifle. This is in part thanks to the fact that it comes in a variety of iterations, making it great for all kinds of purposes when on the hunt.
The Model 70 Featherweight has an old-fashioned controlled round feed but also comes with the three-position safety that you'll find on the more recent Model 70s.
This gun also has a gorgeous walnut stock and gets a better grip thanks to its stippling on the foregrip. The rifle also has a Pachmayr Decelerator butt pad which reduces recoil.
Staying true to its name, the Featherweight comes in at just seven pounds. While there aren't any iron sights included, it does come tapped and drilled for a scope.
The only real downside of this gun is its fixed, four-round magazine. While it can be a pain if you want to take it out to the range, it should be enough to get the job done when you go deer hunting.
And although this rifle isn't cheap, it's one of the most accurate lightweight rifles on the market today.
3. Ruger American Rifle
With the Ruger American Rifle, you'll be getting a .30-06, lightweight hunting rifle with a four-round removable rotary magazine. You should achieve accurate medium-range shooting with the well-bored, free-floated barrel. And if you decide to screw an optical sight into the gun's pre-drilled holes, you'll be slaying those deer with ease.
The composite stock is well-designed and has a solid feel that makes it much more appealing than many cheaper stocks. With that said, the gun has a hollow butt which can cause balance problems. However, you can balance the gun out by stuffing the butt pad with fabric.
Like the Featherweight, this gun only weighs seven pounds and is available in both right- and left-handed versions. No matter which version you get, the gun will also come with an ambidextrous tang safety, so you can take your friends shooting too.
Aside from the .30-06, this gun comes in three other calibers: .308 Winchester, .270 Winchester, and 243 Winchester.
4. Savage Arms Model 12
This gun is a 6.5 Creedmoor hunting rifle and it comes with a four-round capacity external magazine. Coming in at eleven pounds, buyers should be aware that this heavy rifle is really meant for shooting long-distance from a shooting mat or standing. Part of the reason why this gun is so heavy is thanks to its solid composite stock, which is going to dampen a lot of the recoil and help keep the gun balanced.
If you want a long-range hunting rifle that can also be used for target shooting, then this is the gun for you. You can even adjust the trigger all the way down to six ounces.
It also comes with ambidextrous tang safety and you can easily take the bolt off for cleaning.
Figuring Out the Best Rifle for Deer Hunting for You
When you're trying to figure out the best rifle for deer hunting, you want to take factors like weight, features, and caliber into consideration.
If you plan on shooting from a deer stand, then your mobility is going to be limited. Your main consideration in that situation should be range. And a higher-powered, longer-barreled rifle should serve you well.
However, if you intend to be stalking and tracking for most of the hunt, then a lighter and shorter rifle will be the better option.
Hopefully, after reading the above, you now have a better idea of which hunting rifle is going to be best for you.
What's so amazing about the hunting community is that even though it's 11+ million strong, hunters tend to get along and support each other. And if you're looking for comfortable, high-quality apparel for hunters by hunters, then you should contact us today and see what we can do for you!