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Next fall's deer hunting rifle.


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So with tax returns on their way I have decided that I want to purchase my first deer hunting rifle. I have little experience deer hunting, I've hunted two years with my 870 express as a slug gun and took my first deer last year with a bow. Ive decided its time to get a little more serious about the firearm aspect of deer hunting and am going to purchase a rifle. I have been given a lot of advice by friends and family about what to get and also looked at a handful of firearms myself. I have loosely decided on a .270 Tikka T3 Lite in a stainless barrel, coupled with a Burris Fullfield E1 in a 3x9x40. I hunt in areas where I will not be shooting over 250 yards, and I will only hunt whitetail deer. I have tried to do research when comparing calibers and it seems the debate is between .270, .308, and 30-06. Can anyone lend any insight on that decision specifically? I am welcome to all suggestions on the entire set up as well, if anyone has a better idea for a scope or gun I am welcome to it all. Like I said I do not have much experience hunting deer, only a few years under my belt. Thanks in advance for any help. As a side note, my girlfriend is getting the same gun/scope combination in a .243 and she hunts the same areas I do. If anyone has an opinion as to if this is a good set up for her I am welcome to that insight as well.

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monstermoose78

Something to think about is if you both have the caliber you have less of a chance of forgetting bullets. My dad, brother, 2 uncles, and I all shoot the same bullets so that way if someone forgets some at the cabin we know someone has a couple extra. My cousin who uses 300 win mag has forgot his bullets at home and had to use the old 30-30 which worked, but he is thinking about getting 30-06 so that does not happen again. Seeing you said you will be only hunting deer 243 will work and that way you share ammo if needed.

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Do not over look a 7MM-08 in a light weight rifle. Easy to carry around and the 7MM-08, a shot action cart. and will drop about anything, like a 270 for speed. Savage makes some good guns and not overly expensive. Remington has some less expensive good quality guns also. Go to a shop that has a bunch of guns and put them to your shoulder, they all feel a bit different. Scope, 3x9-40 or better yet a 3x9-50. Good luck.

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Consider cost and availability of the gun/scope and ammo coupled with how often you are going to be shooting. Personally I feel that many people way over do it and think that buying an expensive gun & scope will make them a good hunter/shot. I know too many guys that buy a $1000 gun and a $1500 scope and shoot the thing a week before season, take it hunting, and put it away to repeat the cycle next year. The reality is that you should shoot whatever you have confidence in and become familiar with your rifle. That right there will be the difference maker. Having said that, I believe that the optics are more important than the rifle...essentially all rifles do the same thing, the same can not be said of optics.

I think your choice will be plenty good for what your are planning.

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30 guys here will give you 30 different ideas. Your choices are both solid Midwest deer guns. Go for it!

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nofishfisherman

If you are looking at the .270, .308, and 30-06 you'll be just fine no matter what you choose.

I've heard many people suggest buying the same caliber as your hunting friends in case you forgot your ammo but to me that seems like a poor reason to pick a rifle. Pick one that you are comfortable with and then just don't forget your ammo. Before I walk out the door to go hunting I ask myself 2 questions. 1. Do I have my rifle, YES. 2. Do I have my ammo, YES. Once those two questions are answered I've covered the two most important pieces and I figure I can make do without whatever else I might have forgotten. If you do forget your ammo those are 3 very common calibers available anywhere that sells ammo so you are never hard pressed to find it.

I will also agree with Kdog about expensive rifles. Most often they are really not needed, especially if you are just going to deer hunt once a year. For example my buddy shoots a $1500 rifle and I shoot a $350 rifle. We booth shoot at the range before the season with very similar groupings and we both hunt 4-5 days during the season. What advantage does he get for his extra $1150? His gun looks prettier than mine and he has less weight to carry since is wallet is $1150 lighter but beyond that I can't distinguish a clear advantage.

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centralmnguy

I would find a few guys or a gun place that has a range and try to shoot the ones you have your eye on. I like my 06 but my buddy has 7mm and that thing is a cannon compared to mine. I started out on .243 good starter gun but a 30-06 or a .270 gives you a lot more knock down and who knows maybe you will need the 06 or .270 or higher power for elk or hunting the dakotas etc.

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eyeguy 54

270 and a 243. nice! have fun!

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The Tikka T3 is an awesome rifle. Like it has been said the caliber is really a moot point given your circumstances. They all will do the job on whitetails up to elk, (minus the .243). You can never go wrong with the best glass you can aford.

Good Luck!

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Wanderer

Shooting is one thing, butchering is another. I've shot deer with many different rounds including the 308 in the typical off the shelf rounds and really don't like the amount of meat damage it causes. It's similar to my 300 mag or worse. Granted I could choose a more custom bullet but like most, my ammo comes off the store shelf.

The more I mess around with the 243 the more I like it. My next caliber will be a 270 though.

Just another thought to toss in the mix.

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jigginjim

I would really consider the 30-06. The hornady lite, reduced recoil rounds are easy for your girls friend to shoot. Plus you both are shooting the same size rounds. I sited my 06 in with 180grain ammo. Switched to the reduced recoil rounds, no change in elevation. but I did noticed the recoil is like my kids .243 rifle. For where I hunt I'll using more of the reduced lite rounds.

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nofishfisherman

I used some of the core lokt reduced recoil rounds and really like shooting them at the range. No noticeable difference on my groupings. For the situations I face in the field they'd also be more than enough to do the job.

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