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that elusive dream whitetail rifle

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that elusive dream whitetail rifle

Old 07-24-2020, 09:47 AM
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Default that elusive dream whitetail rifle

that elusive dream whitetail rifle
I've owned a rifle, and scope combo that one of my hunting buddies has borrowed on several occasions
in his mind its the absolute best whitetail combo that exists.
every deer he's ever shot with my BLR, dropped almost instantly
hes mesmerized by that rifle.
I had loaded 100 grain speer bullets and WW760 or RL 12
both powders are and were able to be used for great loads,
and its a damn shame RL12 is no longer sold ,
as in my BLR if would consistently,
hold under 3/4" 3 shot 100 yard groups off a bench rest.
its simply a browning BLR in caliber 257 Roberts
I have recently mounted a 30mm tube 1x6x scope on the rifle
and hes been offering me a great deal of cash for what he considers to be that elusive dream whitetail rifle.
BUT I've sold far to many rifles in the past that I really regretted selling,
Ive also found it to be a really consistent and accurate rifle, but its not unique, as most BLR carbines are very accurate,
so I've kept an eye out for a similar combo, as browning no longer makes BLRs in 257 Roberts.
well, last week I found a similar BLR advertised locally and let him know.
he immediately contacted the seller and made arrangements to look it over and purchase it,
and he's now looking for the mounts, rings and scope he will need.
now I fully appreciate the fact we all have rifles and cartridges we all think are ideal,
but realistically I doubt that your results would vary enough to tell any difference
if he used a 6.5mm or a 7mm08 or even a 270 win on those deer.
for local deer and hogs, I generally grab a BLR in 358 win or a Ruger #1 in 270 win,
and I've never felt deprived or not well-armed.
I'm very happy he found his dream combo at a decent price, but realistically,
I feel its a nice high-quality combo but hardly unique.
do any of you gentlemen have a rifle and caliber you feel is significantly better than most options?
if so, how with so many similar rifles and caliber options available do you think a minor tweak in caliber,
case capacity, bullet weight or a change in action type makes any real difference.
I've killed enough deer and elk to realize its mostly the skill and persistence of the hunter, not the rifle or caliber that matters to your success.

Last edited by hardcastonly; 07-24-2020 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 07-24-2020, 12:31 PM
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Before I got into handgun hunting, I had a dream whitetail rifle. It wasn't the one I started out hunting with (that honor goes to my late great-grandfather's Marlin Model 336 30-30), but it's the one I can safely say I cut my teeth on. My first buck, last rifle buck, both my bears, and half of my coyotes were downed by it from the moment I was given it just shy of my 15th birthday. A Weatherby Vanguard Synthetic, chambered in 270 Winchester and topped with a 3-9x40mm Leupold, it was everything I wanted in a rifle. Even today, it's just about the best feeling rifle I've ever shouldered. Maybe its because I grew up with it, the feeling of the soft recoil pad on my shoulder and the synthetic stock in my hands when shouldered is just comfortable and familiar to me. If I had any complaint, it's that it's a bit big and bulky, so not conducive to quick freehanded shooting or maneuvering for a shot inside denser woods, and the 270 cartridge is a little more than strictly necessary for the deer and coyotes in this area at the ranges I expect to shoot.

Ever since getting into handgun hunting, I've quit using it, and passed it on to my sister. It's become her favorite rifle:

If I had to choose just one rifle for hunting in my area, and wanted to make it as ideal as possible, I'd probably go with something like a Remington Model Seven chambered in 257 Roberts, topped with a 3-9x or 4-12x scope, and a somewhat different looking wood stock:
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Old 07-24-2020, 01:08 PM
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yeah! a 257 Roberts short action bolt gun would be a darn nice and effective choice
especially if it had a 20"-22" barrel and weight under about 6.5 lbs
(but about any caliber based on a 7mm mauser or 308 win case from 6mm-to .375 would work)
in my experience, whitetail deer are not all that difficult to kill, with a properly placed shot,
and the need to make shots at ranges over 250 yards are rather rare.

just for grins I sort of averaged the load data presented in several reloading manuals
keep in mind a BLR carbines shorter barrel.

257 roberts at 2970 fps with a 100 grain bullet== about 1959 ft lbs
a 7mm 08 at 2750 fps with a 139 grain bullet== about 2334 ft lbs
a 308 win, at 2670 fps with a 165 grain bullet== about 2613 ft lbs
a 358 win at 2550 fps with a 200 grain bullet== about 2880 ft lbs

while the calculated energy potential differs, with the cartridge selected in a BLR, carbine
I doubt there will be any lack of lethality in skilled hands,
concerning use and observed results with proper shot placement,
on a typical deer at common ranges

Last edited by hardcastonly; 07-24-2020 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:58 AM
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Hooo boyo, Our personal ideal deer rifle. At first I thought it was a Ruger Mk 2 lightwt .308. Killed many deer cleanly, but it never quite made me happy with the accuracy end (from the bench). It never failed me in the field. I sold that when I found a Savage 99 in .308, which I thought would be the ideal. Despite alot of time and effort to optimize the very difficult to work on trigger/sear, it also was far from what I expected for accuracy. It was sold to pay for a craved for Henry single shot in .308. Beautiful wood, great handling little rig. The trigger on that was worse than the Savage, with even less you can do about it (alot of info on stuff to try on the internet, but none really fix the problems..too heavy a pull and a horrible step just before hammer fall ). Alot of folks are happy with them, I was not. I traded that for another Ruger Mk2 in .270 winch. , a round I never understood. With my preferred scope on it, it was a tack driver and all flat shooting, with a much improved trigger from the previous two guns (my previous Ruger I put a competition firing pin and trigger in, which I will probably do here too).
Ultimately though, I know damn well I have my ideal rifle already. It is the rifle I killed my first buck with, two moose, and I have no idea how many deer, all to one shot. It shoots flat, is reliable as a rock, and I handload for it for forty years now. It is my fathers 8x57 Mauser Oberndorf Mauser, a sporterized rifle he started and I finished to my liking. When I am serious hunting it is always there, rain or shine and wears a 1.5 x 5 Leupold scope (forty years old) that has never failed me. Like all of us, we keep looking, but kind of like marriage, happiness is right there at home if we just open our eyes. If I only had one rifle, It will be my Mauser.
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Old 07-26-2020, 07:35 AM
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my ideal deer rifle is, a custom built Rem model seven, in 7mm08 built to my spec's , about 30+ yrs ago,
it just fits me like glove, and is a sub MOA rifle, it traveled across the USA on hunts and up into AK, and never failed me
over the yrs Its worn a few different scopes, as I got older and changed the ways I hunt, I adjusted with different optic's
but its been my fav rifle to date for deer hunting in MOST places at most ranges!

I own several other custom built rifles, that would be close seconds here, but I do think this one has been my fav over the years, !

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Old 07-26-2020, 08:07 AM
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When I think of the ideal whitetail rifle, mrbb has it. A model 7 in 7mm-08 with a quality 3-9X scope.

Like many others I enjoy using different things and have been blessed to be able to own and hunt with allot of different rifles.

The answer to the question really depends on the person and their needs I suppose.


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Old 07-28-2020, 02:35 PM
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I'd have to say that it all depends on where you're hunting. This has a lot to do with your selection. Other than that its what YOU feel comfortable with Saying this combo is better than another is like beating a dead horse. I've shot many deer with everything from a 7mm BR to a .45-70 (basically one extreme to another) and felt confident with every one.
But to answer this post the choice of my favorite whitetail rifle in my safes would be my Browning Micro Hunter in 7-08. Its a joy to carry, is really accurate, has plenty of OOMPH for whitetails as far as I care to shoot at one and it seems to be my lucky rifle.(whenever I take it out I get a deer).
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Old 07-29-2020, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by hardcastonly View Post
its mostly the skill and persistence of the hunter, not the rifle or caliber that matters.
Long ways to go to get here, but at least we’re here.
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