Indiana is seriously considering letting us rednecks use rifles for deer hunting next year. This is as good of an excuse to buy some new stuff for hunting season without the wife going to crazy. Honey I need it for hunting. I really dont need anything as my muzzleoader currently will cover for firearms and muzzleoader season and it packs some serious energy.
Here is my dilemma. A do I
1.) Setup up my Marlin 30/30 with a decent scope
2.) Get a 300 blackout upper for my ar
3.) Use this as an excuse to buy a 308 bolt gun since I have no
On number 1 PRO's
I already have the marlin 336 and I want to shorten the stock, put a mount on it with some quick release rings and a 1-4 or 2-7 leupold, burris scope. Total around $350-400 ish. I already have about 200 rounds. Quick follow up shots, fairly short rifle
Con's are shots 250 yards and under which I hardly ever get a shot past 75 yds unless I get a new hunting spot on a field edge. Wasted opportunity to get a new gun.
pro's on #2.
I absolutely love the ar15 platform. Its light, very short, easy to carry, the 30rd magazine makes a great rest for shooting prone, low recoil. The 300 is a 223 with the brass cutoff before it necks down and then stuff in a 100-240gr 30cal bullet in there. Advantages are with the 110-130gr lead its very similiar ballistically to a 7.62x39. Stuff in a 220-240 and its going subsonic which is great if I ever get a suppressor. Would sound like a suppressed 22lr. I can think of plenty of good uses for that especially if shit ever goes down.Also great for sbr builds. 9-12" barrels lose little velocity to 16" barrels unlike 223. They say most of the powder is done burning within 7-8". Everything is the same except the barrel. Uses standard ar magazines, bcg bolt carrier groups etc and im not worried about scratching it up. Barrels are $130-180 and a complete upper is around $400 and I already have a really nice burris xtr 1-4 30mm scope I could switch over very easy. I haave plenty of used 223 brass also. Just take off my 5.56 upper and slap it on.my favorite rifle to carry. Free practice with my go to rifle platform++
cons. Not as much energy as the 30/30 and ammo prices about the same as 30/30. Probably 200 yds or less. Adding another caliber and already I already have a 7.62x39
3.) Pro's. A new rifle to the collection and it would be my only real Centerfire cartridge. Long range capable++ it could be my sniper setup since I dont have one yet. Ruger american or savage 111 can be picked up new from $280-350. Not the top of the line but bare bones guns that have lots of good features, most will shoot moa or better with good ammo. Shtf sniper rifle. I have a browning 5-15x40 scope just sitting in the safe all lonely.
cons are bullets are $2-5 more per box than 30/30. For the most part I doubt I will get many chances to take really long shots.
I want to here your opinions.
Last edited by small's; 12-09-2014 at 07:48 PM.
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Small's; I'm a 308 guy myself ( ruger scout ). Ammo cost is now better than you think, I bought a 500 round case of lake city ( federal ) 762 X 51 well under $300. Save the brass and reload. I can load down to 100 yd, or up to 400 yds. I put a fixed 4x leupold on it and can hold 2 moa easy at 100 yds. I started loading 130 gn Speer hps over14 gns imr trailboss powder for 22 mag performance for plinking, it's a hoot...
I'll take a stab at this one. I have two of the guns that you have listed. Scoped Marlin 336c is a great choice for use as you have discribed. The new Leverlution ammo is awesome. I also use a Savage 110 in a .308. I have shot dear from 20 feet on out to 400+ yards with this gun. Practice and know your ballistics for success. You can count one one shot kills with either of these guns.
If you decide to go the 308 bolt action route, I personally would stay away from the Ruger American, Savage Axis, and Remington 770. I have no doubt you could kill all the deer you would ever want with them, but they seem like the Yugo of firearms to me. I would look around for a Used Ruger 77, Winchester 70, Savage 11, or Remington 700. My current favorite rifle is a $250 Ruger 77 308 I bought at a gun show a couple of years ago. I cut the barrel to 20 inches, and took a 1/2 inch off the butt stock and refinished it. Its my idea of the perfect woods deer rifle, till I decide something else suits me better. Before it my go to gun was a t/c contender carbine in 30/30 so I know that 336 marlin will get the job done, you might as well get a scope for it to. I don't know what your minimum caliber will be in Indiana, but anything centerfire is legal in Missouri I would just load some 60 grn Nosler partitions in that 223 upper for those 75 yard and under shots on days when you want to pack the AR.
I love 30/30 levers, but if only one, get the .308
Don't buy the 300BO hype....30/30 ballistics and $$$ ammo.
I would love to use the 223 for deer bit they are saying a minimum caliber of 243. I really like the m77 action. I have one in 22mag and I really like the scout rifle alot. Im probably gonna scope the 30/30 for now as I dont want to pony up the cash for a real nice 308 at the moment.
This is the 21st century--no sense shooting flat-nosed bullets with garbage ballistics. If you are going to set up a new rifle, set up a good one. Since you mention "sniper rifle", "rest", and range it sounds like you'll be stand hunting. .308 all the way. 308 is a fine medium action round, but a .30-06 will do everything a .308 will do and then some, but the action is longer and heavier. Longer and heavier is good for a "sniper rifle". My "sniper rifles" weigh 14 pounds. Each. Heavy wood stocks, bulky actions, long, fat barrels, 0.3 moa with worked hand loads if I do my job. 0.3 moa with hunting bullets. One is .308, one is .300 win mag. But I've been shooting long range competitions for 50 years+, load my own, and generally have figured out every possible way to mess up save to shoot myself. You can easily take short shots with a "sniper rifle", but you'll play hell making long shots with a lightweight rifle. I've taken deer at 12 yards with a .300 win mag.
Too much scope will hurt a deer rifle. I use 3x9 for groundhogs beyond 600 yards. Even my old eyes have no problem taking deer with clean head shots out to a measured ("measured" is the secret) 670 yards with a 2.5x7, and it's still more scope than I need. Magnification kills field of view, so choose compromises carefully. A couple weeks ago I fit a 1.5x4.5 to my woods rifle. 1.5x4.5 is enough scope for deer out to 500 yards, though .35 Whelen isn't quite accurate enough for me at that range unless conditions are perfect.
Shop used. I flip many rifles in excellent calibers for sniping deer for $200-300 buy/$400-$600 sell. Be patient and find a motivated seller. I'd try flipping a few rifles until the right one comes along.
.223 and derivatives are barely marginal for deer, especially if they have any size. On the other hand, a sporterized AK with hot hand loads is an excellent woods rifle. One of my regular hunting buddies has killed hundreds of deer with an AK and hot handloads with real hunting bullets. A well smithed AK with a worked load will shoot 1.0 moa, minimal recoil, fairly quiet, fast follow-up if you suck as a hunter, cheap practice ammo, and would love a throwback Redfield 1.5x4.5 shotgun scope. I've seen what the combo can do, and out to 250 yards or so, there really is nothing better for the money for deer and varmints.
.308 all the way but why limit yourself to the bolt action? Few average hunters can shoot up to the accuracy their weapons are capable of so that old argument that bolts are more accurate goes out the window out to and under 200 yards. Browning still makes a great BLR model 81 in lever and in .308. Winchester also has good lever and semi autos in the .308 but I love the older models 88 & 100s. Your least expensive route is your 336 with a decent scope as qwerty described and the 30/30 has likely killed more deer than any of the other calibers. I don't care for it but it is up to the job.
I kind of doubt if your state will finally approve rifle calibers that it will allow semi autos so sticking with the tried and true bolt or lever guns will be a smart choice. I would feel completely well armed with a .308 against any animal in north America.
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Id say the cheapest way is the 336 scoped. I have all 3 cal u ment and 30/30 is a proven round the new revolution cart. is awesome. F that blackout too much hype. 308 is more common but 30/30 is still a great round(proven for years). I have a 336 with a Nikon 4.5-14 and out to 250yrds with the new ammo is awesome. If you need a 30 rd mag to take a dear. Quit now!!!!!! My 308 is a Rem 700 and you will pay more for a set up 308 or 300BO then the 30/30 scope imo. As far as just dear hunting is concerned. Now overall is a total different story.