Archive - Deer Hunting Rifle

My Father’s Deer Hunting Rifle: The Remington 788

1 October 2010 by , 2 Comments

I visited my parents farm recently and was looking at my dad’s deer hunting rifles. The one both he and I have used the most for hunting is his old Remington 788 bolt action rifle. A less regarded rifle than its more famous brother the Remington 700, the Remington 788 is a great deer hunting rifle for the short ranges in the brush we have in north Arkansas.
It also is quite accurate at long ranges as this video attests to:

It was introduced as a budget rifle compared to the Remington 700 in 1967 and was discontinued in 1983.

There has been some controversy around this rifle. Some of the main problems cited was that the the bolt is not as rugged as the Remington 700. There were reports of handles breaking off after trying to free a stuck shell.

There was also a problem with the safely as this quote from the Remington site states:

IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICE: If you have a Model 788 rifle with a bolt-lock mechanism, the manual safety must be placed in the “F” or “Off or Fire” position to lift the bolt and begin the process of unloading the rifle. Be sure the rifle is pointing in a safe direction anytime you move the manual safety to the “F” or “Off or Fire” position. After you have lifted the bolt, slide the bolt rearward and then immediately put the manual safety back in the “S” or “On safe” position and then continue the unloading process.

After all these problems, the rifle shoots well and its not hard to get 1″ groups at 100 yards, more than enough for short range deer hunting. Over it’s production lifetime, it has been chambered in .223 Rem.,
.22-250 Rem., .243 Win., 6mm. Rem.,
7mm-08 Rem., .30-30 Win., .44 Rem. Mag., almost all of which are good enough to take down most deer.
The one you see is quite accurate at short ranges as a large number of coyote who’ve wondered through the property can attest to. It’s also pretty light and compact and fits well in the back of the mule we drive around the farm in.

At the time it was very resonably priced usually $150 less than the Remington 700. Lately it has seen prices go up as it becomes more of a collectors item but in the right places they are still quite reasonable for a budget rifle.

It’s bolt action is still quite reliable and if you don’t need anything fancy and can find it at the right price its size makes it a great scout rifle.

The Remington 788 may be getting old in years, but there’s a still a soft spot in my heart for this one since it was my first deer hunting rifle. Thanks Dad for letting me take it out.

Deer Hunting With the iPhone Part 1: Accessories

28 September 2010 by , 1 Comment

An iPhone is a great piece of deer hunting gear to take with you into the woods. With its thousands of apps and accessories, it gives it gives you an incredible array of options when you are out in the field or on the deer hunting stand with your deer hunting rifle. You can use it navigate to your favorite hunting places, keep you entertained on the stand with music or hunting podcasts, allow you communicate with fellow hunters where legal , and serve as as emergency communication device to call for help in case something goes wrong. Perhaps the most important use of the iPhone is to keep some connectivity with the office. If the boss doesn’t know you’re on the deer hunting stand, you can still make it look like you’re working.

Today we’ll be looking at some of the accessories that you can add to your iPhone to make it more suitable for hunting. If you don’t have a case for your iPhone it’s probably one of the first things you should add. Add the minimum, you should at least put a Skinit backing to help break up the outline of your phone. Its available in both hunting and digital camo whatever your preference is.

If you’re a fumble fingers like me and want a little more protection, the OtterBox line of Defender cases is an excellent case for your phone. It offers three layers of bump, scratch and drop protection and is available for both the iPhone 3G/3GS and iPhone 4.

The standard OtterBox Defender is not waterproof, but there is version used by scuba divers that should protect your case in the harshest of weather conditions and still let you use it.

The Otter Boxes don’t come in camo, but if you put on a little camo tape on the back to make them blend in better.

Camo Tape

The Simplism Dock Strap for the iPod/iPhone is also a handy piece of deer hunting gear to have. It let’s you hang your iPhone around your neck and keeps both hands on your deer hunting rifle.

If you’re one of the unlucky people like me who’ve seen their battery life go down with the release of iOS 4, you know that you’re going to need an extra bit of power to make sure that you last the whole day. There are two solutions, the first is a specialized rechargeable battery by Duracell.

The second is a solar powered cell by Solio. I’ve got this one and it’s pretty nice. You probably won’t be able to charge as fast it in the fall, but when you’re outdoors in the summer it’s pretty handy when you can’t plug in.

Next week I’ll review some essential iPhone apps for deer hunting.

New Ultra Light Arms: A Revolutionary Rifle

24 September 2010 by , No Comments

A West Virginia high school shop teacher and part time gunsmith named Melvin Forbes is the unlikely creator of one of the lightest deer hunting rifles on the market. His New Ultra Light Arms deer hunting rifles are incredible pieces of engineering but they are very expensive. On first glance they resembles a Remington Model 700 but on a smaller scale. Starter guns cost $3000 and an additional $100 for left handed version and can take six months to deliver.

Forbes has created many versions of his custom made rifles to fit a wide variety of actions. The gun models are named based on the weight of their actions. The Model 20 Ultimate Mountain Rifle for example has a 20 oz action weight. It is sized for cartridges like the .308 Winchester, .243 Winchester, 6mm Remington, .257 Roberts, 7mm-08, and .284. Likewise the Model 24 Ultimate Plains Rifle has a 24 oz action weight and is chambered for the .30-06. There’s even a muzzleloading version as well.

The New Ultra Light Armscan handle these calibers in a lighter configuration because it has a stronger action. Since the wall thickness of the barrel is unchanged at a a reduced diameter, the overall strength is increased. Forbes reported that he knew one owner had the gun for 12 years and shot 4.5 million rounds through it before the action wore out.

Another feature that distinguishes the New Ultra Light Arms is its stock. Unlike other synthetic stocks which trace their origins back to the fiberglass boat industry, Forbes designed his from the ground up using Aerospace technology. As Forbes says, it’s high tech but “we do not use anti-gravity paint.” Even at 14 oz., the stocks are very tough and have been run over by trucks, had horses walk on them, and been dropped out of trees with little damage. However, they can melt so watch were you put them. The stock also helps improve its accuracy by stiffening the action and barrel.

Listen to Melvin Forbes talk about his rifles:

If you do a lot of walking in the woods, a New Ultra Light Arms deer hunting rifle is a great high end rifle to bring along with you and make that long hike a little easier.

Get In Touch With Your Inner Cowboy: The Marlin 336

17 September 2010 by , 2 Comments

On a budget, a teenager, or just don’t want to spend a lot of money trying out the sport of deer hunting, no problem! There are many perfectly fine deer hunting rifles that only cost a few hundred dollars that you can get and try out the sport. One of them is a the Marlin 336. Introduced in 1948, it still works perfectly well as a hunting rifle even though it may not have a lot of features compared to today’s guns. It is a lever action rifle with a 6 shot tubular magazine which can still give you a good rate of fire as the following video shows:

It is not the most accurate rifle at long ranges but for shooting at ranges under 150 yards it works well. This short range does restrict it to hunting in woods and scrub locations so if you’re hunting at long ranges, this one might not be for you.

It is commonly chambered in 30-30 Winchester, .35 Remington, .308 Marlin Express, and .338 Marlin Express. However, for deer hunting purposes, the .30-30 caliber is probably your best best bet. It it is a common type of deer hunting ammunition, is widely available, relatively inexpensive, and doesn’t excessively damage the deear when hit.

It’s also a good looking gun. It also has the classic old west features of wooden stock, checkered, deeply blued metal surfaces. It weighs only 7 lbs. making it easy to carry into remote or difficult locations.

You can find this deer hunting rifle at sporting goods stores new for between $250-300 but there’s plenty floating around in pawn shops many can be found in the $150-200 range which should also include a decent scope. Make sure that you get a reputable gunsmith to check out your rifle before using it.

Many hunters have brought home a deer with this little gem of a deer hunting rifle and so can you.

Want to get a few extra days of deer hunting? Try a Muzzleloader Deer Hunting Rifle

10 September 2010 by , No Comments

A muzzleloading deer hunting rifle is a great option no matter if your an experienced or a new deer hunter. If you’re a new deer hunter, it is an opportunity to get in to the sport at a lower price point. Quality muzzleloading deer hunting rifles can be found for a couple hundred dollars, or about a third less than their equivalent modern deer hunting rifles. They are also quite effective in taking deer as the video below shows:

Deer hunting with a muzzleloader also give you the advantage of up to nine days of extra hunting depending on your state. Whether it falls at the end or beginning of your state’s deer hunting season, that means two extra weekends of hunting for us working stiffs.

If you’re an experienced hunter, muzzleloading can bring an extra challenge to the hunt. Unlike modern guns, you only get one shot and you’ve got to make it count. This helps build patience and timing. If your target is right in front you but your shot isn’t good, then you have to be exceptionally patient for the right shot (and maybe a little disappointed if the shot isn’t good).

Muzzleloaders are more inconvenient if you’re in the field. You have to carry around extra equipment such as balls, powder, a ramrod, patches, cleaning rags, patch lube, solvent, аnԁ a ball pulling worm. If you’re walking to your deer hunting location, this can be factor in how much weight you’re carrying. Some of these pieces of equipment can can also carry a scent that can spook nervous deer.

There are a wide varity of powders (pyrodex, stick, black powerder) and bullet types (sabot, shot, etc.) to choose from. Additionally, the muzzleloading calibers are much larger than non-muzzleloaders so some experimenting with the various combinations of powder/bullet type/caliber is needed on this type of hunting.

Muzzle loading hunting is typically done a about 100 yards. Most modern muzzleloading deer hunting rifles are almost as accurate at this range as non-muzzleloaders. However, this shorter range limits the type of hunting you can do to shorter ranges in woody and swampy areas.

A muzzleloading deer hunting rifle is a great and inexpensive addition to your list of deer hunting tools. Although it’s a little more difficult to use, it gives you more opportunities to hunt and get that big buck.

Common Deer Hunting Rifle Ammunition

27 August 2010 by , No Comments
Deer Hunting Rifle Ammo

Common Deer Hunting Rifle Ammo

Typical deer hunting rifle ammunition comes in two types:  heavy, large-caliber,  slow-moving bullets, for short ranges and light, small-caliber, high-velocity bullets for long distance shooting. Both are effective in hunting deer but one may fit your hunting situation better depending on where you live and what you are hunting.

A typical example of the first deer hunting rifle ammunition is the classic .30-06 Springfield.  With the .30-06 you have good flexibility in the size of the bullet. With the larger 150 grain and 180 grain bullets, you can use them to hunt larger game such as mule deer and elk. .30-06 caliber rounds are also ideal for ranges under 150 yards.

7MM ammunition is an example of the second type of deer hunting rifle ammunition. The bullet has a higher velocity on leaving the gun, has less drop than the .30-06 caliber rounds, and has excellent knockdown power. This makes the 7MM more ideal for long distance use above 150 yards.

Both types of ammunition  are available for many types of commonly found deer hunting rifles.

Budget Ranges For A New Deer Hunting Rifle

17 August 2010 by , 1 Comment

Remington Deer Hunting Rifles

So you’re in the market for a new deer hunting rifle. You might be a new hunter or looking to find a something new to hunt with. How much would you expect to pay for a new deer hunting rifle?

The first thing not to do is go to the local sporting goods store and buy the most expensive deer hunting rifle they have along with a lot of unneccsaary accessories. There are a wide range of deer hunting rifles that fit your hunting needs.

There are three price ranges of deer hunting rifles that should interest a deer hunting rifle buyer: $400 or less, $400-800, $800 and above.

$400 and less rifles are low end deer hunting rifles, serviceable and will do the job but will not be handed down to the grandkids. However you could easily buy a scope that costs more than the rifle. An example is the Marlin XL-7 which can often be found under $300. A Mossberg ATR 100 in a .270 is a cheap at $300 at Walmart. but it shoots well and comes with a decent trigger and bolt. It can last as long as a top of the line Sako but at 20% of the price.

A $400-800 deer hunting rifle is very sturdy and completely functional. They have well known brands like Remington and Savage and have excellent reputations for durability and long life.

$800+ deer hunting rifles are the top of the line rifles. The include brands like Browning, Baretta, and CZ. They typically have superior workmanship and more options but it’s debatable how many hunters can take advantage of these features.

There is a deer hunting rifle in each of these budget ranges that will serve your needs. We’ll be discussing the details of many deer hunting rifles in future posts.