Imagine you're finally off on that hunting trip you spent so much time planning. Likewise, you spent the time and money necessary to acquire the best deer rifle you could find. The target is there, in the clearing, and hasn't heard or seen you coming.
You raise the gun to your shoulder, take aim, and pull the trigger. One shot later and the deer is yours. It all went smoothly. But, what if you would have bought the wrong type of rifle? What if the weapon you purchased hadn't been up to standard and didn't work correctly?
Before you set off looking for deer, you need to ask yourself some specific questions. What, exactly, is a deer rifle? How does it differ from other types of rifles? How can you distinguish one deer rifle from another? And, most importantly, how can you find the best combination of features that will make your hunt a success?
Best Deer Rifle
Remington Model 783 Scoped
Detachable magazine with a steel latch
Ruger American Rifle Predator
There is a two-position safety lever
Tika T3 Superlite
This gun is fantastic
Savage Arms AXIS II
Detachable box magazine and also has a synthetic stock
Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed Long Range McMillan
Great gun for accuracy
Kimber Mountain Ascent
Stands out for its high-quality materials
Winchester Model 70 Featherweight
Lightness and weightlessness
Savage Arms 11/111 Trophy Hunter
Looks stunning with its matte-black carbon-steel barrel
Sako A7 Big Game
Has two to four-pound adjustable trigger pull
Winchester Model 70 Extreme Weather
Designed to be used in extreme weather
How Rifles Differ From Shotguns
You may wonder how deer rifles differ from other types of firearms such as shotguns. After all, they both fire bullets. Don't they? How different can they be? It turns out the characteristics of each weapon greatly influence how each weapon handles and fires.
For starters, a shotgun fires shells or a slug while a rifle fires a cartridge. A slug is used when you want to emulate a rifle but only have a shotgun. A slug weighs more than a rifle cartridge and is used to hunt a variety of animals. For example, a hunting rifle may be illegal in your state. If so, your next best bet is a shotgun with a slug. The shotgun mixes well with almost any animal you hunt.
On the other hand, a rifle firing cartridge works well with almost any animal too. Both of them can make a kill, but the rifle has an advantage when it comes to distance. Outside of 100 yards, a shotgun loses its value. Some rifles, however, can bring down prey at well over 300 yards.
Shotguns also utilize what is called "shot." Shot are a bunch of small projectiles that fire out of the shotgun. These smaller projectiles deal a wider area of damage but don't hit with as much impact. So, in essence, a rifle is used when shooting at long distances and for better accuracy. A shotgun is useful when shooting at animals at a closer range.
It's also useful to take into account the caliber of bullets. The caliber of a bullet is its internal diameter in comparison to an inch. For instance, a .357 caliber is a little over 1/3 of an inch in diameter, where a .45 is almost 1/2 inch in diameter. Here's a handy guide to show you which caliber bullets to use with different types of prey. What else should you know?
It's important to be cautious around guns. Never point a gun at a human being. Always keep it pointed away from yourself and in a safe direction. A safe direction is any direction where a human cannot possibly be hit, even by a ricocheted bullet.
Also, remember to always keep your gun unloaded when not in use. If you're not using it, keep it locked away in a safe space.
Use the correct ammunition. Not using the proper ammunition not only damages the gun but may cause the gun to misfire and severely injure or even kill the holder and others close by.
Always check the ammo before use. Always wear eye and ear protection when shooting. Guns are loud, and you never know what can fly out of them. Make sure to keep your eyes and ears protected.
Double-check The Safety
You also should realize that your gun's safety isn't necessarily used as a safety net. Sure, you depend on it and it works, but make sure you always pay extra attention to it. Don't rely on the safety as your only safety net. Instead, double check yourself if the gun is in a state to fire or not.
Along with this, make sure you know what is beyond your target. Never shoot at a target until you know what is beyond it. Keeping this in mind leads to a more successful and safer hunting trip.
Know Your Weapon
Finally, learn the complexities of your gun. Make sure you know how it works, what can go wrong, how to fix it, and when to ask for help.
Now, onto the best deer rifles of the year:
The Best Deer Rifle: How We Chose
Guns and rifles contain a lot of details. Accuracy, scopes, barrels, and stocks are just a few important features. We looked not only at these but also at any special parts or options. We also take into account price and value.
Finally, we factored in consumer ratings, so that you're not just getting the best deer rifle on paper, but also according to the feedback of actual customers.
The best deer rifle isn't going to come cheap, and a lot of times you get what you pay for. But you can still find quality weapons that are affordable. And these are our focus. The rifles in our survey range from $250 to around $2,500. You can, of course, find rifles that cost a lot more than that.
10 Best Deer Rifles This year
Without further ado, here are the top 10 deer rifles you can buy this year. Please note that our they are listed in no particular order.
Here they are:
1. Remington Model 783 Scoped
Remington is one of the best-known gun manufacturers in the world. The company makes high-quality rifles and guns and is quite popular with hunters. This trend of popularity continues with the Remington Model 783 Scoped.
One of the features that puts this in the running for the best deer rifle is the stock. The stock is comprised of nylon fiber, which means extra stability.
Not only that, but the 783 also comes with a detachable magazine with a steel latch. If that's not enough, this product from Remington contains a CrossFire trigger system. This makes shot control a whole lot easier.
This deer rifle has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Cabela's website, and people love the modest price. This deer rifle costs between $ and $$. A fantastic deer rifle worth every penny.
2. Ruger American Rifle Predator
When looking for the best deer rifle, there are a variety of factors to consider. One of these is the composition of the stock. While the stock of the Predator is made of plastic, it's doesn't necessarily mean it's cheap.
That is key since stocks made of other materials may increase the price. A plastic stock usually means a more affordable rifle, and that's precisely what happens with this rifle. At a price between $ to $$, the Ruger rifle is a great buy.
Besides the stock, there is a two-position safety lever. This provides an extra layer of security when using the gun. The rifle garnered 4.4 stars out of 5 stars from Cabela's. Overall, a solid buy.
3. Tika T3 Superlite
The best deer rifle doesn't need to come from a brand name as big as Ruger or Remington. In fact, Tika produces the T3 Superlite, and this gun is fantastic. For starters, the Superlite possesses an improved grip over its older models. An asymmetrical grip pattern dons the stock, and this helps your grip in nearly any weather condition.
A recoil pad reduces the amount of shock your shoulder gets when firing the gun. A welcome addition to a product that produces a lot of recoil. Finally, a redesigned ejection port means feeding cartridges into your rifle has never been easier.
A cost of $$ to $$$ is an incredible price to pay for such a great product. Customers from Bass Pro Shops have given the gun 5 stars out of 5 stars and praised the accuracy of the rifle.
4. Savage Arms AXIS II
If you need to find the best deer rifle, then you might want to look into the Arms AXIS II from Savage. This model hosts a detachable box magazine and also has a synthetic stock. Along with this, the ARMS has an AccuTrigger. Created explicitly by Savage, the AccuTrigger is a two-stage trigger instead of a one stage trigger.
The two-stage trigger allows you to put pressure on the trigger without it firing. With a one stage trigger, you put pressure on the trigger, and it fires. If you are looking for an advanced trigger, then the Arms AXIS is your best bet.
The rifle scored 4 stars out of 5 stars on Bass Pro Shop's website, and customers love the sight that comes with the gun. With a price between $$ to $$, the Arms AXIS II is an excellent choice if you're searching for the best deer rifle.
5. Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed Long Range McMillan
The best deer rifle will have superior accuracy. After all, what good is a gun if it isn't accurate? The Long Range McMillan is a great gun for accuracy. It also has a comfortable pistol grip. And a comfortable grip can make all the difference.
Along with this pistol grip, the McMillan contains a glass-bedded receiver made of steel. Add to this an adjustable feather trigger, and you have a gun that's tough to beat.
Going for between $$$ and $$$, this is one of the more expensive rifles on our list. But, many may find that the price justifies the quality. Customers from Cabela's rate this rifle at 4.7 stars out of 5 stars.
6. Kimber Mountain Ascent
The Mountain Ascent by Kimber stands out for its high-quality materials. You pay for this high quality, as the price comes between $$$ to $$$, but this deer rifle is worth it.
First, the barrel gleams with stainless steel. Stainless steel is one of the highest quality materials you can get for a barrel, and the Kimber Mountain Ascent doesn't skimp on it.
If a stainless steel barrel isn't enough, then reinforced carbon fiber for your stock might grab your attention. With a stock made of high-quality materials, you're sure to have a great experience with your gun.
Customers loved it and gave it 4.4 stars out of 5 stars on Cabela's website. The light weight of the deer rifle is what impressed people the most. The Mountain Ascent is an excellent choice for all gun enthusiasts and should be considered when choosing the best deer rifle.
7. Winchester Model 70 Featherweight
When you hear the term "featherweight," you probably think of lightness and weightlessness. This is a perfect description of the Winchester Model 70 Featherweight, as the gun weighs less than many. A light rifle gives you an advantage, as you won't tire as easily after hours of hunting.
A satin finish makes for an aesthetically pleasing rifle, and a blade type ejector means you have complete control over the ejection force. If that's not enough, then the addition of alloy one-piece bottom metal for an increase in accuracy should be enough.
Customers from Cabela's gave the rifle 4.9 stars out of 5 stars and praised the accuracy of it. Feature packed, and available at a price between $$$ to $$$, this might be considered the best deer rifle by more than a few folks.
8. Savage Arms 11/111 Trophy Hunter
Savage changed the game when it came to accuracy with the AccuTrigger, and this other model from Savage also carries the AccuTrigger feature. This deer rifle looks stunning with its matte-black carbon-steel barrel.
Carbon steel is a great material to have on a gun, and Savage doesn't hold back when providing you with the best in quality. Mounted with a Nikon 3-9x40 scope, you can rest assured that your rifle gives you accurate readings when looking down the scope.
Moderately priced between $$ and $$, the 11/111 Trophy Hunter is sure to help you bring home trophies of your own. Cabellas customers gave this rifle 4.6 stars out of 5 stars and they noted how they enjoyed the stock pad.
9. Sako A7 Big Game
Priced between $$$ and $$$, the A7 Big Game is an astounding rifle. Customers love the quality of the product and gave it 4.6 stars out of 5 stars on Cabela's website. Some of the features that people also love include a two to four-pound adjustable trigger pull.
A stainless steel fluted barrel greets the buyer and a stock with a full aluminum bedding is also part of the deal when buying this rifle. Truly a great gun and possibly the best deer rifle on this list.
10. Winchester Model 70 Extreme Weather
Winchester is already on this list, but this rifle differs in one major way. It's designed to be used in extreme weather and succeeds at this. A Bell and Carson lay-up composite stock means you get a solid feel for the gun while holding it. A fluted stainless steel barrel helps your accuracy and ensures you hit your target.
Customers gave this rifle 5 out of 5 stars at Buds Gun Shop and they commented on the quality of the stock. The quality of the rifle is fantastic and is a great buy. And, for a price between $$$ to $$$, it's hard to go wrong with this rifle.
So, which one is our favorite?
Our Pick For The Best Deer Rifle
The Savage Arms 11/111 Trophy Hunter is our top choice. The AccuTrigger makes the difference when it comes to accuracy. And, since accuracy is the main focus of a gun's systems, it makes this choice an easy one. Not only is the accuracy fantastic, but you're also getting a quality deer rifle. The reinforced carbon fiber makes for an excellent handle, and the price is fantastic for what you get.
Stay Safe And Have Fun Hunting
Now that the hard part of finding the perfect deer rifle for you is out of the way, it's time to go out and have fun hunting! Remember to follow all the safety precautions and always know your gun's details. Combining safety and knowledge is the best way to hunt, so get out there and shoot safely.