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Readers Respond: What's Your Favorite Bolt Action Deer/Big Game Rifle, and Why do You Like it?

Responses: 66


Bolt action rifles might be the single most popular choice for hunters of deer and big game these days. Do you have a favorite bolt action hunting rifle? Let us know what it is and why you like it... especially if it has helped your hunting. Do not ask a question or expect a reply! I cannot reply to you here. Please post in the forum if you have a question.

Weatherby Vanguard Series II

My dream bolt action would be a Mark V Euromark in 270 Weatherby. But since I live on social security I'll keep my new Vanguard in 30-06 with a Nikon Monarch 3 2.5-10x50 mounted with talley lightweight ring mounts. The rifle is very high quality fit and finish are excellent and weatherby stands behind their products. The rifle is accurate and I know that in a pinch I can take any north american animal. The other thing I like is the 24 inch barrel to get a little more velocity.

Remington 700 SPS 7mm-08

My Remington 700 SPS in 7mm-08 has been fired only twice at whitetail deer. Both shots were killing heart/lung shots, at 95 and 65 yards, and both deer dropped in their tracks. I use a 3x9x50 illuminated reticle scope, and Winchester 140 grain Ballistic Supreme ammo. An awesome combination!
—Guest Guest Pablo

17 Remington

This is one of the best rifles I have ever shot. It is so accurate I can hit a bullseye from 300 yards away.
—Guest blake

Remington 788

I have a Remington Model 788 in 308. I love this gun. I have killed more deer with it and have never had one run off very far after being shot.
—Guest jim

Remington 700

In 1981 I paid $374 for a left-handed Remington 700 BDL in 7mm Rem Mag. In 1999 I gave $475 for a Leupold scope to mount on that gun. I reload all my ammo and I can hit quarters at 300 yards.
—Guest cliff

Mauser Actions for Me

I love my Browning Safari Deluxe in 7mm Mag. It was made in 1968 and will shoot MOA groups with factory ammo all day, and never has faltered once. I also use a Ruger Hawkeye in 243 Win for coyotes and smaller game. It too has been 100% reliable, and looks great doing it. I like the solid simplicity of the Mauser action; to me, more than 110 years of reliable service is difficult to argue with.
—Guest Gerry C

Best Budget Bolt Action Rifle

I have other priorities in life, so I need to get the most bang for my buck. The Marlin XS7 does that, and mine is chambered for 308 Winchester. And, it's upgradable.
—Guest Vic

Remington Model 700 30-06

I have had mine for 25 years, this is by far the most comfortable gun I ever shot. 1/4 groups at 100 yards. Taken 36 whitetails with it. I think this rifle gets a bad rap, mine has been great.
—Guest Ray Page

Weatherby is my Favorite

My favorite bolt action rifle is the Weatherby Mark V Deluxe in the 300 Weatherby Magnum caliber. With a Leupold 3x-9x scope I can hit a target dead center at 100 yards, very accurate.


I have 2 Sako rifles in 30-06 & 300 Win Mag. Both have been bedded & tuned, and both have 3x-9x Leupold scopes.

My Favorite Rifle

My favorite rifle is the Remington model 700 chambered in 280 Rem. It's got a lot of knock-down without the kick. My particular rifle was very accurate out of the box.

243 Model 70 Winchester

My favorite rifle is a 1958 Model 70 Winchester in 243 Win. I've taken 40 plus deer with it from 30 to 270 yards. My back-up rifle for wet weather is a 2005 Ruger M77 stainless/laminated stock. I've taken two with it.
—Guest W70

Favorite Bolt Action Deer/Big Game Rifle

I like the Remington 700s, but the quality is not what it used to be. I prefer the new Winchester model 70. It is made in USA. Much higher quality than the old Winchester before closing. The Model 70 Extreme Weather SS in 30-06 would be "it." The action is very smooth, with Bell & Carlson stock. I like that the internal parts of the M70 Extreme are also stainless steel. I also like the Tikka T3 laminate stainless. The palm swell fits my hand perfectly. Nice balance. The action is very smooth and the bolt has a 70-degree lift. My friend has a T3 lite in 30-06. I shot 11 rounds at 110 yards, it got three consistent 3 shot groups 1"-1.25" with $20 box of Federal 180 grain Powershock (blue box). I don't like the plastic mag and trigger guard. I prefer a steel or aluminum floorplate. Aside from that the Tikka T3 is great.
—Guest Jerry

Browning A-Bolt 30-06 Stainless Stalker

I've taken deer with four Remingtons, two Brownings, one Winchester, and one Mauser in a variety of calibers. They were all fine rifles. What made me pick the A-Bolt were the features it has that make the rifle easier and more convenient to use. I routinely hunt in tree stands; some fixed, some of the climbing variety. The ease of unloading/unloading/topping off the A-Bolt with the removable magazine mounted on the hinged floorplate makes a genuine difference which can be readily done in daylight or darkness with gloves on or off. I shoot equally well left or right handed and in a tree stand sometimes that's a real advantage, the A-Bolt's tang mounted safety (which is easily worked left or right handed) has allowed me to take shots whichever way works to my advantage. The stainless metal with synthetic stock have made it so I don't need to protect the rifle with chaps or extra care and it still looks great. Finally, it has compact size, great fit and finish, is very accurate and it works.
—Guest Turner

Accurized 700 Rem

I bought my 700, then got a barrel brake. In practice, I shot 3/4'' groups @ 200 yards. Then took it to Brad Stair (Cross Canyon Arms) to have the action glass and pillar bedded. Remington does no bedding, but with accuracy like mine it's no wonder the 7mm rem mag has never needed more than one shot to get the job done. I killed a bull elk at 433 yards with a Barnes 140 grain TTSX. One shot, and the 340 class bull never even felt it.
—Guest guest will
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