Lightweight short action deer rifle

Lee M

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I have an itch to get a new lightweight, shorter barreled rifle for use in the thick woods of PA. Shot ranges here are more likely to be measured in two digits than three, so I am willing to give up some velocity for easy carry. Also we do drives for deer and bear through swamps/thickets and a 24" tube gets in the way. I have a few long action and mag calibers so not planning on using this new purchase out west, in Africa, or for longer range hunting. Caliber preference would be short action - 7mm08, 6.5 Creed or .308 win.

I have been searching online and came across a few that are interesting. Kimber --> Montana (22" barrel) and Adirondack (18") with weights slightly over/under 5 lbs, Barrett Fieldcraft (21" barrel and approx. 5.2 lbs, although its seems to be discontinued and unavailable), Savage ultralight with proof research barrel (around 6 lbs). Anyone have any experience with these rifles or with other suggestions? Would be willing to buy used as well. Not really looking for high end custom rifle at this point in time. Thx and Happy Holiday to all!
 

mdwest

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I have a Kimber Adirondack in the safe...

It is a bit "snappy" with a hot .308.. but frankly, it is an incredible rifle..

It shoots sub MOA with all three factory loads I have fed it (Federal Premium with 165gr TBBC, Barnes 168gr Vor-TX, and Hornady Black 168gr), and shot about .65 MOA with some Barnes handloads I brewed up...

Its insanely light.. (4lbs 13oz).. and super compact.. which makes it lightning fast to get onto sticks.. easy to work in a confined space like a deer blind.. and easy to tote around all day, hump up and down hills, etc..

Fit and finish is also extremely good.. the action is smooth and easy to work.. the safety is nice and tight, but also easy to manipulate, etc..

If you can find one on the shelves, Scheels had them on sale prior to Christmas.. They were priced about $200 below their normal retail price point..
 

crs

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May I also suggest that you also consider the overall length of the rifle?
A break action single shot or double rifle can save you a few more inches.
Then there are bull pup configurations.

Have fun shopping!
 

Whacker

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I commonly hunt areas such as this in our location as well. I have several shorter rifles for varying purposes but my main go to is my Marlin 1895 GBL. The big loop is awesome on that rifle and its overall length makes shouldering and getting on target very fast. It is very comfortable on a sling and does not hang up constantly with a barrel sticking out above your head. It has by far became my favorite brush gun...also has enough to reach out and take a 200 yard shot if the situation arises as well. It has become one of my most used rifles.
 

YancyW

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I have a Cooper Model 92, I cut the barrel back to 22". In a long action, with 3-15 optic, I am in under 7lbs. It is the most accurate non-custom rifle I have ever shot, well under a 1" with everything I have ever run through it.

I would love to get another one in 300WSM or maybe 7mm-08.
 

USMA84DAB

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Let's stir the pot with some heresy!

Here is a pretty trim 7mm-08.

IMG_1770.JPG
 
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CBH Australia

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Remington Model 7 20” 7mm-08 or a .308 if that’s not available
 

BeeMaa

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NULA Arms model 20.
Available up to 308WIN.
But for that price you could get 2 Kimber Adk's.
The problem is finding a Kimber Adk.
 
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Hogpatrol

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Ragman

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My go to rifle is a Browning BLR. It’s light and so nice to carry with I think an 18 inch barrel. 308 by the way. It’s an older model from 1973ish I believe that I bought used in 1995. It’ll never leave me till I’m dead! Lol.
 

Lee M

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I have a Kimber Adirondack in the safe...

It is a bit "snappy" with a hot .308.. but frankly, it is an incredible rifle..

It shoots sub MOA with all three factory loads I have fed it (Federal Premium with 165gr TBBC, Barnes 168gr Vor-TX, and Hornady Black 168gr), and shot about .65 MOA with some Barnes handloads I brewed up...

Its insanely light.. (4lbs 13oz).. and super compact.. which makes it lightning fast to get onto sticks.. easy to work in a confined space like a deer blind.. and easy to tote around all day, hump up and down hills, etc..

Fit and finish is also extremely good.. the action is smooth and easy to work.. the safety is nice and tight, but also easy to manipulate, etc..

If you can find one on the shelves, Scheels had them on sale prior to Christmas.. They were priced about $200 below their normal retail price point..
Thx for the info. I checked out Scheels online and they didn't even have Kimber as option. Checked with my local shop who is very friendly and who said they are a "master" Kimber dealer and they said check back in a month for orders as Kimber is in the process of moving from NY for Florida. I have not found any other store or online new/used gun site that has one in stock.
 

Lee M

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I have 2 older Remington model 7's that are fantastic rifles that fit your description
Yes, I have a few friends who have these and have used successfully for decades.
For some reason, I'm set on getting down to the 5-5.5 lb mark for the bare rifle and getting a brand I don't already have. Probably caught a virus from an AH member from all the rifle discussions and purchases posted on this site. lol
 

Lee M

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My go to rifle is a Browning BLR. It’s light and so nice to carry with I think an 18 inch barrel. 308 by the way. It’s an older model from 1973ish I believe that I bought used in 1995. It’ll never leave me till I’m dead! Lol.
I hear you. It's hard to part with a rifle that has many memories and personal history!
 

Alaska Luke

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It won’t be pretty but for that kind of work I think a short action Ruger American in your choice of caliber would be hard to beat. Light handy and cheap. I have one and its one I would defiantly keep if I went back to hunting deer down south.
One word of caution. Those short barrels get noticeably louder. I ALWAYS put on ear plugs before a shot so its not a problem for me. But if you’re think kind of person who forgets such things I’d keep that barrel 20 inches or longer. Or just get electronic ear plugs.
 

sgt_zim

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How about a Savage 99 in 300 Savage?
 

Skinnersblade

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Although not on your list Henry single shots should be considered. There light fast handling and very accurate. To me at least there the perfect package for thick country mines 45-70 but the are available in .243 , .308 and 6.5 creedmoor as well as several pistol calibers. Plus there very reasonably priced.
 

375Fox

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This is a bit unconventional, but I’ve considered getting this for the exact situation you described. Ruger 77 in 44 mag weighs 5.2 lbs, I’ve never been a fan of lever rifles so thought this may be good for me. With 18 inch barrel much better ballistics than a pistol. The MSRP is a bit expensive for what it is, but I think a local hardware store or small gun shop would get a very good price through a wholesaler (when the covid insanity ends).
 

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