Lightweight short action deer rifle

Professor Mawla

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For your requirements , I would highly recommend a BRNO ZKK - 601 in .270 Winchester calibre . Quite a few occasionally turn up for sale , on the internet .

Alternatively , I would highly recommend a Winchester Model 70 in .270 Winchester . They are currently being manufactured , are of exceptional quality and are quite reasonably priced .

Our Texas whitetail deer are reasonably petite , and I find the .270 Winchester to be an excellent calibre for them .
 

NDWoods

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On the inexpensive end a Ruger American Ranch bolt action in 450 Bushmaster fits your description and is 5.5 pounds.
If you want an investment and enjoy the build process, contact a custom maker and build a bolt gun with a Titanium or Defiance Anti action with carbon stock and Proof Research carbon barrel. You get to pick out every component and how it is finished making it a one-of-a-kind. Multi calibers to choose from but a .308 would be a good caliber to look at for the barrel length and range you described.
Best of luck in your search!
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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I’ll plug the Tikka T3x Lite in .308 Win. Priced well, 22.4” barrel, 6.4lbs and will shoot lights out accuracy all day long out of the box.
 

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I’ll plug the Tikka T3x Lite in .308 Win. Priced well, 22.4” barrel, 6.4lbs and will shoot lights out accuracy all day long out of the box.

As soon as I saw this thread, I was waiting for you to make this post.;)
 

264

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I was in a siimilar position and went with the fieldcraft in 308. Very happy with the choice.
Might get a trip to NZ for reds and tahr, when this covid crap clears up.
Great to carry very accurate.

CjLKTX.jpg
 
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Lee M

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I’ll plug the Tikka T3x Lite in .308 Win. Priced well, 22.4” barrel, 6.4lbs and will shoot lights out accuracy all day long out of the box.

T3 may be the biggest bang for the buck out there. I have a 7mm mag that has taken many US and African game. My current go to rifle. Fits me like a glove
 

Lee M

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I was in a siimilar position and went with the fieldcraft in 308. Very happy with the choice.
Might get a trip to NZ for reds and tahr, when this covid crap clears up.
Great to carry very accurate.

View attachment 382063
Where did you find the Fieldcraft? I think they stopped making them last year and I can't find one available for sale.
 
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ChrisG

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This thread is getting a bit long in the tooth at this point, and there have been lots of suggestions. This is about a rifle, more so than it's caliber, but that's where I think we all tend to go.... so....

Thanks to @Bob Nelson 35Whelen I bought a .358 Win in a Ruger American Predator. I have to swap the stock still on it as the tupperware one that is on it drives me nuts. But I will say.... The American Predator is reliable and Lightweight. If Kimber had made an 84M in .358 I would have ordered one of those.

That said, the more I use the Ruger, the more I like it. It is a little under 7lbs stock and I have to say.. It works and shoots pretty well, is pretty light and that .358 Win burns little powder and hits like a hammer out to 300 yards.
 

mdwest

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a couple of options on the stock (I HATED the american stocks on the 2x ruger american rifles I've owned)...

an easy/cheap solution is just to glass bed the entire forend.. That will make the stock more rigid and make it "feel" better without adding much weight..

Another reasonably affordable option is to keep an eye on Boyds.. they seem to always have an American stock in their "rapid fire closeouts" section.. you just have to wait until you see one you like in terms of color and design... I picked up one of their chestnut brown laminate stocks (classic) for one of my americans for about $100 I think when I caught it in the closeout section..

The Boyds stock will add some heft/weight.. but Ive got Boyds stocks on several of my rifles.. and theyve always done well for me.. Hard to beat a super durable, well made, and reasonably fitted off the shelf stock for $100...
 

C.W. Richter

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Greetings, fellow Pa'ian! I live in big bear country (thick wooded swamps w/ <50 yds visability) and am lucky to have several family farms with 1,500 yd fields for deer. Will you be hunting deer only or deer and bear?? The Needmore would be far from my first choice for bear!!! The 7-08 is a hotter 308 for longer range work (on deer.) Either that or the .308 would be better as a combo gun, using the heaviest for caliber bullets. For what you're doing, I'd recommend the Rem 7600 carbine (18.5" bbl) in 30-06. With that, you can use even heavier slugs (i prefer the 200 gr Nos PTs) that drop game in their tracks without adding to the severe drag out. After breaking it in, the gun essentially reloads itself upon pulling the trigger-fantastic for moving or running shots as you never take your eye off the sights. The Leupold 1-5x scope was made for this gun (it's fine to 300 yds.) If you're married to the cartridges you mention, the 7-08 shades the other two (use the 175s or 160s for bear/deer.) Good Luck! I LOVE bolt guns, but the above is actually the perfect PA woods rifle, which i reluctuantly accepted when i refused to buy one (and an elder friend got me as a gift) and, in the balance, he was absoultely correcct! My son and I often remark that we've killed more deer with the Rem pump than all other guns combined (+2 bear.) A Win 70 Featherweight is also a very nice, reliable affordable solid rig. I'm not a big fan of factory Rem bolt guns (without a lot of hot-rodding.) What you really want is a Bansner Ultimate Ovis, but you mentioned that's not part of the plan at this time. IF deer only, consider a lightweight stainless bolt in .257 Roberts (I prefer the .257 AI but that just extends its range beyond what you mention.) It's a gunsmith's favorite in PA...OMT: A 35 Whelan is an excellent PA combo woods gun as well, as is the .350 Rem Mag. These were made for the territory you mention, so don't limit yourself to the cartridges mentioned. I hot-rodded a Rem 700 classic 22" in 350 and eventually (and proudly) sold it to a Native American chief out west as he loved it so much, but we slayed a lot of deer with it (and now the Chief-bear!) It's a very potent short mag. Honestly, I think what the for-profit corporations are advertising today is essentially "less for more." The Needmore is a great example of it. I am a big fan of .264 and .338 bullets, but if you want a 6.5, get one featuring a bigger case (i.e. 6.5-284, 6.5-08 Souper, 6.5 RSAUM or my fav 6.5 WSM (or the 6.5 PRC or Wby RPM)-with it you can slay bear with 160s and deer way out with 140s (more V, E, BC, and SD) not the puny 129 gr bbs they peddle with the needmore on tv. :p
 
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Red Leg

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Ruger gunsight scout in 308 Winchester
Or an original Steyr. My .308 is lights out accurate with everything that I have fed it. I have owned the rifle for a decade, and have never used it on game more's the pity. It would be ideal in the environment you describe - in Texas - less so.
 

ChrisG

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If you are fortunate enough to find one of these do not overlook a classic 6.5 for a lightweight deer rifle.

View attachment 384420
Now thats a classic! There isnt anything in the lower 48 i wouldnt go after with my 6.5x55 and the MS is just a swede with more class
 

shootist~

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KISS, IMO. Tikka T3X Lite in 308W, 7mm08, 6.5xx, (or whatever), and done.
Stainless or blued, wood or plastic - or after market stock as desired.
Accurate & reliable out of the box and budget friendly.
 
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This thread is getting a bit long in the toGoth at this point, and there have been lots of suggestions. This is about a rifle, more so than it's caliber, but that's where I think we all tend to go.... so....

Thanks to @Bob Nelson 35Whelen I bought a .358 Win in a Ruger American Predator. I have to swap the stock still on it as the tupperware one that is on it drives me nuts. But I will say.... The American Predator is reliable and Lightweight. If Kimber had made an 84M in .358 I would have ordered one of those.

That said, the more I use the Ruger, the more I like it. It is a little under 7lbs stock and I have to say.. It works and shoots pretty well, is pretty light and that .358 Win burns little powder and hits like a hammer out to 300 yards.
@ChrisG
I'm glad you chose the 358. A little Whelen almost. The 358 has always been under rated but try and get one off someone who owns one. It just plain works out of all proportion.
Bob
 

Jeffrey

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Steyr Scout 308
 

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