My first deer rifle was a Mauser 98 carbine converted to 308 with Israeli markings. Traded that for a savage 99 in 308. Then bought a Swedish 6.5x55 Mauser 96. Traded that for my current mil surP a British 303 jungle carbine which I still use for nasty weather still hunts. Took a nice doe with it 2 years ago.
Forest Ranger Pachabdi Gazi ( Bangladesh’s greatest hunter of marauding Royal Bengal tigers ) used a .303 British calibre department issued military surplus Lee Enfield rifle and 215 grain Remington brand soft nosed factory loads to kill his 52nd and 57th marauding Royal Bengal tigers .
I used the exact same weapon during the war in 1971 to shoot countless Axis deer and wild boars for supplementing camp rations .
When I was young we had two deer rifles in my family. A 1903A3 that had been in the family much longer than me and a Lee-Enfield SMLE my mother paid I think $27.00 for at an Army-Navy Surplus store. I have no recollection of what particular model the .303 was. Even though the .303 was purchased for me to use, I used the 30-06 because the LOP was shorter.
Both rifles were 100% stock, absolutely no sporterizing had been done to either. When I was 13 I was allowed to use some calf money and so purchased a new 700 ADL in .270. This was 1972. Maybe familiarity does breed contempt because I’ve never had much interest in shooting mil-surps since then.
a lot of my friends and i started out useing milsurps rifles for hunting as they were plentyful and cheap. i think just about every one made them into semi sporters by cutting the wood and removing extra metal to lighten them, most were used with their original sights as scopes were costly, plus the cost to have them modified for a scope. only two friends and i reloaded thanks to one of their father,s. i couldn,t wait to grow up for better times to come. but now close my 77th year, i would go back to those long ago days in a heart beat.