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Rifles

8 Most Underrated Deer Rifles Ever

by Doug Howlett   |  October 9th, 2012 8

Nowadays, a deer hunter has a lot of rifles to choose from, but a trip down memory lane turns up just as many quality bolt guns and lever actions that have stood the test of time.  In the last 100 to 125 years deer hunters have had a lot of great rifle models to handle, and we’ve all been trying to define which were the best of all time.

Guns like the Savage 99, Winchester Model 94, Remington Model 700, Marlin 336, Ruger Model 77 and others are all deserving of inclusion and are often at the top of such lists. Perhaps even more challenging is picking out a handful that were or remain the most underrated deer rifles of all time. These are the solid performers, yet now out of favor or not as recognized as they should be. Here are our thoughts on the most underrated deer rifles of all time. Let the arguments begin.

  • Dave

    You really had to dig into the archives to find the obscure Remington 14 while ignoring the enormously popular – and still readily available – Lee Enfield in .303 British. This gun is compact, handy and accurate. The trigger can be tuned to astonishing standards compared with modern factory triggers, and .303 performance is indistinguishable from the .30-06. You guys missed a big one here!

    • Kyle

      well stated Dave i own one of these beauties. My Enfield is extremely accurate. The .303 is a excellent round and has great stopping power.

      • SOG74

        You are spot on! I've shot many quality rifles, but my first whitetail was in 1972 with a Enfield .303 Jungle Carbine with open sights at 176 yards – dropped on the spot. Then I added a .303 Mark 4 No. 1 and later an .308 Ishapore for my son. All quality guns, rugged, accurate and consistent – and relatively cheap (until recently). And with handloads, they will compete with all but the magnums.

  • breamfisher

    The Savage 99? Seriously? It's not that hard to find many articles from when the Savage was in production where it was deemed a great deer rifle.

  • phil

    i would have left out the benelli, both remingtons, and the savage, and included the mosin, enfield, sks, and mossberg 810A.

  • Randy Wood

    Any list that would include the Model 99 but forget the Winchester Model 88 is missing something. My dads brought sown more 200 pound bucks than any other rifle I can think of in the Adirondacks, and he had the only one I know of. VERY underrated, It had a cross bolt safety that actually worked!

  • Bill Joslin

    I would have to add a Husqvarna in either .243 or .270 should have been on your list as well. My 6000 Imperial is as accurate as they come and the .243 Winchester is a great flat shooting deer round.

  • raptor45

    Benelli’s rifles and shotguns may be the cat’s whacker to some but those that I have seen are big, heavy, bulky and expensive. They’re big, ugly and heavy and I wouldn’t own one if they were gold plated.

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