Author Topic: One rifle for rabbits and deer?  (Read 30390 times)

Offline Jerry D Young

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Re: One rifle for rabbits and deer?
« Reply #30 on: May 09, 2013, 01:23:45 PM »
I second the .32 ACP adapter in a .30-'06 rifle to cover small game all the way up.

If you want one gun for small to large game, and also want to wing shoot, a Baikal MP94 489338 12 gauge over .30-'06 with .32 ACP and .30 Carbine chamber adapters for the .30-'06 and a 20-gauge adapter for the 12 gauge would give you a wide range of possibilities.

Just my opinion.

Offline blademan

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Re: One rifle for rabbits and deer?
« Reply #31 on: May 09, 2013, 04:42:59 PM »
I really like nelson's reply to this. If you don't have to go with one gu, then DON'T. Get the right tool for the job.
  However, IF you HAVE or convince yourself that you have to go with just one gun, I have to say that the shotgun. I would call the shotgun the Leatherman of guns, but that would be a disservice to the shotgun, its better at all the things it does within its effective range that the Leatherman is, but I think the analogy is clear.
  That being said, I can imagine only one situation in which this is good advice. You are preceeding the apocolypse into town and your first stop is the gun shop and they have just a .22lr, a .308, and a 12ga. You have enough money for one, and some ammo.
  Get the shotty.
Unless you are really restricted to only one, don't restrict yourself.
 One more thing, sometimes this question comes about because someone is getting their first gun, and they want to know what the "best" one to get is in case that's the only one they ever get.
  I think shotgun is the best 1st if you doubt that there will be a 2nd.

Offline bigjim71

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Re: One rifle for rabbits and deer?
« Reply #32 on: May 09, 2013, 09:58:21 PM »
Simple answer a TC Contender Carbine one rifle Interchangeable barrels, a good medium caliber 7-30 Waters, 35 Rem. etc.. and a .22Lr barrel there you go. of course then you could also get a .410 barrel and a black powder barrel and a .223 Rem barrel.... all with just one weapon ...

Offline soupbone

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Re: One rifle for rabbits and deer?
« Reply #33 on: July 22, 2013, 06:20:03 PM »
If I remember correctly, the OP said this was his first gun purchase. If so, I have to ask, what is his shooting background? If you are new to shooting, I highly recommend a decent .22. Once you become proficient with that, then think about getting a high powered rifle or shotgun. It is very hard to learn how to shoot with a hard kicking, expensive-to-feed smoke pole. Besides, everyone should own a .22 because, well, just because. Don't try to "trick it out" with fancy stocks, extended magazines, etc, etc., learn how to shoot it as it is out of the box. You will then learn what accessories you really need and want.

If you join a club or are a frequent visitor to your local range, you will soon pick up a plethora of information on shooting in general, and possibly the opportunity to try different hunting rifles before you decide on the one for you. Realistically speaking, a shotgun, especially if you get one of the kit guns - two barrels, one for shot, the other for rifled slugs, is a great solution, assuming you can shoot well to begin with. This is a hunting tool, not a training tool, though, so it would not be ideal to start with. Starting out with what feels like a howitzer when you touch it off is a guaranteed way to pick up a flinch or other bad habits that will be hard to break.

soupbone

Offline danimal

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Re: One rifle for rabbits and deer?
« Reply #34 on: July 23, 2013, 12:30:08 PM »
I have to advocate for the .22/20ga combo. My grandfather, father and uncles, to a man, opine about the hunts they went on with the Savage model 24. I am very familiar with all of the rounds one can use for the harvesting of different game but if you can't hit a deer where you need to and take it down with a 20ga, you didn't practice enough. And practice with a 20ga isn't as shoulder punching, bruise inducing and loud. Since the guy is a new shooter, a lighter recoil from the 20ga will be great. And again, placement with a slug is all that is required for bigger game. In the end, if a hunt doesn't go as planned, you can still plink in the woods or bring back rabbit, squirrel, etc.

Plus gun broker dot com has some cheap Model 24s which is a good place to start.

Offline jonathco

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Re: One rifle for rabbits and deer?
« Reply #35 on: July 25, 2013, 02:31:10 PM »
I agree with other folk's sentiment on here to just get a 12 gauge instead; versatile gun for a lot of applications (especially if you buy a combo with a slug and a bird barrel). However, if you have your mind set on a rifle, I am surprised no one has mentioned getting a .243 Winchester. It's a fine round with plenty of power to take down a whitetail and yet small enough not to destroy varmints completely (in case you plan to eat them in a SHTF situation). I know a lot of people say the .243 is too small for deer, but my family has dropped plenty of whitetails up North in Michigan with ours.

Offline kzogsylvania

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Re: One rifle for rabbits and deer?
« Reply #36 on: September 02, 2013, 08:03:59 PM »
Hello sorry if this has been answered a handful of times in the past.

I'm looking to buy a rifle. This would be the first firearm I would own, my goals are to be able to use it for small game and deer. Is that possible?

Do you need two different rifles typically to hunt rabbits and deer? I'm not looking for anything fancy just to get the job done without destroying the rabbit or not fatally wounding a deer.

Actually how can I get better educated about purchasing a rifle? I have listened to a couple of jacks shows on firearms and they are sadly still a bit over my head, also most of the discussions even in this firearms for beginners are above me.

Thanks for any advice or steering in any direction.

I know that the second commenter said he utilized a .22 Hornet for taking small stuff but my grandfather has taken many deer here in PA with the hornet. It is a center fire so it is legal and it's ballistics are so flat and recoil is so low that it is a super accurate round. It's worth a look.

But if the knock down power is what your looking for over a short range a shotgun with the ability to easily change out barrels may take care of those fears.

Offline trekker111

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Re: One rifle for rabbits and deer?
« Reply #37 on: September 03, 2013, 10:40:03 PM »
If you use a 22 hornet for "small stuff", use headshots. I've seen several mangled rabbits, and squirrels blown in two by the hornet.

I've never been a proponent of marginal calibers for deer, and the hornet definantly fits into that category. Most new hunters lack the patience and self control to wait for an effective shot to present itself and pass on the rest. If you can, then more power to you, but I've heard too many stories, and helped look for too many deer, where the hunter lost a deer to 22 hornet, 223 Remington, 243 winchester, and even hollow point boat tail match bullets from 30 caliber cartridge.

Also, it's been said before, but check the fame laws in your state. While 22 caliber centerfires are legal for deer in many states, in others, they are not. I also know of at least one where 243 cal is also illegal. On the flipside, due to the ways some states laws were written, 17 caliber rimfires are legal (even when 22 caliber rimfires are illegal). Since most of the laws prohibiting 22 rimfires predate the invention of the 17.

Offline kzogsylvania

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Re: One rifle for rabbits and deer?
« Reply #38 on: September 04, 2013, 05:46:34 PM »
If you use a 22 hornet for "small stuff", use headshots. I've seen several mangled rabbits, and squirrels blown in two by the hornet.

I've never been a proponent of marginal calibers for deer, and the hornet definantly fits into that category. Most new hunters lack the patience and self control to wait for an effective shot to present itself and pass on the rest. If you can, then more power to you, but I've heard too many stories, and helped look for too many deer, where the hunter lost a deer to 22 hornet, 223 Remington, 243 winchester, and even hollow point boat tail match bullets from 30 caliber cartridge.

Also, it's been said before, but check the fame laws in your state. While 22 caliber centerfires are legal for deer in many states, in others, they are not. I also know of at least one where 243 cal is also illegal. On the flipside, due to the ways some states laws were written, 17 caliber rimfires are legal (even when 22 caliber rimfires are illegal). Since most of the laws prohibiting 22 rimfires predate the invention of the 17.

This is true. The hornet has never been my go to for rabbits and squirrels. Honestly even when I had the opportunity to grab it I never did. Just instinctual to grab the LR. Now I want to give the lower velocity rounds a try and see the results. And yes buck fever can cause some poorly placed shots but that could happen with the 8mm Mauser too. I know for a fact though that soda cans can be hit very reliably at 300 yards.

Are you serious about the .17 HMR thing? That is a little ridiculous. Do you know of anyone that was successful? What did the wounds look like?

And personally from what I have seen out of a good buddy's 243. Every time was an extremely effective hit. In fact compared to my 30-30 which is my normal choice. It was always kind of messy. The worst was a shoulder through shoulder shot. The whitetail back peddled on the report and took it in the shoulder. When we walked down the exit was about the size of one of those small basketballs you win at fairs. Nothing but shattered bone and mangled meat.


Offline ADKwarrior

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Re: One rifle for rabbits and deer?
« Reply #39 on: September 05, 2013, 07:47:10 AM »
Just my 2cents but an over/under .22lr or magnum/.410 combo would do you pretty good and has served me in the past. Where i live you can take deer with .45long colt which fires from a .410 and small game can be taken with .22lr and up as well as .410 shot. Savage makes a nice one for cheap as well as Rossi. A 12ga with adapters will work great as well and cost alot more.

Offline trekker111

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Re: One rifle for rabbits and deer?
« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2013, 08:11:34 AM »
This is true. The hornet has never been my go to for rabbits and squirrels. Honestly even when I had the opportunity to grab it I never did. Just instinctual to grab the LR. Now I want to give the lower velocity rounds a try and see the results. And yes buck fever can cause some poorly placed shots but that could happen with the 8mm Mauser too. I know for a fact though that soda cans can be hit very reliably at 300 yards.

Are you serious about the .17 HMR thing? That is a little ridiculous. Do you know of anyone that was successful? What did the wounds look like?

And personally from what I have seen out of a good buddy's 243. Every time was an extremely effective hit. In fact compared to my 30-30 which is my normal choice. It was always kind of messy. The worst was a shoulder through shoulder shot. The whitetail back peddled on the report and took it in the shoulder. When we walked down the exit was about the size of one of those small basketballs you win at fairs. Nothing but shattered bone and mangled meat.


In SC, there are 2 sets of regulations. 1 for all state land and private lands in the western part of the state, the other for private lands in the eastern part of the state. The first being set by the dnr, the latter by the state legislature. On private land in the east, you can basically use anything that goes bang, including 22lr to hunt deer. They also run deer with hounds. In the rest of the state 22lr, as well as fmj bullets, are prohibited, but the law says "22 caliber rimfire is prohibited during still gun hunts for deer" hence, it only prohibits 22short, 22long, 22long rifle, and 22 magnum.

Kansas if i remember correctly prohibits anything smaller than 6.5mm(.270).

The only deer I know of shot with a 17hmr was DRT, but it was a 20 yard shot to the back of the head from a treestand. He hit right where the spine connects to the skull and honestly a strong pellet rifle would have worked.

I hunted the season before last with the 223 almost exclusively, and harvested several deer, but I passed on a lot as well. I also used non standard ammo, 75gr hornady tap, waited for broadside or quartering away shots, restricted my range to 100 yards or less, or made head shots.

My preferred cartridge for deer sounds like overkill to the extreme, 375 H&H mag, 300gr softpoints, but it ruins a lot less meat than a 30-06 or a 308. Because it was intended for much larger critters, the bullets barely expand, but still deliver a tremendous amount of energy, and since there is no violent expansion, there is no mangled meat. 375 in, 45 caliber out and a chest cavity with nothing but goo inside. Unless i hit a leg bone there is no meat loss. Plus I really love the rifle, so I would probably carry it even if it ruined as much meat as my 308.

Offline Pchitti

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Re: One rifle for rabbits and deer?
« Reply #41 on: September 14, 2013, 08:55:31 PM »
Rossi offers a trifecta package with 22lr, 20g, and 243 barrels.

Here is a link to the youth model for 269. Not sure of your location but you should be able to find a similar price close to you.
Also consider the 22lr/20g combo that comes in a good bit cheaper at 170. The youth models I find are great for our ideal use. The overall length is shorter thanks to a shorter length of pull(back of stock to trigger measurement) which allows for a slightly easier to store or pack size.

22/243/20
http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/rossi-youth-trifecta-3-barrel-rifle-shotgun-combo/pid-678157

22/20
http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/rossi-youth-22-lr-single-shot-rifle/pid-126551?N=39632024+4294961854


Personally I would highly suggest picking up a Maverick 88 in 20g should be around $200 out the door, and then saving for a single shot 243 or 270. You can go the 30-06 or similar size calibers, but in the lower end single shots they are light and kick like a frickin mule! lol 

Offline bfgmt

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Re: One rifle for rabbits and deer?
« Reply #42 on: March 13, 2014, 08:06:18 AM »
 the only way I can think to do it right a rifle with an interchangeable barrel from any company
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 08:28:56 AM by bfgmt »

Offline Carl

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Re: One rifle for rabbits and deer?
« Reply #43 on: March 15, 2014, 11:19:20 AM »
Without yet reading all of the replies...I want to suggest a lever action 38-357 magnum rifle. Though a bit of over-kill for rabbit with 38's.It is a powerful 125 yard deer gun in an easy to carry and maintain package. Look at 357 rifle ballistics and compare to 30-30 and many other non-magnum rifle class rounds...PLUS the 38 and 357 rounds are less costly and easier to find during the ammo shortage of our current times. I also like the 12 gauge shotgun for low cost,available ammo and multi-use by ammo selection...but it is a bit tough on rabbit and light for other than close range deer.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: One rifle for rabbits and deer?
« Reply #44 on: March 15, 2014, 04:10:32 PM »
+1 on 12 gauge.  Specifically, a single shot 2 3/4" 12 gauge is hard to beat for versatility and ease of carry.  For deer you can use Brenneke KO slugs out to 60 yards. For rabbit you can use #4 shot with an improved cylinder choke or a .22 adapter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNb6rbngDqY.  In a pinch it can even be used as a muzzleloader: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES59LtA7XE8.

Offline blademan

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Re: One rifle for rabbits and deer?
« Reply #45 on: March 18, 2014, 01:26:40 PM »
the recommendation of the .357 lever gun is interesting. it could work for something as small as squirrel if you used snake loads from close range and use head or neck shots. snake loads are like tiny shot shells made for pistol calibers. with the lever gun you might have to use it as a single shot because it might mesh well with the action in the receiver because I have heard that they don't work well in semi autos so that would give you some versatility. you could also play around with light powder loads in a lever gun since the action is mechanical it would still function.
 a heavy bullet going slow really slow would still kill coons squirrels chucks and such. then carry the hotte stuff in a separate container to not mix it up.
 you could also modify a revolver to work as afield rifle but attaching a properly sized barrel to it and tapping the back strap to add a stock and you could shoot almost anything you wanted out of it and still be able to convert back to a pistol. i think the Taurus model 608 would be ideal for this as it is an 8 shot 357 revolver. speed loaders aren't plentiful for it though.
 if I couldn't have a shotty I would prolly go with a PCC (pistol caliber carbine) though the choice gets harder between a tube mag or a detachable mag.

Offline inconel710

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Re: One rifle for rabbits and deer?
« Reply #46 on: March 18, 2014, 01:47:42 PM »
the recommendation of the .357 lever gun is interesting. it could work for something as small as squirrel if you used snake loads from close range and use head or neck shots. snake loads are like tiny shot shells made for pistol calibers. with the lever gun you might have to use it as a single shot because it might mesh well with the action in the receiver because I have heard that they don't work well in semi autos so that would give you some versatility.

You're close on the functioning issue.  Pistol caliber snake loads are put together using shot held by a small plastic capsule.  In a semi-auto, the capsule is not sturdy enough to handle the loading cycle causing it to break and spread shot inside the action.  Not fun.  You could probably single load any gun (semi, lever, etc) with snake shot if you really wanted.

Only problem I see with the snake shot option is the shot itself is typically very small and not likely to kill a rabbit beyond 10 yards.  In .357/.38 lever guns, it would probably be better to have a semi or full wadcutter handload with a light powder charge for small game hunting (similar to what Jack does with his "quiet" 44mag load).

Offline Carl

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Re: One rifle for rabbits and deer?
« Reply #47 on: May 20, 2014, 07:39:01 AM »
The 38 is big and slow and actually does less meat damage than a high velocity 22 on small game. Though a head shot does make it look like over-kill. Shot shells are good for rats and other critters in the barn, to kill without damage to the structure,but are a POOR (more expensive also) choice over the easy to reload 38 for small game and 357 for larger game and longer shots.

I have easily taken deer,wild pig,squirrel ,rabbit,plus numerous targets of opportunity(cans,bottles,crickets that made a move towards me) with 38 special factory and hand loads. 

My small game load is 3.2 grains of HP 38 (WW231) and a 158 grain cast bullet. I can give the data as it is a light load that has seen hundreds of thousands go down range ,as a commercial loader, lots of it has been used by police,and security agencies for practice ammo at our indoor range.