By Matt Alpert via wideopenspaces.com
Your grandfather’s generation was introduced to some of the finest deer hunting rifles ever made. These five classic deer rifles have a near perfect blend of form and functionality. The power and reliability of rifles like the Winchester Model 70 or the German-made Mauser M98 are hard to beat even by today’s standards. Chances are your grandpa or one of his hunting buddies used an original Marlin 336 during their deer hunting days. The 336 is one of the most reliable and accurate lever-action sporting rifles ever made. Since its introduction in 1948, more than 6 million Model 336’s have been produced . . .
The rifle has seen a number of variations, but it’s most commonly chambered for .30-30 Winchester and .35 Remington cartridges. The 336 is still the go-to rifle for many whitetail hunters.
Winchester dubbed the Model 70 “The Rifleman’s Rifle.” But it’s not just the company that holds this gun in high regard – it’s been a personal favorite of hunters and sport shooters since it was first introduced back in 1936.
The original Model 70 had a Mauser-style extractor that ensured a reliable feed – a feature that’s crucial to big game hunters. Other key components of the Model 70 include a 3-way wing tip safety and seriously dead-on accuracy.
Pre-1964 Model 70’s were chambered for the .257 Roberts, a popular cartridge for whitetail hunters. It’s a timeless design that’s just as effective now in the hands of deer hunters as it was when it was first released more than 70 years ago.
The Savage Model 99 is one of America’s most classic deer hunting rifles. It was released in 1899 and remained in production for most of the 20th Century.
This lever-action rifle had excellent long-range accuracy, form and functionality. The Model 99 was chambered for the .250/3000 Savage cartridge. It worked for your grandpa’s generation of deer hunters, and it might just continue to work for your kids as well.
The Winchester Model 1894 – commonly referred to as the Model 94 – is one of the most popular deer hunting rifles of all time.
Historians have referred to it as, “The Ultimate Lever Action Gun.” This rifle was light, comfortable, fast-shooting and highly effective at short distances. While this rifle is not an ideal rifle for all deer hunters, it can still be a powerful weapon for those who pursue game in dense forests.
The German-made Mauser Model 98 was a devastating bolt-action rifle on the battlefields of WWI and WWII. American soldiers who fired captured Mauser M98’s quickly realized the rifle’s accuracy and reliability translated to hunting.
This rifle could take a beating, and shoot straight in just about any condition. The Mauser M98 was adapted into “sporter” models, which are hard to come by these days. But even without the modifications for sport shooting, the Mauser M98 is a highly-effective deer rifle.