The Best Straight-Wall Deer Rifles

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 3 days ago

At Outdoor Life.

Some ARs, some bolt action rifles.  Mostly .350 Legend and 45-70.  The Franchi Momentum in .360 Legend is a nice looking rifle in Optifade Cerakote finish.

The new Marlin 45-70 is still unobtanium unless you’re willing to spend $1800.  Lever actions guns are priced very high right now.


Comments

  1. On August 3, 2022 at 7:09 am, Latigo Morgan said:

    I got interested in the .350 Legend early on, and got an AR upper receiver from Bear Creek Arsenal with a 16″ bbl.

    Then the ammo panic hit, and I could no longer get $10/20 practice ammo, and I didn’t yet have much stockpiled, so it kind of faded into the background. I never did start reloading it.

    But, I am happy with the accuracy and punch the round packs, with recoil not much different than a .223.

    I would definitely take it out deer hunting in an area where I wouldn’t have to make more than a 200 yard shot and feel quite confident.

  2. On August 3, 2022 at 8:32 am, Joe Blow said:

    I have to admit, any new purchase that does not match an already owned caliber has to pass the ammo-test.
    Straight walls helps, as reloading is far easier than with necked down cartridges. Availability of dies, primers and powders next. I recently bought a .357 magnum pistol and found powder and dies… but no magnum primers. Stuff like this needs to be part of the calculus in todays world.

  3. On August 3, 2022 at 10:02 am, Latigo Morgan said:

    You can do without magnum primers, depending on the powder you’re using. Like Unique – no need for magnum primers with that stuff.

  4. On August 3, 2022 at 2:26 pm, scott s. said:

    WRAC came out with a centennial commemorative M1895. At the time I wasn’t interested in the commemorative winchesters (is there any thing that didn’t get an M94 commemorative?) But now I am kicking myself.

  5. On August 3, 2022 at 3:57 pm, Paul B said:

    I like 350 legends. Using 180 grain Winchester I get very good groups out to 200 yards. Works good and definitely kills deer. Had an ar but two easy to empty the mag so I know have a Ruger American bolt. It uses ar mags so did not need to get a bunch of new ones.

    I have use 47/70, 50 cal muzzy and 20 gauge shotguns to get deer with but I like the 359 best.

  6. On August 4, 2022 at 8:29 pm, Georgiaboy61 said:

    Re: “The new Marlin 45-70 is still unobtanium unless you’re willing to spend $1800. Lever actions guns are priced very high right now.”

    Part of the reason lever-guns have been so popular for so long with American hunters (and others as well) is not just that such designs as the Winchester M1894 and Marlin 336 are aesthetically-pleasing tools which do their jobs very well indeed, but because they have been affordable to people of ordinary or even limited means. I devoutly hope that Sturm & Ruger – the new owners of the Marlin line – do not forget that fact.

    I mention it because $1800 is more than twice what a rifle like that ought to cost in the marketplace. Demand is high, supply limited and the firearms makers and retailers as a whole are asking & getting premium prices, but there’s no reason for price gouging. Let’s hope that when the market returns to earth, so will their prices.

  7. On August 5, 2022 at 8:14 am, nomen nescio said:

    I’m going to upset some people here, but this whole class of firearm is stupid and I question the justification for creating them. It’s a rule-beater created to comply with game regulations written by spiteful Karens in restrictive jurisdictions, who create things like this with the intent to make hunting more expensive and less practical in order to protect poor misunderstood persecuted Bambi. See also, lead ammo bans.

    Some of these cartridges, like .45-70, have historical significance, I guess, but there has never been a defensible reason to try to create a rimless straight-wall cartridge and shoehorn the resulting gucci bespoke ammo into firearms more modern or mechanically complex than a single-shot H&R Handi-Rifle, much less an AR, which is right on the ragged edge of reliable extraction with bottleneck cartridges when well lubed and white-glove clean.

    There were already H&R Handi-Rifles in .44 Magnum and .45-70, and shotguns with rifle sights suitable for use with slugs, which are more than adequate for shooting at things that don’t shoot back. There are millions of these guns in circulation, and it’s not like the market for hunting guns for a dwindling number of hunters hasn’t been saturated for fifty or sixty years. The engineering problem was already solved. 350 Legend and .450 Bushmaster are horrible ideas that serve zero practical purpose, and just by existing and being manufactured reduce the available supply of primers, brass, and components during the worst shortage of such things since the Second World War. They should never have been created and should not exist.

    Straight-wall rifle cartridges died when smokeless powder and rimless cartridges were created, and they died for the excellent reason that they are inferior by every metric other than compliance with this week’s legislative diktats from Karen–which are subject to change on a whim, with or without warning or justification. Rimless straight-wall rifle cartridges created to appease Karen are an abortion. I boggle every time I go to Bass Pro to pick up some overpriced 9mm or see if they have primers, and see pallets of .350 Legend ammo stacked high on the sales floor, and very little else, instead. Do you suppose that if I bought that ammo, I could pull the bullets, dump the powder, and repurpose the primers? Maybe if you necked the cases down to take a .22 caliber bullet they might serve some practical purpose. I wonder what powder they load that stuff with. Could I use it to load 5.56?

  8. On August 7, 2022 at 4:08 pm, Don Curton said:

    Kinda funny that I clicked the links to “check price” on the Winchester lever action and Uberti High Wall and guess what, NOT IN STOCK. Ha ha ha. I’m currently in the market for another lever action 30-30 since the one I have is basically 100 years old. Still shoots good, but would love a new one that I’m not afraid to take out. Recently bought a Rossi Model 92 (those are available, the Winchesters? Not so much). Chambered in .357 and shoots like a dream. Would love to get a second one in .45 colt to match my replica Colts. But for hunting? 30-30 is the way to go. Nomen has a good point above.

    And as Georgiaboy stated, part of the lever action popularity in the past was affordability. Henry’s are really good, but also really pricey.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published August 2nd, 2022 by Herschel Smith.

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