Q: I have a problem that I feel is common to many of us starting out to hunt deer. I want to buy a suitable rifle for hunting fallow deer in semi-open country, but wish to have a versatile gun that can be used on larger deer species. The average shot at deer is 150 metres, but I have shot at nearly 300 metres before. My gun shop has a secondhand Remington Model Seven and a Ruger Hawkeye both in .308. Is the .308 a wise choice? I prefer this gun because of its light weight and handiness. I would appreciate any advice on rifle, calibre, and a moderately priced scope. What ammo as I don't reload?
A: The .308 Winchester cartridge is a good one, although for your purposes I think a .270 would be better. The 500mm barrel on the Model Seven carbine is not long enough to develop enough velocity for those long shots; the Ruger's 550mm barrel is better. I used the .308 for deer hunting for many years and found it had enough power for all species. It is reasonably pleasant to shoot and there's a wide variety of bullets and loads available in factory ammo. Since the Ruger comes with a set of rings, I'd recommend a scope in the class of the Meopta Meopro 3.5-10x42 which gives a clear, bright image.