Deer Rifle Checking 2023

Native Hunter

Well-Known Member
First gun is my son's 300 Mag Christensen Arms Ridgeline. It is shooting a full throttle handload I worked out with a 180 Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet. I shot it one time at 200 yards and put it back in the case.


The second target is from my Hankins Muzzleloader and it is also at 200 yards. I will need this gun in about 9 days for our early 2 day ML season. I was likewise happy with the shot and put the gun back in the case.


Third gun is my 300 Mag. I discovered a couple of years back that my gun would shoot my son's handloads extremely tight. This year I went ahead and sighted my gun in using his shells, so now we don't have to worry about getting shells messed up. A couple of years ago when I first tried this, I put 4 in the same hole at 100 yards. Today I just shot twice and both almost went in the same hole. First target is the 4 shot group and second is the 2 shot group.



My dad got the urge a few years ago to have a custom 30-06 Ackley Improved built. The gun has a Shilen Barrel, a Sako Action and a HS Precision stock. He used the gun one time to go out west and kill a mule deer, and it has been setting in a safe for about 20 years. His days of shooting big guns like this are over so he gave me the gun. I tried it out a little today. The first shot on an oily barrel went a little high, but still printed a 4 shot group just barely less than an inch at 100 yds. The following 3 shots on a dirty barrel went into .68 inches at 100. I clicked it up a couple of clicks and left it. Later this winter when the weather is colder, I will fool with this gun a little more.


The last gun I tried is a 25-06 Remington Sendero. The gun typically shoots between 1/2 and 3/4 of an inch at 100 yds, and that is what it did today. The group center was just a hair left, so I did adjust a couple of clicks.


It got too hot to be shooting, so I quit after this. My main goals today was to check my Muzzleloader and sight my 300 Mag in to shoot the same shells as my son - and I got that done.
I hope to shoot my 30-30 and 45-70 in the next couple weeks...i have other center fire bolt guns in various calibers but over the past few years I have stuck to my lever guns...
I hope to shoot my 30-30 and 45-70 in the next couple weeks...i have other center fire bolt guns in various calibers but over the past few years I have stuck to my lever guns...

I like shooting lever guns too and hunted a lot with a 30-30 when I was young.

We have gone to primarily hunting with 300 Mags due to the fact that we sometimes get long shots, and we want to get deer down ASAP due to tracking in tall native grass fields. The 180 Nosler Ballistic Tip seems to be the perfect bullet for us. It's extremely accurate, opens up fast for maximum expansion, but is still big enough to push out the other side despite the explosive effect.
Our shots are always under 80 yards so the lever guns work well for us. I killed a few deer when I was younger with my .300 Win Mag but decided to go the other way which is the stuff I hunted with when I was a kid. Sitting in the woods with my old lever gun on a frosty November morning is about the best possible place I can ever imagine to be.

in your situation hunting tall grass fields at long range. I would do exactly what you guys are doing!
Nearly every shot I have is under 100 yards, some slightly over. It wouldn’t be uncommon to have a fifty yard shot where I hunt. I could easily do it with a 30-30 but I don’t own one. I do however, own a .375 Winchester that has killed a bunch of deer when I used to hunt in the woods. I hunt deer with a .280 Remington, almost a forgotten cartridge these days, but I like it. I load my own and it does what I need it to do, but it’s almost too much gun for my hunting. Somehow, it’s just the one I grab when I go. If I’m hunting hogs or coyotes, it’s an AR15 in 6.8 SPC because I want that immediate second or third shot. I have traded one of my single action revolvers for a Henry lever gun in .45 Colt and some cash, so I’ll be using it on hogs I’m sure. It should make a pretty good hog hammer with some hot handloads. I have a Henry in .22 magnum and it shoots like a laser beam ! It’s probably the only rifle I own that has never missed a target. I hope the .45 is as good !