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Discussion Starter #1
I am a novice hunter looking for my first rifle. I have considered a 30/30 lever action (I fired a friends and liked it ok) But would like more input. I have considered a Stevens 200 or a Mossberg 100 ATR. I am not sure on a caliber either .308,.30-06 or .270? Suggestions and opinions are needed and appreciated!
 

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Well, you will probably get as many opinions as there are calibers. I assume you want a deer rifle. Any of the calibers and guns you mention will do just fine, so it comes down to preference on which you like better, the lever action or the bolt action. I like them both, but prefer the bolt action because I think scopes on lever actions are ugly, and I like to hunt deer with a scope, therefore I use a bolt gun! My personal gun is a 30/06, but I would not hesitate to use a .270 or .308 either. My wife uses a .308 and has killed a slew of deer with it. I know that they are more expensive, but why not a Ruger 77 MK2?
 

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What are you gonna be hunting?
The 30-30 is a great old round and will work its magic on any deer inside 150 yds. Some say they can hit farther and probably can with that leveroution ammo. A marlin 30-30 does not kick as much as a 270 or 30-06 either and the 30-30 ammo is probably half the cost of the others you listed. Saw some on sale for $8.00/20.

The stevens 200 is as i understand it nothing more than the old model savage mdl 110 without the acu-trigger. Nothing wrong with that and they are good shooters.

Don't know much about the ATR.

The 308, 30-06, and .270 are all fine calibers and ammo is readily available anywhere with a bunch of choices. I would also look at the 243 as well if recoil is gonna be a factor. All of these rounds can out-distance the 30-30 but i am still of the opinion that 90% of deer are taken inside 100yds (at least around here).

If you are perhaps thinking something bigger than deer later on down the road, then the 30-06, 308, and 270 really start to shine.

If you can get out to a range and try a few out that should help.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input. I think after further research and consideration I am leaning towards the .30-06 for versatility. The reason I was looking at the econo rifles instead of a higher dollar choice was since I am new to the sport, I thought I would keep the initial investment minimal in case the hunting bug doesn't take. I can always upgrade later. The Savage/Stevens line seems like the better avenue to take if anyone else has other ideas I'll always appreciate the advice.
 

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The stevens/savage line should be fine. only reccomendation there is if you buy a scope package deal, you might want to throw away the rings and possibly the scope--they are not exactly the greatest scope and rings.

I would reccomend the h&r/nef handi rifles, as a good economical 1st choice, but they seem to require a lot of minor fiddleing to get up to snuff---still a lot of fun for a single shot rifle and cheap extra barrels to be had in shotgun and rifle calibers to make a switch-barrel set. gbo forums has a good nef board for research and questions. 30-06 for 220.00 new. But unless you like to tinker, the stevens is a better choice.
nef site is here http://www.hr1871.com/
graybeard board is here http://www.go2gbo.com/forums/index.php#12
 

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One of my favorite deer rifles now is my Stevens 200 7mm-08 that I had the barrel cut to 18 1/2 ", very easy to carry, shoots less than an inch at 100 yards.
 

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I have a scoped single-shot 30-06 that I've killed a lot of game at 100yd+ with. I have a 30-30 lever-action with open sights that is a good brush gun for quick shots. I like different guns for brush or open country.
 

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Any of the calibers listed above would be fine for deer.I agree with Gunman, the Ruger Mk2 is a great gun. For the money it's hard to beat a Ruger. Just my opinion.
 

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A Stevens in 7mm-08 is an excellent rifle, I have 2, the othetr a 25-06. A great buy . 270 & 308 are great rounds too. I just took a 180 lb 11 point whitetail with my Stevens 7-08!
 
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