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Thread: Good Cold Weather Deer Semi-Auto Rifle

  1. #1
    Member Solomin's Avatar
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    Default Good Cold Weather Deer Semi-Auto Rifle

    I thought about posting this in the hunting sticky, but there wasn't much discussion regarding type of weapons and reasons why in the thread, so I figured this is just as much of a general equipment question.

    I've been pheasant hunting a dozen times before, but this is my first year deer hunting. My father and his hunting buddies do a lot of drives so I'm looking to get a semi-auto and not a bolt action. It gets very cold here in Minnesota and Wisconsin and I know in years past my father and his friends have had problems with the semi-auto freezing or getting stuck when autoloading and firing. A while back my father bought a Browning BAR Safari and has never had the problem since. His buddies all followed suit and bought various caliber BAR Safaris and they have never had a problem since. However, I am not sure I want to spend $1050, when there might be a less expensive alternative.

    I've been shooting since I was 6, so I don't need any advice suggesting a rifle for new shooters, I just never had the need to own my own rifle before.

    I looked around on websites for reviews of various semi-autos, but everything I read had to do with the ergonomics, cleaning, accuracy etc of the weapon. I couldn't find stuff on how well it performs in the freezing cold. My possible purchases are listed below if anyone has any experience in cold weather use of these weapons let me know what you think or if you have any other suggestions they are also welcome.

    Remington Model 7600 Synthetic: Win .308: $650

    Ruger KMINI-30-P: Win .308: $900

    BAR Lightweight Stalker: Win .308: $1050

    And if I find enough quarters in my couch...

    Benelli R1: Win .308: $1300

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    only exposed Albatross's Avatar
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    How long is your typical shot? Are you hunting in the brush?

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    Member Solomin's Avatar
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    Good question, I should have mentioned more. From talking to them, sometimes there is brush sometimes not, but I thought shooting through brush had a lot to do with the shape of the round, not necessarily the power. For distance I think we are talking anywhere between 50 and 200 yards. They mostly shoot .270s, but I know one guy shoots a Springfield .30-06 and takes long shots if he has the chance.

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    Bare Hunter JC0352's Avatar
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    Get the BAR my friend! Any of those rounds are just fine: .308 Win, .270 Win, or .30-06 Sprngfld

    Also, the lighter the recoil, the better. You want to get back on target for a follow-up shot as fast as you can.

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    only exposed Albatross's Avatar
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    My advice would be to get 2 rifles.

    1)Use a 30/30 lever action and use iron sights for the brush hunting, great for thick nasty stuff under 100 yards. Brush buster that will drop a deer.

    2)A 30.06 mag fed with a scope for the longer shots. Round flies flat, fast and has a ton of stopping power.

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    Duck Hunter Extraordinaire & Wodka taster for The League of Cantankerous Old Farts Jurpula's Avatar
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    Why does it have to be semi?

    As far as caliber goes, I'd take the .308.There are good rounds for small game and if the need arises, you still have punch for bigger game.

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    Bare Hunter JC0352's Avatar
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    If you can find a good used rifle, you could save some cash.

    My dad has a Remington 742 in .30-06 from the late '70s and it's still an awesome deer slayer. He has a Leupold VX-III 1.5-5x20 scope on it; a great "thick woods" rifle. This is a google image, but to give you an idea...

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    only exposed Albatross's Avatar
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    I don't like scopes on my brush rifles, most of my shots have been 25-50 yards in nasty stuff. I like the quick action on the iron sights.

    I need a new scope for my .243.

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    Member Solomin's Avatar
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    I most likely be getting a Leupold brand scope, this is all helpful information, but my main concern is for cold weather if anyone has any more input on that.

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    only exposed Albatross's Avatar
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    I have hunted with that 30/30 lever in some brutally cold stuff, and it was perfect. I have also had a 30.06 mag fed that jammed. It is really all about maintence and cleaning. Just clean it and lube it really good every night before you head out, or in the morning if you are that kinda guy.

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    Bare Hunter JC0352's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomin View Post
    I most likely be getting a Leupold brand scope, this is all helpful information, but my main concern is for cold weather if anyone has any more input on that.
    Another major factor would probably be what kind of oil/lube you use; I have no clue which would be best for extreme cold.

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    Member Solomin's Avatar
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    That's a good point, I'll do some research, thanks!

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    Member sexyhamburger's Avatar
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    All you need man

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    Member Solomin's Avatar
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    I read something online about using graphite lube in cold weather, anybody know anything more about this?

    EDIT: More on this, I guess graphite lube will corrode aluminum, otherwise it is good for sub zero temps.

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    Member Rynnäkkökivääri's Avatar
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    Maybe a .308 Garand would work for you.

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