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Since the OP chose "Most popular rifle in PA", then that isn't really limited to just deer rifles, as this thread has developed.

I'd opine that THE most popular rifle in PA, is probably the AR 15, since that has become the most popular rifle platform in the entire nation over the past few decades and I doubt it's any different here in PA?

People are still buying their first AR, including two guys I know, that just a few years ago were fussing about why anyone would want an AR 15. One was a surprise to me, since the old goat prides himself on expensive rifles and looks down his nose at anyone who buys "such junk" as Savages. Didn't settle for a run of the mill AR. His cost him well over a thousand dollars.

The other one wasn't as much of a surprise, as it's the BIL that hunts with me. He has opinions on everything. Once ridiculed me for having a 380, now he has one. Of course it's a better one than the KelTec I've had for years. He bought a far more expensive one. And he now has his own AR 15 that I think ran him around $600?

No ammo for it, until I sold him some of mine. Same for some 380 ammo. Now he's happy.

:)
Here is the OP : "Let’s hear everyone’s thoughts on the most popular and or most practical rifles for PA big game hunting (deer/bear) Make, model, caliber and the uses of these said rifles! " Seems practical is a non issue on most reply. But since he did say big game hunting in PA it leaves the AR platform out of the topic. Waugh!
 

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Expanding on Denny's post a little on the subject of renting a gun. Never herd any of my relatives mention doing so, but it's possible, and guns were loaned. I do recall dad and some of the Uncles mention buying shells by the piece instead of by the box. Most, if not all, country stores sold guns and ammunition so if you only wanted a half dozen shells they would sell you a half dozen shells.
Below is a couple of old photos with some of my relatives showing the type of guns they carried. The first photo is from Dec 1930 at Hyner, and the second is, I think about 1925, it's in front of the general store in Mackeyville. View attachment 170333 View attachment 170334 think
I love all those spikes and forkies in the picture. Not to mention the size of them deer in the first picture. Well they look big and thick anyway. Waugh!
 

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Well first off people who use pumps or don’t want semis for deer don’t need to provide any data or rational. The people who want semis need to provide the rational and data to support why they should be legal. I don’t understand it if semis are legal in so many other states why not go their and hunt and drop it here because the PGC seems to have dropped the idea. Personally I have no say in the matter just like everyone else on here.
I know this is thread drift BUT,
Isn’t it hypocritical for those opposed to it to say to those in support that they have to prove why they should be legal to your standards, while simultaneously saying those opposed don’t need to provide any evidence or rationale as to why they should continue to be prohibited?
Yeah, actually, that’s the epitome of hypocrisy. Well done.
 

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I know this is thread drift BUT,
Isn’t it hypocritical for those opposed to it to say to those in support that they have to prove why they should be legal to your standards, while simultaneously saying those opposed don’t need to provide any evidence or rationale as to why they should continue to be prohibited?
Yeah, actually, that’s the epitome of hypocrisy. Well done.
No it’s not. The difference is it is the current law. It’s the way it’s been and the way it is. The ones opposed are not trying to change the law.
 

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No it’s not. The difference is it is the current law. It’s the way it’s been and the way it is. The ones opposed are not trying to change the law.
Oh, no, it’s the definition of hypocrisy, holding someone else to a standard you boldly claim doesn’t apply to you.
Layer in that over the years, those opposed have basically set an unobtainable precondition that they must be convinced to an impossible standard, as if they are the ultimate deciding factor, it becomes sad and laughable.
And, FWIW, current LAW says semi’s are legal. (Remember that changed about 4 years ago?)
Current regulations say they can’t be used for deer, bear, elk or turkey. And why is that? Politics. It’s not because a gaggle of 760 owners deem themselves the authority on acceptable arms.
 

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Oh, no, it’s the definition of hypocrisy, holding someone else to a standard you boldly claim doesn’t apply to you.
Layer in that over the years, those opposed have basically set an unobtainable precondition that they must be convinced to an impossible standard, as if they are the ultimate deciding factor, it becomes sad and laughable.
And, FWIW, current LAW says semi’s are legal. (Remember that changed about 4 years ago?)
Current regulations say they can’t be used for deer, bear, elk or turkey. And why is that? Politics. It’s not because a gaggle of 760 owners deem themselves the authority on acceptable arms.
Exactly my point. It doesn’t matter what I say but the game commission and they say they are illegal for deer. Those opposed do not have to do anything. The game commission made the rules and did not add semi for big game. Those who want to use them for deer are the one who need to convince them to change the rules. Those opposed can relax and enjoy deer season the way they want it. Simple as that.
 

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And hold myself to a standard that doesn’t apply to me? I accept the current law. You do not want it and don’t want it to you apply to you. Now let’s see semis are illegal for deer I don’t want them and hold myself to the “standard” and law and . Your the one who wants to change the law to fit your “standards” that’s hypocrisy. But good luck in your fight to get semis approved for deer and bear. That idea was dead 4 years ago some just didn’t accept it for a few years. But if they haven’t changed it in 4 maybe 5 years now with current seasons and bag limits. What makes you think they ever will when they had 4 or 5 years to do so. Keep dreaming.
 

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Exactly my point. It doesn’t matter what I say but the game commission and they say they are illegal for deer. Those opposed do not have to do anything. The game commission made the rules and did not add semi for big game. Those who want to use them for deer are the one who need to convince them to change the rules. Those opposed can relax and enjoy deer season the way they want it. Simple as that.
I'm not talking about the PGC/BOC. They want to authorize them. First they said too many folks like yourself weren't ready to accept them, then the next time they went to authorize them, the governor and some members of the GA applied political pressure (after having signed the law giving the PGC authority to decide...)
I'm talking about those, like yourself, who oppose it and say "convince me otherwise", as if your opinion carries more weight.

It'll happen one day. Unless the get banned at the federal level (can't discount that possibility these days.) And if that happens, well, everyone who owns one can turn to folks that opposed using them for hunting and say "Thanks for nothing..." since you'll have contributed to the anti's argument against "common use".

To the OP, sorry for hijack. I'm done.
 

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Thanks for your understanding. You want them you convince them to allow them who ever it may be. It’s sure as heck not me or anyone on this forum that is the reason they are not allowed now. You have probably been saying for 5 years it will happen one day, like I said keep dreaming
 

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One thing I see more and more of is plastic stocked, matte finished, cheap rifles.😝
I see them mostly in the hands of two different groups. The first is mentor youth and junior hunters, great first rifle, while not spending a lot of money. The second group may surprise you. The senior hunter who has slowed down in a lot of ways, and has got tired of caring a heavy Remington pump, or 700, a Winchester model 70, or Ruger 77, especially when it's equipped with a scope.
Me, I hate plastic stocks, so as I approach 75 years of age I have returned to my short light, comparably speaking, Winchester pre 64 model 94 with a peep sight. It's good to a 100 yards or so, and I've only ever killed one deer that was over that, and killed it with iron sights. I do carry a small pair of binoculars to check antler size if needed though.
 

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Nothing more beautiful than a fine, hand rubbed, highly figured walnut stock with hand cut checkering, and deep, high quality blued metal...

But:

Not all "plastic" stocks are created equal, nor are they all "plastic". A lot of very high quality rifles are being produced with highend composite stocks that utilize aluminum pillars and precise bedding, as well as high tech metal coatings that will outperform blueing by a mile.
 

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Usually a walnut/blue steel guy. Have refinished and finished new walnut stocks, several times over the past 55 years. On my list of things to do, is replacing the birch stocks on a 1930s era 20ga SxS, with walnut. Still have one walnut 2x8 plank to work with.

First synthetic stocked rifle I ever owned, was the Bushmaster match AR over 20 years ago. Then I won a Fajen adjustable thumb hole stock for a 1022, at a banquet. Now I have a few more of them ugly plastic handles around. Guns is guns around my place.

Do most of hunting with vintage rifles, none of which have anything but walnut handles, maybe one or two with birch?.
 

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Thanks for your understanding. You want them you convince them to allow them who ever it may be. It’s sure as heck not me or anyone on this forum that is the reason they are not allowed now. You have probably been saying for 5 years it will happen one day, like I said keep dreaming
I would change their mind but I‘m not the governor who can threaten to replace them to get them to do what I wants nor am I a lobbyist with millions of dollars to toss around to convince them to change their minds. I guess I’ll just have to wait for them to get replaced with competent people that actually care about the sport instead of political hacks.

Also I will keep dreaming and it will happen because at the rate they are going they will be desperately looking for ways to increase license sales in the near future.

You seem mad they sided with the majority and didn’t cater to you. I’m sorry
You mean like the removing of the concurrent rifle season, switching to a Saturday opener and banning of rifles for turkey that most people opposed but they did anyway with little support from the hunters? How many people did they bring back with the Saturday opener checks notes ah yes, 5,000 of the 25,000 that left the year prior and only a small fraction of the 91,500 that left since the removal of the concurrent rifle season. Seems like they are really hitting it out of the park lately right? Even the best case numbers for 2020 put us at 884,000 which is slightly over 2017’s numbers, a year with hardly anyone allowed to anything except go outdoors and they managed to barely beat out 1 yearof decline.


Now back on the topic of rifles it seems like due to the amount of options these days compared to years past you get a lot more variation in what people hunt with. We still have some guys shooting 7600s but we also have 700’s, Tikka’s, Sako’s, Savage’s, T/C’s, Mossberg’s, Browning’s and a couple customs.

Some of them have wood stocks but the majority are composites. You mostly see more wood in camp for our old school weekend where we bring out the old iron sighted rifles to hunt with. Most of the 760’s and 94’s in our camp are being carried by the young guys who are taking their grandfathers rifles hunting.
 

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Nothing more beautiful than a fine, hand rubbed, highly figured walnut stock with hand cut checkering, and deep, high quality blued metal...

But:

Not all "plastic" stocks are created equal, nor are they all "plastic". A lot of very high quality rifles are being produced with highend composite stocks that utilize aluminum pillars and precise bedding, as well as high tech metal coatings that will outperform blueing by a mile.
I get that some higher end guns come with composite stocks and matte finishes. But I see many "entry level" guns now, cheap plastic and poor fit and finish. Mebey those would have been popular years ago too, when a "walnut finished hardwood" remington 788 was an entry level rifle. I guess not everyone actually appreciates guns for what they are, only that they can do the job at hand.

Might sound silly, but every nite before I get in bed I handle or at least look at one of my guns. To me, even though they are mostly common "working mans guns" they are things of beauty to me. Most of my very limited "collection" were guns made in the 60's and early 70's, all are walnut/ blue. That's the era i grew up in, and those are the guns i lusted for as a kid. Big boy toys i guess.
 

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I would change their mind but I‘m not the governor who can threaten to replace them to get them to do what I wants nor am I a lobbyist with millions of dollars to toss around to convince them to change their minds. I guess I’ll just have to wait for them to get replaced with competent people that actually care about the sport instead of political hacks.

Also I will keep dreaming and it will happen because at the rate they are going they will be desperately looking for ways to increase license sales in the near future.



You mean like the removing of the concurrent rifle season, switching to a Saturday opener and banning of rifles for turkey that most people opposed but they did anyway with little support from the hunters? How many people did they bring back with the Saturday opener checks notes ah yes, 5,000 of the 25,000 that left the year prior and only a small fraction of the 91,500 that left since the removal of the concurrent rifle season. Seems like they are really hitting it out of the park lately right? Even the best case numbers for 2020 put us at 884,000 which is slightly over 2017’s numbers, a year with hardly anyone allowed to anything except go outdoors and they managed to barely beat out 1 yearof decline.


Now back on the topic of rifles it seems like due to the amount of options these days compared to years past you get a lot more variation in what people hunt with. We still have some guys shooting 7600s but we also have 700’s, Tikka’s, Sako’s, Savage’s, T/C’s, Mossberg’s, Browning’s and a couple customs.

Some of them have wood stocks but the majority are composites. You mostly see more wood in camp for our old school weekend where we bring out the old iron sighted rifles to hunt with. Most of the 760’s and 94’s in our camp are being carried by the young guys who are taking their grandfathers rifles hunting.
I’m happy with the game commission and love hunting in PA. I like the added elk opportunities, 2nd spring turkey tag, antler restrictions, added bear opportunities, semi rifles for squirrel and yotes, sat and Sunday is great for me, concurrent rifle season doesn’t matter to me either way I don’t shot does, but enjoy the first day sounding like the old days, I liked rifle for fall turkey but can deal with shotgun especially looking at all the good things they have done. I could care less how many people buy a license, Personally I like when get to game lands parking lot and not one other car there. As far as saying it will happen someday maybe it will, maybe hunting over bait and many other changes but I will still be happy to be hunting in PA
 

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I get that some higher end guns come with composite stocks and matte finishes. But I see many "entry level" guns now, cheap plastic and poor fit and finish. Mebey those would have been popular years ago too, when a "walnut finished hardwood" remington 788 was an entry level rifle. I guess not everyone actually appreciates guns for what they are, only that they can do the job at hand.

Might sound silly, but every nite before I get in bed I handle or at least look at one of my guns. To me, even though they are mostly common "working mans guns" they are things of beauty to me. Most of my very limited "collection" were guns made in the 60's and early 70's, all are walnut/ blue. That's the era i grew up in, and those are the guns i lusted for as a kid. Big boy toys i guess.
I agree except it’s more over under shotguns for me. I appreciate a nice looking stock and engraving. Too me nothing beats the look of a maple stock for some reason. I had to have one so got new browning tbolt .17 with a horsehair sling. But still doesn’t compare to the old tbolts though
 
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