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One of the most attractive rifles I've ever handled, is a Ruger M77 in 223 that a friend owns. Very dark walnut stock, thin SS barrel. He bought it used years ago. Only one I've ever seen like it. Beyond appearance, it also has a great trigger and is a tack driver.

Everyone has their own opinions on what makes a great rifle. I've never been one to focus on how they look, but more on how they perform.
 

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Back when Remington came out with the ss/syn model 7 I had to have one.I brought a new .308 home to hunt with the first week of rifle season and my Father called me"New Jersey" all week.
I got similar razzing from the guys when I showed up with my 700 BDL SS.
Fast-forward 25ish years, the only wood-stocked rifles in use among the guys are a few 30-30 Marlins. Every bolt guy has gone synthetic.
 

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I'd like to add to the Semi auto conversation. I live in E WA where semis are legal to hunt Deer/elk/bear/cougar..(Big Game). No one I know uses a semi auto rifle. I can think of one guy I ran into elk hunting carrying a BAR. Most everyone out here has a bolt action rifle. Very few 760/7600. Bolt guns are king in the west from my observations. Wonder how many hunters would actually use a semi auto in PA for big game?
 

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There was a time when a lot of young men were using guns that they bought from surplus houses or actually brought home if they survived WWII. There was no internet then where it could be talked about but an awful lot of guys thought well of any of those guns that had a Mauser action whether they were 6.5, 7, or even 8 mm. The numbers aren't available of course, but it wouldn't be much of a stretch to think that those milsurps were contenders in their time.
Since 1952 though when they were first marketed it's pretty easy to think of the 760 as the winner of the popularity contest.
This was my grandfathers 8x57 98 Mauser, it was re-stocked by his best friend. They both worked for Bethlehem Steel and roomer had it that surplus rifles arrived at the steel to be melted down, and that some of them found their way home with the workers.

Good luck, Tony
image0.jpeg
 

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I think there would be quite a few with their msr's out there, just cus you couldn't and now you can.
 

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I worked in a gun shop in the mid 1980's, and I would have to say that the majority of rifles sold then were 30-30 lever actions. With the majority of those being Marlin's over Winchester's. This was probably due to the lower price of the Marlin lever action versus bolts and pumps at the time. IMO; with the introduction of various low cost bolt actions over the last twenty or so years, the popularity of the lever actions seems to have fallen off.

Good luck, Tony
 

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Maybe 25 years ago, local Walmart had Weatherby Vanguard (Howa) rifles in 300 Wby. for $399. Matte blue, synthetic stocks.

Seemed like every time I was near that area, someone was buying one? Old goat that worked the original gun counter in that store, told me one night that they couldn't keep them in stock. Not unusual to sell three or four per his shift, the first few months they had them.

Mid 80s, Kmart and Walmart often had Marlin 336s on sale in the fall. They were usually a bit less expensive than M94s. Guy I worked with decided to buy one in 30-30 for his oldest son that was ready to start hunting deer. Talked him into getting the Marlin in 35 Rem. instead of the 30-30. He already had an older M94 in 32 Special and didn't want him or his son to use the wrong ammo, since 32 Special and 30-30 are nearly identical but for the slightly larger bullet in the 32. Far easier to ID the 35 Rem. cartridge vs the 32 Special.

He had the new Marlin scoped and wound up giving his son the 32 Special.
 

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Maybe 25 years ago, local Walmart had Weatherby Vanguard (Howa) rifles in 300 Wby. for $399. Matte blue, synthetic stocks.

Seemed like every time I was near that area, someone was buying one? Old goat that worked the original gun counter in that store, told me one night that they couldn't keep them in stock. Not unusual to sell three or four per his shift, the first few months they had them.

Mid 80s, Kmart and Walmart often had Marlin 336s on sale in the fall. They were usually a bit less expensive than M94s. Guy I worked with decided to buy one in 30-30 for his oldest son that was ready to start hunting deer. Talked him into getting the Marlin in 35 Rem. instead of the 30-30. He already had an older M94 in 32 Special and didn't want him or his son to use the wrong ammo, since 32 Special and 30-30 are nearly identical but for the slightly larger bullet in the 32. Far easier to ID the 35 Rem. cartridge vs the 32 Special.

He had the new Marlin scoped and wound up giving his son the 32 Special.
My first deer rifle was a Winchester 94, 32 Special for the same reason. Dad's Marlin 93 was a 32 Special.
Glad I relaod, finding shells for it now days is getting a little rough.
 

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My ancient M94SRC in 32 Special will always have a home. First deer rifle of my own. Bought used in 1964 for $40. Killed my first and second bucks with it and my first half dozen deer, all together. Haven't toted it in years, though. Might take it to camp next season, it's overdue. Once had a half dozen center fire lever rifles, down to just two now.

Started loading for it around 1985. 170gr flat point Hornadys.
 

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This was my grandfathers 8x57 98 Mauser, it was re-stocked by his best friend. They both worked for Bethlehem Steel and roomer had it that surplus rifles arrived at the steel to be melted down, and that some of them found their way home with the workers.

Good luck, Tony View attachment 170402
That is one gorgeous rifle. If it shoots anyway near as good as it looks, it would be really spectacular!
 

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Not sure about today but during the 50's- 2000's the good old fashion 30/06 Remington 760 pump with a 3x9 Leupold or if it was a family hand-down a Weaver 3x9 would be at the top of the list without question....then the thurty-thurty, the Savage 99 in .308 and a few Remington 700's in a variety of cartridges...those would be my guesses.
 

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I started hunting in 1976, with dads remington 700 ADL in 30-06, shot 21 bucks with that rifle over the years, all in Potter and Tioga counties. While dad hunted with a 760 in 30-06, he hunted with that rifle all his hunting career. I have 5 760’s 2 in 06, 1 in .270, 1 in 35 rem, and 1 in 300 savage. All deer killers. I prefer older rifles, to me blued steel and wood is just beautiful. Now a days I usually carry my remington 721 in .270 with an old leupold 7.5 scope and it’s a real shooter.
 

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My father grew up in Farrell, PA. He was born in 1917 and didn't start hunting until after he graduated from high school. I think I remember him saying that some the guys in the neighborhood started taking him hunting. He used to say many of the guys in his deer hunting group borrowed their rifles from the American Legion, 30-40 Krags.
 

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My father used a 300 Savage he bought in late 1950's through the company store when he worked in the mines after coming home from two wars he served in. He paid $49 for the rifle and had payroll deduction of $2 a month, my brother has the gun now and the sales slip for the gun. We bought him a 760 30-06 in 1980 for Christmas, he used it, but I still think he loved his old reliable 300 even more, he killed a ton of deer with it. I was in my early 20's and had quite a few guns, making good money in the factory back then. He used to tell me how fortunate us kids were to have so much at a young age, house, nice vehicles, etc., remember these folks all lived through the Great Depression, wars, and hard times. He told me different times of how when he was growing up, he had 8 brothers and only 1 gun in the family, and they had to share it, or if they were fortunate, they could borrow a rifle off somebody in the neighborhood who had already got a deer.
 

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Fascinating story Rem 760. Thanks for sharing that. My Grandfather told me that when his Stepdad was a kid there were six brothers in the family and one rifle. A Marlin 1894 38-40 lever action. The oldest brother would use it until he filled his tag then it would go to the next oldest and so on. The younger brothers were stuck with their single shot shotguns and punkin balls
 

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Any Lever action from any gun maker. Lever's have a history and are just good looking rifles and carbines.

We can argue (not really argue....more discuss) over caliber, but most deer in Pa. are killed at under 100 yards. And this makes sense as whitetails like cover.....so if you wanna kill one, you gotta be close the where they like to be.

FWIW
 

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Any Lever action from any gun maker. Lever's have a history and are just good looking rifles and carbines.

We can argue (not really argue....more discuss) over caliber, but most deer in Pa. are killed at under 100 yards. And this makes sense as whitetails like cover.....so if you wanna kill one, you gotta be close the where they like to be.

FWIW
Most deer are killed under 40 yards in PA
 
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