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What design of rifle most lends itself to accurate offhand shooting? Or, what features encourage better offhand shooting?

As a still hunter/stalker, I get more opportunities that call for offhand shooting than most hunters I know. And since wounding an animal can ruin my mood for weeks, I want to be the best offhand shooter I can possibly be. In addition to practice I want to find the 1-2 long guns I shoot best offhand. Of course, I would prefer those guns to also possess the other attributes important to a still hunter, such as shorter length, relatively light weight, excellent handling, but I'm willing to sacrifice some of that to find the rifle I'm most accurate with.

Has anyone else been down this road? What features or overall style helped you shoot better offhand?
Best brush rifles I've used offhand and for snap shots were/are:

Winchester Model 54 and Remington Mohawk. The 54 is not short, the Mohawk is although the current model is the model 7 and if I get one, I'll go for the synthetic stock.

Both are fast, handle well and shoot nicely (although I was shooting both iron sights and I still have the 54, regret letting my Mohawk go).

As has been noted, Roger Scout rifle which gives you magazine fed, downbore scope (I don't like them personally).

Most of my offhand shooting was High Power with typically an M1A or an M14. I still love a 7.62 match Garand. None are light or short and a good shooting coat helped! :rolleyes:
 

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Jakesnake didn't post where he lives or hunts so we really don't know where he stalks game, it might be in the Louisiana swamps or ridges and gully's of the Black Hills of south Dakota. the choice of rifles would be totally different.
One thing for certain brush guns and carbines are poor choices for offhand shooting unless the shots are close, I'd never try a offhand shot with my wife's model 7 past 50 yards and it would be way down the list for a running shot. Off hand guns need to be balanced, carbines have all the weight behind the magazine, guns for running shots need to balance like a shotgun, preferably like a skeet or sporting clays shotgun so they'll swing smooth and encourage follow through.
I'm not down on carbines, there right at home in the woods of the east and people of small stature like them because many are light and manageable.
 

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Jakesnake didn't post where he lives or hunts so we really don't know where he stalks game, it might be in the Louisiana swamps or ridges and gully's of the Black Hills of south Dakota. the choice of rifles would be totally different.
One thing for certain brush guns and carbines are poor choices for offhand shooting unless the shots are close, I'd never try a offhand shot with my wife's model 7 past 50 yards and it would be way down the list for a running shot. Off hand guns need to be balanced, carbines have all the weight behind the magazine, guns for running shots need to balance like a shotgun, preferably like a skeet or sporting clays shotgun so they'll swing smooth and encourage follow through.
I'm not down on carbines, there right at home in the woods of the east and people of small stature like them because many are light and manageable.
When I had it, my Mohawk was fine out to 500 offhand in the CA high desert.

But, I had the skill set to do it.
 

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I "snap shoot" whitetails with a old Winchester m94 in 30/30 with a "ghost ring" sight. I can shoot decently "offhand" with all my rifles. Jack had it right, there is a difference. I might be better shooting offhand with certain rifles, but I believe it is because they fit me like a extension of my body. It has taken years for me to be even just proficient as a offhand shooter, and there is still room for improvement.

My best advice, isn't to recommend a rifle. I recommend finding a rifle that fits you, feels balanced the way you like it, and comes to the shoulder and cheek without a thought. You will find that one rifle, that just simply feels perfect. What feels good to me, or others might not feel good at all for you. Even your choice of sights/optics will most likely be a different combo than what works for others. Good luck in your search!
 

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A rifle for still hunting is going to be carried a great deal, and shot infrequently, IME.
A few pf my requirements for a still hunting rifle: short, preferably light, peep sights. The first rifle I ever had that was built for still hunting deer was a 308 bolt action with an 18 inch barrel, Mannlicher style stock, and a Lyman aperture rear sight, post front. Still have that rifle, and it worked very, very well.
A 94 Winchester would be an ideal choice, too (they sold more than 6M of them, must be a reason).
In truth, the secret to offhand shots isn't anything magic in the rifle, its practice.
The accuracy requirements to hit a deer at still hunting distances aren't that high. Find a rifle you like carrying and practice with it.
 

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Francis Sell would have liked your rifle.
In the brushy canyons in New Mexico our shooting was often close and quick. It helped to have a rifle that balanced between your hands and maybe a little forward.
In the early 1970-s my father switched to the Remington Model 600. One in .308 and another in .350RM. From bear to antelope he was never handicapped by the short barrel.
I have a short Model 7 in .260 Remington and I don't feel handicapped when hunting with it.
I found my "all-around" rifles in the .30-30AI. 307 Winchester and the .308 Marlin Express. All have about the same performance and with modern bullets are quite ccapable. None are appreciably lighter than the Ruger Scout rifle which has a quick detach scope and is quite handy to carry.
Deciding on the cartridge, action type and sights takes a bit of time and our tastes change a little through the years.
Someone mentioned the vagaries of light and the necessity of practice.
In 1970 the Army trained us with M-16's using.a plastic guard over the sights. Not my favorite rifle but even the M-16.is a snap shootering rifle with practice.
 

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A rifle for still hunting is going to be carried a great deal, and shot infrequently, IME.
A few pf my requirements for a still hunting rifle: short, preferably light, peep sights. The first rifle I ever had that was built for still hunting deer was a 308 bolt action with an 18 inch barrel, Mannlicher style stock, and a Lyman aperture rear sight, post front. Still have that rifle, and it worked very, very well.
A 94 Winchester would be an ideal choice, too (they sold more than 6M of them, must be a reason).
In truth, the secret to offhand shots isn't anything magic in the rifle, its practice.
The accuracy requirements to hit a deer at still hunting distances aren't that high. Find a rifle you like carrying and practice with it.
Do not make that a Ruger International in 308. They don't perform well. Loved them in 243.
 

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Nope, Rojkoh, the rifle in question s a Sako L579 action with a Douglas barrel and a French walnut stock my father made for it. Not the rifle I'd take to a benchrest match, but it shoots quite well.
BTW, I have a Ruger #1 RSI in 7x57 (I'm a sucker for a Mannlicher stock), That one shoots just fine, too.
 

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Nope, Rojkoh, the rifle in question s a Sako L579 action with a Douglas barrel and a French walnut stock my father made for it. Not the rifle I'd take to a benchrest match, but it shoots quite well.
BTW, I have a Ruger #1 RSI in 7x57 (I'm a sucker for a Mannlicher stock), That one shoots just fine, too.

Like I said, love the one on that 243, rifle shoots sweet and still trying to talk him out of it! :rolleyes:
 

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This might not answer Your question all that well. And maybe my answer will turn You ice cold. But IMHO one my all time favorite Off Hand Shooting & Hunting Rifles. Is my 1895 Marlin Cowboy with the 26 inch barrel in 45-70. This rifle fits me like a glove and comes up to my shoulder on target better than rifle I have ever used even in the dark. I shoot his rifle well and I shoot it alot. It is to me very comfortable and converting, to carry this old rifle. When I am out Hunting or just out Walking in the woods by myself now. I am getting old now, but I have always prefered a Long Barreled Rifle, Pistol, or Shotgun.
ken
 

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every rifle

I make it my business to shoot every rifle I own out to 200 yards proficiently. Heavy,light,bolt,lever,
semi auto,long,short,open sights,scope - whatever ! I mostly only shoot offhand. Same goes for all my handguns at 25 yards. Could be any size,type or cartridge. I make sure I can shoot them all well. Firm hold and cheek weld,pull into chest,follow through, keep your view of bulls eye,practice,practice,practice! ;)
 

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I beg to differ. You can get good at shooting any rifle when you concentrate and practice. And a lot further than 50 yards.
After all it's rifle shooting,not gymnastics or figure skating.
 

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I make it my business to shoot every rifle I own out to 200 yards proficiently. Heavy,light,bolt,lever,
semi auto,long,short,open sights,scope - whatever ! I mostly only shoot offhand. Same goes for all my handguns at 25 yards. Could be any size,type or cartridge. I make sure I can shoot them all well.

Offhand is great, especially if you practice. For serious distance 400-1000 good prone is important and not with a bipod. We shot almost all the matches sling prone including 1000.


For handguns, getting to 25 is good, now move out to 50. Us oldtimers actually shoot out to 100 yards with pistol. In my case 45acp.
 

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Offhand is great, especially if you practice. For serious distance 400-1000 good prone is important and not with a bipod. We shot almost all the matches sling prone including 1000.


For handguns, getting to 25 is good, now move out to 50. Us oldtimers actually shoot out to 100 yards with pistol. In my case 45acp.
During a snowstorm, your hardcore!
 

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I have made more off hand, snap shooting, deer standing still, or running full tilt shots with one rifle and it was the one i used this year. I shot a nice doe at 150+yds away while hunting in 30" while on snowshoes.

IMO, the original Remington Model 7 was and is the perfect deer rifle for the hunter that goes after the deer, and doesn't sit in a stand or a watch. It points like my finger, comes to the shoulder without a thought, and puts the bullet where it's needed. I have never missed a deer or lost a deer with it.

It's the one deer rifle I own that will never be sold. I may have to bury it with me. :D
 

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