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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
I had one in 223 and let someone with cash talk me out of it, regretted that almost immediately.
 

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off hand

The best snap shooting rifle I have used is my old tang safety Ruger Ultr light in 270 Win. with an old 3x9x32 scope.

The best off hand shooting rifles I have are TC Encores with 26" barrels. I have two set up alike, one in 35 Whelen and the other in 300 Win Mag.
 

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Times change and our hunting styles have changed considerably in the last 30 years.
We now carry shooting stick and tripods. Many hunt exclusively from stands and “Shooting Long” is our passion.
I hunt close, generally walking or stump sitting. The hand filling forearm of the Winchester Models 64, 65 and 71, the the Marlin Model 36 and 336 and the Savage Model 99R answer my need for an off hand snap shooting rifle very well. The hand filling fore end is one of the key factors in my ability to hit when time is short. The tighter pistol grip is another feature improving the shooters ability to pull the rifle against his shoulder which assists in controlling recoil.

Townsend Whelen and E. C. Crossman were two of the first gun writers to call for better shaped stocks after WWI. They were primarily responsible for the NRA stocks on target Model 54 and later, the Model 70’s. There is no doubt about Townsend Whelens’s influence of the Models ’64, ’65 and ’71.
In the March 1932 issue of the American Rifleman Whelen wrote an article titled: The Savage Model 99 Ideal deer rifle.
This article was about the “Ideal Deer Rifle” in general terms and the New Savage Model 99 R and RS rifle in particular. There is discussion of the hand filling fore arm and why the forward sling swivel was moved back toward the trigger.
The butt stock has a wider comb and the butt plate is wider.

Quite a few older gun writers stumped hard and long for better fitting stocks to improve off hand shooting and reduce felt recoil. Some of it stuck and the straight or classic stock is a genuine improvement. Other features such as the wide, well rounded fore end are not as well received today.

If you enjoy reading about some of this: Townsend Whelen wrote The Hunting Rifle in 1940 (an expansion of The American Rifle from 1918).
Jack O’Connor’s The Hunting Rifle from 1970 has some good stuff on stocks. The Complete Book of Rifles and Shotguns has a good description of older lever action rifle stocks.
Gary Brown wrote an rticle for the 1996 issue of the Gun Digest titled: The Whelen Models. An article worth looking for, both for lever and bolt action rifles.
Every thread needs a picture.
 

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These people know the ideal rifle for shooting offhand. Unfortunately they make lousy hunting rifles. View attachment 98087
Love those biathlon rifles, centerfire rifle silhouette shooters have been perfecting the offhand hunting rifle class stock for 50 years, Robertson and Wooster are the most popular stocks currently. I couldn't find a good picture of one on the internet but they're basically a centerfire version of the McMillian Anschutz silhouette stock.
As JBelk correctly pointed out earlier these are offhand stocks not snap shooting stocks.

https://mcmillanusa.com/mcmillan-rifle-stocks/hunting-stocks-anschutz/
 

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It could be said the very best 'off-hand' shots were the old trick shooters that did it for a living day after day. Ad and "Plinky" Tupperwine shot M1890 Winchester pumps as did Lucky McDaniel. Shooting hand thrown aspirin tablets three at a time and breaking thrown clay birds after a somersault while picking up the rifle qualifies as great off-hand shooting.
The rifles are tiny/thin and trim, light and faster shooting than a blow-back auto. Also notice, the rising breech bolt blots out the sights at every cycle, but your mind blots that out after some shooting.

It's also worth noting that JM Browning never patented a lever-action rim fire, he thought they were too light to be fast enough to be of use....and he's right. Pumps are much less disruptive to barrel direction.

I saw Lucky McDaniel kill five meadow larks in a row 'on the rise' in a S. Georgia field and send flipped pennies whining into the distance. His Model 1890 had no sights.
 

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Check this out, Franz Albrecht can cycle the bolt as fast as anyone I've ever seen and pick an opening in dense trees to make a shot, incredible shooting. At 3 minutes in he cycles the bolt so quickly his knuckles hit the ejected empty as he's closing the bolt on a fresh round, that my friends is amazing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g4dKVOo68M
 

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Hands down the Remington 721/722 bolt guns fit and "lay out there' better than any i've tried. The original 1893 Marlin with 26' barrel and the Savage 1895 with crescent butt and 26' tube are close seconds.
 

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A stock that truly fits you . I bought a military model 95 Spanish Mauser in 7 x 57 Mauser . Cut the heavy stepped military barrel to 20 inches and replaced the military stock with a pre inletted sporter stock from Herter's .
I don't remember what the dimensions were but by some miracle that stock fit me perfectly .
When shot offhand the sights came up to the eye aligned , the heavy short barrel hung steady as a rock and the first 3 shot group could be covered by a quarter , two shots touching , the third almost touching and this was fired as daylight was fading . I could always hit what I aimed at with it...like no other rifle I've owned .
The stock just fit me , the pistol grip was curved just right for off hand shooting and sighting was not forced...the sights were aligned as if by themselves when the gun was shouldered .
If you find a gun like that...buy it ...they don't come along often .
I really do not believe it matters what the action type is , bolt , lever , semi-auto...it's the fit of the stock...that's most important ...a heavy barrel helps steady your shot ...but the fit is king .
Gary
 

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For hunting Mule Deer in the desert or Mountains or sage brush flats, I personally like a number of rifles, not too particular about the caliber, as long as its sighted in and big enough for deer, and probably a bit over gunned, My tow favorites today are a pre 64 fwt mod 70 in 30-06 or a RJ Renner custom fwt Ruger 77 in 7x57 both weigh under 8 pounds..I like a low power 3X or 4X fixed with optionall iron sights. The 7x57 has a 2.5 Leupold Alaskan if you can find one and I have one on the 7x57...I also like to shoot iron sights, grew up using them and used to using them, if your of the newer clan of scope spoiled shooter, then by all means use a scope of your choice..
I only speak for myself so just my two bits.
 

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I'd pull the scope off of that one. For a good snap shooting brush gun, I use a Model 54 I saved from rust and then talked the owner out of. Love it. The rifle in the hands of the previous owner after I restored it. Also wrote an article for Brownells about proper use of Kroil
 

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....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.
Phfffft. Thousands of IHMSA handgun silhouette shooters shot standing out to 220 yards. Lock time and barrel time are important, it is easier to hit reliably with a T/C Contender than a Ruger BH...



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Phfffft. Thousands of IHMSA handgun silhouette shooters shot standing out to 220 yards. Lock time and barrel time are important, it is easier to hit reliably with a T/C Contender than a Ruger BH...



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I would say in this case the two are not analogous, I shot NRA hunters pistol silhouette which is pretty close to ihmsa, have a contender and a XP.
You are correct that a contender is easier to hit with than a revolver, there also single shots, can have very light triggers and most folks put scopes on them.
Regardless the title to this thread is "Best style of RIFLE for offhand shooting".
The assumption would be your either shooting a competition that requires it or your taking relatively close and fast shots at live game that are either moving or about to move hence the inability to use some type of rest being artificial or natural.
From reading this post it obvious it comes down to what folks are used to, if they like there good old whatever "fill in the blank" rifle then they probably have enough confidence in it to get the job done most of the time.
If you have no prejudices when asking the question one only needs to look at what others are using when engaging in either competition or a sport where offhand shooting is the norm not the exception. If your going stand and shoot at a stationary target I believe silhouette shooters have figured it out, look at their guns, see post 45. For running targets at fairly close distances look at what the Europeans use for running boar, stag and game, see posts 47 and 48. American hunters don't normally shoot at unwounded big game that's not stationary, I'm sure there are exceptions to this in eastern and southern states but I doubt it's nearly as common as it is in Europe.
 

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I would ask the range of distances one would be shooting and how big is the target. If all your possibilities are inside 100 yards and targets are 150 pounds or less a light weight rifle with a slight rear ward balance point would be a good choice. If your ranges are 100 to 200 yards and the animals are slightly larger then a rifle that balances at the magazine well is a better choice. I shoot small bore silhouette and I prefer a rifle that balances just forward of the magazine well because it is less likely to be deflected by the wind.
All of this is a choice the shooter has to make. If it is comfortable and fits properly you are likely to hit your target.
I will say that off-hand shooting takes practice to remain good at it. So, whatever you have, shoot often under the same conditions that you will be hunting and use paper targets or freshly painted metal targets. As the saying goes, "paper doesn't lie."
 

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I would ask the range of distances one would be shooting and how big is the target. If all your possibilities are inside 100 yards and targets are 150 pounds or less a light weight rifle with a slight rear ward balance point would be a good choice. If your ranges are 100 to 200 yards and the animals are slightly larger then a rifle that balances at the magazine well is a better choice. I shoot small bore silhouette and I prefer a rifle that balances just forward of the magazine well because it is less likely to be deflected by the wind.
All of this is a choice the shooter has to make. If it is comfortable and fits properly you are likely to hit your target.
I will say that off-hand shooting takes practice to remain good at it. So, whatever you have, shoot often under the same conditions that you will be hunting and use paper targets or freshly painted metal targets. As the saying goes, "paper doesn't lie."
Check out the range I built, 1/4" AR400 targets sitting on road grader blades welded and concreted in the ground. I was raised on MIG and have a little one, stick welded those after 30 years of not doing it, that wasn't any fun.
Click on the picture to enlarge.


My friend Gary and I both have 1712's and Sako quads but use Tikka T1x's as practice guns, mine has the tan grip.

 
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