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Hey everyone, new member here. I've been reading around some of the other threads this morning but I couldn't find anything covering this exact topic so here we are. I just bought my first hunting rifle the weekend of this posting. It's a Savage 110 in .270 and I plan on using it for this season and a majority of my hunts. I hunt in Maine and it will kill anything in this state but I know I want another gun with hopefully a stainless barrel but not a deal breaker, more important is I want one in a better caliber for the more heavily wooded parts of the states. I was thinking of .308 or 45-70 in a short barrel but I don't have a clue what rifle is a good way to go. I do like my Savage but I know Marlin and Henry make nice lever actions so I'm really just trying to get advice from this community as you all see well informed.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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The .270 Win Savage bolt gun will handle all your needs with properly constructed bullets and bullet placement.
If you want a fast handling rifle for brush hunting, a levergun in a large pistol cartridge would fit the bill. Used to have a Ruger semi-auto in .44 Mag which was a great fast handling rifle with good knockdown power out to 100 - 150 yds. Would imagine one of the leverguns so chambered in a carbine model will work great.
 

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Nothing wrong with the .270. There are NO calibers/cartridges that will shoot through a tree and kill a deer, and any other acceptable cartridge will kill anything you have in Maine, if you put the bullet in the vitals. By acceptable I'm referring to something like a .308, .270, .30-06, and upward. For just deer hunting just about anything will kill them. I've shot many, many deer with the .357mag and killed every one I ever shot at. About anything will kill a deer if you put the bullet in the vitals. I think you'll find that your .270 isn't lacking for any game animal in your state if you use a well constructed bullet of appropriate weight (don't use a 110g bullet in your .270 for deer hunting). Good luck.
 

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again, theres nothing wrong with your 270. i have a ruger #1 in 270. i also have a tc encore with a 23" MGM barrel in 444 marlin. since i'm a wussy, it only goes 1625fps with a 300gr fn gc. i have killed one buck and two does with it. the buck was about 55 yards while the does were 20-30 yards away. i have killed deer with the 444 and 255gr keith, 275gr ranch dog, 280gr wfn and lfn gc and 265gr hornady fn(they are going 1800-2300fps). i think the longest shot with the 444 was about 100 yards. but i'm confident that it could go 150 yards.
 

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Welcome .

Deer are VERY easy to kil if you hit them in the right place. So 243/308/270/'06 are all fine.

there is NO magic round.

The best cartridge/rifle it one you shoot the best.


i've hunted Maine, nice area. unless you hunt farms or power lines.....80 yards is the kill zone. 30-30 or 44 mag are perfect.
 

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I've seen it too many times, people think a "brush gun" is for shooting THROUGH brush... NEVER shoot at anything you don't have a clear shot at. There have been articles in magazines and discussions on the internet about what bullet penetrates brush best. This is a stupid discussion to have, Hunt correctly and it's not an issue. "I thought it was a deer" won't get you off the manslaughter charge. A young man from my home town shot his best friend thinking he was an elk in the brush. Both were from families that all hunted.

A real "brush gun" is a good handling gun for close quarters. I can understand wanting something shorter than your .270 but give it a try and see how you like it before you decide you NEED something different. I have put together several rifles I NEED (not really, just WANT) so if you feel you NEED another go for it if you can afford it. Just be sure on what you really need and how you will use it.

I would personally go for a 18-20" barrel .308 bolt gun with a low power scope but I have a 19" barrel 35 Whelen on a Mauser 98 action with fiber optic peep sight that I would use if I felt the need to get after the big black bear that lives in my dense woods but I still wouldn't shoot through the brush at it.

ken
 

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Welcome to the Forum

Glad to see you here and hope that you post often. These folks have given good advice. Since you have hunted in Maine, perhaps you should ask the locals what rifle and caliber they prefer. It depends what you prefer, can handle well and afford. I would look at the used gun racks in a few gun shops and see what is available. All the best...
Gil
 

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A "woods" rifle is 96.8% the result of the rifle itself and about 3% the cartridge, and the .270 cartridge is just fine. So ignore that fact and make sure that what you have isn't almost exactly what you need.

I made up the numbers. :)

But my favorite deer rifle is, in fact, a 22" barreled Win Model 70 in .270. It hunts very well in a pretty wide variety of circumstances, and has for many years been a very effective white tail and mule deer rifle.
 

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Welcome to the shooters forum!
I’ve taken quite a bunch of animals with 25 caliber rifles and many with a .25-06 which is your .270s little brother.
 

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deer rifle for Maine woods

Really need to give us an idea of the Maine woods you're hunting and the longest shot you'd get. 270 Win will always do the job, but a bigger cartridge should you have a close encounter with a bear might be better! If shots will be 80 yards or less, I like the idea of a light lever action in a 44 mag (recoils like a 22LR in a rifle). Plenty good to 100 yards with decent stopping power for those close encounters. I don't think the animals you're hunting require a 45-70. I love that cartridge but the rifles are quite heavy. I believe Henry and Marlin make a 44 Mag lever action in stainless. I love my Henry - very well made!:)
 

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Wow I did not expect this many replies this quick. I guess I was rather vague in my post so let me try to answer all the replies and clear everything up. Most of my hunting will be in southern to middle Maine where I have some open spots I plan on using my .270. At I'd say 200 yards the longest. My savage has a nice Nikon 4x12 scope and a bipod: perfect for what I bought it for. I wasn't questioning the ability of the .270 to kill deer but more I was saying due to some of the more wooded areas up north I go to when I have time and the added threat of black bear. I know the odds of a bear attack are very very slim but in those wooded areas I'd like to take a carbine length gun in a slower, larger cartridge to take up north or some of the more dense parts around here with iron sights or a much less magnified scope. Hope this clears up some of the confusion and thank you to everyone who has replied so far!
 

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Why slow?? 19" barrel 35 Whelen, easy to carry & quick pointing. Fiber optic red hooded front sight, fiber optic green rear peep "ghost ring"-very easy to get on target. Easy to do in stainless if you like.



ken
 

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I won't talk you out of getting another gun. Handle some leveractions and see what points natural for you. The 45-70 is fun, the 308 is more flexible. The 308 has more ammo slection. so if you are in bear country get 165 or 180 grain bullets to use when hunting.
 

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I would stick with savage so the fit, feel, safety and trigger are the same in both rifles. Pick the rifle, then the caliber. Another bolt action would be my choice. Hit a bunch of gun shops, handle a bunch of rifles, the right one will follow you home
 

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Model 94, in .30-30 is just about perfect for a woods rifle.
I think there's a lot of truth in that! In the Maine woods, or any other woods, a 270 with a 4-12 scope will kill anything you hit well with it. Of course you might find a shorter version rifle with a lower power scope handles better. Say something like a short action rifle with a max 20" barrel. Might reconsider the scope too. How long of shot's you think your gonna get? 100yds? Lot of guy's simply get more scope just in case they get that 500 yds shot, could happen most anywhere, could happen, likely won't! So you end up carrying around a long action rifle with a 22" barrel in a cartridge that would work well on moose with a huge scope thinking somehow your set now. I have hunted Oregon most my life. Woods and steep stuff on the west side and wide open country and steep stuff on the east side. Until I decided I just wanted to say I've killed something at 300yds, I never shot a big game animal at that distance, on either side of the state. Before that the longest shot I ever remember taking at a game animal was maybe 250 yds, maybe! My all time favorite rifle/cartridge/scope combo was a Rem 660 w/20" barrel in 308 Win using a straight power 2 3/4x Redfield scope. I have never been under gunned or under scoped!

I thik far to many guy buy into the just in case I get a shot at 500 yds. I doubt most of them have any idea of how far that really is. Think of this. Flatest cartridge you can get won't shoot a bullet 400 yds into an 8" target and 500 yds is a whole lot farther. In the Maine woods you certainly might find a spot where you'll see an opportunity for a 500 yds shot but your gonna spend a lot more time looking for that spot than for something to shoot!In the Maine woods, any woods for that matter I doubt you'll ever have a need for a shot over 200 yds. BS you say? Well go out and try it! Shorter action means shorter over all by some little bit. Make the rifle somewhat easier to move around shoud you find yourself in heavier cover than you though you might see, could easily happen! That shorter barrel shorten's thing up also and lighten's things up. The lower power scope, say 2-7X gives you 2x for actually hunting which will gather more light than you need but then so would 4x. But that 4-14x scpoe is gonna be a lot bigger than the 2-7x, I have both! Again make's for handier handling is cover and at 2x your gonna get on target a lot faster than any other normal power. Not by any really measurable amount but a lot compared to something like say 9x! 3-9 scope would probably serve yu well but they will be a bigger scope, I've got several and several 2-7x scopes.

Thing about higher power is I've never used the higher poweron any of my scopes. With the 4 1/2-14x scope I have used 8x shooting target's out to about 500yds! I've never shot at a game animal hunting at more than the lowest power on the scope I was using. 3-9x and 2-7x scopes I use 6x for sighting in. I find using more than that really allow's me to watch my heart beat more than I care for!
 

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Wow I did not expect this many replies this quick. I guess I was rather vague in my post so let me try to answer all the replies and clear everything up. Most of my hunting will be in southern to middle Maine where I have some open spots I plan on using my .270. At I'd say 200 yards the longest. My savage has a nice Nikon 4x12 scope and a bipod: perfect for what I bought it for. I wasn't questioning the ability of the .270 to kill deer but more I was saying due to some of the more wooded areas up north I go to when I have time and the added threat of black bear. I know the odds of a bear attack are very very slim but in those wooded areas I'd like to take a carbine length gun in a slower, larger cartridge to take up north or some of the more dense parts around here with iron sights or a much less magnified scope. Hope this clears up some of the confusion and thank you to everyone who has replied so far!
Really need to give us an idea of the Maine woods you're hunting and the longest shot you'd get. 270 Win will always do the job, but a bigger cartridge should you have a close encounter with a bear might be better! If shots will be 80 yards or less, I like the idea of a light lever action in a 44 mag (recoils like a 22LR in a rifle). Plenty good to 100 yards with decent stopping power for those close encounters. I don't think the animals you're hunting require a 45-70. I love that cartridge but the rifles are quite heavy. I believe Henry and Marlin make a 44 Mag lever action in stainless. I love my Henry - very well made!:)
Plus one on the 44 Mag. and if you are not a fan of lever actions, the Ruger 77/44 Mag. makes for a nice light carbine with a four round rotary magazine that would be equally at home with the factory iron sights or a low powered scope. Plus, the Ruger integral base rings can be removed in the field, if need be, using a large car key blank carried in your pocket, I did it many times on a Redhawk revolver, with no change in zero when you put it back on. Or, if you can find one, the old Ruger 44 Mag. autos are well suited to your 'needs'.
 
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