By Lars Dalseide | December 4 2012 09:36

Deer season calls for the right rifle, but with so many options ...

The Savage 111 Hunter XP deer rifle from American Hunter

In the November Edition of American Hunter, Keith Wood broke out his Top Ten Picks for today's Deer Rifles:
10 Rifles for Today's Deer Hunter
When it comes to selecting a rifle, there's almost no end to the options available. Which models are the best on the market today? Check out Keith Wood's Top 10.

10. Savage 111 Hunter XP
Times are tough right now and not everyone has a pile of money to spend on a rifle they may only use a few days out of the year. The Savage Hunter “package” is an accurate, durable and dependable rifle that comes with a Bushnell 3-9X40 scope and mounts right out of the box. This turnkey setup retails for just over $500 and, thanks to Savage’s reputation for accuracy, will likely outshoot many rifles available at twice the price.

9. CVA Accura V2 209 Magnum Muzzleloader
Some states don’t allow deer hunting with a center-fire rifle, so for those chasing whitetails in places like Illinois, a “deer rifle” has a ramrod. CVA’s flagship muzzleloader isn’t much of a handicap afield thanks to its stainless-steel Bergara barrel and 209 shotgun primer ignition. It’s quick to both load and clean due to its Bullet Guiding Muzzle and quick-release breech plug. Add a quality scope where the rules allow it and you’re ready to hunt.

The CVA Accura V2 209 Magnum Muzzleloader from American Hunter

8. Marlin 1895G “Guide Gun”
When deer live in thick brush and shots are quick and close, your deer rifle needs to be powerful, compact and easy to handle. Marlin’s Guide Gun in .45-70 is only 37 inches overall and feels lighter than its well-balanced 7 pounds. In its modern loadings, the .45-70 doesn’t lack for horsepower and the lever-action allows for quick follow-up shots. A great choice for when things are fast and close, my Guide Gun wears a set of X/S ghost ring sights and is my go-to for the thick stuff.

The Marlin 1895G Guide Gun deer rifle from American Hunter

7. Hill Country Rifles “Harvester”
Custom rifles are great and there’s nothing that inspires confidence like a rifle that shoots bughole groups, but that kind of rifle often involves the equivalent of a few mortgage payments. Hill Country Rifles offers “accurizing” services for factory hunting rifles, but also produces semi-custom rifles it calls the Harvester line. You basically get a factory Remington 700 barreled action with a precision cut crown, pillar bedded into a McMillan fiberglass stock with a free-floated barrel. The trigger is also tuned and the barrel is inspected with a borescope. Each rifle is guaranteed to shoot sub-MOA groups at 100 yards with factory ammo. For the hunter looking for something in-between an off-the-rack rifle and a full-custom build, this is a great choice.

Get the full list of American Hunter's Top 10 Rifles for this year's Deer Season.

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