By Jon Draper, American Hunter
Alright—first things first. If you’re thinking it’s about time to pick up a new rifle for deer season, I hate to tell you, but you’ve kind of dropped the ball on this one. Yes, I know, the beach trip was mandatory, and that shed wouldn’t paint itself, but come on. With rifle seasons opening up from now until November across the country, you should be well into the sighting-in process, especially with a new rifle. That said, I’m not here to call you out.
In fact, whether we like to admit it or not, there are a fair number of hunters that, for whatever reason, couldn’t make it happen until now. But it’s never a bad time to buy a new firearm. So it’s with the tardy hunter in mind that we came up with a list of four rifles, available in an optics-included package, that will have you hunting nearly right out of the box. Better late than never.
Ruger American Rifle with Redfield Revolution Riflescope
We’re calling it the “American Revolution.” This affordable made-in-America combo mates the Ruger American Rifle with a Redfield Revolution 3X-9X-40mm scope to provide you with a package that’s easy on the piggy bank, but certainly not cheap by performance standards. The rifle features V-bedding with a free-floating barrel and the Ruger Marsksman trigger that’s user-adjustable from 3 to 5 pounds. It’s available in seven calibers, short- and long-action. The Redfield Revolution is waterproof, shockproof and fogproof with a nitrogen-filled 1-inch tube and multi-coated illuminator lens system. MSRP: $679.
Savage Axis II XP
$500 has never gotten you so much gun. Savage has paired the tack-driving Axis II rifle with a Weaver KASPA 3X-9X-40mm scope that is mounted and bore-sighted for out-of-the-box performance. The rifle features the user-adjustable Savage AccuTrigger, detachable box magazine, smooth bolt and button-rifled barrel. The Weaver KASPA riflescope features fully multi-coated lenses in a nitrogen-purged, one-piece, 1-inch tube with ¼-MOA adjustments. MSRP: $489.
Mossberg ATR Deer Thug
As the name implies, this rifle package was designed for one thing only, and it ain’t coddling deer. Available in five long- and short-action offerings with a 22-inch fluted barrel and Mossberg’s Lightning Bolt-Action (LBA) adjustable trigger. Since the rifle is wrapped in MossyOak Breakup Infinity with the “Deer Thugs” logo on the buttstock, you’re probably not going to be asked “what you after” while afield with this bad boy. All ATR Deer Thug rifles come standard with a 3X-9X-40mm scope. MSRP: $485.
Howa Hunter Zeiss Walnut Package
Legacy Sports has paired the renowned accuracy of the Howa 1500 rifle with an awesome 3X-9X-42mm Zeiss Terra 3X optic. The 1500 action sits in a beautiful walnut Howa Hunter stock and is available in 13 different chamberings, from .223 Rem. to the big .375 Ruger, and has the creep-free, HACT two-stage match trigger. The Terra 3X riflescope sports anti-reflective coatings to deliver the bright, high-contrast sight picture you expect from Zeiss, and it has a second-focal-plane Z-Plex reticle. The optic attaches via a one-piece DNZ base. MSRP: $1,103.