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Is It Time for a New Deer Rifle?

New calibers, accuracy guarantees, and finely-tuned triggers have transformed the rifles hunters carry into the deer woods

A Smith & Wesson Compass II and shooting gear on a table.
The T/C Compass II guarantees minute of angle accuracy, rain or shine.Thompson/Center Arms

As the days get shorter and fall settles in, hunters around the country are dusting off bins of camouflage, hunting essentials, and most importantly, their rifles. As you inventory your gear, you might be thinking, Is this the year for a new hunting rifle? Based on the accuracy, durability, and value that exists in the market today, a new rifle might be a wise upgrade. Here’s what to look for in a modern deer rifle.

New Calibers

Today’s hunter has a myriad of calibers to choose from—everything from the old classics like the .243, .270, and .30-06 to modern advancements like the incredibly popular 6.5 Creedmoor or Winchester’s new 350 Legend. Depending on the state you live in and terrain you hunt, it might be time to upgrade your rifle’s chambering. Even new calibers have found a home with top rifle manufacturers, such as the T/C® Venture™ II.

Two men holding a rifle.
The T/C Venture II is chambered in a variety of calibers, including Winchester’s new 350 Legend.Thompson/Center Arms

Guaranteed Accuracy

Accuracy in hunting rifles has come a long way, particularly in the last decade. A new rifle in today’s market should shoot under an inch at 100 yards, and you shouldn’t settle for less. Improvements to barrel manufacturing and factory triggers, like the T/C Compass® II’s new Generation II trigger, have made minute of angle accuracy a reality for most hunters at an affordable price point.

Weather-Resistant Finishes

For most hunters, encountering foul weather while chasing whitetails is just a fact of life. Rain, sleet, snow, dirt…you name it, your rifle has probably seen it. These elements can take a real toll on your rifle without a meticulous, diligent cleaning regimen. Fortunately, unlike rifles of the past, weather-resistant coatings like Thompson/Center’s Weather Shield® are widely available on many of today’s factory bolt-action rifles.

A hand grips a Smith & Wesson T/C Venture II.
The T/C Venture II is ready for tough hunting conditions with its Weather Shield® corrosion-resistant finish.Thompson/Center Arms

A Good Deal

Last but not least, the purchase of a new deer rifle needs to keep some money in your pocket for license fees, odds and ends, and hopefully, the taxidermist. Fortunately, there are some excellent deals out there, and a reliable, accurate hunting rifle can be had for right around $400. If you’re looking for a dealer near you, T/C’s Dealer Locator can help you find a place to pick out your new rifle.

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