I'm going to purchase a rifle or two in the near future when I move to an area where it's legal to hunt with one. I have some specific topics I will take into account below. Maybe it's the wrong order to decide on a caliber before a rifle? Hopefully your recommendations will narrow down the field.
- I have no pre-conceived idea about or love for a particular caliber. I hunt deer and bear (currently with bow or 12 ga.) When I move to VT, maybe moose? I'll also be hunting coyotes/coys.
- I'm a traditionalist, and would not consider an AR platform gun or anything synthetic stocked. I'm also prefer open sights to a scope. (If/when I were to get a black powder rifle, it would be a Hawken .50 cal.)
- I'm not opposed to buying a used rifle. (Both my Ithaca shotguns were pre-enjoyed.) I'm not hung up on a rifle manufacturer, and budget is an issue that may eliminate the two guns below.
- I like the Winchester Model 94. (I just like lever action guns, probably due to my love of westerns and Civil War movies.)
- I also like Remington 700's. To me, they "look like" a rifle.
- If I never bought another rifle, this would give me two caliber options. If I could afford a third rifle, some I've talked to say that .234 is nice all around.
- Maybe this should have topped the list, but I'm most concerned about ammo availability. If availability made a rifle purchase more expensive, then so-be-it. (I'm not opposed to learning how to re-load, but would rather not calm this supply fear that way.)
- It would be cool if one of the rifles took the same ammo as a future revolver purchase.
- Anything else I should consider?