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America's Greatest Deer Rifles with Steve Barnett

Several More Great Deer Rifles

Click to enlargeEditor's Note: Certain deer rifles set the standard by which sportsmen judge all other rifles. Although artisans first crafted many of these highly-prized rifles years ago, often you'll find that they've withstood the test of time and that hunters still hunt with them today. These fine rifles have appreciated in value over the years. To select the 10-greatest deer rifles ever made, I’ve interviewed Steve Barnett, owner of Steve Barnett Fine Guns in West Point, Mississippi, and a contributing editor to the "Blue Book of Gun Values." Barnett has purchased guns since 1985, and in recent years he's become one of the most-noted gun traders in the nation. Barnett sells thousands of guns each year via his Web sites: and Barnett specializes in sporting guns, including shotguns and rifles, and chooses deer rifles as hiClick to enlarges favorite rifles.

I love to hunt, and I love quality guns. When a quality gun maker produces a really-good rifle that finds popularity with the American deer-hunting public, if the company's smart enough to continue manufacturing the rifle according to the same standards and tolerances as when it's been first introduced, the company oftentimes can continue producing the rifle for many years as its popularity grows steadily. Here's my picks for the 10-greatest deer-hunting rifles ever.

3)  Winchester 94 - The Winchester 94 first appeared on the hunting scene in 1894. The most-popular caliber was the .30-30. Comparatively inexpensive, this gun probably has been used by most anyone who's ever deer hunted. The Winchester 94 has three distincClick to enlarget categories, determined by production era. The antique pre-1898 Winchester 94s will sell for more than $2,500 in mint condition. The second category of rifles, from 1899 until 1940, in mint condition, will sell for $1,500 to $1,700. The Winchester 94s manufactured from after World War II through 1963 will sell for $500, and these rifles are still being sold today. This somewhat-short rifle offers a popular caliber and provides a great close-range rifle for deer hunting. Many deer hunters today still use Winchester 94s for hunting deer.

4)  Marlin 336 in either the .30-30 or the .35 Remington calibers - This rifle probably has a better construction than the Winchester 94 and may very well last longer than the Winchester 94. A fairly-inexpensive deer rifle with aClick to enlargemmunition that's readily available, this short, lightweight brush gun first became available in 1936 and steadily has grown in popularity. Originally introduced as the Marlin 36, this Marlin 336 basically hasn't been changed in how the company makes it since its first introduction.

5)  Savage Model 99 - First introduced in 1899, the Savage Model 99 is a relatively-inexpensive, attractive collector's rifle. The three most-popular calibers for the Savage Model 99 include the .308, the .300 Savage and the .250-.300. On a standard shelf-stocked gun in the .300 Savage caliber, this rifle will sell for $1,200 to $1,500. The rifles produced from 1899 until the end of World War II seem to have that same value. Rifles in mint condition made after the war until about 1960 will sell from $800 to $1,000. Not only is the Savage Model 99 a quality deer rifle, but it's also an excellent gun to invest in that seems to grow in value the longer you hold it.

To learn more, you can contact: Steve Barnett's Fine Guns, 127 Commerce Street, West Point, Mississippi 39773, PH: (662) 494-0779 or visit

Tomorrow: Two More Top-Quality Deer Rifles

Check back each day this week for more about "America's Greatest Deer Rifles with Steve Barnett"

Day 1: A Couple of Top-Quality Guns
Day 2: Seven More Great Deer Rifles
Day 3: Two More Top-Quality Deer Rifles
Day 4: Three More Top Deer Rifles
Day 5: Steve Barnett’s Six Picks for the Best Deer Rifles


Entry 432, Day 2