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America's Greatest Deer Rifles with Steve Barnett

Three More Top 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 natClick to enlargeion. 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 his 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.

8)  The Ruger #1 Single Shot in the .270 and .30-06 calibers - This attractive rifle is builClick to enlarget on the old falling-block action. If you see 15 rifles of various makes lying on a table, you'll pick up the Ruger #1 because it looks different and has more eye appeal. This rifle first came to the market in 1966 and maintains its popularity today. In mint condition, you can almost get what you paid for the rifle if you decide to re-sell it. The most-collectible Ruger #1s are those made before 1969. From 1966 to 1969, Ruger made both some rare calibers in the #1 and some rare configurations.
Collectors prize the .308 and the 7mm-08 made during the early years of the Ruger #1.

9)  Ruger 44 Carbine Semi-Automatic in the .44 Remington Magnum - Ruger introduced this rifle, designed for close-range deer hunting at 150 yards or less, in 1961 at an inexpensive price that remained inexpensive until 1985. In its early years, this rifle featured a tubular-fed magazine. But Ruger grew concerned about the pressClick to enlargeure exerted on the ammunition coming from a tubular-fed magazine, since the rifle's user had to load the cartridges with the point of the bullet touching the primer cap on the bullet in front of it, and then the gun fed the ammunition through that tubular magazine. The rifles became really popular when Ruger discontinued manufacturing them, and many deer hunters felt the need to buy one. When the rifles first came out, they retailed for about $75. Today those same rifles will sell for between $500 and $700 in mint condition. In 1999, Ruger reintroduced the Ruger 44 with a magazine-fed model. These guns sell in the $400 to $500 range, but at present have no collectible value. The quality of the rifle remains as good as when Ruger first introduced the 44. However, because the rifle is magazine-fed instead of tube-fed, consumers don't see the same value in the newer models as they do in the older models.

10) Ruger 77 Bolt-Action - Ruger introduced the 77 Bolt-Action in 1968. The more-rare calibers of this gun, such as the .358 Winchester and the .350 Remington Magnum made prior to 1970, will sell for about $800 to $1,000.

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: Steve Barnett’s Six Picks for the Best 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 4