The Best Deer Guns

Benelli Supernova Pump
Without a doubt, this is one of the slickest pump-action slug guns on the market, and its ergonomics are a big reason why. While cycling, something the Supernova does quickly, it likes to stay on target, which can be a trick with some pump guns. Additionally, the ComforTech stock eats recoil by the fistful. The front sight is not the greatest, so plan on swapping it out or using a scope or red-dot sight in its place. ($625; benelli usa.com)
Outdoor Life Online Editor
Winchester SX3
The racy, modern lines of the SX3 may strike fans of traditional gun styling as odd, but there's no arguing with this autoloader's in-the-field performance. It is a reliable shooter by anyone's standards, and it balances very well in hand. The cantilever off the barrel allows you to easily mount a scope for precise shot placement, but the fiber-optic front sight on this gun is so good, you'll almost be tempted to go without one. ($994; winchesterguns.com)
Outdoor Life Online Editor
Ruger Frontier
Critics of scout-style rifles say all you get from one is a short-barreled rifle with a scope mounted in the wrong place. In reality, you get much more than that. The Ruger Frontier""pictured here in .308 Win.""is remarkably fast handling and a smooth shooter. It is surprisingly accurate, too. Topped with a proper long-eye-relief optic, it can place shots into game-killing clusters at impressive distances, though this deer rifle's ideal habitat is tight whitetail cover. ($900; ruger.com)
Outdoor Life Online Editor
Weatherby Vanguard Stainless
Every fall when I head out West to hunt deer, almost by instinct I find myself reaching for this Weatherby Vanguard"" shown here topped with a Bushnell Elite 4200 1.5""6x36 scope. And who could blame me? The Vanguard comes with a guarantee to put three shots within an inch and a half of one another at 100 yards with factory ammo. And when it's chambered in .257 Weatherby, the undisputed king of the .25-caliber crowd and Roy Weatherby's favorite cartridge, I know I'm ready for the long shots that are common when deer hunting in big country. ($637; weatherby.com)
Outdoor Life Online Editor
Weatherby Vanguard Stainless
Every fall when I head out West to hunt deer, almost by instinct I find myself reaching for this Weatherby Vanguard"" shown here topped with a Bushnell Elite 4200 1.5""6x36 scope. And who could blame me? The Vanguard comes with a guarantee to put three shots within an inch and a half of one another at 100 yards with factory ammo. And when it's chambered in .257 Weatherby, the undisputed king of the .25-caliber crowd and Roy Weatherby's favorite cartridge, I know I'm ready for the long shots that are common when deer hunting in big country. ($637; weatherby.com)
Outdoor Life Online Editor

Most hunters are as addicted to their rifles as a smoker is to nicotine. The choice to buy a new gun is a hard decision, but the five shown here are a good starting point for anyone in the market.