Several gun manufacturers have jumped on board since the release of the 350 Legend last year so there are quite a few offerings out there to choose from. For our budget deer rifle, we chose the Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 350 Legend. It's lightweight at only 6 pounds and compact with a total length of 34.75 inches. Even with added optics and a suppressor, the weight and size is more than manageable and non-cumbersome. The Ruger Marksman Adjustable™ trigger has a crisp release enabling shooters to adjust the pull weight between 3 and 5 pounds based on their own comfort and preference. The bolt is one-piece and the full diameter body and dual cocking cams make for smooth, no wobble cycling. In addition, the short 70° throw is quick and easy to cycle in the field while shouldered and provides ample scope clearance. When it comes to accuracy, clearly the trigger is a big part of the equation, but the bedding system also contributes significantly. The Patented Power Bedding® uses an integral bedding block system that positively locates the receiver and free-floats the barrel for outstanding accuracy. For a close look at this you can do a dollar bill test, slipping a bill under the barrel and slide it up between the stock all the way to the receiver to see the free float in action. The barrel is cold hammer-forged and comes threaded with factory installed thread protector so you're ready to screw your suppressor on and get to shooting. The Ruger American Ranch Rifle has a detachable box magazine (an AR platform style magazine) and it also comes with a factory installed one-piece Picatinny scope base.
Overall, the Ruger American Ranch Rifle is a great budget deer rifle and while we're talking whitetails specifically right now, it would also make a great bear and/or hog gun as well. You can get into the 350 Legend Ruger American Ranch Rifle for under $500 and if you choose your optics and any other accessories wisely, you can have a deadly budget deer rifle for well under $1000. It's also important to note, in the way of budget friendliness, that ammunition is very affordable, too. You won't be dropping your whole paycheck to buy a few boxes - a box of 20 will run you somewhere in the $20 range.
Be sure to check out the Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 350 Legend available at both Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops!