I’d have to chose a Savage 99 in .300 Savage. Lots of class with plenty power.
Yeah, I don't care for the big loop levers either. As to straight stock or pistol grip, to each his own. Too bad they only make those in straight stocks in .44 Mag and .45 Colt for folks like you that want the pistol grip.I much prefer the pistol grip stocks. Readily available in Uberti 1873's - not so much in Marlin 1894's or Winchester 1892's.
I would love to have a Marlin 1894 in 45 Colt with a pistol grip stock. To my knowledge, they've never been made in that configuration. The recent trend is also to make big loop levers. Can't stand them, either.
I believe a Marlin 1894, Winchester 1892 or Winchester 1873 (or modern reproduction) in .357 Mag, .44 Mag or .45 Colt would make an awesome deer gun at the ranges we normally have in S. MS.
Gotta love the 405 gr hard cast rounds. I have to rely on factory loads though, I quit reloading years ago.Marlin 1895 45-70 (straight stock) with some 405gr hard cast fueled by Varget. Might change my mind bringing out the old win 94 dirty 30 with a little load development with some hammers in the next few days.