Hunting Rifle

Hunting Rifle

This is a discussion on Hunting Rifle within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have a confession to make. I'm twenty-five years old and I've never been hunting before. We put in for elk tags this year (myself ...

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Thread: Hunting Rifle

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array A1C Lickey's Avatar
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    Hunting Rifle

    I have a confession to make. I'm twenty-five years old and I've never been hunting before. We put in for elk tags this year (myself and some of the guys at work) and I'm picking up a Remington 700 SPS in 300 WSM later this week. What I need help with, is a scope. I've used them before, but I've never bought one. I don't really know what all those numbers mean. Any help explaining it would be appreciated.
    TSgt. Lickey

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    and a high school education to fix'em!


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    First go to here:

    http://www.leupold.com/home_flash.htm

    Leupold's website is fairly interactive and will show you the product features including what the target reticle will look like.

    Here is your scope basics:
    The first number is the power. For instance if it is a 4.5x14 it means that the scopes power magnification is adjustable from 4.5 times magnification all the way up to 14 times magnification.
    The second number is the width of the objective lense. The larger it is the more light it will gather which is key in lower light situations.

    So if you have a 4.5-14x40mm, then it will vary in magnification power from 4.5 to 14 power and has a 40mm objective. Everything else is bells and whistles.

    I recommend a leupold scope. They are pricey but well worth the bang for your buck. Wealthy people and fools easily parted with their money will say to get nothing less than Zeiss scope. Don't listen, they are way to overpriced for what you get.

    If you can't afford Leupold, then look at Nikon. Otherwise, buy something cheap. Don't let a leupold rep hook you into buying the Boone and Crocket special. It sounds cool and all, but for your experience, you will just get lost and frustrated trying to make the scope work the way it was intended to be. Those who are really experienced would say to just stick with a standard or tacticle retical, buy a range finder, and practice practice practice at varying distances so that you will know what your rifle can do.

    A must have feature is that your scope is water/fog proof. Other nice, but optional features are an adjustable focus/objective, finger adjustable dials, butler creek flip covers, etc.

    I hope that helps.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

  3. #3
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    Thats pretty much it.

    In a scope...you will get what you pay for. If you spend 40 dollars on a scope, you'll get 40 dollars worth of performance.

    I have several Leupolds and several Nikons. The Nikons are as bright, or in some cases brighter, than the Leupolds for about 2/3 the price. I am a big fan of the Nikons.

    Dont make the mistake of buying a cheap scope. Buy as scope that will serve you for a lifetime....and remember...if you can SEE it, you cant shoot it.
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    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    I agree with everything Sonny said, except the "Leupold", and "Zeiss" part. I think far more fools have been separated from their paycheck by Leupold than have been by the top notch makers like Zeiss. Leupold has good glass, but their mechanics are mediocre, they don't track well. However, as far as bang-for-the-buck goes, he's right on with Nikon, good glass and mechanics.

    My feelings on the matter are; if you want a complete package in a scoped rifle, you ought to be prepared to spend darn near what you did on the rifle on the glass. It always amazes me when people cough up big bucks on a rifle, haphazardly slap a wally-world scope on it, and then are flabberghasted when it doesn't shoot.

    As for the numbers, you have to look at the conditions you expect to shoot in. Unless you're an exceptionally experienced rifleman and big game hunter, you're not gonna be taking any shots past 300yds, which means a max magnification of 10X is more than you need. You said you're gonna be hunting elk, so the more important magnification is the low end, if you're hunting dark timber and your scopes low end is 4.5 and a bull gets up at 30yds, you're gonna be screwed. So I would suggest at a maximum a 3-9 or 2-10 power scope (keep it on lowest setting, if they're out there you have time to turn up the power). As for objective, bigger is better.....except that the bigger the objective is, the higher it must be mounted to clear the barrel (I know that Leupold has they're new objective with the cut-out, but as mentioned before....I'm not a fan of Leupold), which causes a bunch of other problems. Most mounts are set up for a 40-44mm objective, which is plenty since in most states the lowest light you'll encounter is 30min before or after sunset.

    Lastly, don't skimp on mounting hardware! Take the mounts that came with your rifle and see how far you can throw them. Get top notch bases and rings, I prefer Burris. But there are quite a few good quality base and ring manufacturers. And then put it all together correctly, and if you don't know what you're doing, get someone who does to do it for you. Sorry for the long winded reply, but I'm kinda passionate about the subject.

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    Senior Member Array PapaScout's Avatar
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    Ok, so to pick up where A1C Lickey left off...

    What's the difference in performance between an $80 Bushnell and a $300 Leupold? Anti-fogging and shock endurance? Or something more critical to use?
    "If you so much as bunny hop I'll cut your heart out!" Billy Bob Thornton in The Last Real Cowboys

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  6. #6
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    ???????

    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    ....and remember...if you can SEE it, you cant shoot it.
    What do you Arkansas boys hunt?

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    Senior Member Array gregarat's Avatar
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    What's the difference in performance between an $80 Bushnell and a $300 Leupold? Anti-fogging and shock endurance? Or something more critical to use?
    There is a huge difference between the two. Not only the qualities you mentioned. The $300 scope will be more relyable, has a more precice elivation/windage adjustments, probably has a better warenty.
    With glass you realy do get what you pay for. I bought a Leupold vari-x III 3.5-10x 40mm, some years ago. When my dad bought a $100 P.O.S. glass. My scope is still in service, even after having warenty work done on it form hunting abuse. My dad has to spend $100+ every other year, cause his scopes keep dying, on him.

    My favorite makers are Leupold, Nikon, and Bushnell "elite". Another thing not to skimp on is rings and base.

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    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    Blueyedevel -

    I knew I woudl rile up a Zeis fan with that comment

    Really I think that comes down to opinion, personal experience, and size of the wallet. I have always been fortunate with Leupold, but I do know some people who have had nothing but problems. One thing I don't like about Leupold is the expensive accessories.

    Speaking of accesories, if you are going to spend some good money on a good scope, don't skimp on the addons like mounts, flip covers, etc. A few dollars invested there will be appreciated later. Blueyedevil said it best when he said that you should plan on spending almost as much on the scope as you did on the rifle.

    If you are hunting in Arizona, I think you will probably be happier with a 4.5 x14 scope, because the hunting areas are usually farther open and 200-400 yd shots are not uncommon. But I could be wrong, I have never hunted down there, but I have friends who do and that is what they are running with. Here in Oregon, I have never had to take a shot over 60 yds, so a scope in some cases is almost a hinderance.
    Last edited by SonofASniper; March 14th, 2007 at 06:26 PM.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Sig 210's Avatar
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    Buy a Leupold. You will not regret it.

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    Perhaps looking at several different scopes at a gun shop might help. I like mid to high range priced scopes, but you need to decide what power, features you like and will use.
    Some of the Bullet drop reticles look pretty neat, but be sure you can accurately shoot whatever distance you are trying for game.
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  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    When I last went to buy a scope, the Nikons optics beat out the Leupolds at the same price point.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Geezer's Avatar
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    Leupold - Nikon-Zeiss. All are high quality optics, and worth every penny. It's hard to tell the difference between the cheapo and high end from inside the store. In the field is where you'll notice.

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    VIP Member Array SammyIamToday's Avatar
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    Another Leupold fan. I have one on my H&R Ultra Hunter in .25-06. It was a little more than the rifle, but it shoots well (even though it's ugly).
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    The difference between a $80 bushnell and a top notch scope is on the order of the difference between color and black and white T.V..

    The problem is, that most people with scoped rifles are color blind, they just don't know the difference and alot of them have never seen color T.V..

    The first difference is glass; as in light transmission, resolution, field of view and paralax. The difference between a crappy scope and a top notch scope is like the difference between a kalaidascope and the Hubble in this department.

    Second difference is mechanics; as in the ability of the erector to respond accurately to adjustment, reticle...etc. Once again like a laser rangefinder versus "pacing it off".

    I know alot of people like leupold, and that's probably because they don't make scope adjustments for range and drift. Leupold has good glass, but crappy mechanics, so if you get your rifle "sighted in" at a fixed range, leave it there and do "kentucky windage" for everything you won't notice the crappy mechanics.

    And finally mounting hardware, the difference between the good stuff done right and the stuff most people use and put on haphazardly, is kinda like putting that new engine in with duct-tape versus having a mechanic put it in right. Good mounting hardware put on right keeps your scope in the center of it's adjustment and keeps the optics alligned, stress free, and stable. Whereas crappy mounting hardware put on wrong does none of the above and causes a crap-load of other problems.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array PapaScout's Avatar
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    Thanks, blueyedevil (is that a George Carlin reference, btw?) that's what I was looking for.

    Does that mean that when I zero a cheap scope at 3x and then up it to 5x the scope won't be zeroed any more?
    "If you so much as bunny hop I'll cut your heart out!" Billy Bob Thornton in The Last Real Cowboys

    "I carry a gun for the same reason that I carry health insurance and a cell phone - be prepared."

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