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iron vs scoped

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Unread 02-19-2006, 03:31 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,375
iron vs scoped

WARNING: 2AM thread
I know we're a half dozen generations late for this debate, except for some of us.

Mabey I just stay up too late reading Capstick....
I've been spreadin' my opinions around like good manure lately. One of the questions I often hear is, which scope. What power? I have a couple of loves related to huntin'. One's long range rifle shooting. One's archery. One's shotgunnin' anything that'll run or fly and the law says I can shoot an'eat.

Sooo, I find myself torn every time I tell somebody what scope I like. For shots on running game up close, I don't want a scope of any kind. Yet, I like to have 12x to tip somethin' over waaay out there. In the military, they teach everyone to shoot to 300 yards with iron sights. Which means, for big game we don't need a scope out to three hundred. Closer than 75 yards, even a 3x gets in the way if the critter's faster than a rash.

I know any day I go out, I may get a shot from 15 feet to ridiculously far away. In my experience, far more critters live to see another day 'cause I can't knock a million mph game animal over at petting range with a scoped rifle, than get away 'cause I don't have enough scope. Matter of fact, I've never lost an animal 'cause I didn't have enough scope. The ones needin a scope usually give ya time to use it.

I'd like to hear how some of y'all do it. Gotta be old boys out there packin' lever guns an' pumps with open sights, knockin down more critters than I do every year. What's the best type of open sight? I know there's guys runnin' round with twenty pound rigs who can't turn thier scopes below 6 or 8x. Shootin' stuff in different time zones. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

What's a good compromise? 2.5-10? Somebody tell me they can hit that dream buck when he breaks into a twelve foot opening twenty feet in front of them at mach nine, with a scoped rig. I've yet to do it. But I've knocked holes in running deer at 250. Don't think I could do that with open sights.

'Nother way of lookin at it is instinctive shooting. Like shotguns. The dangerous game guys do it. Mostly with open sights. Let's hear some debate. The lever guns are sellin plenty. Yet I don't see 'em on the mountain. Mabey 'cause I'm in the west ?? I shot my first elk with a 94 30-30. Probably more critters killed with that outfit than will ever be killed with another single model. Haven't hunted with it since. Had to have fast, flat, and scoped. Even went through a few scary months I thought the 06 was downright geriatric.

Whataya say?? For that matter, I want my huntin' rifles to stay a reasonable weight, and trim (no big knobs pokin' out).
How many o' you long range guys can take home the scramjet up cl0se an personal critters? How the hell do ya do both??? Fast handlin' up close, and capable way out? I wanna do it. Tell me how.
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Unread 02-19-2006, 06:32 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 51
Re: iron vs scoped

I can't tell you exactlt what to do. I've lost my ability to shoot on elk 10 feet away due to scope and I've looked at elk though a 4x scope at 600 yards, knowing it was too far for me at the time. I tried the add on sights on top of the scope. Hunters also used to use see through rings more than they do now.

My plan now is to use a 10x scope and a tactical sling. I will drop the rifle to my side and draw my 45 Colt pistol for up close.
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Unread 02-19-2006, 08:51 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Texas born and raised
Posts: 752
Re: iron vs scoped

WEll I can tell you this about how we hunt hogs. Since these are pretty much the only critter that we make running shots no in tight cover.

After using a Rem .270 topped with a 3x9 Leupy for a season or two, I decied that enough was enough. I had already been toting my Redhawk in 41 mag along for finish shots as well as some of the fast action. So I just started taking it only. Well I must say that at first my hit to miss ratio was pretty swayed to the latter. However it did come around.

Now enter the SKS. Not pretty, not inherently accurate, but pleanty for hogs and even deer in the 75yd or so range. I tried it as a result of being there in the thick stuff with only six shot and 40 or so pigs running in all directions. Similar to the Redhawk, first attempts were not to impressive. However after several years of working with it, I can hit as good or better than most scoped rifles I have, within reason, and under the same circumstances. Pluses, holds 10 rounds and is quickly reloaded. light weight and easily carried through the brush. Minusus, well it's an SKS nuf said. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]

Now enters the little Ruger Compact in 308. I wanted a small light weight rifle to slip through the underbrush with. Length was definately a consideration as when you still hunting or stalking, in the areas we hunt, the vines will get you every time. So I topped it with a Burris 1.5x6 Electro-Dot. I can honestly say I use it more on the 1.5 setting than anything. The heavy reticle makes point and aquire simply automatic for me. I have taken so many running hogs with it I have a hard time not taking it. IT has also dropped three of my longest hit on them as well, out past 300yds. Pluses, the scope has ample power for anything I will use it for and aquires fsat and accurately. Hs plenty of power for anything I have encountered so far. Minuses, only hold 5 rounds and is slow to reload.

Back to the open sights, on the Redhawk, I used the target blade and nead for years until last fall when I switched to the fiber optic set. I can hit from a rest at or under 2" at 100yds with the loads I use. Kneeling, and resting off my left knee, I have no problems dumping hogs out to 75yds in just about any situation. THe thing has become a natural function of point and shoot, similar to how you get trianed to shoot shotguns. Plus side, easily carried through anything and everywhere I go. Has pleanty of power for anything I have tackled so far. Shoots like a dream, basically point and squeeze. Minus side, only holds 6 rounds, fairly slow to reload even with speed loaders, and slow to cock and shoot multiple shots quickly.

I never have been a big fan of lever guns, I guess coming from my youth and getting the snot kicked out of me by my uncles old Marlin in 35 Rem. Just left a bad impression on me. Literally. LOL

Your right though, for typical open country hunting the scopes have it hands down. In the woods where cover is tight, and shots rarely exceed 100yds, a good set of open sights or a low power scope similar to what I use can be just as, or more effective. THe one nice thing about having the little extra magnification on my rifle is there have have been a number of times I have used it to zoom in through a small hole in the cover to place the shot exactly. Since the hogs, and deer as well, blend in so well in the area we hunt, sometimes you really don't know if they are coming or going when they are just standing still. IF I have the .308 and the Redhawk both in the woods at the same time there isn't much I can't handle.
Mike / Tx

My Photo's

"Heck why would I lie, most folks don't believe the truth when I tell them"
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Unread 02-19-2006, 11:27 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,375
Re: iron vs scoped

Hey Mike,

I've seen your "little" 308 in your hog pictures. That's a nice rig. I pack a S&W 357. Really don't need anything more out to un hundred yards. These wheelguns shoot like a wet dream. Never occured to me to hang the rifle on my back and pull out the smith when walkin through the thick. I've always had the rifle in hand and ready. Pretty much eliminating the possibility of using the hangun for a quick shot. Feel kind o' silly about that.

Gonna have to try one of the low power scopes. Is there one you can dial up too. Nikon monarch 1.5-6? I think the 6x ought to be ample out to 600 or so. Never tried.
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Unread 02-19-2006, 04:52 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: ALABAMA
Posts: 300
Re: iron vs scoped

I've got a Leupold VXIII 1.75x6 on my Ruger #1 45/70 and it amazes me. You can close your eyes and shoulder the gun @ 1.75 and be on target immeadiatly when you open them. Very clear and bright at all magnifications.
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