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Varmint Hunting Techniques For Prairie Dogs, Woodchucks, etc.


Which to get first?

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Unread 01-16-2012, 07:58 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 16
Which to get first?

I was wondering which to get first, the rifle or the scope? I know it may obvious to some but, I was thinking on getting the rifle first. The rifle I plan on getting is an RRA AR-15 for varmint/target shooting out to ~500yds. The scope I was looking at was a Bushnell 6500 Elite 2.5-16x50. I just wanted to get other opinions on this rather than mine.
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Unread 01-16-2012, 08:10 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Malta NY
Posts: 722
Re: Which to get first?

Well, since opinions are free and therefore worth what you pay for them I will give you my thought process when I decide to add a rig...

You have to decide how committed you are to the proposed hardware....

Are you able to get an rarely good deal on either of them?

Optics seem to be getting better and better. If I was going to put off one or the other, I often will put off optics in hopes that I catch a much improved option for same price due to sale or what have you or as has been the case, i save up more for better optics than I would have otherwise spent.

So if the highest end optics I can afford are not available below list, I will usually buy rifle and take my chances. Seems to work with all but top of the line optics which have tighter pricing controls...
“When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such governments. …” Jefferson

We are very close to this point now.
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Unread 01-17-2012, 03:11 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Lynchburg, TN
Posts: 785
Re: Which to get first?

You can shoot the rifle without the scope but you can't shoot the scope without the rifle. Go with the rifle first.
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Unread 01-19-2012, 11:58 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Dallas, Tx
Posts: 72
Re: Which to get first?

Alright, I'll take the other side of the coin and be the party pooper.

While what nimrod said is true, it is also the biggest reason that you should not buy the rifle first. Once you buy that new baby, there is no way you will just let it sit there, so you are going to have to feed it and clothe it. Ammo costs $$, range fees cost $$, extra mags cost $$, a loader for the extra mags cost $$, all those nifty accesories like the rails and lights and shellcatchers (I'm not an AR guy, but you're probably getting the idea) cost $$, etc.

On the other hand, the scope just sits in the box (or upgrades a rifle you already have) and waits for you to save up for the new rifle. I know it's boring but it would help get you to your ultimate goal in a more timely fashion.

But Aldon raises some good points about really being sure it's what you want before you buy it and that optics technology is always improving. It would probably be the BEST idea if you were to stick the cash you would spend on either the scope or the rifle somewhere like an interest-bearing account until you can afford to buy the rig and all the gadgets that surely will be soon to follow.

Now with all that being said, I would buy the rifle first too
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Unread 01-25-2012, 07:48 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Oregon
Posts: 583
Re: Which to get first?

That really cleared the issue up, TRR!

I'd by the rifle first and rob a scope off another rifle to play with it 'til you get a dedicated scope. (Great choice on the rifle BTW.) The power range of the 6500 is great for an AR. I bought the exact same scope on my predator calling/varmint shooting AR. That said, once I got it, I didn't find the elevation adjustments to be very accurate and I sold it and bought a Leupold. If it's a dedicated varmint rifle, I'd go straight to Leupold personally.

Good luck with whatever you decide on!
Tim Titus
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