My First Rifle - finally made a decision

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Richard Owl Mirror, May 20, 2013.

  1. Richard Owl Mirror

    Richard Owl Mirror Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you remember when I first joined this group I had a friend who is going to teach me to hunt. I am 55, disabled and moved to Montana about 1 1/2 years ago. I have never hunted or even shot a gun my whole life so this is a big step for me. Most everybody around here hunt Mule Deer, Whitetail Deer & Elk. While there are other big game animals like Moose, Antelope, Bear, Mountain Lion, Big Horn Sheep etc..., the vast majority of hunting is for deer & elk.
    My friend runs an action house and had one particular rifle in mind in an upcoming auction for me.
    Unfortunately someone bid $675, where my friend said I shouldn't go more than $500 for this rifle.
    So I have been researching hunting rifles on the internet and finally decided on one specific rifle: The Howa Hogue GameKing Package combo in .25-06 cal.
    It is suggested retail for $610.00 but, I found it for $499.99 at Shiptons Big R West. I have seen this exact rifle for sale on the internet for $610.00 and higher yet, most all of them said they were out of stock.

    I was advised by many people to go with the .25-06 cal. rather than the .270 cal. because of the felt recoil.
    Everybody said the .25-06 cal. does everything the .270 cal. can do with a reduced recoil.

    The Howa Hogue GameKing Package comes with a Nikko Stirling 3.5-10x44 GameKing Scope.
    Here is a picture showing all the features:
    [​IMG]


    So, what is your opinion on this Company, this Rifle and Caliber?
    Keep in mind my particular situation, being new to Hunting, Disabled since 1996. I already purchased my General Deer & Elk license and sent in my application for Hunting from a vehicle. I don't know that I will use the hunting from vehicle but, since I qualify I thought why not get it, it is a Lifetime privilege. I also have the disabled Hunting & Fishing licenses which are also for a Lifetime.

    If it makes any difference, I live in the South-West corner of Montana, about 50 miles north of Yellowstone National park.
     
  2. ntg

    ntg Well-Known Member

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    Well...I'd say a Howa is a great gun. I have one in 22-250 and it's a solid, accurate shooter. They are basically the same action as the Vanguard. Weatherby doesn't just slap their name on anything. I'd say 25-06 is a good choice for deer...make sure you used a stout bullet if using it on elk, but it can take one, if the shot is placed right, etc. Good luck and keep up posted on how things go.
     

  3. Richard Owl Mirror

    Richard Owl Mirror Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply.
    I will keep posting my progress and continue reading all the valuable information so many share on this site.
     
  4. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

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  5. Richard Owl Mirror

    Richard Owl Mirror Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info. Since I am unfamilar with ALL aspects of Rifles & Scopes.

    What is wrong with the Nikko Stirling 3.5-10x44 GameKing Scope
    1. Nikko Stirling 3.5-10x44 GameKing - $129.95
    2. NIKKO STIRLING Gameking 3.5-10x44 $137.90
    3. Nikko Stirling 3.5-10X44 Gameking $145.00
    Legacy Sports - Nikko Stirling Scopes Gameking

    How much more should I spend and what advantage would I get for the extra money?

    I am Disabled, Low Income (SSDI) and not looking to shoot 1000 meters and hit someone between their eyes.
    I'm just going Deer Hunting. Wouldn't this scope be sufficient for my purposes ?
     
  6. Aldon

    Aldon Well-Known Member

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    Based on your stated purpose i would look for a good 3x9 scope.

    From any of the more reputable makers.

    When hunting your only as good as your weakest link.

    I would agree that Nikko Sterling is not the link I would want to rely on.

    That does not mean you have to spend a lot.

    Vortex makes good optics in your stated purpose and price range and have good customer service.

    I had one of the entry level Nikon's and it was very good.

    And if you go with a brand that has good cross over warranty searching the classifieds on some of the hunting forums will yield you with a used better scope at your stated price ragge.
     
  7. Aldon

    Aldon Well-Known Member

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  8. Richard Owl Mirror

    Richard Owl Mirror Well-Known Member

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    I just found some interesting info, perhaps you & others might be interestd in?
    "Several American companies have used their actions. The current Weatherby Vanguard is a Howa.
    Howa manufactures components for other firearm companies such as Mossberg, Smith & Wesson, and Weatherby."
    So it would seem going directly to the source is a good thing.
     
  9. Richard Owl Mirror

    Richard Owl Mirror Well-Known Member

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    As I have said, I know absolutely nothing about this issue as this is the first time I will own a rifle.
    What is the difference between a 3.5-10x44 & a 3-9x40mm ?

    Does the 3-9x40mm decrease the field of view where the 3.5-10x44 might show more of the background, around the deer/elk ?
     
  10. Richard Owl Mirror

    Richard Owl Mirror Well-Known Member

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    I do appreciate your advice Aldon yet, if you add up everything cost-wise.
    $364.99 + shipping($40) & FFL fees ($30), plus scope at $150 shipped
    It seems that set-up would be putting me over the $600 mark.
    Besides both items being USED rather than in the box & covered by a warranty.
    Is it really worth that much to change my direction ?
    I understand you are more experienced and knowledgeable about these matters.
    I'm just trying to weigh all the pro's & Con's
     
  11. ntg

    ntg Well-Known Member

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    Richard,

    My Howa came with the Nikko Stirling Nighteater 3.5-10x42 scope on it. I got it figuring that I'd use it until I saved up for better. It really isn't a bad scope, and I have it on there still. It's probably better than most at the $150 range. It was optic of the year in Rifleman (or one of the NRA mags about 5 years ago, so that says something). It isn't as good as my Elite Limited Edition, or a few others I have, but its a good scope. I was out hunting yotes at around zero degrees this winter and the Nighteater was stiff in changing the power on it, but I don't know if others would have issue if it was that cold.

    Keep in mind this is the Nikko Stirling Nighteater, and you’re looking at the Gameking, which I have no experience with. In my experience there's a lot of scopes being made in Asian countries that are very good compared to what they were producing 10 years ago.

    Also, you asked on what the numbers mean. The numbers before the "x" are the magnification of the scope, so mine mentioned above will magnify from 3.5 to 10 power. The number after the "x" is the diameter of the objective lens. The size of this lens loosely dictates the amount of light transmitted into the scope. Lens coatings, number of lenses in the scope, etc. also play a part in light transmitted. Eye relief is a little more complicated as it has to do with the geometry of lens placement and other things. Field of view also is a factor of the objective lens and internal geometry, if I'm not mistaken. I don't worry a lot about field of view (FOV) for general hunting in a scope, as it doesn't really matter that you can see 15 feet less in width. Now FOV is a bigger deal in a spotting scope or binos as that is what you're scouting with and it will help in seeing more area, less movement of the head etc. I'm no expert in these things either, but I hope this helps.
     
  12. Richard Owl Mirror

    Richard Owl Mirror Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much for explaining that for me.
    This is my first time for ALL that is involved so, I have a lot of learning to do.
     
  13. ntg

    ntg Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome. I never did comment on your question about caliber choice. I'm going to assume that your looking at factory ammo which plays into my response. First, if you can get a chance to fire a friends rifle that's in the caliber your considering it will help a lot as to if you feel you can handle it. If you intend to take on elk I'd really see about something that can shoot more bullet than the 25-06. I'm not saying it can't be done (I've seen it done w/ less), but the "comfort margin" isn't much. You've got to be able to shot in the kill zone for sure, becuase the lighter bullets won't do as well in general if bullet placement isn't ideal. I'd sugget the 7mm-08. It's got the option of 140-160gr. bullets and not going to kick as much as the 270 in similar bullet/rifle combos generally speaking. It's also very comparible in kill ability to the 270. Also, you can find some factory ammo for it in 120 bullet weights that will be even better on recoil and do the job for deer. Another thought, although cost is a challenge, is if shooting a decent bolt gun with a deer/elk caliber is too much for you then look into the semi-auto rifles. The action on them will take a lot of the recoil for you.

    Best thing you could really do for yourself is see about shooting some guns (a friends, etc.) first to see how you, with your limits, handle it. And one more thing, depending on your disability, MT fish and game may allow you to hunt out of a truck or on a ATV. Fixing a vehicle with a gun mount will also reduce recoil if you're able to do that. Just some ideas and thoughts.
     
  14. ntg

    ntg Well-Known Member

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    BTW...I was just looking on the Federal Premium Ammunition - Every Shot Counts website. They don't even suggest any of their 25-06 loads for elk if that's what you're aim is. Not that you can't do it...they use to us a 30-30 a century ago to do it, but like I said there's a small "comfort margin" in the 25-06 when your game is elk. If I was going that route with elk, I'd certainly get a stout bullet like the partition to give me a bit of an edge.