Saddle scabbards & target-turrets

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by rooster721, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. rooster721

    rooster721 Well-Known Member

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    Curious whether very many of you guys hunt off horseback, carrying your LR-rifles in scabbards ??

    What scopes are you using, and have you had issues of any sorts related to parralx knobs & windage turrets?

    One of the scopes I've got is a Huskemaw, obviously has a fairly low-profile parralax knob and a capped windage of pretty low-profile.. (used alot in this saddle-scenario) the other is a Diavari 6-24 (old style/no locking feature) and am considering a swap (from it) to a more saddle-friendly design..

    Possibly another Zeiss, possibly a nighforce (want opinions/experiences from anyone who might frequent those in scabbards.. or not*) and possibly even another huskemaw actually... I do like mine an awful lot ~ this swap is completely related to horseback situations and scabbards

    I'd like some inputs and opinions on the above scopes.. advantages & disadvantages... past experiences, etc etc

    ...appreciate it*
     
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I have been working on it. I have been building a model rifle/ scope from an old stock, 1" PVC (barrel and scope knobs) and 2 1/2" PVC (scope). I am going to soak, stretch and shrink a scabbard Harper so kindly gave me to a custom fit for my rifle. As of yet I have not had any issues with turrets turning on the NXS. More issues with long rifles and getting them comfortably on a horse.

    I started a thread once with the perfect wolf rifle in mind. In fact I still plan to build it. It will wear the compact 2.5x10x32 NXS with the shorter turrets. This rifle will be all about packing it in a scabbard on a horse.

    My plans to get all this done were slowed when my horse tipped over backwards with me at the end of summer. All the breaks are healed now and I have been riding a little again lately. Soon I will be finishing the scabbard and will post pics.

    Jeff
     

  3. rooster721

    rooster721 Well-Known Member

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    They say you can't call yourself cowboy til you've been bucked-off at least once, lol... nahh kiddin' aside, is good to hear you're not throwin' in the towel and giving up. Lot's do after a big spill.

    I'd be very curious to see what you come up with far as the scabbard goes*

    You mentioned a pretty small Bell on that scope though, 32mm?? I been considering either an nxs in 3.5-15 or possibly even the 5.5-22.. both are 50mm obviously. Probably also do a custom scabbard to length n such. My biggest concern is the fairly protruded parralax/illumination on the nightforces, along with the pretty-big windage (and no cap feature*) ...but guess the G7 line might cure the windage concern, still not the long paralax though

    Have you saddled such a scope as that by chance? ...or anyone else
     
  4. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    rooster721---funny this topic came up.
    I have a leather shop and mostly do it as a hobby. I am currently working on a long range rifle scabbard---it will be leather but will also incorporate aluminum around the scope and a light neoprene will be sandwiched between the outside leather and the lining leather---mainly for shock absorption and waterproofness. I think it will work well for both the rifle and the horse and it will look like a traditional look. I should have one finished next week. The rifle will be a long range rig with a nightforce scope.

    Randy
     
  5. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Randy, Please send me pics and a price. We need to talk...:D

    Jeff
     
  6. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    I have three scabbards all of which are now to short....end of scabbard to the bolt notch. The elevation and windage turrets stick out to far they won't even start to slip in and if they did they would rotate no doubt. There is a saddle shop there in town and was going to have something built but it has not been a priority with me as have not used the horses to hunt from in a couple years.

    I would like to see what you come up with. The aluminum around the scope is that formed so the turrets have clearance and no pressure? I use the scabbards with the scope down and on the right they just ride better for me that way but with the turrets I think the scope probably should go up so no pressure on the elevation knob and that would put the rifle on the left.

    Post some pictures when it's finished or PM me if you want

    I've been looking at the Vortex HS LR scope simply because it has a capped windage knob that is about three quarters of a inch and the uncapped elevation knob is only an inch. That's about half the size of the ones I use now.
     
  7. buzz4me2

    buzz4me2 Well-Known Member

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    I did a bit of research last year for a scabbard for a back country deer hunt I went on this past November. I tried one commercially made one that did not fit my rifle. Which is a .338RUM with a NXS 3.5x15x50 scope.

    I ended up having one made by a horse and pack shop I found on the internet. They made a very nice scabbard but they were not fun to deal with and made the first one too small. Even after sending pictures of my rifle and all the dimensions.

    The 2nd one they made fit nicely and I used it for 3 days on a deer hunt in Nevada. The outfitter wouldn't let me use it on my horse, he said it was too big and we ended up putting it on our pack horse. It worked out fine but I didn't understand why he thought it was too "dangerous". Something about how long it was and the horse, dismounting, etc. If we didn't have a pack horse I don't know what we would have done.

    We did have it on my horse the first evening and it seemed to work out fine. I don't know how it can get any smaller. My rifle is a LR rifle but I think the total length is around 52 inches.

    There is enough room that the nobs and scope are snug but not so tight that you have to pull hard to take the rifle out. It worked as I thought it should work, just not on the horse I was riding. Which I guess could be a problem in the future.
     
  8. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the aluminum and the neoprene will form a pocket for the side turrets---the elevation turret is no issue. I used to make (and still do) pistol holsters and i always sandwiched aircraft grade thin aluminum in between the two leathers. This keeps the form of the pistol. I can make them as long as you want but I don't think it will be able to incorporate a front bipod without being very bulky. The photos are of a scabbard I made for a guy that wanted it to mount on an ATV and he also wanted a sling so that he could carry it like a quiver. It has a 50mm scope on it. The long range scabbard will be made out of natural tooling leather so that I can mold it and tool it---this one is made out of latigo and it is hard to mold as well as stamp plus the glue won't hold with the layers.
    I'll post some photos as I make it. I asked a local guy to use his long range rig (he is right handed, I am lefthanded) for a prototype (i wanted a right handed bolt for a model) and I said I'd give him the scabbard with I'm done and he said, "okay." Duh.
    His rifle is a custom built 7mm with a nightforce so I think it will be a good example.
    As a sidenote, the other photo is of a dog collar that I make for the local sheepherder dogs---pyranees and ackbashes---they are made so the wolves can't go for the necks. They actually work great but then the wolves figured it out and started gutting the dogs. These collars have been on some dogs for over 3 years and the leather has held up great---that is what I use for the scabbards and I finish them with natural neetsfoot oil.



    Randy
     

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  9. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    First let me apologize to the OP for kinda high jacking his thread but he should find this stuff interesting also.

    I like what I see here. Looks like you do quality work. My favorite scabbard and it's about wore out has a notch on the side that the bolt slides into then the flap comes around and tucks under the bolt locking the rifle so it can't move forward or backward. Mainly keeps the barrel crown from riding against the bottom of the scabbard.

    What I have noticed with friends who sling their scabbards with scope up is the scabbard has a tendency to want to roll away from the horse because of the weight of the scope high and that's the main reason I have always slung it with scope down with the bolt handle away from the horse. A couple of guys I used to hunt with added another keeper strap to the scabbard near the top on both sides and it seemed to fixed the problem.

    One thing I'm wondering about is where the windage turret rides will probably get a lot of wear over time. Will the neoprene hold up or could a piece of leather be incorporated right there on the inside of the aluminum??

    We have had no trouble with wolves here yet. A neighbor runs about 500 goats to keep the bad weeds down all around here and has had no incident with wolves. Will mention your collar to her.


    Anyway thanks for posting the pictures they are great. Will be very interested to see how the prototype goes together.
     
  10. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    Jim,
    You have the outside leather, then the the aluminum which will be about the size of the scope, then the neoprene, and finally the lining leather which will be next to your rifle and scope. All would be cemented with barge cement which is waterproof itself. My idea of adding the thin neoprene would be for shock absorption as well as waterproofness. Most quality holsters have a lining inside to protect the finish. I used to be a deputy sheriff for a large sheriffs department and I made alot of holsters for the guys using the aluminum support in between the leathers and I have never known them to wear out---and we drew our sidearms alot. I found a photo at work of a scabbard I did for my brother. This is what the finish looks like with neatsfoot oil. This is a rem 700, 338 ultra with a regular leupold on it. What I will do for the bigger scopes with target turrets is after I get the scabbard all cemented, I'll wet the leather, mold the scope turret areas and it will hold the "pouch" so to speak as it dries but the aluminum will add to the structure of the "pouch." His rifle is a number 4 contour but I can make the scabbard bigger for bigger rifles. As long as the cow is big enough, I can make it.

    Randy
     

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  11. Joel Russo

    Joel Russo Official LRH Sponsor

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    Been following this thread, good stuff here. I too have slung the scabbard scope down to prevent the "roll down" effect as well.
    Randy~ wonderful craftsmanship indeed, and you may very well solve this problem. Two questions...1) Can I get a collar like that for the wife :D, and 2) Have you ever made a long, 57", soft carry case out of tanned hide and neoprene inside. Pulling your chain on the first question, but serious on the second..
     
  12. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    Yeah now I like this one. The notch stops the forward movement of the rifle. The way you have this one rigged is perfect with the scope down but put the scope up kinda like the picture shows that keeper strap that holds the rigging near the bolt needs to be very near the top and on both sides. It would not hurt to have two keeper straps on each side.

    The rifle that I want the scabbard for is about 32 inches from the crown to the bolt. That is probably pretty standard as it is a 26 inch barrel #5.

    You said it's more of a hobby but when you get the first one done maybe we could talk about building me one. I saw that Broz is chomping at the bit also. He knows a good thing when he sees it.

    Anyway looking good!! Keep us posted.
     
  13. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    Joel, yes, I can make a collar for your wife and then attach a chain to it. My money would be on her...................
    Never made a soft case but I probably could. It really doesn't matter what length.

    Randy
     
  14. buzz4me2

    buzz4me2 Well-Known Member

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    Where was this post a year ago when I was looking for solutions. Timing is everything. These look great.