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nozzlehead's picture
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NEW HUNTER or NEW RIFLE QUESTIONS....

I see many, many post on the topics of "I'm new" or "which gun" or something asking guidence on purchasing a new rifle. While I'm not an expert, I don't have a degree in guns, well maybe a fever for them; I'm not a professional hunter, Realtree is asking me to do a video hunt; I do love guns, hunting, shooting and sharing what little knowledge I have floating around up there with young or new hunters.

First off I'll tell ya I'm not a "one brand guy". I own or have owned Remington, Winchester, Ruger, Savage, Mossberg, Krag, Browning, Thompson Center, CVA, Stevens, Traditions...you get the point. I don't believe you have to spend 1000's or even several 100's of dollars to have an effective hunting rig. I don't belive you need to spend as much on your scope as you do the rifle in order to kill game. What I believe in is:

-researching products before you buy: know what your going to use it for and know whats out there to get the job done. Sporstman clubs can be better than any web site but be cautious, I have seen a few that are more about showing what they have than sharing what they know.

-rifles: Buy what you can afford. Be realistic when you purchase a firearm or scope or whatever you're after. Sure a custom Cooper rifle looks pretty cool and you'd definitely be the talk of camp but it won't kill any better, for the average hunter, than a rifle you can buy at Wal Mart or Gander Mtn will. Another point is used firearms; If ya know what you're looking at and what to look for, there are some great deals out there on used rifles. Use caution or ask someone you trust and is knowledgeable on firearms to help you look for one.

-recoil...buy what you can handle: If you are new to shooting, be aware of recoil. Don't run out and buy a .338 WinMag for your first elk hunt if you've never shot a 30.06. If you're afraid of whats going to happen when you squeege the trigger, you're already starting off on the wrong foot. A few years back I bought a Browning Abolt in .300WSM and right off the bat a ran some 180gr through it...OUCH! My buddy shot it with no problems. I didn't like it...sold it a few weeks later. Go online and look up "felt recoil". There are some very good charts and articles on rifle recoil. Don't think "I'll just put on a ??? recoil pad and I'm golden". If ya don't like the recoil before the pad, chances are you're not going to like it after the pad. I have a Ruger .308 that has mild recoil. It doesn't bother me at all. However, with a good recoil pad on it, I find summer practice with a tshirt on is more enjoyable than without it.

-triggers: I am big fan of the Savage Accu Trigger. I just bought a Savage 220 slug gun with it and boy is it nice...right out of the box too I might add. Next I think Winchester produces a great trigger...clean & crisp. I like my Ruger, after I had it adjusted down to 3lbs. I haven't tried the new trigger Remington is using now but the older ones were ok, nothing great and some say they're dangerous. I never had a problem with an unintentional fire but I know those that did. All were adjusted by a "gunsmith" they knew. I would not hesitate to buy a used Remington. I would recommend having it check by a qualified gunsmith though. If there is any doubt...switch it out. Replacement triggers are much better than the old Remington triggers, imo, and are cheap.

-scopes: The most expensive scope I own cost $175. It's clear as a bell. It's a Redfield I bought at Wal Mart 15yrs ago. I hear people say, "you put a cheap scope on that and you blow it apart. It won't handle the recoil". The first two scopes I ever bought were 4X32 Tascos. I paid $19.95 a piece for them. At 18yrs old, 24 yrs ago, that's all I could afford. One went on my 12ga slug gun and the other on my 30.06 Remington. The 30.06 had it's pulled and swapped with a Bushnell Banner 3-9X40 I bought at Kmart for $89 (one of the nicest scopes I ever bought). It remained on there until some ####! stole it from me. The Tasco however has been on a muzzleloader I have since the swap. The other sat on that 12ga until last yr when I sold the gun. They are both crystal clear. As long as you stay with the big name brands you won't have a problem; Tasco, Redfield, Bushnell, Nikon, Simmons, Pentex...all great scopes that have something offered for those on a budget as well.

-slings: I have tried many and while I love look of leather of my wood stock rifles, this is what I use...www.sloganoutdoors.com. Thses are the best I have ever used. I have met the man that made them, owns them and sells them. He is down to earth and offers a great product.

I hope I offered some advise on here that may help someone. If I forgot something let me know. If I can I'll add to this. For the vetern reading this, introduce someone new to the sport. Take a minute to pass some knowledge. If ya see someone at the range doing something and ya know a better way, offer some help. I know a lot of young "internet hunters". They didn't have a Dad, or Grandpa, or anyone to show them the ropes. They know what they learned from the internet. These people are more then willing to have a mentor.

nozzlehead's picture
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no comments?

I've had 38 people look at this post since I put it up. No one has commented; no likes, no dislikes, nothing. Guys, that's what these post are for; conversation via the net. I put this post up on another site and had replies in the first hour of posting. This site definately needs some activity!

Tndeerhunter's picture
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Joined: 04/13/2009
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interesting

I first read your post while I was on a deer stand and did find it interesting. I think you brought up a lot of good points, although I won't say I agree with all of them. One thing in particular I'll say I am in disagreement with is your section on scopes and scope selection. First let me say that not all shooters or hunters have the same needs in scopes (obviously!). Some who are just casual shooters at the range might not need the improved performance a higher end scope might give a hunter in the field at lowest legal light levels when actually hunting.

You mentioned owning a Redfield you purchased 15 years ago. Those scopes were some of the top of the line American optics of their times and a pricetag of $175. back then would equate to around $300. today. A new Redfield Revolution (made by Leupold these days) costs about $150-$200 today in 2-7 or 3-9 flavors. These scopes are thought by many to be pretty good scopes (myself included). But with scopes, as with many other things, more $$ normally does bring better quality. The $300. that Redfield scope might cost in today's $$ would buy you a Leupold VX2 3-9x40 which is a higher quality scope than either the old or new Redfields (I've owned all of these).

Again, for the non-serious recreational shooter or even occassional hunter, lower cost scopes might work great. But for a dedicated target shooter or hunter, I'd say pretty much anything with a Tasco or Simmons tag on it, would not be a good choice for a serious hunt in varying weather conditions. I'd simply say that I would absolutely not consider such a scope for a hunt I was traveling to in a climate with changing temps and conditions. I have had scope failures before and I have since been much more careful in my scope choices on my main hunting rifles, especially.

I do agree with you mention of a good number of high quality used rifles being out there and also being a viable choice vs a new economy version. Like many other things, a lot of people simply look for the lowest bottom line price when buying. As the owner of a lot of firearms over the years, my tastes now run towards buying a quality gun that will last for a long time, not merely a new rifle at low cost. Many of those new, low-priced rifles change model designations so quickly it's hard to keep up. And when that plastic trigger guard breaks, where will you find a replacement 10 years from now?

Recoil is a very subjective thing. I began my shooting "career" using a single shot 12ga for small game and deer (shooting 1 oz slugs). That thing gave new meaning to the words "kicks a bit"! To this day, I am not overly bothered by recoil and regularly shoot rifles many consider high recoiling for most all my big game hunting. I simply think we need to let any new shooter experience shooting for themselves, without others warning them to avoid the "evils" of recoil at any & all costs! Of course, there are ways to get around those "evils" by choosing a smaller, but adequate chambering and also to simply do most of your practice shooting with a lighter recoiling round than you might hunt with. After all, who feels recoil in the field when shooting at a big game animal? Not saying moderate to heavy recoiling rifles are for everyone, merely that we should let everyone experience it for themselves.

Again, I enjoyed your post and want to welcome you as a new member to our somewhat slow moving forum here!

Ed


nozzlehead's picture
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Tndeerhunter, I agree with

Tndeerhunter, I agree with you in the fact that my Redfield would probably equal a $300 scope today. I also agree that the new Redfield Revolutions are quality scopes for the price. I believe you can certainly get a quality scope for around $150. I feel this is where the Tascos I bought 20 years ago would fit.  

You brought up a good point about cheap scopes and traveling and climate change. Question: what do you feel is harder on a scope, climate change or elevation change? I will say that I have hunted in -10F to 75F with even my, cheap for the times, Tascos and have never had an issue. I would not have however depended on them for a trip out west due to the elevation change I may encounter and possibly the flight if I chose to fly. I've heard of more scope issues after someone has flown with their gun than anything to do with weather and climate.

When it comes to the Tascos, Simmons, and Bushnells of today, I believe they are all owned by Bausch & Lomb (they all have the same contact address). Bushnell makes some highly rated scopes these days. I recently put their Bone Collecter on a slug gun...very nice scope. I think the cross hairs are too heavy for any long range shooting; say over 200 yards but a nice scope to say the least. I know these are not "the brand" to use, but, for the new hunter that wants to get out there and not brake his bank account, I believe these are a great choice.

You made a comment about rifles with plastic trigger guards. I would not let that be a deterrent in choosing a rifle to get me started in hunting. I can still find a plastic trigger guard for my '59 era Mossberg .22 (that has never broke by the way).

When it comes to recoil and hunting big game, I think there is still the old mentallity that "in order to kill it's gotta kick" (obviously!). That's silly to say the least. Why beat up a new or young hunter with something they're not comfortable with when they can use a weapon with light recoil and be just as effective? They'll enjoy it more, practice more, and be better in the long run. With todays bullets and quality loads that are availible over the counter, why not shoot something that doesn't pound ya like a 12ga with 1oz slugs? Speakin of...with the new slugs out there, that's why I went to a 20ga. It's lighter to carry, more accurate, and easy on the shoulder and todays 20ga slugs kill just as fast as any deer I've ever shot with a 12ga. If one chooses to, they can certainly go out and experience a hard recoiling rifle and decide for themselves; but they don't have to. Hell, I read an article once about a 9yr old who killed an elk with a .243 Winchester. Ya can't get much less recoil than that.

As you stated, you brought up some good points. I too don't agree with all of them but thats what makes these interesting and informative! Thanks for the reply and happy hunting!

Don Fischer's picture
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First time I noticed this

First time I noticed this thred. I really agree with about everything. I don't believe that a $600 scpoe gives you another $300 of proformance over a $300 scope. I think the best inexpensive scope today in the Redfield/Leupold. I have two Denver Redfields that are about the same age as you, great scopes. I've an Bushnell Banner I got used about 15 yrs ago and it very good. My belief is that when buying a scope it reach's a point where price brings Things you don't need or cover's the cost of the name on the scope, reasearch and developement. I think one scope in particular that start's at well over $1000 is a good example. I was in the building where they were made years ago. All the parts were imported and put together in  a small room right there. They have a new place I've never seen now. If you took the cost of materials and added a reasonable profit to it, and I mean good materials, what would a thousand dollar scope be worth. You can pay a brick layer $15 an hour or a union brick layer $35 an hour and they both do the same job with the same materials. The union guy just takes a bit longer with breaks ect. Same with scopes. One of the things driving up cost of are these  silly reticules. I have a Nikon BDC reticle in one Nikon. Hate the thing and Nkon won't change it. At the time I got it, it was all that was avaliable. Good scope, crummy reticle. And I strongly suspect that the cost of research and developement shows up in every scope they make. Lighted reticules I simply don't get. It's either light enough out to shoot or past legal shooting hrs or just maybe your using to high a power scope!

I have had a lot of differtent rifles over the years. I have right now three Rem 700's with the old style trigger. I've adjusted them myself to three pounds and they are all safe. Never experienced a problem with them. I've had a good number of two position safty's and they are no problem at all unloading. Pop a round out of the mag well but don't chamber it to unload. Who really cares if the bolt doesn't lock? makes no difference to me. You either handle a gun safely or you don't, there is no pretty good! I haven't tried the new Savage triggers unless it's the same that's on the Marlin rifles. Better than the old trigger but felt very particular to me. Look's like the old Canjar double set trigger, that was a nice trigger but I'd guess some gun expert killed his next door neighbor fooling with it and blamed it on the trigger!

I've had several of those old Tasco scopes too. First one a 4x I bought in the Rod and Gun club in Germany about 1965. Worked great a long time. Had a problem with one Tasco, shot the front ring loose in a very short time. It was a Pronghorn. World Class I had good luck with. Also had a problem with a cheap Weaver, threw it away! But like you said, stay to the name brands and you'll be fine. I've never used or even seen a Pentax. I'd try one though! I've had one Leupold scope I didn't care for, only Leupold I ever had, but Leupold's reputation for service makes them unbeatable to me, I always suggest them and the low cost one's are better than maybe some high dollar scopes. There are a whole lot of scope's I've not only never used but have never seen, doesn't make them a bad scope!

The cartridge war is silly. There is absolutely no need for a magnum of any kind other than for dangerious game in North America. Most people I know that have them have them for that just in case 500+ yd shot that never needs taken in the first place. Most of them also never parctice beyond 200 yds mak, the cartridge isn't gonna help! I have had a few magnum's myself but that was years ago. 7mm Rem, 300 win and 338 Win. I can only find a use for the 338 and that is dangerious game. The beauty of the magnum cartridge is it's ability to handle the beavier bullet's, it delivers extroadnary power at ordinary range not ordinary power at long range. A 338 with 250 gr bullet's kills on both ends if you don't shoot it much and learn to control it or maybe get's immune to it. It strike's me funny that people get a magnum and then feel the need for premium bullets. What they need is the right bullet's, heavy for caliber. I have never felt the need for a premiun bullet in my life but I have shot Nosler partitions just a bit. Never at game, always found suitable cup and core bullet's were more accuarte and much less costly.

nozzlehead's picture
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yep, yep, and yep!

The "brick layer" is an excellent way to put that. Fine job sir! Thanks for the post

Tndeerhunter's picture
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scopes

I've traveled and flown with scoped rifles many times and I have never had a problem with fogging or anything I could or would associate with the flight. I will say, however, that whenever I was spending enough $$ to fly somewhere for a hunt, I only used a rifle with a high quality scope on top to hopefully safeguard against these types of problems. For me, quality scopes begin with scopes on the level of Nikon Prostaff, Burris FFII, Bushnell Legend & Elite, Redfield (by Leupold) Weaver K & V series and Leupold's Rifleman and VX1 series which are all still available at under $200. There are other newer scopes like Vortex, etc., that fit into this $$ range and have gotten good reviews. But I will stick with what I know, have used and have confidence in when it comes to scoping my rifles.

I would not place any new scope with a Tasco or Simmons nameplate on any rifle I hunted big game with. I simply know of no new models made by either moniker that I would trust. I have exactly none of either on my 60 or so scoped big game rifles. I will say that some older Japanese made (vs later Chinese made) from these makers are pretty good scopes, but they are not still found nearly so much. I have kept some of the older Simmons and Tasco World Class scopes I replaced on my big game rifles for use on RF rifles, or rifles that only get shot at the range.

I do not find a need, nor desire to have 1k scopes on my rifles, but do think it silly to top a $700. rifle with a $69 scope. Call me crazy if you want, you won't be the 1st to do so.  Whistling

 

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