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Location: Deer Woods
Joined: 06/13/2005
Posts: 155
Not the gun but the ammo

I watch the hunting channel alot and notice alot of guys boasting on the price of their hunting rifle, same thing at deer camp. Which is alright if you can afford it.

I shoot a Rossi single shot http://www.rossiusa.com in 30-06 which i may have paid no more than $200 for with a simmons scope. My set up is roughtly about $300. I shoot Remington Express ammo which to me is some deadly ammo with the right placement. No deer has walked away.

.My point is, Do any agree that you should invest more in good ammo or a good gun?

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Not the gun but the ammo

I think that one should invest more time in practicing with what we have and shooting more often. I grasp that you must think the same too. I reload my own ammo, as do many others here. I'm not one of those hunters who boast of owning any $1000+ rifle or shotgun, or buying and firing the latest fads in exotic ammo. To be honest I don't know any of those high maintenance hunters personally. All of my hunting firearms cost me less than $600. They are Remingtons, Winchesters, Rugers, etc. They are all shooters, not wall hangers or gun cabinet trophies, and I love to shoot them. They get used a lot with my own reloads and with all that practice I'm all the better for it. After that I'd rather spend my leftover cash on equipment for game care and game meat processing. After all I'm a meat hunter.

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Joined: 11/14/2006
Posts: 68
Not the gun but the ammo

From what research I have done I find that the major differences between inexpensive rifles and expensive rifles are as follows...

1. Appearance - High cost rifles often have little designs or etchings on the stocks or actions which make them look pretty but have no practical effect on the rifle. This is also one of the major contributors to the additional cost.

2. Quality - You tend to get higher quality components used in the higher cost weapons such as stainless steel which wears down at a much slower rate. These do have very practical benefits in being used. Higher quality components help in every way from durability to accuracy even to felt recoil.

Even given those differences in the higher quality rifles you can still get a very great performing rifle for a much lower cost. Accuracy differences are minimal and you can change recoil pads or other items at a later date if necessary while getting a very functional and accurate rifle for a fraction of the cost.

So back to your question. Is it worth the extra cost to get a more expensive rifle? Unfortunately the answer isn't that cut and dry. It totally depends on you and what you value. For people who are collectors the additional graphics etched into the rifle may very well make it worth the extra money. For a hunter this is probably a worthless investment. For a bench shooter or competition shooter the extra quality may make the additional expense worthwhile where for a hunter once again it may be useful but ultimately isn't needed. Most rifles today are accurate enough right out of the box for hunting assuming the hunter can do his part (finding the game at reasonable distances and making accurate shots with the right placement).

So here is the breakdown for you...

Hunter - Probably not worth the price difference, get an inexpensive gun and spend the rest of the money on other equipment you may need.

Shooter(competition) - The extra quality and accuracy may well be worth the price difference for this type of shooter, then again they may also be doing enough custom work on the rifle to make getting an expensive one pointless since they will be replacing most of the components anyways.

Collector - Again the extra etchings and other artwork which makes a weapon unique may well make it worth the investment for a collector but each collector will vary on what exactly they are looking for.

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Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
Not the gun but the ammo

I think we should shoot what we have and shoot it well. A dead deer isn't going to care if he was shot by a $200 gun or a $2000 gun. I started hunting with an old sporterized 303 lee enfield with open military peep sight. The rifle cost me $75 CDN and came with a box of ammo. I shot many deer with that rifle and still take it on hunts once in a while.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
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Not the gun but the ammo

Hostage67 and Chester Golf make a great point.

It's like I've said here before - the vast majority of factory production rifles beging made today are capable of very great accuracy. However that will only do you any good if you as the shooter are capable of shooting accurately. Just like Chester Golf, many folks have hunted with surplus military bolt action rifles that have been sporterized. Despite these old war horses being fired a whole lot by our troops in battle, on the range or both, many of these rifles are still plenty capable of great accuracy in capable hands while hunting.

Oh I'm being a bit hypocritical. I forgot that I do own a firearm that cost me nearly $1000, it was $999 to be exact. It is a 12 ga. Franchi Alcione double barreled O/U. Nice gun, and I shoot it very well. It sees more use on the trap and sporting clays range. It still gets used in the field as an upland bird gun.

Still the fact is that despite having a good income and a great job I've had plenty of opportunity and the means to buy a fancy custom rifle or high end over priced production rifle or shotgun. I've passed at every one of them. The reason - some of those high end guns that I've had the opportunity to shoot didn't shoot any better in my hands than the basic factory production stuff that I already had. In fact in a couple of instances a high end rifle or shotgun shot pretty poor for my tastes. I just can't justify spending extra money on something that really is just a name or an image. Feel the same way about exotic ammo and those new magic bullets, they seem to come out with a new one every year, all claiming to be better. I do on occasion try new stuff, but I've reloaded and hunted long enough to know exactly what works, so I'd rather spend my money on reloading components like bullets, primers, powder , and brass. Even feel the same way about other hunting equipment like knives. I don't own any top-of-the-line Loveless or Randall made knives, heck you give me a sharp 3.5" or 4" bladed Buck or Gerber any day and I'll gut and field dress anything. Big smile Having preached to the choir here, it should be said that all hunters should invest in real good quality, practical, and useful equipment. That does not mean that it has to cost you a fortune.

Magazine publications like Sports Afield and Shooting Sportsman seem to make everyone think (especially new comers) that you need to drop a fortune just to hunt, and nothing can be farther from the truth. Hunting is for sportsman.

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Joined: 11/14/2006
Posts: 68
Not the gun but the ammo

For the most part I think we have left ammo out of our responses so far.

I think it is far more important to invest your time and money into getting enough ammo to practice with until you are a reasonable shot than it is to get a higher cost bullet. This is of course assuming that you have enough bullet to get the job done humanely.

For hunting purposes pretty much any amunition available will have the accuracy necessary to hit the game at reasonable ranges. Nearly every ammo and rifle currently manufactured should easily give you 2" MOA groups which is easily accurate enough for any large game hunting you wish to do. The only other question now is stopping power. Make sure that your bullet has enough stopping power for the game you are hunting. With the right bullet placement it will really make little difference which bullet type you are using, even with poor expansion and having the bullet travel straight through the game you will still do enough damage that you will kill the animal (though it may require a little more tracking).

I would suggest that you spend more to get a higher quantity of ammo vs better quality. If you are already an accurate shooter and desire a little more stopping power then you may want to consider a slightly better constructed bullet for all intents and purposes you will kill the game with any bullet assuming it is large enough for the intended game (ie a .22 bullet wouldn't be a good idea for elk hunting ) but even the lightest .30-06 should be sufficient if not ideal for elk.

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Joined: 12/03/2005
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Not the gun but the ammo

AlphaMan:
There is absolutely nothing wrong with your 30.06 or your choice of ammo. Do you use a rubber band on your wrist to hold another round IF you need it ? I always did when I used a single shot.
If some Corporate sponsor was willing to give me a $ 2000.00 rifle for a TVshow, I'd brag the hell out of it too.
And ChesterGolf paid way to much for his 303, mine only cost 9.99 and that included the three pounds of packing grease it came wrapped in

, Yes Yes Yes

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Location: Nova Scotia
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Not the gun but the ammo
Hammer1 wrote:
AlphaMan:
There is absolutely nothing wrong with your 30.06 or your choice of ammo. Do you use a rubber band on your wrist to hold another round IF you need it ? I always did when I used a single shot.
If some Corporate sponsor was willing to give me a $ 2000.00 rifle for a TVshow, I'd brag the hell out of it too.
And ChesterGolf paid way to much for his 303, mine only cost 9.99 and that included the three pounds of packing grease it came wrapped in

, Yes Yes Yes

Hammer, you got a deal because you helped them make that first enfield. neener!

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Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Not the gun but the ammo

Hunt with whatever works for ya.
If a guy has a few extra dollars burning a hole in his pocket. Spend it on a better grade rifle, if so desired.
It isn't so much which firearm or tool you use. It's whether it's the right firearm for the job.
I own more than one rifle because I load my own rounds for each firearm. With a specific bullet for a specific intended purpose. Once I find the bullet that serves the purpose for that particular rifle. I leave it alone and use that firearm for that purpose.
I'll use my $250.00 rifles in foul conditions and my nicer ones when the conditions are better.
I wanted a nice handy little, swing around quick, rifle that I could use to hunt the Elk in the dense, wet, mucky rainforests up here in Washington. So I found a little break action single shot in 30-06 and found a 220gr bullet that flies well, out the barrel. It works for me. Outside of the scope, I've got a a fine little set up that comes up quick, gets to site quick and carries a whallop that will drop those Elk where they stand. All of this for $225.00. It also has another barrel in 243 for the little Blacktail, under the same conditions, if I so choose.

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Location: North Louisiana
Joined: 12/08/2006
Posts: 120
Re: Not the gun but the ammo
AlphaMan wrote:
I watch the hunting channel alot and notice alot of guys boasting on the price of their hunting rifle, same thing at deer camp. Which is alright if you can afford it.

I shoot a Rossi single shot http://www.rossiusa.com in 30-06 which i may have paid no more than $200 for with a simmons scope. My set up is roughtly about $300. I shoot Remington Express ammo which to me is some deadly ammo with the right placement. No deer has walked away.

.My point is, Do any agree that you should invest more in good ammo or a good gun?

AlphaMan

Once pon a time.....I was badly bent....not broke.....just bent! I know what it's like to have to work off a budget in other words! Through hard work I was able to reach a point where $$$$ were no problem! So.....my advice is to use what's available to you within your means which means....if you're married with a family...provide for them....above all else! Sometime later.....when you're able....maybe you'll want to upgrade to a better system but right now....I'd say you're doing pretty well! I've seen a lot of guys totin the most expensive rifles out there that couldn't hit a washtub from 100 yds. so.....the rifle isn't all there is to the game! As for myself.....I want a rifle that can outshoot me! In other words if I'm capable of holding 1/2 MOA....I want the rifle to do better than that! In this way....if I don't hit what I'm shooting at.....there's only one place to look for fault.......ME!! lol lol

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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3190
Not the gun but the ammo

Good ammo or a good gun? I think what our idea a good is has been jaded by commericalism. The most sought after game is deer. Most any bullet properly placed will kill a deer like lighting but, a good game bullet should have the ability to reach the vital from any reasonable angle and permanently disrupt them. For ammo, the most important thing is knowing how to use what you have and it would be very good to know how to pick a proper bullet. Expensive does not alway's equal proper!

For rifle's, again what make's good? I think most factory rifles are capabile of out shooting most people right out of the box, there are exceptions. But I believe that most people will become better shooters by learning how to adjust their rifle for better accuracy. For the process of doing that will teach them more about what accuracy cost's and where it really comes from. Refering to the post above, the gentleman is a accomplished shooter yet still want's a rifle that will out shoot him. When you have reached the point that you really believe you can out shoot a good rifle, you have probally quit growing. If your rifle has a good barrel and stable stock and bedding and if you are not using the cheapest ammo and not the most expensive ammo, your combination is likely very accurate. If you don't believe it, try to find a machine rest to shoot it from, kind of humiliating!

That is not to say that bench rest type accuracy can be bought over the counter, it can't. Nor is it needed in a hunting rifle or even desireable. We read in places of those looking to extract all they can that opt for some expensive after market trigger. What ever the trigger, all it does is release the striker. While something like that is nice, it is no match for learning trigger control. Just try dealing with a 2oz trigger on a hunting rifle on hunting situtations. The trigger provides zero accuracy, only control!

A good many people claim the need for very expensive sight's. Yet all the sight does is allows us to see better and have a single sighting plane. The cheapest scope may well not hold a zero and may well shoot loose on a rifle that recoils some, I shot one loose on a 25-06. But I also have an older Tasco World Class on my 6.5-06 that has been there about 6yrs now that works very well as a hunting scope, it cost me $89. That was about all I could afford at the time. Much to do is made about some expensive import scopes but for the human eye, most lenses are far better than we can detect. The big difference is in coating's. Interestingly most of the best lenses in the world are made in Japan and not by camera makers.

Don't buy the race to the most expensive equipment, accuracy is the product of knowledge and practicing that aquired knowledge. INVEST IN KNOWLEDGE!!!!

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