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Joined: 08/24/2013
Posts: 7
Rifle & Optic Advice

Hi everyone!

I need some advice with the Maine rifle season on deer approaching quickly.

For years now, I've hunted with a 7mm Rem. mag.  Just recently, my scope broke and due to other priorities, am not really in the market for a new one right now.  I could spring for an entry level, but would rather take my time to research a better quality scope and spend the money in one instance vs a little here, a little there.  My 7mm is a Rem. 710 and the original Bushnell scope (which has worked quite well for me until now) is the scope that broke.

I threw a Barska (laying around & given to me a long time ago) 3-12 x 50 on the 7mm, and after being told by several people that the scope isn't the best, am concerned if it will hold up to this deer season.  It held it's zero up to sighting in, and realistically, I only need one shot right?

I also have my first ever deer rifle that I bought when I was 14. It's a Rem. 742 (semi) in .243.  When I bought it, I put a Tasco World Class 3-9x40 on it and it served me just fine for many years.

My conundrum is this:

It's not uncommon to encounter black bear while out where I hunt, and I'd like to take advantage of any opportunity to harvest one, as well as a deer.  That being said, I'm not sure what to do.  Both rifles reach out far enough for my application. I like the knock down power of the 7mm and it's versatility, but wonder if the .243 would do well enough on a black bear, if given the opportunity.  I am proficient enough that I could take a head shot, but much prefer the heart/lung shots.

So what would you all recommend?  Do I leave the Barska on my 7mm and take my chances? Do I take the Tasco off the .243 and put it on the 7mm to get me through this season, or just leave the Tasco where it is on my original girl...the Model742, and hunt with that? 

Either rifle will need a sight in.  The model 742 was borrowed by a friend and sighted in to them a few years back.

Lastly, with regards to the .243 I've seen a lot of media regarding Winchester's "Deer Season" cartridge that just came out.  Does anyone have any experience with this over the Hornaday "American Whitetail" round or a better recommended round in the event I go with the .243?

Thanks one and all for your advice!!!

SGM's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Canon City, Colorado
Joined: 08/13/2011
Posts: 1147
 Scopes are like opinions,

 Scopes are like opinions, there are a lot out there and everyone has their take on the best. I am not familiar with the Barska scope but I say if the scope is working stay with it. I was told for years that the old 3x9 Bushnell is a bad scope but I have one that is 30 plus years old and there are a lot of critters that would argue that the scope is low quality. I did have another 30 plus year old Bushnell that finally did break so I had to get a new scope. I went with a Vortex. Reasonably priced, lifetime warranty and very clear optics. After your hunting season you might want to check them out. As for the .243 VS the 7MM, both guns are capable killing deer and bears depending on the bullet (a quality bonded or core loke type bullet) and shot placement. That said I would go with the 7mm due to the fact nerves, buck/bear fever and possible longer shots due happen or if your shot is off a little or any other issues arise you have more room for error with the 7MM. Good luck and let us know how you do.

Joined: 08/24/2013
Posts: 7
Scopes are like opinions

Thanks for your advice!

vinny217's picture
Location: frederick CO
Joined: 05/08/2015
Posts: 77
depend's on how much money

depend's on how much money you want to spend but I love my Leupold VX