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Critique My Gun-Buy Logic

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by raindog, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. raindog

    raindog

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    To start, I'm mostly a "political" shooter -- I shoot handguns and tactical weapons and have very little interest in hunting things that aren't people. I went hunting a bunch as a kid with my old man but it never really interested me. I have friends that swear by wild game, but it just doesn't do my thing.

    Then I heard about HSH (Hunters Share the Harvest) and my attitude changed completely. The area I live in (Western PA) has been pretty hard-hit by the recession and a couple hundred pounds of venison could help some people a bunch as well as improving the political profile of the RKBA movement. I've decided to make a pretty concerted effort to get out next year and take a deer or two entirely for donation purposes -- have it processed at my expense and just donate the whole thing. I talked to my girlfriend, and she agrees, and wants to do the same thing. Good luck and good shooting permitting, we should be able to make the local foodbanks very happy.

    I say next year and not this year becuase we want to get good enough to take a deer cleanly and ethnically with our chosen weapons, and I don't want to say we'll be able to do that by November. Maybe it'll happen, maybe not, but the target is the 05-06 hunting season.

    Because I'm not a hunter, I'd like to submit my gear choice to you folks for some critique and to make sure my logic is sound. I've done hunting before, just never liked it enough to make it a hobby, so I know the basic theory. I'm aiming to take does, and will probably get 2 doe tags, but if I get a legal buck then he'll go off to the foodbank too, I'm not picky.

    Platform: Rossi 23" breakopen single shot carbine, firing .44 magnum -- CDNN has them for 120 bucks, they're tapped for scope and it's not like I'll need (or get) a second shot. If fires easily acquired ammo that should be adequate for white-tail out to about 100 yards, which is about as far as I expect to shoot in my chosen terrain. Reviews seem to indicate this is an accurate if not in any way sexy gun.

    Optics: Generic 3-9x42 with lighted reticle. I was gonna get just a 4x so I wouldn't try to take shots outside the carbine's envelope but an older hunting friend recommended a 3-9 so I could dial it up in case I needed to thread the needle with a shot. The cost difference is very small so I'm going to probably take his advice.

    Ammo: Here's where I need advice. What do people recommend for this? I'm assuming just JHP with the heaviest bullet I can find.

    Does this look like a good no-nonsense setup to take some antlerless deer and let the local poor folk eat better next winter? I know this isn't a snazzy kit, but I'm just looking for a way to deliver a humane, accurate death to a white-tail in wooded hills, not for an all-purpose rifle that can also take elk or bear or whatever.

    PA folks, I'm not planning on hunting WMU 2B, so the fact that it's a non-shotgun shouldn't be an issue.
     
  2. lomfs24

    lomfs24

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    I don't live in an area that has, perhaps, such close quarters to shoot in. I don't know exactly what type of terrain you are hunting in. So this advice may seem a little seasoned for my particular hunting scenario. I, personally, am not a huge fan of straightwalled pistol cartridges shot from a shoulder mounted weapon for hunting. Personal preference there. I think, IMHO, that you would be better suited if you went with a rifle that is just as affordable in a more recognized hunting cartridge. Perhaps a .308. You would still not be temped to take a super long shot but with minimal practice you would be accurate from close range to well beyond 200 yards, if the need arose. The .308 is a popular hunting cartridge and with military surplus ammo you could have a hefty supply of cheap practice ammo as well.

    Another choice, if you wanted to go smaller, would be a .243. Again practice ammo being readily available and in a small enough caliber that your girlfriend could shoot it accurately too, if you wanted to flood the foodbanks, yet with enough punch to certainly take down a deer. There is a whole host of popular hunting catridges in rifles that are affordable without using a straightwalled pistol cartridge.

    The rest of your setup sounds fairly good. For hunting, I would probably not opt for a single shot simply for the simple reason, no matter how good you are on the range, you may need to make a quick second shot for a humane kill.

    Just some thoughts from a seasoned (personal opinion) veteran of the wild woods.
     

  3. raindog

    raindog

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    Originally posted by lomfs24
    I don't know exactly what type of terrain you are hunting in. So this advice may seem a little seasoned for my particular hunting scenario.

    Thick second-growth deciduous and pine forest over old sedimentary hills with lots of surface streams providing erosive action. Natural sightlines out to 100 yards are very rare. I'd be working a treeline or other forest / clear transitional area from the forest side and trying to catch white tails going to and from their grazing.

    Just some thoughts from a seasoned (personal opinion) veteran of the wild woods.

    Good advice, heard and considered. I'll shop around and see what's available.
     
  4. Dieseler

    Dieseler Temet nosce

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    Since it sounds like you're in a pretty close quarters, I'd seriously consider using 3" 12ga slugs.

    CDNN has some nice prices on a few of their shotguns as well.

    Since you said you are a politcal shooter and like "tactical weapons" I would use the outing as an excuse to buy a Saiga 12ga! Of course, my reccomendation on that is skewed by the fact that I am fascinated by the gun and want one for myself!
    And of course, you can still put a scope on it if you so desire.

    As with Lomfs I've never been a fan of pistol caliber rifles.
     
  5. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

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    I agree with lomfs24 on virtually everything; why carry a rifle/carbine in a pistol caliber? Unless there's another (good) reason to do so, as a hunter you are much better served by a H&R or NEF single-shot in .243, .308, or (if you really like those big bullets) .45-70. In lightweight guns, recoil is a factor to be carefully considered with the .45-70, but even the .44 mag will thump a bit in these flyweights.

    I will also recommend you go with your original "gut" feelings on the scope; a simple, sturdy 4X is all you (and most hunters) really need. ESPECIALLY when we are talking about less expensive (cheap!) glass, fixed powers are much more reliable and immune to the power-shift change-of-zero problems that seem to plague the under-$200 variables. If that's not too much to spend, then go for one of the entry-level Leupold variables from WalMart; otherwise, I'd say a fixed 4X is a better deal all around.
     
  6. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    The choice of a single shot isn't a bad idea at all, but I wouldn't go with a Rossi. A friend of mine bought a Rossi single for his son. Very poorly made. For a cheap single, the NEF/H&R Handi-Rifle is hard to beat. They aren't fancy, but they shoot well and are tough.

    I know you all have deer exploding out of the woods over there. Getting to within 100 yards of one won't be too hard. Best case scenario is if you know someone who has some bean fields near a wood lot. Garauteed venison with that setup.

    I've never seen you shoot, but the fact that you care about making a good kill leads me to believe that you can do it. There's folks who just go out and blast away until something falls. You see the guys every year at the range. They fire 3 shots, call it close enough and go hunting. If those fellas can bag a deer anyone can.

    Even if you don't get one into range this year, you should head out and get some experience with it. Hell, just watching the leaves fall is fun. :)
     
  7. raindog

    raindog

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    Deer Bursting Out All Over: God yes. 68,000 antlerless tags in my WMU this year, and no limit on the number of them you can buy. I remember when I was a boy and there were lotteries.

    Hunting Grounds: I'm a city guy. I don't really know anybody locally with bean fields. My mom has some pepper plants in the front yard, but Idon't think that counts. =) If you are a deer-plagued farmer in Western PA and want to help fill the local foodbanks, drop me a PM. Otherwise I'm going to hunt up in the vicinity of WMU 2F on the LINK or DMAP program, probably on Collins Pine lands.

    Rifle, Mark 2: Does a H&R/NEF Survivor .308 bull barrel with a 4x scope seem more reasonable to folks?
     
  8. lomfs24

    lomfs24

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    I don't know the brand, the caliber is a good choice. I don't think I would go with a bull barrel unless you are one of those big burly guys who like to pack an extra 10 punds with them. OK, they are not actually that much heavier but the added weight is noticed if you do any amount of hiking. The bull barrel will probably drive nails at 200 yards though.
     
  9. peter3334

    peter3334

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    What will the ethnicity of the deer be?
     
  10. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

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    That's a solid choice; I've only seen/handled the bull-barrel models, but I have owned several of the standard-barrel guns of this type. Bull-barrel good news: less recoil, less wiggles when aiming offhand (wavers instead of wiggles). Bad news: as said above, extra weight can be a pain when hiking up and down ridges all day.

    I don't know if the extra barrel weight would actually help by shrinking group size as it does in some other action types. It's unlikely you'll get a single-shot hot enough by rapid-firing for the increased barrel mass to help it stay cool, the forestock is attached directly to the barrel in these designs, and the trigger generally sucks equally, no matter which barrel weight you get. These practical factors will probably offset most of the advantages a bull barrel might impart.
     
  11. raindog

    raindog

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    The Survivor is actually a pound lighter than their Handi-Rifle (6 lbs vs. 7). I get the feeling it might be bulled to give it enough heft to shoot. I'll see if I can evaluate them at the local gun store.

    And I'm not prejudiced. I plan on shooting deer of both the "yummy" and "tasty" races. =)
     
  12. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

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    EOFF

    Equal Opportunity Freezer Filler

    ;f
     
  13. Rocnerd

    Rocnerd

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    What about a .30-30? Good out to about 150 yards and the lever action allows for quick follow up shots. You can get a Marlin 336 for around $300-$400.
     
  14. lomfs24

    lomfs24

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    That's a really good suggestion. Fairly affordable, large, close range slug. And you can shoot a 30-30 with iron sights or you could scope it.
     
  15. raindog

    raindog

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    I know this is probably going to be seen as blasphemy here on the hunting forum, but I basically see guns as for defending the Republic and don't have much interest in firearms that aren't designed for man-to-man fighting. This is basically a gun to shoot crop pests so hungry people can eat and gunners get a better reputation, I'm looking for enough accuracy and power to make a humane kill at acceptable ranges and not much more.

    The difference between a $220 dollar single shot .308 and a $350 dollar Marlin 30-30 is a ballistic faceplate and kevlar neck guard for my helmet. To be honest, if the PA game commission wasn't picky about semi-auto actions, I'd put a scope on my SKS and use that. It seems like y'all agree a .308 has got what a deer needs, and a heavy-barrel single shot ought to be able to pretty much hit what I aim it at unless I screw up the trigger break or the zero, so I think I'm gonna stick with that.

    Edit: I like "Equal Opportunity Freezer Filler".
     
  16. vafish

    vafish

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    A .308 is an excellent choice for deer, as is the 30-30 and the .44 mag and many other calibers.

    I deer hunt with a TC Contender single shot pistol with a 14" barrel and 1.5x scope in .44 mag. Most of the rest of my hunting party use a .308 or 30-06 with a couple of 30-30's thrown in. Out to 100 yards the .44 mag works just as well as any of the rest of them if you place your shots well. If you want to stay with the .44 mag I'd suggest a lower powered scope. My 11 year old son uses a lever action Winchester 94 Trapper in .44 mag with a 1-4x Redfield scope on it. 4x is plenty for under 100 yard shots.

    If your into Tactical rifles, why not look into a decent bolt action .308 "Sniper" rifle?
     
  17. raindog

    raindog

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    Originally posted by vafish
    My 11 year old son uses a lever action Winchester 94 Trapper in .44 mag with a 1-4x Redfield scope on it. 4x is plenty for under 100 yard shots.

    Thanks. =)

    If your into Tactical rifles, why not look into a decent bolt action .308 "Sniper" rifle?

    Well, for starters I'm laying down significantly over a grand on a Vepr 5.56 and trimmings right now. And, well, there *is* a reason I'm so amenable to a lightweight, heavy-barreled single-shot .308 with an integral weaver mount and an action that's going to stay legal under even the most Draconian gun control regime. Not every kind of heat-induced barrel droop is caused by rapid fire. =) The trigger might suck when I get it, but there's no reason it has to stay that way.
     
  18. vafish

    vafish

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    Also forgot, You asked about .44 ammo.

    I've found most any factory 240 gr JHP or JSP works just fine out of the longer barrel lengths.

    I don't know about the centerfires, but over on rimfirecentral they have some tips for fixing the triggers on the sportsters.
     
  19. Edge

    Edge Millennium Member

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    You've heard some good recommendations.

    I just wanted to pop in and say "kudos" for participating in the program. I'm on the board of directors for a local food pantry organization. I'm also planning on thinning out our local deer herd to donate the venison.

    While doing so, I plan to try to improve that deer herd too by harvesting does and only shooting the big old bucks with my camera.
     
  20. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    I picked up a Marlin 30A lever action .30-30 with a 4X Weaver scope mounted (used, about fifteen years old) for $250. With 150 grain ammo, it hit wherever I wanted at 100 yards. And ballistically, it's the same as an SKS.

    Unless you're a riot cop, ballistic faceshields just get in the way. You can't shoot a rifle with one down very effectively.