First hunting rifle...thoughts?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by 6530, Jan 14, 2003.

  1. 6530

    6530

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    I'm new to hunting, having only gone once before, but plan to go annually beginning next season. I've been looking around for a hunting rifle and I think I've decided.

    I thought I'd ask for some ideas before I purchased anything. What I envision is below - I'll probably buy over the next month or two so I have a chance to get used to the rig.

    Rifle: Browning A-Bolt Hunter, 300 WSM
    Scope: Sightron SII 3.5-10x50
    Rings & mount: Talley

    This will be used primarily for whitetail deer, but I would like to be able to use the same rifle for elk, antelope, etc. out west or in British Columbia in coming years.

    Any thoughts would be helpful. Thanks.

    ***

    edited to say: I posted before seeing this First Rifle by my question's a little different - I've identified a rig already.
     
  2. Arbee

    Arbee

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    Tell us more about the landscape you will be hunting whitetails in and the typical distances you will be shooting for now, rather than in the future out west.
     

  3. 6530

    6530

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    The landscape ranges from clear-cuts to brushy & wooded to planted pines. Slightly hilly, but not very.

    The typical distance would be up to 250 yards, 300 at the most.
     
  4. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    .300 WSM will be more than enough for any whitetail, elk, black bear, etc. if you don't mind the extra recoil over non-magnum chamberings then go for it.

    i personally don't like 50mm obj on hunting rifles. i find them to be too heavy and they need to be mounted too high for what i like in a rifle that i will be carrying around. i don't know anything about sightron scopes, but make sure they are good in lowlight. most of your shots will come when it's overcast and/or in dawn or dusk low light.

    250-300 yards is a long shot for medium game. especially in the east. plains hunting is a bit different. while those shots can happen if you're hunting a field, it's best to try to get your shots around 100 yards. a shooter prides himself on how long his shot is while a hunter prides himself on how close.
     
  5. eisman

    eisman ARGH! CLM

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    Obviously you have put a lot of thought into your rig. The combination will definitely work throughout the North American continent. You will have to work with the gun to determine how you're going to use it in the best manner for the country, but any shortcomings will be yours.

    If I have any question about such a set up it would be the overall weight. In the east you hunt closer, but out west yo will be walking a lot. 15 miles a day is not uncommon.

    One suggestion I would have is to find which factory load works best in your rifle, and then buy a case of the same ammo. That will give you years worth of cases when you have shot it all. Then you can reload with matched brass.
     
  6. Arbee

    Arbee

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    Not familiar with a Sightron scope. What's the story and why did you choose it over the other brands. Sounds like a 2X7 or 3X9 may be better for the country you are hunting.
     
  7. 6530

    6530

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    I chose Sightron over Leupold for a couple of reasons:
    1. Heard good things about it at a number of local gun shops and online.
    2. Looked through the optics - seemed as bright as the Leupold I borrowed last season.
    3. Optics made by Hoya of Japan
    4. Monotube construction
    5. Lifetime warranty
    6. Cabela's had it on sale for $279 - $200 less than the similar Leupold.

    Figure I'll give these guys a chance.

    Well, while I'm at it, why I chose the A-bolt Hunter:
    1. Detachable box magazine is standard
    2. Tang safety
    3. Cocking indicator
    4. Adjustable trigger
    5. Better fit & finish reputation that Winchester or Savage.
     
  8. m65swede

    m65swede

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    I think Arbee is on the right track here. As the years march on, I am enjoying more and more the advantages of lower powered variable power scopes. Makes for a more compact rig, while offering the advantages of extra eye relief and superior low light capabilities.

    One of my favorites is my Browning BAR in .30-06 with a 1.75x5 power scope. At the lowest power setting this thing will clearly focus on objects just mere feet away. I gain a few minutes of time at first and last light. Should a critter unexpectedly bust out of the brush at close range, you can shoot shotgun style; both eyes open. :)

    I currently have around 2 dozen scoped varmint and/or game rifles. Except for the long and bull barreled varmint rifles all the others wear scopes of 3x9 or below.

    I can honestly say that I have never missed an opportunity for a shot at a game animal because my scope lacked magnification. But I definitely have missed opportunities for a shot because my scope had too much magnification.

    Swede
     
  9. 6530

    6530

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    Thanks for the feedback...you all make good points.

    As far as the scope choice goes, I do have a Leupold 3-9 x 40 scope that I can switch out with the Sightron if need be, but from what I understand the 50mm objective is an important item to have.

    I guess what I've taken away from the above is that it's a good starting point, but I'll have to make adjustments to find out exactly what works. I hope that I won't find myself buying a 3-9 x 50, but if I have to I will.

    Thanks to all for your help.
     
  10. WalterGA

    WalterGA Millennium Member

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    There are probably no shots that you're going to take that a .308 wouldn't make. Advantages over .300 WM are: Cheaper to shoot; less recoil; short action.

    Re: Sightron scope: Midway has the S2 3X9X42mm on sale for $199. Other scopes to consider would be the Bushnell Elite series and Nikon Monarch.

    Re: Rifle choices: You'd be hard-pressed to beat a Remmy 700 BDL or, better yet, a Tikka. Both offer better accuracy and better triggers than the Browning. Additionally, even the base model Tikkas offer adjustable triggers, detachable mags, and free-floated barrels, not to mention those not-too-shabby Sako match barrels.
     
  11. glock_19guy1983

    glock_19guy1983

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    Just buy a Remington 700 in 30-06 or 270. Those fancy shortmagnums are more than you will need for white tail. 30-06 has been around for at least 100 years and is still one of the best hunting cartridges around. Ammo is cheap and is plenty powerful.;)
     
  12. P-990

    P-990 Certified Nutz

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    Well, I can tell you what my personal medium-game setup is.

    Remington Model 700 Mountain Rifle, .260 Remington
    Leupold VX-1 2-7x33mm scope in Leupold 2-piece mounts

    This is my ideal whitetail rifle, and I would certainly feel comfortable using it on most game animals of less than 500-600 live weight (possibly excluding black bear and wild boar, anything mean). By the time I get to hunting larger animals, I hope my finances will allow the purchase of a bigger rifle. Until then, I have a perfect rifle. Light enough for all day carry, low recoil to make it easy to shoot, and power to reach out for 300 yard shots (which I hope to not have to take).