Rifle selection really doesn't matter.


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dave3006
November 21, 2004, 11:35 AM
I went on my first mule deer hunt with an veteran hunter last week. Earlier this year, I agonized over the rifle and scope selection. Winchester 70 vs. Remington 700 every other rifle known to man. I bought a Remington 700 ADL in 30-06.

After hiking many miles and glassing valleys and hills, I am convinced the gun selection (assuming the gun works) is WAY, WAY down the list of important things needed for a successful hunt. Skill and knowledge of deer hunting and the area you are hunting seem to me to be way more important. Also, the selection of binoculars and scope quality seem a higher priority. If you don't find it, you can't shoot it. (I had Steiner binoculars and a Leupold VXIII scope).

Anyways, that was my discovery. It is not always about the rifle! I know this is blasphemy. I did not get a deer this time. But, I did get a good laugh at myself.

P.S. I wonder if you asked Marines in Iraq to debate the merits of AR vs. AK vs EOTECH vs. AIMPOINT vs. xxxx, if they would stare at you with a puzzled expression. My guess would be that the exact rifle selection (as long as it works) probably doesn't concern them much either. They have other things on their mind (tactics and survival) that take higher priority.

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Kjay
November 21, 2004, 11:39 AM
In agreement 100%. Just think how many gun articles were written about the superiority of the .270 vs .30-06 vs .308 vs 7mm Mag, etc.. What deer every knew the difference? ;)

Art Eatman
November 21, 2004, 11:47 AM
Fifty or sixty years ago, lotsa hunters killed lotsa deer. Optics, back then, were nowhere near what they are today.

Gunwriters pontificated on the high quality of rifles which would hold 1.5 MOA groups, and deemed them "excellent" for hunting--the fabled Model 70, included.

Today, one is hard put to find any reputable firm's rifle which WON'T hold 1.5 MOA or better.

Art

rust collector
November 21, 2004, 01:55 PM
I've seen amazing kills at long ranges with 30-30s, and amazing misses at short range with the latest, greatest magnums. Seems as if the last $800 we put into our shootin irons is for a scope that will add 10 minutes to shooting hours, or a new caliber that will drop 3" less on that 400 yard shot. These are events we hope to avoid and, if fortune smiles upon us or we are as skillful as we'd like to think, we will.

Meanwhile, my 308 is pretty cheap to shoot and one of the side effects of that is that I shoot it more and get a little better at intended results each time.

I am looking forward to using some of my old battle rifles for deergetting once I have a critter or two in the freezer. I think these will make me a better hunter/stalker. One of these is a Swiss K-31, so looks as if I'm gonna have to be a better reloader, too. Dang! :p

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