scope vs. red dot for handgun hunters


September 14, 2006, 04:43 PM
well that's pretty much it. its for deer hunting with a 44 mag and the long shot is 100 yds. also, which is better in low light?

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September 14, 2006, 06:04 PM
Be aware that some states, Alabama for sure, do not allow sights that cast a light, such as red dot lazers. Red dot in scope is OK.

September 14, 2006, 06:09 PM
that's what i meant, a red dot scope. I think a laser is illegal in nc too.

September 14, 2006, 06:19 PM
Red Dot scopes are faster than traditional scopes. I have 2x Leupold scope on my hunting revolver. I want to try a red dot out one of these days. I really don't know very much about them except looking at them in catalogs and in places like Bass Pro.

If you are new to handgun scopes, keep magnification low. That is what I was told when I bought my Leupold. Higher the magnification, the harder and slower it is to get on target or find the target in the scope. Also, 2x is about what your eyes see or what your eyes tell your brain. For longer shots, the low magnification just keeps you centered on reality of hunting with a handgun. It is not a rifle.

September 14, 2006, 08:27 PM
I have and do use both Red Dots and regular scopes on my handguns. They both have good and bad points and both can work well.

On a short range revolver that I will shoot out to about 80 yards the red dot works fine. Just keep in mind that as you lose light in the evening you will only be able to use the red dot about as late as you would open sights. In other words if it is getting to dark to see your open sights you will probably not be able to see the animal through the red dot even though the red dot is visable. With a good handgun scope you will get maybe 20 more minutes that you can make a shot in the evening.

On a long range handgun like my 14" T/C Contenders that I can shoot out to 150 yards, I would rather have a traditional scope. I like to be able to increase the power as needed and it is easier to get a more precise aiming point at longer distances.

Always carry an extra battery for the red dot and change it at the start of hunting season also.

September 14, 2006, 10:49 PM
I think you'll be happier with the regular scope, for all the reasons frankt mentioned. I have a leupold 2x that I've had on several pistols, including a .44 SBH. I found the red dot made precise aiming hard, at any distance.

I don't have any of my handguns scoped, now. The leupold is currently on a marlin 336 in a "scout" mount. I don't really need a scope, where I hunt. I'll probably change my tune when my eyes start going. They're lots of fun on a .22 revolver, too.

September 14, 2006, 11:43 PM
I use both red dots and scopes. I prefer a 2x on big bore or long range shooting. I've taken a lot of game with my 2x Burris. A 4x (for me) is almost useless unless bench shooting in perfect conditions.

September 15, 2006, 01:33 AM
my 480 wears a 2x nikon. works ok, i guess. shooting a handgun w/ a scope requires quite a bit of practice to get used to the feel. its a lot heavier, balance is way off, and the gun feels like it has to be held extremely low, and even angled a little bit.

that said, i have far more confidence in a scoped handgun than iron sights at 50+ yards. as for the dots, never spent enough time w/ them to form a good opinion. the concept seems sound, and i like the idea of no paralax and faster alignment, but, i just haven't had a chance to thoroughly shoot one to see how it would do.

September 16, 2006, 04:52 PM
I use a Weaver 2x on my Ruger SRH .44 mag.

September 18, 2006, 07:51 PM
That box is pretty sweet. What is that, a 1.5x5?

Edit: Also, there appears to be an ostrich eating your face in that shadow. I hope that didn't turn out too badly.

September 21, 2006, 03:47 PM
I walked into the range last evening. SBH 7 1/2" Bisley loaded with three 300gn Siera's pushed by 19gn's of AA#9. That's right at 1225fps acording to my Chrony. These were random picks out of a short lot that we reloaded the night before. There's a 10" steel plate sitting at the 75yd burm. Off hand, standing, no rest. I squeezed and hit the plate, TING!, Cocked and fired again. TWANG! TWANG! Once again.

Open sights. That's it, I'm done. Good loads.

Now, I carry one of my 44's when I'm carrying a scoped rifle, for those times when I leave the open land and have to crawl through the brush. I've shot more than one deer with pistol while the rifle was cradled in my arms.

I prefer open sights on my hunting pistols. But, my Bullseye .22 has a red dot. That red dot, turned all the way down isn't all that big at competition distances, but out at 100yds, even a 4moa is too big for the kill zone at probably 80+yds on a deer.

I think, "If" I were to put anything on my hunting pistol, I'd go with a quality 2x scope with cross hairs. In low light, the red dot can play havoc with being able to see the target through the lens. I don't think that the red dot scopes have the 'light gathering abilities' designed in to a quality scope.

You're better off with scope or open sights if your eyes are any good and if you practice shooting.


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