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Hunting rifle - scoped or not?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ian, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. Ian

    Ian Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I've never hunted anything bigger than a rabbit - but I want to and plan to at some point, so I tend to make sure I always have something suitable for the task in my possession.

    For quite a while, the "something" has been a sporterized Swedish Mauser - cut down a bit, modified stock, trigger job, and an older Weaver 4x scope. It's light and handy, and seemed pretty appropriate for deer.

    However, I also have a nice accurate Yugo Mauser that is also pretty handy. I'm thinking that if the Mauser would be a suitable deer rifle, I could get rid of the Swede, and have some extra cash for the gun fund, plus not have to stock 6.5 Swede ammo.

    Any thoughts? The Mauser only has the stock iron sights, but my impression is that ethical hunters generally don't take shots at ranges where one would really "need" magnification.
  2. Dgindlesperger

    Dgindlesperger New Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    PortLand OR
    to answer that you also need to state the terrain you will be shooting in. In PA "dense woods" we would use a 12 gauge with sluts when I was a kid, and moved up to a 30-30 later all iron sights. because is all theleavesand forest we could get close to the deer and would use a slower bullet. Then you look at deer hunting in Nevada, sparce foilage, not a decent shot within 150 yards most of the time. without good glass your chances of taking something home went way down. But, on the brighter side you can use a much faster round also.
  3. buck00

    buck00 Participating Member

    May 10, 2005
    Lower Silesia, PA
    I have hunted in PA with open sights, I like the challenge.

    However, scopes give you some advantages (other than simple zoom factor):

    - you can ID the deer easier/faster (plus make sure it really is a deer)

    - determine if its a doe or buck, figure out if it has the minimum number of points

    - a scope gives you more hunting time in low light (dawn or right before dusk)
  4. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Participating Member

    May 1, 2006
    Between TN & KY
    The 6.5 has a good rep as a deer cartridge. Mausers are usually hard to scope except with a scout scope.
  5. Eightball

    Eightball Senior Member

    May 31, 2005
    Louisville, KY
    It isn't that you need magnification, but rather verification of what you're shooting at; it's not that it would otherwise be unethical (or is made unethical by use of a scope), but that the scope allows them a much better degree of certainty about getting a nice, clean kill, while allowing them to extend the ranges they can safely hunt at both by time and distance.

    I'd say keep the Swede. You know it, are used to it, and presumably have grown quite accustomed to it. Rather than invest in a new rifle, maybe it's time to begin to reload to make that rifle both a rabbit gun and a nice, big deer gun?
  6. glockman19

    glockman19 Senior Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    I like my hunting rifle scoped. It has a Bushnell Elite 3200 3x9-40.
  7. rangerruck

    rangerruck Mentor

    Jan 12, 2006
    Texas, baby!
    the cost of ammo , is going to be about the same. the prob with most 8 mauser ammo, unless you buy factory fresh, that stuff is corrosive. 6.5 from Fam is not, and about 8 to 10 bucks a box. Plus a 140 grainer in 6.5 will put them down hard.
  8. akolleth

    akolleth Member

    Feb 20, 2007
    ummm..... what kind of hunting are you guys doing over there in PA. Makes me wonder. :scrutiny::scrutiny:
  9. Belgiboy

    Belgiboy New Member

    Apr 23, 2007
    Eden Prairie, MN
    I think the ethical hunter considers what will put the deer down most effectively within the limits of his/her abilities. Bottom line is, you have to take the terrain into account. If you don't expect to have a shot longer than say, 70 yds or so, there is no real need for a scope. I have a 1943 Winchester 30-30 that will cover those situations. But the last two years I have hunted out of a deerstand over prairie. That is when I use the Browning BAR 7 mm Rem Mag with a Pentax Lightseeker. I am comfortable out to about 350 yds with that and that is only because i put in the time at the range practicing with both the Winchester and the Browning. The calibers of the Swede and the Yugo Mausers are absolutely fine, both make fine deer rifles. On a personal note, don't get rid of the Swede, unless you want to sell it to me:)
  10. scbair

    scbair Active Member

    May 5, 2003
    South Carolina
    I grew up using iron-sighted .22s on small game and pests, and enjoy target work with my aperture-sighted Enfields and a Winchester M94 with a Lyman tang-mounted aperture sight.

    For deer hunting, though, I have an old .30-06 with a 3-9x variable scope. I usually keep the magification dialed down to 3x, and actually a lower magnification wouldn't trouble me; the important thing is its 50mm objective lens!

    The deer in SC move at or around dawn & dusk; as already mentioned by another poster, those light-gathering optics enable me to ID & cleanly take deer when I'd be out of luck with my "irons."
  11. aka108

    aka108 Participating Member

    Aug 26, 2006
    Tallahassee, FL
    If you wear glasses to see well, you probably need a scoped rifle to shoot well.
  12. aspade

    aspade Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    People's Republik of Maryland
    The real benefit of a scope isn't the magnification, it's putting the target in the same focal plane as the reticle.
  13. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Senior Elder

    Dec 29, 2002
    Los Anchorage
    If your rifle has quality irons and you know how to use them, you can hunt with them just fine. The scope's real advantage, as noted, is in helping ID the target animal and giving a little breathing space for old eyes. But if you've already ID'd the critter with your spotting scope that's not going to be as big an issue. Unless you're doing long range varmint shooting, you absolutely do not need a scope to shoot accurately within practical hunting ranges.

    That said, very few rifles these days have quality irons. The standard CZ's do, but these are stripped off in the "American" versions. Military tangent sights, if calibrated to your ammo, can be extremely effective and can neutralize bullet drop.
  14. Essex County

    Essex County Participating Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Keep the Swede. The Yugo is a real step down, I have both. Iron sights will get You father than You think. How about a low powered variable on the Swede?..........Essex

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