Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How necessary are scopes for medium/big game hunting?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Jason_W, Feb 2, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. inclinebench

    inclinebench Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    263
    Location:
    Nice place
    This past season I hunted with a K31 with the Swiss Products scope mount. This mount is offset becasue of the way you load and eject shells. The offset allowed me to use the open sights when a deer was running pretty wide open about fifty yards in front of me. I tried looking therough the scope at first, but the magnification was such that I did not see the deer at first glance through the scope, and rather than spending time trying to aquire a view in the scope (and letting the deer run into the thick stuff), I calmly looked through the iron sights and dropped it in its tracks. So, I would reccomend elevated rings that allow you to use both open and scope. I had never used these types before, but that offset scope on the K31 gave me a chance to try, and I am now a big fan of being able to use both scope and open sights.
     
  2. Bud Tugly

    Bud Tugly Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    524
    Location:
    Ishpeming, MI
    The term "light-gathering ability" is one that astronomers commonly use when talking about telescopes. The pupil of the human eye is about 8mm wide when fully dilated (in dim light) and the theoretical light gathering power for any telescope is the size of the objective (front) lens (in mm) divided by eight.

    So a 40mm (about 1 5/8") front lens would theoretically gather 5 times as much light as the unaided eye, which would make dimly lit objects look brighter. As others have mentioned, even the best lenses are only 90-95% efficient (and cheap ones much less) so the real effect is less than that.

    Since rifle scopes and binoculars are just modified telescopes the same would be true for them, except they generally use at least 3 lenses so the losses of light add up to reduce it even more. I'm not a scope user myself, but I know from experience that a good pair of binoculars with large front lenses lets you see things more clearly in low light.
     
  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,183
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    Got a buddy that thinks the same way, but I don't agree. Putting the scope way up there does two things I don't like. One, it gets the scope so high I cannot get a proper cheek weld with it. Too, the lower the scope, the less affect it has on hold over. Hard to verbalize I guess, but if you look at any drop calculation, there'll be a variable for scope height above bore. The higher the scope, the wonkier the trajectory table. I guess it doesn't affect something like deer at 100 yards, but deer at 400, maybe. I CERTAINLY wouldn't put a scope way up there on a squirrel rifle. Keeping the scope as close to the bore as possible assures the bullet hits closer to the POA.

    Better, and much faster on target, to use a low mount scope of low power, 1-3 power. Me, I have a 2x10 variable on my favorite rifle, versatile. I've shot running rabbits with a low power scope, so do tell ME it can't be done faster than with irons. Someone posted that many folks get scopes with too much power. I agree 100 percent. For me, the LOW power on a variable is much more important that the high. I want lower the better on the low end.. I have a 1.5x4.5 I'd LOVE except that the 22mm objective just ain't big enough for low light in the woods. My 2x10x40 Weaver is pretty awesome. For me, 4x is getting a might much. Fixed power, I'd much rather a 2.5x. I can make hits at 300 yards with a 2.5x and it's still pretty quick to the eye.

    One thing I have not tried that folks say is great on quick running close range shots is a LER forward mounted low power (IE 2.5X) scope. I've noticed a lot of "scout scopes" don't have much of an objective lens, so I'm not sure how much utility one would have in the woods other than being fast to the eye. I prefer my rifles with conventionally mounted scopes with adequate objective lens size and a good low power on the low end. A 3x9 works, a 2x10 works better for me. :D Of course, on my hunting rifles, I have no problem mounting 'em low since they're not compromised by bolts that get in the way and such. One of 'em is a Savage 110, set me back 200 bucks 20 years ago, granted a little over a hundred bucks more than some of my milsurps bought at the time, but it out-shoots ALL my milsurps I own and have ever owned. Even out-shoots my SIL's K98. Add to that it needed no gunsmithing before taking to the range and sighting in. I had a scope mounted on a 60 dollar Spanish Mauser in 7x57 once, was a 50 dollar job. That can eat up the difference in cost right there. Yeah, I went through the milsurp bubba phase, but I quickly figured out keeping the value of those guns means leaving them alone and a low end hunting rifle is a better hunting rifle. Oh, I don't mind modifying my milsurps, though. I probably should say that. I don't think it's blasphemy to modify a milsurp, both my SKSs are modified for use, not for value. I mean, it's YOUR gun, so set it up for you. If you like your scope 5 inches above bore (I exaggerate a lot to make a point, sorry), go for it, but I took the scope and case deflector OFF my SKS rifle, found it makes a much better knock around truck beater gun than it does a hunting rifle and I have 2 Remington and one Savage hunting rifle that are scoped that are go tos if I really wanna KILL something. :D Got BP stuff, hunt with pistols and revolvers, even. So, you know, whatever floats your boat I guess. I can't say I never use anything, but a scoped rifle to hunt with. I have used an iron sighted 6.5" Blackhawk in .357 magnum to take two hogs and one deer with over the years. It ain't a go to when I'm after meat, though.

    Anyway, if your scope is not RIGHT OVER the bore axis, if it's offset due to a straight bolt or something, I can see your problem. Fit with a rifle is nearly as important on quick shots as a shotgun. I say "nearly", hell, probably MORE important to get the sight in front of the eye quickly. Just that I POINT shotguns on flying birds and I AIM rifles, so it's not completely analogous. However, point being, if the scope is hanging off one side of the gun, you're going to have to search for it just like if it's so high you can't get a proper cheek weld. If it's sitting 1.5" over the bore axis in traditional manner and the stock is proper proportionally, it will come to the eye almost instinctively, without thought, and not having to line up iron sights makes it much faster than irons. I think the reason you like the irons is they're right where your eye is when you mount the gun. If you'd try a normal sporting rifle optic set up, I think you might learn to appreciate the value of a low power optic on those close shots.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  4. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    43,481
    Location:
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    Yeah, low comb for irons, higher comb for scopes.

    The deal is, close your eyes and mount the rifle to your shoulder in normal shooting usage, and get a good cheek weld. If the stock is correct for your body's dimensions, you'll be looking right through the sights with no head movement.

    If no scope on a rifle without irons, you should be looking right down the line of the barrel.

    If the fit is proper, you can snap shoot with a scope as fast as with irons.
     
  5. inclinebench

    inclinebench Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    263
    Location:
    Nice place
    I understand about the lower the scope, the better and faster the sighting as well as the wonkiness of bullet drop etc. However, this is the first gun I have hunted with that I could use both scope and irons, and I must say, even if I could lower the scope and center it (which I cannot on a K31), I would probably continue to hunt with the current setup. I dropped four deer this season with that gun, all between 50 and 120 yards, and I had more fun with it than any other rifle I have ever hunted deer with.

    I am also making he point that one does not have to choose between iron or glass, it is possible, and sometimes darn handy to have both.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page