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Scout scope vs. iron sights - forest hunting

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by shadow9, Sep 4, 2011.

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  1. shadow9

    shadow9 Member

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    Which of these two would be ideal for forest hunting? Or would a conventionally-mounted scope in either fixed 4x or 1.5-5/2-7x variable work a bit better?
    Typical yardage would occur between 25 and 50 yards, maybe 70-90 at tops.

    Opinions?
     
  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    A conventionally mounted scope works best for me. I like a variable with 2-3X at the low end and up to 7-9X on the high end. I want at least 32mm on the front objective to let in enough light.

    Hunting in thick forest is pretty dark at first and last light so I want something that lets a lot of light through. Shooting through thick brush is best accomplished with a highly accurate rifle and scope to shoot through small openings. Forget about brush buster rounds, nothing is guaranteed to make it through.
     
  3. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    Sounds like a good place for a red dot sight.

    It's very hard to beat 1x for speed at under 100 yards.

    BSW
     
  4. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Up here in upstate NY, we hunt in heavily forested areas where the typical shots are from 20 to 35 yards. We hunt with our 3-9X scopes set at 3X and have no problems.

    Don
     
  5. jim243

    jim243 Member

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    I think I have said this before:

    You didn't say what kind or rifle you will be using??

    For 25 to 50 yard, even 75 yards, I would suggest a good red-dot, fast, both eyes open, excelent target aquistion and easy to set up.

    If you are snap shooting, or even still shooting, or even tree stand shooting, during dawn, dusk or even noon, still a very good way to go.

    Jim

    Now having said that. I like a little more range 75 to 125 yards and use a 3-9x40mm scope set to 3x 80% of the time. As you will note, I have see through rings on the rifle and at 25 yards, I go straight to irons.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    Receiver sights still offer a lot of utility but it's also hard to beat a good low powered variable.
     
  7. Gunnerboy

    Gunnerboy Member

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    I just finished buiding a rifle that anwsers that question a nice mauser carbine ive built in 6.5x55 with a new lyman peep, and i wont be going back to a scope anytime soon, the advantage of the quick pull up to the shoulder and being on target is unbeatable. i hunt the jungles of Washinton state so if thats the kinda stuff your hunting most definately go with irons.
     
  8. bubbinator

    bubbinator Member

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    Given your situation-I have found a reciever sights/with hi-viz front sight/ red dots/ and open sights with highly visible front and rear sights to be excellent under the conditions you put forth. I have multiple red dot/holosights on Tactical rifles/shotguns and 22LR handguns, so have some experience with them. For a moving target, close, in brush-HI Viz and practice! For shots from a blind/stand on calm game animals-a low power or variable scope will serve you well. My wife's best deer- a 6 pt that scored over 100 B&C pts! was taken running through a sage field with a Ruger 44 Mag Carbine with William's Reciever Sights and a green hiviz front @ 110 yds running.
     
  9. BikerRN

    BikerRN member

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    Given the conditions, as you describe, and the distances involved I'd opt for a red dot EO Tech.

    Either that or a lower power magnification, but I'd still be looking at the red dot first. It was designed for fast sight acquisition and your situation is what it was made for.

    BikerRN
     
  10. Clipper

    Clipper Member

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    I recently finished a Mosin-Nagant sporterization project and unlike everyone else who does one, I went with peep sights. I use the apperture when sighting in, but remove it and hunt it as a ghost ring. Works great.
     
  11. bhk

    bhk Member

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    I think it is really almost impossible to beat a low-powered scope or red-dot sight under those circumstances. Peeps work very well too (I have them on lever rifles), but won't beat a good LOW MOUNTED, low powered scope on most rifles. I say low mounted because a good check-weld is important for fast shooting. I want my deer rifles to come up, shoulder, and shoot like my good bird guns. The only way to make most lever actions shoot this way is with peeps, because the stock combs are generally too low for even a low-mounted scope. I would put a scope on anything but a lever gun.
     
  12. AEA

    AEA Member

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    I recommend an Ultra Dot for up to 100yds. Lightweight, inexpensive and easy to use. It is the most durable red dot for a big bore lever and has a lifetime guarantee.
     
  13. natman

    natman Member

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    A scout scope is ideal for the conditions you describe. It's fast, you can shoot with both eyes open and the relatively low magnification is not a drawback at short range.
     
  14. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Probably the ultimate forest hunting is squirrel hunting. And a scope is a major advantage when it comes to shooting small, eratically moving targets in thick brush and dim light.

    A low power scope is best -- I use 4X in fixed powers, and 3X9 variables set at 3 power for elk, deer and squirrels.
     
  15. ndh87

    ndh87 Member

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    get yourself an aimpoint.
     
  16. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    Afraid I have to disagree with that one. Any magnification is going to slow you down at very close ranges compared to a red dot or irons. Eye placement is much more important with magnified scopes where as with red dots you can look thru them at really goofy angles (like when you're surprised and have shouldered a rifle quickly) and as long as you can see the dot on the target, you'll get a hit.

    There is a reason why guys that shoot rifles very fast use red dots and not magnified scopes on their rifles.

    Also, modern red dots get very small and are still very tough. I'd recommend looking at the Aimpoint micro and the Trijicon RMR.

    http://www.aimpoint.com/products/all-products/product-singleview/product/Micro H-1/

    http://www.trijicon.com/na_en/products/product1.php?id=RMR
     
  17. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    You can't hit what you can't see. A quality scope, mounted conventionally is the only option that helps you see your target in poor light. Which is exactly when you are most likely to get a shot when hunting. Set on low powers, 3X or less, you can easily shoot with both eyes open and get on target just as quickly as any other sight.

    In good light any sight works. In good light I can easily hit deer size targets with any type of sight at ranges to at least 200 yards. Most folks think of a scope as only a long range sighting tool. But at 30 yards, 5 minutes before sunset in thick forest, with a 3" opening in the brush to thread a bullet through, a good scope beats them all.
     
  18. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    There you go -- in fact, the only time I have ever used a variable scope set above its lowest power for deer hunting was when I had a buck behind some brush before full sunrise -- I turned up the power, found a little hole through the brush, and nailed him.

    I wouldn't have tried that shot with iron sights.
     
  19. Sky

    Sky Member

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    When I was young good old iron sights worked with no problem but as my eye balls have aged (along with other things) it has become increasingly apparent that with any low light or the dimness of a deep dark forest irons and my eyes just won't get the job done anymore.

    All of my short range (100 yard zero) pig poppers have Red Dots except for one that does carry a Nikon 1-4 223 scope; it is my least shot pig popper.

    Some of my red dots cost less than $100 all the way up to an EOTEC and Aimpoint. I do have 3 com block rifles that I leave decked out in their original configs but they are day time hunters.

    The only reason I bring this up:

    25 yards and fast moving pigs, leaving or coming at you; with both eyes open and a red dot is hard to beat for us more seasoned/aged hunters. There are times even with a red dot where it may only be possible to take a quick snap shot along the lines of point and shoot without the aide of any sights but that is one in a ??? chance of happening around here unless they jump out of a thicker part of a thicket? hahaha

    Scopes are more accurate for me if I need to thread the needle but most of our pigs provide a target area large enough for the red dot to be very persuasive; especially at the ranges we are talking about here.

    So, rambling on; Irons are accurate and their simplicity of use work very well. Scopes are better at seeing things clearly at multiple ranges. Red Dots kinda cover a middle ground but really "shine" when the target is seen and as soon as the illuminated dot appears on your nemesis "boom" mission accomplished.

    There is a time and place for all of them.
     
  20. natman

    natman Member

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    Let's take a look at the OP's stated requirements:

    Under those conditions, a scout scope is pretty near perfect. The OP is talking about hunting, not IPSC. Not that a red dot wouldn't work and work well, but a scout scope would be just peachy.
     
  21. dak0ta

    dak0ta Member

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    Which Aimpoint model would you guys recommend? Micro series? 4 MoA or 2 MoA dot for 150-200 yard shots?
     
  22. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

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    Dak, hard to beat the Aimpoint PRO.
     
  23. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    I took an 8 pt buck at 25 yards with my M1 Garand last season and I will never use peep sights on a hunting rifle again.

    It was about 20 minutes after sunrise in the forest. There was no snow. The ground was gray/brown, the trees were gray/brown and that buck was gray/brown. I had a heck of a time finding the kill zone through that peep sight.

    As others have said, peep sight are not very good in low-light situations, which is when you are most likely to have a shot opportunity. They just don't allow enough light through to your eye. Optical sights, like a low-powered scope, actually gather light so you can see better in those situations.
     
  24. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    I have no experience with red-dot sights and very little knowledge of them. DO they gather light like a traditional scope? I've been thinking of getting a red-dot for my muzzleloader. I don't intend to shoot at anything more than 100 yards away with it, so I don't need the magnification of my 3-9X40 that is on it, but I wouldn't want to give up any low-light capability.
     
  25. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    The advantage of a regular scope over irons shows up in low-light conditions. Helps to tell a deer from a cactus-deer or a rock-deer. Or a people-deer.

    Whether conventional mount or scout-style, practice toward absolute familiarity is the important factor. Skill at the use. The scout-style has been the primary winner at the hunting-style walking competition at Gunsite. Speed of acquisition has been the key.
     
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