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Hunting and Fishing Rifle, Shotgun, Handgun, Archery, Blackpowder Saltwater and Fresh Water

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  #1  
Old 11-23-2022, 9:27 AM
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Default Looking for advice: Father/Son hunting rifles

My son (14) really wants to go hunting. I had the same urge when I was a teenager but my old man had neither time nor money. We’re going to take a hunting class (recommendations in SoCal appreciated) and our first hunt will be guided (again, recommendations appreciated).

We’re going to go with 308 due to the typical reasons: recoil, ammo availability/cost, etc.

I ordered the following for my son, which I haven’t paid for yet, so let me know if I can do better for the price…or a much better choice for a bit more:

- Tikka T3X Lite Compact .308 Win Synthetic ($750)
- Rudolph Optics Hunter HD 4-16x42 T4 Reticle ($300)

For myself, I’m eyeing:

- Sako 85 Carbonlight Black/Stainless
- Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44mm PR1 (not sure which reticle)

I have a Scar 17s NRCH, and I have thought of just using that, but I think I’d rather have a bolt action dedicated to hunting.
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Old 11-23-2022, 9:40 AM
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Weatherby has a 1” MOA guarantee out of the box.
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Old 11-23-2022, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsmithson View Post
Weatherby has a 1” MOA guarantee out of the box.
Seems like most manufacturers have this guarantee, including Tikka and Sako.
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Old 11-23-2022, 10:02 AM
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The Tikka is good to go. Accurate and reliable out of the box, and easy to carry. I'd put a Leopold 3-9x40 on it, but that's just personal preference.
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Old 11-23-2022, 10:22 AM
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The Leupold VX3HD 3.5-10x40mm CDS-ZL Duplex is $200 more…worth it?
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  #6  
Old 11-23-2022, 10:48 AM
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Tikka makes fine rifles, I'm sure Sako does as well.

For hunting scopes I'd just as soon keep it simple with a max 10x scope and a duplex reticle.
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Old 11-23-2022, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NapalmCheese View Post
Tikka makes fine rifles, I'm sure Sako does as well.

For hunting scopes I'd just as soon keep it simple with a max 10x scope and a duplex reticle.
I was thinking the same, but this is clearance priced. Seems like a good deal and hard to pass up…prove me wrong

https://www.rudolphoptics.com/produc...2mm-t4-reticle
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Old 11-23-2022, 11:03 AM
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Both are great rifles. Hopefully you can find factory ammo that shoots well from both rifles. As for scopes, I’d go with a Leupold VX3 3.5-10x40 on both rifles. You keep weight down and have all the magnification needed for hunting distances with a 308.
In my opinion the VX3 is worth the extra money over a VX2
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  #9  
Old 11-23-2022, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by plinker202020 View Post
I was thinking the same, but this is clearance priced. Seems like a good deal and hard to pass up…prove me wrong

https://www.rudolphoptics.com/produc...2mm-t4-reticle
I'm not familiar with Rudolf optics.

Not to piss in your cheerios, but here's my reasoning.
  • I prefer something lower than a 4x low end
  • I prefer a max of 10x because optics get heavier with mor magnification
  • I see no need for a parralax adjustment in a hunting scope, it's just one more thing to fiddle with or bump out of whack
  • I didn't see a mention of the scope being first focal plane, if it's not first focal plane and you plan on using the hash marks as a BDC, you'll have to claculate the drop for every zoom level since it won't be the same at different magnifications

In particular to that last point, I would hate for you to go to the trouble of putting the rifle together, getting it sighted in at 100 yards at 16x assuming you'll use the hash marks for a BDC. Calculating the hash marks to be 180 yards, 230 yards, 270 yards; and handing that rifle off to your kid only to have them take a 200 yard shot at 7x instead of 16x and missing because they tried to use the first hash mark. I mean first off I wouldn't advocate for sighting in at 100 yards anyway, and secondly it's always a bummer to miss.
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Old 11-23-2022, 11:34 AM
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For what its worth, I always shoot for 2-3 in higher than the 10 X on the paper with my scoped rifles at 100 yds. My longest drop em dead first shot was 280 yds in small canyon near Kaycee WYO.

Psalm 1

Last edited by Garand Hunter; 11-23-2022 at 11:36 AM.. Reason: added sentence
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Old 11-23-2022, 11:35 AM
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It’s second focal plane. Now you’ve got me thinking.
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Old 11-23-2022, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Garand Hunter View Post
For what its worth, I always shoot for 2-3 in higher than the 10 X on the paper with my scoped rifles at 100 yds. My longest drop em dead first shot was 280 yds in small canyon near Kaycee WYO.

Psalm 1
To put it VERY generally, if you sight in 2-3 inches high at 100 yards you will most likely be zeroed a little over 200 yards, and have a point blank range (that is, the range where your bullet travels neither higher than 3 inches nor lower) of about 270 yards. Get a cartridge with a 3200 fps muzzle velocity and you've got about a 300 yard point blank range.

With that sort of sight in you can just estimate yardage and make quick shots with no parallax, no magnification, and no elevation adjustments on LOTS of game. As long as you estimate the animal to be under 270 (or 300) yards away, put the crosshairs on the pocket and pull the trigger (wind notwithstanding). If you think it's right on the edge of that distance, put the crosshairs on the top of the shoulder. Worst case scenario would be you blow out a bit of backstrap because they weren't as far as you thought.
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Old 11-23-2022, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by plinker202020 View Post
It’s second focal plane. Now you’ve got me thinking.
Another thing about max magnification and BDC reticles: you can totally use a 2nd focal plane BDC reticle, you just always use the BDC at max magnification. Generally this is fine because if something is far enough away for you to use the BDC, it's probably far enough away to use the max magnification. As such, I think 16x on the high end is too high to use as your max magnification for BDC calculations. Especially if you zero at 100 or 200 yards (as lots of people with BDC scopes do) instead of a hunting point blank zero.

I think your kid would be well served with a 3-9 or 2-10x Leupold or Vortex (just not the Leupold Freedom line) scope with a duplex or BDC if you really want reticle. A scope like that can live on their hunting rifle for the rest of their life, you'll just have to put it in an adult sized stock in a few years.
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Old 11-23-2022, 12:41 PM
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ditch the 308 and go with the 270 much better caliber than the 308 for distance recoil and plenty of ammo around
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Old 11-23-2022, 1:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MJB View Post
ditch the 308 and go with the 270 much better caliber than the 308 for distance recoil and plenty of ammo around
I think you mean 30-06...
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Old 11-23-2022, 1:43 PM
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I have much respect for a father so good for his son. Wish more were like you.
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Old 11-23-2022, 2:25 PM
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I have much respect for a father so good for his son. Wish more were like you.
I appreciate that. I'm starting to realize how little time we have together before his life takes over and puts me in the back seat.
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Old 11-23-2022, 2:58 PM
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Tikka/Sako are excellent rifles. I would(and did) put a Leupold VX-3i 3.5X10X40 Duplex reticle scope on each of mine and my daughters. No need for more power and I have hunted many years in all sorts of country. Sight them in 2.75" high at 100 yards and hold on the animal for meat in the freezer. Forget about all the turrets and cluttered reticles that are just a distraction that is not needed.

308 is good. If wanting less recoil get a 6.5Crudmore or 6.5X55 or 260Rem as they all send the same bullet at the same FPS. The 6.5Crudmore is most popular and the latest and greatest if you talk to newer shooters. The 7-08 is another good choice.

My daughter has a Tikk T-3 Lite in 308 with the 3.5X10 Duplex reticle Leupold scope and a Claw sling and really likes it. I have the same rifle/scope/sling combo in 7-08 and 6.5X55 and like them.

MJB---If you want less recoil get a 257W as it has 1 pound less recoil compared to the 270win---AND it shoots faster/flatter and kills excellent. In a short action the 7-08 is a good choice as well as one of the 6,5mm cartridges. All better than to 270
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Old 11-23-2022, 3:28 PM
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Good choices, I’d have to agree with the scope recommendations from the others and think about the 7mm-08 for your boy.
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Old 11-23-2022, 3:35 PM
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More than a decade ago for deer hunting with my sons, I got a 308 for me and a .243 for them. I also had their Granddad's 30.06 for if we needed another 30 cal. Now at my advanced age I'd take the .243 and give them the 308 or 30.06.
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Old 11-23-2022, 5:31 PM
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Seems like finding a quality 3x10 FFP scope under $1K ain’t easy.
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Old 11-23-2022, 5:43 PM
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I cerakoted a couple of Ruger American rifles for my buddy and his son a few years back

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Old 11-23-2022, 5:44 PM
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Why do you need a FFP scope for hunting? Sight your rifle for a 200 yard zero and learn your trajectory out to 400 yards.
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Old 11-23-2022, 5:57 PM
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I guess I don’t enough about scopes to be spending money on them just yet. Lots of contradictory advice on here and the web.

One hunting site says FFP for out west (open spaces) and SFP for woods. Less thinking on FFP?

I’m probably overthinking.
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Old 11-23-2022, 6:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NapalmCheese View Post
To put it VERY generally, if you sight in 2-3 inches high at 100 yards you will most likely be zeroed a little over 200 yards, and have a point blank range (that is, the range where your bullet travels neither higher than 3 inches nor lower) of about 270 yards. Get a cartridge with a 3200 fps muzzle velocity and you've got about a 300 yard point blank range.

With that sort of sight in you can just estimate yardage and make quick shots with no parallax, no magnification, and no elevation adjustments on LOTS of game. As long as you estimate the animal to be under 270 (or 300) yards away, put the crosshairs on the pocket and pull the trigger (wind notwithstanding). If you think it's right on the edge of that distance, put the crosshairs on the top of the shoulder. Worst case scenario would be you blow out a bit of backstrap because they weren't as far as you thought.

This - keep it simple for hunting scopes. Or use it a lot to get very familiar before going out hunting with it.

A duplex reticle with something in the 270 to 30-06 range of calibers can be zeroed at 200 (or about 1.5” over at 100) and you can center and shoot out to beyond 200 yards without thinking about it. Beyond 200-250 yards you should be taking your time and probably work out the math in your head - you should know your drops at distance before trying those shots anyways imho.

More simple more better. Especially with new rifle hunters.


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Old 11-23-2022, 6:12 PM
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FFP scopes are a great tool for long range precision shooters who rely on hash marks for holdovers at a range of magnifications. With a 308 shooting a 130gr Barnes you’d be down to 1500 FPS at 350yards, shooting beyond that wouldn’t provide enough velocity to expand reliably. If your rifle is sighted at 200 yards no adjustments are required from 0 - 250yds. At 300 you’re approximately 10” low and 18” at 350. Deer are approximately 18” from backbone to brisket which gives a point of reference for hold overs.
My recommendation would be to go with a Leupold 3.5-10x40 and use the money you saved on a good rangefinder.
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Old 11-23-2022, 6:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck Killer View Post
I think you mean 30-06...
Back in the '80s that's all we used. Then I started hunting in the west and the 270 at 300 yd has very little drop in the 130 grain running hot. So I adapted and that's my dear pig gun. I've taken it elk hunting as my backup but I love the 06 with 180gr lead for elk out to 500-600yds
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Old 11-23-2022, 7:58 PM
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Originally Posted by plinker202020 View Post
I guess I don’t enough about scopes to be spending money on them just yet. Lots of contradictory advice on here and the web.

One hunting site says FFP for out west (open spaces) and SFP for woods. Less thinking on FFP?

I’m probably overthinking.
The quick and dirty is, with a FFP (1st focal plane) scope the size of the reticle increases as you increase magnification. This means if you have thick crosshairs or a really busy scope, it can obscure your target at higher magnifications.

A SFP (2nd focal plane) scope does not change the size of the crosshairs as you adjust magnification. The result of the reticle not changing sizes as you zoom in is, your BDC dots (hash marks, mil dots, whatever) are only accurate at one magnification.

An anecdote about why that can be a bummer. If you have a scope with mil-dots, hash marks, etc. you can use it to range animals. My first (and still primary) hunting rifle is a Tikka T3 wearing a Nikon Monarch 2.5-10x42 scope with a mil-dot reticle, MOA turrets, and with the reticle in the 2nd focal plane. At 10x the mil-dots are 1 mil apart (1 mil being a 1 meter cone at 1000 meters). I know a deer or antelope stands (very) approximately 1 meter tall at the shoulder. If I measure the shoulder height of the animal, while zoomed in to 10x, and it measures 3 mils tall, it's 333 meters (approximately) away. If it measures 2 mils tall, it's 500 meters (approximately away). Since these are all approximations they get worse the farther out I go.

So what happens if, as I was walking in to where I was hunting deer, I had the scope turned down to 2.5x because I might surprise a grizzly? Well what happens is, a deer at 70 yards comes into view, I range it with my scope (because I was a **** hot math whiz using a mil-dot sniper scope when I first started hunting) and find that measures only 3 mils when it's obviously WAY closer than 333 meters. Obviously my math can't be wrong, so it must be a tiny deer... Yeah, I passed that "gimme" shot on a "tiny" deer only to realize my mistake later.

We don't even have to get into what a pain it is to have mismatching reticles and turrets when you plan on dialing in elevation or corrections.

That rifle still wears that scope, and I still use it nearly every year. It's now sighted in for a point blank range of 300 yards and I largely ignore the mil-dots.

That said, I have used BDC dots to good effect a couple of times. My first pronghorn was taken at about 300 yards, I put the top of the first mil-dot on the point of the shoulder and made meat (this was before I started using a point blank zero). Another time one of our group wounded a pronghorn and ran out of ammo trying to put it down. I ranged it with a rangefinder at 375 yards, put the second BDC dot on it's neck (it was bedded down) and put it down for good. Pretty much every other animal I've shot has been "put the crosshairs on the pocket and squeeze the trigger".
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Old 11-24-2022, 7:07 AM
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Originally Posted by NapalmCheese View Post
Tikka makes fine rifles, I'm sure Sako does as well.

For hunting scopes I'd just as soon keep it simple with a max 10x scope and a duplex reticle.
This. Whatever rifle you get make sure you handle it to check for fit and ergos.
I am a big fan of the Winchester model 70 featherweight with wood furniture. .308 with 150 grainers.
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Old 11-24-2022, 7:14 AM
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Originally Posted by plinker202020 View Post
I guess I don’t enough about scopes to be spending money on them just yet. Lots of contradictory advice on here and the web.

One hunting site says FFP for out west (open spaces) and SFP for woods. Less thinking on FFP?

I’m probably overthinking.
It is okay to overthink on occasion, at least you are doing your homework. Hunting scopes should be simple(set it and forget it, no knob dorking), lightweight, and have decent optical clarity. The Leupold vxIII with 3.5x10x40mm with Duplex is the one of the best big game hunting scope made.
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Old 11-24-2022, 8:38 AM
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Congrats! I cherish hunting with my dad.

A 308 in that gun will have some recoil and I would worry a bit about flinching. I would REALLY consider a 6.5 CM for him. There is tons of it available around me (San Diego). Even my local Big 5 even carries the premium stuff all the time (ELD-X, LRX, etc...). A 6.5 PRC is also excellent with much better down-range ballistics than the 308 and the same recoil. I just killed a bull elk at 431 three weeks ago with mine.

I also think springing for the VX-3HD is worth the money. I'll be buying one tomorrow (hopefully on sale). Being able to dial to the range makes it so incredibly easy to shoot at a distance and it's one less thing to mess up when things get western. I use its bigger brother VX-5hd on my current rifle.
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Old 11-24-2022, 8:54 AM
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I appreciate all the advice…can’t ever get enough.

On the 6.5 front, the recoil makes sense but I’m torn on the cost of ammo. Living in SoCal there aren’t any opportunities for shooting at any distance, so when driving a long time I want to be able to have both of us shoot a lot and not break the bank.
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Old 11-24-2022, 9:31 AM
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I appreciate all the advice…can’t ever get enough.

......so when driving a long time I want to be able to have both of us shoot a lot and not break the bank.
Well - shooting factory copper a lot is going to be a spendy proposition, , no matter the caliber. Either reload to mitigate the cost somewhat, or pay to play. No way around it. And, if you're not set up to reload already then the initial startup cost will kill any savings for a while. Not to mention the time sink.

Might be best to buy two rifles in the same caliber, so you don't have to worry about two different supply chains.
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Old 11-24-2022, 10:06 AM
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Midway USA scope deal:
Vortex Viper 4x12x40 was $399 on sale now $229 w/ Free Shipping

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/100945412

Savage Axis II - 7mm08

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/102050572

Last edited by Flyron; 11-24-2022 at 10:24 AM..
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Old 11-25-2022, 11:39 AM
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I’m thinking the Sako 85 Carbonlite might be too big of a leap for a first bolt action for hunting.

I’ve been thinking about the Benelli Lupo or the SA Waypoint.

Any chance someone here has experience with either or both?

Still looking at the 308.
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Old 11-25-2022, 11:45 AM
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Why not stay with Tikka for both rifles?
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Old 11-25-2022, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapper View Post
Why not stay with Tikka for both rifles?
I guess I’m looking at what’s available locally with the Black Friday deals.

I should probably just be patient though.
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Old 11-25-2022, 12:49 PM
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I think you would be much better off saving some of that money on your rifle and putting it towards your son's scope. Ask me how I know when I almost lost a great buck because of my $250 scope. Honestly, the odds you'll out-shoot a $1,500 rifle in field where you are out of position, tired, running out of time etc... is slim.


I assume both of you have quality binoculars, harnesses and something to keep them steady? If not, those are absolutely essential and I would gladly buy down in your rifle and optics to afford those.
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Old 11-25-2022, 1:07 PM
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I think I’m going to get matching scopes for us so we can talk apples-to-apples.

Leaning 2x Leupold VX3HD 3.5-10x40mm CDS-ZL Duplex

The binoculars, etc., is a great point.
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Old 11-25-2022, 1:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plinker202020 View Post
I think I’m going to get matching scopes for us so we can talk apples-to-apples.

Leaning 2x Leupold VX3HD 3.5-10x40mm CDS-ZL Duplex

The binoculars, etc., is a great point.
I think that is a perfect idea.

Cabelas has Vortex Viper 10x42 for $299 right now. That's a HECK of a deal.
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