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Thread: First deer rifle and scope...

  1. #1

    First deer rifle and scope...

    FAC is in the post, likely as not will take ages to get through but I am now starting to think (and scrimp and save) and think about what rifle and scope to get, having got myself fairly well equipped bar those essentials.

    I've applied for a .308Win, as this is a the calibre I have had most experience on (plenty of target shooting with 7.62 ) and I hope to home load in the not too distant future, so a nice versatile round was what I wanted.

    Scope wise, I am adhering to the adage to get the absolute best scope that I could-at the moment I am considering a second hand S&B 8x56 or something similar, I am after a general purpose scope that will do me for the sort of stalking I will be doing (i.e. mostly farmland, some bits of woodland). The FC ranger I know and help with dragging out etc uses a S&B 8x56 for all his work and loves it to bits, even though he does a fair amount of woodland work. I'm not looking to break the bank but it seems pretty decent german (but hungarian assembled) glass can be had second hand without spending ALL my student loan...
    Aware that magnification is a very personal thing but would an 8x56 sound a reasonable choice as an all round scope or would I be better off with a 6x42 considering any woodland stalking?

    Rifle wise I will wait till I get the FAC in my hand



    Edited to say: Admin feel free to move this as I realise I've put it in the wrong forum.
    Last edited by Dorsetvetstudent; 19-12-2010 at 19:36.

  2. #2
    Depends how close the cover is. Personally I'd choose 6 for a fixed power (or 7x50 meopta a very well priced czech scope) because although I never had an 8 I know it would be a bit more than I really want in some situations.

  3. #3

    I would seriously consider the 6x42 over the 8x56 especially when starting out. Off hand shots are easier with it and there will be times when that's required. A decent 6x42 from S&B, Swaroski, Doctor or Meopta will hold it's value well espeially if you buy used. Oh and yes I was sighting in an 8x56 yesterday so am familar with that size even if it's amuch cheaper scope I was sighting in .

    Oh another option that falls inbetween is the 7x50 as offered by Meopta nice glass in those and a bit less spendy too.

    I cannot fault your choice of the .308 as it's an excellent all round cartridge and the one with which I took my first deer using a no name 6x42 scope on top of a Brno ZKK 601 std.

  4. #4
    Appreciate the advice guys, many thanks, will keep my eyes peeled for one.

    Brithunter, you're something of a Parker Hale expert on these boards? Post scope my budget will be in the PH and sh Howa area-realistically I would like something synthetic and workmanlike but I have a .410 from the 50's that shows how if well looked after even used and abused wood and blued steel will last the test of time and i do have a soft spot for a "proper rifle". Would it be worth me considering a PH or are they now getting a bit long in the tooth and thus too many potential issues for a novice to overlook?

  5. #5
    as this will get lengthy I drop you a PM

    But no there are in fact very good Parker-Hales and BSA's still out there with little use...........but don't tell every one.

    Edit:- PM sent.
    Oh and yes I would not call myself an expert.
    Last edited by Brithunter; 19-12-2010 at 20:17.

  6. #6
    Having variable scopes of 56 and 50mm i much prefer the 50 because it does mount that bit lower than the 56 if i was going for a fixed mag i would certainly prefer a 6x42 or 7x50mm max especially for use in woodland i generally keep the variables at around 4 or 5x when stalking woods 7 or 8x on open ground.

  7. #7
    Thanks Dawnraider and Brithunter, very much appreciated. 6x42 seems the way to go.

  8. #8
    Plus 1 for the 6x42 - I have a Meopta on one rifle and a Zeiss on the other - not a lot to choose between the two in terms of clarrity etc, but think I prefer the Meopta as the centre cross hairs are a bit finer which makes it slightly easier on longer range foxes.

    And older PH / mannlichers / Sakos / Brno's etc are often very good buys. Most rifles in the hands of amateur stalkers don't get used very much and if they look clean and tidy with a crisp bore they are probably just that.

  9. #9
    I have got a S&B 8x56 (Hungarian) on top of a cz550 and it provides a beautifully crisp and sharp image, there is no substitute for good glass. I personally don't think a variable scope is necessary, the 6x42 will no gather the light quite as well though.

    Parker Hale's are cheap and deadly accurate once you adjust the trigger. With my dad's 308 at 150yds and hand loaded ammo I had 3 shots in one hole also topped with a S&B 8x56. Swarovski, Leupold and Nightforce are all very good aswell.

    When looking for a rifle try and find a really light weight rifle (maybe synthetic then although nothing compares to a nice bit of walnut), there is nothing worse than your shoulder starting to ache while stalking because your rifle is to heavy. My dad's PH feels like a feather compared to my CZ550. Hope you find a really nice rifle and have fun stalking.

  10. #10
    My first bought-for-purpose stalking rig was (and is) a .308 with a second-hand German S&B 6x42 on top, and that for hill-stalking.

    I imagine a second-hand 6x42 of good German (or if you must, Czech or Austrian) make would be fine for your purposes.

    As to the rifle, by all means think about s/h. My .308 (as above) needed rebarrelling because the first owner spared the rod.
    Mind you, it was 25 years old.

    In any case, I've not bought a second-hand rifle since that one, and my pet rifle for the hill is not the blue-and-walnut .308, but a modern new-to-me stainless/synthetic number of whose unvarying accuracy and reliability, particularly in the context of day after day of getting soaked, I am entirely persuaded.

    My advice (for what it's worth) on the rifle would be to go for something stainless and synthetic. No harm in s/h if properly checked out (like mine wasn't!). I've never handled a Howa, but they seem to have a good reputation. Classic blue and walnut can be a delight, but speaking as someone whose first car (in 1991) was an MG Midget 1500, my advice would be modern and reliable first, then get a classic as your second car/rifle.

    P.S. I am in no way suggesting that Parker-Hale's excellent rifles are in any way to be compared to mid-'70s BL products other than in vintage.
    Last edited by Dalua; 19-12-2010 at 21:55.

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