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Thread: Ideal stalking rifle for the hill

  1. #1

    Ideal stalking rifle for the hill

    Hallo . As I plan my first stalking trip to Scotland for the coming winter , hopefully there will be more in the future , I would like to have some advice on a good stalking rifle .
    I own a wooden stocked Browning European in 7x64 . It now has a Leupold 2.5 - 8 x 36 scope , but I had the possibilty to buy 2 brand new Zeiss 6x42 scopes for a bargain price . I can put one of these on the Browning . I also considered to buy a Tikka T3 lite or a Browning A bolt composite stalker in .308 . These rifles are very light , accurate and weather resitant . I can put one of these Zeiss scopes on it .
    What about these rifles ? the .308 calibre ? Is a 6x42 scope powerfull enough for the hill ?
    I only use factory ammo . In the 7x64 there is a 140 grain Nosler Accubond by Norma , which is very flat shooting . But also the 156 grain Oryx . But also very good ammo by RWS and Blaser .
    On the continent the 7x64 is mostly used with 170/175 grain ammo .
    In .308 there seems to be some good ammo available by Remington.
    Or would something like a 6.5x55 be better suited for a lightweight rifle ?

    Binoculars : Does anybody has experience with a 8x30 or 8x32 from a quality maker like Zeiss , Swarovski , Meopta , .... ?
    I think they are very comfortable to use .

  2. #2
    7x64 or .308 will be fine and topped with a 6x42 Zeiss will make the perfect combination for your trip. The Leupold will be fine also.

    I used .308 on the hill for years and found it to be effective and accurate and I never had more than a 6x scope on. Just get some practice in at 100-250 metres

    The rifles will do the job fine...the important thing to remember is yourself. If you are not fit enough your enjoyment will be spoilt and really the only way to get fit for the hill is to walk in the hills. If you live in a flat bit work on your cardio-vascular fitness with something like a versa-climber at the gym. If you are out with a stalker who is experienced in taking folks out he will make sure you keep within your capabilites but even then, there's no substitute for fitness.

    Also make sure your clothing is up to the job - wet feet never improved anyones day!

  3. #3

    you have a PM.

  4. #4
    140 grain bullet through your 7x64 would be perfect, I've had several guests out with one of these and have always been impressed by it. Your leupold will be OK as if you are planning a trip solely to stalk on the hill you shouldnt be shooting in low light. The zeiss 6x42 would be very good, but not essential.Have you decided which part of scotland you want to stalk in? There are distinct differences in the type of ground and number of deer in different parts of the country. The north west highlands are probably the most scenic,Argyll is nice if you like a combination of woodland and hill,Perthshire and the central highlands probably have the greater density of deer,but the hills are a little less dramatic,cathness and sutherland are good if you like to crawl!! Hope you have an enjoyable experience.

  5. #5
    Hello Folks ,
    It seems that most of you seem to agree that a 7x64 is very good . No problem for the wooden stock ? The " PM " from Jingzy means something good I think . My first rifle ever had a 1.5-6 x 42 scope wich I liked a lot .
    I had the possibility to shoot a few Antelope in South Africa in 1996 . There I used a local rifle with a 4x40 scope . I could make a few nice shots between 60 and 200 meters . You notice less the trembling and it makes you more confident . Nowdays there is a " huge " magnification hype , but my first scope never let me down .
    When a gun shop sold 4 brand new Zeiss 6x42 scopes for about 40 % of the normal value , me and a friend each bought two of them .
    We tought , they don't eat and there will always be a rifle where we can put them on. They are still there brand new in the box on my shelf .
    The brightness in low light is certainly better than my 36 mm Leupold.

    For the moment I don't excactly know where to go . Somebody made me a very good offer and I think this is in the west of Scotland.
    Through a Dutch friend there is a possibilty , but this is more in the east I think .
    If I understand traveler well , the central highlands and Pertshire probably will be better suited to a continental lowland shooter with a less good condition . If I am correct , easier hills to climb and more deer .
    I certainly had ( and have ) the intention to start jogging on regular basis to improve my physical condition.

    Traveler, it seems you take out rifles on the hill ? You can always leave a message in my private box.
    I am new to this " forum thing " and learn to see how everything works .

    I also left a similar message in the " equipment " forum for some advice .

    Frax , the contact I have through the Dutch man , recommends neoprene lined wellies . On this estate both professionals and guests seem to wear wellies . He told me " they keep your feet warm and dry " , what is your idea ? What about Muck Boots / Grub's Stalker boots .

  6. #6
    Grubs Stalkers with the Vibram sole are great boots, the soles on Muck boots aren't great for the hill. They can get a bit smelly too! A lot of folk do wear wellies in the hills but I always find I end up with bruised toes from the descent when I do. Give me proper lace up boots every time. It's personal preference and you can't know until you try!

  7. #7
    Wooden stocks on the hill IMHO are not a problem - I use one. Admittadely if it is pissiong down with rain / snow I have a lightweight slip that I carry it in until the final stalk. I suppose though if I was out every day through the winter stainless / synthetic is the way to go for a working rifle.

    Scopes - 6x42 is very good and if you are shooting hinds in winter then low light gathering is useful - there is not a lot of light even at midday.

    Which rifle do you shoot best and which are you comfortable shooting to 200 yds - use that. Any of the calibres you mention should be more than adequate.

    Boots - get yourself now a good pair of rugged hill boots - and break them in. Bad foot wear will ruin you days on the hill. I would have a look at Meindle / Scarpa 3 to 4 season walking boots as they are designed for walking across mountains and that is waht we have up here.

  8. #8
    Your 7x64 will be fine with either scope. Boots are v important. Meindl, Bestard or Lundhags in no particular order would be the ones to look at. Get them broken in though!



  9. #9
    Hallo . At a certain moment everybody seems to look for an excuse to get an extra rifle . I was playing with the idea to get a light 308 ( Tikla lite / Broning A bolt ) use the Zeiss 6x42 and maybe a Harris bipod . This to have a unit wich would be ready to go at about 3.5 kg and still be reasonable in recoil . My first rifle was a 300 win mag with a Swarovski scope ( I bought it secondhand ) . I still regret selling it .
    Although it was to heavy , 4.3 kg , for walking around , it was a tremendous killer . With the RWS 180 grain Brenneke TUG it's killing power was amazing and meat dammage ( even on roe deer ) very minimal. All the game I shot with it collapsed on the spot with shots to the shoulder ( never head shots ) .
    Exit wounds of 3/4 inch where the rule .
    All the calibres I see I compare to this performance .
    I like a rilfle/calibre/ bullet combination to kill the game on the spot with reasonably well placed shoulder shots .

    I must admit that even at this weight recoil stays impressive . The recoil of a 300 win mag at 3.5 kg would probably be a nightmare .
    This is the reason I went to the 7x64 .

    When reading your answers , I see that you all have confidence in this calibre . So I will stay with it and put my Zeiss on it .

    On the continent a heavy for calibre bullet is the rule .
    In 7x64 the 177 grain Brenneke TIG is very popular . Most people zero their rifles 4 cm high at 100 meters (1.6 inch) . This gives you a comfortable shooting range of 250 meters .

    For Scotland I think using the Norma 140 grain Nosler Accubond ammo .
    Offcourse if my rifle shoots well with it .
    This will be flatter shooting and still be strong enough for the lighter hinds .
    The 7x64 has a long throat and generally shoots best with longer bullets.
    In Belgium and France we where not allowed ( the law recently changend in BELGIUM ) to have military or ex military calibres .
    So for us no 223 , 6.5x55, 308 , 30-06 , 8x57, ......
    So the 7x64 replaced the 30-06 as an alround calibre .

    Anybody experience with 8x30 / 8x32 binoculars from a quality maker like
    Swarovski , Zeiss conquest , Meopta , Minox ???????

  10. #10
    the 8x32 swaro s are lovely set for the hill .
    a 3-9x42 scope would be a help on the hill and there still compact and light .
    in your 7x64 a 140gr soft point will do all you want .
    in boots meindl boots in a island pro or makalu and a good pair of gaters i have huntec and black island.

    air mesh t shirts and micro light fleeces stony creek do a lovely air mesh shirt .
    no cotton s as your sweat will not dry fast in it ,the air mesh your sweat will dry in a few minutes .

    the best socks you can buy merino wool mix is good and always keep a pair in you rucksack or pocket.

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