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  • Advice on new hunting setup: Expensive scope and old gun vs new gun and decent scope?

     Trent updated 1 month ago 2 Members · 9 Posts
  • Trent

    September 15, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    As we get ready for hunting season here in Canada I am facing a dilemma. This year I have the chance to either hunt with my father’s old 7mm Rem Mag or look into purchasing a used gun; I am currently eyeing a nice Sako AV chambered in .30-06. My dilemma is if I stick with my father’s 7mm I would look into purchasing a high-end scope such as a Swarovski or a Zeiss, however his 7mm was not taken care of in the best way possible; the barrel is rusted on the outside and has some pitting. The current scope on the 7mm is a low-end Tasco. If I go with the used Sako for example, I would look into purchasing a Leupold VX Freedom to go with the new (to me) gun. Either way the total price would run me about the same. Any tips will be much appreciated.

    We mostly hunt whitetails and occasionally bear in Ontario where shots over 100m are rare but where we hunt there is a lot of movement in low-light conditions and the woods are so thick that it darkens everything further. I’ve had to hold back on shooting deer because I was unable to confidently identify animals in the scope in the late evening. I also have plans to do more open hunting in the near future in western Canada if that’s any sort of factor in this decision.

  • Not-you_but-Me

    September 15, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    In most cases I recommend a higher end scope verses a high end rifle. That being said, in any case a rust free gun is always preferred. The VX-Freedom is an excellent optic and you’ll be doing better than most.

  • Here-for-dad-jokes

    September 15, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    Buy once, cry once. Nice scope old gun and in a few years turn it into nice scope nice gun. If you have already been using the 7mm then better glass will only improve the situation.

    That being said, a used gun does not mean a bad gun. And the Leopold you mention should be more than adequate for the hunting you are currently talking about.

  • TheLostMoose

    September 15, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    The best tip I’ve ever heard is, if you can, buy a nicer scope than the gun.

    And the reason has nothing to do with shooting or hunting or the old rule of thumb (scope value = rifle value):

    – you can always upgrade the gun and sell the old one at a reasonable price since they hold value so well, but this same strategy does not work for scopes. Nobody wants someone else’s old scope for obvious reasons, so unless it’s attached to the gun you’re selling it’s basically an asset that can’t be recovered. Thus money spent on a cheap scope is wasted.

    Basically spend your money on a good scope today and upgrade the rifle later. You won’t lose value or waste precious dollars with this strategy.

  • 8×57

    September 15, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    Expensive scope, old gun. If you get an old enough gun, it will be so much better than anything cheapish produced today.

    Now I live in the land of cheap old commercial mausers, and managed to get a barely hunted with 30-06 from the 50’s. After getting it up to modern standards with rail, match trigger, a nicer stock and what not I would still have to pay twice as much for the most basic of cheap rugers or howas or savages.

    Just learn to know what to look for. Learn to see how a good barrel looks like, learn to check safetys for function and above all else, test a potential rifle with good ammo at a range.

    Now I realise that in the USA you can get a rifle for next to nothing, and the allure of having something completely new is big. But a cheap new rifle will still feel cheap after several years, where as a good old winchester, even the simple push feeds from the 90’s or an older rem 700 from the 80’s or 90’s will still feel rock solid a couple generations from now.

    Oh, and when you find a model of rifle you like, learn as much as you can about it before you buy.

  • Duckin_Tundra

    September 15, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    Depends if you mean a 1500$ scope and an old gun or a 800$ scope and a 700$ rifle. Or if your prices are much different. In the above case I’d take the new gun and new scope. But It if you are talking about an old gun and a 500$ scope vs new gun and new scope… in that case I’d take the old gun new scope.

    For hunting purposes in my opinion, the differences in a 200$ scope and 600$ are huge when compared to the difference in a 600$ scope and a 1000$ scope.

  • No_too_serious

    September 15, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    Could have someone restore your old gun. You may need to send it off depending on just how badly it’s beat up but a local gunsmith could get you an idea of how much it would cost and then you could weigh on having the best of both worlds with a nicer scope on a cleaned up rifle.

  • scubalizard

    September 15, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    While Swarovski or Zeiss are great scopes there are a lot that are on par with them with a fraction of the cost. The Leupold you mention is a great scope. What you should be looking for is a large tube dimeter (30mm or larger) and large objective (50mm min for the type of hunting you are doing).

    As for the gun, outside condition is just looks, just make sure that it is only cosmetic. How does the rifling look, older guns had a better manufacturing, but not the greatest coatings. And it is always nice to hunt with a handed down gun and keep the tradition going.

  • theBacillus

    September 15, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    Age does not matter. Is it accurate? Can YOU shoot it accurately? As far as pitting, you can clean it, or take it to a gunsmith to restore it. Especially of it is from the family, it is a memory, so never sell it, take good care of it.

    As far as the scope goes, a Leupold is a fine scope.

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