First shots with Ruger's 416 Guide Gun

ActionBob

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If the VX6 is out of your price range, maybe take a look at the standard VXR, in either 1.25-4 or 2-7... If you expect to go for Croc or Hippo or use it on PG, might consider the 2-7 for about the same money and still a nice compact unit. But advice from those more experienced on that would be good.

For Africa I would look at the Firedot 4 or the standard Firedot Duplex reticle. Personally I would not get the Hog reticle for a DG rifle for Africa, but that is just me... Don't want to be looking at extra lines and circles if a buffalo or lion in coming at me.... Hell even just aiming at one might be enough going on for me much less trying to figure out what line means what, even with the critter standing still!

Cheaper than dirt has these scopes for $430-$440... Not sure how much shipping is but I see them for sale locally for $10-$40 more and for that they will usually mount it and bore sight it.

I'm sure you can find a scope that will suffice for even less. But then I tend to spend as much or more on scopes than on the gun... My eyes are not what they used to be. And I sure do like the illuminated retical in any darker conditions or aiming at darker bodied critters.

I'm really going to try and get my wife to go with a VX6 on her 375.... But she will ultimately decide herself. She actually likes the open sights, so that is why I got the QD mounts.
 

ActionBob

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Elmer;
What magnification do you like for bears? What type of bear hunting?

TIA
 

Voodooracer

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Thanks, I will definitely keep shooting it! I do agree with using the illuminated reticle, I think I will probably go that route with the vx-r. The more I think about it the more I agree that the logos and lead marks in the hog line would make it pretty busy and distracting. The input you guys give me always gets me amped up and excited to get the project going!
 

elmerfudd555

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Action Bob: Mostly my hunting has been for black bears. I head to the thick north woods about 8 hours north of Montreal every other year for spring bears. Personal best is 396lbs which would have been a fall monster, and have taken several in the 350 class. Also shot one here in WV where I live these days. I hunted brown bear in eastern Europe (same or similar animal to our grizzly) a few years ago without success but only due to fading light and a crappy scope on a borrowed rifle! Saw the bear, just couldnt find the front leg for reference to make an ethical shot. Ive seen several blacks out west recently while elk hunting and am hoping for a color phase rug at some point in the near future. Color phase bears are common out there. Really want to go back to Europe or Russia and settle the score but got addicted to Africa after safari one and have kind of shelved that until I can put a leopard and elephant in the salt. (It would be cheaper to be addicted to heroin)

As for the scope(s) I had a 338-06 "beater rifle" purpose built for bear and hogs a few years ago. On that rifle I mounted a VX-R 3-9X50 and its great in low light with the 30mm tube, large exit pupil and illuminated dot. Definitely adds 15 min at the end of the day which can really matter with those two animals in particular. 3-9 seems about perfect for the variety of ranges you can encounter. Cant help but think it would be a great rig for leopard as well where legal to go under .375 cal. Ive shot a lot of pigs and bears and one elk with this rig and stuff just flat dies. No fanfare or "explosive" reactions. Just dead, right now.

I also have a 3-12X40 VX-R on my 257 Weatherby Mk V. That rig has the Leupold CDS system and I have dials for my favorite loads in that caliber. Ive range tested it and its on the money out to 450yds which is the max I can shoot around here. Very happy with this rig and used it for plains game in Africa just to piss off my PH who kept asking me why Americans are so damn addicted to velocity when everyone knows heavy and slow is the way to go. I said hell, Im Canadian, beats me....ask that dead zebra laying over there for his opinion! Been a great rig for Pronghorns and deer and Ive yet to be in a situation where I wished for more magnification....knock on wood.

I know there are better scopes, at a much higher price point but these two as well as the one on my 375 H&H have been very serviceable for me, and I think the price/value point is great. I have several of the old VariX IIIs as well as Nikon Monarchs and I think the glass is very comparable if not better. Leupolds rep at the SCI show told me the glass is basically the same as the previous VariX III so that kind of confirmed my thinking. VX-6 Im sure is another step up but I can have 2 VX-Rs for that money. Trijicon would be a great way to go but I dont think their glass is superior and the price point the last few years has gotten out of hand for what I believe is Japanese glass. (Good stuff but not Leica)

Voodooracer: Get the plain duplex reticle, trust me on that one. The other reticles will just add complications when you least have time to compute. The illuminated dot is always in the center anyway. If you want compensation for range then consider the CDS equipped models where you can crank in the range before shooting. Then your red dot will be where you want to aim anyway. I shot an AR equipped with one of the "hog" versions of the 1.25-4 VX-R on a pig hunt last winter and honestly liked the plain duplex versions I have better. Once you start using it you ignore the reticle anyway and focus on aiming with the illuminated dot. The crosshairs act as backup if the battery goes dead in my mind.
 

ActionBob

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Elmer;
Thanks for all the great info!

This Guide gun in 375 Ruger should be a very universal Rifle for my wife and for me as well. It has the stock spacers so can be made to fit both of us. I can see this gun being used first for lion and perhaps some plains game, buffalo, and possibly leopard. And I think it would be a great gun for brown bear and probably moose (where I would likely use it rather than my walnut stocked model 70, the wife likes the weather in RSA better than hunting season in N. America). I do expect it to have decent mid to long range ability with the lighter bullets and superformance loads.

Elmer you have a lot more experience than I do... If we go with VX6, would you recommend a 1-6 or a 2-12?

It will be Ann's choice in the end but I plan to push the VX6... Unless the clearance makes a difference, the eyepiece is slightly smaller on a VXR. She can afford the difference in cost;) I may just have to hold off a while on the new hand gun I want but probably don't need.

I do have a 1-4 Trijicon but it has lost my favor.... I think you summed it up. Other than that cool looking triangle topped single post is not as accurate as crosshairs. It is a fast pointing unit ( on 1x it is like red dot type sight) and maybe I should mount it for close up DG... But really not the best for a first shot on lion or leopard. It is currently residing on my DPMS light hunter AR10 deer stand/brush gun. Makes it look very "tactical" and that crowd loves it at the range. I have not used it on a hunt yet.

Thanks in advance,
Bob
 

elmerfudd555

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One of the guys in my bear camp had the 375 guide gun in the Alaskan trim and he seemed really pleased with it, and of course it did the job nicely on his bruin. Id like to have the 416 version but Im a lefty and Ruger is stingy with what they offer for southpaws. I will be heading in the direction of a CZ in 416 Rigby I expect.

I havent looked through the Vx-6 but for your intended use I think you would be fine with the 1-6. Very easy and fast both eyes open shooting with it set on 1 power and 6 power is plenty for the longer shots you might need for Eland or Brown Bears. These arent exactly varmint sized critters and generally are not shot at beyond a couple of hundred yds or so thus Im not sure what you would gain with the 12x magnification. The 1-6 might offer better eye relief? I cant confirm that but I will take all I can get on the heavier recoiling rifles.

One other option, since you have the Trijicon already, and its a good dangerous game rig, buy the 2-12 and mount with QD rings and set the Trijicon up as well. Then you have dangerous game and all of your NA and African plains game covered. Plus a spare scope for you and your wife.

I appreciated the low end of the range on my Buffalo hunt as I had several bulls milling around together at 60 yds and was able to make sure that there was nothing behind the one I wanted to shoot as I was getting steady for the shot. For my lion I started at low power and was able to turn it up to 4X to be just a little more surgical with shot placement. Close kitty, under 50 yds but in very thick brush with minimal margin for error.

I will say that I messed up on rifles for my hunt. I did bring both the 257 Weatherby and 375 H&H with me. Probably wont do that again as really the 375 H&H shoots more than flat enough for everything we encountered with Kudu, Bushbuck, Zebra etc and our longest shot was 210 yds at a Gemsbok. Could have saved some travel weight and I learned over the course of the 2 weeks that I really enjoyed both carrying and shooting the 375. Not a light rifle but carries really well. I have QD Leupold mounts on the rifle and could even bring two scopes if push came to shove and I needed higher mag for plains game.

Last comment: Im no expert. Ive hunted extensively in many places but one hunt in Africa under the watchful eye of two PHs doesnt an expert make. My hunt went well because I listened to the advice of my PH's. And I practiced a ton off of sticks, offhand, sitting etc well before my hunt. The toughest shots I made were the shots off of sticks at 100 yards with the PH and trackers looking over my shoulder to see if I could shoot.

Good luck!
 

ActionBob

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Thanks Elmer!
 

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