Red Dot /RSM for Dangerous Game

RLP

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Looking for advice. I am planning a future DG hunt for cape buffalo. The platform will be a Winchester model 70 Safari Express. I am not overly pleased with the open sites and am interested in adding a red dot /RSM? Any recommendations? Brand? MOA dot? battery? What do the experienced cape buffalo hunters ...
 
Looking for advice. I am planning a future DG hunt for cape buffalo. The platform will be a Winchester model 70 Safari Express. I am not overly pleased with the open sites and am interested in adding a red dot /RSM? Any recommendations? Brand? MOA dot? battery? What do the experienced cape buffalo hunters ...

What caliber of rifle will you be using? As there are many types of sights you could use, but not all sights work with the various types of DG calibers. It also might help to describe your eyesight.

ie. My eyesight now isn't the same as when I was a lot younger. On my 375H&H I have a 4-16 x 50 34mm tube with the optics set so I can shoot without my glasses. On my 458WM I'm mounting a 1-6 x 28, 30mm tube set at 2 power again adjusted to shoot without my glasses. Both scopes are SFPs to allow for fine tuning to my eyesight, allowing for better accuracy.
 
Looking for advice. I am planning a future DG hunt for cape buffalo. The platform will be a Winchester model 70 Safari Express. I am not overly pleased with the open sites and am interested in adding a red dot /RSM? Any recommendations? Brand? MOA dot? battery? What do the experienced cape buffalo hunters ...
I posted this in February...

There is a lot of discussion about using a riflescope on a dangerous game rifle (DGR) for close shooting. The options are instead using metallic sights, or a red dot reflex sight. The following are my observations based on substantial shooting experience and a couple trips to Africa. I am still learning Africa hunting but will share what I've learned about optics.

I have Trijicon SROs and RMR models mounted a third of the way down the barrels of doubles and a bolt action rifle. These are exponentially better than metallic sights for anyone who needs reading glasses. I remember Jack O'Connor writing 50 or 60 years ago that when a man needs reading glasses it's time for him to buy a riflescope. Great advice!

1712689868660.jpeg

Heym 88B with Trijicon SRO with 1 MOA dot

1712690369426.jpeg

1-4x Swarovski on Custom M70 Classic .416 Remington

I also have Aimpoint H1s mounted on Accuracy X target 1911's and a Pardini .22 for NRA Precision Pistol competitions. When I compete in the US Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) matches for Service Pistol and International Pistol (.22) I am required to use metallic sights. For those I have shooting glasses made special with my focus on the front sights. The targets are blurry when wearing them. I am actually more "competitive" in CMP metallic sight matches than in NRA any sight matches. Go figure...

I have a lot of experience shooting Trijicon and Aimpoint reflex red dot type sights on pistols and dangerous game rifles. On the rifles, the reflex sights being very much smaller than a riflescope making carrying those rifles easier. I wrap my hand around the center of the action and start walking. Or, balance the rifle over my shoulder with the muzzle pointing to a little bit aft and a lot to the side. The reflex sight is on the other side on my neck. With a scoped rifle, sometimes the scope rubs and bites into my neck over the many miles tracking game.

Okay, I like, shoot, compete, and hunt with quality red dot reflex sights. On a bolt action rifle I prefer an illuminated low power variable optic (LPVO) riflescope with a true 1x at the lowest magnification.
Why you may ask?

1. A riflescope gathers light for a crisp, clear sight picture especially in low light conditions such as dawn, dusk, or in thick brush.

2. The opposite of the above riflescope, a reflex sight must reduce the available light to function. Why? They need a coating on the lens such as the tritium used by Trijicon. The red dot is reflected off the tritium coating to make it viable to the shooter. This reduces the amount (intensity) of light to the entrance pupil of the eye. Think of this as a F-stop on a camera lenses. The higher the number F-stop, the less light entering the camera. In most shooting conditions this doesn't matter. At dawn, dusk, and in thick brush it may, at least it has for me!

3. The illuminated dots within my Leupold, Trijicon, and Nightforce riflescopes have a lot of different intensity settings. They are also ALWAYS well defined perfect dots. My Trijicon reflex sights do have many adjustment setting but their dots are a little fuzzy to my eyes, with or without glasses.

My slightly larger Aimpoint H1s have more well defined red dots than my Trijicons. The H1s, and I assume the newer H2s have accurate elevation and windage adjustments. I would NEVER consider using one my my Trijicons in a Precision Pistol match. Never! Their dots are not as crisp as those in the Aimpoints, and the windage and elevation adjustments are not precise. The miniature reflex sights are great for action pistol competition and for those desiring a reflex sight on a carry gun.

I mounted a Aimpoint on a saddle mount on my Blaser S2 double rifle. It's a great zero to 200 yard setup. I prefer a quick release (QR) scope on this rifle because it is so accurate. The Aimpoint however is small and weighs only a few ounces.

1712690609357.jpeg

Blaser S-2 .375 H&H with Aimpoint H-1

1712690661838.jpeg

Blaser S-2 375 H&H with Nightforce NX8 1-8x

4. The riflescopes have magnification. :) Of course they do! For fine work a 1x to 4x, or 6x, or 8x scope will allow the shooter to increase magnification and make more accurate shots through brush than an unmagnified reflex sight. Also the light defusing coating of tritium on the lenses on reflex sights does not help in these situations. How much magnification one needs is up to them.

Jack O'Connor recommended, before variable scopes were dependable, mounting a 2x or 3x scope on a rifle for an African safari. Back when I was a kid, about 50 years ago, a 4x scope on a .30-06 could in the hands of a good shot, take woodchucks out to 200 yards! That's what we did on summer evenings in Potter County, Pennsylvania. It was good practice! A 1-4X quality riflescope should be sufficient in the hands of a skilled marksman. If you can afford a high quality, higher magnification range scope, then buy once , cry once!

5. Rifle handling is to most experienced shooters feels better without a scope attached to the rifle. This especially true of mounting a scope on a double rifle. The scope adds about 20 ounces or more compared to a reflex sight that adds about 3 ounces. That extra pound my turn your prize London best into a fencepost. The same 3 ounce reflex sight on bolt action DGR for close range will provide better handling characteristics than adding an extra pound or half kilo of riflescope. One has to determine their requirements and select the best option for them.

6. Finally, I prefer quick release (QR) scope mounts. "There's nothing tougher than a Talley" is Talley's tag line. As long as one properly installs Talley or other quality QR rings and carefully reattaches their scope, they will not have problems. Rumors of QR causing problems point to operator error in reattaching the scope. Okay, I admit I did that once when reattaching a scope in my shop... Looking through the scope into the old Bushnell collimator showed a WFT! I looked again and discovered my operator error. It can happen! Practice everything we may do in the field until it becomes ingrained in our subconscious!
 
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Aimpoint H 2
 
What caliber of rifle will you be using? As there are many types of sights you could use, but not all sights work with the various types of DG calibers. It also might help to describe your eyesight.

ie. My eyesight now isn't the same as when I was a lot younger. On my 375H&H I have a 4-16 x 50 34mm tube with the optics set so I can shoot without my glasses. On my 458WM I'm mounting a 1-6 x 28, 30mm tube set at 2 power again adjusted to shoot without my glasses. Both scopes are SFPs to allow for fine tuning to my eyesight, allowing for better accuracy.
,416 Remmington Magnum
 
I posted this in February...

There is a lot of discussion about using a riflescope on a dangerous game rifle (DGR) for close shooting. The options are instead using metallic sights, or a red dot reflex sight. The following are my observations based on substantial shooting experience and a couple trips to Africa. I am still learning Africa hunting but will share what I've learned about optics.

I have Trijicon SROs and RMR models mounted a third of the way down the barrels of doubles and a bolt action rifle. These are exponentially better than metallic sights for anyone who needs reading glasses. I remember Jack O'Connor writing 50 or 60 years ago that when a man needs reading glasses it's time for him to buy a riflescope. Great advice!

View attachment 598497
Heym 88B with Trijicon SRO with 1 MOA dot

View attachment 598499
1-4x Swarovski on Custom M70 Classic .416 Remington

I also have Aimpoint H1s mounted on Accuracy X target 1911's and a Pardini .22 for NRA Precision Pistol competitions. When I compete in the US Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) matches for Service Pistol and International Pistol (.22) I am required to use metallic sights. For those I have shooting glasses made special with my focus on the front sights. The targets are blurry when wearing them. I am actually more "competitive" in CMP metallic sight matches than in NRA any sight matches. Go figure...

I have a lot of experience shooting Trijicon and Aimpoint reflex red dot type sights on pistols and dangerous game rifles. On the rifles, the reflex sights being very much smaller than a riflescope making carrying those rifles easier. I wrap my hand around the center of the action and start walking. Or, balance the rifle over my shoulder with the muzzle pointing to a little bit aft and a lot to the side. The reflex sight is on the other side on my neck. With a scoped rifle, sometimes the scope rubs and bites into my neck over the many miles tracking game.

Okay, I like, shoot, compete, and hunt with quality red dot reflex sights. On a bolt action rifle I prefer an illuminated low power variable optic (LPVO) riflescope with a true 1x at the lowest magnification.
Why you may ask?

1. A riflescope gathers light for a crisp, clear sight picture especially in low light conditions such as dawn, dusk, or in thick brush.

2. The opposite of the above riflescope, a reflex sight must reduce the available light to function. Why? They need a coating on the lens such as the tritium used by Trijicon. The red dot is reflected off the tritium coating to make it viable to the shooter. This reduces the amount (intensity) of light to the entrance pupil of the eye. Think of this as a F-stop on a camera lenses. The higher the number F-stop, the less light entering the camera. In most shooting conditions this doesn't matter. At dawn, dusk, and in thick brush it may, at least it has for me!

3. The illuminated dots within my Leupold, Trijicon, and Nightforce riflescopes have a lot of different intensity settings. They are also ALWAYS well defined perfect dots. My Trijicon reflex sights do have many adjustment setting but their dots are a little fuzzy to my eyes, with or without glasses.

My slightly larger Aimpoint H1s have more well defined red dots than my Trijicons. The H1s, and I assume the newer H2s have accurate elevation and windage adjustments. I would NEVER consider using one my my Trijicons in a Precision Pistol match. Never! Their dots are not as crisp as those in the Aimpoints, and the windage and elevation adjustments are not precise. The miniature reflex sights are great for action pistol competition and for those desiring a reflex sight on a carry gun.

I mounted a Aimpoint on a saddle mount on my Blaser S2 double rifle. It's a great zero to 200 yard setup. I prefer a quick release (QR) scope on this rifle because it is so accurate. The Aimpoint however is small and weighs only a few ounces.

View attachment 598503
Blaser S-2 .375 H&H with Aimpoint H-1

View attachment 598505
Blaser S-2 375 H&H with Nightforce NX8 1-8x

4. The riflescopes have magnification. :) Of course they do! For fine work a 1x to 4x, or 6x, or 8x scope will allow the shooter to increase magnification and make more accurate shots through brush than an unmagnified reflex sight. Also the light defusing coating of tritium on the lenses on reflex sights does not help in these situations. How much magnification one needs is up to them.

Jack O'Connor recommended, before variable scopes were dependable, mounting a 2x or 3x scope on a rifle for an African safari. Back when I was a kid, about 50 years ago, a 4x scope on a .30-06 could in the hands of a good shot, take woodchucks out to 200 yards! That's what we did on summer evenings in Potter County, Pennsylvania. It was good practice! A 1-4X quality riflescope should be sufficient in the hands of a skilled marksman. If you can afford a high quality, higher magnification range scope, then buy once , cry once!

5. Rifle handling is to most experienced shooters feels better without a scope attached to the rifle. This especially true of mounting a scope on a double rifle. The scope adds about 20 ounces or more compared to a reflex sight that adds about 3 ounces. That extra pound my turn your prize London best into a fencepost. The same 3 ounce reflex sight on bolt action DGR for close range will provide better handling characteristics than adding an extra pound or half kilo of riflescope. One has to determine their requirements and select the best option for them.

6. Finally, I prefer quick release (QR) scope mounts. "There's nothing tougher than a Talley" is Talley's tag line. As long as one properly installs Talley or other quality QR rings and carefully reattaches their scope, they will not have problems. Rumors of QR causing problems point to operator error in reattaching the scope. Okay, I admit I did that once when reattaching a scope in my shop... Looking through the scope into the old Bushnell collimator showed a WFT! I looked again and discovered my operator error. It can happen! Practice everything we may do in the field until it becomes ingrained in our subconscious!
Thank you for all the info, lots to think about. Semper Fi 0311
 
1712695721197.png

This is my RMR on my Krieghoff Big Five in 470 NE. A red dot at the breach of a double works best and it should be mounted as low as possible to keep its optical center close to the line of sight of the original open sights, thus preserving the original stock hold and cheek weld that existed when using the open sights. In the photo above you can see that my RMR dot is only a fraction of an inch above the original line of sight and the front sight. On a bolt gun, I like either a sight similar to an Aimpoint a 1-5, 1-6 or even a 1-8 scope as many, but certainly not all, stocks are set up for line of sight a bit more above the bore. There is a thread on this - RMR on a double rifle in 2020
 
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Trijicon sells a block with the correct threaded screw holes that can be machined to fit the Krieghoff or other doubles and makes for an exceptional solid and low mount.
 
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I agree that factory Buckhorn iron sights leave a lot to be desired. Especially with aging eyes.

my favorite iron sights are factory Blaser irons.

The closet I could find to have installed on my .300 H&H for sale is the NECG masterpiece series

I’ve shown the part numbers in the pictures. Mine work above the scope bases
IMG_3890.jpeg
IMG_3888.jpeg
IMG_3891.jpeg
IMG_3892.jpeg
 
I have an Aimpoint H2, Aimpoint Acro and a Leupold VX6HD 1-6. For your model 70, I’d recommend a LPVO with an illuminated red dot in the 1-6 range. Leupold VX5HD 1-5, VX3HD 1.5-5 options are also good and come in at a variety of price points. Leica and Swarovski offer excellent scopes in this power range if you want to spend the extra money. If you want a non magnified optic, I’d suggest an Aimpoint H2.

I put a VX6HD 2-12 on my Blaser R8 375.
 
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check out the Holosun 510 by itself or you can add a 3x magnifier that flips out of the way, it's batter/solar
 
I shoot competitively using red dot style sights. What I have found from observing and using red dots is that for me a bigger sight window works best. quicker target acquisition.
On rifles I like the AimPoint PRO. Super tough sight. Fantastic battery life.
EoTech also works great. i have seen one with a bullet strike on it and was still working. Battery life is not great. Still a tough sight.
Also if you happen to have astigmatism a red dot may not work for you. A lot of people with astigmatism see two dots.

On my 375 I went with a Leupold VX 5 2- 10 with a Fire Dot.
At 2 power I can still see the target clearly at 3 yards.
Also the VX 5 has no distortion up close on low power. My buddies Vortex is distorted at 1 power.

I started running scoped low power rifles while shooting 3 Gun. The ability to shoot a in your face target and then dial up the magnification to hit at distance was the ticket.
 
I put a Trijicon RMR 3.5MOA on my double and a Leupold 1-6X24 Firedot on my Model 70 375H&H and my 416 Rigby. If you turn the scope down to 1X, it functions like a RMR red dot sight.
 
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I use Trijicon RMR and SRO on my work pistol and rifle respectively daily. The majority of my personal self-defense weapons are the same setup, so I'm a big fan of Red Dot Optics, especially Trijicon. I've got RMR's on my Sabatti 9.3x74r and 12ga doubles, however the majority of my hunting rigs use Trijicon LVPO's (low power variable optics) .....1x4/1x6/1x8 depending on the platform. On my Winchester 70 375H&H, I run a Trijicon Accupoint 1x6. I keep it on 1x when stalking and have used it for my buffalos. Your 416 isn't going to be a long range candidate, but a LVPO will help stretch it out for longer shots .........just something to consider.
 
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,416 Remmington Magnum

I am a ph and outfitter
My daily backup gun os a blaser R8 in 416 RM
I have a burris fast fire 3 red dot reflex sight
It is great. Never given a days hassle
But i am doing quick back up type shooting
I'm not the client
My only advice to you would be
Possibly a low to med power scope 1-4 or 1-6 or 2-8 , may be a better option and male the gun a bit more versatile

U may track all day and the only shot on your buff could be 120m across a riverbed????
And then i wouldn't let u take that shot if you have a reflex sight on top of your gun….but a scope no problem
 
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I am a ph and outfitter
My daily backup gun os a blaser R8 in 416 RM
I have a burris fast fire 3 red dot reflex sight
It is great. Never given a days hassle
But i am doing quick back up type shooting
I'm not the client
My only advice to you would be
Possibly a low to med power scope 1-4 or 1-6 or 2-8 , may be a better option and male the gun a bit more versatile

U may track all day and the only shot on your buff could be 120m across a riverbed????
And then i wouldn't let u take that shot if you have a reflex sight on top of your gun….but a scope no problem
Extremely helpful, thank you for explaining.

RP
 

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