Scope mounts and binoculars

dailordasailor

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Some questions I've encountered recently that I want to start planning for.

1. Have a model 99 savage that I have a 3x9 Nikon BDC which works great for deer/pig here. I also have a rem 700 30-06 with Nikon 4x12 bdc. Not planning to drop any money at this time on "good" or great glass for my first safari. What I am planning to do is upgrade the scope mounts. I read should have detachable mounts but the 700 dosnt have iron sights so basically useless. Currently figuring I should at least upgrade to really solid mounts like a one piece or whatever's available. Thoughts/suggestions for each gun?

2. Binoculars... Holy crap they are expensive. I grew up in upstate NY and now live near Myrtle Beach, SC. Everywhere I've hunted has been basically dense woods where all shots were under 100yds and most in bow range. Due to this I've never bought "good" binos. Reading all the hunt reports here I've been looking up what people say they have... I can't really wrap my head around 1000-2000 for binos I'll only use every couple years if I travel to hunt. Currently I use my scope or my Nikon range finder and that's been great. How crucial is real high dollar binos? Is there something like a "rental" out there somewhere?

Thanks for any help/guidance!

Dale
 

Royal27

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1. If the scope mounts you already have on the 700 hold zero in ould just leave them. If in ain't broke..... take the money you don't spend and put it towards the binos.

By the way, when you here folks talkIng about detachable rings it is typically for a larger caliber dangerous game gun so that the scope can be taken off for a follow up if need be. You can certainly put them on a .30/06, but not necessary.

2. Figure out what you can afford, and then spend a little more. ;) Glass is important but you don't have to break the bank. I actually got a set of Leopold Mojave for about $300 and I've been very pleased, but you'll here mixed things about them. The magnification is also important to consider. I got mine for thick hunting like you sound used to and at 8 they are great. For the eastern cape or the western U.S. I would prefer 10x.
 

blackdog001blackdog001

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The Nikon and existing mounts will work fine. Really. I have one or two-piece Leupold bases and rings on all my rifles and they work fine Practice off some sticks. The load and your ability to shoot are going to matter more than a $1000 scope. I have a Nikon 4x that I purchased 20 years ago, on a Model 88 Win in 308 that is adequate for anything inside of 250 yards (and my eyes are going). Don't listen to the hype.

Binocs - simply purchase the best you can afford. I have a pair of Swarovski 7x42 that I received as a Christmas present 15 years ago. They probably cost $400-500 new, as they were a discontinued model. They work fine. Really. Leupold makes excellent glass, as does Nikon. My father has a pair of LL Bean binos he paid around $275 and they are excellent. Again, don't listen to the hype. Unless you are hunting leopard over a bait, you probably won't be hunting in real low light conditions and any quality 7x42 or 8x50 +/- will work fine.
 

dailordasailor

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My worst nightmare is getting there and having one or both my guns be way off or I manage to drop it while there and nock off zero. Only reason I have been thinking of puting solid mounts on both guns. Here I carry on my back, tie to rope, climb tree, pull up with me and that's it. Africa would be bunch more walking with gun on shoulder. Hopefully just paranoia.

I like the price point and reviews on those Leopolds there and with some effort I could probably find some used for even better price.

Weathers getting better here and it's becoming range time since hunting is over for right now. I'll be making sticks soon and starting to practice.
 

Royal27

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On the rings, I think you're just being paranoid. And I think we all have that paranoia. I know I do!!!! :E Frightened::E Excited::E Nail Biter:
 

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The Nikon and existing mounts will work fine. Really. ........................ Don't listen to the hype.
........................... Again, don't listen to the hype. .............

What he said!
 

Austinkroe

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Just like everyone else said, if your current scope setup is working there is no need to change it. Make sure everything is tight before you go and maybe take the tools to tighten it with you on your trip.

As for the binos i think you tend to get what you pay for up to a certain point. If there is a cabelas near you then go there. They will let you look though all of their binoculars to help you make up your mind. Look through them all (even the $2700 swaros). It will give you an idea for not only the glass quality but also the ergos that you may like. Some binocs are better for people with glasses. Some will fit your hands better. Don't forget to pay with the diopter adjustment to get the most out of them. I would also recommend looking at websites for birding. Those people are really intense about their binos and can give some good insight.

Cabelas seems to be the best place to play with a huge range of binos anti think the trip will be well worth your time. There may be better stores in your area but you will have to decide that for yourself. Just don't worry about asking to look through binos you can't afford. It is a great way for you to see the differences in price and what the extra money buys you (over $1000 and you get in to a point of diminishing returns). I would have the swaros if I could afford them but it's nice to know that my binos are 95% as good at over half the price.

7x vs. 8x vs. 10x is a personal preference. I chose the 8x because I felt it was the best compromise. I also settled on Zeiss for my binos. The terra eds are a great buy at around $300. I have a pair in my truck for general use. When in the field I carry the conquests.

Give them all a fair look and pick the ones that fit you best. I would reccomend to buy as much glass as you can afford and pick the most versatile ones you think you may need (10x gives up to much fov for me and 8x is plenty of glass even to look at far off game). $300 seems to be about the price where the glass starts to get really good.

One point I think it is important to make is that it can be poor form to glass with your scope because accidents can happen. Binos aren't attached to something that is designed to kill.

Also give some consideration to how you will carry the binos. Some people like to carry them in a belt pouch. I prefer the harness from Kuiu. It's a great piece of gear and I use it for hunting and birding.

You can also look at some of the higher end pocket binos. I have a set of the leicas that are great. Really easy to carry. However they are not as versatile as the full sized ones. If I had to pick only one set of binos for the rest of my life it would be a set of 8x42s in whichever brand fit me the best and in the most expensive pair I could afford.

Once you get used to using binos it will be hard to give them up. I even carry them in dense woods. I have found that I end up carrying them with me in the off season just to look at other game. Probably one of the best pieces of gear I have because I use them year round. You never know what you will run in to on a daily basis and you'll end up seeing things you never noticed if you keep them with you.

With a 30-06 properly sighted in you should be able to shoot anything from 0-200 yards without changing where you aim. So I dont see much use for a rangefinder unless I plan on taking a really long shot. That's why mine stays in the pack most of the time. It really isn't a substitute of a good set of binos.

Food for thought. Sorry for the ramble.
 

dailordasailor

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Thank you very much for the "ramble". Very informative. Currently I carry the range finder due to spending as much time bow hunting as I can and then I was just pig hunting for 3 month small game season here with a 22 mag. I limited myself to 30yds on pigs so always had range finder with me.

Currently I "glass" with the scope because most of my hunting is from a tree and it always has to be in my hands anyhow. Valid point that it's attached to a weapon and not overly advisable.

There's a cabelas out by parents which I'll be visiting for Easter and will have to handle some binos while I'm there. I'm sure my fiancé will love watching me check out binos for an hour :)
 

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i use steiners but the ones i have seem to be discontinued . they are very good and very well priced here are some as an example http://www.opticsplanet.com/steiner-10x42-predator-binoculars-black.html
these are the newer version of mine
http://www.eurooptic.com/steiner-10x32-xc-binocular-2025.aspx

as has been said if your scope mount works and hasnt fallen off any time then its fine. on the binos 8x is ok but 10x is better, and i guarantee you will use your binos way, way more than you can imagine in the bush or just sitting around outside.
 

Royal27

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i use steiners but the ones i have seem to be discontinued . they are very good and very well priced here are some as an example http://www.opticsplanet.com/steiner-10x42-predator-binoculars-black.html
these are the newer version of mine
http://www.eurooptic.com/steiner-10x32-xc-binocular-2025.aspx

as has been said if your scope mount works and hasnt fallen off any time then its fine. on the binos 8x is ok but 10x is better, and i guarantee you will use your binos way, way more than you can imagine in the bush or just sitting around outside.

There is a rumor that Spike was asked to quit using his at the Hooter's in Vegas.....
 

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dailordasailor

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Austinkroe

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I think the rangefinder is one of the best tools for bow hunting and would probably use one instead of binos in that senario.

In terms of not using your scope to look at game, I was thinking longer distance viewing. I still use mine it thee woods but I'd you already know what you are pointing your gun at it isn't as big of a deal. Before I started carrying binos I had a situation that made me want them. I was coyote hunting on an open field farm and saw a coyote coming in the distance. I put my scope on the dog to watch it. Turns out I had called in my neighbors lab. Nothing bad came of it but I felt bad for pointing my gun at the neighbors dog. Switched to binos since then and have been perfectly happy.

As an aside, I think a set of 8x binos with excellent glass can give you way more detail in the field than a set of 10x with mediocre glass. Pick the ones that you like best but buy good quality glass and don't think that you will be able to see more with a set of cheaper 10x just because they have more magnification. (I have a nice set of 10x and use them from time to time so I can see how some would prefer them)

Cabelas will be a good trip for her. She will then know what it is like for you when she takes you dress shopping. My best advice to you is to take her dress shopping immediately after your bino excursion.
 

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+1 with Spike.t, in Africa I use Steiner Safari 8x40, you have plenty of light, so don´t need anything bigger. In Europe, where we hunt in low light conditions, I use a 8x56.
 

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