Scope or Open Sights for Elephant

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by LivingTheDream, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Elite

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    For of you guys who had the honor of hunting Elephants. Would you recommend a scope or open sights? PHs feel free to respond as to what you would like your client to bring?
     

  2. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    So I havent hunted ele yet and hope to next year. I've gone through this same exercise though...

    I decided I wanted to go open sight, but then @TMS told me I was putting a scope on my Lott.

    His reasoning was that unless a client shoots a LOT with open sights at animals they need a scope. That it is what they are used to and not worth the risk for the sake of nostalgia.

    My Lott has a 1.25x4 Leupold VX-R on it now.
     
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  3. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Elite

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    Interesting I thought open sights might be better due to quicker target acquisition. @Royal27 are you gonna have the magnification turned way down one? What gun are you taking?
     

  4. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Not to speak for him, but Simon's point is exactly that. The average client doesn't shoot enough open sight to be highly proficient in high stress likely in thick brush shots, especially follow up (Simon keep me honest if I'm misrepresenting out conversation in any way).

    I'm taking a .458 Lott when I go. And I doubt the scope will ever go above 1.25x, although I guess I might crank it up to 3x if I needed to shoot a Sable in the brush? :)

    I like variable power scopes a lot, but I always leave them on the lowest power setting, at least to start. I shoot better that way personally.
     
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  5. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    LivingTheDream I used a Luepold VX 6 on a ruger Guide Gun in 416 Ruger. On my hunt Pieter wanted me to make a side brain shot if possible. The double lung shot was not advisable due to the close proximity to the river that divided the APNR with Kruger park. Wouldn't want a wounded bull running back into the park. A frontal brain shot is the most difficult which I would not attempt without a scope except with a double! With the scope on 2x I was able to clearly make out the hair in the bulls ear hole. I aimed about three inches in front of the ear hole and squeezed the trigger. The result was the classic brain shot reaction with the trunk and head being thrown back and the back legs falling out from under the bull. He was dead when he hit the ground.
    Now all that being said my backup rifle was a Ruger Model 1 in 458 Lott no scope just the factory open sights! Elephant hunting will put you in very close to the animal....in my case about thirty to thirty five yards. You want a very accurate shot on the elephant so I'm glad that I used a scope!
     
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  6. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Elite

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    @Royal27 and @CAustin great info! I was really wondering about the frontal shot. If it looks all gray in the scope. I think what you were saying on the side shot makes absolute sense.
     

  7. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    If you are serious about doing an elephant hunt I highly suggest that you get Buzz Charlton's video from Safari Press. It's a great tutorial.
    The frontal brain shot has a lot going on! First you have to imagine a line running across the head through the eyes. Then depending upon your distance from the beast you have to judge how far down or up the trunk you have you have to aim In Order to hit the brain which is the size of a football. In short the easiest shot is the side heart lung, followed by, side brain shot followed by the frontal brain shot.
     
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  8. Pondoro

    Pondoro AH Fanatic

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    I shot elephants with a scoped .458Win. bolt gun....but my preferred elephant rifle would be a double rifle with express sights in a .450 - .600NE caliber..

    If you are used to iron sights and your eyesight is not to bad I would favor those..
     

  9. siml

    siml AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    @Royal27 , thanks buddy for putting me on the spot. I would honestly say there different strokes for different blokes. Through varies conversations with Royal, I feel a scoped rifle would be more beneficial to him. Scoped with detachable mounts. If the first shot isn't true and you need to track the elephant, open sights are going to be the choice.

    To answer @LivingTheDream , scoped with quick detachable mounts. You can always take the scope off, but can't add a scope.
     
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  10. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    So I stand corrected.

    It isn't the average client that Simon doesn't think can handle open sights. It is just me. :A Banana:
     

  11. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Elite

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    Detachable scope sounds like just the ticket!
     
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  12. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    I always heard you were a good shot Royal.
     
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  13. Roan

    Roan AH Enthusiast

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    I havent hunted ele yet but when I do I think it should be with open sights.

    They are the ultimate challenge and should be hunted in the ultimate way.
     

  14. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    :A Voodoo::A Voodoo:
    Well then get your spear ready and walk right up to the beast and jab him in the side!:A Voodoo:(y)
    Either way scope or not practice practice practice! Shoot straight and hit what your aiming at.
     
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  15. Roan

    Roan AH Enthusiast

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    Hahahaha.

    Gotta hit the gym and do some weights!o_O

    Poke n run sound fun.
     
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  16. BigJohnx13

    BigJohnx13 AH Veteran

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    I cant give you any advice on elephant hunting, however shooting a rifle scoped or not I can give you some feedback, This might not relate to shooting a heavy hunting rifle but rather my feedback on the advantage of using a scoped rifle . For 3 Gun shoots we fitted a ProPoint Red Dot (not any magnification) on our AR's. Shot placement improved nearly 50% with a much quicker sight picture and followup shot response. One of the biggest advantage is while shooting on the move or shooting at moving targets you cal pull the trigger although the rifle is not properly shouldered, and the shot will be placed where ever the dot is.

    So using a scope will definitely improve your accuracy (shot placement) on shooting on the move (you never know if you are going to move a few paces (rearwards?) if the elephant is charging) and shooting at a moving target (charging elephant). If you use a scope with a low magnification your accuracy will also improve. However sometimes it takes a little bit longer to acquire your target due to over magnification.
     

  17. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I would suggest a detachable scope.

    When I shot my elephant, we were about 12 yards away. My scope wasn't detachable (all are now). It was a "dangerous game" scope - low magnification - but at that distance, all I saw was grey. I'm not saying that's why I messed up the side brain shot (nerves was a more likely reason), but up close on something that big, it's just not that easy with a scope of any type. I have very little doubt that I would have shot better at that distance without a scope.

    I was lucky with my second shot - spined him - but again, I think with a moving target, the average person will get off a better shot without a scope limiting their field of view.

    If I had taken my first shot at 40 yards or more, I might have a different perspective, which takes me back to where I started. Detachable scope.
     
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  18. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    That works until your eyes get to the point that they have a hard time or can't focus on 3 things at one time such as the front and rear sight along with the target.

    A 2x scope works just as well as open sights and gives you the advantage of being able to place the shot exactly.
     
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  19. brettp

    brettp AH Veteran

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    I am going to hunt elephant in Namibia this coming year. I am bringing a 458 Lott built on a BRNO 602. I am mounting a Swarovski Z6 in 1-6 with the circle dot reticle. I was really leaning toward open sites, but I actually tested the speed of the dot scope vs. the irons and the scope was faster for me. I shoot handguns at speed a lot with irons, but rifle Irons just aren't as fast for me. Also, this being a true 1x scope with over 125' FOV at 100yds, it's about as fast as a scope can be.

    That said, I am using detachable mounts and if there is a follow up in really thick stuff, it might come off - but I doubt it. I also plan to do my job the first time and not get into that situation and I am more confident that I can make whatever shot is presented with the scope.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
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  20. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Elite

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    Alot of good points here. Let me ask this though how many have shot and I mean first shot at an elephant at over 30 yards? My impression was it gets up close and personal pretty fast.
     
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