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Old September 12, 2000, 12:03 AM   #1
Dave3006
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Join Date: July 25, 2000
Location: Lake Forest, CA USA
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I have not hunted deer before. I want to go with a friend to learn. Currently, I have an M1 Garand in 30-06. We will be hunting mule deer in the Sierra Nevadas in CA. My questions are:

1. Do I need a scope? Which power should I get?
2. What would be a good load that would function in a Garand?

Thanks.
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Old September 12, 2000, 01:38 AM   #2
BadMedicine
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For brushy or close range hunting, you don't neccesarily need a scope, but for the seirra nevadas, which I suppose are pretty open with longer shots I would recommend a scope. We are not snipers, we seat our deer rifles with regular 4X32 by either bushnell or tasco are usually fairly reliable an moderatly priced ($30-50.) For our moose and bear guns, we put a little more value on our life, so I put a $100. 3X9X40 on my 375. You may want to go with a larger scope, I don't know how much you already have in your rifle, or how much you use it. Good luck on your hunt.
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Old September 12, 2000, 04:38 PM   #3
Al Thompson
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I've got rifles with peep sights and rifles with scopes. The scopes biggest advantage is allowing you to see the animal even when obscured by brush or shadow.

FWIW, I would not sell the M1. Either understand your limits and hunt accordingly, or get another rifle. Or do both.

I understand that repeated use of the -06 ammo over 165 grains can accelerate wear on the Garand system. I have no idea how many rounds this tabulates too before your operating rod gets bent - surely more than a couple of boxes.

I like the Federal Premium ammo w/Ballistic Tips (150 grain).

Giz
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Old September 12, 2000, 05:25 PM   #4
Dave3006
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I always here how the Win 94 in 30/30 has taken more deer than all the others. This is a gun with a very crude sight. I would not shoot at a deer farther than 200 yards away. This, to me, does not seem to require a scope.

Does that make sense?

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Old September 12, 2000, 08:00 PM   #5
Al Thompson
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Yep. Not sure how much a M1's front sight covers at 200 yards, but it seems do-able. I have some experiance living out west, but zero experiance hunting there.

Giz
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Old September 13, 2000, 03:14 PM   #6
Bruegger
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Another thing a scope helps with is positively ID'ing that the deer is legal if it has marginal antlers (this is assuming it's not a monster with antlers the size of an oak tree). In CA, as I'm sure you know, it must have a forked horn.
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Old September 15, 2000, 10:03 AM   #7
Strayhorn
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I had a chance to speak to Clint McKee (Fulton Armory) and Gale McMillan about this same topic two years ago, when I decided to put a scope on my Garand for deer hunting.

There are two things to keep in mind: buy a good, solid steel mount that won't work loose, and a good, solid scope.

The difference between the Garand (and it's brother, the M-14) and other rifles is the impulse imparted when the bolt and op rod fly forward. Cheaper mounts tend to have the mount holes "worked" by this action and the round holes soon become oval. With scopes, the rising tower and recticle tend to be worked loose - sometimes the recticle is broken by the impulse.

I've had great success with older, steel-tube Weaver scopes in the 4X range. Currently I'm using an S&K mount and a Weaver steel tube K4 with German post recticle on my "deer" Garand. I paid $40 for it at a gun show a few years back, prices run about $60 these days for older Weavers at shows.

My rifle is in .308, so I'm afraid I can't help you much with loads. However, ask in the reloading section of this board about loads to replicate military .30-'06 loads. You can't _duplicate_ those loads, but you can get pretty close using 150-gr bullets suitable for hunting.

I can suggest a bullet, however: the Nosler Ballistic Tip in 150-gr. According to Nosler, the Ballistic Tip was originally developed for use in surplus Garands, which is famous for jamming if you use exposed lead tip bullets. I've used BT bullets in .308 and they will drop a deer in its tracks if you do your part.

Best of luck this season,

Ken Strayhorn
Hillsborough NC
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Old September 15, 2000, 11:52 AM   #8
Dave3006
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Thanks Ken. I spoke to Clint also and am considering his mount. I am just torn between getting a bolt action and scoping the Garand. Not sure which to do. Can I ask you a few questions?

1. Do you use a checkpad to compensate for the height of the scope? Do you like it?

2. Were you able to get used to the way the scope mounts off to the side? I am assuming that at different ranges you would need to "hold over" to compensate.

3. Do you need to have a gunsmith boresight the scope on the gun? Or can you do it yourself to get on paper?

I like the idea of using my Garand because that is what I am familiar with. I just don't know if I will like it when I am done.

Thanks alot.
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Old September 15, 2000, 03:47 PM   #9
Strayhorn
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dave3006:
Thanks Ken. I spoke to Clint also and am considering his mount. I am just torn between getting a bolt action and scoping the Garand. Not sure which to do. Can I ask you a few questions?[/quote]

Certainly! I'm happy to help.

&gt;&gt;1. Do you use a checkpad to compensate for the height of the scope? Do you like it?

I use a military surplus cheek pad that you can find from all the usual vendors for $25 or so. After you use it once or twice, you don't notice it at all - at least I don't. It's like any other cheek weld, it becomes natural after a time.

&gt;&gt;2. Were you able to get used to the way the scope mounts off to the side? I am assuming that at different ranges you would need to "hold over" to compensate.

Once again it's a matter of practice. The only range compensation I use is the normal compensation for distance. I sight my deer rifles at 200 yards, normal for this part of the country. I've not noticed any sideways problems at other distances.


&gt;&gt;&gt;3. Do you need to have a gunsmith boresight the scope on the gun? Or can you do it yourself to get on paper?

I start out using my standard range cardboard (3 feet by 3 feet) at 50 yards. Any rifle should be able to hit a piece of cardboad that size at 50 yards! I adjust from there. With a new scope, I turn the adjustment knobs all the way to one stop, then all the way back, counting the clicks. Divide by half and you know how many clicks to turn each knob to get to the midway point. Set elevation and traverse to midway and you should be somewhere on the paper at 50 yards.


&gt;&gt;&gt; I like the idea of using my Garand because that is what I am familiar with. I just don't know if I will like it when I am done.

Well, it's always a matter of personal preference - just like automobiles. I like my Garand deer rifle quite a bit.

Ken Strayhorn
Hillsborough NC


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Old September 17, 2000, 07:14 AM   #10
Art Eatman
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In setting up for hunting, I doubt you'd shoot enough non-Mil-spec loads to hurt a Garand. What, six or so to sight in "for real", after you're basically sighted in with Mil-spec ammo? Two or three, at most, per hunt?

I'm lazy, so my initial sight-in with a scope is at 25 yards. Hard to be way off, or off the paper. Just remember that it takes a lot of clicks to move an inch...I just shoot once, adjust what seems to be correct number of clicks, and shoot again. When I'm near-center, I move to the 100-yard target.

At 100 yards, I shoot a 3-shot group, and then adjust the scope to move the *center* of the group.

Hope this helps, Art
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