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Old October 4, 2000, 02:53 PM   #1
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I have an M1 Garand. My first deer hunt is going to be next year in So. California for mule deer. I am considering putting an S&K mount on my Garand. However, part of me thinks this is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. I am having a hard time seeing how a scope will work on this gun. However, based on what I keep hearing about low power scopes, I wonder if you really need a scope at all? I think I could easily make 0-100 yard kill with iron sights. 100-200 yards will be a little more difficult. However, It is my understanding a scope does not really make you a better shot. The scope will help in identifying the deer. However, binoculars would work too, right? Beyond 200 yards, I am told that, in general, it is a bad idea to take a chance and wound or gut shoot the animal.

I have been considering a Model 70 in 30-06 with a 2x7 or 3x9. I am not sure what to do. Do I pick the Garand with iron sights or a bolt gun and a scope?

Thanks from the complete novice,
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Old October 4, 2000, 03:28 PM   #2
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2 rifles is always better than one

since you have a 30-06 perhaps something in .308...

How much hiking with the rifle will the hunt entail?

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Old October 4, 2000, 05:01 PM   #3
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Yes, a scope does make you a better shot, kinda. If you fear not being able to make a clean shot over 200 yrds. then don't, but I wouldn't say there was a "high risk" of gut shots at this range, if you know your firearm, and can perform with it. The scope maginifies the deer making the kill zone appear larger, also, crosshairs cover up very little of the deer, you can pinpoint precisly where the lead will hit *theoretically*. With iron sights, you cover up the bottom half of the target, and have to line up the sights, and make sure both sides of the front sight have an equal amount of space by them. I don't mean 10 yrds equal, I meant 200yrds precise, because a knats hairs differents may be a miss, or worse yet, a gut shot. With iron sights I wouldn't take a big game shot at say, over 150, and that would be kinda a stretch, but with a scope, and a good solid rest, I'd feel comfy out to 300, and maybe farther depending on circumstances. My advise, if you are hunting the desert, with wide open hilly areas, go with a scope. And if it was my garand, I wouldn't put a scope on it. I guess you just NEED another rifle, don't cha?
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Old October 4, 2000, 07:31 PM   #4
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I wouldn't try to mount a scope on the Garand. Past efforts (M1c/M1d) have been problematical. Also, while I dearly love my Garand, it's a long, heavy beast to carry around all day.

Get a bolt gun with a synthetic stock (Win 70 or Rem 700, depending upon your religion...).

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Old October 4, 2000, 07:43 PM   #5
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Well OF COURSE you need a new rifle!

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Old October 4, 2000, 09:51 PM   #6
Art Eatman
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Go shoot a bunch of el cheapo ammo at beer cans at 100 yards. Don't use a benchrest. Offhand, sitting, leaning on trees or rocks...

If you can see the rear and front sights clearly, and have your rifle zeroed at 200 yards (about 2" high at 100 yards), you can kill any deer you can readily identify without binoculars. In other words, inside of 300 yards.

If you aren't going to practice, either limit yourself to 100 yards or buy some bolt action with a quality 4X scope...

But there's not such thing as too many rifles. (Or 1911s, but that's another forum.)

And yeah, weight's an issue--but my "pet" weighs as much as a Garand, and I plan on totin' it around this season...

, Art
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Old October 5, 2000, 01:18 PM   #7
Paul B.
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Dave. If maybe you are built like Arnold Schwartzenegger (sp), maybe carrying that
M-1 Garand won't bother you. I used to pack, many years ago, a 1903 Springfield, butchered to pretend it was a sporter. Very accurate, but at 9.5 pounds with a scope at 9,000 plus feet MSL, it got heavy in a hurry. I found a new Remington 660 in .308 Win. that the local hardware store was trying to clear out, $85.00 reduced from $120.95. This was back in 1973.With 150 gr. Sierra's, I got good groups (for me at that time) and hit one deer at 427 paces, witnessed. Allowing for terrain, call it at least 350 yards. This was the longest shot I ever took at a deer, and one I would not normally take as a rule, but the animal had been wounded and was getting away. The scope? An original Weaver 3X with duplex reticle. Did I feel handicapped? No. Did I feel I would have been better of with a more powerful scope? No. In 51 years of deer hunting, I have used the 9X of a variable only once, and that was to identify if the deer I was looking at was bald or not. (I had a doe tag and bucks were no-no's.)
Get yourself a Remington Model 7 in .308 Win., stainless and synthetic, put a good 1.5x5X variable on it. Leave it at 1.5 in case of close shots, and if the animal is that far out, you should have more than enough time to switch to a higher power. Besides. Some of those ultra high power scopes weigh a ton, and that would defeat the purpose of the lighter weight rifle. Just my .02.
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Old October 6, 2000, 08:55 AM   #8
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I just picked up a Remington 700 BDL Mtn .30-06, Nikon buckmaster scope. At 6.5lbs, I figure even an old geezer like me can carry it around!

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Old October 6, 2000, 10:40 AM   #9
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The answer to any question that begins with "do I need a new rifle...." is yes.
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Old October 6, 2000, 12:06 PM   #10
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Yes, you need a new rifle, and yes, you need a scope for it. Lot's of good calibers have already been suggested, so pick the one that best suits your build, abilities and go for it!

A scope does so much more than help to identify the target. (By the way -- hunters that use a scope rather than other optics to identify their targets scare me! If the target turns out to be another human, you have just sighted that person with a high-powered rifle! Scary stuff.) Scopes really come into their own during low light conditions or when the game is in any kind of cover. They also aid tremendously in shot placement, helping to hit an exact spot on the animal rather than just the animal.

Good luck with your decision, and have a great hunt!
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Old October 6, 2000, 12:50 PM   #11
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Do you need a new rifle? But of course! If there is an empty slot in your safe or wall rack, it *needs* to be filled!

But let's look at the question overall: Yes, it's possible to hunt deer with a Garand. I've hunted deer with a Garand for a number of years, mainly because cheap surplus rifles were all I could afford when I was young (remember when Garands were $150?). I also hunted with a P-14 in .303 back when those were $75 at a local shop. Much to my surprise, I once hit a deer at 500 yards (measured, later on, with a surveyor's transit) with that P-14. The tanned skin still sits on my library floor. So you don't need to spend big bucks to have a successful day in the woods. What you really need is a rifle you trust, and some practice.

A few years back, when it became evident that my eyes were no longer the eyes of a 20-year-old, I put an S&K mount on my .308 Garand and topped it with a mid-60s Weaver K4, with a "German" recticle. I paid $40 for that scope at a show. I also got a surplus leather cheek pad ($25) for the stock to make up for the offset of the scope mount. This has worked very well for me - I was surprised at how quickly I adjusted to the offset.

However, the Garand is not the lightest rifle in the world. So if you are seriously thinking of a new rifle, I'd suggest one of the newer Remingtons or Steyrs that have the fiberglas stock with aluminum bedding block (does Winchester make these yet?). These cover all the drawbacks of the Garand - lighter, weather proof, no fine walnut stock to ding or scratch.

Frankly, I'd choose the .30-'06 in the new rifle, just to keep the number of ammo boxes lying around to a minimum. But if you want to expand your armory, then .308 or .270 would be good choices - you can buy ammo at WalMart if necessary.

Find something you like - something that fits in your hands, and feels right coming up to your shoulder. Then buy plenty of ammo and schedule many trips to the range _before_ deer season. Practice bringing the rifle up to your shoulder, lining it up, and squeezing off a shot in one smooth motion. Pretty soon it will be second nature.

Best of luck this season,

Ken Strayhorn
Hillsborough NC
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Old October 7, 2000, 08:55 PM   #12
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Thanks Ken. If I were to put a scope on the Garand, it sounds like a 1.5x5 or 2x7 would be a good call according to most. Do any of the major scope manufacturers current make a scope out of steel as opposed to aluminum that will stand up to the pounding from the Garand?

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Old October 8, 2000, 12:08 AM   #13
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Dave, I don't think you'll need a "steel" scope. The garand is no more punishing than.... say a Weatherby "kill anything that walks on the planet" caliber rifle. And the 30.06 is definately not too much caliber. The weight of the rifle alone will absorb alot of the recoil anyway. I wish I could find a garand for a decent price for my dad. He carried one during WWII and loved them.

I'd keep the Garand for fun at the range and the times where you know you won't run into shots beyond 100 yards. When you know you'll hunt areas where shots will be beyond that, definately get you another rifle (can't have too many) and scope it with good quality optics.

Good shooting!

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NRA, NAHC, Buckmasters
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Old October 9, 2000, 03:42 PM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dave3006:
Do any of the major scope manufacturers current make a scope out of steel as opposed to aluminum that will stand up to the pounding from the Garand.[/quote]

Well, alas, no. All the major manufacturers have switched to aluminum, but that's no drawback. What you really need is a recticle and rising tower that will stand up to the reverse impulse of the op rod returning to battery.

Two years ago, when I asked him this same question, Gale McMillian said that all the quality makers would stand up to the peculiar requirements of the Garand - and by "quality" he meant Leupold, Shepard (yes, he liked those quite a bit) and the newer Weavers since their buy-out by the Blount empire. Of the Leupolds, he said to stick with either a fixed-power scope, or if you had the cash, a VariX-III. He was of the opinion that the VariX-II line wasn't worth the extra cash they cost over fixed power, but the VariX-III was.

I only have Leupolds and old steel-tube Weavers in my collection, but that's a personal choice. Some years ago I got into the habit of buying steel-tube Weavers whenever I saw them at shows so I've always had one lying around when a new rifle appeared in my safe.

Best of luck this season,

Ken Strayhorn
Hillsborough, NC
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Old October 24, 2000, 12:27 PM   #15
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This is a trick question, right?

Of course you need a new gun to hunt deer. Just as you will need a new gun to hunt hog, quail, moose, bear, coyote, etc. etc.

Seriously, while the Garand is a good shooter and has the oomph to make it happen, its a bear to carry in the woods. I would not recommend trying to scope it, leave it as is.

I would go for a Win 70 or Rem 700 or model 7 in .308, or 7mm-08 or something like that. A good 2x7 or 3x9 scope will round out the package and all that's left is plenty of ammo for practice.

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Old October 24, 2000, 12:32 PM   #16
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I would not rely on just a scoped rifle, I like the high mout so you can fall back on Iron sights in a pinch as you scope can get banged around alot in tough terain.
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Old October 31, 2000, 07:30 PM   #17
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Trying out a new type of hunting has been an excellent excuse to convince the treasurer that I need a new gun. It's worked to get me a new Browning .300 Win Mag and a Mossberg 835 Ulti-Mag in the past year.

Now she wants to try upland birds. I guess it'll have to be a pair of new double 12 gauges. The mossberg certainly wouldn't work for upland birds . . . . it's a turkey gun after all. It just wouldn't be cricket, what with all that camoflage.

"Anyone feel like saluting the flag which the strutting ATF and FBI gleefully raised over the smoldering crematorium of Waco, back in April of ‘93?" -Vin Suprynowicz

[This message has been edited by deanf (edited October 31, 2000).]
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