Scope or Red Dot

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Scope or Red Dot

Postby Rhinelander » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:20 pm

I have three muzzleloaders with Williams peep sites on them. But at 56 my eyes are getting old. Wisconsin changed its requirements for muzzleloaders that now allow the use of powered scope. In my neck of the northwoods of Wisconsin it is rare that I could harvest a whitetail beyound 100 yards. I want to replace the peep sight on my TC Omega with either a variable scope or a red dot. I would like to hear your suggestions.
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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby Lee 9 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:20 pm

I am one of these people who like to try everything, so I had to have a couple of red dots. I find they have some drawbacks on a rifle i do like them on a pistol.
The drawbacks are when hunting the Red Dot even at low level makes low light shots difficult to impossible whereas I could make the same shots with a good low power scope with a large front lens.
For target the red dot covers to much of the target at 100 yds for good group shooting.
For Wisconsin a 30 mm x 1 power worked very well for me.
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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby Semisane » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:43 am

I'm with Lee. Tried a red dot on a muzzle loader and found it almost useless for hunting in the early morning and late evening.

My favorite muzzleloading scope is the 4X Simmons ProDiamond shotgun scope. I like it so much I have it on three TC Renegades, a TC Omega, and a Marlin lever action. This scope is trim in size, clear, great in low light, and tough as nails. And 4X is fine at close range and all that's needed out to 200 yards.

http://www.natchezss.com/product.cfm?co ... c=exrbSrch

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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby cayuga » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:39 am

I did the Red Dot episode when Wisconsin did not allow scopes with magnification. I was very disappointed with them. They work great light permitting. But when shadows come around, exactly when you would think the scope would be of a benefit, they fail. The Red Dots I own are Bushnell Trophy Red Dots. Not overly expensive, but still.. Anyway, I had one on a Wolverine LK-II. I was in a tree stand overlooking a small field. It was almost closing time of the day and out walks a relatively nice buck. Nothing great, but hey.. I fill freezers not walls. Put the red dot on the small dot, took aim and because of the poor light gathering capabilities of the RED DOT... the deer disappeared almost completely in the Dot. Sure the red dot was there, but when you can't place it on the animal, you can't shoot. Also the dot, grew a half moon. I had learned from range practice to ignore the half moon and just concentrate on the dot. But instead.. I did not shoot.

After that, I went to the 1x scopes. Problem solved. Set the cross hair.. boom.. venison. Now that they allow magnification I use a lot of 2-7x32 Nikon Pro Staff scopes. One of my favorite. Also on some of the rifles I use a simple 4x32mm scope. My shooting like yours, is all very close. In fact 50 yards would be a long shot in my woods. 30 and under is the norm.

So I would definately forgo the RED DOT. Get a nice scope. The Nikon Pro Staff in 2-7x32 gathers LOTS of light for those last minute shots, is tough as nails and has a life time guarantee. Also I like the Nikon Omega 3-9x40mm. And on my tree rifles I use just a cheap Simmon 4x32mm and nothing better come within 100 yards of me with those rifles.

My RED DOTS... one is now on a .44mag Ruger RedHawk and the other is on a tactical rifle made for combat quick point shooting... but they will never go back on a muzzleloader. Also those 1x scopes.. I have two of them left. They work good if you don't want magnification. I am thinking of mounting one on my Knight TK2000 Turkey Shotgun, but the recoil in that kind of worries me.
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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby Edwardamason » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:19 pm

You have gotten some rock solid advise here from some members that share my same experiences with red dots. They suck when deer hunting for most applications.
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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby Dwayne » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:42 pm

Skip the Red-Dots. . . .It isn't worth the time or money to even own one. Take that same money and get a decent scope. . .a SHOTGUN scope, not a rifle scope. You will benefit a whale of a lot more.
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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby Edwardamason » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:27 am

This is what I love about this place. Some of the forums you go to you would have the resident "experts" telling everyone how wonderful red dots are and everything.

Just shows what a experienced bunch of hunters and shooters we have here.
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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby guitarpicva » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:15 pm



Great price on these! I got two!
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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby GM54-120 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:57 pm

I got one of the older 4x Pro Diamonds too. It has held up far better than i expected.
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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby Okie Hog » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:02 pm

The drawbacks are when hunting the Red Dot even at low level makes low light shots difficult to impossible whereas I could make the same shots with a good low power scope with a large front lens.


i tried a rather expensive red dot scope. The scope was great in bright light but after sundown it was useless.
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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby Dutch » Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:41 am

Nobody mentioned it here, but I suspect that the red dots give off light from the front end. More than once I have had a deer look directly at me from several yards away as soon as the scope was turned on. When I look at the front I can see a little red light "leaking" out the front of the scope. Mine stays in the gun spare parts drawer. I guess someone will have to get rid of it after I die! I am not planning to use it again. :shock:
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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby Hornet22savage » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:24 am

I my opinnon red dots have a place in tactical applications but not in hunting, You can get decent scopes for resonable prices. I have a Nikon Prostaff 2-7x32 on my Ithaca M37 12 ga. and it has not failed me yet. I paid $150 for it nine years ago. You will like a decent scope way better than a red dot turst me. Good Luck
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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby Peddler70 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:54 pm

I use a 11/2 - 6 X 42 Nikon Monarch Gold on my .45 and love it.

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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby bowcarp » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:38 pm

been using the search without a lot of luck what would be a good scope with no magnification , magnification not allowed in SD
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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby cayuga » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:54 am

bowcarp wrote:been using the search without a lot of luck what would be a good scope with no magnification , magnification not allowed in SD


Wisconsin for years operated their muzzleloader season with the same no magnification restrictions. I tried and used three different brands of 1x scopes. The first one I purchased was a Nikon 1x20mm. I mounted this on a White Rifle. It worked perfect. It made a very excellent aiming device and I felt it really improved my ability to place my shots. It was also the most expensive of the three I tried. I did sell that one. And would suspect the new user also had good results with it.

The next ones I tried were the Thompson Center Hawken Hunter 1x32mm. Again, less money then the Nikon but they averaged around $100.00 I think I still have one or two of them around the house actually. They were a good aiming device. They gathered light extremely well. And again I felt they really increased my ability at longer ranges to place my shots. I was able to break one of these. I shoot it apart I believe, as it fogged up on the insides. I mailed it to T/C under their warranty and they mailed me a new scope which I have not been able to break. The second one was also bullet proof.

The third brand I tried was a Traditions 1x32mm. These were $50.00 and believe it or not I never had a single problem with them. I mounted one of these on a White .45 caliber and could not shake it apart. I have a couple of them around the house too. If you'd like to try one, send me a PM and we can talk about it.

I felt that the 1x scopes cut my group sizes almost in half at longer ranges. The problem I found with open sights and long distances is.. was I holding the same sight picture. For instance, too much front sight, to fat a front sight, was the front centered in the rear... with the scope there was no question. Cross hairs on bull, squeeze trigger.

Once the State allowed magnification I moved to the 2-7x32mm scopes. Plenty of magnification, excellent light gathering, and the Nikon Pro Staff really fit my needs.
My short-term memory is not as sharp as it used to be.

Also, my short-term memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby Edwardamason » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:16 pm

The Nikon 1x20 that would be my first choice. Great choice of optics. http://www.midwayusa.com/product/670633 ... icle-matte

When MS had the goofy 1x law I had one mounted on a ML and it served me well.

Burris made a Nice 1x also that was very nice. Now discontinued.

TC scopes have been very hit or miss over the years. Lots of quality controll issues. I would tend to stay away from them if I was you.

Here is a killer deal on a very well made scope that should suit your needs very well.

While I do not have any first hand experience with this paticular scope I have owned several SI1's and for the money they are hard to beat. Much better than Simmons Bushnell or Tasco products. At $69.95 that is more than half of what they are selling for else where. That link takes you to SWFA. So its a trusted seller. I may have to order up a couple of those just to put on a couple of beater Ml that I have laying around even though I have no desire to really hunt with a 1x. Unless I am forced to hunt in a state that requires it like you are forced too.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sightron-1x20-S ... 20cfe87f0b

Chuck Hawks did a very good write up on this scope a while back. http://www.chuckhawks.com/sightron_SI_1x20mm.htm
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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby GM54-120 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:07 pm

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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby Rhinelander » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:26 pm

Thanks everyone for all your help. I have ordered the 4X Simmons Pro-diamond scope and a Weaver base. I have Weaver Top-mount rings. I will keep you posted on my sighting in results.
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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby bowcarp » Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:04 pm

add my thank you's to the OP's cayuga I'll keep your offer in mind , you've all gave some good info for further research , I can keep a 6" group at 100 yards with the peep but like Rhinelander my eye's aren't getting any younger and low light is whats really giving me the problems again , thank you
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Re: Scope or Red Dot

Postby rat trapper » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:18 am

The red dot scopes required the use of batteries. Have you ever picked up a flashlight and found the batteries were dead? Second, as others pointed out is the issue of being worthless in low light. The dot in red dots cover up too much of the target to shoot small groups. Best to go with a scope, as many others above have also said.
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