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People Using Rifle Scopes as Binoculars

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It all started when...

I was on an IN shooting forum that I don't visit much, but saw a post asking about .44 Magnum rifles- a common topic as our deer hunting firearms laws stand.

I shoot a Ruger 77/44 fairly often, so responded. One of his questions was asking for scope recommendations, and I suggested a 1-4X variable like I have on mine.

I checked back a couple of days later, and saw that among the scope suggestions, I was the only one to suggest anything under a 3-9X. My personal opinion is that is a bit much for the distance and target involved, but know it's a common choice, so I asked why it was preferred.

One answer surprised me. I kinda suspected it, but didn't think I'd see it admitted:

To use as a substitute for binoculars.

So here's the scene:

You are sitting there in the woods. You hear a noise and maybe see some movement, but don't know if it's a deer, a dog, or my kid who got separated from me while hunting in the next field. Your choice is to raise the rifle and scope it instead of using binoculars?

I asked this, and apparently the answer is yes.

Look, I know it's done, but I was a little surprised to see someone readily admit it. I was even more surprised to see them defend it as OK, and by more than one.

And people ask why I don't hunt anymore, so I can have the fun of crawling behind a log to hide from others.

Think I'm making this up? http://www.indianashooter.com/centerfire-rifles/14595-input-44-mag-rifle.html

The Four Rules of Gun Safety

1- All guns are always loaded.

2- Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.

3- Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target.

4- Be sure of your target.

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I've been informed by one and all that it's just fine to use a rifle as binoculars because (in no particular order):

- "But my fingers are not on the trigger".

Yeah, if a guy is hunting the next property over with his kid, and this kid is by the fence line when he looks beyond the kid and sees this guy with a rifle lined up on the kid, I don't think the first thought will be "It's OK because I bet his finger isn't on the trigger".

-Variations on "Just me and one other guy have permission to hunt that property".

Because nobody else would ever be within range of your rifle. No chance at all that the other hunter would push his permission any and bring a friend one day. That never happens.

-Or the similar "I know who is supposed to be there", sometimes followed by the extra stupid "and if they are there, they are trespassing and get what they deserve".

Oh yeah, that will hold up. No possible way anyone could be there for any other reason, like Cousin Bob came to visit and went for a walk before breakfast. I'm sure they would think to tell you, if they even knew. Or the neighbor kid's dog ran off and he or she is looking for it in a state of near-panic. No, go ahead, the whole world is your backstop pal, because you are allowed to hunt there two weekends a year.

-And my "favorite" excuse for almost anything: "I'm sure I've been glassed before, and I never got shot".

Well there you go, it's A-OK then.

I'm the stupid one. I should have known that anyone who couldn't see right off that using a rifle as binocs would never see why it was wrong. I don't know why I bothered.

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Ask them to try it at the shooting range to look at the shooters in the other lanes. They could even use the sights on their pistols as long as their finger was off the trigger.

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