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Compound vs. rifle

524 Views 18 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  BigIslandHunter
I was thinking the other day, and noticed I've only got selfbows as far as distance weapons go. My brother owns a few rifles, but a Cabela's Archery catalouge was sitting on the table and I started thinking: which is better?

I looked through the catalouge and determined that a decent quality compound, arrows, whole enchalada, would cost about $650. A .30-30 sots only about $300, a .30-06 about $400. However, I started thinking about their uses.

In PA, archers get about two+ months of hunting, where as rifle hunters, except flintlocks, only get a week. Also, shooting a squirrle with a blunt arrow is a fine meat-making idea with a compound, where as a .30-06 would leave about four hairs and some smoke. Obvisouly, the compound would have more uses.

Both are relatively easy to shoot, but the rifle has about a 100 yard range with a scope, about 70 open sighted. An average compound has about a 60-70 yard accurate range. 60 is still about the logest shot evre offered around here in the woods, so they're about even.

Ammunition for the rifle can't be reused, so practice becomes expensive.

Compounds can be used in "deer management" programs in suburbs, where rifles can't.

Many newer compounds are more quiet than older ones, so they function more like recurves, which is better for those who are "gun shy" or have sensitive hearing.

Anyway. Far from the original idea that brought this u[, I began wodnering if the compound bow has replaced the rifle in terms of usefulness. Any thoughts? I don't own either, so I could be just blwoing smoke. I know most of you own both, so I'd like to see what you all think about it?
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i dont really have an answer for you , but rifle season is 2 weeks here in pa.

a scoped rifle has a accurate range of much more than 100yds,
and even though compound bows can be very accurate at 60-70 yds ,
MANY people using them DONT possess the ability to be able to shoot accurately enough with them to even consider taking a 60-70yd shot.
 

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well it depends on the situation. there is over 1,000$ invested on my compound. My dad has a bunch of reloading equipment for his gun shells. Then again almost every hunter agrees that bow hunting is alot more exilerating.
 

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This is why I asked. I don't know. I just have a few examples to go on. The few rifle hunters (guys who shoot just rifles for deer) said they can only shoot about 100 yards, and my brother said he can't shoot past 70 with open sights. Of course, I've seen videos on Ripley's of a man shooting three shots into a buffulo target with a flintlock at 200 yards.

I also only have one example of a compounder who shoots as much as I do, and he can shoot a roughly 8" group at 100 yards.

And I don't pay enough attention to rifle season to know it lasts two weeks.
 

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well it depends on the situation. there is over 1,000$ invested on my compound. My dad has a bunch of reloading equipment for his gun shells. Then again almost every hunter agrees that bow hunting is alot more exilerating.

you can reuse the brass or hull but you need to buy powder and slugs, wads, or shot depending on what your reloding. Unless you lose an arrow you can reuse it for long periods of time unless you lose it or miss and splinet or bend the arrow.

rifles are capable of much more accuracy than a bow and at way longer distances so if i wanted just meat i would hunt hard with a rifle through gun season
 

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My 7wsm has enough KE to drop an elk at 800 yds- which is way longer than my effective shooting range (I can hit an elk-sized cutout at a measured 800yds, but my rangefinder can't see anything past 400 yds). On public land in Montana, you get alot of long range opportunities for elk, muleys, and pronghorns. Whiteys are much easier for me to hunt with archery equipment, though. They tend to live on agricultural private land. Just about every rancher has had cattle shot, or irrigation equipment shot up by rifle hunters (either a bad shot, or an unexpected pass through), so they tend to welcome archery hunters and turn away rifles. Rifle hunters have earned a pretty sketchy reputation over the last 20 years in Montana. Archery attracts a more dedicated and skilled cross section of the general population due to the increased challenge invloved with closing the distance and the increased potential for 'operator error'. Rifles give a hunter an easy way to substitute technology for skill- problem is, if you don't practice with a rifle, you don't hit what you're aiming at either. This is where I see most rifle hunters fail. My buddy Ross can shoot smiley faces in a target out to 400 yds- he's scary good with a rifle and pretty much always drops his game with 1 shot. I have another buddy who shot at an elk 5 times at 100- 200 yds with a 7wsm without killing it. The blood trail died after a mile.
Pretty much all of the guys I know who hunt with rifles have lost game after making a bad shot- same as archery hunters. To me, it doesn't seem to matter what you hunt with, if you don't put in the time and effort, you mess up. Having said all that, if rifles weren't more useful to most folks, you'd see alot more archers out there....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
My 7wsm has enough KE to drop an elk at 800 yds- which is way longer than my effective shooting range (I can hit an elk-sized cutout at a measured 800yds, but my rangefinder can't see anything past 400 yds). On public land in Montana, you get alot of long range opportunities for elk, muleys, and pronghorns. Whiteys are much easier for me to hunt with archery equipment, though. They tend to live on agricultural private land. Just about every rancher has had cattle shot, or irrigation equipment shot up by rifle hunters (either a bad shot, or an unexpected pass through), so they tend to welcome archery hunters and turn away rifles. Rifle hunters have earned a pretty sketchy reputation over the last 20 years in Montana. Archery attracts a more dedicated and skilled cross section of the general population due to the increased challenge invloved with closing the distance and the increased potential for 'operator error'. Rifles give a hunter an easy way to substitute technology for skill- problem is, if you don't practice with a rifle, you don't hit what you're aiming at either. This is where I see most rifle hunters fail. My buddy Ross can shoot smiley faces in a target out to 400 yds- he's scary good with a rifle and pretty much always drops his game with 1 shot. I have another buddy who shot at an elk 5 times at 100- 200 yds with a 7wsm without killing it. The blood trail died after a mile.
Pretty much all of the guys I know who hunt with rifles have lost game after making a bad shot- same as archery hunters. To me, it doesn't seem to matter what you hunt with, if you don't put in the time and effort, you mess up. Having said all that, if rifles weren't more useful to most folks, you'd see alot more archers out there....
In terms of killing power, a bow is a toy compared to a rifle. A bow, any kind, is just not a widespread weapon for destruction.

In terms of a regular use hunting weapon is where I'm wondering about the comparison. As you said, people look more kindly on archers, or don't think they're dangerous enough that letting you hunt in the suburbs is a bad idea. Management programs only allow compound bows for the most part, or trad bows if you're good enough with it, as they don't want a bullet going through the deer and crashing trhough the wall of someone's house. So you would get alot more opportunity that you couldn't with the bow.

It seems like most people give it to their guns in terms of usefulness. Does no one think their compound is more useful than their gun?
 

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i dont think that one has replaced the other or anything. they are both very different and have ups and downs. the rifle has more range takes less movement the bow is more challenging and to me a lot more fun and in va we get a month of bow early and a month late where rifle is only two weeks not to mention the urban bow season that opens sept 6
 

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is a it depends on the situation, i say the 30-06 is the better if you are hunting more than one type of big game[like elk and deer, etc], but i have to disagree with you on one thing, a good rifle sighted in properly, can shoot
150 + yards, but .i agree with you 100% about the compound bows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
is a it depends on the situation, i say the 30-06 is the better if you are hunting more than one type of big game[like elk and deer, etc], but i have to disagree with you on one thing, a good rifle sighted in properly, can shoot
150 + yards, but .i agree with you 100% about the compound bows.
Like I said, I don't know rifles. My father and my brother own them, but they are open-sighted.

But I wonder, why do you think a rifle is better for different big game, and not a bow?
 

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I don't see how you can compare the two honestly. One, depending on the caliber you can get enough KE to kill out past 1000 yards, the other, as far as hunting is concerned, you're lucky (;)) if you shoot accurately enough to kill out past 40 yards.
Two TOTAL different types of hunting.
 

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all i have to say is the rifle is way more useful......its just as hard( yes you get a longer range but you have to be able to hit it at that range....)
with my ar-15 i can kill a deer at 300 yards( head shot) thats all i have to say.....
 

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Each has their place. I enjoy bowhunting alot more than rifle hunting but I still carry a rifle during when seasons open. Lots of times I carry both since its legal in OK. I have been carrying a bow to many times and have a giant pass within rifle range to not take advantage of using one when its legal. If one comes in close I have my bow and will use it. Last year I took a nice deer but 220yds was as close as he came. When I realized he was not getting closer I grabbed my .280 and dropped him. If you are only looking to get one or the other I personally would go with a bow. Like you said it gives you several weeks or months of time in the woods while a gun only gives you one or two weeks a year.
 

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if i offend anyone ..sorry.. but yes rifles shoot farther but my bow is the funnest thing to hunt with but im not about to go out hunting squirrels with it ..(arrows to expensive) you do gotta look between 40 and 140 dollars a half dozen for arrows i shoot acc which aint cheap ... like 90-110 a dozen i think . but besides the pont you launch an arrow across the woods at a squirrel you will get nothin but maybe a squirrel and 6-15 less dollars worth in equipment . see my point ? a bullet costs 2-3 dollars for a good big load . plus if you know wat your doing save you big guns for when you really need them and take a 22 or a pelet gun for squirrels and small game they are a ton cheaper .. i would much rather shoot 10 ..50cent 22 rounds then 1 of my arrows .yes i would rather deer hunt with my bow cause ive only killed two deer with a bow and i enjoy it (its quieter)but at 15 years old (now ) ive killed rouhly 40 deer with a gun . so it aint as fun anymore dont get me wrong i love hunting ...but a couple days ago i went out with my 17 shot a squirrel at 75 yards and i had fun with that . if i did it again itd be different (not as fun ) cause its easy to do with a rifle .because the point you can shoot so much farther you dont get the thrill of waiting or chasing it down .........do you guys get what im saying ?
 

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Here in hawaii we can hunt almost 365 with bow or rifle. We have dedicated rifle and archery areas. I use both. Bow is more challenging
 
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