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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Factory chambered 357 Maxi. This will be a woods deer gun. Stick with the 4x M8 Leupold or go with the 3 mao Vortex Venom??
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As long as the gun is sound (and it appears it is, from the pictures), I don't see a problem with any of it, but if you're going to be using it in the woods, 4X is actually a little too strong.
Best to replace with a 1-4X scope.
In the woods, you're not looking to see something far away, you're looking to see through the brush. Usually doesn't need a lot of magnification, but adjustability will be your friend in this case.
You'll probably find something around 1.5X will used a lot, but not always.
Another thing you might want to think about is to see if anyone (maybe yourself?) can make you an extra long forearm.
If you're hunting in the woods, that means a lot of low hanging branches which will snag your barrel like a kid grabbing into the candy jar.
Its really annoying.
The way around that is to set the front end of the sling very close to the muzzle (8" or so), thus the extra long forearm. Now you have an anchor point that is that much closer to the muzzle.
If you can't get it to within 8" of the end of the barrel, no sweat, just go out as far as you can (I got this idea from my dad who did that with his 94 Winchester and that's where the front sling swivel sits).
Now, when the gun is slung, it sits lower on your body and the end of the barrel barely sticks above your shoulder.
Branch snags will almost entirely go away.
If you already purchased the gun, congrats on your latest grab.
Good luck next season.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I bought it as parts from here and assembled it last year. I'll be hunting from ground blinds, shooting down lanes with 30-50 yard shots. Deer like to sneak along thru thicker stuff on the way in so your low power scope may be a better idea...
 

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You're welcome.
I did a (very) little research and I like this Bushnell scope --> Bushnell Prime 1-4x32 Riflescope RP1432BS3, Color: Black, Tube Diameter: 1 in, 17% Off w/ Free S&H
Also, as you can see from my signature, I have an H&R shotgun of a similar format to your rifle.
The end of my forearm is 14" from the end of the muzzle. So to make that 8" mark, I'd have to extend 9"(allows about 3" from the end of the forearm, to mount the front swivel on)...not all that far,
Your gun has a 22" barrel, right? So that would be 3" shorter than my shotgun.
If the forearms are the same length, that means you only need to extend yours about 6"....this many be very doable!
Anyway, some stuff to think about, because I get the feeling you're not always going to be hunting from a blind, right?
 

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Scope always for me, anything that doesn't provide magnification could get me in trouble or send me home hungry, not seeing spikes or nubbins on an anterless hunt or missing a point or two on a 3pt of better (6pt for your easterners) would make a difference for my old eyes, I'd always go for the low power scope, the M8 is one of my favorites. (y)

Tim
 

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scope for me, don't like batteries for hunting optics, plus magnification can give you a shot you won't find without it. I have shot a good number of animals "threading the needle" through a small window, that without magnification I would not have been able to do.
 

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Dave, i vote the scope too.
 

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Try both out in the woods. It's all about what you like.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Opted to put the scope back on. Thinking about a Leupold 1.5-4x20 for aesthetics as it's several inches shorter than the M8. I think the Venom will go on a turkey/deer shotgun.....
 
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