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2-7x30 vs. 3-9x40

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2014 at 22:19
IdahoSkies View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: December/10/2013
Location: Idaho
Status: Offline
Points: 10
I recently "down graded" my binoculars to a 6.5x32 porro.  They are very handy, very light, and enough glassthat I still feel that I am seeing what I need to.  I have an ancient 4x Leopold scope on a .270 that I am thinking about upgrading.  I have 3-9x40s on both my other hunting rifles (a .270 (my wife's) and a .30-06).  I have had such a good experience with the 6.5x32s that I am wondering if I have been "over glassed" with my hunting scopes. 

I hunt Idaho (see the moniker).  This usually means wide open spaces, interspersed with heavy timber.  I do not think I have taken a shot at 8 or 9 power, (not sure I would really want to take a shot that requires that much magnification), but the 40mm glass would help in lower light.  As stated I after looking through 10x50s (way to heavy and really more than i wanted) 8x42s, and 6.5x32's I found what I though worked for me.  So I am wondering if the same is true for rifle scopes.  Anyhow,  I thought I would poll the vastly more experienced collective wisdom before I made a jump.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2014 at 07:38
3_tens View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Knight
Optics Jedi Knight

Joined: January/08/2007
Location: Oklahoma
Status: Offline
Points: 7130
More people start out with higher magnification. Then when wiser drift back to less magnification with better quality glass.

Edited by 3_tens - March/03/2014 at 08:16
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2014 at 07:40
anweis View Drop Down
Optics Professional
Optics Professional

Joined: January/29/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 965
Whether you "overglassed" has as much to do with what kind of firearm the scopes are mounted on as with the scopes themselves.
If you hunt in a forest, 3x 40 is great. If you get into open alpine meadows, 6x 40 is great. When checking the rifle, scope, and ammo before hunting, 8x or 9x 40 os great. So, your 3-9x40 is just fine, if it fits the rifle and it is mounted to fit you.
On the other hand, a large and heavy scope mounted on a light rifle just feels clumsy and alters the balance and feel when shouldering. I have 2-8x32 on a Win. Featherweight short action rifle and it feels perfect. I hunt with the scope at 3x. All my scopes are at 2.5x or 3x when hunting. On that rifle, a 50mm scope would have been horrible, regardless of magnification. On the other hand, i have 3-9x40 on a larger heavier, longer rifle, and it feels right. That scope would have been too much for a lever action 30-30.
On a lightweight muzzleloader with 24" barrel, i mounted a 3-9x40 and it did not feel right. It was ruining the balance of the rifle.  I switched to a very light 2-7x32 and it's perfect. I can hit 4" offhand at 100 yards everytime.
On a very light and short (youth, 19" barrel, 12" LOP on the stock) .223 bolt action, every scope felt too much, until i put there a 1-4x24 Nikon. The rifle is very whippy and light and really difficult to shoot without support. A big and heavy scope made it worse. The small scope just feels right when i carry and shoot the rifle. 
I check my loads and equipment off the bench, but i shoot 99% of time from realistic field positions (with scopes at low "hunting" magnification). I take shooting sticks and backpacks and everything else i use while hunting to the shooting range and practice. Half of my shooting is off-hand at 50 and 100 yards.  Fit and balance of a rilfe really shows up then. 
I do see a lot of "overglassed" rifles at the range. You know, weekend warriors and deer hunters who never leave the concrete bench and mount  6-18x52 scopes, but hunt 100 yard fields, etc.   
If your 3-9x40 is a good scope and if feels OK on that rifle and is mounted to suit you, no, i don't think you "overglassed".  
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