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A Tale of Two Rifles - Need Scopes

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2009 at 10:14
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It is clearly the best of times. I recently purchased two rifles that are on their way to me right now, but I need to select a scope for each to make the package complete.

Unfortunately, my scope budget has decreased considerably since at first I was going to buy one rifle and put a nice piece of $700 glass on it. Well, that money went to the second rifle, and my budget has to be altered accordingly.

The first rifle is a Sako 85 Laminated/Stainless in .338 Federal. It has a 22 1/2" barrel and will be my primary hunting gun for elk, moose and deer or anything that resides in the woods or cover.

The second rifle is a Weatherby Vanguard SS in .270 Win. It has a 24" barrel and will be my long range antelope and mule deer gun.

The kicker here is that I expect both rifles to perform back-up duty for the other. In other words, the .338 Federal may have to serve as an antelope or open-country deer/elk rifle and the .270 may need to go into the woods every now & then.

As such, I'd like a scope with a bit of magnification on the high end for the .338 (I'd normally just go with a 2-7x and be done with it), but I am not willing to sacrifice field of view and low power, either. Eye relief is also key.

The .270 will need a scope that has a nice low setting (say, 2x) but will need to have the magnification ability to make a 400+ yard shot on antelope a bit easier.

Since the .338 has to be more versatile, it gets the largest budget. I'm thinking $500 max, but I'd like to get by for $400.

The budget for the .270 is $350. I am not able to go one cent higher.

One point I'd like to clear up before recommendations come in: I am not looking at Leupold products. I've had a bad experience with them and figure there is no need to give my business back to them when there are plenty of alternatives at more attractive prices.

All ideas are welcome...thanks!


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2009 at 11:12
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You should give serious consideration the the Bushnell Elite 4200 in 3-9x40. I think that it represents on of the best scope values available today. I currently own 6 4200 2.5-10x40 and I wouldn't have purchased the second, third, forth etc if I hadn't felt that way. The great thing about they Elites is that if you are not satisfied for WHATEVER reason, you can return them for a full refund no questions asked. They have great optics, track perfectly, stronger than hell and are a fantastic value. I don't know of any other scope company that offers that kind of consumer confidence.

Edited by Roy Finn - May/25/2009 at 11:13
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2009 at 11:18
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Originally posted by Roy Finn Roy Finn wrote:

You should give serious consideration the the Bushnell Elite 4200 in 3-9x40. I think that it represents on of the best scope values available today. I currently own 6 4200 2.5-10x40 and I wouldn't have purchased the second, third, forth etc if I hadn't felt that way. The great thing about they Elites is that if you are not satisfied for WHATEVER reason, you can return them for a full refund no questions asked. They have great optics, track perfectly, stronger than hell and are a fantastic value. I don't know of any other scope company that offers that kind of consumer confidence.

Thanks. I've heard reports of limited eye relief in the Bushnell scopes. I like to shoot prone whenever possible, so having good eye relief is critical since I am not always able to get a solid shoulder behind the rifle.

How do your Elites do in these instances?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2009 at 11:19
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Pun intended, but I'm not sure an antelope would survive a .338 hit.  Though both rifles have some overlap, they don't share much.  What needs a .338 to kill might not go down to a .270; and what dies clean with a .270 will probably be turned to mush by a .338

Will the .338 have a brake?

For the .270, it is tough to beat the Bushnell 4200 3-9x40.  And at $299, it'll be tough to find something better that won't bust the budget.

For the Vanguard, I recommend Tralley lightweight rings.  I've mounted a few scopes on Vanguards and all have gone well with the Talleys.

For the .338, it's gonna be tough to scope for <$500.  Given the size of the rifle and the recoil it will generate, I would not recommend a 1-inch tube scope.  This is an ongoing topic around here, as some companies have recommended their 1-inch tubes not go on magnums and some have said, "no problem" - and Zeiss told me no 1-inch on mags and told someone else not to worry about it.

Ideally, something like a 2.5-16X  would be great, but they run a little more than $500.  With that zoom range, you get the close-up and the way-out.  You could put a 4200 4-16X on the .338 but that will give you limited elevation adjustment, and you stand a good chance of destroying the erector assembly with recoil, especially if the rifle has (or will have) a brake.

Another option - though I do not strongly recommend it - is a Kahles multi-zero to swap betwenn the 2 rifles.  For that, just put rails on both and swap the scope (with QD rings) as needed - since it sounds like both rifles will not be going out together.  There are a few on the sample list that, when combining the scope budgets, would come in where you need them.  And with the Kahles, you'd get far better glass than possible with a scope on each rifle.


Good luck, of all the problems to have, yours is a pretty good one.

I have a .270 and like it for deer and smaller (or fragile) game. 

A .338 and a .270 should nicely cover the spectrum of small game up to Water Buffalo (and yes, I know a water buffalo is the steel tank used to water our military forces - but a .338 could defintely take it out!)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2009 at 11:22
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Damn, foiled by the long post again.

Eye relief on the .338 is gonna be an issue (without a brake) unless you have lots of experience or are not remotely recoil sensitive.

I've seen a .338 Lapua detach a retina, but only because the idiot shooting wanted to prove his manhood and removed the very necessary brake.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2009 at 11:23
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2009 at 11:27
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For your .338 Fed, I would put a Zeiss 1.8-5.5X38.  Has 4" of eye relief.   I recommended this scope to a friend for his .300 Win Mag and its a great set-up!
 
For the .270 - a Nikon Monarch from  samplelist.com
 
9354 Nikon 2.5-10x42 Monarch 8407, Matte finish, niko plex reticle, 1" tube, fast focus eye piece, finger adjustable windage and elevation, factory reconditioned. $425.00 $299.95
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2009 at 11:28
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The .338 Federal is a necked up .308 and I don't think recoil will be a problem.
I like the recommendation for a 3-9 4200 on it and the 2.5-10 on the .270. Both of them 4200's, of course.
The Nikon Monarchs in similar flavors are worth a look, too.
I have had good luck with both brands.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2009 at 12:05
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I'd put a 3-9x40 on each and be done with it. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2009 at 12:13
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

Pun intended, but I'm not sure an antelope would survive a .338 hit.  Though both rifles have some overlap, they don't share much.  What needs a .338 to kill might not go down to a .270; and what dies clean with a .270 will probably be turned to mush by a .338

Will the .338 have a brake?

I think you're confusing the .338 Federal with a .338 Win Mag.

Using 200gr bullets, the .338 Federal has the trajectory of a .308 Win and the recoil of a .30-'06.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2009 at 13:04
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338 Federal is not a majorkicker, but in a light rifle it will kick a little more than a 270 simply because of heavier bullet.

Bushnell Elite 4200 3-9x40 recommended above is a very good choice and if you expect the rifles to back each other up and, sometimes, work interchangeable, perhaps it is a good idea to either put the same cope on both rifles or scopes of similar configurations.

3-9x40 or similar is probably the best way to go.  This is a very versatile configuration and there are some very good deals available for scopes of this type.

Assuming that the maximu per scope price is $400, here are some options:

Bushnell Elite 4200 3-9x40
Sightron S2 Big Sky 3-9x42
Vortex Viper 3-9x40
Weaver Grand Slam 3-10x40
Nikon Monarch 2.5-10x42

If you are worried about eye relief, Sightron S2 Big Sky has the most eye relief in this group. 
Vortex Viper 3-9x40 can be mounted the lowest and has a very contrasty view. 
Bushnell Elite 4200 is the most affordable.

Nikon and Weaver are available with MilDot reticles if that is something you are inclined to use.

I'd probably keep this simple and pick any two scope from the first three I list.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2009 at 13:16
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Originally posted by seattlesetters seattlesetters wrote:

It is clearly the best of times. I recently purchased two rifles that are on their way to me right now, but I need to select a scope for each to make the package complete.

Unfortunately, my scope budget has decreased considerably since at first I was going to buy one rifle and put a nice piece of $700 glass on it. Well, that money went to the second rifle, and my budget has to be altered accordingly.

The first rifle is a Sako 85 Laminated/Stainless in .338 Federal. It has a 22 1/2" barrel and will be my primary hunting gun for elk, moose and deer or anything that resides in the woods or cover.

The second rifle is a Weatherby Vanguard SS in .270 Win. It has a 24" barrel and will be my long range antelope and mule deer gun.

The kicker here is that I expect both rifles to perform back-up duty for the other. In other words, the .338 Federal may have to serve as an antelope or open-country deer/elk rifle and the .270 may need to go into the woods every now & then.

As such, I'd like a scope with a bit of magnification on the high end for the .338 (I'd normally just go with a 2-7x and be done with it), but I am not willing to sacrifice field of view and low power, either. Eye relief is also key.

The .270 will need a scope that has a nice low setting (say, 2x) but will need to have the magnification ability to make a 400+ yard shot on antelope a bit easier.

Since the .338 has to be more versatile, it gets the largest budget. I'm thinking $500 max, but I'd like to get by for $400.

The budget for the .270 is $350. I am not able to go one cent higher.

One point I'd like to clear up before recommendations come in: I am not looking at Leupold products. I've had a bad experience with them and figure there is no need to give my business back to them when there are plenty of alternatives at more attractive prices.

All ideas are welcome...thanks!


.............No matter the scope brand, there is always someone, somewhere and for a given reason, who has had a bad experience at one time or another....No Leupys uh?
 
Since your 338 Fed and your 270 will be used in the same terrain conditions or alternate as you say, a 2x on the low end is good for the woods and on the high end, 8x power will do the job even out to 500 yards.
 
With that stated, it would appear that a pair of 2-8x32 Nikon Monarchs would do very well for both rifles and you`ll save money in the process @ $289 each. You`ll have good eye relief (better than the 3.3" of the 3x9 4200), very good glass for the money comparable to the 4200, as well as good and well balanced magnifications for both cartridges for use in the terrains you`ll be hunting.
 
For the 338 Federal, I wouldn`t exceed the 2.5x8 magnification, while for the 270 Win that magnification is very ideal. It will accomplish anything that either a 3x9 or a 2.5x10 can do while giving you 2x on the low end with a wider FOV for the woods. 
 
A pair of 2.5-8x32 Monarchs offers great balance for both cartridges.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2009 at 13:44
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Oh!


A .338 Federal ain't a big'un?

Then I'd go with 4200s on both, for continuity.  Or monarchs on both.  I've owned both and had more positive experiences with Bushnell, but others have probably had other experiences.

Disregard all my prior posts regarding recoil.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2009 at 14:13
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ive got a 4200 elite on my .375H&H and so far the shorter eye relief hasnt bothered me at all, do i wish is was closer to 4"? yes i do.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2009 at 15:11
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Originally posted by pyro6999 pyro6999 wrote:

ive got a 4200 elite on my .375H&H and so far the shorter eye relief hasnt bothered me at all, do i wish is was closer to 4"? yes i do.
...................................Yeah!..........You haven`t gotten scoped whacked yet,,, possibly because you`re using a lead sled?.......Laugh
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2009 at 22:38
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Originally posted by Roy Finn Roy Finn wrote:

You should give serious consideration the the Bushnell Elite 4200 in 3-9x40. I think that it represents on of the best scope values available today. I currently own 6 and I wouldn't have purchased the second, third, forth etc if I hadn't felt that way. The great thing about they Elites is that if you are not satisfied for WHATEVER reason, you can return them for a full refund no questions asked. They have great optics, track perfectly, stronger than hell and are a fantastic value. I don't know of any other scope company that offers that kind of consumer confidence.
 
WOW  Roy I am proud of you..6 of them!  My 1 is on my 270Win and I love it!  Eye relief is not bad at all.  Clarity and light transmittance are GREAT!  I was luck enough to find mine on sale for under $300 (4200 2.5-10x40) with Multiplex Reticle.  They are Big Kicker Certified too so bring on the long actions & magnums!  That 338 won't be a problem at all for the 4200.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/28/2009 at 13:10
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+1 budperm i have the 4200 2.5-10x40 on a win. feather light in .300 wsm no prob. with eye relief and with the rain guard you cant go wrong. the nikons are good but dont have rain guard and spot up  in the rain.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/28/2009 at 13:33
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Originally posted by pyro6999 pyro6999 wrote:

ive got a 4200 elite on my .375H&H and so far the shorter eye relief hasnt bothered me at all, do i wish is was closer to 4"? yes i do.
 
Hunter...ya gotta shoot that cannon before the eye relief issue manifests itself. Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/28/2009 at 13:39
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The coatings prevent fogging on both the 4200 and S2 Big Sky. I have both scopes and they work.Also take a look at the Weaver Classic Extreme nice optics side focus with illuminated dot. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/29/2009 at 08:26
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I really like the Bushnell 4200s too, but don't forget about the excellent Leupold VX-II and new VX-3. Nikons are always third or fourth choice for me after Leupold or Bushnell.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/29/2009 at 09:07
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Another vote for the 4200 3-9x.

The recoil of the .338 Federal and .270 Winchester is just about identical, given equal weight rifles and 200-grain bullets in the .338 and 130's in the .270. This is what my shoulder feels and what recoil calculations suggest as well. In fact some people feel the .270 recoils a little more, mostly because its recoil is sharper, due to higher velocity.

Actually in my experience the combination gives quite a bit of hunting overlap. The .338 Federal shoots a lot flatter than many people would guess, and in my experience the .270 Winchester is quite adequate for game bigger than deer. I have seen it take a wide variety of big game both in North America and Africa and given good shooting (always the first prerequisite) and good bullets it has done quite well on animals like elk, moose, gemsbok, wildebeest, etc.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/29/2009 at 09:18
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Thunbs Up ya buddy! Thunbs Up
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/29/2009 at 10:19
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Take a look at the Sightron SII or Big Sky scopes...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/29/2009 at 10:27
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Originally posted by John Barsness John Barsness wrote:

and in my experience the .270 Winchester is quite adequate for game bigger than deer. I have seen it take a wide variety of big game both in North America and Africa and given good shooting (always the first prerequisite) and good bullets it has done quite well on animals like elk, moose, gemsbok, wildebeest, etc.



Then you have ckk1106 who killed a nice bear last week with his .270.  Just another example of shot placement over the newest biggest gigantor round. 

I am all about the moderate calibers as well, a 30-06 or comparable round is big enough for anything in North America and in many cases even a lesser caliber is perfectly adequate.

I agree about the 4200, or the Sightron big sky.  I have both and they are pretty comparable in my book.  Both tough with decent glass at a decent price.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/29/2009 at 12:37
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Originally posted by John Barsness John Barsness wrote:

The recoil of the .338 Federal and .270 Winchester is just about identical, given equal weight rifles and 200-grain bullets in the .338 and 130's in the .270. This is what my shoulder feels and what recoil calculations suggest as well. In fact some people feel the .270 recoils a little more, mostly because its recoil is sharper, due to higher velocity.

Actually in my experience the combination gives quite a bit of hunting overlap. The .338 Federal shoots a lot flatter than many people would guess, and in my experience the .270 Winchester is quite adequate for game bigger than deer. I have seen it take a wide variety of big game both in North America and Africa and given good shooting (always the first prerequisite) and good bullets it has done quite well on animals like elk, moose, gemsbok, wildebeest, etc.

This is precisely why I selected these two cartridges/rifles. I expect both to perform back-up duties for the other while still offering enough difference to make a clear-cut decision as to which is right for specific hunting applications.
 
Of course, taking the .270 Win on a pronghorn or open-country mule deer hunt is a no-brainer, as is taking the .338 Federal for black timber elk or moose in the alders. But there is more than enough overlap, as you suggest, for these rifles to perfom many of the same functions with similar recoil and effectiveness. The "back-up" function and overlap scenarios somewhat alter my normal thinking on which scope would be best on these rifles vs. if the same question were considered for each rifle on its own.
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