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Best scope for 300-400 yd shots on CZ 550/ 6.5x55

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/13/2011 at 14:00
newptken View Drop Down
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New to forum and would like opinions about my best choice of scopes for accurate shooting as described in the subject. I just purchased the subject rifle and have installed a new Simmons 44 mag 6-21 Mil-Dot. I would like to use  the best available scope for under $800. I have an opportunity to obtain a Burris TAC 30 6.5-20x50 Mil-Dot for under $400 NIB. For me to be satisfied would it be wise for me to opt for a better quality scope?
Thanks in advance for opinions.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/13/2011 at 18:50
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SPL14583 Zeiss 4.5-14x44 Conquest Rifle Scope DEMO-B
Click to view 5214559973, Matte, Rapid Z 1000, 1"
$699.95
SPL13629 Zeiss 4.5-14x50 Conquest Rifle Scope DEMO-B
Click to view 5214919943, Matte, Mil-Dot, 1"
$699.95
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/13/2011 at 20:22
Barnacle Bill View Drop Down
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I've actually got the exact same rifle.
 
I'm by no means an expert ("Optics Grasshopper" ain't no lie), but I've read from multiple sources a thumbrule to the effect of 1X magification per 100 yards.  Overmagnification = tunnel vision, or so I'm told.  Similarly, I've been given to understand that for a hunting rifle (which I think is what we're talking about) you want to mount it as low as possible so I'd tend to avoid objectives much above 40mm.
 
In that context, you can get a Swaro Z3 3-9x36mm from SWFA on sale right now for $748.95 - just a bit under your $800 budget.  I believe list price on those is over $1000, so it is a pretty good deal on pretty nice glass.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2011 at 04:42
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To begin, thanks for  your opinions. Probably need to give more detail about my objective. I just want to do some long range accurate shooting with an occasional deer from a resting position, no off hand shooting. I don't mind the larger scope because of the above, although I always opt for monting as low as the application will allow. I plan on some hand loading and it would be unwise to start out with an inferior scope. You guys have enough knowledge about optics you just automatically don't go there with some equipment. I would like to get a feel for where you're coming from in your decision making process. I know this can't be done in one post in a forum but would like to begin understanding the basics in scope selection. I have shot high maginification scopes and are comfortable with it. With a M 77 Ruger 25 06/ Simmons 4-12 44 mag I have easily shot 2" groups at 200yds. The Simmons has always performed well for me with some glitches. My objective is start with quality and don't have to blame my inaccuracy on my scope and mounting.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2011 at 09:48
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So... What do you think you will get from the extra magnification and lower quality optics?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2011 at 12:19
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Reason for my post is wanting advise, I need to know what the lower quality of optics are and which are considered better by those that know the difference. With the scopes I've used I have always been comfortable using a high power when shooting long range. Would the burris that I described be considered quality? Would all Simmons be considered low quality?
Thanks
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2011 at 13:52
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People get sold a lot of crap they don't need by murky marketing.  If you are working with an out of the box rifle  that is not of the varmit or "tackie-kwel" nature, then there are some pratical limits. 
 
Getting more magnification of a lower quality does not help.  The futher away you are going to shoot the clearer the optic you need.  In optic terms that means you need better resolution, not magnification or "just" magnfication.  Magnification without reasolution only creates a big(er) blur.  In other words, it will not matter how much you crank the scope up you will not be able to tell if it is a buck with a rack or a doe next to bush.   This sort of stuff plays against you on dark and cloudy days. 
 
This why you need to be able to justifiy every bell and whistle.  For example why do you need a mil-dot?  Why do you need 21X?  For 800 bucks you could have both a 3x9 Zeiss and a 16x or 20x Super Sniper for load development.   
 
The better 3x9 or 2.5 x10 or 4x12 to 4x16 scope should be the pratical limit for a scope that you can hunt with well.  The better Nikon, Bushnell or lower end Zeiss would be my first choices.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2011 at 17:38
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Originally posted by newptken newptken wrote:

I would like to get a feel for where you're coming from in your decision making process. I know this can't be done in one post in a forum but would like to begin understanding the basics in scope selection. 
 
Assuming this included me, part of my thinking is outlined in my first post.  As to the rest, I'd always go with the "best" scope available within my budget - that's my personal definition of "best value", the best I can afford.  Your budget is stated as $800, and that can buy some pretty nice glass.  I would tend to prioritize optical quality over just about anything else (with the caveat that it has to hold zero, but I don't really expect that to be an issue in an $800 scope).  I really think 9x would be way more than you need for the intended usage, and from what I understand the only point of a big objective is low light.  Meanwhile, higher magnification and bigger objectives cost extra.  If it was me, I'd rather spend the money on optical quality.  So, right now, while they are on sale, I strongly suspect that Swaro 3-9x36mm is the "best" scope your going to bring home NIB for under $800.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2011 at 17:47
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Welcome to Optics Talk, new members, Barnacle Bill and newptken. 


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2011 at 18:08
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Welcome to Optics Talk, new members, Barnacle Bill and newptken. 


Thanks for the welcome!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2011 at 18:08
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I would agree with Bill and would also consider the Accupoints from Trijicon.  I have one in 2.5-10.  I also have 2-12 Burris SixX, Burris 1.5-6 Euro Diamond, SS 10X HD, Leica, Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 plex (doesn't everyone have one of these reliable best bang for the bucks).

I became an optics junkie after buying my Zen Ray 8x43 ED Binos (another story).  With the Amber plex 2.5-10 on my 6.5 Grendel Upper.  My choice for the go to hunting rifle comes down to the rifle not the optic.  Of course, I have the best fit per caliber and likely use factored in.  With the exception of the Zeiss and the 10HD every other scope has been bought in the last year.

Which one do I take tomorrow if I go to the lease?  Most likely it will be the Savage 110 rebarreled in 257 Roberts (a hammer) which happens to have the Leica 2.5-10 on it.  I bought the Ballistic Reticle but I recommend not getting that.  I like the German#4 much better now that I have a couple of them in the Burris scopes.  The Accupoint has a amber plex which is Ok.  I like my stuff where the low light performance is great and you can see the reticle on dark backgrounds.  I'll possibly send the Leica for a #4 after deer season if those fine lines bother me too much. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2011 at 18:09
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Oh yeah!  Welcome to the forum.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2011 at 18:23
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Welcome to Optics Talk, new members, Barnacle Bill and newptken. 
 
Originally posted by 02Silver 02Silver wrote:

Oh yeah!  Welcome to the forum.
 
Thank you kindly, gentlemen!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2011 at 18:25
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Thanks to both for your advise. I understand your point about the quality of optics. I've never given a lot of thought to that but seems like a no brainer.
I have the ability to get a Nikon Monarch for less that half of what I quoted as my limit. Should I opt for the Nikon considering the savings?
The reason for wanting the Mil-Dot was to have the ability to shoot different distances utilizing the graduations on the reticle. Is there a better way to accomplish this?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2011 at 18:39
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My advice on a mil dot is go mil-mil (reticle and turrets), get a mildot master and learn how to use it.  I love my 10XHD and take it hunting outside of deer season some just to practice ranging with the Mil system.  With that criteria being your want, I'd go for the 3-9 SS as long as you don't mind the big turrets on a hunting rifle.  If you want a ranging reticle consider the Zeiss Z600 and Z800.  I forget what they were originally designed for ballistically but i am sure someone will be right along.

I had 3 Monarchs a year ago and now the one I have left is on my Mark II 22.  A good product but if you have 800 in the budget I would really think about something else.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2011 at 18:56
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IF you are going with a Mil Dot reticle and your using it for ranging, I'd opt for a FFP scope, like the aforementioned SS -3-9, or a fixed power scope, of some sort. If your hunting, a fixed 10x can be limiting, so your back to a variable.   

I've hunted with my SS 3-9x and didn't think it was too much hassle with the turrets. Matter of fact, I loved it mounted on my Remington .308.  

I'm not sure that the Mil Dot is an ideal "big game hunting" reticle, but it works. Your going to lose that last few seconds before total darkness with the Mil Dot, where you may be able to see a German #4, but it's minimal loss.  

I'm a Nikon guy, but as stated, with your budget, there's more out there for you. I too would skip the Monarch.

Glass, Mil Dot, FFP, $600......SS 3-9x. Wink
Get a nice set of rings, a aforementioned Mil Dot Master and your good to go. It's a great scope.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2011 at 19:19
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

IF you are going with a Mil Dot reticle and your using it for ranging, I'd opt for a FFP scope, like the aforementioned SS -3-9, or a fixed power scope, of some sort. If your hunting, a fixed 10x can be limiting, so your back to a variable.   

I've hunted with my SS 3-9x and didn't think it was too much hassle with the turrets. Matter of fact, I loved it mounted on my Remington .308.  

I'm not sure that the Mil Dot is an ideal "big game hunting" reticle, but it works. Your going to lose that last few seconds before total darkness with the Mil Dot, where you may be able to see a German #4, but it's minimal loss.  

I'm a Nikon guy, but as stated, with your budget, there's more out there for you. I too would skip the Monarch.

Glass, Mil Dot, FFP, $600......SS 3-9x. Wink
Get a nice set of rings, a aforementioned Mil Dot Master and your good to go. It's a great scope.  
Hate to be a dummy but don't understand your lingo, FFP... SS ? Make of scope?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2011 at 20:49
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First Focal Plane, SWFA's Super Sniper.  Start in the FAQ's read and read like I did.  I have some good Mil/Mil MOA/MOA literature in a printout but I can't share it with you until I get off of vacation and back to work as it is in my locker.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2011 at 21:12
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FFP would be first focal plane retical. This means that the reticle increases in size along with the target when you turn up the magnification. SS is for Super Sniper, a scope exclusive to SWFA, the sponsor of this forum.
 
I think if you are looking at a mil-dot scope, it would be best to dial in the shots with the elevation turret. The mil-dot wasn't really designed for hold over, but more for ranging targets. If you wanted to hold over for the longer shots, I would use a ballistic reticle designed for that purpose. The Rapid-Z 600 mentioned earlier would be a very good choice for this, and the Zeiss would be a very nice scope for hunting needs as well. Just of the top of my head, a 123 gr. Matchking with a muzzle velocity of 2750 with a Rapid-Z 600 in a Zeiss Conquest 3.5-10x44 would hit on the markings in the reticle at 300, 400, 500, and 600 yards when set at 8.1 power. I do have to tell you though, that with second focal plane scopes, like the Zeiss, the reticle will only be accurate at 1 power setting. When set to 9 power, you can also use the scope to range targets, using the hash lines at the top, or side. (I still prefer a lazer, but it's nice to have in a pinch, or just to play with) I use a 4.5-14x44 Rapid-Z 800 for similar purposes to what you state, and it's very nice for the job. If you are interested in such a reticle there is one on the samplelist right now for a good price.
 
 
You asked why you would need better glass instead of higher magnification, so I'll explain it, and tell you a story which convinced me that it's important.  Having good glass will help you make out detail much better than just making things bigger. This is compounded greatly in lower light. If you were to have "lower end" glass, and high magnification, you wouldn't have the resolution to make out fine details, like counting points on a buck, or if you had an antlerless tag, you may miss the antlers on a spike buck. If you were to turn up the magnification on that "low end" scope, you would make the exit pupil smaller on the scope, allowing less light to reach the eye, and everything would get darker, adding to your troubles.
 
Here is my story that convinced me that good quality optics are important. Two weeks ago, I was archery hunting from a treestand, and a 5x5 buck came out that I've been watching on my trail cams for 3 years, but never seen in person. He walked by my stand at the last minute or two of legal shooting light. I was getting ready to shoot, but decided I better range him. I didn't know for sure it was him until I pulled up my binoculars. (I knew he was big, but it was too dark to see what he really was.) I pulled up my Leica Geovid rangefinding binoculars to get a range, and that's when I knew it was him. Through them, at very last light I could see a 10" brow tine, and 4 other very tall points. I knew it was him then. I got a range, and was about to put down the bino's and shoot, when I realized something didn't look right. When I looked again, I realized I only saw 1 brow tine... and only 1 of everything else. The other side of his rack was broken off just above the base. Had I not had very good glass that night, I'd have never known it was him, and worse I may have shot him, not knowing he was missing one side. I was heartbroken that he broke his rack off, but I can hope to shoot him next year. Had I shot him with only half a rack, it would have been a waste of the biggest buck I've ever seen.  I'll also tell you that I have a 6-18 power BSA scope on a .17 hmr, and at 9 power through my Zeiss I can make out more detail than I can with the BSA at 18. I know that these scopes are in TOTALLY different price categories, but it shows you that better glass can, and will trump pure magnification.
 
Sorry for the long post, I hope it clears some of this up though.
Welcome to the OT!


Edited by trigger29 - November/14/2011 at 21:17
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2011 at 22:00
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Welcome to the OT,both you grass hoppers!
 
All very good info above..I'm another who beleives good glass thrumps magnification.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2011 at 04:26
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Thanks to all for your for your information. I have a different perspective now. I am currently going to be looking at better quality optics and lower power. I will be looking at my options in the reticle arena. I will look forward to further input that might be helpful.
Thanks!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2011 at 20:56
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As far as terminology and various riflescope basics go, I wrote a lengthy article on the subject a while back.  Perhaps, you will find it useful.  It is long though and it has put quite a few people to sleep.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/17/2011 at 08:34
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ILya is being his usual modest self... that article SHOULD wake people up.  If anyone finds it boring, they are not serious about shooting or optics...
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