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Characteristics of a varmint scope

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2016 at 09:37
Marine24 View Drop Down
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Curious on your input on the characteristics that one should look for in a varmint scope.

Let's assume a centerfire caliber capable of making shots on prairie dog sized targets at ranges from 100 to 400 yards.

Magnification range on the scope? (Assume VX-6 or comparable quality glass)

Reticle?

Tactical/target turrets or typical capped hunter turrets?

FFP or SFP?


Edited by Marine24 - August/30/2016 at 09:53
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2016 at 10:11
billyburl2 View Drop Down
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Mostly I would look for mechanical robustness in a varmit scope. If you are sitting on a dog-town, most likely it will be in broad daylight. Most scopes perform pretty well in those conditions. But a scope that can have the knobs twisted a bunch and be precise enough to hit little critters at 400,that's gets it for me.

And after switching to a FFP scope,I will never shoot SFP again. Being able to hold for either wind or range without worrying about what the scope is set on, makes me happy!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2016 at 10:12
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IMO pdogs are tiny, so you will want something with pretty fine adjustments.  1/4 moa is finer than 1/10 mil, so I would probably lean that way.  A pretty fine reticle, again they are small and can get hidden behind it.  SFP because FFP gets to big at higher mags.  I would pick target turrets and dial both wind and elevation. 

I had a Vortex Viper 6.5-20x50 with the target dot reticle on a .223 wssm and I thought it was a good combo for pdogs.  I smacked one at near 400 yards with it one day.  I can see where a mil or moa based reticle would be good for misses and knowing the correction do dial in. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2016 at 11:40
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Interesting observations but think I can understand why one is an advocate of a SFP scope and another the FFP.

My US Optics SR8's reticle is very thick at max magnification, but my March 3-24X is still very usable for precision shots at extended ranges.  Fine reticle is a definite must with the challenge that it could be difficult to see depending on time of day or background.

Daylight visible illumination sounds like a nice feature provided it doesn't cover the target.

I like the idea of a BDC/mil based type reticle for reasons already specified  Definitely see the value in the Christmas tree reticle, despite how busy it can get.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2016 at 11:55
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I would only suggest reticles of a known graduation. Most bdc reticles are only going to dead on with one bullet, at one velocity, at one air-density. With either a MIL our MOA based reticle, it will be easier in my opinion, to be on target.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2016 at 12:18
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On the subject of Christmas tree reticles.  I recently bought a Vortex Viper HS LR 2.5-10x32 that has the XLR MOA reticle.  While its very small below 4x at 10x it is still fine enough to use for small game.  THey also have a 4-16x with that reticle.  Not sure how big it would be at 16x, but if FFP is a want, that may be one worth looking at.  http://www.vortexoptics.com/product/viper-hs-lr-4-16x50-ffp-with-xlr-moa-reticle/reticle

It does not have fantastic glass, but the Viper glass is pretty good and pdog hunting is a day light hunt for the most part. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2016 at 15:52
Marine24 View Drop Down
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Good point on the BDC.  I was wondering how desireable a CDS or Ballistics turret would be, but would come with the same limitation.

The XLR MOA reticle is interesting.  Its fine reticle in the center would seem to fit the bill.  SWFA's new Mil Quad DM reticle also could be a contender.  Both are .1 mil.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/31/2016 at 12:04
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Do you need the 20X plus at the top end for a varmint scope, assuming quality glass?

Lot of negatives going to that high of a top end with mirage, FOV limitations and getting behind the scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/31/2016 at 12:35
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I never used that vortex over 15ish. Eye box got to fussy for my likes. But i dont care for any high mag scope i have ever owned in that regard. 15ish for my shooting has always been enough.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/31/2016 at 12:44
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My experience as well.  15-18x is my preferred top end on most of my rifles but hearing strong recommendations on the Leupold VX6 4-24x52mm.

34mm tube has a lot of adjustment range (68 MOA per Leupold) and I'm a big fan of the VX-6 optics.
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