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Fixed vs. Variable on .223

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bhunts View Drop Down
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    Posted: May/01/2008 at 08:30
Hello. I have always used 3-9 variable power scopes on my .30 caliber hunting rifles. Now I am planning to spend more time at the range shooting a .223 at 100-300 yards. Should I consider putting a fixed power scope on this rifle? What are the advantages/disadvantages of fixed vs. variable? Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rancid Coolaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2008 at 08:44
What kinda .223?  bolt or semi?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bhunts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2008 at 09:04
Bolt action.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote supertool73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2008 at 09:21
I vote for variable.  Then you get the best of both worlds.  I have a fixed 4x on my AR 15 and it works great for that, but it would be nice to be able to change powers for different shooting situations.  I think a 3-9x would work well for your said ranges.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Urimaginaryfrnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2008 at 09:29
That depends on how you use the rifle and what you want to spend. If I was building a range queen and wasnt going to use it for hunting I might put a Super Sniper 16x or 20x fixed scope on it. The down side to a hight power fixed is that when it gets dark the scope looks grey. A 6x42  has an exit eye pupil of 7mm (42 divided by 6 =  7)  and a 20 x42mm scope has an exit eye pupil of 2.1mm (not very bright at late evening but fine in bright daylight). There are a lot of scopes that you could consider and I would look at Bushnell 4200 and 6500 scopes and the IOR tactical scopes depending on your price range. If its about making little holes close together on the range you probably do want something in the 16x or 20x or higher range.  The veriable scopes give you the ability to dial the power down to brighten the image as it gets dark and lower powers are more useful for hunting but I have taken a Super Sniper 20x hunting and it can be done you just have to accept that the image will be a little grey and work with what you have.  A lot depends on your price range there are guys that stress about spending $300 and guys that can drop $3000 in a Schmidt Bender so how much you are willing to spend does make a difference. In the $300 range nothing beats a Super Sniper. In the $1000. range  things get real competative. Get over $2000 and it better be really special - Zeiss Diavari, U.S. Optics, Nightforce, Swavorski, S&B. If you are in the middle ground I would look at the Bushnell 4200 and 6500 scopes but they dont have enough internal adjustment to get to 1,000. yds like a Leupold or IOR tactical, but chances are you are only shooting 200 to 300  yds anyway because you need more bullet to go very far.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote silver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2008 at 10:06
The IOR 6x comes to mind as does the 10x SS... The 7.5x Metopa would make a nice range varmit combo. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bhunts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2008 at 10:07
I am not much interested in discussing brands or pricing at this point. I am just looking for more info on the reasoning for using fixed vs. variable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote supertool73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2008 at 10:15
Fixed will have less moving parts which theoretically could mean it is more durable.  But at this day and age I don't think variables are a problem.  If you choose a fixed, say 4x you are always stuck at that power and that is it.  If you get the variable then you have all kinds of options.  Personally I will never buy another fixed scope for that exact reason I want the options to changes the power for the different shooting I may be doing. 

For a range gun in .223 I would look at something in the 2.5-10x42 area or maybe 4-14x50.  I would go with target turrets so you can make easy adjustments for the different ranges.  I shoot 600 to 1000+ yards with 10x all the time and have no problems keeping good groups.    If you get a high power fixed scope then hunting with it becomes iffy if you want to use it for that.  If you choose a fixed scope I would stay 6x or less then it can still be used for hunting. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tahqua Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2008 at 10:42
+1 on what Supertool says.
A fixed would be fine if target was the only use. If that is the case even a fixed 10x would be OK. Like he said, a 6x would be better for all around use in a fixed.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mercenary1947 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2008 at 11:11
 The new variables ... descent scope .... are in  no way inferior to fixed . As stated all depends on the scope . If you want an only all out paper puncher then the scopes specifically made for that is what you want . You should go to the " TARGET " scope forum instead of here I would suggest . Those boys know more of what you may want or need for that .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rancid Coolaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2008 at 12:30
As per your initial post, there is no advantage, given your specified application, to a fixed-power scope.  None.  Now, if brand and price enter the equation, that WILL change.  Given that you wish to talk ethereal optics, there is absolutely no reason to use fixed for your specified purpose. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lucytuma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2008 at 16:17
My vote is for a variable, 3x9/4x16 comes to mind.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2008 at 17:20
Although I too would select a variable for this rifle in the 2 - 7X, 3 - 9X, 2.5 - 10X range, I don't think fixed power scopes are without advantages.  Although a variable offers a flexibility advantage, I think for some applications, such as rimfire, short range guns like lever actions and slug shotguns, and centerfire rifles used at relatively constant shooting distances, a fixed power is a wise choice.  Besides being mechanically simpler, all else being equal, a fixed power has slightly greater light transmission and often a greater FOV than a variable set at the same magnification.  In addition, it will usually be lighter and, more often than not, more compact than a variable of equivalent quality.  Some lower priced, 2nd focal plane reticle variables can shift POI as you change magnification.  Obviously, this cannot happen with a fixed power scope.  Given scopes of equal optical quality, a fixed power will also be less expensive than a variable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Remington700VS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2008 at 17:58
I would just go with the 10x42 Super Sniper; thats what I use at the range and works great.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Black Squirrel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2008 at 06:46
I'll probably catch flames for this, but in my personal experience...I've found fixed scopes to be more clear overall, but mostly in the area of the "edge to edge" factor. Also slightly brighter. Apples to apples comparisons.

Now, I have no proof, nor anything scientific to offer. To my eyes that's how it is. Then again, it could all be in my head. I'm not above being guilty of imagining a difference. But prior to "seeing" this, I had no preconceived notions of scopes possibly having advantages or characteristics based on being fixed or variable in terms of clarity/brightness. It was the difference I noticed on my own that started my curiosity.

When looking through scopes of the exact same line, say a Fixed FFII vs. a variable FFII, or a Leupold FX-II vs. a Leupold VX-II, or a fixed Nikon vs a variable of the same line  ...the fixed always appears clearer to me. Especially toward the edges of the view which is a weak area for all scopes. Better scopes obviously deal with that better. I assume they all have the same lense quality in the same line.  Don't get me wrong, it isn't a huge difference or anything to write home about. But I notice a difference in favor of the fixed power.

I like variables too. Every job has its tool.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mercenary1947 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2008 at 10:46
 No all do not have the same lens quality in the same line ..... even varies from model to model .  Again depends on the model and manufacturer as to which is clearer or more light gathering . The thing is you can get huge power factors in a fixed .... but they're only good for paper punching/targets  .... worthless for anything else . 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote supertool73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2008 at 10:49
That would make sense black squirrel, if a scope has less lenses and parts for the light to pass through it would make sense it would look a little better all else being equal.  
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