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High magnification scope ? for hunting

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/16/2015 at 09:40
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Optics Journeyman
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I'm interested in Swaro Z5's and looked at one locally in the 5-25x52 model. I had my mind made up to get the 3.5-18x44 model. My gun has to have medium rings(so shells will eject) so either scope will fit and replace my Conquest 4.5-14x44. I will probably only utilize the 6-14x range for hunting, the rest of the range would probably only be used for target shooting.


So my question is, is there any drawback to having that much magnification for a deer hunting scope. I'm not worried about losing the low end power range(I rarely have a scope under 6x). I would like maximum low light performance so I'm not sure if the 52mm would be slightly better than the 44mm because of the objective size or if I will lose something because of the extra magnification range? I don't know enough about scope internals to know how many lenses make them work or what makes one model have a wider mag range than another model. I really liked the 5-25x52 when I looked through it. In daylight, I definitely liked it better than the Conquest HD5, which is also on the short list.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/16/2015 at 09:58
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Optics Jedi Master
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Lower mag will make the scope brighter in low light than the same design scope with higher magnification.

I personally avoid anything with a low end over 3-4 for a hunting scope, just because my scope spends most of its time in the low to mid-range and seldom gets up into the higher ranges on real world targets.  High mag means more narrow field of view, and things tend to move, especially when shot at.

If you are comfortable with a 6X, then the 5X will only improve things - in that regard.

I own a few scopes with mag > 20X and seldom go that high.  With high mag, you typically get more narrow field of view, more narrow eye box (very precise cheek position required), less bright image, and any motion from shooter looks like HUGE motion on target. My 6-24 Kahles almost never gets to 24X, on the bench or in the field.  My 3-18 Vortex spends quite a bit of range time on 18X.  My preferred high mag is about 15X on most scopes, it is plenty bright, plenty clear, and I see the target and some environment well. 

I've not shot the Conquest HD, but would be exceedingly surprised if the Swaro Z5 was not appreciably better glass.

All this is personal preference!  And mine, unless it is going on a 338, would be for a 3-15 or 3-18 over a 5-25.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/16/2015 at 10:26
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RC's post is spot on the money IMO.  I'd stick with a 3-18x range if it were me. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/16/2015 at 10:36
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I'm not a believer in ultra long range hunting. In that regard, I see little reason to ever have a very high mag scope (as you mentioned) for whacking deer. I just try to get closer... or don't shoot. Seems like 10-12X (with good glass) on the top should be plenty... IMO.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/16/2015 at 10:42
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Optics Journeyman
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To be honest, I think if the Z5 was made in the 4-12x50 4w BT like the Z3, I would have already bought it. I do like having a 14x top end on that gun right now but it's not totally necessary. But the Z3 doesn't have the coil spring system which is a high priority to me. I have only owned one Swaro that had the coil springs and I never had to re-zero it.

Thanks for the info. I assumed there is a trade off, just wasn't sure what it is.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/19/2015 at 15:40
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Optics Journeyman
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Ok about to pull the trigger:

Z5 3.5-18x44 4w BT

or S&B Zenith 3-12x50 FD#7 BDC turret

Cost about the same. Which would you go for???
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/22/2015 at 17:47
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I have the Swaro 3-18x44 with 4w reticle and BT.  I don't see how you can beat it unless you want to go out further than it'll allow.  For me, that's 700 yards.  Past that so many other things come into play.  For an all purpose hunting scope, it's light weight, bright, clear, has the BT - it's great.
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