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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/03/2006 at 09:54
jackG View Drop Down
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I could use some empirical input here.  I've hunted deer and pronghorn, in open country, with a 3X9 power scope. The hunt constitutes a very limited number of data points.  Four shots, three successful, all successes were one shot affairs, "boom", brief trot, and flop.  I was shooting a 7mm-08.  The longest shot was ranged at 230 yards.  The question is, (there were critters further out that I declined to shoot at) for that kind of hunting, is there a significant advantage to going to say, 3-12 or 4.5-14?  The 3-9 provided plenty of magnification for that shots taken.  Or at least appeared to based on my very limited experience. 

 

However, I'm going to scope a 270 short magnum.  That allows longer shots than the 7mm-08 without hold over adjustments.  Does that suggest that a higher magnification better taps the 270 wsm's potential?  Am I "underscoped" (whatever that might mean) with a 9X max?  The guys I was hunting with use 4.5-14s riding atop 243, 243 wssm, and 300 wsms.  Their rationale is that for those distant shots it allows a better chance of succeeding.  I didn't try the scopes out to see what that higher magnification looked like, so it comes down their opinion and experience.

 

In contrast, I've read some very experienced hunters who prefer fixed power scopes.  And several, even for pronghorn, use a 270w with a 4X fixed power.  They don't consider it a limitation.  We're not target or varmint shooting here.  The smallest target for this kind of hunting would be pronghorn.  I would certainty zing a coyote if I got the chance, but that's not the rifle's primary purpose. The higher mag comes at a few more dollars, which is really not an issue.  But I've got access to an excellent price on a 3X9 and a very good price on the rifle.  I wringing my hands a little over whether I'll find the 3X9 too whimpy for the rifle and wind up regretting the choice.   What do the hunters and shooters have to say?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/03/2006 at 10:23
seattlesetters View Drop Down
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Jack - I have shot quite a few big game animals, most of them with a .270 Wby Mag, which is comparable to what you're considering.

The longest shot I took with that particular rifle was approximately 275 yards on a 5pt bull elk.  The 3-9 scope I had on the rifle was more than adequate for the job.

However, on a pronghorn hunt with a different rifle (a .25-'06), I actually missed two animals cleanly that required holdover (both about 400 yards out per Leica rangefinder), and I attribute at least some of the reason for the misses to the scope only going up to 9x...I just couldn't determine what 6" was at that distance with a plex reticle and 9x. I got frustrated, so for the next stalk I borrowed a buddies 6.5mm x .284, which was wearing a 4-16 scope.  I took an antelope with one shot (scope set at 12x) with the Leica rangefinder reporting 397 yards.
 
In my humble opinion, it was easier to determine the small amount of holdover required with the higher magnification. However, I don't know if anything much over 12x would be all that useful on medium-size game.  Perhaps others here with more experience than I will chime in.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/03/2006 at 11:26
seattlesetters View Drop Down
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Jack - Forgot to mention that I am shopping for a scope to go on a 7mm-08, and I have decided on 10x as the top magnification.  I figure about 350 yards max for antelope, maybe 300-325 for deer and 275 or so for elk...and the 10x should cover that.  But I did give serious consideration to a few 12x models....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/03/2006 at 11:46
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
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While you can shoot a thousand yards with open sights there are advantages and disadvantages to high magnification scopes. Given that you are not stalking at close range in brush you dont need to worry about the low end of the magnification range as much. On the other hand a scope with a high end of 14 on up to 20 or even higher may well benefit you mainly in the ability to use it to compare animals or for spotting at distance as well as making a more precise shot. The important factors to consider is what is the exit eye pupil (how bright is it in low light) for example a 6x42 is ideal with a 7mm exit eye pupil  -   it is as much light as you are likely to be able to see with the human eye. What happens when you go to  higher magnification is unless you increase the size of the objective quite significantly the scope will appear dark in low light.  I had a fixed 20x42 and in low light it was really dark. I have a 8.5 to 25 x 50 and as a variable you can dial down the power as it gets darker so the scope is quite useable. I do think that a scope with a balistic reticle to give you know holdover will be advantageous but they are designed to work at the highest power of that scope which is a good reason to limit the top end of the power scale to 14 or 16.  My recomendation would be a 4.5-14 x 50 Leupold VXIII  with Boone & Crocket reticle ( the one with the 40 mm objective is almost identical in size to most 3-9x40 scopes but the 50 is brighter).  Some of these are "Long Range" which have a 30mm tube and have 100MOA of internal adjustment for extreme distances past 600 yds   The reticle  combined with a rangefinder and a bipod should put you on target easily out to 600 yds.  If that scope is out of your price range you might look at Nikon Monarch 5.5-16.5x44 with a BDC reticle $369.95 or Burris 3-12x50 Euro Diamond 30mm Rifle Scope with Balistic Plex $484.95 or if price is no object the leupold VX-L series or Mark 4 series.

 

LEU61525 Leupold 4.5-14x40 VX-III Riflescope                         Leupold 4.5-14x40 VX-III Riflescope
  • Limited Edition
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  • Boone & Crockett
  • 1"
  • Index Matched Lens System
  • Free Leupold Ballistic Aiming Training CD w/ Purchase
  • Free One-year Membership to Boone and Crockett Club's Associates Program w/ Purchase
SWFA: $599.95
More Info...

LEU57140 Leupold 4.5-14x50 VX-III 30mm Riflescope                    Leupold 4.5-14x50 VX-III 30mm Riflescope
  • Matte
  • Boone & Crockett
  • 30mm
  • Long Range
  • Side Focus
  • Index Matched Lens System
  • Free Leupold Ballistic Aiming Training CD w/ Purchase
  • Free One-year Membership to Boone and Crockett Club's Associates Program w/ Purchase
SWFA: $769.95
More Info...

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/03/2006 at 16:37
never e nuff View Drop Down
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Hello Jack, This is just my opinon so take it with a grain of salt. I am probably in the minority here but you might be better served with a standard 3X9 of the highest quality scope you can afford. If it is at all important to you to have a good handling rifle,one that you won't have to fiddle around with an adjustable objective, or mount very high above your rifle stick with the 3X9. Also magnification comes at a cost and because more 3X9s are sold than all others they usually come at a reduced price. Some are also available with some sort of range finding reticle. It is a real eye opener when you look thru optically superior glass. When you see it you will know it. Do not sell yourself short. A responsible hunter never takes a shot that they feel uncomfortable with. There is no substitute for trigger time. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/03/2006 at 16:59
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Originally posted by never e nuff never e nuff wrote:

Hello Jack, This is just my opinon so take it with a grain of salt. I am probably in the minority here but you might be better served with a standard 3X9 of the highest quality scope you can afford. If it is at all important to you to have a good handling rifle,one that you won't have to fiddle around with an adjustable objective, or mount very high above your rifle stick with the 3X9. Also magnification comes at a cost and because more 3X9s are sold than all others they usually come at a reduced price. Some are also available with some sort of range finding reticle. It is a real eye opener when you look thru optically superior glass. When you see it you will know it. Do not sell yourself short. A responsible hunter never takes a shot that they feel uncomfortable with. There is no substitute for trigger time. 

 

Good post.

Especially the "There is no substitute for trigger time" comment.

I couldn't agree more......

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2006 at 14:45
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+1 on that one -

 

unless the conditions are perfect and unless you feel certain you will hit the 'gearbox' of that animal,

don't take the shot - you could cripple the animal for life, or track it for 100 miles, either of which is bad.

 

my 2 cents.

 

i wouldn't go over 10-12 power with a high powered rifle - there ARE a couple of 3x12's powers that are affordable. 

 

Try the meostar line from meopta for starters. - the 3x12x56 is nothing short of amazing - what is your budget?

56mm IS a huge bell, though - i am a fan of lowlight performance myself.

 

J

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2006 at 18:38
jackG View Drop Down
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Okay, I am aware that the following type of question has no doubt been hammered to death, however, I'm on a radical learning curve here (read "desperate").  There are lots of bits and pieces to the answer that can be found on this forum but I'm trying consolidate them.  Besides, where else can one access the repository of rifle scope information available here?  So, here is the question.  Independent of cost, say you're putting some glass on a short mag rifle for open country, big game hunting, list every brand of scope you're familiar with in decending order, and if you feel inspired to do so, comment on why.   I suspect I'll struggle in justifying a S-B or a high end Zeiss, but nevertheless I'd like to know.  Down through the middle section, there several scopes highly recommended here with varying price advantages.  And, while I'll not likely go to the bottom, I would still like to know how they compare.  I'm not interesting in starting a scrum.  I'm going to buy one of the scopes recommended and I'm tyring to reduce the probability of making a choice I'll regret.  It would be useful to see what magnificaton ranges are included.  Thanks. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2006 at 20:08
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I keep coming back to the mid power Kahles and Bushnells, for most stuff. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2006 at 23:13
seattlesetters View Drop Down
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My recent research would lead me to go with:

Zeiss
Nikon
Burris

I just couldn't see the extra hundreds of dollars for a Kahles or S&B, and I opted to stay away from 30mm tubes.

Leupold was a big disappointment optics-wise, only slightly less so than the Bushnell Elites, which were reported by several Western Washington shops to have a fairly high return rate due to failures in our rainy climate.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2006 at 23:28
Trinidad View Drop Down
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[QUOTE=Urimaginaryfrnd]

While you can shoot a thousand yards with open sights there are advantages and disadvantages to high magnification scopes. Given that you are not stalking at close range in brush you dont need to worry about the low end of the magnification range as much. On the other hand a scope with a high end of 14 on up to 20 or even higher may well benefit you mainly in the ability to use it to compare animals or for spotting at distance as well as making a more precise shot. The important factors to consider is what is the exit eye pupil (how bright is it in low light) for example a 6x42 is ideal with a 7mm exit eye pupil  -   it is as much light as you are likely to be able to see with the human eye. What happens when you go to  higher magnification is unless you increase the size of the objective quite significantly the scope will appear dark in low light.  I had a fixed 20x42 and in low light it was really dark. I have a 8.5 to 25 x 50 and as a variable you can dial down the power as it gets darker so the scope is quite useable. I do think that a scope with a balistic reticle to give you know holdover will be advantageous but they are designed to work at the highest power of that scope which is a good reason to limit the top end of the power scale to 14 or 16.  My recomendation would be a 4.5-14 x 50 Leupold VXIII  with Boone & Crocket reticle ( the one with the 40 mm objective is almost identical in size to most 3-9x40 scopes but the 50 is brighter).  Some of these are "Long Range" which have a 30mm tube and have 100MOA of internal adjustment for extreme distances past 600 yds   The reticle  combined with a rangefinder and a bipod should put you on target easily out to 600 yds.  If that scope is out of your price range you might look at Nikon Monarch 5.5-16.5x44 with a BDC reticle $369.95 or Burris 3-12x50 Euro Diamond 30mm Rifle Scope with Balistic Plex $484.95 or if price is no object the leupold VX-L series or Mark 4 series.

 

LEU61525 Leupold 4.5-14x40 VX-III Riflescope                         Leupold 4.5-14x40 VX-III Riflescope
  • Limited Edition
  • Gun Metal Gray
  • Boone & Crockett
  • 1"
  • Index Matched Lens System
  • Free Leupold Ballistic Aiming Training CD w/ Purchase
  • Free One-year Membership to Boone and Crockett Club's Associates Program w/ Purchase
SWFA:

$599.95

More Info...

LEU57140 Leupold 4.5-14x50 VX-III 30mm Riflescope                    Leupold 4.5-14x50 VX-III 30mm Riflescope
  • Matte
  • Boone & Crockett
  • 30mm
  • Long Range
  • Side Focus
  • Index Matched Lens System
  • Free Leupold Ballistic Aiming Training CD w/ Purchase
  • Free One-year Membership to Boone and Crockett Club's Associates Program w/ Purchase
SWFA: $769.95)
More Info...

[

/QUOTE]

 

 

Optics Police

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2006 at 23:36
tahqua View Drop Down
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Seattlesetters, good ranking on the scopes but I'm with silver on this one. I haven't heard of failures with the Elites. By the way great dogs you breed there. If I wasn't a grouse and waterfowl hunter, that's what I would have. My dog and I hunt with a buddy and his Setter in the U.P. of Michigan for grouse. Good nose and really nice looking. Won't go in Lake Superior for the fowl with my GWP, though. We can post on Anything Goes any time you wan't to talk dogs. I don't want to hijiack this thread.

As for the fixed 4X, my longest shot was with a Burris FF, just over 300 yards measured with one of the old stadia range finders. Nice Colorado Mulie, scored 172.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2006 at 07:20
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If you want to spend big money on the best glass, i would recommend kahles. 

It is a better value among the elite three or four.  I recommend the C or CL class.

VERY clear, VERY bright. VERY expensive - around 1300 bucks.

 

if you want bang for buck - consider the following in order of ranking (IMO)

 

1. Bushnell Elite 4200 - glass and coatings are suppurb

2. Meopta Meostar R1 - this is my favorite, but pricier than the elite 4200's.

3. Zeiss Conquest - i don't have to say much here.

4. Nikon Monarch Gold - great glass, decent pricing

 

Good luck in your search - glass IS important,

but when you can spend $700 on a meostar and it performs just as well

as a $1300 zeiss or swaro, you have to ask yourself, is it worth the extra cabbage?

 

Let us know what you do.

 

thanks

 

J

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2006 at 07:52
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Just my 2 cents as a long distance hunter, not competitor shooter.  All the above points are correct.  If taking shoots where significant hold over is necessary, then, you need to accurately sight in your rifle at say 300 yards, use a rangefinder and a ballistics calculator, such as Exbal on a PDA or a phone with a PC.  Easy as pie to use and all info can be generated prior to the hunt, so you do not have to be fumbling with the device.  A chart can be made, if you choose the desk top version of Exbal or just leave the portabable PDA settings on, or write them down.  Then you will have hold over settings in MOA adjusments (for 100 yards) and in inches.  Now the tricky part.  You have to have a quality scope capable of reproducing the adjusments.  Here is where I like fixed power scopes.  If your intention is to shoot at only certain long distances the lower powers are not necessay and you can save money on simplicity and get more back in reproducibility of E/W, as long as you put the same money back into the scope.  Recent experiences, I have had with several scopes, showed that, as I changed magnification, the impact points changed.  Albeit, not enough that it would be a problem killing a deer out to 200 yards, but further out it would definately be a problem.  Now all of this may be more that you would like.  There are some web sites like www.longrangehunter.com that can give you more tips and techniques with reference to shooting long distance.  On my Wby. Mark V 300 Wby. Mag., I have a Bushnell Elite 3200 10x40mm mounted and it has more than enough E/W that I need for long distance shooting.  Now, I have not hunted it yet, just got it sighted in, but we will see if has the quality with respect to the E/W to get those long distance shots.  At 100 yards it did great, but at 500 yards, thats another story.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2006 at 11:23
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Originally posted by tahqua tahqua wrote:

Seattlesetters, good ranking on the scopes but I'm with silver on this one. I haven't heard of failures with the Elites. By the way great dogs you breed there. If I wasn't a grouse and waterfowl hunter, that's what I would have. My dog and I hunt with a buddy and his Setter in the U.P. of Michigan for grouse. Good nose and really nice looking. Won't go in Lake Superior for the fowl with my GWP, though. We can post on Anything Goes any time you wan't to talk dogs. I don't want to hijiack this thread.


As for the fixed 4X, my longest shot was with a Burris FF, just over 300 yards measured with one of the old stadia range finders. Nice Colorado Mulie, scored 172.



Tahqua - Thanks for the compliment on my dogs. It's a lot of work but the end result is awesome so I don't mind.

As far as the Elites, well, I would never diss anyone's product in an open forum. But I've been researching scopes lately and I've been to half a dozen good, reliable shops in the area checking them all out.

We had nearly 30" of rain here in the month of November...hunting season...and folks had to go out in it to sight-in, practice and hunt. When the guy at the first shop told me he had gotten a couple of 4200s back with moisture issues, I just figured maybe the Leupold or Nikon rep had bought him a nice bottle of wine or something and I paid it no more attention. When the second shop said the same thing, I just thought, "Man, that Loopy rep gets around."

But when each of the other shops gave the same, unsolicited report, I figure I needed to start listening.

I'm sure their are plenty of folks out there who can give rave reviews of their Elites, and I'm sure most would be very happy with one.

But up here in the soggy Northwest, I'll stick with Zeiss, Nikon, Pentax, Burris, Sightron and the others...just to be on the safe side.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2006 at 11:33
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That's interesting - but good to know the other side -

 

i have hunted out in open downpours and have had excellent results with my 4200.

 

Keep us posted.

 

J

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