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My brain hurts

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2005 at 16:48
Tripper View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: October/17/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 6

Of course, it's not too big to begin with so that's no big stunner. Grab a cup of coffee, this is a long one. You can laugh at the lunacy of someone else for a bit.


Saturday evening I was utterly thrilled with the accuracy of a newly acquired Win. M70 .270 I got off of the used rack. Once in a while, you get really, really lucky. There are guns that cost three times as much that don't shoot groups like this one. Sometimes you get a lemon, once in an eon you get a honey. I've decided to buy a really great scope to cap it off. Last year I made  huge leap for a pair of Leica 8-12x42 Duovid binoculars that was really against my nature (always thought my 10x50 Burris' were just as adequate).  Man, was I wrong. I love those Leica's and now wonder what to do with all my other binocs.  In the same vein, I'd always dreamed of a really nice scope like  a Leupold VX III 2.5 x8x36 or a neat fixed power, if I ever stumbled into a super rifle. Now I've got the rifle, so I decided to do a little product research. Before I was blissfully ignorant, now a little knowledge has proven to be a frustrating thing. I've confused myself and my brain hurts.Ugh. Maybe y'all can push me in one direction or the other.


Variable v. fixed?, Leupold v. Swarovski, Zeiss, Kahles, etc.? I'd never even heard of several of these brands until I got on this website or actully flipped all the way through the Cabela's catalog. I realize that a lot of this may be over miniscule differences or just ones in my head, but I learned in competitive skeet shooting that confidence and trust in your firearm is an absolute to allow for concentration on the task at hand. Robert Paxton said "Whatever you get, you need to love your gun, especially after you spend this much on it and put it  in the safe to go to bed at night." he is right (about most everything) and it applies in this situation as well.  Basically, I need to be crazy about my setup and not look back.


After a pm from Chris and a visit to the local shop that has a few nice scopes, I've decided the fixed power is not for me. My fears of badly shifting point of aim/tracking problems I observed in my son's .243 with a Burris Fullfield II 3x9 (nice sub 1" groups on 9 pwr, 2.5" on 3, ugh.) aren't as bad as I'd feared, especially in higher end scopes. The intended use (like a lot of folks) will be for East Texas whitetail in the oak bottoms (deer that are like the dog in the Grinch that stole Christmas cartoon with the sticks tied to his head), West Texas muley's that you only give me 285 to 325 yard shots so far, the occasional New Mexico elk (cleaning and hauling each one will occasion me to skip that activity for at least another 3 years) and a lot of experimenting with different ammo in the offseason down at the range.  Just assessing myself, the higher power of the  variable allows me to tweak and finesse at the range more than the fixed 4 or 6 does, even though I've never shot anything with a scope on anything a hair over 6 power when hunting. Opting away from the fixed was further confirmed when I went to a local store at lunch yesterday and handled a nice Kahles 6x42.  Nothing wrong with it, just not for me.


So it was on to the variable power. Understand in this shop, the BSA's and Tasco's are front and center.  The little glass case with the Swarovskis, Kahles, Meopta and Zeiss are kept is pretty dusty and lonely.


The Zeiss Conquest was a big silver unit--3x9x40. The most important thing was that it was marvelous to look through. So much so that I'd be willing to not fret the plastic windage and elevation turret caps, lack of a slot for a quarter to make adjustments and absence of numbers and markings that went completely around the turret so I could remember how much of an adjustment I'd made.  Heck, I'll only rig it up once a year-- its the shooting that matters most to me. Still, most scopes look fantastically bright and clear at noon in West Texas so I kept looking.


I rummaged on, culling the Kahles 6x42 but seizing upon a Swaro 3x9x36 and a Kahles 3x10 with the neat multi-zero thingamajiggy that I can't operate (NOT and math & science guy) but got excited over. In the pm Chris suggested the Swaro 4 x12x50. My initial reaction was that I didn't want anything with an objective lens that big because of my innate aversion to all things way up off of the barrel--was always told to keep everything as low as possible because of paralax problems. Of course, I usually had pretty crappy scopes that would give me a headache if I looked through them too long, too. I'm sure I can't go wrong with either the 3x9, 3x10 or even the whopper 4x12. 


The more I thought about it this morning (critical thinking or just rationalizing to support a guess?)  I came to the realization I'd rarely if ever turn the scope down under 4 while hunting. Again, Chris' advice seems right, just contrary to my gut reaction.  When am I going to use ,or have I used, 2.5 or 3 power? Not often.


 The little stickheaded deer that stupidly steps out under 100 yards will be served fine on 4. However, I could have some real fun at the range cranking that thing up to 10--or more.  I confess to being unreasonably concerned/obsessed with accuracy on a hunting rifle, but at least I'm honest about it. 1.5" groups are truly adequate, just not for me. Half inch to 7/8ths and its my huckleberry. Anything more gets sold pretty quickly or becomes a kid gun.


Chris gave me more food for thought by suggesting I could allay my concerns over point of impact shifting by sighting in at the middle of the power range, cutting the shift in half either direction.  That's 6.5 on the 3x10 and 8 on the big 4x14--sounding funner all the time. Still, I've always been leery of huge scopes with high rings due to paralax avoidance concerns, but lot of them seem to be selling with nobody fussing.  My benchrest friend uses a 45 mm obj Leupold on his .223 for Hunter class competition gun and puts 5  little 52 grain Black Hills bullets into the same dang hole at 100 yards and doesn't seem to have any paralax problems from the bigger scope. While grandad was wise, a heckuva shot and certainly right that closer to the barrell is typically better, he was using different stuff at a different time. While physics and optometry's laws are inflexible, I think the current technology copes a bit better.


Well, here endeth the neurotic epistle. Tell me what you think and why and maybe my brain will hurt less.



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2005 at 17:57
koshkin View Drop Down
Dark Lord of Optics

Joined: June/15/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 11909

Well, when push comes to shove, how much money are you willing to spend? do you have any regional preference (i.e American, Europena, Japanese, etc.)?


What magnification range did you decide to get?



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2005 at 18:04
ranburr View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master

Joined: May/16/2004
Status: Offline
Points: 1082

Tripper, hang in there.  You are looking at some good scopes that you really cannot go wrong with.  It really boils down to how much do you want to spend?  Personally, I use a Zeiss Conquest in 3-9x40 for pretty much every application that you have described here.  I actually have used the 3X on occassion when hunting some extra thick woods where 50 yards would be a long shot.  I would have prefered a 1-4X on those occassions, but the 3X worked.  The 9x is nice to have on the handful of occassions that I have had to take a reasonably long shot.  I find myself using something in the 6X range 95% of the time.  But, when I need higher or lower magnification, it is a must have, not a want.  I have the Zeiss on six different rifles right now.  I have sat down with a .270 and a .30-06 and taken most of a day and fired groups on every power setting.  I let things cool down properly and I ran a bore brush down the barrel every so often.  What I found was that there was no real shift in impact regardless of power settings.  I love the Conquest I don't think you see any real improvement without spending a whole lot more money.  If I wanted to spend a whole lot more money, I would take a long look at the new Kahles with the multi-range zeros.  One other thing, I also like to keep things simple.  This is why I don't suggest anything over 10X for anything but varmint hunting.  I hope this helps you out.



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