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Need reasonable price deer scope

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/27/2004 at 09:39
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I have 2 hunting rifles I use for deer hunting. The first is a Remington 700P in .308 with Badger rings and a Leupold Vari-X 3 3.5-10x40 tactical scope that shoots 3/4in groups.

The second is my problem child, a Howa 1500 action in .308 I bought last year and put a cheap Leupold base and rings and a cheap Bushnell Banner 3-9x50mm objective scope on. I only manage 2.5in groups. I assume most of the problem is the cheap scope.

Can anyone recommend a reasonably priced, good qulity scope with a 50mm objective for dusk shooting?

I have compared my Leupold Vari-X 3 40mm to the cheap Bushnell Banner 50mm and the Bushnell is much brighter at dusk. I assume that a good part of the loose groups is the scope. Could I be wrong? The muzzle crown looks uniform and I cannot think of any other reason for the extreme variation.

What about Nikon scopes? I was looking at the Buckmaster 3-9x50mm. It sells for $300, about $50 cheaper than the Leupold equivalent (Vari-X II 3-9X50mm).

Thanks!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/27/2004 at 10:56
cheaptrick View Drop Down
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Would you define "reasonably priced"? Your definition may vary from someone else's.

 

Nikon makes excellent products, and I highly recommend the Monarch and Buckmaster. The Monarch would be more to my liking, and offer more in the low light shooting arena....

 

Welcome to this forum!!!! 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/27/2004 at 20:45
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Thanks for the welcome and advice.  Reasonable in my case is $300-$350, which is about what the rifle cost.  I have a real problem hunting with a 2.5 inch group size.  I wounded a doe (very light blood trail, never found her) with this rifle last year with a 90 yard shot.  The Monarch is out of my price range.

 

One question I have - does scope price correlate to how tight a shot group you can obtain with a given rifle?  Do cheaper scopes have more "play" and "flex" so that the recoil forces cause the scope's point of aim to shift?  Or does price mainly correlate to light transmission and focus?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/27/2004 at 22:08
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Price is a good indicator of quality where optics are concerned.  You may also consider that the problem could be with your rifle.  I like to bed, pillar and free float my rifles.

 

ranburr 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/27/2004 at 22:18
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Elmer Fudd,

   The nikon is a fine scope at a good price.It will do you proud.I,ve shot one on a 30-06 for over 10 years and it has never failed.It is a excellent scope for the money.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/27/2004 at 22:34
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My experience to poor grouping because of scope has more to do with variation of groups. Some would be very tight, others with the same combo and ammunition would be all over the place do to reticle shift now and again. Lay the Leupold scope on the Howa rings and button it all up. If you get the same groups then you know to check  either the mounting, ammo, or sadly, the rifle.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2004 at 06:13
cheaptrick View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Elmer Fudd Elmer Fudd wrote:

Thanks for the welcome and advice.  Reasonable in my case is $300-$350, which is about what the rifle cost.  I have a real problem hunting with a 2.5 inch group size.  I wounded a doe (very light blood trail, never found her) with this rifle last year with a 90 yard shot.  The Monarch is out of my price range.

 

 

No, the Monarchs NOT out of your price range, brother.

 

http://www.riflescopes.com/products/6520/nikon_monarch_3-9x4 0.htm

 

You can get change back!!!!! This scope is all the scope MOST hunters ever need....Including me!!!!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2004 at 09:34
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Cheaptrick, the problem I have is that the deer I see are always at dusk as the light really starts to fail.  My 50mm objective cheap Bushnell gives a brighter picture at higher magnification as I try to pick out doe from young buck.  My Leupold 40mm is simply not up to it.  I doubt a 40mm Nikon is significantly better.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2004 at 09:44
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a 50mm objective WILL NOT transfer more light than a 40mm. it all has to do with the coating that are on it, and the monarcs, leupold VXII's and up, and zeiss conquest, and all will preform better in low light than your 50mm banner. i would keep the same rings/bases, and tighten the rear MOA adjustment on the base, becuase it may be a little loose. i would try shooting it liek that, and see what it does. just becuase the 700 PSS will make little tiny groups DOES NOT mean that your howa hunting rifle will, after all, thew PSS stands for police sharp shooter, and snipers all around the globe use them, and the howa is a el cheapo rifle, so it wont preform better than the PSS. also, try ,essing with different loads, if you load, and if you dont, pick up soem remington accu-tip ammo, and swift scirroco, and try it. it it STILL doesnt work, then switch scopes, and look at the burris FF2 3-9x40 with ballistic plex, and the free spotter for 197.95

 

cory

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2004 at 10:06
Shamus View Drop Down
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A larger objective will give a better exit pupil at a given magnification -  if low-light and moderate magnification is a concern, I'd pop for the extra diameter.

 

For high build quality, really good optics, and brightness in your price range I'd go with the Weaver Grand Slam 3.5-10x50 for $299 here - http://www.riflescopes.com/products/800474/weaver_grand_slam _3.5-10x50.htm

 

Now for a little more you can get a Bushnell Elite 4200 2.5-10x50 which I think is a better scope in many regards (rainguard, warranty, optics, zoom range), but the best price I've seen for them is still $380.  And do keep in mind that www.riflescopes.com will meet or beat their competitor's prices so give them the opportunity to do so if you find a better deal out there.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2004 at 10:12
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shamus, remember, your eye can only use a 7mm exit pupil, and anything else is overkill.

 

cory

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2004 at 13:18
cheaptrick View Drop Down
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I agree totally with redneck on this one.

 

A scope is only as good as it's coatings/glass optically speaking.

The best scopes I have ever owned have all had 40mm objectives. A S&B 3-12x42mm, a Zeiss Conquest 3.5-10x44mm and my beloved USO SN-3 with a 44mm obj.

 

I have used all these scopes in very low light situations, and they perform perfectly.

 

50mm objective hunting scopes are obsolete, IMHO.

 

If your budget will allow it, I would go with a 3-9 Conquest in lieu of the Monarch. But the Monarch will surprise you at the amount of scope it is, especially at low light.

 

Go to a store that has several different scopes, and look at them OUTDOORS at low light, and then compare. The only thing about the Monarch is, I 'd drop the AO. I hate an AO on a hunting scope, but that's me. This of course, only applies to scopes that have AO's.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2004 at 00:50
Shamus View Drop Down
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Originally posted by redneckbmxer24 redneckbmxer24 wrote:

shamus, remember, your eye can only use a 7mm exit pupil, and anything else is overkill.

 

cory

 

True, but E.Fudd specifically talked about higher magnification light transfer and the bigger objective would make that better for a given scope model.  All things being equal (same scope just bigger objective) the larger objective buys you more magnification in low-light situations due to increased exit pupil.

 

Since exit pupil  =  ( objective lens diameter divided by magnification) at 7x zoom,  a 40mm scope has an exit pupil of 5.71mm and a 50mm scope has an exit pupil of  7.14mm.   Basically there is 25% more exit pupil in the 50mm scope and at the upper ranges it would matter.

 

This would be a noticable difference and means Elmer could use higher magnification in the last 20 minutes of prime time on distant targets.



Edited by Shamus
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2004 at 13:24
redneckbmxer24 View Drop Down
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very true shamus.

 

cory

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2004 at 21:05
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Based on your numbers Shamus, the 25% larger exit pupil would mean a 56% increase in the amount of light transmitted, in terms of the area of the exit pupil.  This squares with what I see through the two scopes - the 50mm Bushnell Banner is much brighter at dusk than the much more expensive 40mm Leupold.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2004 at 01:32
Shamus View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Elmer Fudd Elmer Fudd wrote:

Based on your numbers Shamus, the 25% larger exit pupil would mean a 56% increase in the amount of light transmitted, in terms of the area of the exit pupil.  This squares with what I see through the two scopes - the 50mm Bushnell Banner is much brighter at dusk than the much more expensive 40mm Leupold.

 

I bet the 50mm Weaver Grand Slam or Elite 4200 would really be excellent for your application.  Their optics and coatings will be a few steps above the Bushnell too, yielding better contrast, clarity and brightness...

 

Bang for the buck has to be the Grand Slam - they are notoriously bright.  I personally would go with the Elite 4200 due to the rainguard, warranty and maybe very slightly better optics. 

 

The forgotten child that might really work well would be Bushnell 3200 Firefly 3-9x50.  Optically it's a half-step down from the 4200 or the Slam, but you would get the Firefly reticle (glows for hours after you shine a flashlight on the reticle, no batteries) plus the great warranty, rainguard and a free gear bag from Bushnell for between $220-280 depending on current deals.



Edited by Shamus
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2004 at 05:55
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I understand the math. Shamus post say's it all. He's right.

I'm willing to be corrected....

 

But, I can't fathom a legal, low light hunting scenario where my Conquest, w/ a 44mm objective was not enough scope.

 

I have lost my reticle, long before I lost my sight picture. And this is really my point..

 

Too me, coatings/glass on a quality scope "should" negate the bigger obj. size on a low end scope. Up to legal hunting times.

 

That said, our friends in Europe hunt at night a lot, and use say a Schmidt und Bender w/ a 50-56mm obj. lens scope.

Quality glass/coatings+ larger diameter obj.= More "brightness". I hate that term...And then they will throw in a lit reticle because they too will loose the reticle, even if they have enough sight picture.

 

Maybe I'm crazy.....

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2004 at 08:39
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once again, which leupold is it?? is its a rifleman, or VXI, i can understand the banner being brighter, but it WILL NOT be brighter than a VXIII, theres simply no way. and remember, the most exit pupil you can use is 7mm, and you eye only needs 5mm, and i have no problem hunting in very low light with my SS10X42, and it only has a 4.2mm exit pupil. if the coatings are good, you can night hunt with a scope on 7 power with a 20mm objective, the objective has nothing to do with it. i ditto shamus on the 4200, i would get the 2.5-10x40, or the conquest 3-9x40 would work perfect aswell.

 

cory

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/31/2004 at 00:07
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My Leupold is a Vari-X III 3.5-10x40mm LR.  From what I have read a good scope will transmit maybe 10% more light than a cheap scope.  That is not much when you consider the 56% you gain from a 50mm versus 40mm objective.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/31/2004 at 05:45
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You seem like you made up your mind that "you need" a 50mm scope.

 

I hunt/shoot in extreme low light conditions, to having to contend with wicked mirage problems on hot, sunny days.

 

A 44mm USO is all the scope I have ever needed. Period. 

 

The 56% more LT you think you are getting with a 50mm scope may be true, but it cannot be utilized fully because at some point, good or bad scope, you won't be able to see your reticle.

 

If you are shooting in EXTREME low light situations, get a lit reticle.

If you want a 56mm obj. lens, knock yourself out.... 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/31/2004 at 10:02
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ditto cheaptrick, you seem like your mission is to gett he 50mm, so i guess, go ahead, and get what you want, but you can get the SAME preformance out of a 40mm, and you wont have that monster scope sitting off your gun.

 

cory

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/31/2004 at 11:04
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One of the problems usually not addressed, when shooting into low light is the power of the scope. Image your target at the edge of the stand of trees your looking at it with a 50 mm bell. The sky and surrounding visual image is many orders of magnitude brighter than the target. If you are using a camera, you already know that you have to use spot metering to get a "good" picture. Your eye can't do that, so it tells your arm to increase the power setting which averages the light, (and exit pupil goes down) the iris opens and the target suddenly gains more definition. If the magnification is to high, the exit pupil will be to low given the initial low light condition regardless of the bell size. Larger bell sizes are used by manufactures to get the same performance specs out of shorter scopes. I stopped using large bells because of inordinate amount of glare in the morning hunt. After twilight I can tell no difference between a 56 mm bell Springfield on 12X and a Nikon 4X12 40 mm on 12X. go with the 40
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/31/2004 at 13:04
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Elmer Fudd, Dale is right on the money. The iris can only dilate to a maximum of approx. 7mm in total darkness. And as we get older that number decreases to approx. 5-6mm, again in total darkness. The quality of the optics ( the grade of optical glass, it's grinding and polishing, and the quality of the lens coatings ) have the most significant impact on how well a scope will perform in low light conditions.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/31/2004 at 21:56
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Originally posted by Elmer Fudd Elmer Fudd wrote:

I have 2 hunting rifles I use for deer hunting. The first is a Remington 700P in .308 with Badger rings and a Leupold Vari-X 3 3.5-10x40 tactical scope that shoots 3/4in groups.

The second is my problem child, a Howa 1500 action in .308 I bought last year and put a cheap Leupold base and rings and a cheap Bushnell Banner 3-9x50mm objective scope on. I only manage 2.5in groups. I assume most of the problem is the cheap scope.

Can anyone recommend a reasonably priced, good qulity scope with a 50mm objective for dusk shooting?

<>I have compared my Leupold Vari-X 3 40mm to the cheap Bushnell Banner 50mm and the Bushnell is much brighter at dusk. I assume that a good part of the loose groups is the scope. Could I be wrong? The muzzle crown looks uniform and I cannot think of any other reason for the extreme variation.

What about Nikon scopes? I was looking at the Buckmaster 3-9x50mm. It sells for $300, about $50 cheaper than the Leupold equivalent (Vari-X II 3-9X50mm).

Thanks!


Elmer, I had a similar problem with a Howa 1500 Lightning in 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser that came with a cheap Nikko scope mounted on it.  The best it would do for 3 shots at 100 yards from a bench rest was 2 to 2 1/2 inch groups.  I thought maybe it was the cheap scope, so I bought a Burris Fullfield II and put it into the supplied Leupold Rifleman mounts.  No real improvement in the groups.  It turned out that the rifle has some bedding issues.  I am going to try to bed the action and see if it improves.  I might also try shooting it with some forend pressure to see if that helps.  So before leaping to the conclusion that it is the scope, you might want to check out the rifle.  The suggestion of swapping your leupold off your other rifle was a good one.  If it doesn't do any better, it is probably the rifle.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/31/2004 at 22:13
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So Elmer seems like he's 'made up' his mind he 'needs' a 50mm scope - so what?  He's getting some information that backs up his experience, remember he has actually had the experience of looking through a 50mm versus his 40mm and big surprise - the 50mm is brighter.  Now you may not like it or even believe it, but it's been his experience and I'm pretty darn sure that he doesn't need a bunch of keyboard jockeys like us to tell him that his eyes can't be trusted.  Maybe you should question your own conclusions before questioning his eyesight.

 

Cheaptrick - all you've ever needed is a $1,400 44mm US Optics huh?  That's only about a grand more than the guy wants to spend...

 

All things being equal like Elite 4200 vs Elite 4200,  you cannot get the same performance out of a 40mm versus a 50mm at higher mags.  Yes, of course you can go seriously up market and get better grinding, glass, polishing and coatings that might make up for the 25% deficiency in exit pupil but Elmer wants to spend $300-350 and you'd have to go up a long ways to better the Grand Slam, Monarch, or Elite 4200.  Fact is, the extra 10mm is a less expensive way to transmit more light into your eye.  But remember Elmer, the coatings and glass quality play a large part on brightness and contrast as well as depth.   The larger exit pupil just allows more of the net result of the coatings/glass/polishing to reach your eye.

 

5mm being about optimal exit pupil according to internet forums, here's how they stack up:

 

Exit pupil at 10x = 5mm -  50mm objective (optimal)

Exit pupil at 10x = 4mm -  40mm objective (SUB-optimal)

 

Look Elmer...figure out which scope brand/line you like best and get the best glass and coatings you can.  Then grab a 40mm and a 50mm and compare them side by side at the higher mag ranges, but please if the 50mm is brighter - DON'T come here and tell us about it!  



Edited by Shamus
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