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new hunter needs help choosing scope

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 10:36
sppcassidy View Drop Down
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Just purchased new 30-06 and need some sound advice on what would be my best choice for a versatile scope. I live on a farm and have coyotes, whitetail and black bear- and will hopefully get a chance to do some moose hunting. For the smaller varmints i have a 22LR, 30-30 and a crossbow (all 3 have scopes).  Your expertise would be greatly appreciated. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 10:46
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You will likely get several recommendations (here) depending upon factors such as: budget, terrain type(s), shooting distances, etc. Being that the 30-06 is a great all purpose weapon, a great all-purpose scope in a 3-9 X 40 configuration may be a good choice. That being said, check out the Bushnell Elite 4200 in 3-9 X 40. Good scope, good price, good luck. Big Grin
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 10:50
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thanks bugs-i was looking to spend in the 300-500 $ range. i was looking at bushnell but was unsure of what size mm and reticle.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 10:54
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IMO, for most hunting situations a 40mm objective is plenty. I'd rather have great glass than an ultra-large and cumbersome scope sitting on top. In your price range there are lots of very good choices. Other contenders (IMO) would be Vortex Viper, Sightron Big Sky, Trijicon Accupoints, and, of course the Zeiss Conquests. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 10:56
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You didn't mention what your budget is, but I'd recommend a Bushnell 4200 3-9: 
http://swfa.com/Bushnell-3-9x40-Elite-4200-Rifle-Scope-P6910.aspx
They're very bright and sharp and have a hydrophobic coating.  They are a great value.

If you have more money, the Zeiss is a good choice too:
http://swfa.com/Zeiss-3-9x40-Conquest-Rifle-Scope-P608.aspx
It has more reticles choices available than the Bushnell.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 11:01
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Optics GrassHopper
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thanks guys. i'll look into those scopes before i make a decision. i don't want to purchase something i'll regret later.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 11:02
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My advice.  Take bugs and Tex's advice - either the 4200 or the Zeiss.  I don't hink you can go wrong with either one.  Personally I prefer the Zeiss 3x9x40 with the #4 reticle.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 11:11
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I've also been looking at this same range of scopes.  How about eh Nikon brand?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 11:23
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haven't researched nikon yet. trying to find more info on bushnell doa reticle (if its worth that extra cash) or leupolds LR reticle.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 11:25
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A 3-9x40 is a great all-around choice for any hunting rifle. That is plenty of low-light performance since even at 9X the exit pupil is still 4.44mm. And in that kind of light you'd be likely to be dialed down to 6 or below, in which case you'll have more light than most eyes over 20 can use. 3X on the lower end is great for hunting in thick cover and close range shots. 9X is nice for target practice at 200-300 yards. I've only ever owned a Leupold 3-9X and it was fine. But I'd go with something that is recommended here since these guys have more experience with other options like the Bushnell along with the Leupolds or Nikons. Other good brands are Sightron and Vortex.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 11:38
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thanks jono-bugs mentioned sightron and vortex also. Some friends of mine mentioned the quality of leupold and that they stand behind their product. i've got some homework to do before i make the investment.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 11:49
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Leupolds are good good scopes too and it is an American company, which I like.  I'd recommend their latest VX3's, not to be confused with their VXIII's.  Leupold does have fine customer service and a variety of reticles available too.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 14:16
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    A great scope to consider would be the Sightron Big Sky 3-9X42. Great optics, solid construction and great customer service should you ever need it. Another nice thing is that Sightron currently has a $50 rebate on all Big Sky scopes.    -Al
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 16:28
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I think a 3-9 configuration (or close to it some now go to 2.5 and up to 10x) is about the best all around magnification for general big game hunting.
 
There have been some great suggestions:  I think the Bushnell 4200 Elite and the Conquest some of the best buys ouot there.  I also really like the Weaver Grand Slam as well as the Nikon Monarch.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 16:44
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what kind of hunting do you do?
100 % from a stand?
100 % stalking?
mix?
typical ranges?

do you do any night time (assuming legal) hunting, etc... ?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 16:53
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Originally posted by Al Nyhus Al Nyhus wrote:

    A great scope to consider would be the Sightron Big Sky 3-9X42. Great optics, solid construction and great customer service should you ever need it. Another nice thing is that Sightron currently has a $50 rebate on all Big Sky scopes.    -Al
 
+1 on the Sightron Big Sky ... Zeiss clarity at a Bushnell price.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 17:01
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Off the cuff I would recommend a quality 3 - 9 x 40.  I personally have a Sightron Big Sky II 3-9x42.  Nice clear glass with good tracking.  The reviews on the Bushnell 3-9x40 have been good along with many other scopes in that 3-9x40 range.  Nice thing about the 3-9x40 is that they are about as common as sand on the sea shore so they will be more economically priced than higher magnification scopes of the same brand etc.  But, what will be best for you, going to need a few details like other have asked.  

PS.  Welcome to the OT.


Edited by SD Dog - September/23/2009 at 17:10
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 17:10
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Forgot, the Sightron Big Sky comes in 3-9X42, 3.5-10x42 or 3-12x42, all with rebate. Personally, it would be hard to beat that 3-12X42mm in that price range.
 
To save you a few hours of searching... the most popular scopes in your size and price range are the Bushnell 4200 and 6500, Zeiss Conquest, and Leupold VX-3 with the Sightron being the sleeper (but gaining fast). Everybody's eyes are different, and everyone will rate these 3/4/5 differently. In my opinion 4200 is the best bang for the buck, the Conquest is the best "money is no option" option, the Leupold is the worst value (but best warranty and range of choices) for the dollar and the Sightron/Bushnell 6500 are the overall best investment. When I needed two new scopes I looked at all of these and bought one Sightron and one 6500.  Will post a review in a couple of weeks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 18:57
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These are all good recommendations.  

Here are a few specific models arranged by price:

Weaver Grand Slam 3-10x40
Bushnell Elite 4200 3-9x40
Vortex Viper 3-9x40 with BDC reticle
Sightron S2 Big Sky 3-9x42 with HHR reticle
Bushnell Elite 4200 2.5-10x40 with Firefly reticle
Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 with #4 reticle

In practical terms, all of these scopes will perform quite well and quite similarly.  However, there are some differences worth mentioning.

First of all, I made some reticle recommendations in the list above.  For allround use I recommended the thickest and boldest looking reticle available.  They are most visible in low light.  Ultimately, #4 reticle available in the Zeiss is probably the best one in my opinion, although Bushnell's Firefly is very nice as well.

If you are a stock crawler and tend to get hit by the scope, then Sightron S2 Big Sky and Zeiss Conquest are your best choices.  All other scopes on the list have measurably less eye relief.

In the bang for the buck department, there are now rebates available on Vortex Viper and Sightron S2 Big Sky, which make those very attractive.  With the rebate in mind Vortex, Weaver and Elite 4200 3-9x40 can be had for less than $300. While Sightron would run around $330.  Conquest and the larger Elite 4200 are appreciably more expensive.

As far as mounting length and height go, all of these should fit fine on any regular length action.  Vortex Viper, I think, has the slimmest eyepiece, so if there is a problem with bolt clearance, that is worth looking at.  Conquest, I think, has the largest diameter eyepiece in this group and might need higher mounting on a rifle with tight bolt-to-eyepiece clearance.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 19:17
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Zeiss 3-9x40 Conquest Rifle Scope Rapid Z 600 Zeiss 3-9x40 Conquest Rifle Scope
Stock # - 5214609971
  • Matte
  • Rapid Z 600
  • 1"
  • Etched Glass
  • 2nd Plane
  • $75 Mail-In Rebate
$574.95 
Add Zeiss 3-9x40 Conquest Rifle Scope to Cart
 

 

 
Trijicon 3-9x40 Accu-Point Rifle Scope Amber Triangle Trijicon 3-9x40 Accu-Point Rifle Scope
Stock # - TR20
  • Matte
  • Amber Triangle
  • 1"
$678.95 
Add Trijicon 3-9x40 Accu-Point Rifle Scope to Cart 
If the budget were higher I'd point you toward the Trijicon above or  in the 2.5-10x56 version but in the under $500 price range if you want a traditional scope the3-9x40 Zeiss Rapid Z600 would be awesome and the 3-9x40 Bushnell 4200 is also really hard to beat.  The scope I like the best for all around hunting is a fixed power FX3 6x42 leupold with either the long range duplex (200, 300, 400 & 500yd points of aim) or the heavy duplex if stuff is up closer.  Note balistic reticle only work at the highes power but if you hunt from a stand with a solid rest they are deadly a long long way. The illuminated reticle scopes do have an advantage also and there is a lot to be said for a 2moa dot aimpoint. The bright illuminated  reticle seems to put the dot on the deer just like magic.
Leupold 6x42 FX-3 Riflescope Long Range Duplex Leupold 6x42 FX-3 Riflescope
Stock # - LEU66820
  • Matte
  • Long Range Duplex
  • 1"
  • Xtended Twilight Lens System
$409.95 
Add Leupold 6x42 FX-3 Riflescope to Cart
Aimpoint 9000L 30mm Red Dot Sight 2 MOA Dot Aimpoint 9000L 30mm Red Dot Sight
Stock # - AIM11419
  • Matte
  • 2 MOA Dot
  • 30mm
  • Free Aimpoint Bikini Lens Cover w/ Purchase
$373.95 
Add Aimpoint 9000L 30mm Red Dot Sight to Cart
With the aimpoint where you put the dot it hits cheekweld is not an issue this is a deadly little scope and very similar to what the military uses in combat - why - because it works very well.

Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - September/23/2009 at 19:25
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 19:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 19:39
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1+ for the Sightron I have a Big Sky 4.5x14x42 and love it 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2009 at 22:06
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Have a Trijicon Accupoint sitting on a Browning BAR Shorttrac 308 and it has to be about the most versatile scope $575.  Glass on par with Zeiss Conquest and incredible low light reticle without the batteries.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2009 at 09:14
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Originally posted by sppcassidy sppcassidy wrote:

Just purchased new 30-06 and need some sound advice on what would be my best choice for a versatile scope. I live on a farm and have coyotes, whitetail and black bear- and will hopefully get a chance to do some moose hunting. For the smaller varmints i have a 22LR, 30-30 and a crossbow (all 3 have scopes).  Your expertise would be greatly appreciated. 
 
Like the others have said, they way you hunt (stand, stalk, dense forests, open plains, low-light, etc.) will have a big bearing on what scope might suit you best.
 
I'd also recommend checking out the "Tweener Scopes" (2x-8x or so:  do a search here for an excellent discussion of them), as well as the plain old fixed 4x and 6x scopes.  These types of scopes can offer some size/weight advantages over the 3x-9x scopes.  Also, the fixed scopes are just as relevant (IMHO) as they ever were, offering excellent optics and durability at an attractive price.
 
You tell us more, & we'll tell you more!
 
FC
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2009 at 18:25
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Thanks for all the great replys-very helpful info. This is only my second year out for whiteail, so i'm still fairly green. I prefer to hunt from the ground, but i have spent some time in the stand. I chose the -06 because of the wide range of different grains for different game. From what i've read online, most of your recommendations for scopes have been tested for this caliber and don't tend to fog up under poor sighting conditions. I'll post back to let you guys know who the lucky scope is once i finally decide. I've got a couple of weeks before deer opens. Thanks again. 
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