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Newbie - Basic Scope Question

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/21/2009 at 14:43
mattbw1 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: June/21/2009
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Fellow Optics Experts,

I am relatively green when it comes to optics and wanted to ask a few basic questions.  I am looking to outfit my dad's 30.06 with a new scope and don't quite understand optics basics.

Primarily, this rifle is being used for medium and big-game hunting.  As such I am not sure on the magnification specs I need.  I would think that 3.5x10 would be more than adequate, but is there any advantage to getting a more powerful scope, i.e 4x14?  I don't plan on taking many shots over 300 yards.

Also, what are the differences/advantages between a 40mm scope and a 50mm scope?

Finally, based on my budget, I am seriously considering the Leupold VX-3. 

Any thoughts or opinions are greatly appreciated.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/21/2009 at 15:04
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Optics God
Optics God
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Joined: January/27/2008
Location: Burlington,WV
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  What your basically describing is an "all-around" scope.  This one is gonna be HARD to beat:
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/21/2009 at 15:09
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Optics Jedi Master
Optics Jedi Master
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Joined: January/19/2005
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+1 on the Bushnell 4200.

If it will be mostly big game and/or mostly close-up shooting, I'd also consider the 1-4X.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/21/2009 at 19:41
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Optics Apprentice
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D. Overton

Joined: March/25/2009
Location: North Carolina
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basically, as those have said, you need a basic scope, a 3x9, nothing more.  a 40mm objective would do just fine.  a nikon, leupold or bushnell would be fine.  if you would like to save some money, try a Hawke optics.  the optics are the equal or probably better then Leupold and if you pick the right scope, you have the advandtage of a progamable oriented reticle from their website.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/21/2009 at 23:34
sholling View Drop Down
Optics Professional
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Joined: May/24/2008
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I'd look at a Nikon Monarch in 2-8x32, and a Bushnell Elite 4200 in 3-9x40 or 2.5-10x40. Or perhaps a Burris Signature Select (made in USA) in 3-10x40. These are all really good scopes and I'd stick with major brands and at least this level of quality.
Nikon 2-8x32 Monarch Riflescope
Nikon 2-8x32 Monarch Riflescope
Stock # - NIK8437
  • Matte
  • Nikoplex
  • 1"
$289.95
Bushnell 3-9x40 Elite 4200 Rifle Scope
Bushnell 3-9x40 Elite 4200 Rifle Scope
Stock # - 423944M
  • Matte
  • Multi-X
  • 1"
  • Rainguard
$299.95
Bushnell 2.5-10x40 Elite 4200 Rifle Scope
Bushnell 2.5-10x40 Elite 4200 Rifle Scope
Stock # - 422104M
  • Matte
  • Multi-X
  • 1"
  • Rainguard
$429.95
*Burris 3-10x40 Signature Select Rifle Scope
*Burris 3-10x40 Signature Select Rifle Scope
Stock # - 200561
Matte, Ballistic Plex, Hunter Knobs, Posi-Lock
$426.95



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/22/2009 at 00:12
jonoMT View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
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Joined: November/13/2008
Location: Montana
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10X on the upper end is more than adequate for the range you have in mind. You might find, depending on terrain and ground cover (e.g. heavy brush) that you will be happiest with a scope that allows really low magnification, like that 2-8X Monarch. As for 40mm vs. 50mm objectives, the main difference is that the larger objective allows more light transmission. However, that come come at the expense of having to mount higher and live with a scope that is longer and heavier. Going with a smaller, higher quality scope that has better glass will be a wiser purchase than a honkin' bell of a scope. I'd choose a scope like the IOR fixed 4x32 over many variables with lesser glass. Or even the Leupold 4x32, which I can personally vouch worked just fine in some difficult low light situations. Consider that the exit pupil on that scope, which has decent optics, is 8mm - which allows more light transmission than can even be used by the human eye.

Depending on the ballistics of the bullet/cartridge you use, you can go with a lower range variable or fixed scope and shoot out to 300 yards inside an 8" kill zone with a 260 yard zero (that with a modest ballistic coefficient of .35 @ 2800fps for a 165 gr. bullet). Simplify your rig and take advantage of a maximum point blank range zero. Then concentrate your money and time on shooting as much as possible. Do you have a .22 at your disposal?


Edited by jonoMT - June/22/2009 at 00:13
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