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Rifle Magnification - How Much?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2007 at 21:15
WileyCat View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: September/28/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 45

I have a number of high magnification scopes in the top end range of 18x to 20x.  When I buy a scope for a new varmint/target rifle I always seem to get more magnification than I really need.  I never really seem to use more than 16x magnification for any purpose. Over 16x and the eye relief, field of view, mirage distortion, etc., all seem to get so critical that it makes shooting difficult and somewhat frustrating.  It is allways a pleasant relief to go back down to lower magnification from these high magnifications. I guess if I was just doing full bench rest shooting, with a fixed rifle and target, the high magnifications could work, but I just never seem to need it. 


Does anyone else have this experience?  It just seems like over 16X I am getting diminishing returns for the extra magnification I pay for. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2007 at 22:04
pyro6999 View Drop Down
Optics Retard
Optics Retard

Joined: December/22/2006
Location: North Dakota
Status: Offline
Points: 22034
if you shoot varmints i cant see the need to go for more than 14x and yes when you crank the power up your eye relief goes down field of view goes down the amount of light entering your eye goes down making it seem darker than it really is. i personally prefer either a 3x9 or a 3-10 or 3-12 and as long as im not after yotes 4.5x14 is ok too but for target shooting you almost are required to have a high power scope cause its easier to shoot  a good group when your only looking a 4 inches worth of target instead of the whole piece of paper.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/02/2007 at 15:15
RifleDude View Drop Down

Joined: October/13/2006
Location: Texas
Status: Online
Points: 15169


You are definitely not alone in your observations.  I seldom use more than 14X in the field because of exactly what you describe.  Higher magnification is great for target shooting, where you don't need wide FOV, and amplifying mirage can actually be a help in judging the direction and relative speed of wind.  In all other shooting, I think the optical penalties of super high magnification outweigh the advantages.  Just another example where more isn't necessarily better.

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