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selecting a scope for .308

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2014 at 00:46
wlay View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Hi and thanks for the help in advance, I'm new to the form and was hoping to find some advice/ opinions on scope selection for my rifle. 
I will be shooting a remington 700 in .308, which I already have, 
and am having trouble deciding on a scope,
I had a leupold vari-x 4.5-14 on it,
but would like to start learning how to calculate range and hold over with a mil dot reticle and adjustable turrets. 
it will be used as a hunting rifle occasionally, and at the range to 600 yards at most.
my specific questions are how powerful of a scope do I need to be able to consistently and confidently range and shoot at these distances? is it easier to learn this with a FFP or SFP scope? and does an illuminated reticle make a difference when shooting at longer distances? 
so far I am leaning towards a vortex viper PST 6-24x50 as this is within my budget of $750-1000, and has the other things i am looking for, but I am not set on it and certainly open to suggestions.
Thanks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2014 at 02:57
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Originally posted by wlay wlay wrote:

Hi and thanks for the help in advance, I'm new to the form and was hoping to find some advice/ opinions on scope selection for my rifle. 
I will be shooting a remington 700 in .308, which I already have, 
and am having trouble deciding on a scope,
I had a leupold vari-x 4.5-14 on it,
but would like to start learning how to calculate range and hold over with a mil dot reticle and adjustable turrets. 
it will be used as a hunting rifle occasionally, and at the range to 600 yards at most.
my specific questions are how powerful of a scope do I need to be able to consistently and confidently range and shoot at these distances?
6-24x is not optimal for hunting unless you are always shooting at 100 yards or more or intend to do a lot of practicing engaging moving targets at close range... I like 3-12/3-15

is it easier to learn this with a FFP or SFP scope? personal preference... if you don't know already, I suggest going with FFP

and does an illuminated reticle make a difference when shooting at longer distances? Mostly no.  In low vis, low light or no light, IR helps you find the aiming point in the reticle... other than that, it doesn't do anything.  Most IR scopes are too bright, even at lowest settings, and hurt more than they help. 

so far I am leaning towards a vortex viper PST 6-24x50 as this is within my budget of $750-1000, and has the other things i am looking for, but I am not set on it and certainly open to suggestions.
Thanks.
Check out the SS3-15.  Very nice value... you get more than you pay for.  Check out the Meopta Meostar R1's and R2's..in 3-12. Excellent scopes  Now, I've not used an R2, but by all accounts they are better than the R1's... which is saying a lot.

Welcome to the OT.  You will most likely hear from others, there is a wide variety of opinion in such matters. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2014 at 20:57
wlay View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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thanks for the help, I live in the southwest where the majority of my hunting will be greater than 100 yards, and also have another rifle set up for hunting in closer quarters if needed
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2014 at 21:12
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Go for quality over high magnification. I high mag 24x of sub quality will not be as usable as a good or excellent optical scope of much less mag. For big game hunting super high mag scopes is just not needed. 12 to 15x would be oodles IMO. I habe never hunted deer or elk with a scope that has more than 10x and never felt the need for more.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/06/2014 at 00:07
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I agree with not NEEDING the high power.  4x, 6x, 8x, 10x power scopes have been used by militarys all over the world for LONG range shooting for many years.  It becomes a matter of what you want and what you are willing to pay for or trade off in the way of quality of sight picture.  Certainly high power can be traded for better glass in moderately priced scopes.  (moderate is relative... your moderate may be different than mine).  If you WANT high power and sight picture quality, you have to be willing to pay the price.  But if you just WANT it, there are some trades that can be made to reduce cost.  If you NEED it... you just pay the price.  It is hard to convince me that anyone really NEEDS a 20+ power scope to go deer hunting.  Don't get me wrong... I have a number of high power scopes... I like them, I use them, I WANT them.  I don't NEED them for deer hunting, hog hunting, any kind of legal hunting... I am willing to trade weight for the extra power and I am willing to trade cost for extra quality with the power.  This is a simplistic view of the parameters, but those are the biggest cost drivers.  If you understand the trades, you can end up with what you NEED, usually, at a fairly reasonable price.  Just don't get WANTS confused with NEEDS.  Annnd... don't "settle", unless you truly make up your mind you are willing to live with what you "settle" for.  I've done a pretty extensive search for something I could choose as "acceptable" at low cost.  For me, there are some that are passable... but I would not use them for a "go to" optic for much of anything.  I have a BSA Sweet 22 and had a Swift Premier that were probably the best low-dollar scopes I've ever run across... based upon most people's experiences, I'm sure the BSA was a fluke.  However, the one I have works for me (except it is a 6-18 and the low end is way too high for my purposes).  The Swift was good enough that I gave it to someone who truly needed a good scope.  I have another sitting on my 6.5Grendel AR right now. Leatherwood Camputer ARTs have always been good for me and the CMR is very good.  I don't care much for their other offerings.

 I've gone through a number of other low dollar scopes, Simmons, NcStar, SEAL, Barska, Leapers, Millet, Mueller, ATN (took 7 tries to get one that worked), Countersniper, etc and found them lacking in most of the things I want AND need out of a scope.  Some of them have been useable with major limits, some worthwhile as targets, most were just not worth the money.  I've sent some back, given some away, sold a few, shot a few with various caliber rifles (mostly 458 Lott), just thrown a few away.  I still have some just laying around waiting to become targets.

When I purchase a scope, I almost always develop a list of requirements... separated into NEED and WANT and TRADES.  Sometimes, just like anyone, I will purchase based upon known qualities and reputation (that's how my wife bought my Hensoldt for me... and that is acceptable because it is better than advertised), but I try to use scientific methodology to purchase most firearms and their accoutrements.  I don't have any problem with calling companies and asking them hard questions about their products.  It takes time but is generally worth it in the end.  Do the homework..

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/06/2014 at 22:24
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SWFA SS 3-15x42 Tactical Rifle Scope SWFA SS 3-15x42 Tactical Rifle Scope
Stock # - SS315X42MQ
  • Matte Finish
  • First Focal Plane
  • Patented Mil-Quad Reticle
  • 30mm Tube
  • Side Focus (6m-infinity)
  • OK for .50cal
  • .10 Mrad Turrets
$699.95
SWFA SS HD 5-20x50 Tactical 30mm Riflescope SWFA SS HD 5-20x50 Tactical 30mm Riflescope
Stock # - SSHD520X50MQ
  • Patented First Focal Plane Mil-Quad Reticle
  • 30mm
  • HD Model
  • Locking Ocular Adjustment
  • 0.1 Mrad Elevation & Windage
  • 10 Mils Per Revolution
  • 30 Mils Of Total Travel
  • Side Focus
  • Thunbs Up
$1,299.95
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/07/2014 at 06:50
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Good recommendations above.  The SWFA 3-15X is an excellent choice, as is the Weaver Tactical 3-15X.

Echo the comment about FFP.  You can range no matter the magnification, where with the SFP, you have to be set on a particular magnification.

You may want to consider picking up binoculars or monocular that has the etched reticle.  Vortex has a Viper Viper R/T binocular and a Solo R/T monocular that have a ranging reticle in the glass.  I find it convenient to practice my ranging without having to point a rifle at something.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/07/2014 at 09:55
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Having owned a few - and used many more - >20X scopes, I prefer less magnification and better glass.  I also find that I shoot better with 12-15X optics, mostly due to the fact that, at 24X, you see more movement than at 15X, and will - consciously or otherwise - try to offset that movement.  My heart beats when my scope is at 15X, I just don't see it on target the way I do at 24X.

Next, head position behind even the best >20X optics can be challenging, especially in field conditions.  Whether you call it eye box or something else, the easier it is to get a good sight picture, the more time you have to think about the shot rather than the view.

Illumination is nice in low light shooting, whether deep woods with shadows or night time, but is far from necessary for most.  Pigs like to move around in darkness or near-darkness, if you are planning to hunt pigs, illumination is good; if not hunting things at night, don't bother.  Some like daytime-visible illumination, I've never really understood why.  Even shooting at black targets with little light on target and/or much light on shooter, I don't find illumination of much use.

For what you have stated, I too would recommend the 3-15SS, it is a great scope.  I have no experience with the Weaver, but hear good things mostly.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/08/2014 at 09:16
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Another vote for the SS 3-15. I have a number of scopes with magnifications over 15x, but now I rarely use them over 15x. Going over about 15x introduces a whole new set of problems such as mirage. And being in NM I can see mirage being a big issue for you. Also even at 10x at 600yds is similar to looking at the same image at 60yds without any magnification.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2014 at 17:19
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Optics GrassHopper
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thanks for all the input so far, another question I have is how to determine or define "good glass" or "quality glass"? is there anyway to make this less subjective? every company likes to brag about this or that coating and glass clarity, and every person has their own preference but is there a more exact way to say one scope has "better" glass than another?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2014 at 17:27
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No silver bullet here.  Reviews/input from folks on this forum or Ilya's Opticsthoughts is a good place to start, but you really need to see them for yourself.  What you think is better glass may not be the same as my opinion.

What I think now with older eyes and cataracts is a whole lot different than what I thought about 30 years ago.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2014 at 12:13
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Optics GrassHopper
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

Having owned a few - and used many more - >20X scopes, I prefer less magnification and better glass.  I also find that I shoot better with 12-15X optics, mostly due to the fact that, at 24X, you see more movement than at 15X, and will - consciously or otherwise - try to offset that movement.  My heart beats when my scope is at 15X, I just don't see it on target the way I do at 24X.

Next, head position behind even the best >20X optics can be challenging, especially in field conditions.  Whether you call it eye box or something else, the easier it is to get a good sight picture, the more time you have to think about the shot rather than the view.

Illumination is nice in low light shooting, whether deep woods with shadows or night time, but is far from necessary for most.  Pigs like to move around in darkness or near-darkness, if you are planning to hunt pigs, illumination is good; if not hunting things at night, don't bother.  Some like daytime-visible illumination, I've never really understood why.  Even shooting at black targets with little light on target and/or much light on shooter, I don't find illumination of much use.

For what you have stated, I too would recommend the 3-15SS, it is a great scope.  I have no experience with the Weaver, but hear good things mostly.


Every time you write down some thing on this forum I come away with some thing to think about. Keep up the good work. Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2014 at 14:09
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Glad to help.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2014 at 14:49
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I love my 3-9x SS on my beloved .308. Perfect...perfect...perfect.....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2014 at 15:04
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A note of interest, in pursuit of full disclosure:  there have been a few recent posts, here and elsewhere, of SS3-15 failures.  Of the many, MANY they have sold, a few have said their failed with very similar circumstances.

I own the 3-15, no issues with mine; I own the 3-9SS, no issues with that either.  I would say buy either with confidence.

I am aware of no reports of 3-9 failures having the same phenotype.

I don't know why the few 3-15s failed or if failures continue, all I know is a few have said they fail in a specific way, and the failure renders the optic inoperable.

As I have said here and elsewhere, my absolute favorite scope is a Hensoldt 3-12, it failed and had to be sent in for repair, this stuff happens.  The only failure-proof scope exists in the mind, it has yet to be built.

I would be comfortable with the 3-9 or 3-15 on a 308.  I prefer the turrets on the 3-9, but the top end of the 3-15.  The 3-9 is better glass to my eyes, which is an important consideration for me.
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