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variable versus fixed power

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2012 at 19:19
jackofalltrades View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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I have a question for you folks concerning fixed powered scopes or variable power. I am currently shooting a .223 and I have not moved out to the longer ranges yet. I want to get where I can shoot that gun at 400 or maybe 500 yds. It has a 5X15X40 3200 Bushnell Tactical scope on it.
I want to build a .308 caliber gun for 300 - 600 yds. Every once in a while I might go out to 800 yds. I like being able to see at  the higher maginifications but many things I read on here talk about shooting 10 or 12 power at targets 600- 1000 yds. I am not sure I could even see a target that far in a scope of that magnification. Anyway, I would like some feedback as to which is a better scope to have and higher versus lower maginifications.
I would also like to know why the SWFA SS 10 power is 399 and all the other, even higher, maginifications are 299.  Thanks for your help!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2012 at 20:19
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Optics GrassHopper
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  I seem to be in the minority any more but I prefer a good fixed power.  On my live varmint rifles I had either a 10x or 12x and on the 40XBR Remingtonin 22 BR I used to have (Combination benchrest and live varmint rifle) I had a 12x Leupold bumped up to 24X by Wally Seibert.
  If shooting live varmint or target shooting why would you want the lower end of a variable?  Most people I shot with that had them would set them at a higher power and leave them there.  In a hunting rifle used at both near and far distances and in the woods I can see where a variable might be handy when set at a lower power tpo have greater power available if needed.  There is usually time to increase the power for a long shot but seldom time to redusce it for a short one.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2012 at 21:28
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I have a Leupold FXIII, 12X40 and a SS 10X42.
 
I find both scopes just fine for 1000 yd plus targets that are approx 18 X 18 inch steel plates and have used both at up 600 yds for chucks. 10 & 12 power will be fine for longer ranges, are not affected as much by mirage, have larger exit pupils (3.3 & 4.2 mm) thus brighter and faster to use.
 
My eyes are reasonably good and I can spot .22 holes at 200 yds with both scopes. If I need to spot holes at 300 yds and more a 20X would be better, thus I have some variables that go up to 20X.
 
The Leupold FXIII 12X40 is one of my favorite scopes because of its good optical qualities and small size.
 
The SS10X42 has a greater range of adjustment but is much heavier, bigger and requires 30 mm rings; I prefer the parallax adjustment on the eyepiece vs the objective end. I can really and quickly "tune" in or focus the SS in at all ranges except for real close up.
 
For me (just my opinion) a more than 12 fixed power scope would be somewhat of a handicap because of the extra efforts to focus it, small field of view, and small exit pupil (objective lens diameter divided by power).
 
After using a rifle, having either a 10X or 12X scope, for some time, abilities to aim and shoot targets at less than 50 yds will increase.
 
I think the 299 vs 399 on the SS scopes is that the 299 has a rear parallax adjustment and the 399 has a side mounted parallax adjustment.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2012 at 21:32
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Originally posted by jackofalltrades jackofalltrades wrote:


I would also like to know why the SWFA SS 10 power is 399 and all the other, even higher, magnifications are 299.  Thanks for your help!

The 6,10,16 and 20X for $299 are all rear focus models with either the Mil dot or Mil quad. reticle. The 10x side focus is $399 dot or quad. There is a difference in construction for side focus. The 10XHD is $799. It has a much higher quality in the optics and coatings, which gives a much improved view.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/31/2012 at 09:49
RifleDude View Drop Down
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Originally posted by jackofalltrades jackofalltrades wrote:

  for 300 - 600 yds. Every once in a while I might go out to 800 yds.


Since you are pretty well eliminating short range shooting, and since you're confining your shooting to targets, I think a fixed power makes good sense. Fixed powers eliminate the possibility of POI shifting as you change power (although current high quality variables usually don't have this problem anymore either, but it's still possible). You can get higher quality optics for less money with a fixed power. Whether or not 10X is enough depends on the size of your targets. It is enough for man-sized silhouette targets, and it's usually enough out to 600 yds, but it's a bit on the low end for 800 yds. If you want to go with a fixed power and you're shooting man-sized silhouettes, I'd probably go with something in the 14X - 20X range. SS and IOR have good 16X scopes, and SS offers a 20X. If you're into more precision such as BR shooting, I'd get a 36X - 45X competition scope. Here, unless you're willing to spend the big bucks for a March BR (top of the line), Leupold, Sightron, and Weaver have decent fixed power competition scopes in this power range.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/31/2012 at 09:50
RifleDude View Drop Down
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BTW, welcome to OT, Jack!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/31/2012 at 11:13
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Welcome to the OT!
 
SS 12X mrad should get you there.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/31/2012 at 15:29
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Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks for the feedback and the forum! I would be shooting a few deer along the way with it also. I know its hard to get a goodgun and scope setup for multiple uses but that is what I would like to do.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2013 at 09:25
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Welcome to Optics Talk. 

Rifle Dude summed up my sentiments on fixed powers pretty well. 

If your considering even occasional big game hunting, then I personally would probably forego the 10x plus fixed powers. 

I would pick up a good 3-9x for big game and a 10x or 12x SS for long range targets?? That's what I do. 
Run a picatinny rail and good rings and then just switch them when you need to. You get the best of both worlds.     
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2013 at 13:27
Sparky View Drop Down
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+1 on a 3-9 for hunting and a fixed 10x or 12x for target. Although I could go for a 16x for targets.
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