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WHAT POWER scope do I need?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2007 at 22:13
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Greetings all.

 

I had a 1946 winchester model 70 in .30-06 handed down to me by my grandfather. It used to have a 2x lyman alaskan but after missing some long shots I have decided to upgrade. My friends have sold me on the Leupold VX-II but I'm not sure what power. It will be a carry ranch rifle; steep mountains, wide open fields, to dense oak woodlands. It will shoot 95% coyote (at all hours) and an ocasional buck. I use a small pair of shooting sticks. I'm leaning towards the 3-9x40 because it seems like a good all arounder and should be quick when things pop out in the woods. The guy in the store is pushing the 4-12 "for that rifle." He says its the equivilant of a custom rifle and deserves a 4-12 to "realise its potential."  I previously never took shots past 300 yards with my old scope but I have plenty of chances too. I will never have time to fiddle about with windage and adjusting for bullet drop so I tend to think those long shots are not for this rifle. Is a 4-12 really going to be a better all arounder for this gun than the 3-9 shooting less than 400 yds? Will the 4x be to slow in the woods?

The local shop wants $340 for the 3-9 and $440 for the 4-12 ( they mount and sight for free with purchase so I figure its worth the extra 40$ vs. online)

 

Its my first scope purchase so what do you guys think?

 

 I know its not the best coyote rifle but everyone tells me its the best they have ever shot and I love it so I'm going to stick with it.

 

Thanks

Rick



Edited by rtavernetti
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2007 at 22:53
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Originally posted by rtavernetti rtavernetti wrote:

Greetings all.

 

I had a 1946 winchester model 70 in .30-06 handed down to me by my grandfather. It used to have a 2x lyman alaskan but after missing some long shots I have decided to upgrade. My friends have sold me on the Leupold VX-II but I'm not sure what power. It will be a carry ranch rifle; steep mountains, wide open fields, to dense oak woodlands. It will shoot 95% coyote (at all hours) and an ocasional buck. I use a small pair of shooting sticks. I'm leaning towards the 3-9x40 because it seems like a good all arounder and should be quick when things pop out in the woods. The guy in the store is pushing the 4-12 "for that rifle." He says its the equivilant of a custom rifle and deserves a 4-12 to "realise its potential."  I previously never took shots past 300 yards with my old scope but I have plenty of chances too. I will never have time to fiddle about with windage and adjusting for bullet drop so I tend to think those long shots are not for this rifle. Is a 4-12 really going to be a better all arounder for this gun than the 3-9 shooting less than 400 yds? Will the 4x be to slow in the woods?

The local shop wants $340 for the 3-9 and $440 for the 4-12 ( they mount and sight for free with purchase so I figure its worth the extra 40$ vs. online)

 

Its my first scope purchase so what do you guys think?

 

 I know its not the best coyote rifle but everyone tells me its the best they have ever shot and I love it so I'm going to stick with it.

 

Thanks

Rick

 

 

1) You have a collectors item, more so depending on condition of the firearm.  That is not the samething as a custom rifle, but many people would love to have the gun for the action alone.   I would suggest you not use the firearm as a ranch rifle to protect its collectors and sentamential value.  Think of this way even a bad four door 55 chevy with a  230 is a collectors item now a days.  Any pre-64 model 70 is a collectors item that can not really be replaced, that it was your grandfathers make it even more so.  It should be a safe queen expect for special moments 

 

2) I could understand  an upgrade of the scope depending on how the present scope is mounted.  Are you going to have to get things redrilled and taped?

 

3) I would not waste my money on a VXII.  You are buying one scope and paying for two. Back in the old day you went in an bought a Sear's craftsman wrench and it was good and they said if you could break it they would give you one free.  Then some bean counter figured out that most people never broke thier wrenches so they could cheapen them up, but still charge extra in case somebody broke one and Still make money, even more money.  Leupold has the same problem.  They are good, but not for the money.

 

 Leupolds are poor in low light performace.  You said you want to shoot coyotes all the time and any time.  The VXII is not as good as the VXIII and they are not very good.  You will get at least 2% more light through a Bushnell 4200.  You will get 4 % more light through a Zeiss Conquest.

 

4) Your question as to magification power.  You said "Dense Oak Woadland"  that means you should "error" on the lower power 3x9.  I do not buy the "full potential" argument.  Yes, for daylight varmit hunting 4-12 would be a correct answer.  Not, for evening, bad weather or brush hunting.   

 

5) I would get the Zeiss 3x9x40 Conquest for better low light usage.  Its 400$ here and you can still pay the local his 40$ to mount it.  You will be much happier.  You will see much clearer and have better luck in low light.

 

6) Heck, I know the gun is paid for and beat up some, but I would get a new rifle and scope.  I have a similar problem in that a couple of the guns I have bought over the years are now, through dumb luck, collectors items.  There is no way I could afford to replace them.  There is no way I would sell them.

 

edit for typo



Edited by silver
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/04/2007 at 01:23
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First welcome to the forums.

 

You have a great collectors gun in that Winchester closed its US plant where your gun was made added to the fact that is a pre-1964 when Winchester in there not so wise wisdom changed the action and in my opinion not for the better. The Pre-64 action like yours is great bolt action design.

 

I agree that you could buy a new gun and keep that one safe. On the other hand I think it is kind of neat to use a good old fashioned Winchester and the fact that it is your grandfathers makes it even more special to use.

 

I will not be as harsh on my judgement on the Leupold scope as the above post but I do agree that you could get the same level or even more performance at less cost.  Two scopes that come very highly recommended here on the forums is the Bushnell 4200 Elite and the Zeiss Conquest. Both are fantasic scopes.  I would suggest using the search function here on the this forum. If you type in the key words (Bushnell 4200, or Zeiss Conquest or Leupold VXII, VXIII) you will find all of the information you could ask for. 

Leupold still makes a very fine scope. Thirty years ago they were pretty much the only American quality scope out there and because of that they still have a very strong following.  Today the playing field has changed a bit and companies such as Burris, Pentax, Nikon, Weaver, Bushnell have caught up and in some cases I believe put out a better product and do it for less money.  Personally, depending on your budget I would look very hard at the Zeiss Conquest about the best buy out there in terms of performance. The Bushnell 4200 is right there behind the Zeiss and is also a very good scope.

 

I personally would stick to a 3-9 powered scope for that caliber of rifle.  If you were shooting something that has very flat trajectory and your shooting at far distances at very small game I might jump up the magnification. 

 

Once again welcome to the forums, happy shooting

 

AC

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/04/2007 at 01:58
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Silver,

Thanks very much for the information. I will do a search on the zeiss now. I have heard lots of people talk about the 4200 but I have 3 of thier optical products that are complete crap. Second two of my friends have had bad expierences with their scopes and I have never met someone that was happy with a bushy who owned other good scopes. Of the people that have leupolds I have never heard a bad thing and I really like the idea of a lifetime warranty because I always end up using it. I have been looking on the internet and I hadn't heard anything about the conquest. I have two zeiss 8x50 bino's and they are the best I have ever used, so I hold zeiss in very high reguard. I just didn't think I would see much difference paying for glass over $300 (vs. paying for magnification).

 

As far as making the gun a safe queen I don't see the point (but then I am young). What good is it if I cant enjoy it. The man at the shop thought it was worth around a thousand. It has three holes drilled in it for an echo side quick release mount for the lyman scope. He said it that hurt the value but collectors may still want it because that was the only type of mount available at the time. It is pre drilled and tapped on top though. So to me a thousand $$$ does not seem like all that much. My grandfather taught me to hunt with that rifle and the nostalgia and joy it brings me on the ranch is priceless. However I do treat it with great care. I looked at other rifles; the shop had a like new stainless ruger m77 varmint with bipod and a 8-32 Burris Black diamond for 995 but it felt like a piece of junk. The trigger is not crisp, the bolt is rough and sloppy, none of the new guns feel the same. So why pay $1000 for something I donít like when I already have one I do. If I was to buy another I think I would be best buying a later pre-64 model 70 for $500 or so rather than a $1500 kimber. Am I really making a mistake by using it? Is there some other rifle your reccomend?



Edited by rtavernetti
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Ok I did a search on the conquest and it seems like the verdict is the optics are far better. Almost sold. However, many have said it feels cheep and is not as tough as the Leupold. It will need to bounce about on the back of an ATV day after day and not loose its zero or break. Is the conquest still the better choice?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/04/2007 at 06:54
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The Leupold is ok, but over priced.  The Zeiss is clearly the better scope.  The 4200s are great scopes, contrary to what you have experienced or heard and are tough as nails.  Mine have never failed me.  Great optics too, better than Leupold and close enough to the Zeiss I cannot tell a big difference.  The 4200 would be my choice, but you seem to have made your mind up and like the Leupold, as you keep going back to finding a reason not to like the Zeiss.  Zeiss or 4200 would be my choice and leave the Leupold for others to worry about.
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Originally posted by rtavernetti rtavernetti wrote:

Silver,

Thanks very much for the information. 

 

As far as making the gun a safe queen I don't see the point (but then I am young). What good is it if I cant enjoy it. The man at the shop thought it was worth around one too two thousand. It has three holes drilled in it for an echo side quick release mount for the lyman scope. He said it that hurt the value but collectors may still want it because that was the only type of mount available at the time. It is pre drilled and tapped on top though. So to me a thousand $$$ does not seem like all that much. My grandfather taught me to hunt with that rifle and the nostalgia and joy it brings me on the ranch is priceless. However I do treat it with great care. I looked at other rifles; the shop had a like new stainless ruger m77 varmint with bipod and a 8-32 Burris Black diamond for 995 but it felt like a piece of junk. The trigger is not crisp, the bolt is rough and sloppy, none of the new guns feel the same. So why pay $1000 for something I donít like when I already have one I do. If I was to buy another I think I would be best buying a later pre-64 model 70 for $500 or so rather than a $1500 kimber. Am I really making a mistake by using it? Is there some other rifle your reccomend?

 

Youth...  It's called capital apperciation.  If you leave it a lone it will keep going up in value and you will still have in a form that brings back good memories.  If you use it  like you have described, then you drop it value to a few hundred dollars.  It's like using a collectors car to drive to work in a bad nighborhood. 

 

I have a Colt .22 made in the twenties that has the best trigger you could ever shoot.  It has some honest wear, but they ain't making them no more. I don't want any more dings or scratches on it. I don't want somebody using the wrong ammo in it, as it is not made for high vel only match.  It gets brought out once a year or so.  For  blasting, I use my 22/45 that I don't care if it get wets or I can hand it to a kid to use. Save your grandfathers rifle for when you can shoot it and keep it nice. Let something else take the hits.

 

I would look hard at C-Z, Sako and Tika.  My last rifle was a Tika.  My next bolt gun will be  the small action C-Z.  Tika is the poor brother to the Sako and has the same barrel and a very good trigger.  With a stainless action and barrel and a plastic stock I don't worry about my Tika in my damp Jeep.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/04/2007 at 07:19
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"Leupolds are poor in low light performace.  You said you want to shoot coyotes all the time and any time.  The VXII is not as good as the VXIII and they are not very good.  You will get at least 2% more light through a Bushnell 4200.  You will get 4 % more light through a Zeiss Conquest."

 

It's just not true that Leupolds are "poor in low light performance".  2% and 4%? Give me a break

 

rtavernetti, if you want to put a VX II on your grandfather's Winchester, by all means do it, and enjoy it.  You won't be disappointed.  Would your grandfather have wanted the rifle to sit in a safe?  If he's anything like mine was, he'd have been furious.

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I agree with mwyates, you will not be disappointed with the Leupold and the 2 and 4 percent light transmission differences are not significant and who knows if those figures are indeed true.  I believe most people would agree the vxIIs are inferior to the zeiss and 4200s, but then again, as mwyates said, you will not be disappointed if thats what you buy.  I just believe you would do better with one of the other scopes and again my preference is the 4200.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/04/2007 at 07:34
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Two other suggestions, would be a Burris FFII and a Sightron SII, both in a 3x9 configuration.  Both great scopes, with great optics, good value and tough.
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you may have had bad experiences w/ bushnell before, as have i -

 

but trust me, the elite 4200's are super bright, clear, and tough.  have no worries.

 

the zeiss is a good buy, but if you want 40mm, get the 4200 and put the savings in a good set of mounts.

 

you will notice a large difference between the VX-II and the 4200 in lowlight.  The 4200 is as bright as the conquests in my opinion.

 

good luck, and take care of that rifle!!!!

 

J

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The VX II is not the scope that the 4200, Conquest, and VX III are.  I'm a Leupold guy, and I wouldn't buy one. 

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I'm not jumping in here because I am a big Leupold fan. However, I can't agree with the blanket statement about poor low light performance. There are better scopes for low light performance but that doesn't mean that the Leupold is subpar. Two weeks ago I used a VXIII to shoot a hog at well past legal deer hunting hours. It was around 150 yards and I could not see the hog without the scope. There are good,better and best, but this one will definitely do.
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There are some scopes that are "poor" low light performers, but Leupold does not make one.  There are scopes that are better than even the best Leupold in low light, but when you compare apples to apples, there's not a huge difference.

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Originally posted by rtavernetti rtavernetti wrote:

Silver,

Thanks very much for the information. I will do a search on the zeiss now. I have heard lots of people talk about the 4200 but I have 3 of thier optical products that are complete crap. Second two of my friends have had bad expierences with their scopes and I have never met someone that was happy with a bushy who owned other good scopes. Of the people that have leupolds I have never heard a bad thing and I really like the idea of a lifetime warranty because I always end up using it. I have been looking on the internet and I hadn't heard anything about the conquest. I have two zeiss 8x50 bino's and they are the best I have ever used, so I hold zeiss in very high reguard. I just didn't think I would see much difference paying for glass over $300 (vs. paying for magnification).

 

As far as making the gun a safe queen I don't see the point (but then I am young). What good is it if I cant enjoy it. The man at the shop thought it was worth around one too two thousand. It has three holes drilled in it for an echo side quick release mount for the lyman scope. He said it that hurt the value but collectors may still want it because that was the only type of mount available at the time. It is pre drilled and tapped on top though. So to me a thousand $$$ does not seem like all that much. My grandfather taught me to hunt with that rifle and the nostalgia and joy it brings me on the ranch is priceless. However I do treat it with great care. I looked at other rifles; the shop had a like new stainless ruger m77 varmint with bipod and a 8-32 Burris Black diamond for 995 but it felt like a piece of junk. The trigger is not crisp, the bolt is rough and sloppy, none of the new guns feel the same. So why pay $1000 for something I donít like when I already have one I do. If I was to buy another I think I would be best buying a later pre-64 model 70 for $500 or so rather than a $1500 kimber. Am I really making a mistake by using it? Is there some other rifle your reccomend?

 

Good for you!  If you get more enjoyment out of using it rather than just looking at it in a safe...use the damn thing.  Life is too short to not use something you love just because it will increase in value a little.  (Lets be honest, this is not going to appreciate to become a $50,000 gun)

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rtavernetti I agree on using the gun, I use a SVD NDM-86 sometimes (only about 800 in the US ) that is worth far more than the pre-64 you have described, I see these all the time and have two uncles that use them. I have owned and tested many scopes from many brands and I can honestly say that you should trust that search engine and stay away from Leupold. Leupold is by far not the best scope for the price all across thier lines. Good luck and keep us posted.
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. "Leupold is by far not the best scope for the price all across thier lines"

 

This is a blanket statement that is blatantly false.  I might could have let it slide if you hadn't said "by far".  How can you say that a 4200 or Conquest is "by far" better than a VX III?  Based on what criteria?  It may be better in your opinion, and even in some parameters in my opinion, but they are not "far better", and aren't as good in some respects. 

 

 

 

 

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Glass quality is very imprortant to me contrary to what a few believe here(mostly Leupold fans).

When you can get better glass and better construction at or below the price of a Leupold than

it is by far better to go that rought. It will pay off in the field,and this Leupold warranty that a lot

of people use as a last resort for Leupold's defense, it is well matched by many companies. The

number of posts that I have in such a short time and the number of testimonials should account

for something, if I posted here with my ass I would have had it kicked out of here a long time

ago. Trust that search engine and move foreward(2007). Leupolds days are numbered

IMO.

 



Edited by SVD666
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I think I will go with the zeiss conquest because I have had great experiences with zeiss.

 

However can anyone comment on the lack of durability claims a have seen about them on this board?

 

THX

 

 

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Conquest does have plastic turrets and caps and a few nylon components,they are not a Diavari both glass and construction. I have seen some fail and so have others here with hard kicking magnums but it is not known yet if this occurs at a abnormal rate. Even the best of scopes fail in the field ounce in a while,these have been described as Monday scopes. I prefer IOR Valdada or Meopta Meostar over Conquest, better glass and construction IMO. You may also want to look at Kahles and see if there is a right one for you,this route is highly recommended by me.

Good luck and keep us posted on your decision.



Edited by SVD666
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i dropped a zeiss conquest on a heavy gun and it held zero - mine was tough as nails -

 

keep in mind, lots of people w/ 'scope' problems actually have mount problems.

 

no worries w/ zeiss OR 4200's.

 

J

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rtavernetti,

I feel your pain, brother!  I can tell you're torn over this whole decision and that it's really eating at you, so I suggest this...

... send the rifle to me rather than continue with all this gut-wrenching worry.  I'll give it a loving home, and will send you pictures every now and then with photos of the 'ol soldier and the game it's killed.  You can even call me every now and then to check up on how she's doing.

 

I know, I know... just when you thought there were no more good samaritans in the world...

 

it's the least I could do for a fellow rifleman faced with difficult circumstances!

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Y'all are getting way above the price point originally mentioned, VX II.  Most of the time when somebody comes along and asks about $300 scopes they get a lot of recommendations in the $600 range.  That's a real disservice to the original post.

 

Conquest is a great scope and you won't be sorry; plastic caps won't hurt anything at all.

 

Now, as far as "in the field", I'd venture to say that I've spent more time there and taken more game than just about anybody here.  Not because of ability or skill; I've just been at it a good bit longer than most of you guys (killed my first deer 45 years ago).  I've never bought the top dollar Euro stuff, but have owned and used just about everything else except a 4200, and I'm going to try one soon.  The cheapest scope I've used much is a Simmons Whitetail Expedition and the most expensive is a Kahles CL.  Now, there's a big difference between those two, BUT, the Simmons has never failed me, even after bouncing around for years on a 4-wheeler (my own property, rootmanslim).  Never been a time I really needed more low light capability or a clearer picture.  It's nice to have it, as in the Kahles, but it's really not a functional advantage. 

 

The last four scopes I have bought have not been Leupold, but I will buy more in the future.  They work and I know I can trust them.  Contrary to posts above, they are not "poor in low light" or inferior in construction (more likely superior).

 

I will agree that Leupold's days are numbered;  all our days are numbered.  They've been around 100 years and if there's still a world to be in, they'll be here 100 years from now: and probably still a little higher priced than a lot of people think they should be.

 

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Mwyates which new products in Leupolds line are you looking foreward to in 2007? I am not apocolyptic but there are sighns all around us IMO.

Edited by SVD666
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Joined: October/13/2006
Location: Texas
Status: Online
Points: 14313
mwyates makes a valid point.  Any of the better scopes mentioned in the price range implied will give you many years of good service on a hunting rifle, and will all work fine in any legal light condition & range you have any business shooting a deer in.  I personally wouldn't go with the 4-12 power range, preferring something like 2-7, 3-9, 2.5-10 for an all-around big game hunting rifle.  Once you go higher mag. on the upper end, not only does the price increase, all else being equal, but the scope gets longer and bulkier.  I would not overlook the Bushnell 4200 either.  I know exactly where you're coming from; because of bad experiences with of some of their really cheap stuff on my dad's rifles years ago, I've had a hard time accepting the fact their present-day Elite 4200 series scopes are really great glass.  I bought some when they were still under the Bausch and Lomb name, and have been very pleased with them.  The newest versions, the 4200, are even better than when they had the B&L designation.  I've personally found the 4200s to be optically on par with the Zeiss Conquest, maybe just a smidge behind.

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