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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 11:48
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Optics GrassHopper
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Hey I'm new to the forum but I wanted to post a question to see what anyone had to say. I'm in the market
for a new scope to mount on a Tikka T3 7mm magnum. I have narrowed my search somewhat but wondered if I I can get some help. My top three are Swarovski z5 3.5-18x44, Meopta Meostar r1 4-16x44, and a Leupold vx-6 3-18x50. I know there are a little bit of price variances but any help would be great.
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 12:12
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Welcome to Optics Talk.
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 12:17
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Uses and what ranges are you going to shoot at?
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 12:17
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All three are good scopes, though not necessarily directly comparable to each other.

Can you provide a little more detail on how you plan to use them?  typical shooting distances, lighting conditions, etc?

ILya
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 12:28
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I know they are a little different in comparison. Used mostly for medium game hunting mid to longer ranges up to 300+ lighting condition varies but nothing too extreme like night hunts.
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 12:28
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Thanks, hopefully I will get some good info from the boards.
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 14:15
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Not being critical, please understand, but in your criteria of "medium to big game hunting mid to longer ranges up to 300", my first thought is why do you feel the need for so much magnification on the top end? 
I have the exact rifle, the T3 in 7Mag (actually I gave it to my nephew) and it's a real shooter.  
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 14:41
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No offense taken, I just want to make sure that if and when I take this gun out for longer shots I have the magnification for it. This is going to be my primary hunter so I want it to have a versatile scope. What are the drawbacks of having a high (above 12x) magnification?
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 15:05
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Swarovski z5 3.5-18x44   
 
 
As magnification goes higher the scope will not look as bright in low light.  6x42 or 7x50 or 8x56 are the brightest.  With a variable at dark dial down. In bright light you can use higher magnification.  In extreme heat  one has issues with mirage but for a hunting scope most guys dont hunt in extreme heat except possibly prairie dogs.
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 20:50
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I have been shooting and hunting North American medium and larger game for nearly 50 years now. Most of my hunting is for various species of deer and elk. I own several well known and some premium brand scopes including Swarovski, Zeiss, Leupold and Kahles. Nearly all of my hunting scopes are in the range of either 3.5-10x42 or 4-12x50 with all but one scope being the former on larger game rifles.

My 9.3-74R for instance, has a 1.5-5x20 Leupold scope on it and my Sako, .338 Federal, rifle a 3-9x42 Kahles scope. I have never had a need to use more than 9 to 10 power maximum for hunting deer to 400 yards and elk to a little further. You can see any detail that you might need, IMHO, to 300 yards for this type of hunting, including antler detail at 10X.

Edited by Oldtrader3 - July/18/2013 at 22:51
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 21:04
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I know that scopes like the 3.5-10x44 Conquest, VX3 3.5-10x40, etc will get you past legal shooting, and are all that I personally need.  I will say though, that after extensive time behind a VX6 2-12x42 that it is fantastic.  I'd like to get my hands on a Conquest HD5 to try out too.  I've spent time with most every high end glass, and I personally see no need for anything over $1000 for situations like yours. 

I'll go so far to suggest this:  Get yourself a FX3 6x42 with a CDS dial.   6x is plenty good out to 500 yards, and that FX3 is one of the brightest and toughest scopes made.  Sight your 7Mag in for 3" high @ 100 (MPBR) and you'll be able to hold on hair out to 340 yards.  I've killed loads of game with this exact setup. 
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 22:12
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Thanks for all the great info. there are obviously a lot of
Experienced optics users here and this has helped me see that I definitely don't need to go out to as high power as I was planning. I think the meopta or Swarovski z3 will do the trick. Any pref on either?
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 22:24
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I have a Sako 75 Greywolf and this is what I put on it. A Swarovski 3-10x42. And I have never wanted more magnification.

http://swfa.com/Swarovski-3-10x42-Z3-Riflescope-P40815.aspx
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 22:53
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My preference would be the Swarovski Z3. I have the AH Model Swarovski (a Z3 in a older model number) and it has been working great for me since 2002.
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 23:00
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Well here in Iowa we only get to use rifles in late antlerless season.  I was hunting with another hunter and I had a fixed 10x and he had an 8.5-25 and at the distance we were at I could not tell that one deer was a little 4 point but he could tell which deer were in fact does.  Sometimes I like to get a better look at a deer or like to see the holes in the target better and I like some extra magnification. I see no problem having a higher maximum power but where most guys run into problems is not having a low enough power.   So I see nothing wrong with choosing a 3.5-18x44 scope  I like that power range and would love to have that scope on a 7mm mag I think its a great match.   My Tikka 300 WSM has a Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14 with a balistic reticle 3.5-18 sounds better on both ends.
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2013 at 23:37
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Good points.
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 07:20
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I too belong to the lower top end magnification group. Additionally, some of those bigger scopes get rather heavy so if you are going to be mobile, consider that. A good quality (glass-wise) scope with adequate ER and medium magnification would be my choice. A 3-10 Swaro Z3 would be a good one. 
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 07:25
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I have that same Z5 on a 300WSM hunting rifle.  Love it.  Great fit, light weight, compact package, dead nutz accurate.
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 09:16
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You could spend less and have a scope that will serve you quite well such as a Meopta Meopro 4-12x50 with a #4

Run a 250 yard zero which puts you 2" high at 100 and about 3" low at 300

Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/22/2013 at 15:42
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This discussion touches on something that has puzzled me for quite some time.  One poster mentioned that he was unable to discern does from a 4-point buck with his scope.  My confusion results from my understanding that a spotting scope or set of binoculars is used to identify the game target, and the rifle scope is used to aim the rifle.  Am I missing something?

My practice is to use either my spotting scope (longer ranges) or a set of binoculars (brush) to identify the game and then switch to the rifle scope.  The spotting scope and binos are much better suited for pulling out detail and much easier to use for long periods.  I use fixed power scopes on my hunting rifles (4X and 8x) except for one 3-9x that was a gift from my wife.   That one stays set on 6x.  I am considering a fixed 12x for a .22 Hornet varmint rifle.  The low power is due to image shake and jitter from off-hand shooting in places that are not ideal.

Is my use of different optics to identify and target unusual?  Is the use of the rifle scope for both spotting and shooting due to the speed of the game?
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/22/2013 at 16:57
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You're not missing anything nor are you unusual, farscott. I totally agree with you.

The point the guys were making about evaluating antlers and discerning bucks vs. does through your rifle scope is simply that sometimes there's no substitute for raw magnification for providing fine detail of distant targets. Even though you're correct that spotting scopes and binos are the preferred tools for locating and identifying game, having additional magnification on your scope can still be useful if your chosen buck is standing among a group of other bucks, as it may have moved from its previous position between the time you located it in your bino/spotter and you shoulder your rifle. It can also be helpful if you're hunting for a very specific trophy animal and you need to make one last verification before taking the shot. Or, maybe you're going after a doe, and you want to make extra certain you're not about to have to burn a buck tag because what you thought was a doe is a button buck. At this point, you know you're aiming at game animals and not a person anyway, so the safety concern has already been put to rest.

Having said all that, I too am a member of the moderate magnification school of thought and I generally don't want more than 10X on the top end of any variable scope I use for any big game hunting rifle. Like you, I also have a couple of fixed 4X and 6X scopes on BG hunting rifles, and most of my variables generally stay set on 6X unless conditions warrant changing power. My own personal reasons for preferring more moderate magnification stems from the fact that high magnification almost always means having to contend with a bigger, heavier, more expensive scope, and I simply don't like the tradeoffs... especially since in nearly 40 years of hunting deer and occasionally elk in several states, I can't think of a single occasion where I needed more than 6X to take a shot at a critter, much less even 10X. Given that fact, I see no benefit for me to mount a Hubble telescope to my finely balanced, easy totin' hunting rifle.


Edited by RifleDude - July/22/2013 at 17:02
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/22/2013 at 19:07
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RifleDude,

Thanks for the informative and interesting reply.  Picking out the target animal in a group is a really good reason for more magnification.    

For me, I like fixed power scopes for these reasons:  

1)  They tend (though some are as heavy if not heavier) to be a bit lighter than variable power scopes due to the fewer amount of lenses which makes offhand shooting and rifle toting easier, 
2)  One less thing for me to have to adjust in the field, 
3)  A belief (that may be incorrect with modern scopes) that the simpler fixed powers have less to go wrong and are easier to optimize from a design standpoint,
4)  Fixed power scopes of the same quality as variables tend to be less expensive (especially used), and
5)  Eye relief is a constant.

That being said, I am amazed by the scopes with a 6x erector range.  I wonder if one might have a place in my battery.  A 1.2x to 7.2x scope would be quite useful for me if it is light enough.  I am not sure I could utilize a 10x or higher scope unless it was from the bench or an improvised rest, so I am not sure if the 2x-12x range would work for me.  I sure am tempted to find out though.

Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2013 at 15:55
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I am no expert, but I learned a LOT (everything I now know) from a series of videos on YouTube by Tiborasaurus Rex. I highly recommend you watch his videos on optics selection for your application. The series is called Sniper 101 and the optics videos are about the mid-teens.

Having said that, I'll tell you what I think he'd say:
For anything out to 500m, you will do very well with a fixed power scope. Something in the 8x to 10x works well out to 800m. Military snipers use fixed power scopes quite almost exclusively as they are more rugged (less moving parts). For YOU, a fixed power scope means fewer lenses which means better light transmission and the reticle doesn't change sizes with power. (This can also be accomplished in a variable by ensuring the scope is first focal plane.)

BTW, one of the best bang-for-the-buck fixed power scopes can be had on this sight quite reasonably. The SWFA SS 6x42 would make you OH SO HAPPY for a mere $300.
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2013 at 16:30
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I'd recommend you ALSO read all of Ila Koshkin's articles. Check out his Optics Thoughts site.
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2013 at 16:34
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Interesting videos.  I had never heard of them before, so I went and looked at one where he recommends scopes.

He generally recommends good scopes, although I have to admit that in terms of best scope in particular price ranges, I only agree with him in one instance.

Listening to bits and pieces of some of his other videos where he talks about optics, it is apparent that he has a lot of hands on experience with long range shooting and optics.  That is always a good thing.

As for his take on scopes goes, he is either dumbing it down too much or does not know much about them.

However, anecdotal evidence is still evidence and he has a very legitimate opinion.

Some things immediately stand out from an optics standpoint.  For example, he ranks optical quality of Nightforce F1 higher than Premier.  That is a red flag right there.  They are not close and it is not in Nighforce's favor.

Only the new Nightforce scopes are in Premier's league.

Then there are his ruggedness rankings where he makes some plain erroneous (and outdated) assumptions.

A lot of the things he says would have been true had he been looking at scopes thirty years ago.

ILya
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