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Why a single power scope?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2010 at 14:52
mpr1tbr1 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Is there any technical reason to chose a single power scope over a variable any more? I am planing to buy a new scope for a pnumatic air rifle with an upper end magnifaction of 20 to 24x. In my search for glass that would paralax focus down to 10 yards I have run across scopes like the SWFA SS20 and the Sightron SIII 20x42 and SIIB 24x44. There doesen't seem to be any significant weight, size, or price advantage over many 6-24 and 6.5-20 variables, so what do they offer?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2010 at 14:58
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Some argue that the fixed power scope is more durable because there are less internal components to fail.  That said a good quality variable would be just as durable as a good quality fixed, IMO
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2010 at 15:13
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Optics GrassHopper
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Since many variables are rated by their manufactures to be used on rifles up to 50 Cal. I don't think their durability is in question. I have wondered if high Mag single power scopes might offer greater clarity than than high Mag variables as they are optomized for just one level of magnafication.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2010 at 15:24
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A 20X with a parallax that can work at 10 yards?  Your field of view will be about half a BB, but carry on.

All too frequently, people get WAY too much magnification, I'd say this setup would fall under that heading.

For an air rifle, there is no advantage to a fixed-power scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2010 at 16:09
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Optics GrassHopper
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Your reply implies that there is an advantage for a fixed power scope on a high power rifle. What is that advantage, and why woulden't it work for an air rifle? Please consider that accuracy in an air rifle is far more important than in a centerfire rifle. In the case of an Olympic target rifle, it only generates 5.5 foot pounds of energy. Can it cleanly kill a squirrel at 20 yards? Yes, but only if you can hit that half a BB. I curently use 3.5-10 and 4-16 scopes always at their highest power, and while the new scope is intended for a rifle generating 30 foot pounds I still have to hit that half BB. With 5.5 or 30 foot pounds close is never good enough.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2010 at 16:18
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More magnification means MUCH smaller field of view and MUCH more shooter-induced movement in the reticle.

At very long ranges, more magnification is a good thing, since without magnification, the target might not be visible at all.  And long range shots tend to be taken from well supported firing positions.  At 10 yards, 20X gives an incredibly small field of view.  And if it ain't a supported shot, your FOV will frequently move around the target, but have difficulty staying ON the target.  Personally, I prefer less magnification than most and better glass, since resolution is what you need, not image size.

Increased magnification does not make you or your rifle more accurate, by default. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2010 at 17:22
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 Totally agree with Rancid on this one. 


I have a lot of respect for air rifles. I have a couple of good ones and do understand the need for optics. You say you are using 12x now on targets, what brand and model of scope would that be? and what rifle are you using?   It sounds like you're getting pulled into the "smaller the field of view, the better" vortex. I was there for a while and finally figured out that if the bullet/pellet hits the center of the crosshairs, and I can keep those crosshairs on the target, I'm good to go. My shots were quicker and better seeing more, than they were with me trying to zero in on something I couldn't see all of. "at 20x a squirrel at 20 yards looks like a wildebeast."


We do have a member that has the Vortex Crossfire 6-24 x 50 on an air rifle. You have to read a bit on the thread to see what he's using, but it's a good read and the pics are good.

http://www.opticstalk.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=23367&KW=&PID=312717#312717





Edited by neilbilly - May/11/2010 at 17:23
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2010 at 19:41
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Optics GrassHopper
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Currently I am shooting a Whiscombe JW80 in 22 with a Sightron SIII 3.5-10 x 56 their only illuminated scope. It is not listed as paralax focusing to 10 yards but mine foucses to a lazer measured 9 yards 22 inches. My Benjamin Marauder was toped by a Leapers Acushot  4-16  x 56 ( came With ) and now wares a Leupold Vari-X III 3.5-10 x 40 off of my Anschutz sporter. My other airguns are all target rifles Styer LG20, PCP,  FWB 300s & Anschutz  380, springers, (the 380 is the only model of springer to ever win an Olympic Gold and my favorite) and a Anschutz 2002 Super Air, SSP. Additionaly I shoot Nikon D3 and Leica M8-2 so you could say I know good glass.
 
Now if I was realy being pulled into the vortex we would be talking about things like S & B 's 10-50 x 60 that was made ONLY for air rifles, instead we are talking about making  " a squirrel at 20 yards looks like a wildebeast." Which is just what I want! BTW have you ever thought of comounting a green lazer or using see through rings to help you get on target? I also always use all the help I can get, tree limbes, bipods, shooting sticks, sandbags, hay bales, ect, ect... However all this has absolutely nothing to do with the question I asked at the top of the page. Does anybody have an answer? How about somebody from SWFA??
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2010 at 22:29
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I dont need a scope for a BB gun.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2010 at 23:39
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Fair nuff.


You have really good gear, and asked a good question.

1.  As mentioned previously, less to go wrong internally. "thus in theory better durability"

2.  A simpler design which is easier to use. "less fiddling with the scope and more shooting"

3.  Repeatability of point of impact due to not having variation of magnification. "you have good gear, but many variable scopes do not have the same point of impact at 6x as they do at 24x" 

Variable scopes have come a long way, so the trade offs aren't as prominent as they were years ago. 

Buy and use what makes you smile the most. Big Smile

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2010 at 03:52
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I would say that a single power scope has, given the same glass, better optical qualities such as less distortion, light transmission etc, simply because of mechanical construction.
 
The next issue is pricing. Again the single power is cheaper for the same magnification. So this allows you to buy better specs for the same money.
 
An air rifle is hell on a scope and you need to buy a scope designed for air rifles.
 
I am a fan of magnification. So I will support Mpr1 on his quest for that.
 
I also agree with the statement that with todays technology, a lot of these differences have all but disappeared


Edited by 8shots - May/12/2010 at 04:09
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2010 at 10:55
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Even though today's variables are more dependable than they were decades ago, the fact is, a fixed power scope of the same quality is still more durable because you don't have the zoom components in the erector assy.  As 8 Shots said, all else being equal, a fixed power scope also has a tad better light transmission due to fewer lens elements in the design.  If you know you will do the bulk of your shooting within narrowly defined parameters, a fixed power scope makes good sense, since you are paying less for the same or better optical quality and getting a more foolproof scope in the bargain.  A fixed power scope is especially practical for many target shooting disciplines.  Why pay for extra magnification range if in reality you will only be using the scope at a single power?  Since there are much fewer fixed power scopes available than variables, sometimes a variable may be the only option depending on what combination of reticles, parallax adjustment range, turrets, etc. you want.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2010 at 11:02
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Optics GrassHopper
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Hi Urimaginaryfrnd,

You Amerindians must have realy remarkable eyesight to kill squirrels with BB guns, and no scope! WOW!!!

Hi neilbilly,

Thanks for a rational responce, but who's your friend, and why is he trying to kick you :) Seriously, I am only even considering a single power scope because I have, always, only used variable power scopes at their max. I have only dialed them back to get an idea of what a less powerfull scope would be like.  I only seem to hunt at dusk and dawn, so I am looking for scopes with good light gathering power. I have concentrated my search in the Sightron line, because they have a number of scopes that paralax focus to ten yards, and because I have found them to have very good glass for the price. I have also considered the Leupold EFRs and your own SS20. Any sugestions on other scopes/lines I should be considering, single power or variable? There are hundereds of fine quality scopes out there but, dang few of them that focus to 10 yards.
 
Hi 8shots,
 
Or should I call you "Slim" :) Thanks for another reasoned responce. If you look at my list of rifles you will see they are all zero recoil weapons, and the gun I have on order, an HW100 FSB, is the same. Realy, the cheapest Chinese scope woulden't be a problem, but I am looking for realy good glass.  As I say above, I have concentrated my search within the Sightron line, but there I have found price, weight, and size to be similar. Would you have any suggestions about where else to look?
 
With thanks to all,
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2010 at 14:10
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 answer to your question - no . Use RWS and a leo 6x20 efr on 9mm brass (targets at 25 yds) in the back yard always on 20x as no sound to disturb others. Turn it back to 6 or so for shooting pine cones of trees in yard for spring clean up. Have been meaning to try a NF 8x32x56 which goes down to 15 yds, but haven't got around to it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2010 at 14:03
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Fixed power scopes are a little easier to build and the glass is a little easier to optimize if you only have one power to worry about.

I do not shoot air rifles, so I am not entirely sure of what is commonly used, although I would imagine that variables scopes with close focus are the way to go, like the Leupold Dale mentioned above.

I have been looking at some Hawke scopes lately and they tell me that a lot of their stuff focuses very close and is used by airgunners a lot.  One thing I can recommend though is that if you plan to go with very high magnification, try to get a scope with a large objective lens.  Your sight picture will be that much easier to acquire.

All that having been said, while I do not shoot airguns a whole lot, I do spend some time with rimfire rifles and 20x would be a clear overkill for my purposes.  If I wanted a scope strictly for close range target shooting, I would probably get either Super Sniper 10x42 or 16x42 (rear parallax versions focus to within 10 yards) or on of Hawke's Sidewinder Tactical scopes.

Another good option is SIghtron S2 Big Sky 12x42 which focus very close if memory serves me right.

ILya
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