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Old 01-26-2011, 11:05 PM   #11
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How about a little primer on how to choose the proper power for different applications.
First determin what you want to shoot with said rifle. A deer rifle out west is different than a deer rifle back east. I will talk about Varmint hunting as I know blasting small furry critters into little bits of red mist.

Ground hog are rather big for varmints. Most range from 100 to 400 yards. You can take on them with a scope as small as 3-9x40mm. Some prefer a little more power so they jump to the 4-16x or 4.5-15x. My two varmint rifles have big scopes one is a 6-24x and the other is a 6.5-20x. You want to avoid anything over about 20 or 24x for varmint hunting really. But If you are trying to bullseye a p dog at 1k then buddy bigger is much better. You are going to want to really look at a nightforce 12-42x.


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Let's not be brand specific. Just say I want to shoot 500 yard with a rifle what power would be good.
For me shooting 500 yards 20x is as low as I would go. some will say more some will say 3-9x will work for everything. Sure it will kill a deer at 500 but to me that is taking pot shots. The Military says 1x per 100 meters. So as to not over scope yourself. Remember the more power you have the less field of vision (FOV) you have. 500 yards 6-24x40mm would be good in my eyes. I love the 6-24x40 or 50mm can you tell.....


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What about objective lens size?
Objective size is not the be all end all that many make it out to be. Tube side and the size of the lenses in side are what make a big difference as well as the glass quality. If you take a 6-24x50mm Nikon Monarch and set it next to a 6-24x50mm Basaka and look through them you are going to see a big difference. Objective size range from about 20mm to 72mm with 40 and 50 being the standards. The bigger the objective the more light is allowed to enter the scope. If you have a 50mm obj on a 1" tube your going to lose some light transmission do to the small tube. If you have a 40mm on a 30mm tube with 30mm lenses in the tube you will have a brighter scope that the 1" but you will have the same amount of adjustments. Glass quality and coating quality do just as much or more than objective size.

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What would I want 30, 40 or more? Would it be similar to a telescope the bigger diameter the more light is gathered?
Yes See above.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:57 PM   #12
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One minor point for VERY long range shooting- range of adjustment. Depending on the range and the caliber you are using, it is possible to run out of clicks of adjustment (now, lemme see, for the 45-70 at 900 yards, I'll need to hold over about 37.5 feet.....)

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Old 01-27-2011, 12:05 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Shihan View Post
How about a little primer on how to choose the proper power for different applications. Let's not be brand specific. Just say I want to shoot 500 yard with a rifle what power would be good.

What about objective lens size? What would I want 30, 40 or more? Would it be similar to a telescope the bigger diameter the more light is gathered?
Yes and no...a bigger diameter objective will indeed allow more light in for a brighter target view but just like a telescope, low quality lenses will causes distortion around the edges and blurring. Generally I believe a lower powered scope is more forgiving at lower price points than a large objective, higher magnification scope; high precision lenses cost big bucks to grind. Of course mechanically holding zero is another issue independent of the lense quality but does effect price.

Certainly I am not the expert here just extrapolating what I do know from astronomical refractor scopes which is basically what a rifle scope is.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:04 AM   #14
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Getting the light in (Objective lens size) is one thing, but getting the light transmitted to your eye is an entirely different thing.

A fixed power scope of a certain quality will transmit more light than a comparable variable power scope on the same setting, all other things being equal.

High quality glass makes the difference, and good lens coatings are critical.

That said, the application should determine the power range used. I prefer lower power ranges for overall use, while many prefer higher settings.

On a ground squirrel cull last spring I never set my scope (Meopta 4-16x44) higher than 6x, even on shots out to 380 yards, and never had a problem. YMMV.

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