Which scope do I need/should I use

Discussion in 'Optics & Mounts' started by navvet08, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. navvet08

    navvet08 New Member

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    Originally Posted by cpttango30
    So you want a scope.
    1. Price
    2. Use
    3. Rifle
    4. Caliber
    5. Variable or fixed power
    6. Any other requirements you have.

    If you give use these few items we will be able to guide you in the proper direction for optics. We are here to help.
    I read this thread the other day and I have looked at the SWFA site. From what I have looked at, I have a few favorite brands so far: Leupold, Bushnell, Burris, Zeiss, and Nikon. I have a few others but those are out of my price range. I will admit that even after browsing the site for the past few days, I am partial to Bushnell, Leupold, and Burris based on brand reputation and Nikon because my brother recommended it (he was a pmi at Parris Island) and he told me that for the money he believes that Nikon can stand next to some of the lower end Leupolds.


    1. < or = $1,000.
    2. hunting and possible light competition shooting
    3. Browning X-Bolt Medallion
    4. 30-06
    5. Definitely variable power
    6. I want a well rounded scope. Although I will be primarily hunting, I want a scope that is versatile enough to give me an opportunity to fair well at a competition. Some kind of BDC would be a huge plus to adjust on the fly.

    Have fun sorting through this information. Thanks for the opportunity to share.
     
  2. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

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    What type of distance are you think of shooting/competing?

    The Browning is a great hunting rifle,but the sporter tapered barrel will limit the # of shots before the barrel will heat up and really affect the accuracy of the rifle for competition use.

    You will get a different answer from everyone that responds as far as a brand of scope.Of the ones you listed,Zeiss would be at the top of the list.Zeiss has very good quality lenses in their scopes.
    Next would be a close race between Leupold and Nikon.The Leupold VX3 line is a great scope,just over priced for what you get.The Nikon Monarch line is also a great scope,but I don't like the coatings they use on their lenses,they're darker than I like-to my eyes.
    Bushnell would be next if it was the Elite line,they're great scopes with great glass,but Bushnell has been known to have Customer Service problems if you have any problems.
    Burris would never make it on my list.

    Sightron SIII & SII Big Sky series are great scopes,Vortex scopes seem to have a following around here.
    You really need to go look thru as many brands of scopes as you can,and try to look at them outside and at distances that they will be used.Looking thru a scope inside a lit up store at a 30-40 yard range will tell you nothing about any scope.

    The power of a scope will depend on how it will be used.My hunting scopes range from a 4x to 3-9x,3-12x,4-16x.While my Long Range scopes are 6-24x,and 8.5-25x.I do hunt with these also,but the field of view is limited at objects that are near you.
     

  3. navvet08

    navvet08 New Member

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    Tx,

    I live in South Carolina in the "low country". There are some clubs and areas around here that have 200-300 yard food plots that one may need to shoot across. However, I also want to be able to shoot 500-600 yards if need be for different areas as I might not live in South Carolina forever and for the possibility of sport/competition shooting. What exactly did you mean by "the sporter tapered barrel"?
     
  4. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

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    The contour (taper) of the barrel just means that the O.D. of the barrel is larger at the chamber end and smaller at the muzzle end of the barrel.

    On all of my target/long range guns,I have a Bull barrel.They measure 1.200" at the chamber end,and only taper down to 1.00" at the muzzle.
    On an avg hunting rifle,they have Sporter barrels.They measure around 1.200" at the chamber end,and taper down to .650-.625".They are a lot thinner at the muzzle end,and the entire barrel heats up faster when shot.
    As a barrel gets hot,it usually will loose accuracy.

    And a thinner barrel heats up a lot faster than a thicker one.When a rifle is fired,harmonics vibrate through out the length of the barrel and produce what is called Barrel Whip,as the barrel gets hotter,the barrel whip increases and causes your groups to open up.

    For Hunting a Sporter barrel is great because it cuts down on the rifles weight,and usually your not going to shoot more than a couple shots back to back.But for target shooting,you might be shooting a 10 shot string,and a sporter barrel will get hot enough to affect the shots.

    Back to scopes-For hunting 200-300 yards a 3-9x or 4-12x would be adequate.But if you want to go 500-600,depending on how good your eyes are (Mine Sucks),I'd get something with more power.

    I like my Sightron SIII 6-24X50 scopes,and have no problem hunting with them.6x does have it's problems at close ranges because the field of view is limited,but most deer I shoot are at least 100 yards away,and it doesn't really have an effect at that range for me.
     
  5. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    A Browning deserves a Leupold. I like the Vari X III 3.5 - 10 x 50mm for deer hunting.
     
  6. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

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    Brand Snob!!! LOL
     
  7. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    hillbilly is on point here. IMO, hunting rifles and target rifles are two different types of rifles. not saying you can't target shoot with your hunting rifle, or that you can't hunt with your target rifle. most of my rifles are used for shooting targets, but can still go hunting if i so desire. reason is, i just don't hunt like i use to years ago. (getting old!) i have several that in the future will be modified more for target shooting than hunting. this just my two cents worth on the subject.
     
  8. Majog

    Majog New Member

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    Can't shoot what you can't see

    One thing I learned while hunting around the world is that most guns shoot fairly similar groups out the box (between 1-2 MOA). That being said you can't hit what you can't see. When I lived in Europe almost to the person every hunter I hunted with had 2-3 times the cost of their gun in optics.

    You got a great gun it deserves good optics. The lowest end scope I would put on it is a Leupold and would likely pay the extra to go 3-12x 50 Zeiss or Swarovski. If you are anything like me you don't sell guns often and keep them for years. Over time what is a couple hundred more or less difference.
     
  9. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    well i do agree with you for the most, but not everyone can afford even the lowest cost of these scopes. i agree that yoou should spend as much as possible on the scope. now there are some nice, very good scopes out there for a reasonable price, Nikon, Swift, Bushnell. Burris, and many more. Zeiss , Swarovski, Schmidt & Bender are very much top of the line scopes and probably out of reach for the average shooter. now if someone can afford such a scope and taken care of, it would more than likely be passed down to the grandkids!
     
  10. Majog

    Majog New Member

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    Price vs Value

    While I agree that often the high end scopes are out of reach of most individuals, I was responding to the posting which started scopes under $1000 for a high end Browing rifle. I answered that in my opinion Leupold was the way to go but though if the person could afford just a bit more high end was the answer.

    That having been said it never ceases to amaze me how many people will drop a $1000 or more on a gun and try to put a $500 or less scope on it. I ran into a guy at the range with a $4000 Barrett 50 cal and some "Russian" made crap for a 15x30 scope that cost a couple hundred bucks because he couldn't afford optics. Often it is a choice gun or optics. Call me strange but I start with optics and work down to the gun.

    I hear you that Leupold and Nikon scopes are not bad but can't agree with Burris or Weaver. I just got talked into buying a new Weaver Grand Slam and have it for sale now as it is the worst scope I have ever owned. I do own an old Bushnell Ultimate Illuminator I have been very happy with though and while it can't compete with my Sarovski, it is not bad for under $1000.

    I read somewhere that the average hunter and shooter is lucky to maintain a 2 MOA group at a hundred and go up expodentially for every 100 yards after that. For such a shooter, an average scope will be value. For someone looking to benchrest 500 yds or more or maintain sub MOA it will not be.

    In the end I think it comes down to what looks good to you and what presents value to you. For some people value is in a high end gun and optics are secondary as long as it holds a zero. For others it is a combination of both and for others it is all about can I see what I want to hit.
     
  11. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    majog, like i said i agree with you. sometimes people buy a nice rifle and put a cheaper scope on it, to get by until they can afford a nicer and better scope, because a lot of rifles now don't even have iron sights on them. when money permits, they buy a better scope, i know i have done this myself in the past. not everyone has an unlimited amout of money for a rifle and scope, so most buy the rifle, then a better scope later.
     
  12. navvet08

    navvet08 New Member

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    Gentlemen, I understand that there may need to be some clarification on my part. First, thank you all for the replies and posts to give me great info. The gun is not being purchased by me, rather it is a gift from my brother. Therefore, that is why I am looking into the general consensus if you will of what scope to get for said rifle. I do like Leupold, however, I do feel that Nixon gives you more for your money. The reason I shared this info with you guys is to inform you that I did not buy a $1000 + rifle just to put crappy optics on it.I would be the guy more likely to buy a scope and then purchase a gun to fit it or plan my purchase to include both gun and scope. With that said, I have as I alluded to earlier that I have narrowed my selection down to Nikon or Leupold. I feel that Nikon is better bang for your buck and have not found anyone to really state otherwise. If you gentlemen would kindly give opinions and inputs regarding this new info, it would be much appreciated. Thanks.
     
  13. Majog

    Majog New Member

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    Leupold


    Personally (just an opion based on my experience) I would go with a VX-III in a 3x10 x50. The eye captures light in multiples of 7 with 8 times 7 being the maxium light the eye can take in. 7x8 is a 56 mm bell. Most people shoot a 6 power scope when hunting under 100 yrds and 8 power out to 200 (read that in some shooting mag I can't remember). With the scope set to 7 power a 49mm front objective would give you max light gathering ergo the 50mm bell.

    I choose the Leupold over the Nikon just because I have had better luck with it and to my eye it looks clearer especially in low light. I recommend you go to a store at dusk, take it to the front window and look through both and go with the one your eye likes best. They are both good.
     
  14. bman940

    bman940 Member

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    I recently took part as a judge in a shooting event Put on by Nikon showcasing many of our new and newly updated products. We are talking hands on shooting here, no standing around gawking at products. Putting them to the test is what this event was about. To make a long story short, we had a number of items I was so impressed with they are now on my Christmas list. Guys shot from 100 to 600 yards using Browning's new X=bolt in .308 topped with Nikon Monarch 4-16 BDC Scope. With the use of Nikon's Spot On Ballistic Program these guys made full use of the BDC Reticle. I don't think there was 1 guy who shot this combination who didn't walk away impressed. A buddy and my only complaint is when will this come out in a left hand version.
    My point is that if you may come across a 400 yard shot, dialing in your cal/ammo/scope will significantly enhance your accuracy.
     
  15. 762

    762 Member

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    i think you need to answer more questions....

    what kind of reticule do you want?
    what ranges are you shooting out to?
    do you want to actually adjust the scope, be able to use MILs to hold off or just guess?
    do you want a SFP or a FFP?
    what kind of adjustments do you want? MILs or MOA?

    $1000 will buy a pretty damn nice scope. but $1000 is a lot of money too. you dont need to go spending that much for a scope that'll adjust 40 MOA in any direction and go up to 30x zoom if you're only shooting out to 300-400 yards. way too overkill there. a $200-$400 scope would be perfect for that.
     
  16. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

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    Majog,What is it that you don't like about the Weaver Grand Slam?

    I just purchased a Weaver Super Slam 3-15x50,and while it's not in the ballpark compared to my Sightron SIII's or my Swarovski PH scopes,it is a well made and very clear scope.
    Weaver has always made a good scope,and the Japanese glass in them is better than most other brands. The clarity of the glass in the Super Slam will run against a Zeiss Conquest all day long,IMO.

    Now if it will just hold up to the punishment the 458 SOCOM gives it,that's the real test!
     
  17. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i think a person should buy the best scope they can with the money they can afford. i think with careful shopping a person can find a reasonable scope for a lot less than a Swarvski, a Ziess or a Schmidt & Bender. not everyone can afford a scope in that price range, but buy the best you can afford. sometimes, even a hundred dollars can make a huge difference in quality. the gun i am having built, will be in the $2000 range when finished, i plan on spending between $1000-1500 on the scope. i have been looking at Sightron and Nightforce for the scope. right now i am leaning towards Nightforce.
     
  18. 762

    762 Member

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    Axx, sounds like you're building a new tack driver, look into US optics. they've got some great stuff available. they're more than the nightforces, but they're built like tanks and have damn good glass.
     
  19. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    thanks 762, i will check out their website and see if they have something that catches my fancy. it will be at least six months before i am ready for the scope as the gun is still being built.
     
  20. Silvertip 44

    Silvertip 44 New Member

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    Axx, I've been through the scope dilemna as well. I really got back into shooting about 4 years ago and went through a few moderately good scopes, both Burris and Leupold until I settled on Nightforce. I just couldn't see parting with more cash than a NF so now I have three of them and these are on long range target rifles.
    I still use the Burris (Tac 30s and the Leupold Mk 2) and they are on my three M1As. They are good scopes but don't come close to the NF. The one thing I have decided in my old age is that I will keep my credit card in my wallet until there are enough funds saved to pay for what I want. That is because I have learned at 67 yo that I only get what I pay for.
    Furthermore, I am like some other old men, my hunting habits have changed in the last few years to stationary positions such as ladder stands. One of those heavy target rifles with its heavy NF will be in the woods with me beginning Oct 22.