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View Full Version : What's a good hunting scope?


hunter33
November 9, 2007, 08:58 PM
whats a good hunting scope for a 280 .The farthest shot would probably be 200 yards most mostly around 80 yards.I wouldn't really wanna go over 250$ and dont want a really cheap one.I was thinking something in the power of a 3x9 or 3x12.Maybe list a couple of scopes that you might fit my needs?

Art Eatman
November 9, 2007, 09:10 PM
My 3x9s haven't helped me kill deer any easier than when I had an old K4 on top of my '06. Deader, either, for that matter.

On one of my longest shots, my 3x9 was set on 3X. One shot, DRT, at 350 yards...

Most folks buy way more scope than they need, just like I have. :D

gbran
November 9, 2007, 09:35 PM
Ditto what Art said. If your shots are <200yds, you can probably get a very good quality 4x fixed power scope for less money than a lesser quality variable.

williamd
November 9, 2007, 11:02 PM
Yep. K2.5 on an 06 Husky carbine, K3 on a 243, K4 on a custom Mauser 280, K10 on a 222. A Winchester 4X shotgun scope on a Rem M742 carbine. I do have a couple of variables ... in my safe.

Personally, I think variables are over blown and misused. I know and hunt with guys who crank up to max and use the scope instead of carrying light weight binoculars. When one tells me I watched you cross the ridge, or more through the brush near the river, I get that nervous feeling. And, when they see a deer in our brushy country the high setting is more harm than good.

FirstFreedom
November 10, 2007, 11:02 AM
Depends on the budget. If you've got $400, look at the Bushnell/B&L Elite 4200, 2.5-10x40mm. If you've got $225, look at the Sightron S2 3-9x42mm. What's the realistic budget here?

jem375
November 10, 2007, 11:14 AM
good scopes are the Bushnell 3200 and 4200, Nikon Buckmaster and Monarch, Weaver Grand Slams, any of these will do the job just fine for you..

Scorch
November 10, 2007, 01:48 PM
Seriously, if you are just talking short range work, a 1.5-5X variable would be nice, as would a 4X.

This question made me think (and that hurts!). You just don't hear very many people ask for low powered scopes these days.

And people using rifle scopes as binos makes me feel a little nervous, too.

bswiv
November 10, 2007, 02:54 PM
With SCORCH on this.

A 2-7 or 1-5 will, in most instances, do a very good job. Here in NE FL. the woods are thick and I've found that it's almost never that I budge my Leupold 2-7 off the 2 setting.

And I am 100% with him on the whole using "scopes as binos" thing.

goalie
November 10, 2007, 04:22 PM
I have had no problems harvesting deer here in Minnesota with a fixed 4x Nikon Monrach scope on a Marlin 30-30 or a fixed 4.75x Weaver Grand Slam on a .270 bolt gun.

I rather like the simplicity of the fixed 4x scopes (my .375 H&H has a 4x Monarch as well) on my hunting rifles. If I had shots at deer that were longer than 200 yards, I might think about hunting with the 6.5-20x Nikon Monarch that is sitting on my .308 bolt gun, but there's no bean-field hunting anywhere in my near future......

ZeroJunk
November 10, 2007, 04:35 PM
Seems to me like the demand for fixed power scopes is too low for the manufacturers to have a broad offering.I don't want to pay $350 for a 6X42 Leupold.I have a Nikon 4X on a muzzle loader, but can't seem to find one now.And,I would rather have a 6X.

I use a rifle scope for binoculars all the time.I see no point in carrying an extra item when I have one already attached that will work just fine.

goalie
November 10, 2007, 04:57 PM
I use a rifle scope for binoculars all the time.I see no point in carrying an extra item when I have one already attached that will work just fine.

So, when you are out deer hunting, you have no problem identifying objects with your rifle scope as they come into view? I only ask, because those "objects" can often turn out to be fellow hunters.

Me, I wouldn't hunt with someone that thought it was acceptable to point his rifle at me and glass me through his rifles sighting device. That's just me though.....

JKump
November 10, 2007, 05:24 PM
I like fixed powered scope for hunting. For the money you can not beat a Nikon 4 x 32 prostaff. A little over a $100 dollars at Wal mart. I have used this scope for the past 4 years with great results in all kind of weather at distance from 10 yards to 200 yards. I can not complain. Here is a picture of as 10 poimter that i harvested this year with this scope.
http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc127/JKump/100_0229.jpg
You can see the scope mounteed on the rifle. Good luck with which ever scope you pick up.:)

ZeroJunk
November 10, 2007, 06:31 PM
So, when you are out deer hunting, you have no problem identifying objects with your rifle scope as they come into view? I only ask, because those "objects" can often turn out to be fellow hunters.

Me, I wouldn't hunt with someone that thought it was acceptable to point his rifle at me and glass me through his rifles sighting device. That's just me though

I wouldn't hunt with anybody I thought was stupid enough to pull the trigger.But,I know what you are saying.I use them to determine if it's a trophy I want,not to figure out what it is.
Fortunately, a man and a deer or elk don't look very much the same.If I get to where I can't tell the difference within rifle range I will get some binoculars.

odsixer
November 10, 2007, 06:54 PM
What about a leupold vx-1 lr? I think this might be just what you're after.

http://theopticzone.com/detail.aspx?ID=3833

goalie
November 10, 2007, 07:05 PM
Fortunately, a man and a deer or elk don't look very much the same.If I get to where I can't tell the difference within rifle range I will get some binoculars.

You don't hunt much in the early am or at the end of legal light then, eh? I'm surprised, that's usually a good time to hunt white-tails. I got mine with 4 minutes of legal light left to shoot on opening evening, and without my binoculars, I couldn't even tell if it was a doe or buck at less than 25 yards. I sure as hell could see it fine through my glass though, I just used glass that wasn't attached to a firearm until I was sure of my target, then I used the glass attached to the rifle to take the shot.

YMMV

ZeroJunk
November 10, 2007, 07:15 PM
Goalie,you very well may not have the experience or may still be too eager and excited by the hunt.I probably was also 30 years ago.So,I am going to change my mind and agree with you.Binoculars should be used,and a rifle scope only when the hunter is sure that the movement is not another hunter.

wolverine350
November 10, 2007, 09:15 PM
Nikon Buckmaster 3x9x40 can be had for 200 and dang nice scopes

goalie
November 10, 2007, 09:50 PM
Goalie,you very well may not have the experience or may still be too eager and excited by the hunt.

The last time I was excited while shooting at something, that "something" was shooting back. That was over 15 years ago for me, so I defer to your much more extensive 30 years of experience.

Anyhow, while I enjoy deer hunting, I don't exactly get "buck fever" up in a deer stand.

I truly wish I was super-eager and excited though. I miss it.

ZeroJunk
November 11, 2007, 07:40 AM
I truly wish I was super-eager and excited though. I miss it

I agree with you on that.But,I still enjoy the outdoors.Just pass on most shots anymore.

Back to the original question.I like the Nikon Monarch scopes for the money.The Bushnells are good, but are longer.

Hawg Haggen
November 11, 2007, 08:00 AM
I've got a Simmons 44 mag I've used on my main hunting rifle for years. It's never let me down but if it breaks into little pieces the next time I pull the trigger it's been money very well spent.

king.460
November 11, 2007, 10:00 AM
I only hunt with a handgun so my answer may be of no interest but I really like the Aimpoint 9000 that tops my .460 because of the durability and simplicity. The red dots don't hold light at dusk so binos are good to have but sight acquisition and dependability make up any negatives.

Mtn Hawk
November 13, 2007, 03:02 PM
JKump--

I like fixed 4X scopes for their simplicity and ruggedness but the one I looked through did not focus so objects were blurry out to about 25 yards. Is this typical of fixed-power scopes or do some have focusing adjustments, like variables?

Thanks........

PS: Nice looking rifle, scope and deer!

Art Eatman
November 13, 2007, 05:18 PM
I've always been able to adjust the eyepiece and get rid of any blurriness. Pretty sharp focus, from fairly "up-close" on out.

Jets2007
November 13, 2007, 06:18 PM
Nikon Prostaff 3x9

Nikon Buckmasters 3x9

Leupold- has a bunch of models in the $200-$300 range.

williamd
November 13, 2007, 10:37 PM
Well, ZeroJunk ... I think ZERO and JUNK are perfect for you! Hunt alone!

polarnewfie
November 14, 2007, 02:40 AM
Hi , I have a bushnell elite 3200 without the "firefly" reticle on my .300 Win Mag and I have never been happier with a scope. They all come with the rainguard coating and the optics are crystal clear. The rainguard disperses water droplets on the glass to tiny beads that let you see game where other scopes fail. The scopes were originally Bausch and Lombe scopes that were rebadged Bushnell elite's when they bought out B & L. And we all know
Bausch and Lombes reputation for making quality optical glass.
The scope tubes are 30% titanium, and made to take 10,000 shots from a
.375 H&H magnum. So you know they are sturdy. They come with a lifetime guarantee. And have 95% light transmission ( more than alot of higher priced scopes)
The adjustments are easy to use, and can be bought for 179-199 roughly
depending on options such as the firefly reticle which is a lighted reticle for low light conditions that takes just a 1 minute charge from a flashlight to stay lit for an hour or two. Or options like the magnification level.
My scope set me back 189 bucks for a black 3-9x40 and I would buy another and another when I aquire new guns that need a scope

JKump
November 14, 2007, 07:31 AM
Mtn. Hawk
To answer the question, I have no blurriness. Nikon Prostaff 4 x 32. I have had good luck with it. Here are so more picture of succes with mine (Going back a couple seasons.)
http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc127/JKump/Picture017.jpg
http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc127/JKump/Picture002.jpg
http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc127/JKump/Picture010.jpg
In these pictures you can see the rifle set up a little better.

ZeroJunk
November 14, 2007, 07:31 AM
Well, ZeroJunk ... I think ZERO and JUNK are perfect for you! Hunt alone.

Ah! An obvious genius chimes in and really adds something to the conversation.

I have spent 40 to 60 days a year hunting something for over 40 years.I have yet to put a rifle scope on another hunter.I do not need a scope or binoculars to tell the difference between a deer,elk or man.

If a man likes to look around with binoculars fine,but explain to me how that is going to make anybody safer.You may have some emotional reaction to somebody pointing a rifle at you, but two more things have to happen.He has to take it off safety and pull the trigger.

If you are hunting with somebody that is stupid enough to shoot you just because he looked at you throuh a rifle scope,do you think binoculars are going to save you?

The men I hunt with can look at me through a rifle scope any time they want to. Otherwise, I would not hunt with them.

Now. As a rule, I would advise all hunters to use binoculars.There is nothing on your hunting license that says you are not an idiot.People shot out of treestands,women shot hanging out cloths whose gloves looked like deer ears,people talking about taking sound shots,shooting when it is too dark.There are plenty of hunters out there who have absolutely no clue.

So,as a rule using binoculars is sound advice.

goalie
November 14, 2007, 08:32 AM
The men I hunt with can look at me through a rifle scope any time they want to. Otherwise, I would not hunt with them.

Gee, and I always thought that there were 4 rules, not three.

Whodathunkit?

ZeroJunk
November 14, 2007, 10:13 AM
Goalie,you can be a SA about this all you want since you have nothing other than an emotional response.

The guys I hunt with don't need binoculars to identify game either,and I doubt any of them has put a scope on another hunter.But,if they did for some reason,I have enough confidence in their judgement that I would not be particularly concerned.

You can't make everything "one size fits all".I hunted yesterday afternoon and had four little bucks and some doe within 50 yards of me.Didn't need to put a scope on anything and didn't shoot,but was pretty entertained.I had a rifle ,three cartridges ,and a little AA flashlight.Some of the lists I see of what guys take hunting I think are comical.But,if it suits you, it suits me.I can lay my rifle on my shoulder at a 90 degree angle in the palm of my hand and look at game from a distance to decide whether I want to pursue them or not.

If you think I am going to "draw down" on some other hunter you are just wrong.But,if for some reason I did, I don't expect the gun would mysteriously go off.

If you want to carry this further maybe you should start a thread on it since this is way off OP topic.

goalie
November 14, 2007, 11:30 AM
I'm not being a smartass, I'm pointing out that you are actually writing down that you don't have a problem with your hunting partners pointing rifles/shotguns at you in the field.

It is not a safe practice, and I am quite certain that I am not the only one who would never, ever hunt with you and your buddies if you guys find it acceptable to do so.

Again, I thought there were 4 rules, not 3. I guess one of them, as stated by yourself in writing, doesn't apply to you and your hunting buddies.

The men I hunt with can look at me through a rifle scope any time they want to. Otherwise, I would not hunt with them.

ZeroJunk
November 14, 2007, 12:25 PM
I only ask, because those "objects" can often turn out to be fellow hunters.

No.What I am saying is that this statement, in my case, is not true.

Trusting the people I hunt with not to shoot me if they did accidentally put a scope on me is secondary.

But,I also realize that identifying game requires experience.And,I also realize that young hunters are easily excited and want to put a glass on every sound and movement.

So,I agreed with you that binoculars are a good rule.Then the moron chimes in.


Let me add this.I don't know how many deer I saw last year.Several hundred.I killed two doe for meat.I looked at one big 8 point for a while, but decided not shoot.That's the only three times I raised my rifle to look at deer.

FirstFreedom
November 14, 2007, 12:29 PM
Soooooo, anyhow..... what's a good hunting scope? :p

JKump
November 14, 2007, 02:06 PM
Nikon 4 x 32 Prostaff fixed powered scope. Reasonably priced, good vision. The proof is in the pudding. (see above post).:)

Jets2007
November 15, 2007, 01:27 AM
I trust my hunting buddy to point his gun at a deer and at a paper target. The rules of gun safety are not to be broken. Take up Billiards if you don't take this stuff seriously.

ZeroJunk
November 15, 2007, 08:08 AM
I bet you that the number of hunters who deer hunt with rifles that take binoculars is less than 20% in most areas.In my area it is less than that.Open terrain western states would be more.

I can't remember the last time I saw a deer hunter with binoculars.The city guys that come out with all the gadgets may use them.I don't know.

Notice, I didn't say it is a good idea.It's just the way it is.

goalie
November 15, 2007, 01:46 PM
I can't remember the last time I saw a deer hunter with binoculars.The city guys that come out with all the gadgets may use them.I don't know.

http://img409.imageshack.us/img409/3552/2007deerhunting003kz3.th.jpg (http://img409.imageshack.us/my.php?image=2007deerhunting003kz3.jpg)

Well, now you can say you saw one today.

ZeroJunk
November 15, 2007, 02:45 PM
Cool.Nice deer!

Good thing I didn't see you without binoculars,I might have mistaken you for a Baltimore Oriole.:)

MeekAndMild
November 15, 2007, 04:00 PM
Soooooo, anyhow..... what's a good hunting scope? Anything from Nikon.:D Some of the scopes from Burris, Tasco, Simmons, Bushnell and Swift are pretty good. You'll notice none of these names begin with the letter "L".

hunter33
November 15, 2007, 08:43 PM
haha

goalie
November 20, 2007, 10:08 PM
http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2007/11/18/news/03hunter.txt

Mtn Hawk
November 26, 2007, 07:54 PM
Art Eatman and Jkump--

Thanks for your replies. I guess some scopes have a focus adjustment and some don't. I can't think of any good reason not to be able to adjust the focus, especially on low-power scopes where shots might be taken at very close range.

I agree about Nikon quality. I have Nikon binoculars, which are high quality at a reasonable price.

kfb2b
November 29, 2007, 12:03 PM
well, I am sure that there are a lot of good answers, but really you do not tneed any more than a fixed 4x.

That said, the Leupy 2x7 Rifleman will, at low power, be fast on aquisition almost like a reflex site, but 7x will allow you to make the connection a little better should the need arise, yet still be able to hold off the shakes for off hand shots.

Also, you may want to take a look at the refurbed Pentax scopes (with full warranties) from
www.cameralandny.com
they have a 1-5 and a 4x that would be about $100 to your door.

STAY AWAY FROM BARSKA, BSA, AND MOST OTHER LOW-END STUFF LIKE THAT, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

.454 newb
November 30, 2007, 08:57 PM
I've had the Nikon Monarch 3-9x40 on my .270 for the last twelve or so years. I paid about $270 for it then but I think its a bit over $300 now. If the extra $60 or $70 bucks is a bit too much to swing right now I'd look at their next step down from that one. I really like mine and so does my dad. He has a Simmons Prohunter and the clarity and light transmission doesn't compare to the Nikon's. I guess the best thing to do would be to look at all the scopes in your price range and pick the one that looks the best to you.