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Old October 2, 2012, 03:59 PM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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Hey all you old guys... shooting 200 - 500 yards...

I think it's time for some new glass... I'm finding as I get older my eyes don't seem to be helping me shoot the longer range targets, & I've been lately "mooving up" a couple notches on the power ring of the multi power scopes... I think my highest power "multi" is at 20X ( only one... a Simmons ) ( & no, I'm not bragging about that one, it's left over from a cheaper AR flat top build I did many years ago as a P Dog gun ) & I have a couple unertl's one at 15X & one at 20X in straight powers... but the bulk of my glass ranges from 12 to 16X on the higher ends

I can't honestly justify too many scopes over $500.00 & I don't like when they get so "twitchy" on the big ring with the super high magnification... what kinds / models / powers are you guys using on your casual paper punchers out to between 200 & 500 yards
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Old October 2, 2012, 06:17 PM   #2
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On a build I just recently completed, the customer bought a Burris XTR Xtreme Tactical 4-16X50mm. Wow, a heavy-duty piece of optical equipment. Only thing I really didn't like about it was the 1 MOA elevation adjustments. But it's not my scope, so why should I care?

One I was also pleased with was a Bushnell Elite 8-32X40, although as the day started to dim, the scope got pretty dark.

Another one that really surprised me was a Konus M-30 8-32X52. Really good quality glass with a little pizzazz.

Then of course, there's always the L guys. I really like the Leupold FX fixed power scopes, and they come from 6x all the way up to 45X.
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Old October 2, 2012, 06:18 PM   #3
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You'll get plenty of opinions on this one. I've got some 4.5x14 scopes (Leupold and Burris), a 6x18 Leupold VX2, and a 6.5x20 VariX III (and a few others). For out to 400 or so, I'm good with any of them. Out past that, I've found that I like the BDC dots or lines. So if you want a usable scope for less than $500, I'd recommend the Burris FFII with the BDC dots. That's only $300. The Nikon 4x16 would be good, but I personally don't like their approach to the BDC dots. The Leupold 6x18 has turned out to be a good choice, and their BDC dots are about right. That Burris has been a great scope and it's the one that I first started using the BDC system on. Like I've said to folks, I didn't trust the dots. day along came a big hog at 400 (per the rangefinder) and I put that specific dot on him and squeezed and down he went. Same thing later on a coyote at 400. So now I trust the dots.

And then there are the scopes with range adjustment turrets, but I'll stay out of that conversation.
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Old October 2, 2012, 06:48 PM   #4
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Hmmm. Never have had a clarity problem with a scope. And since my cadillac surgery early last year, I can actually work fairly well with irons.

Offhand, I don't think that magnification is as much of the problem as reasonable quality of the glass and some attention given to getting the eyepiece set for focus. I guess.
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Old October 2, 2012, 09:18 PM   #5
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old eyes

If you are having difficulty seeing targets with a 20X scope it maybe be time to visit your local eye Doctor. I had that problem and found out I had cataracts. Got two new lens in the old eyes and they are 20/15. Giving up my high power scopes and going back to my K4's.
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Old October 2, 2012, 09:23 PM   #6
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I'm 65 (for a few more weeks). My recommendation is to buy the best you can almost afford. In my case that has been Leupold Vari-X III. Next time, maybe Swarovski, Schmidt-Bender or Nightforce (with luck, only 2 to 3 times the cost of a decent bolt action rifle.)
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Old October 2, 2012, 10:48 PM   #7
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Me and several prairie dog shooting friends have a bunch of those Simmons 6x-20x 44mag scopes and have been happy with them. The newer ones with the side parallax adjustment don't seem to be quite as good. However, at 100 bucks a pop from Natchez they still work fine too, even when cranked up to 20 power and looking at a prairie dog 300 to 500 yards away. I think they are the best bang for the buck, and decent glass.

I'd say between me and my friends we have over a dozen of them and have never had a problem, using them hard on the prairie for more than 15 years. As far as accuracy goes, they are as accurate as any scope. Most of our rifles are shooting 1/2-inch groups at 100 yards with these scopes on them.
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Old October 2, 2012, 11:02 PM   #8
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My serious paper puncher, Fclass-T/R rifle wears a Burris XTR 6-24x. It is a better scope than I am long range shooter. The 30mm tube, side parallex adjustment and mil-dot reticle are all the "in" things, and I got a price I couldn' pass up.

On the other end, the scope I may be shooting the most these days is a Bushnell Elite fixed 10x, with target knobs and mil-dot. Its on a heavy barrel .22. As long as I shoot past 50 yds with it, there is no issue. It would be nice if it was parallex adjustable, but for less than $200 (at the time) its been more than satisfactory.
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Old October 3, 2012, 05:47 AM   #9
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Thanks for the suggestions guys... I probably own 20 or so Burris scopes ( with Contenders, the scope budget needs to be deep ) & they are some of my favorites...

... I had been looking at a Konus that IIRC is on sale at Midway right now...

I'm just starting to put the interiour finish paneling up on my ( lifetime dream ) large walk in gun safe, so the shooting budget is pretty shot for the next 6 months or so... but finally hanging everything on the wall where I can see them, is going to point to some glareing needs... & I'm guessing longer range scopes are going to be 1st on the list
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Old October 3, 2012, 07:16 AM   #10
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I have some higher magnification variables but seldom use anything above 12x. I checked out a couple of my long range rifles a couple of weeks ago and found no problem holding on a 10"x13" target at 800 yards using an old T-10 Weaver.
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Old October 3, 2012, 06:52 PM   #11
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In my humble opinion the better the glass the less power on the ring needed! No glass distortion is key.
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Old October 3, 2012, 07:03 PM   #12
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In my humble opinion the better the glass the less power on the ring needed! No glass distortion is key.
Right, what you need is more quality, not more X's. You don't have to spend $500, but you won't find it at $200 either. There are some $400-$500 3-9X40 scopes out there that will do what you need. The greater a scopes power the more important quality is.

At $399 you can get an awful lot of scope with a 3-9X Zeiss Conquest. The new production Leupold VX-2's are a great scope for $100 less. I cannot suggest anything less expensive.
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Old October 4, 2012, 06:25 PM   #13
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I don't think it's the power but the quality of the optics that's causing you problems. There are many reasonably priced scopes that really shine. Take a look through them at the sportshop.
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Old October 5, 2012, 07:58 AM   #14
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as I posted earlier... probably most of my scopes are Burris... I doubt the quality is a problem
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Old October 6, 2012, 09:17 AM   #15
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As I have grown older, my eyesight has changed. No surprise here. I have found that resetting the focus on the scope seems to cure that. All my scopes, save a very few also have A/O. To "reset" my scope for my vision, I go to low power, set A/O to 100, then adjust the focus ring (eyepiece) on a target at 100 yds until it is clear and sharp. Once there, it isnt a problem geting things clear and sharp at different power ranges and distance by using the A/O.
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Old October 6, 2012, 09:39 AM   #16
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For about $430, my choice is the Vortex Viper 6.5-20:

Now, I hesitate to actually admit this, but I bought one of these on sale a year ago, because I couldn't believe a "cheap" BSA optic could get 4.5 out of 5 star reviews...
Eye relief is unforgiving at higher magnifications, but it has enough adjustment to get me to 1000 yards, clicks are solid and audible if a bit mushy, and tracks accurately. Clarity isn't even close to the Vortex, but I don't expect it for the price...On sale now, it gets the job done and I'd buy another if I wanted a budget, high power optic...
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Old October 6, 2012, 12:28 PM   #17
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Laser Eye Surgery!!

It might put you down for a week of vacation, but it is SO worth it!!

Do one eye at a time, that way you can heal easier...not to mention be able to see to go to the latrine
Heal up completely, then do the other...

The difference is literally like night & day!!
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Old October 7, 2012, 03:43 PM   #18
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You guys can laugh all you like, but Midway sells a Simmons scope that they call the Whitetail Classic. It's a heck of a scope that sells for just a little over $100.00. We've got several of them in the family now and they've been holding up for over five years. We've got them mounted on 7mm Rem Mag, .308, .243, and .30-06. They're really a lot better than the price point suggests and if you're looking for a nice scope on a budget, take a look at the Whitetail Classic.
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Old October 7, 2012, 05:28 PM   #19
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This has some of the best opinion/info I've been looking for as well for my old peepers. Thnx to all -- now I'm going back to re-read. JIMBO
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Old October 10, 2012, 08:27 PM   #20
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Optics is one category of products in which quality generally corresponds very well with price. Try looking through a Nightforce scope. (Not that many of can afford several, or even one.)
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Old October 10, 2012, 08:54 PM   #21
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I look for used Leupold gold ring scopes at shows.

and I never pay more than 1/4 of retail price. The ideal thing is $20 for a broken x-hair or fogged lenses, since Leupold will fix or replace it for free, forever, no questions asked.
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Old October 11, 2012, 06:14 AM   #22
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Until you've used a high-end scope you won't know what you're missing. I use a 3.5-22x US Optics scope with their EREK erector system with a MIL / MIL front focal plane, illuminated reticle.

The Schott glass, lens multi-coating, larger tube allowing larger optics and a greater adjustment range gives you a scope that has better image centering, longer eye relief, larger exit pupil for better low light performance.

The FFP reticle means the MIL / MIL scale on the reticle gives the same measurement over the entire zoom range making the scope easier to use for long range shooting. I use the scope on a .308 at ranges up to 1,000 yards. Once you get the crosswind doped, you can hit a target every time you pull the trigger. Accuracy is dependent on how well you can control breathing, and hold the rifle - optics are NEVER the issue.

If you're serious about long range shooting - inexpensive scopes are false economy as you end up using more ammunition trying to hit a target that is not clear, difficult to see, or hard to make ranging corrections with the reticle.

I'd advise buying the best scope you can possibly afford, and if an FFP reticle is available - go for that option.
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Old October 11, 2012, 12:37 PM   #23
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Leupold (VX-2 & up), Zeiss, Swarvoski, USO, Schmidt & Bender are the premier quality scope makers... Anything else is generally waste of time... Nightforce makes an excellent, rugged optic but in many cases the glass quality for the price is not quite up to what you would get in a similarly priced scope from the makers I listed above...

I refuse to waste my time on anything made in China or the Phillipines... USA, Japan, Germany and Austria for me...

You guys can laugh all you like, but Midway sells a Simmons scope that they call the Whitetail Classic.
The problem I have with most of these is that it looks like your looking through a yellow haze, which is bad.... I had one last less than a box of shells on a 30-06 before it shook apart and lost zero...

A have a friend with 4 or 5 of the Whitetail Classics and when we shoot its absolutely amazing what he cannot see with his 6.5-20x50 Whitetail Classics, that I can see through my one low power VX-2 Leupold....

Last edited by .300 Weatherby Mag; October 11, 2012 at 12:46 PM.
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Old October 11, 2012, 04:06 PM   #24
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Any of you guys compared the newer $500.00 ish scopes to the vintage target scopes, Unertl, Weaver, Lyman, Luepold straight powers, 10X, 15X, 20X, 30X, etc...

I'd suspect the quality of the mechanisms ( reads repeatability ) would be better on the vintage scopes, & maybe the actual glass quality, but suspect the glass coatings are better on the new scopes... & of course you wont find a mil dot reticle on a vintage target scope...

I guess my limited exprience with the 2 Unertl's I own ( a 15X & 20X ) is the visability is as good as the modern mid priced scopes... I like the fine target cross hairs on the vintage scopes & the variable power of the newer scopes
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Old October 11, 2012, 04:47 PM   #25
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I recently got some good information on the latest options in cataract surgery. Whaddya say - is it proper for this thread, or just start a new one? If new, where?
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