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Old October 15, 2012, 12:15 AM   #1
chipchip
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223 scope

How much scope is needed shooting a 223 bolt action out to 300 yrds I'm thinking a 4x12 or 4.5x14 both with AO.
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Old October 15, 2012, 12:41 AM   #2
jimbob86
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Whatare you shooting at that needs to magnified 14X to be seen?
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Old October 15, 2012, 12:54 AM   #3
chipchip
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Mostly targets @300 yrds and some coyotes. 300 yrds is the max range my gun club offers.
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Old October 15, 2012, 12:57 AM   #4
Rebel9793
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I would recomend a Nikon Buckmaster 4.5x14x40mm. They sell for around $320 at basspro. Great scopes.
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Old October 15, 2012, 02:01 AM   #5
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A 3x9 would be enough also. At this power you wouldn't need an AO. I just bought a 222 and it has a fixed 4x on it, and I am thinking about leaving it for now. You'd be surprised what you can see down range with it.
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Old October 15, 2012, 02:18 AM   #6
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I guess I'm one of the few oddballs around here, and have probably been varmint hunting all wrong all these years. I think a 14 power is the lowest power scope I have on any of my varmint rigs. The majority of them wear a Mueller 8.5x25 scope. No, it's not often I get above 20x, but I do like the option of looking real hard and up close at pasture poodles when only their lil heads are poking up out of the holes. Sure, some of those master-shooter-never-miss guys say they can do that with 3x9's at 300-350yds... but it ain't ever happened on a trip I've been on. Also, I'll crank up the power when I'm calling and scanning areas where I'm at least 90% sure there's an active yote den.
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Old October 15, 2012, 06:32 AM   #7
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I'm with 10-96, get the higher magnification, better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. All my Varmint scopes are 16-18X on the high side. Bubba will tell you 3X9 is fine because that's what he's got and mybe a shot can be made but the higher X makes it easier to make the longer shot, IMO.
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Old October 15, 2012, 06:47 AM   #8
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IME, the clarity of the optics will make it easier to see your target or whatever is downrange than will magnification. Further, if you are shooting from field positions, the higher the magnification, the harder it is for me to connect.

Typically I am using shooting sticks, and from the sticks, or from a sling supported position about 7x is all I can hold before the bobbing and weaving of the crosshairs becomes distracting.

If shooting from a benchrest, then I can utilize higher magnification, which will typically get me a little better grouping than will a lower magnification scope.

That's what's neat about variables. There is something in there for everybody. I don't think you will go wrong with the 4.5-14x Nikon.

Lastly, IME, coyotes often pop up at really close ranges. The higher your magnification, the more likely you will be to see only fur in the scope and be unable to discern your target with a close in coyote, which may end in a miss. I set my scopes to the lowest possible magnifications when initiating a calling sequence, and if I see one at great distance that hangs up, but is within my shooting range, then I will dial up the magnification to where it needs to be to assure a killing shot.

Last edited by stubbicatt; October 15, 2012 at 06:53 AM.
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Old October 15, 2012, 07:25 AM   #9
iraiam
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I kind of like the BSA sweet .223, 6-18x40, a pretty decent scope for the money.
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Old October 15, 2012, 07:34 AM   #10
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I've shot a lot of stuff at 300 yards and much more using a 3-9 variable. It won't allow you to see the bullet holes at that distance and will increase group size somewhat(depending on crosshair thickness). Even at 60 years old, I'm capable of holding on small targets at 800+ yards using 10x with fine crosshairs. The higher X's create more problems for me than they solve.
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Old October 15, 2012, 07:39 AM   #11
jephthai
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I shoot 600yds with my Nikon M223, and have no trouble seeing and aiming for the X ring (F-class 1/2MOA X ring). It's a 3-12x42. Hitting the X ring, though... well, that's not as much a function of glass ;-).

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Old October 15, 2012, 08:10 AM   #12
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I had a BSA on my 17 HMR, and I had no complaints. It was as good as something much more expensive.
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Old October 15, 2012, 08:24 AM   #13
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4.5-14 is about the lowest I'd go. To me a 4.5-14 or 6.5-20 would be ideal on a .223 bolt action. Now that being said, I really like the Burris FFII 4.5-14. You will get better glass and imo just a better scope all around than the Nikon Buckmaster. That's probably the way I'd go, but there are a couple decent 6.5-20 scopes out there as well.

IMO 8-32x is a little too much unless you will only be shooting long range. That's just my opinion though.

Another good option if you want to spend quite a bit more would be the SWFA 5-20x50 scope. It's a great choice with a great power range as well.
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Old October 15, 2012, 08:35 AM   #14
603Country
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Heck...Fusion said just about exactly what I was going to say. So there...

What I don't understand is why so many folks try so hard to convince others that a 4.5x14 scope is too much and a 3x9 or a 2x7 is perfect. I left that flawed logic in the dust many years ago. I have a 6.5x20 on my 220 Swift and it'll be a cold day in Matamoros when I go back to a 3x9. My deer rifles all have 4.5x14's. Think of magnification like it was horsepower in your car. You rarely use all of the horsepower, but it's there if you need it.
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Old October 15, 2012, 08:51 AM   #15
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603Country, you have to take into account where you live and where you hunt and shoot. I am assuming in were you live in Texas, you might regularly take shots out to 3-400 yards. In Michigan where I live there is lots of forest, and a hunter is going to take many shots under 100 yards. The only time I get long distant shots are over a corn or soy field, so I can easily live with a lower powered scope.
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Old October 15, 2012, 08:58 AM   #16
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2-7 and 3-9 will get you on prairie dogs at 300 yards and beyond, no problems on coyotes at those ranges. If you are looking for shooting small groups on paper I'd say you could get by with a 12-16 power on your top end without getting into a scope that will be way more than you want on a coyote hunting rifle. I'd prefer a scope with PA adjustment on the side over the AO versions especially while out hunting. What rifle are you shooting?
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Old October 15, 2012, 09:11 AM   #17
Art Eatman
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Taylorce1 has seen me bust prairie dogs at 300 yards with a 3x9 on my .223. He was using his laser and calling distances.

I also had no trouble ruining the little critters to 300 yards with the 2x7 on my .243.

Nothing "wrong" with more magnification, of course, but never believe that there is some "necessity" in that game.
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Old October 15, 2012, 10:24 AM   #18
603Country
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Coyota1, you do make a good point about where a fellow hunts. If all you'll ever see is 100 yards, there's no reason to get a lot of magnification. Most of my life (Louisiana and now in Texas), my shots ranged from close-in to about as far as I felt comfortable shooting, which used to be 250 yards and is now more like 400 to 450 max. And, the higher magnification will help me check the antlers on a distant buck, or if that coyote at 300 yards has fleas.
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Old October 15, 2012, 11:01 PM   #19
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Keep in mind that if u are doing any dawn and dusk hunting that the more power your scope starts out with the less light thats coming thru ure scope.
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Old October 15, 2012, 11:18 PM   #20
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Might want to look at a fixed 10x for that kind of range, you won't need any more horsepower for coyotes, and even if you venture on to prairie dogs at that range it will do you just fine.
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Old October 16, 2012, 01:17 AM   #21
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I use large orange dots at 100 yrds with 4x and get great results. Just make the round dot bigger! It really works!
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Old October 16, 2012, 09:51 AM   #22
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I have a Mueller 4.5-14x that has excellent optical qualities. Cost is still under $150, I believe, but it compares well with much more expensive scopes.
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Old October 16, 2012, 11:05 AM   #23
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A good 4.5-14 or 4-12 would be my choice if coyote hunting is what I REALLY was going to be doing with the rifle. On my big game rifles, I have 3-9x40 and 2.8-10x44 and they are great. If I was going to punch paper 98% of the time at ranges beyond 200 yards, I could appreciate having 18-25x, but only in a good scope with enough optical quality to not give me a headache.
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Old October 17, 2012, 06:28 PM   #24
coyota1
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Today I sighted in my 722-222 with the old scope chief bushnell 4x, and I touched holes at 100 yrds. I made a magic marker 3" dot so I could see it. I know it's not a 223, but close for the sake of this discussion.
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Old October 17, 2012, 06:47 PM   #25
jimbob86
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Quote:
Also, I'll crank up the power when I'm calling and scanning areas where I'm at least 90% sure there's an active yote den.
"Scanning areas" with a riflescope?

Having been "scanned" by someone doing that, I take a pretty dim view of individuals using their riflescopes for binoculars.

Quote:
I'm with 10-96, get the higher magnification, better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. All my Varmint scopes are 16-18X on the high side. Bubba will tell you 3X9 is fine because that's what he's got and mybe a shot can be made but the higher X makes it easier to make the longer shot, IMO.
Anything over 4X makes it harder to hit running game or make snap shots due to the small field of view .... and very large scopes are more in the way as often as not.

....."All my varmint scopes" ..... tells me you divide what trigger time you have between many different rifles ..... I don't have enough time with one gun....
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