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Old August 24, 2013, 11:33 AM   #1
Mystro
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Has the rules of what scope is enough been changed?????

I am wondering with the advancements in optics have the rules changed for a general big game scope??? I have always been from the mind set that quality is always better than max magnification. Now that the big optic companies have 6x magnification ability, we can now have a very high quality 3x18 power scope instead of the good old 3x9. I needed a good scope for my predator rifle so I moved my high quality big game Docter 3x4 to it. I then was looking for a new high quality big game scope and all the high quality glass has 6x capacity. I found the new Leupold VX 6 3x18 30mm tube with illuminated firedot with a 44mm lens that is incredibly attractive for my halo big game rifle in my collection. The field of view and eye relief are increadable. Its not too heavy and doesn't sit up high like a big 50mm typically would. It seems like there is no down side other than $$$$$. I asume this technology will eventually trickle down to the mid priced optics in time. Maybe I have been away from optics the last few years but I am amazed with the advancements. Has the bar been raised and now the good old 3x9 not the standard anymore???? What's you thoughts????
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Old August 24, 2013, 11:57 AM   #2
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I believe the main thing that is changing is the hype and perception. There is no doubt that as rifles have gotten more accurate and scopes have become clearer and with higher magnification, that longer shots are possible than ever before. Specialized reticles have helped here, too. I can remember when a $300 Leupold 3-9x40 was the ne plus ultra of scopes available to the American rifleman, and it doesn't seem that long ago.

But the fact is, that with today's more accurate rifles, even that "old" 3-9x has enough magnification and accuracy for 95+% of all shooting at game. And that same $300 buys more scope today than it used to as well. People will always spend as much money as they want to, for all sorts of reasons, but the fact is that a $400 Mossberg or Savage rifle with a $200 Nikon variable scope is a better tool than 98% of rifle hunters used just 3 decades ago, and they (we) killed a lot of game back then.
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Old August 24, 2013, 12:06 PM   #3
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I was never a fan of the 50mm optics when they first came out because they sat so high. If a guy is gonna put together a higher end rifle/ optic package, its hard not to start out with one of these new super scopes. My eyes are older now and even my longer shots out to 300 yards was alway done with a 3x9 but I have to admit having the ability to dial it up twice that makes those shots ALOT more precise and easier for my old eyes.
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Old August 24, 2013, 12:18 PM   #4
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There is no free lunch. Bigger scopes, 50mm lenses, and more magnification have downsides I'm not willing to put up with. A 3-9X40 is more scope than I'll ever need. In fact the 1-4X20's are becoming more appealing for most of my needs.

While the 50mm objectives look good on paper they offer absolutely zero advanantages in the real world that most of us can take advantge of.

More magnification costs a lot more money, or you give up a lot of quality if sold at the same price.
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Old August 24, 2013, 01:09 PM   #5
Kimber84
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Has the rules of what scope is enough been changed?????

I'm of the opinion that clarity trumps magnification all day long. I have some cheap hhigher power scopes and they don't hold a candle to my VX-3 3x9-40.
I'm willing to spend a little more dough for a well built scope with good clarity and light gathering abilities.
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Old August 24, 2013, 01:54 PM   #6
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I'm old enough that I grew up knowing that 4X was all anybody needed on a hunting rifle, and a 3-9X40 was a big scope.

In recent years I noticed that more scopes had fully multicoated optics, and a lot of the scopes in the stores had 50mm lenses, and went up to 14X or 16X. I would guess that the average size for a hunting scope sold today is about 4-14X44.

For years I had 20, 32, 38, and 40mm scopes on my rifles.
A few years ago I bought a 3-10X50, to see what difference the larger objective makes. Put it in the same Leupold medium rings that had held a 2-8X32. For one season, I hunted with only the 50mm scope.

I've replaced several scopes over the last few years. I don't plan to ever buy another 20mm scope. They don't let in enough light. I like 32mm scopes better. I don't see the point of 40mm scopes any more. If I'm going over 32mm, I might as well go to 50.

I didn't used to trust 4X and 5X zooms (like a 3-15) but they must be all sorted out by now. All things in optics are tradeoffs, and one of the tradeoffs is cost. It looks to me that, for a good, full size scope, price is the only downside to a VX-6 3-18 or something similar.
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Old August 24, 2013, 02:02 PM   #7
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I believe that advancements in manufacturing techniques have improved scopes considerably over the last 30 years, to the point your statement is true. On the other hand my eyes have not gotten better and I'm finding I need more magnification each year. I never used to take my scope off of 3x, now I'm often using 5x or 6x, and dialing up to max when the game allows.

Over the years many of my friends have sang the praises of 50mm scopes. They're reasoning always seem to center around light gathering capabilities to which I never understood as I could, and still can see just fine through my 40mm scope at first light until well past legal shooting time. If you like them I would never knock you for using one but I'm not ready for one.....yet
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Old August 24, 2013, 05:21 PM   #8
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My dad was always a big fan of 4 power scopes and I'd have to agree 4 power is plenty for 90 percent of hunting. 30 or 40 years ago single power scopes were tough and reliable, well variable power scopes were a bit fragile.

Today you can get a $200 scope better than anything you had back then. Today I generally stick with 3-9x40 & 4-12-40, but my new favorite is my Nikon Monarch 3 4-16x42. I still get my 4 power, but when I have a steady enough rest or I need to better identify my target I have 16 power when I need it.

Sure someday I'd love to have a 3-18, but until finances allow I'm very happy with my monarch 3.

4 power is still plenty but when you can have your cake and eat it too... why not.

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Old August 24, 2013, 07:10 PM   #9
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I own exactly ONE 50mm objective scope and that's only because it came as part of a trade. I don't want a scope that requires towering rings that defeat the concept of cheek weld to achieve proper eye to scope alignment.
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Old August 24, 2013, 08:02 PM   #10
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I own exactly one 50mm objective scope. I use medium rings.
Medium Leupold standards on a Winchester. Medium Millets on a Remington. Back to the Winchester, medium Warne Maximas.
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Old August 24, 2013, 09:21 PM   #11
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Shooting long range has ruined me. I have become addicted to high power scopes. I love them. Its nice to dial up a deer and it look like I am shooting him at 50 yards.
I cant really see where the high quality 50's are any brighter than the high end 40's. I actually think the 40's might have higher clarity than the 50's.
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Old August 24, 2013, 10:08 PM   #12
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Scopes have changed,but I'm not sure a hunter's requirements have.

A ballpark rule of thumb ,1x per 100 yds will be enough for good shot placement.

At this time,my favorite hunting scope is a 6x fixed Leupold,duplex,42 mm obj.It is in Weaver low rings.Rifle,scope,and all weighs 7 lbs.

Every time I look through the scope,its the same.The reticle measures the same.The 7mm exit pupil is all my eye can use.

For antelope this year,there is a 2 1/2 x Lyman Alaskan on the rifle I intend to use.

I prefer to carry trim,light rifles.I also carry very good binoculars.

Using a rifle scope as primary optic observation tool results in pointing your rifle at targets that have not been identified.(Sometimes this is why folks like big scopes)

I have seen people "glass" me with a scope.I do not like it.
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Old August 24, 2013, 10:27 PM   #13
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As far as I know there are no rules, though there is some concurrence as to what works and what doesn't.

The reality is that there are some gun accurate enough to shoot out to 600 yards or better and to do that you need a higher power scope.

Bottom line though is you still have to be able to shoot accurately at those ranges and its a whole different ball game with major bullet drop.

Don't buy more scope or rifle than you can shoot.

I liked the 9X for scanning, I certainly would not use it to look at people. I did carry good binocs when I was at it but for a quick look the scope was preferred, binocs for solid sitting or long term scanning.
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Old August 24, 2013, 10:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Using a rifle scope as primary optic observation tool results in pointing yourrifle at targetsthat have not been identified.(Sometimes this is why folks like big scopes)
Safety on, chamber empty. Plus if I saw a person in the scope I wouldn't put the crosshairs anywhere near them.

I'd rather have a few ounces of extra scope instead of a few extra pounds of binoculars.

When hunting I carry a two day pack because you just never know. I think of everything I carry as part of a system. This is a fire power vs mobility equation. By fire power I mean capability. Emergency food, the ability to make a fire, first aid kit, etc. No matter how big and strong you are you can only carry so much. I'm 6'4 290 lbs( ish) and I can carry a lot but I still have my limits. I don't intend on caring 80 or 90 pounds of gear hunting.

Then again if you hunt from your truck, suv or sit in a deer stand I guess weight isn't a big deal. I prefer to stalk my prey

Some people hunt with nothing but a rifle and a pocket full of shells. Some people carry enough BS to camp for a week. I'm somewhere in between. No one way is better than the other as long as you get your kill, you have fun and you make it home safe.

To each is own. This is just my philosophy.

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Last edited by Boomer58cal; August 24, 2013 at 10:55 PM.
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Old August 25, 2013, 03:11 AM   #15
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So ,are you saying it is OK for you to point your rifle at me because it is unloaded?

Tell you what,this topic will hijack this thread,and it is not the OP's question.

I will start a new thread under the Hunt category,as this is a hunting field issue.Lets kick it around.
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Old August 25, 2013, 08:25 AM   #16
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Some great acknowledgements of the improvement in optics over the years. I agree, just over the last 20 we've seen some great leaps in what optic manufacturers can do at relatively low price points.

Just in reticles alone, look at what's offered today! Before you have either duplex or wire, and if you were really out there, a post. Today we have ranging reticles, bullet drop compensating reticles, lighted reticles, and the list goes on.

But an interesting point was made I agree with. For most hunters, the requirements have not changed! Most shots are still taken inside 100 yards or thereabouts. Although I must admit, I do like to dial in 9X at 100. I feel I can be more precise with my shot, which after all, is still the most important part of the equation: putting the bullet where it needs to go!
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Old August 25, 2013, 09:44 AM   #17
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If a 4X scope worked for Bambi in 1950, it'll work on him today. Nothing wrong with "more scope", but that's really an issue of billfold size and the I-want--not "need".

No real difference for prairie dogs. Sure, a 3x18 is neat, but 7X works to 300 yards, quite easily.

So I figure you look at your intended use, look at your billfold, and buy what suits you.
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Old August 25, 2013, 02:28 PM   #18
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3X does well for me:




100 yards 80 gr Federal Poweshok, aiming at bottom of the black circle
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Old August 25, 2013, 02:50 PM   #19
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I never turn my scope above 5×…
Ain't no amount of power will make you a better shot.
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Old August 25, 2013, 02:55 PM   #20
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Think, the biggest deer you ever seen crosses the trail on you way in or out.
You got you scope on 12 or higher. Think you'll de able to find the deer or turn the scope down fast enough?
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Old August 25, 2013, 03:27 PM   #21
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Certainly quality can never be understated. Everyone's quality range is usually what they were exposed to and what evolution of the optics they owned. That said, all things being equal, you use to have to pick between a long range scope or a stalking scope because of the field of view and magnification. I think now you can have one scope to do both now that 3x18 is a reality. This will help us big woods hunters that occasionally get to a power line or vista for longer shots. I think its cool.
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Old August 25, 2013, 05:08 PM   #22
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I started with 4 power, and after a few years went to 3x9 but the scope died. I replaced it with a 6 power and used that on my 270 for 5 or 6 years. Then I stepped up to a 4.5-14 and that's where I think I'll stay. You don't need 14 power for hunting, but it comes in handy when I'm punching paper at 100 yards and when I see a coyote or pig way out there. So that power range, or 4-16 work just fine for my hunting needs, but might not work for others. I've thought about maybe getting a 5-25, but that just isn't something that's going to improve what I do in any way. A 3-18 would be a nice range for me, but it isn't markedly better than what I'm using now.

It's all about what works best for you.
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Old August 25, 2013, 05:18 PM   #23
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Quote:
It's all about what works best for you.
Exactly^^^

Where I hunt, I cannot see farther than 100-150 yards most times. I've been using the same Weaver 2-10x scope for 20 years. I don't think I've ever used more than 4x while hunting.
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Old August 25, 2013, 06:44 PM   #24
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Has the rules of what scope is enough been changed?????

While hunting I always kept the power ring on 3x or 4x so I would have a reasonable field of view with some magnification. But the 9x is handy for sighting in new handloads loads at the range.

I've never tried one but I think a 2-7x28 might be pretty handy and plenty of scope for hunting and range while being more lightweight and compact than the 3-9x40mm. I might try that or a 4x20mm on my next rifle. Less weight is always good in the woods.
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Old August 25, 2013, 07:04 PM   #25
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With 2x7 scope on 2X on a 270, I shot deer between 400 and 500 yards.
With 2x7 scope on 7X on a 270, I shot deer between 400 and 500 yards.
I ranged the animals.
I either used hold over or adjusted the elevation turret.
I was prone with a bipod.
I just aimed at the front 1/3 of the animal.
To kill the deer it did not matter 2X or 7X, but I am told that in states where 3 points or better is required on bucks, lots of scope power is needed to see the eye guard spike.
The nice thing about low power it that the exit pupil is large for shooting in dim light. The best hunting for me is before dawn.
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