View Full Version : Scope preferences?

Dave R
February 9, 2000, 10:41 AM
So, I just ordered a Remington 700 in .308, hope to hunt Antelope in Wyo and/or deer in Idaho this coming fall. Rifle won't be in for a week, so I have time to consider how to scope it. I am a rookie. Any reason to use something other than the ubiquitous 3X9 variable? I probably won't take a shot beyond 200 yards. And what brand do you folks prefer? Cost IS a factor. The EPO* barely released enough funds for the rifle.

*EPO=Entertainment Prevention Officer, i.e. my spouse whom I love dearly, but does not always share my enthusiasm for shooting.

Art Eatman
February 9, 2000, 10:55 AM
"Put it on the VISA. That way, you don't have to pay for it." :)

I put a Simmons 44 Mag on my pet '06. It seems to work okay. Maybe 100 rounds' worth of recoil? Disremember. I moved the Leupold 3X9 off the '06 to a .223 bolt action...Just playin'.

From what I read, the high end of the "Po'boy" scopes can take recoil. Tasco's "World Class" comes to mind. Stay away from the $30 to $50 at WalMart, generally, except for no- or very low-recoil rifles...

I see no reason to get more than a 3X9; even a K4 is plenty good, but no higher in fixed power.

One of my longest shots on a deer was made with my 3X9 set on 3. About 350 or so yards.


Paul B.
February 9, 2000, 11:31 AM
Dave. Remember the K.I.S.S. principle. While I do have quite a few variables on my rifles, I personally prefer fixed power scopes. Leupold 4x's are all I have been buying lately.
The reason I have so darn many variables is most of my rifles were bought used, and that was what was on them.
For what it is worth, the longest shot I ever made on a deer was at 427 paces, with a short barreled .308 Win. and a 3X Weaver scope. (Original Weaver, not one of the made in Japan new ones.) Call it about 350 yards or so due to variations in the terrain.
The only time I have cranked a variable up to 9X was on a deer partially obscured by brush. I had to determine if it was antlered or bald, and I had an antlerless tag. My 7X binoculars just did not quite cut it. BTW. It was a tasty young doe. That was the only time I ever had need of the extra power. If you must have a variable, I would strongly suggest the Leupold vari-X II 3x9. I found some of the for about $210 at Wally-Mart. Get the best, and you'll be more than satisfied.
I have a rifle with a pre- M series Leupold 3X scope. it is still clear, sharp, and more than adequate for the 7x57MM rifle it is mounted on. I will gradually replace most of those variables for fixed power as time goes on, and coin of the realm becomes available.
Paul B.

Dave R
February 9, 2000, 01:17 PM
Art & Paul (& others?) I would be quite happy with a fixed 4x. That's what I have on my .22's. Do they make fixed 3x's?

Anybody have a recommendation on fixed 4x's (I heard Tasco World Class, Leopold)

February 9, 2000, 02:54 PM
Tasco makes an execllent scope and IF anything ever goes wrong its a no hassle warranty. That means they fix it replace it for free.

I ve puchased a number of tasco scopes over the years and a world class 3x9x40 sits on my savage 116 via burris rings.

I WOULD recommend STEEL RINGS and a 1 piece mount like Redfield or Burris.


February 9, 2000, 08:55 PM
Anything Leupold. If 200 yards is going to be your limit then that Vari-XII 3x9 would be my choice. As Paul stated they can be had for around $200. They are great scopes and Leupold stands behind their products with excellent customer service.

bullet placement is gun control

Bud Helms
February 9, 2000, 09:25 PM
What Muleshoe said.

In addition, check out Nikon's 2-7x.

Art Eatman
February 9, 2000, 09:29 PM
FWIW, my Vari X II Leupold 3X9 has fallen off more than one mountain with me, during its almost 30 years. They're good.

In general, any fixed power scope (I think, and have read) will be more rugged than a variable. Fewer moving parts, right?

:), Art

February 9, 2000, 09:56 PM
Dave, check out riflescopes.com, they've got quite an inventory of all kinds. I was just there and saw this Vari XII 3-9x40 in a gloss finish for $220. I think their prices are fairly reasonable, but shop around. I didn't notice the EPO the first time I read your post, I've got one of those too.

As far as the fixed vs. variable, I think It's just a matter of liking. I've always liked the variable, some folks like fixed. When I'm in open areas it's always cranked up to max, when I'm in timber I like to turn down a bit, 4 or 5. Art is probably right about a fixed being more rugged, but I've never had a problem with a variable.

bullet placement is gun control

February 10, 2000, 01:44 PM
I would go with a fixed 4 or 6 power scope.
The fewer moving parts, the less chance of something going wrong. I must say that Leupold is hard to beat! A fixed power Leupold isn't alot more than a variable power scope of a lesser quality. We sell quite a few scopes per year in our shop. I agree that Tasco has a good warranty, however, We have had more problems with Tasco than any other brand. We have had some come back within a few weeks and some that were junk right out of the box! I remember this past hunting season. I had two W.C. Tasco's that would not adjust during bore sighting, and one that the cross hairs were an X not a + !!!I have no idea how that scope made it from the factory! We still stock and sell alot of Tasco's because people ask for them. I don't like them! We have sold many Tasco's and have had about 6-12 come back ( or never leave!). We also sell other brands. WE have never, and I mean never had any of the following come back.
LEUPOLD ( any series)
SIMMONS ( any series)
WEAVER ( old or newer)
THOMPSON CENTER ( muzzleloader)
We have sold other brands on special orders but the above brands are what we stock.
I hope this helped!
" I'M THE NRA! "

February 10, 2000, 03:10 PM
I agree with Muleshoe about the websight listing. That is for a company called S.W.F.A out of Texas and they also have a demo/used section. That web address is http://www.samplelist.com/ I purchased a used Leopold 3x9x40 Vari X II matte for $149.95. Well worth the money!

Good luck with the the purchase.

Dave R
February 10, 2000, 07:14 PM
Great input! Muleshoe and Snakelover, thanks for the links. samplelist.com had some great offers. Likely where I'll buy. Cjb, thanks for the voice of experience.

Follow-up question...I always like to keep my options open. Anyone have experience with those "see-through" rings that let you use your iron sights--in case a close-in opportunity arises?. The guy in the shop said stay away, because they put the scope up higher, and make you pick your cheek up off the stock. Is that right?

Art Eatman
February 10, 2000, 09:09 PM
DaveR: The odds are that you won't get as good a "weld" of your cheek to the stock, if you use the see-through mount. A higher comb would solve this problem; one of the lace-on dealies might work.

Ideally, if you mount the rifle to your shoulder with your eyes closed, and then open your eyes, you should be looking right through the center of the scope.

Other bits and pieces: Remember that the higher the magnification, the narrower the field of view. I lost a chance at a deer once because I had a 2X7 set on seven while sitting--and didn't go down to two when I started walking. Jumped a nice buck. Through the scope, I saw all-brown; then an ear; then some white; and then just brush...

That's why I'd not go to a fixed 6-power for hunting--it has a noticeably narrower field of view than a 4-power. And I'll probably stay with 2X8 or 1.5X5 in any future hunting scopes.

Varmints and long-range targets is a whole 'nother story.

Really all most folks need is a K4 or equal. After all, you do your spotting with binoculars or a spotting scope, don't you? I tend to get testy at folks who check me out through their scope sight to see if I'm a deer...

:), Art

February 11, 2000, 12:04 AM
If you draw for Wyoming and don't do a guided hunt, e-mail me and if you are in central or SE Wyoming I might be able to fix you up with some private land, no fees.

February 11, 2000, 12:07 AM
Get the very best you can, even if you stretch it. Don't just worry about power. I am a fanatic on scopes--quality of glass, light gathering (extremely important) type of eye focus-just so many things. I use Steiner 8x56 binocs and my good quality burris can't see in the dark like my binocs. Remember, you might go elk or other big game hunting. Try and think ahead. Light gathering and full field clarity are the most important to me. There is an old saying among old hunters" Spend the scope same as the rifle" You'll never regret getting a high dollar scope. Leupold, Burris, Nikon and the like are the minimum. All good values. My next three will be Steiner Z scopes. Boy am I saving!!!!!

From my cold dead hands.

February 11, 2000, 04:51 AM
Get the absolute best fixed (I prefer 2,3,or 4 power) you can afford, (BTW, scopes last longer than wives), even if it breeds a little tension on the homefront.

Dave R
February 11, 2000, 10:27 AM
I hear what you're saying, Tabing, but a good wife feels better in your hands than a good scope. I'm going to have to stay on the lower side of the price range on the scope. Rather miss a deer and keep my wife :-)

My aim is to get the best quality I can afford. A quality fixed 3 or 4 is looking pretty good right now.

February 11, 2000, 01:02 PM
I like variables. Reason being is that I can use the higher power for working up loads or sighting at the bench. Higher power makes a lot of difference off the bench.

But, when hunting, I always have the scope dialed to lowest power so I can get a quick(er) sight picture. Better than iron sights for me.

My fave is a discontinued B&L 2X8 compact - just love it. Next is the Leupold 2X7 compact.

I like the variety of having different magnification options, but usually only practically put the lowers to use.

Art Eatman
February 11, 2000, 04:46 PM
There is always the option of a used scope. I've never had a problem. After all, a lot of the rifles I bought came with a scope already attached.

A way to check out a scope is look through it backwards; that will let you see any chips in the edge of a lens. Sometimes scopes get dropped, right?

I don't have any catalogues handy, so name brands and models aren't available. But I'd say you'll do just fine with a K4 Weaver or a better-end Simmons 4-power.

I killed my first eight or ten deer with a K2.5 and later a K4, before I ever went up to a Leupold 3X9 in 1971...

In fifty years of hunting with an '06, 90% of the critters I've shot would have been quite shootable with any 1.5 to 4 power scope.

Don't worry about it. Just stick something on it and go shoot beer cans, off-hand. Anybody can hit most anything, off a rest. That'll do you more good than high-dollar scopes, laser range-finders, and all the other non-essential toys, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Spend the money on ammo, not all that Mr. Abercrombie and Fitch city-hunter garbage.

Learn what you and your rifle can do. And do it some more.

:), Art

Dave R
February 15, 2000, 10:30 AM
Thanks for good input, all. I wound up ordering a Simmons Pro 50 2.5 X 10 from samplelist.com, mostly because it was such a great deal. Also because of the comment from cjb that Simmons never come back to his shop. Yeah, I'm worried about reliability of variable vs fixed, but for the price I paid, if I have to replace it next year (when I have some experience and know better...) I will not object. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy the flexibility, and maybe do some coyote hunting. Should enjoy the higher magnification for that. Rifle and scope should arrive by this weekend. Integration of the two subsystems (yeah, I work in computers) will be this weekend or next, depending on wind at the outdoor range. I'll let you know how it goes.

February 16, 2000, 07:29 PM
Congrats on your purcahse and hope it serves you well.

May you always hit what you aim at!!

Dave R
February 22, 2000, 12:27 AM
Well, I integrated the scope with the rifle over the weekend. The local gun shop was very helpful in getting the scope mounted the way I wanted it. They were able to fit the 50mm lens behind the rear iron sight, so I can keep my iron sights on. Backup...

Sighted the iron first, at the indoor range. Shot 1" groups, which is about the best my bifocals will do. Either the front sight or the rear sight is just a 1" blur...

The trigger on that new Remingto 700 was about 8lbs! Lawyers set the trigger pull at the factory, I guess.

Then put the scope on and got it centered. Shot cloverleafs at 25 yds (max indoor range).

Next day went to the 100 yd outdoor range. Of course, the wind was 8-10 mph from the side. Shot mostly 1-2" groups, hitting several inches left of point of aim (due to wind?) Then, on the last group, something exciting happened. The first 2 shots touched each other. At 100 yds! I thought, man, it would be so cool if I could get the 3rd one to touch. And I did. A 100yd Cloverleaf. Was it random good luck? Can my rifle really shoot cloverleafs at 100yds on a regular basis? Only one way to find out... shoot some more.

February 22, 2000, 12:58 AM
That's the best time to quit, after shooting a group like that. Lets you leave feeling good about things. Instead of wondering, what the hecks wrong with this thing.

You'll find out the answer to your question on your next trip to the range. Art said something back there a ways you need to listen to. Practice shooting off-hand, shoot at different distances, both on and off the bench. I like my rifles sighted in at 2" or 2.5" high at 100yards, and then shoot at 200, 250, 300. Practice, practice, practice.

Congrats, sounds like you got a great shooter. :cool:

bullet placement is gun control

Covert Mission
March 4, 2000, 02:33 AM
I have a friend, a well-heeled doctor, who has a serious rifle/scope jones ( he DOES use them). He probably has 50 scoped rifles. Many brands of scope. Fwiw, he likes Swarovski or Schmidt and Bender when price is no object, Nikon next (says they're the best value for the dollar), followed closely by Leupold (which is what i have). He also raves about a Shepherd rangefinder scope he has.

I like my Leupold Vari-X III (1.5x6?). Haven't beaten it up to know it's durability, but it seems very well made.

[This message has been edited by Covert Mission (edited March 04, 2000).]