View Full Version : How much scope power needed?

February 19, 2000, 12:03 AM
I found the scope I want but what power? I like the compactness of 7x scopes. Is 9 power really necessary? My max range will probably be no more than 250 yards. Deer hunting in ne washington. Thanks, j.s.

February 19, 2000, 04:38 PM
js, I like a 3.5-10x scope for my hunting but we get alot of long shot opportunities here in CO. If I was mainly limited to 250 yd shots I would either go with a 2-7x or the 3-9x scope. I'm not real partial to the fixed power scopes myself. I like leaving my scope on the lowest power and then when I see an animal, if I have the time and I usually do, then I just crank it up to a higher power. If your set on going with the single power scope, I would opt for something lower than 7x, probably a 4x in case you get a close shot. I don't know what the woods are like where you hunt, but if there pretty thick you may want a 1.5x or 2x scope. The reason why I say this is because if you get a quick shot in thick woods a higher power scope will be a detriment in being able to find and see the whole deer in your scope. Hope this helps you out.

February 19, 2000, 06:58 PM
slymule; Sorry I wasn't more clear. I'm new to this scope stuff. I meant 2-7x or 3-9x. The 2-7x scopes are generally 3 or 4 oz lighter and more compact. Do I really need the extra power of a 3-9x? Thanks again, j.s.

February 20, 2000, 01:48 AM
A 2x-7x will be better if your woods are thick and you only occasionally get an open field shot at that longer distance. If its open woods and alot of open fields I'd go with the 3x-9x. Those few ounces aren't going to mean anything, I'd base it on if your gonna average more close shots or more long range shots. For example, I'm in an area where I can hunt both the thick black timber or alot of open meadows. I prefer the open stuff so I go with the higher variable scope. If I wanted to spend most of my time in the thick timber I'd go with the smaller variable.

Bud Helms
February 20, 2000, 06:51 AM
[This message has been edited by sensop (edited February 20, 2000).]

Art Eatman
February 20, 2000, 05:48 PM
If your hunting is generally from a stand, it doesn't really matter a lot what power scope you use, for your within-250-yard shots. You'll do your searching for deer, and assessment of a deer, with binoculars.

If you walk and watch, or walk and shoot at a running deer, 2X gives a better field of view.


k in AR
February 21, 2000, 08:42 PM
J.S. I think I would go with the lighter, lower power, scope.

Here in AR, I hunt mainly woods and I find that my 1.5x5 Leupold is all the scope I need on my 308 Winchester Featherweight.
In fact, except at the range on paper targets, I very seldom set the power above 3x. That gives me a good field of view and on deer size game bullet placement out to 200 yards is no problem, not even with my old eyes. Plus, when dragging your stuff through the woods every ounce counts big time by the end of the day.

February 21, 2000, 10:38 PM
k in AR; Thanks for your input. I really think a 2-7x will do me just fine, although, the 3-9x's seem to be the most popular. Riflescopes.com have bausch&lomb 3-9x's "factory demo's" for $129.95. I'm new to the scope business so what kind of condition is a factory demo in? Even has a warranty! Thanks again, j.s.

k in AR
February 22, 2000, 09:17 AM
J.S. Maybe SWFA or one of the other on line retailers can handle a "factory Demo" question. I didn't know there was such a thing in scopes, factory "reconditioned" sure but "demo"??

Paul B.
February 22, 2000, 12:18 PM
J.S. I kind of go along with K in AR. A scope such as a 1 3/4x5 is more than adequate for 99% of any hunting you will do. Actually, I'm going more in favor of fixed power scopes as I grow older. I used to get 3x9's for my rifles. I'd set them on 3X, and leave them here. In the roughly 20 + years of using variable scopes, I have used 9X exactly one time. Why pack the dead weight? I was shooting at a brush obscured doe, and bucks were not legal. I had to determine if the deer had a bald head, and my 7X binoculars just did not cut it. Just for information sake, the longest shot I ever had to make on a deer was at 427 paces. Witnessed. It was wounded and had to be brought down before it got away, or I would not have taken the shot. The scope? An old Weaver 3X. That scope has been on that particular rifle for more than 30 years, and is still going strong.
Lately, I have been slowly replacing 3x9 scopes with Leupold fixed power 4x's. Any variables I will buy in the future, will be 1 3/4x5's. A 5X scope should be more than sufficient for any reasonable shot you would want to take.
Frankly, all these super .300 magnums like the Remington R.U.M. and others of that ilk on super accurate rifles with oversized scopes to as high a 6.5x20x for deer hunting make me sick. Whatever happened to the sport of hunting, seeking and stalking an animal to within a reasonable range? In fact, how many hunters (?) are even capable of using that equipment to it's full potential? What fun is there in sniping some poor herbivore at 600 yards?
Didn't mean to rant so, but it seems that some of the shooting world has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Paul B.

February 22, 2000, 01:25 PM
Paul B ; I agree with you 100%. I'm really leaning toward a smaller and lighter scope. Thanks for your input. j.s.

March 17, 2000, 09:16 AM
My scenario is eastern mountain hunting, varying brush/tree density mixed with the potential for longer shots. I use a fixed 4X by 50MM objective. Quite frankly, for deer in my neck of the woods, 4X is more than adequate out to my max off-hand distance/safe terrain limits, and a bit too much for denser situations where brush and distance conditions scream for the use of open sights. Hmmm, might have to consider see-thru mounts in the near future.

All other things being equal, simplicity can only enhance the reliability of any mechanical device.

ol blue
March 17, 2000, 12:29 PM
I have the 2-7 Leopold on my rifle, and it is plenty of scope for shots out to 250 as you stated. The only time I could wish for more scope is at the bench while developing a load or target practice. I do like the 2-7. I like its smaller overall size and weight on my light weight rifle. In some situations, the few ounces saved here and there do make a difference.