View Full Version : Long Range Hunting Scopes

September 16, 2008, 09:59 PM
I'm in the market for a new scope. First of all, its going to be for hunting and it will be used in low light. I want something that is very good for long range but also useable at closer distances...say 4 maybe 5 power MAX, for the minimum setting (I havn't tried them but I think the ones that start at 6 power are too much zoom for close range)

I'm really interested in the new bushnell 6500, 4.5-30X50 Thats a heck of a range of zoom!! Has anyone used one, how is the quality, is it an effective scope and is the zoom range really that large...as in going all the way down to no more than 4.5 and all the way up to 30.

September 16, 2008, 11:12 PM
First, you're on the right track with the 50mm objective, that with quality glass and coatings should be good for low light.

A few questions, maybe will help guide the search.

How close is close? FWIW, quick search on the 4.5-30x 6500 says it's focal range starts at 25 yards, not to say it's not usable at all under that, but how short do you envision using it?
Conversely, what is long range? I would have a hard time justifying anything larger than 15x or so on a hunting rifle, as any range I would need a larger magnification than that I probably wouldn't feel comfortable taking the shot anyway, but that's a personal thing, I'm sure there is a legitimate need out there for larger magnifications (like varmint).
What rifle/caliber? How much recoil it's going to have to hold up to may narrow the range to beefier scopes or ones with good warranties ;)

September 17, 2008, 07:50 AM
Short...well I once killed a deer at 5 feet! But generally 25 yards a good measure of the shortest situations I will get into. As for long, the sky is the limit. I don't carry a spotting scope when I'm walking through the hills so my rifle scope does double duty if I see a 4 legged brown spot walking across a distant hillside.
I want no less than a 4-16x44 but I prefer more zoom and a 50mm objective. I'm not sure what is reasonable zoom wise as I haven't tried any optics over 16 power (except a spooting scope that starts at 40X) 16, 18, 20 all would be good enough I imagine.....but that bushness goes up and up to 30..thats just plain tempting.
As for the rifle, I'm not sure yet, probably something in the 300 family...perhaps even a 300rum or the old reliable 300winmag. Likely a Remington 700.

Jack O'Conner
September 23, 2008, 09:45 AM
This super accurate .243 rifle has taken many 'lopes at long range. Scope is Simmons AETEC 2.8X - 10X. I love it!



September 23, 2008, 11:53 AM
Those rifles do seem to be pretty accurate don't they, bolt actions get all the attention in that department, but if my eye isn't mistaken that is a pump...the same pump a friend of my father owns in 30.06 and for a guy that shoots with the barrel sitting on a fence post rather than off a rest or shooting bags his 2 shot groups are always very tight.
He uses a pretty similar scope too, he's never been a fan of high zoom...similar to a lot of the "older" generation in camp, but most of us younger guys go fairly high zoom on the occasions that we spring for new rifles/optics.

September 23, 2008, 12:48 PM
If I was in the market for a long-distance scope, I'd look hard at the Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16x50 30mm tube.

Jack O'Conner
September 23, 2008, 04:20 PM
Yes, our super accurate .243 is a pump action rifle by Remington. Stocks were replaced after a bad fall in the canyon country of Sweetwater County, Wyoming. I broke my collar bone, too. This rifle has been in our family since 1968 and has toppled dozens of mule deer and 'lopes without any fuss.

Turn the rifle upside down with clip magazine removed and operate the action. Its easy to observe the rotating bolt. Yep, this is a bolt action, free floating barreled rifle operated by a pump handle. No kidding!

I read somewhere that something like a million Pennsylvanians buy deer hunting licenses each year. The Remington pump action 30-06 is supposedly the most popular firearm in this state. Whether this is true I cannot state from first hand experience.


September 23, 2008, 04:26 PM
First, you're on the right track with the 50mm objective, that with quality glass and coatings should be good for low light.

I know that telescope like glass is all the rage, but a lower magnification level allows one to keep a super exit pupil. My 1-4x32 isn't a long range scope, but I'd have no problem out to 300 yards. The exit pupil is just grand. I have over 4 inches of eye relief. Sometimes less is more.

September 24, 2008, 08:20 AM
Wow, 1968, Your family sure didn't waste any time getting ahold of one of those...if I'm not mistaken that is the first year, or pretty close to the first year, that the Rem 760 was made in that caliber. Too bad they don't make it in .22-250 I've been thinking of a varmint gun that can do double duty as a close-in fast-action rifle when I surprise a pack of coyotes in the brush or handle long range work accurately...I immediately checked to see if the Rem 7600 was offered in varmint calibers but sadly it isn't. .243 would work of course, but anything over .23 is illegal to carry in varmint season :(

Around here I don't see a lot of "fancy rifles" LOL Most people hunt with rifles that are as old as them if not older, and anything new is considered an "oouuuhhh, look at that piece". As for the most popular, if I had to take a guess, I would have to say old military .303s that have been sportarized to various degrees. Good solid rifles that get the job done, are dirt cheap, and reliable if you take care of them...but its more of a caveman with his club sort of deal as opposed to a surgen and his scalpel....but I'm not knocking them, I've always used a .30-06 made back in 1914! Its just time for a new stock and I can't find a replacement.

As for optics, I'm really a fan of zoom...I find more zoom makes for a more accurate shot and a better idea of what you are looking at (so you know if you really want to take the shot or not) While I find the old 3-9x38 to be adaquate in just about any situation I do at times wish for more. And of course being young...and the kind of guy that drives a 400hp trans am (when its not hunting season)...I'm always lusting after more power, even in my optics.

September 24, 2008, 02:28 PM
I find more zoom makes for a more accurate shot and a better idea of what you are looking at

Field of View shouldn't be ignored in a hunting scope. A quick shot is almost impossible with a superzoom scope at the top of the magnification range. I understand the idea of aiming for a SINGLE hair instead of aiming at ANY hair, but I prefer to aim at the joint; or just behind it, below the shoulder smack dab in front of the heart instead of "hair".

September 24, 2008, 06:14 PM
The great thing about adjustable's is that you can always turn them down when you don't need them at full power...you can scope out if its a shooter on 16X then dial it down to 9X for the shot, more field of view is good for moving targets as well. But I don't want to be looking at a deer 300 yards out and having the crosshairs of a fixed 4X scope cover the entire target.

September 24, 2008, 06:50 PM
I'd be comfortable taking a shot at 260 yards (my MPBR with a 7x57) with my 1-4x32 scope on 1 power. If I had time, I'd probably crank up to 3 or 4 power, but my crosshairs are not going to obscure the entire vital zone target at that range. I wouldn't be surprised if I leave the scope at 1x the entire hunting season, but I don't expect to shoot over 100 yards. I do expect to jump deer while still hunting. Doesn't that sound more exciting than playing video games? Of course the terrain dictates my shots to pretty short lengths. I've got no gripe against hunters that play video games.

September 25, 2008, 09:32 PM
Video games eh....you think we have those Wayyyyy up here in Canada now do ya?

1 Power hmmmm....if you don't want any zoom you might find faster target acquisition with something other than a conventional rifle scope. I'd probably just take out my old .30-30 lever with open sights myself, if I were in a situation that tight and needing a fast shot.

September 26, 2008, 05:55 AM
I'd probably just take out my old .30-30 lever with open sights myself, if I were in a situation that tight and needing a fast shot.

I do carry my peep sighted 30/30 often when doing a walk around. I really prefer to have my sight and target on the same visual plane, so a scoped rifle is a more serious tool. I'd never try a neckshot with a peep sight.

Different strokes for different folks.

I can hear the Canadian English right through the internet... "eh, now do ya":D