View Full Version : Right scope for me?

Rustle in the Bushes
July 7, 2012, 03:50 PM
So this will be my first scope and I hate to go down to the store completely clueless. Im just getting my hunting license and am currently putting together gear- a model 70 featherweight in 30-06. I wont be attempting 250 yard shots or more- probably less I'd imagine.

I like to buy gear once and not worry about it later and I hear leupold makes good stuff but dont know a darn thing about scopes really- or what kind of $$ I should be spending.

Heres a vx-3: 3.5 -10 x 40


I can also get a 3.5-10 x 50 for $100 more but I wanna be able to mount this with low rings for a better fit.

Wouldnt buy a thing without asking the experience folks here first- good idea?

July 7, 2012, 04:00 PM
You probably should look for some specs on your rifle. They may have some information on scope ring height.

You will probably not be able to mount either scope you have picked with low mounts.

I have both 40 and 50mm bells and none of them will fit in low mounts on any rifle I own.

Some manufacturers will have a data page that will tell you what height rings to get to mount a particular size objective bell on your rifle.

The various ring manufacturers also have guides.

If you are buying your rifle from a local shop, they can help you with the proper size rings and some may even mount your scope for you.

Be courteous and ask questions when you go in and you will be surprised how helpful they are.

In any event, happy shooting and enjoy the sport. There are a lot of folks on this forum who have a lot of information to share.

Good luck!


the rifleer
July 7, 2012, 04:04 PM
If you only plan to shoot less than 300 yards you do not need to spend that much on a scope. A red field or nikon pro staff will be perfect. If you want to shoot over 500 yards, thats when you need and expensive scope. Even then, I use a bushnell elite 3200 10x scope and can shoot just fine at the 600 yard line with it.

But, if you want a nice scope go for it, it won't hurt a thing :D

July 7, 2012, 04:12 PM
I click on your link and was shocked at that price. You should shop around and check prices, I'm pretty sure Cabela's and Midway can both beat that price by hundreds.

There are a lot of quaility scopes on the market right now, Leupold is one of them. When I shop scopes I look for lifetime warranty, multi-coated optics, and good customer service reputation. I own a VX3 3.5X10X40, it is on my "go to" big game rifle. I've had it since the early 90's and have hunted in extreme conditions with it in Colorado and Utah. It has not disappointed yet and I would not hesitate to buy another.

Rustle in the Bushes
July 7, 2012, 04:29 PM
As far as price- thats what we pay for the privilege of living in Canada.

Hey if I can get by with a cheaper scope I'm happy.

I found a vx-3 2.5-8 x 36 and thats $550, quite a bit cheaper than the other one. Will this work for my range?

July 7, 2012, 04:39 PM
You've got a really nice rifle so I'd put a really good scope on it. Unless you're shooting in low light then I'd be tempted to put a smaller/lighter Leupold VX-2 Ultralight 3-9x33 (http://swfa.com/Leupold-3-9x33-VX-2-Ultralight-Riflescope-P51836.aspx) on it to save some weight. If you want more light gathering than that (at the cost of a few more ounces) then the VX-2 3-9x40 (http://swfa.com/Leupold-3-9x40-VX-2-Riflescope-P51800.aspx) or better yet the VX-3 3.5-10 (http://swfa.com/Leupold-35-10x40-VX-3-Riflescope-P12650.aspx) make good sense.

Other scopes in the same class as the VX-2 are Bushnell's Elite 2.5-10x40 (http://swfa.com/Bushnell-25-10x40-Elite-Rifle-Scope-P48255.aspx) and Nikon Monarch 2.5-10x42 (http://swfa.com/Nikon-25-10x42-Monarch-Riflescope-P42338.aspx). They have a wider zoom range than Leupold but weigh more. BTW I also like the Nikon Monarch 2-8x32 (http://swfa.com/Nikon-2-8x32-Monarch-Riflescope-P11158.aspx) and have one on my 308.

I usually just do the math but MidwayUSA has a ring height cheat-sheet (http://www.midwayusa.com/content/legacy/ring_height.htm) that can be handy. You'll need the outside diameter of the scope's objective (front) bell. You'll find the objective bell information on Leupold's site or MidwayUSA.

The formula is divide the bell diameter (mm) by 25.5 to get inches. Then subtract the scope barrel diameter (1" or 30mm) and then divide by 2. That will give you the minimum height from the receiver to the bottom of the scope's barrel. Using the Leupold VX-3 3.5-10x40 the bell is 46mm. 46/25.5 = 1.8". Subtract 1" for the scope body and you have .80", .8"/2 = .4". If you were to use Talley Lightweight mounts you might get away with low but medium would for sure work. With other designs that use a separate base and ring then you'll need to take into account the base height (usually .250-.270").

July 7, 2012, 05:34 PM
Your shopping in the right market for the M70. Being from Canada, I wouldn't waste the extra money for the 50mm lens unless I spent lots of time in heavy timber or wanted extra light coming in at higher magnifications. Scopes are a really good area to get yourself specialized.


July 7, 2012, 06:03 PM
Go with the 40mm objective and you'll be fine. As for favorite deer hunting scopes, mine is a 4.5-14X50 VariX III. I personally prefer that range over a 3-9 variable or 3-10.

phil mcwilliam
July 8, 2012, 12:41 AM
You won't go wrong with a 3.5-10x40mm Leupold. I guess one of the more popular variables is 3-9x40, of which I own 2 Leupolds. I also own two 2-7x33 Leupolds, but I think my favorite variable is 2-10x40mm, which gives the lower magnification of 2x for heavy woods, while 10x is available if hunting open plains, or cross valley shots. I find most of the time my variable hunting scopes are set on the lower settings.

July 8, 2012, 07:22 AM
I found a vx-3 2.5-8 x 36 and thats $550, quite a bit cheaper than the other one. Will this work for my range?

That would be more than enough scope. If your in BC I doubt you would ever make a shot over 100yds. A fixed 4X would serve you well with less cost, weight and increased reliability.

July 10, 2012, 06:52 AM
Buy the best scope you can afford with the 50mm objective for the light gathering capability because if you are deer hunting the big bucks will come out real late down towards dark. Bubba will tell you to get by with a cheap scope but don't listen to that.

gun nut
July 10, 2012, 07:28 AM
I prefer the objectives to be between 40-44mm . I like my scopes down close to the rifle. A 3x9x40 would be fine for the range your shooting. If you think most shots will be closer to 200 + you could consider a higher power. But ive used 3x9 with no problem. Most of my scopes are Leupold & Nikon.

July 10, 2012, 08:08 AM
I bought my first center fire scope last year after hunting with iron sights for 30 years. Because of that, I went with with Vortex. They have the widest FOV of any of the manufacturers. I researched for months and finally bought a 2-7x35 Vortex Diamondback for mounting on a sporterized small ring Mauser in 7x57 with medium Warne rings. Since I have nothing to compare it against, you should take my recommendation with a grain of salt but it works for me.

July 10, 2012, 09:39 AM
Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40 is going to be everything you could want and need for a rig like this. Great piece of glass, good eye relief. Haven't had a single hitch on my 30-06. I'd suggest medium rings although you might get away with low rings. It's best to check the specifications first though. Best of luck on filling the freezer.

July 10, 2012, 10:27 AM
Big fan of the Bushnell Elite series as well as the Weaver Super Slams both of which can be found at Natchez Shooter Supply for less than Cabelas, BP, Midway or others usually offer them. Leupold's are a little pricey but good glass however other options that are just as good can be had for less. Do some research and handling of various optics before you buy.

I purchased a couple of 2.5X10X50 Super Slams with the EBX reticle for $329.00 each on sale. Can't say enough good things so far about these optics.

Not sure if Ziess still offeres the Conquest 3X9X40 at the reduced price of $399.00 but that was a great scope for the money. Better than any Leupold of a comparable price, probably better IMO than the VXIII or 3 that they call it now.

But the others are right, you aren't putting a 50mm or even 40mm objective on a M70 with low mounts. Medium for a 40 and high for a 50 would be more the norm.

July 10, 2012, 10:47 AM
The writer above me mentioned the Zeiss conquest glass. Cabela's is actually running a special on these and I have absolutely never ever heard anything negative about any Zeiss riflescopes.

July 10, 2012, 12:07 PM
I say go with the 2.5-8x36 it is by far my favorite Leupold scope. Since I don't know what is truly available to you in West Canada so I'll stick to your two choices. I have both scopes you talked about and for most of my non magnum hunting rifles the 2.5-8 Leupold will let me see the animals much further out than I want to shoot. I use the one 3.5-10 I have on varmint rifles although it was on a .35 Whelen for a short amount of time.

July 10, 2012, 01:58 PM
Many, including me, have hunted for many years using quality 4X scopes. Although I did not ordinarily need to shoot at ranges over 200 yards, I have shot antelope at 500 yards, and deer at over 400 yards. I used 4x scopes by Weaver, Leupold, and Redfield. For the longer ranges a 6X would have been better, but I have never felt the need for even 8X. I do have a Leupold VX 3, but have never used it over 7 power.

If one is going to limit his shots to 300 or less, and sometimes hunt in brush where a good field of view is needed a quality 4X scope is the best. It is small, inexpensive, and does the job.

I see rifles that have high power 50mm objectives that over power the rifle. In my view that is foolish, although I am sure some will disagree.

I admit I have never looked through the top German scopes, but my scopes have always permitted me to shoot at all legal hours without being too dim. My favorite scope is Leupold, and my recommendation for the use of the OP is a 4X fixed power. A quality scope is needed when hunting might be done in zero weather to 100+ degrees.
I want to keep the weight down also.
I would never use a scope that required me to lift my cheek from the comb of the stock.


July 11, 2012, 09:26 AM
you should be able to mount a 3-9x40 on standard rings. x36 and x32 will not give you much of a sight picture or bring in much light. Suggest that you stay with 40 or more. x50 will fit with medium rings.

July 11, 2012, 01:30 PM
[x36 and x32 will not give you much of a sight picture or bring in much light.]

Not true, as I and many hunters I know have used such scopes for many years. My only variable is a Leupold 2.5X8 with a 36MM objective. It provides more than adequate brightness even before or after legal shooting times.

Somehow the old writers and hunters, such as Warren Page, Jack O'Connor, and Townsend Whelen all got along well using mostly 4X scopes with OL of 33 or less. I never remember any complaint of their scopes not being bright enough to do the job. I have never failed to get game because my scopes were not bright enough. The early variables at their higher powers were not very bright, but that is not the case now, and one does not need a large OL to get bright images.
However, to each his own, but I never recommend a 50MM OL.


July 11, 2012, 02:19 PM
Not true, as I and many hunters I know have used such scopes for many years. My only variable is a Leupold 2.5X8 with a 36MM objective. It provides more than adequate brightness even before or after legal shooting times.
I have to agree. While a young'en might be able to utilize a 6 or even 7mm exit pupil few of us can do that by 40 much less 50. A 36mm scope at 8x will give you an exit pupil of 4.5mm. That's plenty and just a tad more than 9x magnification with a 40mm objective. At that point what's going to matter more for those of us over 40 is the quality of the glass and the coatings that the manufacturer uses. In other words is 98% of the light gathered passing through to the eye or only 90 or 94% and is the view crystal clear or a bit fuzzy. Neither of those should be any issue with a top-notch scope like a VX-3 or any of the other scopes in its class.

Assuming good glass then for reasonably bright daylight shooting a 2.5mm exit pupil be fine and while 4mm+ comes in handy when light starts fading.

July 11, 2012, 03:45 PM
I like my VX3- 3.5x10x40, with target turrets, it's flawless.;)

July 11, 2012, 06:24 PM
Buy the best you can afford. Cheap glass is one place I have learned not to go. Do your best and you will be happy. I have gone the cheap glass which works fine for awhile but soon it doesn't hold zero and if you know Murphy it will be when you have that trophy buck in sight. Good luck and enjoy.

July 11, 2012, 08:02 PM
I really like Nikon Monarchs. They are nice scopes, hold their zero well and in their price range, they hold up well against Leupold and Zeiss entry level offerings.

July 12, 2012, 08:50 AM
On a lighter rifle such as that a 3.5-10X is just too much scope. It is too big and messes up the looks and balance of the gun. The VX-3 in a 2.5-8X36 is made for that rifle. I'd also consider the 1.75-6X32. Either offer more magnification than you need. They cost and weigh less and will look better on that rifle.

you should be able to mount a 3-9x40 on standard rings. x36 and x32 will not give you much of a sight picture or bring in much light. Suggest that you stay with 40 or more. x50 will fit with medium rings.

Not true. A scope with a 36mm objective at 7X will let in almost exactly the same amount of light as a 40mm objective will at 8X. A 32mm scope at 6X or less will let in the same amount of light. Anything below 6 or 7 with either scope is irrelevent. A 50mm objective is only an advantage when used at 10X or greater.

July 12, 2012, 03:52 PM
I would agree with the VX3 2.5-8x36 Leupold for the best scope for that rifle at less than 300yds. If you wont to spend less the VX2 2-7x33 would work very well also.

Brian Pfleuger
July 12, 2012, 04:03 PM
You guys got Sightron up there?


That's what I'd get in the circumstances you describe.

Major Dave (retired)
July 15, 2012, 04:20 PM
2.5-8X36, and it is very bright in low light conditions.

Also plenty of magnification for 300 yards.

Lightweight, wide field of view at lower magnification settings.

Also sits low to the barrel/action of my rifle.

I use Conetrol scope bases and rings, which are a bit pricey, but present a very clean, uncluttered appearance. They have no visible mounting screws. Very lightweight.

July 15, 2012, 05:30 PM
Another vote for a quality 4X fixed. Less is more.

July 15, 2012, 06:54 PM
On another note I have all kinds and some have died most work fine. I have a very old NcStar that has held zero for almost 10 years it's mounted on a Yugo Mauser 8mm. Have a few BSA Platinum series scope that have worked fine for years dial up dial down right where you started. Have an ATN great scope holds zero with a BDC to 500 yards for several calibers just to heavy but works great. Even have a few Barska scope had one die on me they replaced it that one is still in the box but several mounted on 308's and an 8mm still work fine. Most of my new scope are WOTAC's his customer service has suffered as of late but Matt stands behind his product. He just got to big to fast and is playing catch up but he has a great product never had one die all hold zero and they have enough range to dial them up for a mile or more. As the need comes up I will replace all my scopes with WOTAC's except for one I want to save and get a Premiere scope with the Horus reticle the more I read and talk to folk that have them that seems the way for everything to end up one scope many good mounts and one set of Larue rings. So so are good some not so good and every once in a while you get a cheap scope that last a life time.

July 15, 2012, 07:55 PM
Accidental Duplication:rolleyes: Sorry.

July 16, 2012, 06:05 AM
I don't hunt any more,but back in the horse and wagon days when i did:D. A low power scope for the range you are talking about is going to suit you just fine. As others have stated to much power will kill you on a ( all of a sudden close shot ), 6 would be about as high as i would go. As for cheap scopes. I have some what changed my tune. I was always one for cheap scopes. Clarity meant nothing to me. As long as it held zero i just used hold over.Never had a issue. Recently i just got a Sightron 8-32 x 56. Man O Man have i changed my tune now. I still use a Mil Dot cheapy on my 223 zeroed at 200 yards and just use hold over. Cheap scopes and exspensive scopes,,, The big difference is tracking, Clarity is a factor,but a small one. Light gathering is moot at best. I target shoot at 5 AM. I have never had any problem with light gathering. If you zero your scope and use hold over you will be fine. Im not endorsing cheap scopes any more ,but with a 4 or 6 power scope.Clarity and light gathering is not a issue at all,both will do just fine. As one other mentioned,Take a look at Sightron Scopes. It's a over kill,but very nice scope.
Vortex is another great scope/ Ziess is highly over rated and over priced, Great scopes,but not that great. Most if not all Low power scopes (4 to 8 ) will have great clarity and light gathering. Those 2 issues usually only come in to play on high power scopes.

Art Eatman
July 16, 2012, 10:03 AM
Deer hunting? Any decent 4X will do just fine. I used one for years. My billfold fattened up and I went to 3x9x40. So what happened? It has spent 95% of its life set on 3X.

9X is mostly useful for sight-in, since I can see the bullet holes at 100 yards. :D

July 27, 2012, 10:08 PM
I think your choice of the Leupold 3.5x10 is excellent. Stick with the 40mm. There is simply no good reason to go w/ the 50. You can see just fine waaaay past legal shooting hours with the 40mm Leupold and have a better fitting, better looking rig.

math teacher
July 31, 2012, 06:03 PM
In BC you are allowed to hunt a half hour earlier and later than most of us can do stateside. The extra light gathering ability of a larger objective may be of use there. I agree that after a certain age, we may not be able to use the extra light of a 50mm, but I still want around 40mm. My 25mm Leupold binoculars are useless at dawn or dusk, but my 42mm Swarovski, wow! On the coast of BC you have blacktail that tend to show up just as it is getting rather dark where you can use all the light you can gather. I hunt moose around Quesnel and use 40-42mm scopes and wouldn't mind 50mm. 3-9 power is plenty.