View Full Version : Rifle scope options?

November 26, 2012, 07:59 PM
I have ordered a new hunting rifle and I need to get a scope for it. A friend of mine gets great deals on Leupold & Nikon. I am favoring the Leupold. I am trying to wrap my head around all of the different options. I would like to hear what some think of the different features.

Adjustable objective. Is it worth the money?
Side focus. Again is it worth the extra money?
40mm verse 50mm. I assume it collect more light, but is there any other benefit.

I have never spent more than $200 for a scope, but I am wanting to put something a little nicer on this gun. I would appreciate any of the feed back you have.


November 26, 2012, 08:25 PM
Adjustable objective. Is it worth the money?
For a hunting scope... objective adjustable parallax (http://www.6mmbr.com/parallax.html) (that is what the adjustment is for... to remove parallax) is almost useless.
Side focus. Again is it worth the extra money?
For a hunting scope, a side adjustable parallax (see above) is much quicker to utilize, but... for hunting, unless you have the time to range the target, it's still not very useful.
40mm verse 50mm. I assume it collect more light, but is there any other benefit. Nope... not really. Remember that the smaller the objective (within the limits of the ocular bell diameter, if it overlaps the receiver) the lower the scope can be mounted to the bore centerline... and to the stock cheek-piece line, so a jumbo objective may actually create more problemos than it cures. If you have a long neck... go for it. :D

November 26, 2012, 08:30 PM
You'll get a lot of opinions...and mine. I'd go with the Leupold, the 40mm bell will do just fine, and you don't need the side parallax adjustment. As for what power, that's also delightfully debatable. Most folks are just fine with 3x9, but I'm not. Today I was shooting my 223 (6x18 VX2 Leupold) and having a fine time. Then I switched to my Dad's 223 NEF Handrifle with the 3x9 Zeiss Conquest scope. Compared to the Leupold, I didn't care much for the Zeiss (which was a surprise to me) and I sure didn't like the 3x9 power range. I'm used to seeing the bullet holes clearly and not needing a spotting scope to do so. That said, I'm a fan of the power range of 4.5x14. I have it in Leupold and in Burris. The Burris is less than half the price of the Leupold, but it is most definitely worth the money. The Leupold is better, but the Burris is still good. If you don't want to spend a lot of money, get the Burris 4.5x14 for $300. You won't be sorry. As for Nikon, they make great glass, but the Monarch I had wasn't up to Leupold VX3 quality and on top of that, it broke.

Now I've done it...I said bad things about Nikon and Zeiss. There will be H*** to pay now. But that is my opinion.

November 26, 2012, 08:44 PM
Ok heres another question: Easy adjustable elevation turrets or a ridicule with hash marks for different yardage?

November 26, 2012, 08:47 PM
I had the opportunity to use a Leupold VX 3 while in Africa 2 years ago. It was a fine scope.

Had the opportunity during the 2012 NRA convention to fondle several Zeiss scopes.

I bought and absolutely love my Minox scope in 3X9 - 40 mm. It is much clearer than the Zeiss and IMO very equivalent to the VX3 for much less money:)

November 26, 2012, 09:09 PM
My advice for what I would buy RIGHT NOW, is a Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 with the Z600 reticle.

With mail in rebate they are $379 and that's a hell of a deal. It's what I bought a few weeks ago. Mounted it to my rifle and it is easily the nicest scope I've had the chance to look through. If that's a little too rich for your blood the Nikon Prostaff line for under $200 is a great value.

A lesser known brand I would also recommend you look at is Sightron. Their Big Sky line has rebates right now and is a little less expensive than the Zeiss right now I believe.

Check them out.

November 26, 2012, 09:41 PM
Dutchman, if you are just hunting, you don't need the fancy turrets. If you get some version of the Bullet Drop Compensation lines or dots, that's all you need. And...you don't really need that. If you have a rifle caliber that shoots a decent BC bullet at around 3000 fps at the muzzle, just sight it in about 1.5 inches high at 100 yards and then it's 7 inches down at 300 and 20 inches down at 400. Easy to remember. But, if you want lines or dots, the Leupold Boone & Crockett BDC lines are my favorite, but the Burris dots are good, as are the Zeiss BDC lines. What I'm less fond of are the round circles that Nikon uses. Maybe I could get used to it, but I'd prefer what other scopes use.

There are a lot of good scopes out there. You'll just have to pick one based on your own preferences. If you go with Zeiss, forget that 3x9 and get the 4.5x14. You'll be much happier at the range when you're shooting paper and spotting your bullet holes. Trust me on that. The 3x9 will do, but the 4.5x14 will do better (or a 4x16).

December 4, 2012, 11:02 AM
BDC or turrets? Get both. Nikons BDC is by far the best. I didn't like the idea of the circles at first till I used them! I can remember bitching about the circles and how I wanted lines.

Get the "fancy" turrets as it's better to have them and not need them. If they're there it's a better chance you'll learn to use them.

Do you need either one? Not at all but if you got them it'll make range day a lot more fun and increase your effectiveness as a hunter. All provided you live somewhere where you can stretch your rifle out.

Power of scope? I go with a 14x minimum. Parallax adjust? Better to have and not need it.

If you don't think you'll ever shoot over let say 300yds or you take your rifle out pop off a couple rounds before hunting season and put it away after till the next year then none of what I mentioned will really help you. Good luck!

Brian Pfleuger
December 4, 2012, 11:13 AM
A lot of answers will depend on what you're shooting at and when.

Adjustable objective. Is it worth the money?
It's almost a given on scopes with fairly significant magnification range. It's not neccesary to use it for the majority of hunting but all you need do is set it at 100 yards and forget it exists for any shot from 5-200. Anything farther and you'll have time to make the adjustment or you don't have time for the shot.

Side focus. Again is it worth the extra money?

No, but it's the same adjustment, parallax, not "focus".

40mm verse 50mm. I assume it collect more light, but is there any other benefit.

No other benefit and 40 sits closer to the rifle which almost always means better cheek-weld. You can get 40mm objectives that are better than 50s too. It's glass quality and coatings, not size.

I've used a couple Leupolds and a few Nikons. The Nikons don't compare in light-gathering. They're a decent scope for the money but the ones I've used have been near the bottom of the pile in low-light use. The Nikons I've used were all on the lower end of their price range but they don't compare favorably even to other low-end scope, say nothing of the higher-end Leupolds, Sightrons, Bushnells, etc.

December 4, 2012, 11:57 AM
The Nikons don't compare in light-gathering. They're a decent scope for the money but the ones I've used have been near the bottom of the pile in low-light use.

I have 2 Monarchs and would have to agree. You will still be able to get a shot off at the last bit of legal light with a Nikon.