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Old August 18, 2006, 05:51 PM   #1
the possum
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Join Date: November 6, 2004
Location: Southern Illinois
Posts: 467
Lookin' for a shotgun scope

Hey there, fellas.
Got to thinkin' about fall, and getting a scope for my shotgun. Search doesn't seem to be working right now. Right now the only scope I've ever bought myself is on my .22 rifle, so I'm not really familiar at all with the market.

It's a Beretta Pintail, 3" recoil operated auto loader. Last year for Christmas, dad gave me a fully rifled factory barrel for it. The barrel and reciever are one solid piece on this gun (well, actually maybe the barrel is semi permanently screwed together or something, but it's still rock solid) and the reciever is drilled and tapped for scope rings, which I also have already. This barrel looks extremely well made. The bore is mirror bright with crisp lines, and not a tooling mark to be found. We've had good results with Hastings barrels, but this thing certainly looks like a step up in quality.

I'd like to get a scope for it, to take advantage of what I expect to be fine accuracy. My eyes ain't so good, so I'm after something to help me see beyond 70 yards. If things turn out well, I'd realistically have the oportunity to take shots up to 150 yards, and maybe even further if a coyote happens along. I carried dad's inline muzzle loader for a bit last year which wears a variable power scope, and it sure made it easier to pick out a little spot to shoot through in brush. (I've had slugs deflected by branches on two occasions.)

I've had fixed 2x and 4x scopes on my slug guns in the past, and didn't really like them. They don't hardly help me see enough better to justify it, especially the 2x. I don't think I need a huge scope cranked up enough to see the man in the moon, but found 6 or 7 power useful on dad's. Maybe a 3-9x variable, or one slightly lower.

I need one that can stand taking the occasional bump and the recoil without losing zero. Had some bad experience with four different Simmons scopes that all had to be sent back for repair, including one where the entire crosshairs broke loose. I don't like big target adjustment knobs- had bad experience with them catching stuff and turning. I also want a decent amount of eye relief if possible, as I don't like craning my neck way up just to see through it.

How much can I spend? Well, I don't know. I can hardly pay the bills as it is, so that's obviously a factor. But I still want a well made quality piece- I think the gun deserves it. My thinking is that I should be able to find a perfectly good used scope at a severely discounted price. Entering "scope" on ebay turns up like 6000 hits, so I aught to have some choices out there. But this also means I'm interested in going with a brand that has a good warrantee & customer service, just in case there are any problems when it arrives.

So, what brands and or models should I focus on? Any experiences you care to share that I haven't considered?
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Old August 19, 2006, 07:56 AM   #2
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I prefer the 1.5X to 5X type, or at least close to those magnifications. For deer at the ranges you will be shooting them 5 power is all you should ever need. I have mine set at 1.5x and if time and opportunity present, I might crank up the power. The low powers also usually have more eye relief to help in preventing eyebrow cuts from hard recoil. Some people swear by the 3 to 9 scopes, I just feel that at 3x there isn't enough field of view with close in shots, at least not as much as I like. At 1.5x you can actually shoot with both eyes open.
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Old August 21, 2006, 12:56 PM   #3
the possum
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Your opinions seem to follow the trend I've been gathering elsewhere. Yet I'm wondering if we're hunting in different manners or conditions or something... I've used 3 or 4 different "shotgun scopes", and still don't see what the fuss is all about. I didn't really care for them.

As to power, I'm of the philosophy that a scope helps you see, not shoot. I can get lined up with irons even faster than a 1.5 power scope on moving targets close up, so what's the point? I've had many occasions where I wished I had better magnification than the fixed 4x scope I was carrying. We hunt from stands almost exclusively here, so generally I'll have a solid enough rest to hunker down and take a careful aim, but my target may be just a small opening between saplings. Many other times I could've had a shot at a nice buck that was out there a ways if I had more confidence in my equipment. For example, once a huge buck fell asleep across the creek 135 yards away. I just sat and watched him for over an hour, until he got up and walked away. He was laying by a log in some taller weeds, and I just couldn't see where to put the slug, and those thicker "shotgun" crosshairs covered half his body. Higher magnification would have been a blessing then.
I just feel that at 3x there isn't enough field of view with close in shots
I have yet to see a problem here. Sure, if ya got the scope cranked up to high power for longer shots, it might take a second to find the deer back in the scope. But if he's so close that he's filling up your field of view at 3 power, then you should just be able to point the thing right at him and be on target.
The low powers also usually have more eye relief to help in preventing eyebrow cuts from hard recoil.
I do like the notion of longer eye relief, but have never been cut by the scope. That has not been an issue for me. But, something that has been an issue with short eye relief scopes is finding a solid shooting position so I still have a good cheek weld with the stock. It don't make for a steady sight picture when yer head is actually free floating above the comb. That, and a tired neck & strained eyes from watching a deer for 20 minutes while waiting for a shot, from an uncomfortable position.

While looking around the other day, I came across something that looked like a good compromise between the compact "shotgun" scopes and normal sized 3-9x40 ones. Luepold makes a Vari-X III 2.5-8x variable with a 36mm objective. I'm gonna research something along those lines a bit more.
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Old August 28, 2006, 10:21 AM   #4
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Its not marketed as a shotgun scope, but I put a Leupold VX-I 2x-7xX33mm on my remington 870. I absolutely love it. I keep it on 2x for walking, and when I spot something that aint spotted me I crank it up to 7x for plenty of magnification. Its a great scope for the money and comes with leupolds unlimited lifetime warranty.
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