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Old February 14, 2019, 01:32 AM   #1
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7x57mm Mauser: scope recommendations?

Hi All,

I have decided to move my Barska 8-32x50AO scope from my Mauser [7x57mm] to a heavy barreled benchrest-esque 10/22.

However, that leaves me with a vacancy for the Mauser- and I need a scope for my old eyes.

I could use recommendations. Nothing over $300, and generally better quality than what $50-75 can get me- please.

I shoot this [my mom's rifle] about once or twice a year at most, so spending $1000 would be a waste of money better spent on gas for my truck.

I am not a hunter. Not anti-hunting, just no desire to do so. I primarily care about skill development and working on accuracy and precision. Most of my work will be under 300 yards, and I would be completely content with hitting 4 soda cans in a row at 250 yards.

Shooting cloverleafs at 300 yards are not my thing. I just don't have the skill or time to develop it, and a 1895 Chilean Mauser barrel isn't the precision instrument to try to get it either. [Mauser was sporterized in 1950s by mom and dad, to fit her. Damage is already done.]

What do you recommend, based on my budget and goals? And why?

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Old February 14, 2019, 02:51 AM   #2
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one of the new leupolds may be the ticket, a 2x7- 2.5x8. Walmart sells a 3x9 leupold for about 225.00-250.00 or a good used one. the warrenty stays with the scope,not who owns it.
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Old February 14, 2019, 06:36 AM   #3
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I have several Vortex Crossfire II's, 4-12X42, that work nicely. $169

Another good option may be a Sightron SIH 3-9X40. $130 or less on Amazon, dependent upon model.

Both have good optics for their price point. Although i think the Sightron is slightly better.
Both will do you well to 300 yards. And further if you so desire.
Neither will break the bank or your budget.

Leupole Freedom 4-12X40 would run you about $300.
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Old February 14, 2019, 06:46 AM   #4
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Cabelas Covenant 7 series offers several scopes with full set of features in various magnification levels and you can choose between FFP and SFP reticles along with other niceties depending on your wants and still stay under 300. The most expensive and feature filled is 499. Worth a peek. Glass was surprising, felt solid and since it is the Cabelas line their warranty is solid ( like Vortex but you get to walk in the store) If you don't have a Cabelas/Bass Pro near you then the above Crossfire is a good option. Its more basic in features and non adjustable parallax
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Old February 14, 2019, 07:28 AM   #5
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1-6x, 2-7x, or the most common(and cheapest alternative) 3-9x

I shot a 7x57 for a decade with total satisfaction using a 2-7x32 mid-range quality variable.
With factory ammo, the 7x57 is a 250 yard max deer gun so no need for a 600 yard scope on top.
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Old February 14, 2019, 08:20 AM   #6
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You'll get more scope for your dollar with a 3-9X40 and you don't need any more magnification for your stated goals. Better quality always trumps more X's.

My go-to recommendation is the Burris FF-II priced at about $200. In fact I can't think of anything under $400 that I'd choose over the Burris. The new VX-Freedom from Leupold looks good at about the same price, but no personal experience.

I've had VX-1's and VX2's in the past and would rate the Burris BETTER than the VX-1 and at least as good as the VX-2. Those used to sell for $200 and $350 respectively, but have been discontinued in favor of the VX-Freedom. The VX-Freedom is supposedly as good as the VX-2 but modern manufacturing allows them to sell it at a reduced price. If so then it will be a good one.

As long as you stick with a scope with a MSRP at or above $200 you're going to get a good scope. You may find it priced for less, but about $200 MSRP is where decent quality starts. Below that and I'd not recommend anything. All of the scope manufactures including Nikon, Vortex, Bushnell and others have decent scopes in that price range. And the quality is pretty close. It comes down to the features you like, and in that price range I like Burris or Leupold.
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Old February 14, 2019, 11:35 AM   #7
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My 7x57, built on an 03A3 action wears a Leupold 1.5x5x20. Suits the gun, practical range, and my old eyes just fine.
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Old February 14, 2019, 12:35 PM   #8
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Nothing wrong with the old Weaver K4 either
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Old February 14, 2019, 12:39 PM   #9
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Weaver V10 (2-10 power). One of the best hunting scopes you can put on a rifle.
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Old February 14, 2019, 12:43 PM   #10
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[Mauser was sporterized in 1950s by mom and dad, to fit her. Damage is already done.]
Then there's the right way to look at it, Improvement is already done.

Just about anybody's 3x9 will let you pop cans at 300yds, if you and the rifle have the capability to shoot that well. You can get one at Wal Mart (or at least in my area you can.)

If you want the rifle to look period and purpose correct, look for one of the old Weavers or Lyman Alaskans. (though the Lymans have become a bit spendy due to collectors demand for "period correct" scopes.)
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old February 14, 2019, 01:56 PM   #11
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32X or 12X is far too much magnification for what amounts to a deer/bear/moose cartridge. Any scope suitable for deer/bear/moose will do nicely.
Cabela's has Nikon PROSTAFF's in 2X -7X or 3x-9X that are well within your budget. Start at $149.99.
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Old February 14, 2019, 02:21 PM   #12
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I have 4 nikon Pro-Staff scopes, two 4x, a 2x7 and 3x9 and think they are good scopes for what I paid for them. I am fond of the 2x7 scopes. Enough power without a big bulky scope.

Natchez or Midsouth Shooters supply has factory refurbed models for really good prices.
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Old February 14, 2019, 02:46 PM   #13
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Another vote for Leupold, here. I like the 3-9x40 and wouldn't have anything bigger. The 2-7x would be just as good. A nice trim package is what I would recommend, so 50mm objectives are out, for me. But it's ultimately up to you. As already mentioned, a nice 2nd-hand Leupold has the same lifetime-of-the-scope warranty as a new one. I also agree that the classic steel-tube Weaver K-4 would be a could choice and might look better than anything else on that rifle.
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Old February 14, 2019, 06:03 PM   #14
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In that price range I really like my Leupold VX2 3-9x40

If you want more magnification the same scope is available as a 4x12.
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Old February 15, 2019, 01:01 AM   #15
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I might be the oddball,But I can whack a pop can(or PD) just fine at 250 yds with my fixed power 6x by 42 mm Leupold. I can see and shoot the orange diamond on a sight in target at 300 yds just fine .

Last time I checked,that scope was about $435 new. A bit over your budget.

If you find a used one in decent shape,remember Leupold is lifetime guarantee.They will take care of you.

SWFA,E-bay,gunshows,pawn shops.etc might be places to look.

A pretty sweet scope is a Lyman All American,and they are usually reasonable.Likely plain crosshair reticle or maybe a dot.

The older Denver Redfields are a pretty nice scope.. IF we were setting up a big game hunting rifle,I'd lean toward a fixed 4X as a nice,balanced scope for a 7x57. If 250 to 300 yd pop cans are the primary tatget,you might be happier with 6x in a fixed x scope.

The old scopes will be a nice looking match for the rifle.A harsh fact is the gamble.You won't get factory parts or service.The original mfgrs are gone.The 70's were long ago.The scopes are old.

Modern mid price...yes,the 2 to 7,2,5 to 8,and 3 to 9 scopes are "the zone"

Frankly...I'm not trying to be a scope snob,but I've tried buying $250 to $300 scopes for serious hunting rifles. Then I take them off and replace them. That's why I don't have much to recommend in that range,I lack experience.I don't want to just drop names.

Don't take that wrong,you certainly can get a scope for your purposes for $300.I just don't know the best choice.

Last edited by HiBC; February 17, 2019 at 09:57 PM.
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Old February 15, 2019, 08:59 AM   #16
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Sorry, but T.O. do you not read before you post?
OP said targets out to 300 yards. "Not a hunter".
And what makes the venerable 7mm Mauser a "deer/bear/moose cartridge"? There is no reason that you could not get perfectly acceptable accuracy out of any of the Mauser family of cartridges.

"32X, 12X too much power". Really? Would depend upon your purpose for such power. Do you not realize of the tens of thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of people that use "that much power"?

Use the old addage. If you can't see it, you can't hit it!
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Old February 16, 2019, 08:08 AM   #17
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More shooters are compromised by over magnification than by under magnification.
Shooting hen's eggs @ 200 yards may demand higher X than centering a 10" gong @ 400.
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Old February 17, 2019, 05:20 PM   #18
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Thanks All!

I've got more ideas than before.

It seems like about 2/3 suggest variable power scopes, and 1/3 recommend fixed power.

For my uses, I think I will go with variable power.

a 3-9 power sounds like a decent starting place. And I happen to have one in a parts bin. I think it is an older Bushnell. I do remember that it has the wide 'wire', and then narrows to thin 'wire' for the center 1/3 of the reticle.

I also have a Hawk 4 power mil-dot scope in a spare parts bin.

Both are around 40-44mm objectives.

I love the Leopold quality. Down the road, when I know the power I want for certain, I may start transitioning.

Until then, my budget means I am looking for inexpensive glass, but not 'cheap'- as in, as good of clarity and durability as I can get for the price range [under $300].

I think I'll start with the 3-9 I already have, see how that feels at the range, and then consider higher end glass, or changing power on the glass, afterwards.

thank you all!
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Old February 17, 2019, 10:35 PM   #19
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Just to help drive you batty.....folks sort out toward three different camps,more or less.

There is the "sight it in at a known range,and maybe Kentucky it a bit",along with the "look at the tables or use a software to develop a "Max Point Blank Range" With your criteria of a 7x57 trajectory,max range of 250 to 300 yds,and whacking pop cans,You can do fine with this. Old school,simple,requires some familiarity. You don't fiddle with the knobs.

Next system,a ballistic reticle.Such as a Leupold Boone and Crocket or Burris Ballistic Duplex,etc.Reticle features give you alternate aiming points for longer ranges.These aren't bad.,depending on how well you can see fine details.Some feel they are too "Busy".There are preference issues.Potentially stretch your range a bit. You aren't relying on eyeballing hold over so much.

No knob twisting

If you want to practice/learn with a laser rangefinder or mil-dot to estimate range,if you want to learn/record/calculate precise sight corrections,then you twist knobs for the shot. You hold dead on. That takes target turret adjustments. Knob twisting.In the affordable range,there are a few fixed 10X ,perhaps mil=dot,target knob scopes.SWFA Super Sniper has a good rep. I think Weaver offers one,Bushnell/Bausch and Lomb,maybe Nikon.

I don't have experience with brand names in your price range. I can't say "Buy this one". The SWFA has a good rep.

You don't need these for 250 yd pop cans.However,if you want a tool to develop more advanced technical longer range skills,they might be something to learn with

All three work.You decide what you want to pursue.These different "schools" matter as you buy your scope.There are variations on these,such as BDC knobs like Leupolds CDS. I don't think the budget gets you into worrying about these too much

Last edited by HiBC; February 17, 2019 at 10:42 PM.
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Old February 21, 2019, 12:49 PM   #20
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You can get new Leupold VX-Freedoms for less thna $300 and used VX-1 & VX-2s for under $300

Leupold is my go-to for durability & warranty. I am not made of money, so the scopes float from rifle to rifle.
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Old February 21, 2019, 10:40 PM   #21
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JMR42 said, "My go-to recommendation is the Burris FF-II priced at about $200."

I concur wholeheartedly.I have three rifles in 7x57, a Ruger #1 with a 3x9 Leupold, Winchester M70 Featherweight with a 2x7 Leupold and a custom commercial 98 Mauser with the 3x9 Burris FFII. I have two other rifles using that Burris scope as well. I will also agree that Leupold's warrantee is second to none. I've sent three Leupys back for repairs and they've always come back like new. I also have a couple of 3x9 Nikon Buckmasters and they're a pretty nice scope as well.
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