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Old January 1, 2020, 04:35 PM   #1
Pops1085
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Now I need help picking the optic!

For all of you that weighed in on the Model 70 thread, thank you. I ended up getting the 30-06 featherweight in the blued finish. Beautiful rifle.

Now I'm stuck trying to pick my optic and I am conflicted. I can't decide on whether or not I should go with a classic scope like a 3-9 or a fixed 6 power from leupold, OR if I should go with something with a bit more features and nicer glass. I've got my eyes on a Nightforce SHV 4-14 F1... It's got a reticle I like, and the glass is better.

I've got about a 500 yard max shot that I can take, I personally don't like dialing turrets so I was looking for a scope with MOA subtensions in it so I can just use the holdovers since the distances are known.

However the price is killing me and I have to realistically ask myself how often I would be taking a 4-500 yard shot anyways. I may just be served with a normal hunting scope in that $400 range. It would match the classic rifle better as well.

Tough call again...
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Old January 1, 2020, 05:01 PM   #2
std7mag
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Wow, good tastes!
The Nightforce is of course a tier one optic, along with Steiner, Schmidt & Bender, and US Optics.
You could check out US Optics TS line.
Leupold obviously is a quality optic also. But in my opinion, more on a name, than a tier one optics.

Another option, and one that i have taken, is Sightron.
Their 4-12X40 Field Target has excellent glass, and a fine lined MOA reticle. Priced around $200.
The Sightron STAC 3-16X42 would also be a good option. Although more money, and added weight.
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Old January 1, 2020, 05:03 PM   #3
bobn
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my model 70 featherweight has a 3-9 leupold on it. a burris scope would also fit nice. bob
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Old January 1, 2020, 06:09 PM   #4
Pathfinder45
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I would go with a fairly trim package; probably a Leupold 3-9x40; certainly nothing bigger. A fixed 6x is OK if you are used to that much power with its limited field of view and never have difficulty find a close target in a hurry at that power. You won't likely ever need more power than 6x, and fixed power scopes have their merits.

I like the simple duplex reticle the best and don't want a bunch of other junk in there to distract me and make me over-think the situation. I like O'Conner's method of having a load that's zeroed at about 25 yards and rises above point of aim for no more than about 3" at mid-range before dropping down to zero again around 275 or perhaps 300 yards. You can hold a little higher for 400 and longer shots. Also, you can use the thick-changing-to-thin point on your reticle as a point of reference if you have taken the time to learn where that will place your bullets at longer ranges. Obviously, that would only be consistent at a repeatable magnification, thus, the simplicity of a fixed power scope is more constant and trustworthy.

For me, I want compact adjustment caps and no external adjustment turrets; that's just a bunch of tactical features that have no place on any rifle of mine, though they may well serve a useful purpose for ultra-long range shooters. I want to set mine once and for all and simply guesstimate my holdover. The kill-zone on deer-and-such, does not require extreme precision; if the quarry is at 700 yards, stalk closer, a lot closer.

No doubt, the dedicated varmint shooter and the SWAT team sniper would want/require some thing different, not only in optics, but rifle and caliber as well. So keep in mind what would be most appropriate for both you and that rifle.

Happy New Year and good luck with your new rifle.

Last edited by Pathfinder45; January 1, 2020 at 06:10 PM. Reason: line spacing
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Old January 1, 2020, 08:14 PM   #5
lefteye
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I recommend a Leupold VX-3i 2.5-8x36mm with a list price of $519.99. It is available at Cabela's for $399.99. At 2.5 power it is perfect for close shots. At 8 power it is excellent for big game (deer, bears, elk, etc.) for at least 400 yards. This information is based on my personal experience including taking these trophies now on my walls: a 5 x 5 bull elk, 10 point mule deer and a small/medium (?) black bear. I honestly believe the scope I recommend is truly a great value. I neglected to mention that I have taken more mule deer, another (but smaller) 5 x 5 bull elk, and several white-tail deer in a few states.
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Last edited by lefteye; January 1, 2020 at 11:11 PM. Reason: To clarify experience with the scope.
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Old January 1, 2020, 08:38 PM   #6
603Country
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Everyone has different opinions on scopes. As to magnification, I like 4.5-14 or 4-16. As to makers, I like Leupold, though I have Burris and Vortex also. The most recent scope is a Leupold VX5 3-15, with Firedot. That firedot is the first illuminated reticle scope I’ve bought that really is worth the money. Nothing better for shooting black hogs in very dim light.
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Old January 1, 2020, 09:17 PM   #7
jmr40
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A big scope with lots of magnification would look out of place on a Featherweight. And it's capabilities not useable on that rifle. Probably the ideal scope would be a trim Leupold 2.5-8X36.

The only issue is that those scopes are short and don't have a lot of room to adjust in the rings on long action rifles. I've never had a problem, but some guys do.

https://www.swfa.com/leupold-2-5-8x3....html?___SID=U

I wouldn't go any bigger than a 3-9X40 or maybe 3-9X42.

Another VERY good scope. Slightly better than Leupold at about the same price. A little bigger, but not overly so.

https://www.swfa.com/meopta-3-9x40-m....html?___SID=U
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Old January 1, 2020, 09:35 PM   #8
GeauxTide
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I bought one of the last run Connecticut Model 70 Left Hand Classic in 7mm RM. I decided to put a 6x42 Leupold on it and it was a great decision. Great optics, almost 4" of eye relief and very light. I gave it to my son a few years ago and he loves it.
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Old January 1, 2020, 10:17 PM   #9
BBarn
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I would want a svelte scope for that rifle, such as a 4X, 2-7X, or 2.5-8X with an objective lens diameter less than 40mm. I suppose some might prefer a 6X with a 36mm objective, but that wouldn't be my choice.
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Old January 2, 2020, 05:23 AM   #10
eastbank
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+ on a 2.5-8x36, I have three and have shot game at 310 yards with one on a 7mm08. get the boone-crockett retical.
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Old January 2, 2020, 07:50 AM   #11
std7mag
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With the 22" barrel, a 40-42mm objective would look just fine.
Not like he's trying to put a 56mm objective on a Keystone Cricket!
The 36 &32mm objectives (to me) look just as out of place as too large of an objective.
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Old January 2, 2020, 10:04 AM   #12
603Country
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I suppose little slim scopes look good to some folks, but I want what I want, and it isn’t for a beauty contest of deer rifles. I choose scopes for a purpose, not to coordinate (as my wife would do) with a rifle. Still, I wouldn’t put 2-7 on my 220 Swift, and I wouldn’t put a 6-24 on a 30/30 lever gun.
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Old January 2, 2020, 08:33 PM   #13
taylorce1
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I wouldn't be afraid to use VX3 3.5-10X40 or 4.5-14X40. I haven't had any time behind the VX Freedom line, but I loved the old VXII or VX2 3-9X40 for a general purpose scope. My buddy is really fond of his 3-15X42 Vortex Razor HD LH scope, and it is a great contender for a light weight optic and only a few ounces heaver than the Leupold scopes.
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Old January 3, 2020, 09:18 PM   #14
The Happy kaboomer
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My mdl 70 featherweight in .280 has worn a Leupold Var-X III for 22 years. It is a 3x10x50 with heavy duplex. Works great early and late. Doesn't look out of place on the rifle and I wouldn't trade it for anything mentioned in all the post above.
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Old January 6, 2020, 01:05 PM   #15
T. O'Heir
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Any magnification over 8 or 9X is too much for a .30-06 hunting rifle. The "glass" isn't any different. And the 'look' doesn't matter.
A Featherweight weighs 7 pounds. Since you bought the little fellow, you probably don't want to add a bunch of weight. Leupold makes a 2 to 7-33 that'd do nicely. Weighs in at 11 ounces. Their 3-9-40 is an ounce more.
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Old January 6, 2020, 07:21 PM   #16
stagpanther
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I have the same nightforce and it's a great choice--the only thing is that it will bump your rifle's weight up quite a bit, keep that in mind.
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Old January 6, 2020, 09:38 PM   #17
fourbore
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If I had a fixed 6x Leupold that would be my choice. I think anyway. Light and great power setting.
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Old January 7, 2020, 03:17 AM   #18
std7mag
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T.O.
You really need to put your beer down, and actually go outside your camper & hunt.
Either that, or your actually sitting in the middle of a bush.

I'm at a total loss on your proclomation that "8 or 9 power is too much for a 30-06 hunting rifle".
Have you even thought about shooting 400-500 yards?

Can 500 yards be done with a 9 power scope? Yes.
Is it ideal? Probably not.
Is a 30-06 capable of shooting 500 yards? Heck yes!

Hence your proclamation has no merit.

Oh, and have a nice day.
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Old January 7, 2020, 05:56 AM   #19
BBarn
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Last deer I killed was at ~350 yds. DRT. Scope set on 3X. The challenge of 500 yd shots on big game is primarily one of trajectory, not magnification. At that distance a range error of 50 yards will result in a miss.
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Old January 7, 2020, 06:28 PM   #20
Wendyj
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Ive got the same Nightforce SHV and love it. The floating reticle has me ruined from all my other scopes. I have found that budget wise the Meopta 3.5x10 and 4x12 are great glass. I got one for a gift this year and for hunting I really like it way more than my cds Leupolds. Last year all my hunts were open pastures and power lines so I enjoyed the larger magnification. I got stuck in heavy timber this year and went with a 1-6x24 Leupold. I would have never caught my deer if I hadn’t been on 1 power when it jumped out.
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Old January 20, 2020, 01:46 PM   #21
kilotanker22
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My vote would be the Leupold VX 3i 3.5-10x40. With the CDS system it is right around $400. Weighs 12.6 ounces so won't add a lot of weight either. Plenty of different reticles to choose from. 30mm tube and allows for plenty of adjustment. Has generous eye relief at low and high power. IMO, it is about perfect for shots less than 500 yards.
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Old January 20, 2020, 07:06 PM   #22
Wendyj
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Saw optics planet with 2.5x10x40 Nikon pro staff 5 at around $149.00. Nikon going out of scope business. Going to get a few for just the price of them if nothing else.
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