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Old January 25, 2023, 12:10 PM   #1
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30mm over 1" tube

looking for a hunting scope, just wondering if there is a big benefit with a 30mm tube over a 1" tube, looking at a leupold vx-3-- 1" tube or a vortex viper--30mm tube.. price difference of about 100 bucks.. no big issue there.
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Old January 25, 2023, 12:58 PM   #2
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I have always had an easier time finding the rings I want / like for 1" tube scopes and 1" tube red dot sights (like Millet SP-1).
That Leupold VX-3 is a mighty sweet scope ...
Also I find 1" tube scopes to be better looking and not so bulky as 30 mm .
I bought a 30mm scope to check out the difference but honestly see no great practical advantage over the 1" tube scopes .
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Old January 25, 2023, 01:39 PM   #3
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Personal choice and service

I bought a 30mm scope to check out the difference but honestly see no great practical advantage over the 1" tube scopes
Generally true and I go by application. I own both; again depends on the service. When the 30MM first came out some folks had trouble finding rings but that's not the case these days......

A Remington-700 in 243, for hunting; Definitely, a 1" tube but that is my option/opinion. ...

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Old January 25, 2023, 03:11 PM   #4
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30mm tube is a little more light, apples to apples. Meaning same glass and coatings. Some 1" scopes are brighter than lessor quality 30mm tubes. I have 1", 30mm and 34mm tubes and except for the last 10 minutes of legal shooting time (20 minutes after sunset) I can't say it matters. BUT a wider FOV is beneficial in some cases. I was a big fan of the Redfield Widefields before I got 30mm tubes. On my Elk rifle, I have a 1" tube and when I upgrade it, I am going to a 1" tube. On my predator and match rifles, I really like a 30mm or 34mm tube.

Personally, between those 2, I'd get the Leupold.
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Old January 25, 2023, 04:20 PM   #5
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For my uses of a "Hunting Rifle" I lean toward "Less is more" Light and handy is worth something.

For myself,hunting game, I don't consider more than a 3.5 to 10 and 40 to 42 mm objective.

A 1 inch tube fills my needs. I don't shoot at game at extreme ranges.

A theoretical advantage to larger tubes is they can deliver more W+E travel . You can gain MOA of elevation clicks.

Light transmission? Maybe,in theory. There is a balancing act. Geometry and proportions. A bigger body tube helps if the objective and lense geometry needs it. If 1 inch provides all you need, more won't help much.

With straight tube scopes,a larger tube equals a larger objective lens. That is often an advantage.
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Old January 25, 2023, 05:16 PM   #6
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A 30mm tube allows for more adjustment if you're twisting dials. Guys who target shoot at extreme ranges can get their rifles zeroed at much longer ranges than possible with a 1" tube.

Some people incorrectly assume a 30mm tube transmits more light. There is no difference.

The added weight, expense, and bulk is more than I'd want on a dedicated hunting rifle. But a lot of guys today use the same rifle for target shooting and hunting. If you're putting together a dual purpose rig it might be worth it to you.

FWIW I've had a few. The only ones I've kept are a couple of straight tube 1-4X24 scopes on AR's with 30mm tubes. Those aren't too bulky or heavy and to my eye just look better on that rifle than a 1-4X on a 1" tube.
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Old March 11, 2023, 09:12 AM   #7
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I have both 1" & 30mm tubes.
And use both interchangeably.
More important is the quality of the glass & any other desireable options such as reticle choice & exposed turrets, etc..

Lately (past 3 years or so) i've been getting away from Vortex. Not because of any quality issues. But because the reticle flares out way faster than other scope brands.

Leupold to me is like buying a pair of Nike's. I feel your paying for the brand name, not just the quality of the product.

Lately (again, past few years) i've leaned more towards Sightron (great scopes at an affordable price!), Burris, Crimson Trace, Meopta.
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Old March 11, 2023, 04:43 PM   #8
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30mm tubes are more rigid than a 1" tube of the same thickness. 30mm tubes let more light in than a 1" tube. Having said all that, I'm not sure you or I could tell the difference. Find one you like and take it out for a spin. You can always change if you don't like it.
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Old March 11, 2023, 07:30 PM   #9
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The fella above gets the BINGO. It's all about adjustment. For those boys shooting beyond 1,000 yards.... they need to be able to really 'dial it up', especially for the 1 mile shoots.

I own 4 Vortex's with 30mm tubes and I own a couple with 34mm tubes. They are great for bench guns.

But honestly, I am thrilled with my 1" Leupold on my hunting rifles.

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Old March 17, 2023, 10:48 AM   #10
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I have several Vortex scopes, including a couple of 30mm Diamondbacks. Their Pro Series rings are rock solid on my ECG Rails. I much prefer them to my Leupolds in low light. Three have illuminated reticles. Great value for the money and their warranty can't be beat.
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Old March 17, 2023, 06:28 PM   #11
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I am far from an expert and could be totally wrong, but this is how I see things. 30mm tubes can transmit more light given equal quality glass. They generally have more windage and elevation adjustment. From what I am seeing I think 30mm tubes are becoming much more prevalent and may very well surpass 1in tubes in the future.
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Old March 19, 2023, 03:17 PM   #12
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The objective lens diameter represents the upper bound of a scope's light collecting capability. But a larger objective lens doesn't always lead to brighter image, even with same quality of lenses, as there are other "apertures" that limit the light.

One such aperture is the erector tube. It must be smaller than the tube's ID because it needs room for elevation and windage adjustment. Most 30mm tube has more adjustment ranges as selling point. That means the erector tube may not be much bigger than 1” tube models.

An old timer who worked for a scope manufacturer told me one of their products enlarged the objective lens but keeping the same tube diameter and erector tube. The image was hardly any brighter. Why did they do that? Because customers wanted it and were willing to pay more.

Bottom line. Bigger tube generally will not make things worse but it usually doesn't improve things much. If you don't need the adjustment ranges, it is better to have 1” tube. It is lighter.


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Last edited by tangolima; March 19, 2023 at 03:25 PM.
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