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Old September 28, 2018, 10:32 AM   #1
Nathan
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Ideal western plains game optic....uh....hunting scope

So, I hunt the West mostly...Montana to be exact. Deer, Elk, Antelope...400 yds max. Based on my experience, I think these attributes would make a best scope for a bolt action rifle:

Low mag-3 to 4.5x
High mag-12 to 16x
BDC with windage for shots over 200 yds
Capped turrets
Objective-42mm or less
True color coatings
Weight <20 oz....but <18 oz better
SFP ok as bdc only comes out 200yds plus

What scope should I be looking at?
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Old September 28, 2018, 11:23 AM   #2
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Still looking for that myself. There are some that come really close.

At the higher end, the Nightforce SHV and Burris Veracity are two that are pretty darn close (weight around 27 ounces). I have several Burris XTRIIs, which I really like as well. The weight is the only features you want that you can not have in these three optics, they are heavy. But they are VERY durable and have Lifetime warranties. Kahles and Vortex also make some great optics that will check off your desires, but at even higher weights.

To get the weight down, there is some sacrifice in durability and you go to a 3x or 4x times mag so really can't have the larger mag tube, 6x features, which appears to be fine with you. For weight reasons, I have stuck with the Burris FullFields on most of my hunting rifles where I won't shoot them over 500 yards, and an MTAC. Take a look at the FF E1: https://www.burrisoptics.com/scopes/...pe-4.5-14x42mm. SWFA also has a few that fit your requirement.
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Old September 28, 2018, 12:07 PM   #3
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High magnification comes with a much smaller field of view.
BDC really doesn't work well.
There's really no such thing as an "ideal" anything any more than there is a 'best' anything. Anyway, what's your budget? Keeping in mind that a high price does not always equate to high quality.
Have a read of this. http://www.eliteoutfitters.com/hunti...elk-equipment/
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Old September 28, 2018, 12:35 PM   #4
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I like Zeiss

BDC does work if you use your head about it

I prefer turrets though. Zeiss HD5 (or a nice used Conquest) with target turrets is my vote.
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Old September 28, 2018, 03:37 PM   #5
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BDC really doesn't work well.
How has it not worked for you? You just understand the subtensions, match to trajectory chart, and shoot to confirm trajectory. How doesn’t that work?

I prefer a bdc with wind dots for hunting as I don’t want to guess how to hit game at 300 yds or want to shoot a 7mm Super Stomper and 0.600 bc bullets! Turning turrets work, but is slow and hard to focus.
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Old September 28, 2018, 06:24 PM   #6
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You don't need 12-16 x for shooting big game @ 400 yards--no way, no how
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Old September 28, 2018, 06:50 PM   #7
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One of my longest shots was at 350 yards. My 3-9x40 was set on 3X at the time. I'd held about 6" above the buck's back and blew through the heart and lower lungs within an inch or so of where I'd figured.

At my 500-yard range at home, I had no difficulty in sub-MOA groups with a 10X setting on the scope.
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Old September 28, 2018, 08:21 PM   #8
Nathan
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You don't need 12-16 x for shooting big game @ 400 yards--no way, no how
I agree, but it is nice!
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Old September 29, 2018, 07:17 AM   #9
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I use a 2.5x8 leupold scope on a rem sps 700 in 7mm08 for most of my deer shooting, but the other year I shoot two prong horns. one at 280 yards and one at 310 yards prone with a bipod, both dead with one shot each. 120gr noslers at 3000 fps.
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Old September 29, 2018, 09:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan View Post
How has it not worked for you? You just understand the subtensions, match to trajectory chart, and shoot to confirm trajectory. How doesn’t that work?

I prefer a bdc with wind dots for hunting as I don’t want to guess how to hit game at 300 yds or want to shoot a 7mm Super Stomper and 0.600 bc bullets! Turning turrets work, but is slow and hard to focus.
BDC works fine, in fact really well if you know what you are doing.
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Old September 29, 2018, 02:29 PM   #11
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Well, for now, I’m going to use my 2-8x Vortex Diamondback. Next year, I might step up or buy another 2-8, but I really think out west 4x is fine on the low end.
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Old September 29, 2018, 07:08 PM   #12
Art Eatman
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My last mulie was at a rompin' stompin' 25 yards. Felt halfway ashamed for using a rifle at pistol range. 3X worked okay, though.
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Old September 29, 2018, 10:28 PM   #13
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Having hunted the West for most of the past 40 years, i can absolutely tell you that magnification means less than clarity of lenses. A good quality 4X will serve you better than a fuzzy high-powered 16X. Fine crosshairs are better than fat ones. Lightweight is better than heavy.

So buy the best optical quality you can afford. This doesn't mean spend $1000 or more on a scope, it means buy the best quality even if it isn't as cool as your buddy's 4-32X66 illuminated reticle rangefinder with green or red light and target turrets. Buy a hunting scope, moderate power, good quality glass, nothing larger than 48mm objective lens, mount it on your rifle and sight it in 2-1/2" high at 100 yds. Than take it out and shoot animals with it. It isn't a fashion show out there.
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Old September 30, 2018, 09:58 AM   #14
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I freely admit i love my redfield 3x9x50. Very clear holds up and the reticle is right on for longer shots . No guess work
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Old September 30, 2018, 11:07 AM   #15
huntinaz
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Quote:
Having hunted the West for most of the past 40 years, i can absolutely tell you that magnification means less than clarity of lenses. A good quality 4X will serve you better than a fuzzy high-powered 16X. Fine crosshairs are better than fat ones. Lightweight is better than heavy.

So buy the best optical quality you can afford. This doesn't mean spend $1000 or more on a scope, it means buy the best quality even if it isn't as cool as your buddy's 4-32X66 illuminated reticle rangefinder with green or red light and target turrets. Buy a hunting scope, moderate power, good quality glass, nothing larger than 48mm objective lens, mount it on your rifle and sight it in 2-1/2" high at 100 yds. Than take it out and shoot animals with it. It isn't a fashion show out there.
Agreed, clarity matters way more than magnification.



For antelope at 400 yards, I'd still probably want at least 10x though. I shot my last Coues buck at 425 yards and I was happy to have 14x on my Zeiss Conquest. Coues deer are little.

I have lousy eyesight and a colorblindness that I sometimes wonder if contributes to why I appreciate more magnification than others. I also have a dreaded 50mm objective
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Old October 3, 2018, 12:28 PM   #16
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There's probably not more than 2000 that would fill it in for you!
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Old October 6, 2018, 09:38 AM   #17
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I shots tons of deer in western North Dakota and eastern Montana with a 3x9 Tasco on a Remington 30-06. The average shot was about 300 yards. Don't over think it.
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Old October 6, 2018, 12:01 PM   #18
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Nikon makes a MONARCH 3 4-16x42 Side Focus Mildot Reticle at 19 oz. Amazon Prime shows it for $430.300 delivered in 2 days. Nikon also makes a PROSTAFF 7 scope that shows 4-16x42, BDC Reticle at 19.4 oz. Amazon Prime shows it for $410.60 delivered in 2 days.

We have a Nikon Monarch 4-16x50 BDC on a Savage Model 10 in .223. We set the zero at 200yds and it's great for shooting apples at 400 yards or more while the BDC range (when zero'd at 200yds) is over 600yds.

Plus, if you use Nikon's Spot On ballistics s/w available for free HERE and plug in your ammo either from the extensive list or your custom loads using your chrono data, it will show you exactly what ranges your aim points on your particular scope reticle will correspond to. We use it and it works very well.
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Old October 7, 2018, 09:49 AM   #19
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Nanuk and Scorch summed it up very well.
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Old October 7, 2018, 10:52 AM   #20
Nathan
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I appreciate the help.

I have about 10 real years of hunting in MT. I was successful to the point of about 4 animals per year on average. 2 deer, 2 antelope was the norm, but an occasional elk....ok, 1.

I have harvested game from 25-400 yards successfully. I have used a 4x scope mostly, but shot a couple with the 3-9x.....and 1 with a 3-12x all except th3 3-12x had Plex reticles.

I can tell you from my limited experience, that more magnification in a good scope helps....I define good as image quality looks good enough to me all day long to see what I’m aiming at.

I can tell you that I did not like guessing holdover though a 4x scope on a 300 yd deer, but my eyes were better, my hunting skill better, my rifle was heavy and dead solid.

My reflections from those days are:
In a clear optic, more power is better, as long as the low end is 4x or lower.
A clear optic is very nice, but not critical because “glassing” is done through the spotting scope/bingos.
A bdc would be great over 200yds.
Studying bullets is important to a successful shot...maybe the most important part after building shooting skill in hunting positions.
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Old October 10, 2018, 11:14 AM   #21
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I used the Leupold VX-3i for a couple years with a lot of success and have recently moved onto the VX-5HD. The VX-3i is great, but there is a big step up in quality with the VX-5HD, particularly in terms of the glass quality.
http://thebiggamehuntingblog.com/gifts-for-hunters
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Old October 12, 2018, 08:13 AM   #22
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Vortex Razor LH HD 3-15X42 it pretty much checks off all the things on your list for $900. Then there is the the Leupold VX5 HD 3-15X44 it's a little heavier at 19 oz, but it is a 30mm scope. I'd probably go with the B&C reticle in the Leupold and the G4 in the Vortex.
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