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JimmyB's picture
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Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 09/04/2009
Posts: 74
40 or 50mm scope? Which brand?

I'm looking to upgrade my scope on my .300 winmag. As of now I have a Nikon Buckmaser 3x9x40. I'd like to move up to a 4x12 or something close to that. Some people have told me to stay with the 40mm and others have said get a 50mm because it allows more light through in darker conditions and gives me a wider range a view. I've read on multiple websites saying a 50mm will not bring more light in and others that say it does bring more light in but the paralax on the 50mm is not as good as a 40mm and a 50mm will sit too high to be able to look through "comfortably".

I have Leupod binos and spotting scope and have always liked the quality and clarity of the glass and have never had a problem with them so I was thinking of buying one of their scopes but have had a few people tell me to stay away from them. Some of them have suggested getting the Vortex Viper saying its just as good or better than the Leupold VX-III (I think that's it) and that people even compare the Vortex glass to the much higher end brands like Zeiss,Leica and Swarovski. Or some have told me to stick with Nikon and upgrade to the Monarch.Then the rest of the group tells me to go with Leupold and they will use nothing but Leupold. The scope I have now has been the "nicest" scope that I've owned and the only problem I've noticed with the scope is it says it's 100% fog proof but it saw snow for the first time this last season and it did nothing but fog up! Other than that the scope has worked out great for me, just want a little higher magnification and switch to a 50mm if it's really better.

Just looking to see if anyone can point me in the right direction here and give me some actual facts or share their experience with the scope they have or what they would buy, and if I should say with a 40mm or move to a 50mm (I only hunt mule deer and elk mainly Utah) Any advice/suggestions would be very helpful!  I'm looking to spend around $400-500 but if there's a "must have" scope thats a little more expensive than I wouldn't be against forking out the extra money.

 

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
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In my opinion you have a fine

In my opinion you have a fine scope and there is no need to go to one with more power.  There really isn't that much difference between a 40mm and a 50mm objective lense and yes the 50 will let more light in than a 40 as long as you are on the same power multiplyer so as you go up to a 12 x power it will let in less light than it will at 9 x.  I have also found that for just about all hunting situations you don't need more than 6 or 7 power on a scope and most of the time 4x will do you quite fine.  The only rifle that I have that has a scope with more power than 10x is a .22-250 and it has a 6.5x20 but then it isn't a big game rifle. 

hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
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Like Critter said the scope

Like Critter said the scope you have is a good one. I don't have any with 50mm as I just don't like them that big and how much higher up they sit. When the scope says fogproof  I believe they are refering to on the inside. In bad weather you need to put something on the lenses yourself to keep that from happening amd maybe get some good scope covers.

Other than all that my next scope will be either another Leupold or the Monarch you mentioned.

JimmyB's picture
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Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 09/04/2009
Posts: 74
Thanks for the info guys.

Thanks for the info guys. Another reason I'm looking to upgrade is it's my dads birthday next month and he's had the same old Tasco fixed power scope on since around the early-mid 80's  and the clarity is just getting really distorted and after our Elk hunt in Montana this last season I took my first shot ever at an elk after 15 years of hunting (dad is at 20 yrs with never shooting at an elk) and it made me think that if my dad took the shot with his scope from that distance he probably wouldn't have even seen the bull in the scope so I figured since I got my scope only 5-6 months ago I could just get myself a new one and put my Nikon on his rifle for his birthday. So there's not really much advantage from switching from the 40 to 50mm? When I say I'm looking to get the 4x12 I'm planning on taking nothing but 350+ yard shots. I always had my Nikon between 5-7 during the hunt and might of gone to 8 when I shot at the bull. I just figured it wouldn't hurt to have that extra power if I ever needed it. But if the clarity just gets distorted at the high of power then I'll just stick with the 3x9.  What Leupold models would you guys recommend? I've seen some Walmarts carry Leupold scopes but not for sure on the model, but I'm assuming it's the Rifleman? Are those even quality scopes or did they just make those to compete with the lower market? I guess for my price range I'd be looking at the VX series. Which one of those models would work out best, or which one would you want out of those? And anyone recommend looking at anything else besides Leupold or staying with Nikon? I've had quite a few people tell me to drop Leupold and get that Vortex Viper and with the price on Camraland it's almost tempting! Anyone have experience with Vortex scopes or glass? Or have a different scope that they'd recommend?

hunter25's picture
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Now that you've given a good

Now that you've given a good reason then you you better move up. The scope I have been using foe many years now is the Leupold VX-3 3.5x10 40mm. This scope has been great for all conditions and comes in at about 479 right now. If you like some of the bdc reticles the price goes up and they are very useful for some hunts. The Nikon gets a lot of great reviews with the system they have and the online ballistic calculator.

There is nothing wrong with the 50mm I just like to keep a lower profile and have always been able to see with enough light as long as it was legal to shoot with the 40. I'm not to concerned with the field of view issue as with plenty of practice you will always be on the animal when you bring the gun up anyway.

Btw the NIkon monarch with bdc 2.5x10 42mm is is going for about 399.

Don Fischer's picture
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Why not get your dad a new

Why not get your dad a new scope for his birthday? Where do you do your christmas shopping, 2nd hand stores?  Awful thoughtfull to find a good reason to give your DAD a used inexpensive scope for his birthday!   What will you get him for fathers day?Think Wait, used your old scope for a trade in and get your dad a card at the Walmart!

I'm sorry, I am a son and a dad!

JimmyB's picture
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Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 09/04/2009
Posts: 74
hahahahahahahahaha!! No I

hahahahahahahahaha!! No I already got him a REAL present! The scope is just extra! I'm not that horrible of a son! haha The only reason I'm gonna give him my old scope is because I know he could care less what scope he has on his rifle and he will never go buy a new one on his own even if I tried talkin him into it and he would rip me a new one if he found out I spent a few hundred bucks on him. He's had Chronic Fatigue the last 25 years and he's turning 51 next month and just doesn't have the time, energy and desire to hunt much anymore. I think he only goes hunting with me now just to spend time with me and know how much hunting with him means to me (Last few years he'll seriously try and find the best spot closest to camp or the road lol). He'll hunt hard with me the first 2 days then his body just can't take it and he'll be sitting at camp sick as dog the rest the hunt, and it pisses him off that he can't do it anymore. On our way to Montana last November for our Elk hunt he was on the phone with his friend and was telling him that if we don't get an Elk this year that he's just gonna bag hunting cause it's too hard on him and since he's been hunting Elk for the past 20 years straight with out ever even seeing a bull to shoot at and it felt like it was just becoming a waste time and energy. (Kinda felt like I failed him when we never recovered theElk I shot, and also dissapointed that he wasn't with me to take the shot or to shoot at the 2cd bull that walked out behind the first bull, instead he was 3-400 yards down hill resting cause he said he thought he was gonna die! lol). So my whole plan here is this..... If I suprise him with a new scope on his rifle then he'll HAVE to go hunting with me this fall! I figure the more new gear I keep getting him the longer he'll keep going hunting with me haha. I did convince him to put in for Montana tags again this year but once we saw they raised the price to $812 for non-res so we decided we'd just put in for LE Elk tags here in Utah. And if worse comes to worse I'll make him do the general season with me. So that's my scheme for passing the scope on to my dad! Sorry I've been writing novels....

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Looks like you've got your

Looks like you've got your answers, pretty much.

I just wanted to say that you should just try some out yourself, and form your own opinion. Because, as you posted in your initial post, different people will swear by diferent makers.

Guys will find their brand, and stick with it.  So, you ask a nikon guy who makes the best scope, adn guess what answer you'll get?  Same goes for Swarovski, Zeiss, Leupold, etc.

Heck, I'm happy with my Bushnells, and would recommend them to people. 

So, sounds like you're on the right track.  Sounds like a good present for your dad Wink

JimmyB's picture
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Location: Northern Utah
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Posts: 74
I'm headin out to Cabelas and

I'm headin out to Cabelas and Sportsmans in just a few min to go check em out for myself!

hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
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Well be sure to let us know

Well be sure to let us know what you picked up when you get back. Good lick with your decision.

JimmyB's picture
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Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 09/04/2009
Posts: 74
Ok I came home with a new

Ok I came home with a new scope today. After comparing the Leupold vx-II and III, Vortex Viper and Nikons and having Cabelas be so generous by mounting a 50mm scope onto my rifle to show me the difference to a 40mm..... I went with the Nikon Buckmaster 4.5-14x40 with BDC rectile and side focus. I looked through all the scopes in low light conditions and bright conditions and they all seemed close to the same to me. What made me choose the Nikon over the Leupold and Vortex was my eye seemed to focus more quickly and easily with the Nikon than with the Leupold or Vortex and had a better eye relief. And 2cd was the price! The VX-II that I was interested in was $479.00 and the VX-III was $569.00. The Nikon was $319.00 and with all my Cabela gift cards I've saved up over my last birthday and christmas I got the scope and some buttler creek flip scope covers for $227.19 out the door.

Thanks to all of you who gave me the great info and your personal thoughts!

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