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Joined: 03/10/2008
Posts: 10
Bear Gun Scope Question

I have a .416 Remington that I will use on a grizzly and black bear hunt in Alaska in 2011.

I've talked with several folks who have done this hunt. The prime hunting time is right before dark, and so a scope that can operate in low-light situations is critical. Also a scope with an illuminated reticle is a huge advantage, as at that time of the evening your dark colored reticle "dissapears" when it is held up to the black blob of a bear.

I was thinking about getting a Swarovski Z6i 1.7-10x42mm scope.

However I was recommended getting a scope with a larger objective, a Swarovski 2-12x50mm, and then just hunting on the lower magnifications (2x) because most shots are within 100 yards, and many shots within 50 yards. His reasoning is that a larger objective will be better in these low light conditions.

Any opinions?

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Location: Bavaria, Germany
Joined: 10/06/2007
Posts: 274
Bear Gun Scope Question

Hello from Germany,

how is the hunt done? Out of a groundblind/treestand or moving/stalking?
If the shots are in only low light, but light i would thin about using a drive hunt scope even when the objective is not so big.

Regards

Kirrmeister

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Location: Somewhere Up There
Joined: 01/06/2007
Posts: 217
Bear Gun Scope Question

what is a drive hunt scope? I've been looking at a low light / dense cover set up as well so I'd like to learn more.

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Joined: 03/10/2008
Posts: 10
Bear Gun Scope Question

On this bear hunt, you scout for the bears in a small boat, trolling along the shore. When you spot a bear, you park the boat and make a stalk along the shore, using rocks and trees as cover.

As I stated in my earlier post, I know that I don't need high magnification power with this scope, since shots on this bear hunt are within 50-75 yards. But low-light performance is the critical factor here, since most shots take place just before dusk.

The Swarovski Z6 2-12x50mm has a field of view at 100 yards of a whopping 63 feet! And the Swarovski Z6 1.7-10x42mm has a field of view of 75 feet. These Z6 scopes are amazing technology.

By contrast, a Leupold VVX-7 1.5-6x24mm has a field of view at 100 yards of 62.1 feet.

So by going with the Leupold with a smaller objective I give up field of view, not gain it.

My question is, if I keep the 2-12x50mm Swarovski cranked down to low-minimum magnification power, will the bigger objective scope give me better low-light performance over the 42mm objective? Because some of the folks that I have talked to about this hunt say the bigger objective Z6 makes sense here.

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3183
Bear Gun Scope Question

I don't know if anyone make's one anymore but I favor a 2 3/4x scope. Very low profile, really gathers a lot of light and I shoot to 300yds with mine without a problem. I think Leupold might still make the 3x but barring that I'd go for either a 1-5x , a straight 4x or a 2-7x.

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Location: Somewhere Up There
Joined: 01/06/2007
Posts: 217
Bear Gun Scope Question

What about different types of reticles? Has anyone tried a german #1 or anything like that? I personally think duplex is fine, but my mind is open. I shot a Kahles with a German #4 a while ago and liked it well enough, but wasn't sure if it really made a huge difference because it wasn't in the deep dark woods.

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Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Joined: 09/05/2007
Posts: 98
Bear Gun Scope Question

I don't think you will be taking shots with a .416 that make the high powered scope necessary. My experience is that I almost never hunt with the scope turned up past 4 power anyway. I have taken shots out to 300 yds with no more than 6 power with no problem. Also, the 30mm scopes typically transfer more light than the equivalent 1 in. versions. I like illuminated reticles. Take a look at the Schmidt & Bender Scopes.

I have a 9.3 x 62 topped with a S&B Zenith 1.5 x 6 with a #7 Flash Dot. It has their rock solid claw mounts that can really hold up to the beating. It is the brightest scope I own. I would not be afraid to hunt leopard in the night with this setup.

Whatever you choose, good luck and have fun!

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Bear Gun Scope Question

I've only hunted black bear a couple times and I used the same rifle/scope combo I always use for deer and elk. But, from what I've heard from experienced grizzly bear hunting guides, when going after large heavy dangerous game with a slow velocity large caliber rifle, best to have a detatchable scope mount system with a low fixed powered scope sighted-in, and backed-up with iron sights adjusted for close quarters encounters.

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
Bear Gun Scope Question

What time of year are you going? Are you going to be down by the coast? It'll make a difference in terms of how "dark" it gets. I put quotes around the word because "dark" can be a relative term up here. 've hunted both brown and black bear in Alaska. When I hunted spring bear in the interior, I was skinning a bear at 2 AM and the sun was just below the horizon. But when I've hunted browns down on the coast in the fall, it definitely got dark.

One issue you may have, illuminated recticle or not, is getting a good target when the light is failing. This can definitely be a factor when the cover is dense and the bear is getting tough to see -- especially if it's rainy.

My buddy and I have both shot browns with 3X9 Leuopold VX-IIs -- mine on a .300 WSM and his on a .325. I use a .308 with a Tasco 2.5-10 on blacks. But I don't know what to tell you on a .416, other than to say you're a glutton for punishment.

Be careful about the dark, though. I got a brown in '07 and left it on the far side of the river overnight because it was getting dark. When you're in grizzly country, you really need to keep your head on a swivel when working on a few hundred pounds of bloody meat. It's real easy to succumb to the temptation to have everyone involved in the project to get it done faster, and you need to make sure somebody's sole job is to stand guard. I don't like skinning in dense cover in the first place, and doing it after dark would be worse. I've been charged after dark, and it's no fun.

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Location: north Idaho, USA
Joined: 08/13/2007
Posts: 131
Bear Gun Scope Question

wakeriderx30,
What did you end up doing about your scope?
Rogie

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