17 replies [Last post]
Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Scope powers????

Donmillion you have a point but I think it just comes down to personal preference. If we were forced to use open sights I'm sure we'd all adjust and call all those scope users of the past sissies.

You're right about holding the rifle steady as the biggest limiting factor at long range shots. However in my opinion the higher power the easier it is to identify rifle shake. If your target takes up half the scope then you will see rifle shake a heck of a lot more than if it takes up only say 1/8 of the scope. Once you identify it then you can do whatever it is you need to do to correct it. Change your breathing habits, get a better rest, put the gun down and shake of your tension for a second or two. But once you correct it you know it because you can see it clearly in the scope. At worst know you can't hold it steady and you know its out of your range.

Any time yo want to test shake take a high power variable scope. Put it on the lowest power, hold it on a small target at a long range. You will feel like you are right on it, have someone adjust the scope while you're holding it to the highest power. You will then realize that you are bouncing all over and can do what you need to correct it.

However I agree that you can become deadly accurate with a 3-9 or even a 4 fixed power. Heck some old timers still use sights. Its just like driving a Cadillac compared to driving a Pinto, they both get it done. Ones just a little more comfortable.

My 2 cents.

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Scope powers????

I think what Don and the others are driving at Kupe is that none of these scopes are necessary to get you out to 400 yards consistently (your original question). A fixed 4x will work fine and will not be a limiting factor in hitting the target at 400 yds. Other factors such as your rest, bushes, and wind will play a bigger role than the magnification on the scope (even if it is just a fixed 3x).

I thought parallax was something that snipers needed to worry about, rather than the typical hunting shot distances (less than 300 yards) with 9x or less.

Meaning that your exact focus on the reticle only becomes an issue when shots are very long and the magnification very high. At least that is my understanding of it...

[ This Message was edited by: bitmasher on 2003-06-24 22:59 ]

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
Scope powers????

You probably said it better than I did, bitmasher. Kupe originally said he wanted to be "proficient to 400 yards." Well, being proficient at that range has a whole lot more to do with developing good habits and practice, practice, practice than it does with the equipment you choose.

Anonymous
Scope powers????

I see we have quite a crew of elk hunters on this forum. My feelings are simply this: if you need anything power wise above a 9 power on a rifle scope to hit a bull elk at 300 or more yards, well best you not make the trip.

First off a 3 x 9 is more than plenty of scope, lets check out the size of a bull elk hunters. It's 3 times the size of most whitetail deer! I use a 2 x 7 power Leupold (Best Warranty in the Industry) scope on my rifles. A 300 win mag general elk hunting and back up rifle is a 338/06.

Now anything over 40mm in the objective lense is a waste of time and money.....your eye can only take in so much and why add more weight to a highcountry elk rifle.

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Scope powers????

You don't "need" anything more the 3-9 variable, hell you don't "need" more then a fixed 4 power.

Back to my point, with a higher power its an easier shot for one reason. You can identify rifle shake a lot easier and take care of it. Why do some of you boys tote a 300 Ultra mag when you don't need more than a 30-06? The point I'm trying to make is you can do it 3-9 variable just fine, no arguement there but a more powerful scope does make the shot easier. I didn't say its the difference in making or breaking the shot, just easier. Thats the only advantage.

If its a waste a money for you then don't buy it. But you have to admit if there wasn't some inherit advantage to having magnification then no one would use a scope at all. For me its just another advantage sitting on top of my rifle and worth it for me. And I can tell you that a bull elk does not fill up the scope at over 300 yds with my 16.5 power. Thats simply a myth.

I almost forgot. There is an advantage to a bigger objective, it gathers more light. In low light situations it makes a big difference. I used a 3-9x40 for years. Like my 5.5-16.5x44 better though.

[ This Message was edited by: rather_be_huntin on 2003-07-07 11:19 ]

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Scope powers????

I second RatherBe's point on the objective. Should have mentioned that, it can be a big bonus in low light.

Did you end up buying a scope, Kupe?

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Location: centennial, co
Joined: 03/24/2003
Posts: 59
Scope powers????

Well, after all's said and done, with a ton of great advice from you guys (Thank you!!!!) I've decided. I chose the Nikon Monarch 3.3-10 x 44 AO. I basically took little bits and pieces of what everyone had to offer and put those together and 'Voila!' Now, I know I initially said that I want to get proficient out to 400 yds., but who knows how far that will strecth over the years. I like the power range from 3.3-10x. Having the power on the higher end will help with identifying rifle shake on the longer shots, but it also has a good low end. I like the 44mm objective as opposed to 40mm or 50mm. All-in-all, I could write a short novel about how I arrived at this one, but I'll save everyone from that.

At any rate, by next Tuesday or Wednesday, I'll be picking up my new Remington 700 LSS in .300 Win Mag with my Nikon Monarch perched atop it.

Thanks again, guys!!!!

Kupe

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