16 replies [Last post]
Offline
Location: Raleigh, NC
Joined: 01/23/2005
Posts: 36
Scopes magnifications for deer hunting

If I knew how to set up a survey, I would. So I just want to ask what you all think.
I currently use a Full field II 3-9x40 on my 270, and a Bushnell Elite 4200 3-9x40 on my 30-06, but have noticed a trend that many whitetail hunters are moving to higher magnifications. It seems that the more or less standard 3-9x40 is being replaced by the 4(or 4.5)-16x40 (or 50).

With that said, what do you all hunt with for most of your whitetail needs?

Thanks for replying,
John-

Offline
Joined: 06/18/2004
Posts: 66
Scopes magnifications for deer hunting

I use 3.5-10x scopes on my .243, .25-06, and .30-06 rifles. I don't see any need to go higher than this and think it is a mistake on a general purpose hunting rifle to go higher than this. A case could be made that a general purpose scope ought to have a lower range than that I have -- for example 2.5-7x. I would be surprised if in fact any general trend existed to move to higher power scopes, such as having 14x on the high end.

I have read that high magnification scopes have traditionally been used on lower power rifles -- such as .223 or heavy varmint rifles such as .243 or .25-06 -- and may not be engineered to handle major recoil such as from a .300 Win Mag or .338 Win Mag. Thus, if one put a high power scope -- a 4.5-14x variable for example -- on a .338 Win Mag, they may find that the heavy recoil shakes the reticle lose. This is just a story I have heard. Maybe this is no longer a likely scenario, but it is something to think about.

To obtain good brightness, a scope needs a larger objective lens in higher magnification powers. The larger objective lens places the line of sight higher above the barrel which may have a minor effect on sighting mechanics but more importantly may interfere with natural eye alignment with the scope. When you place your face on your rifle's check piece or butt, your eye should naturally line up with the scope.

Offline
Location: Raleigh, NC
Joined: 01/23/2005
Posts: 36
Scopes magnifications for deer hunting

I have never found a need for anything higher than about a 7x magnification. Very occasionally I will turn it to 8x-9x, but like I said, that's pretty rare. I hunted with a friend of mine's Remington 700 BDL 300 wsm that was topped with a Buckmasters 4.5x14-50. The scope was nice and bright, but it felt too bulky with the larger eye objective. I was white tail hunting and never had a chance to shoot it that day, but like I said it felt bulky, and you're right with the mount pacement. When looking through the scope, I felt like my head was being lifted off of the gun some what.

With many of the mgnum powered rifles and the use of higher powered scopes, I'm worried that inexperienced hunters will be taking longer range shots than they have no business taking. A long shot is still a long shot. It still takes skill to close in on your quarry. That's just my 2 cents.

Offline
Moderator
Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Scopes magnifications for deer hunting

2x-7x 32, 4x 32 and 1x-4x 32. All with good glass. Anything else is a waste of money on a deer rifle.

Offline
Location: Missouri/Arkansas
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 891
Scopes magnifications for deer hunting

I am pretty much partial to 3X9 Burris with ballistic plex. Thing I like best is the clarity of this scope. My friend's Leupold VarixIII is a good scope, it filters light pretty well and has a good field of view and what-not, but when we're doing like 100-yard sight-in or testing with our rifles, you can't see the holes in the targets with the Leupold. With the Burris, the holes in the targets are plainly visible.

Offline
Moderator
Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Scopes magnifications for deer hunting

Burris makes some very nice scopes. I've got a 3x-9x 40 on a long barreled 270wsm coyote/pest rifle. Very clear lenses. Works great for early morning and late evening. For me, it's too much scope to carry around for deer hunting.
I've got the 2x-7x on a 300wsm. The 4x on a synthetic 30-06 and the 1x-4x on a short barreled 308. All Leupolds with great glass.

Offline
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Joined: 05/14/2005
Posts: 2
Scopes magnifications for deer hunting

I don't think most guys changing scopes are going to bigger powers but rather are changing for better glass for clarity and bigger objectives to gather more light. I just recently swapped out my Leopold 3X9X40mm for a Zeiss 3.5X10X50mm on my 30-06 and my shooting ranges never changed, clarity and light gathering were my reason for change. I might also add that my old scope was almost twenty years old so I don't offend my Leopold friends... lol

Offline
Location: Alabama
Joined: 08/25/2003
Posts: 634
Scopes magnifications for deer hunting

I use a Leupold 3.5-10x50 VariX-III. I like it b/c it's real clear, good at light gathering, and reasonably priced.

Offline
Location: Oklahoma
Joined: 11/02/2005
Posts: 58
Scopes magnifications for deer hunting

I use a 4-12x50 leupold on a 270 I like being able to zoom in there for long shots and out for walking brush and canyons. However alot of people either need one or the other where they hunt. I need both.

saskie's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 12/23/2002
Posts: 1264
Scopes magnifications for deer hunting

3-9 X 40 for me.

Offline
Joined: 11/21/2005
Posts: 19
Low end variables are best

All my rifles and my one rifled shotgun wear 1.5-5X scopes. The low end variable is ideal for eastern woods hunting as they give you a wide field of view and it's easier to shoot with both eyes open---a real plus while targeting a moving deer through brush.

The advantage of the scope is not magnification but rather having a single sighting plane---no front and rear sight and target to align.

I have three Leopolds, one Pentax Lightseeker and maybe two redfield low end variables. The largest scope I own is a 2-7X.

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Spotting scopes for elkRemington742606/04/2011 08:08 am
Rifle scopesHammer1303/04/2006 12:30 pm
Wide selection of scopes, and binocularsnaf7878004/03/2013 11:20 am
Millet Scopesmw243703/15/2007 19:10 pm
Scope adviceR. Smith1503/18/2011 19:08 pm