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Location: Summit, IL
Joined: 10/22/2006
Posts: 705
sighting in varible scopes

The problem you are experiancing is called Parallax. Its really nothing to do with your power settings but the reaction of your positioning of eye to scope at different power settings. Most scopes nowadays CLAIM to be parallax free at 100 yards but a truely honed eye can still spot a tad bit and there is Just one thing that you could do about it other than keep one power setting and that is VERY strict training of eye position. Example, say you look up to change the power setting from 4 to 9x,,, When you recheek since the target is closer you may be instinctively cheeking up at just the slightest bit of angle therefore if there is ANY parallax in your scope this will change POA (point of aim). Now...The reason this isnt picked up by most is because they HAVE fixed the problem in most scopes to a certain degree and at 100 or below 1/16 of a degree difference wont matter much....But when you start going out to 200 and beyond that lil tiney bit expounds drammaticly. You will also note the difference in eye relief at the Higher magnifications,,This also will change your positioning. A well trained shootist compensates for this lil problem by practicing same point cheek rest constantly. Another way to solve it is with an adjustable objective. But I hate those as they are a pain in the rear in the field unless you can estimate your yardages before hunt. Good luck and shoot well

WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374
sighting in varible scopes

Parallax is more of a problem with power settings greater than 9X. But still poses a very slight (almost insignificant) problem at lower power settings. This is why you are much better off in the long run keeping your scope set at only one lower power setting. Even more reason why I recognize more advantages to using fixed powered scopes in either 4X or 6X.

Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3206
sighting in varible scopes

This is interesting. I have a couple 3-9x scopes, one on a 243 and one on my 6.5-06. I havent seen the problems discribed above. Then too, I use 6x to sight in both as I really see more than I want to at over 6x, ie my pulse rate! I never shoot them at 9x either, usually at 6x or below. I hunt with them on 4x. I think the best variable for a hunting rifle is the 1-4x followed by the 2-7x. But my all time favorite scopes have been a 2 3/4x, that I still use, and 4x. Both have enough magnification for shooting beyond 300yds if you really feel the need. A friend of mine has a fixed 6x that I'd love to talk him out of for my 243 but he's being stubborn. The 3-9x will come off my 6.5-06 when I get a new 223 and go on that. Then the 6.5-06 will get a 2-7x.

When your shooting at 100 or 200 or even 300yds at a target, the black part you use as an aiming point is rather small when compared to the target presented by a game animal. Take your targets out to even 400yds and make sure you have a 10" black circle. Then look at it with the lowest power setting on your scope, it'll do quite well and you won't see all that coffee you drank that morning doing it's thing.

Variable 3-9x scopes have their place but for big game hunting I think American consumers have been sold a bill of goods. They offer no practical advantage for big game and they tend to make an otherwise well balanced rifle, top heavy.