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1" or 30mm performance difference

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Unread 08-05-2009, 11:19 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
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Re: 1" or 30mm performance difference

Originally Posted by Nvhunter View Post
Is there a difference in performance between a 1" or 30mm scope tube?

1" = 25.4 mm
The 30mm tubs have some advantages over the 1" tubes.

They are stronger due to the diameter of the tube, the lenses inside the tube are larger and
thicker allowing the scopes to be shorter. (Look at the same brand and power and you will
see that they are shorter),

Also as mentioned they can have more turret travel (More MOA).

The objective and ocular lenses are the same size.

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Unread 08-05-2009, 11:59 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Central AZ
Posts: 1,149
Re: 1" or 30mm performance difference

I also believe another advantage of the 30mm tube is more light transmission to the ocular piece. The 30mm tube was popular in Europe for many years before finding its way to North America. In Europe, their hunting culture provides for ethical hunting and shooting well before sunrise and well after sunset. Their larger objective scopes allow them to gather more light and the 30mm tube allows them to transmit that light to their eye.
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Unread 08-06-2009, 11:30 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Valley County, ID
Posts: 308
Re: 1" or 30mm performance difference

Not trying to start an arguement, but I researched this topic heavily just a few months ago. Yes, typically larger tubes are stonger, but in the case of a scope the difference between 1" and 30 mm is so small that it should not be a decision maker. 30mm tubes, at least Leupold's, use the same internal glass as the 1" tubes. If they used 30mm glass, the would not be able to achieve the extra wind and elev adjustments that make 30mm tubes so poular. Therefor, two identical objective scopes, one 30mm and one 1", have the same light transmission. Where you pick up the better light transmission is through the objective, which is why scopes have evolved from 29-36mm objectives to 40-56 objective.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying don't buy a 30mm, I have several and I like them, just buy them for the right reason...increased range of adjustment
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Unread 08-08-2009, 10:45 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Olympia Washington
Posts: 103
Re: 1" or 30mm performance difference

I recently compared some scopes side by side i.e. 1" to 30mm, same power and objective size, same maunfacturer. Some brands showed a noticeable difference with the 30mm being brighter to my eyes. Some didn't. I suspect that some manufacturers put better lenses or better coatings in the 30mm scopes because they can sell them for more. In plainer words, their 30mm scopes are their higher end scopes. What have you guy's noticed? Also, I will respectfully disagree with fireroad> I am not an engineer, ( maybe one will chime in ) but disagree on the strength issue on this basses...In archery, the arrows are tested and classified by spline, the given amount of deflection of the tube. You can have two arrows with the same deflection rate but different diameters and wall thicknesses. This is done so that you can go to a lighter weight arrow by going to a larger diameter shaft with a thinner wall and still maintain the same strenght/spline classification. If it is significant in an arrow sized tube, why wouldn't it be significant in a larger tube with the same wall thickness, the 30mm tube compared to the 1" tube. The only way that it wouldn't be significantly stronger is if they used a thinner wall.

Last edited by dewiseman; 08-08-2009 at 11:12 AM. Reason: added comments
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Unread 08-08-2009, 11:25 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Valley County, ID
Posts: 308
Re: 1" or 30mm performance difference

dewiseman - You are correct...I believe another OP hit the nail on the head by comparing the tubes to bike frames. For the same weight, a larger thinner walled tube is stronger than a thicker walled smaller diameter tube. My point was that some people purchase a 30mm tube soley because they believe it is stronger when in reality 1. a 1" tube on a good scope is plenty strong enough and 2. the reason behind the 30mm tube design was increased range in adjustments. I would fell bad if somone paid the extra money for a 30mm tube because they thought they needed it for strength alone.
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Unread 08-10-2009, 03:09 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 82
Re: 1" or 30mm performance difference

The advantage, with the Leupold, in the 30mm tube over the 1 inch tube is the side focus. The 30mm has side focus and the 1 inch does not.

I think it is a big difference in the overall utility of the optic in hunting situations.

As stated above the lenses in the Leupold are the same in the 1 inch and 30mm so no difference in resolution given the same objective dia.
John Burns
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Unread 08-10-2009, 05:32 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 2,512
Re: 1" or 30mm performance difference

Use this link to see what really happens to your scope tube and mount under fire. We may not all be shooting a 50BMG but most of us don't use a scope or mounts built this heavy either.
YouTube - high-speed video of scope and barrel flexing on a 50BMG
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