I will be ordering a new savage lrp in 243 soon, and need some suggestions for a good scope for not a whole lot of money. I have a budget of up to 500 for a good scope. I've considered the vortex viper and hawke Sidewinder. I plan to shoot out to 600-700 yds. I would like at leas 20x magnification
how's the clarity on the sightron at the higher magnification? This rifle will be used for groundhog hunting, so that is kind of important to me. I've used a cheap konus pro 6-24 on my 223 for years, and for the range you get with 55gr 223 loads, it works out ok. that is until you see a chuck run into the taller grass or brush, and know he's probably standing up watching you, but the scope isn't clear enough to tell Mr. groundhog from rocks, shadows, and clumps of tilled field dirt.
If you want good clarity at high magnification, I would recommend the Hawke Sidewinders over any Vortex model in the same price range. The Hawke scopes have better light management that gives a higher contrast image at high magnification.
In my experience, the vortex 6-24X scopes start to lose image contrast at about 18X. Some people on this site report problems as low as 14X, so it depends on lighting conditions, your pupil size, etc. Use the search function to learn more.
The Hawke 1/2 mildot reticle has a 1/2 mil spacing at 20X. The turret has 1/4 MOA clicks. If you set the magnification to 17X (actually 17.2, to be accurate), the reticle has a 2 MOA spacing. Then you have an MOA/MOA scope for correcting missed shots.
I've strongly considered the sidewinder, because I like the side focus, and I must have a mil dot scope. The only thing I've heard bad about them is that they don't have enough adjustment on the turrets.
The Hawke website says that the 6-24X56 has 62 MOA (+/- 31 MOA ) of internal adjustment, which is about par for a moat 30 mm scopes. In fact, these scopes actually have a much larger adjustment range, at least 70 MOA, as I recall.
IMHO, any adjustment range beyond about 65 MOA is wasted. The image starts so loose resolution starting at about +/-25 MOA of adjustment. At +/-35 MOA the loss of resolution is usually pretty noticeable. This is a consequence of using a doublet objective lens. It happens with all scopes that use this objective lens design. To get a better lens design, you need to move into the $1,500+ price range. Nightforce NXS and Swarovaki Z5/X6 scopes have an air-spaced triplet a objective lens design that has much better image resolution at high internal adjustment.
Companies that advertise really large adjustment ranges in a 30 mm tube for a scope below the $1,000 price point are usually hiding something about how the scope performs at large adjustment ranges. Either the resolution is degraded, the field of view is obscured at low magnification, or the field of view is small.