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how to determine power level

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Old 10-28-2012, 08:56 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Spring Lake Michigan
Posts: 289
how to determine power level

Hi just wondering how you guys pick your magnitude range. I feel I personally love and seem to shoot better with more power. For instance I prefer 18x and feel much more comfortable even at 100 yards than I do with 9x. I know this sounds strange but my groups get tighter and I can shoot much better. This makes me think there is something wrong with me, obviously im only referring to shooting with time and stability. I bring this up because im looking at a nightforce for a new 338 ,I was thinking 5.5x22 because that is the norm. That said I think I would shoot better with the 8x24. Or should I just get use to lower mag. Any input would be cool thank you.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:37 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 733
Re: how to determine power level

How is that strange ? BR shooters use 36 x at 100 yards all the time.
You use what ever is usefull for the job or within the rules of the comp whatever.
On paper the finer the precision you can aim with the less error there is in quartering the target spot but in some situations like big dangerous game at ** close ** range the lost field of view will make the high magnification no good at all and you could end up dinner .
The type of scope , the magnification , field of view , etc . all has to suite the job at hand and the user .
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:56 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Spring Lake Michigan
Posts: 289
Re: how to determine power level

Hey thanks, yes this guns closest range would be 100 yards so I feel the 8x32 nightforce would be more comfortable to me. When im stalking pigs I do use 3x and feel it feels right. Thanks for easing my stress level over this a bit just saw so many guys using the 22x nightforce for long range hunting just figured I was missing something.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:10 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Madisonville Louisiana
Posts: 225
Re: how to determine power level

I think it's personal preference when it comes down to magnification choices. The way I decide it:

1....will this be a low light shooting instrument. If so I try to get the largest exit pupil possible.
2....am I going for precision or accuracy in my shooting. If I'm shooting for accuracy (just putting hits on target like in hunting or just banging steel) low mag works fine for me. If i'm going for precision (shooting little tiny groups) I tend to gravitate to higher mag.
3....to give myself an idea of what the image will look like, I divide the distance by the magnification. Kinda helps me to visualize how big the target will seem.

That's how I look at it.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:23 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ventura CA
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There are some good reasons not to use excessive magnification when big game hunting.

During dusk and dawn, when game animals are most active, you may not be able to use more than about 10X magnification. Above about 10X, image brightness degrades quickly with a 50-56 mm objective scope.

The 8-32 scope will have more glare and lower contrast than the 5.5-22 at all magnification settings. Low image contrast is not a problem when shooting high contrast paper targets and steel.

The targets in big game hunting, however, have much lower contrast against the background. Contrast can be very important in the critical lighting conditions of morning and late afternoon, when the sun is low on the horizon.

The last reason is field of view. At 25X the field of view is about 20 ft at 500 yds. That's pretty small for locating game. You will be spending a lot of time rotating the zoom ring back and forth to take advantage of that high magnification.

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Old 10-31-2012, 05:20 PM
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Location: Spring Lake Michigan
Posts: 289
Re: how to determine power level

Very good point and something to chew over. I knew there had to be a reason.thanks
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Old 11-01-2012, 01:58 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Thunder Basin, WY
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Re: how to determine power level

There is also the factor of Mirage. In some instances, mirage and heat waves coming up off the ground or the barrel can be so bad that we have to turn the power down to get a clear and sharp focus on the animal. Personally, I feel that 24X and higher is best served on paper during load development or maybe some competition shooting. 14X to 22X is what I prefer on the top end for hunting. I've had no problems shooting sub 1/2 moa groups with 14X to 22X power either, so long as the rifle/load are capable. Most will probably say that 32X is a waste for hunting purposes.

As stated above, field of view is important when hunting, especially if we don't have someone along that is willing and capable of spotting our shots for us. Much easier to see our own hits in 14X than it is in 32X due to the greater field of view.
Aim small = Miss small

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