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Need a hunting scope recommendation

 
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  #1  
Old 02-06-2012, 07:13 PM
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Location: Pennsylvania
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Need a hunting scope recommendation

I've hunted in the past with hand-me-down rifles and scopes, mostly .30-30s and 3-9x40s or fixed 4xs and none of those scopes have been anything special, mostly the lower end Bushnell/Simmons. My fixed 4x is an old school Weaver scope, but I'm sure it's not really anything close to what you could call high end.

I'm going to be mounting a scope on a Remington Model Seven stainless in .260. This is primarily going to be a deer hunting rifle for the foreseeable future. I've been happy with my .30-30 in the past, killed a deer with it this year, but the areas I've started hunting offer longer shots than what the .30-30 can handle and I've been wanting a bolt gun with a flatter shooting cartridge.

There's a range about 20 miles away that goes out to 600 yards. I don't know that I'd get that kind of shot at deer, but who knows. This was the first year I had a license since 2007 for various reasons (Marine Corps had at least a little to do with it).

I've been looking (as in reading about them online) at Nikon Buckmasters and Monarch and Leupold VXII and VXIII scopes. Just trying to figure out what would suit my needs without buying too much scope or overpaying for glass I don't need. Only scopes I've looked through were a Nikon ProStaff 3-9x40 and a 2.5-8 Leupold after telling the sales guy at Cabela's I wanted something with more magnification than 9x. Obviously I didn't buy from the guy who wouldn't listen to what I at least wanted to see.

I still hunt, sometimes we'll do a small drive, I'll sit, tree stand, whatever. If I'm going to be in really thick stuff, I just take the .30-30 with the short barrel and quick action with the lever, but I'll probably give the .260 a try sometime since it's only a 20" barrel as well.

I'd like to get myself going with a reloading kit as well and trying to balance how much money I spend on a scope to make sure I have enough to do the reloading equipment as well. I found an RCBS kit with a trimmer and 750 scale and .260 dies for $515. Don't think I'll be able to do much better than that to get started.

So, I'm looking for recommendations on scopes for deer hunting...
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  #2  
Old 02-06-2012, 07:42 PM
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Re: Need a hunting scope recommendation

hello,
you get what you pay for when it comes to scopes. Not sure what long range needs you have at this point but if you want reliable clicks than the bushnell elite 3200 or the nikon buckmaster are a good starting point. The prostaf is a good scope for the money but I would not exactly trust dialing the clicks to make a 600 yard shot every time. I have one and love it... for what I use it for. I sight it in and it is good to go. The leupy vxIII and the monarch are similar in quality imho. They both have excellent glass but the edge for glass goes to nikon... and the edge for mechanics and durability goes to Leupold.

as for reloading. you can get started w/ a good book, Lee Annaverary special kit (100), dies (redding 40), and a few small other tools such as the COAL guage, calaper, case trimmer....
you would be reasonably set with cheap tools for under $300. I get real frustrated weight each load w/ a ballence scale...too.
with that said, I have since replaced everything except the powder thrower with redding and rcbs equipment. It all depends on if you want equipment that will do the job, or equipment that does the job a little better...


NO doubt that the Redding, RCBS, Hornady, or almost any other press will be better built, but I loaded lots of rounds with a cheap lee press for many years.
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  #3  
Old 02-06-2012, 08:58 PM
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Re: Need a hunting scope recommendation

I am assuming that you'll want a fairly lightweight compact scope since you mentioned a 20" barrel.

Leupold VX-3's are light, so are Zeiss Conquest. I own some Leupolds and a Zeiss. If you get a 4-14 with AO or SF, you'll be set for anything up to 600 yds quite nicely. Leupold offers the B&C reticle and the VH reticle, Zeiss offers the RapidZ reticles. With either of these systems, we can easily shoot deer out to 500 or 600 yds without ever dialing any knobs (this way keeps the size of the scope minimal without tall knobs sticking up).

Nikon Monarchs seem to be good scopes too and a friend of mine really likes them, but I've only seen them used (never actually owned one myself).

IMO, if you intend on any shooting beyond about 300 yds, get something with an adjustable objective or a side focus, and get something with at least 12X or 14X on the high end.

There are probably tons of scopes that would work for you, it's just a matter of how much you want to spend. Last I looked, Zeiss was about $800, Leupold was slightly less. You could get Huskemaw 3-12X for about $1K, Swarovski for about $1500-$1800

Good Luck
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  #4  
Old 02-06-2012, 09:15 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
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Re: Need a hunting scope recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by britz View Post
hello,
you get what you pay for when it comes to scopes. Not sure what long range needs you have at this point but if you want reliable clicks than the bushnell elite 3200 or the nikon buckmaster are a good starting point. The prostaf is a good scope for the money but I would not exactly trust dialing the clicks to make a 600 yard shot every time. I have one and love it... for what I use it for. I sight it in and it is good to go. The leupy vxIII and the monarch are similar in quality imho. They both have excellent glass but the edge for glass goes to nikon... and the edge for mechanics and durability goes to Leupold.

as for reloading. you can get started w/ a good book, Lee Annaverary special kit (100), dies (redding 40), and a few small other tools such as the COAL guage, calaper, case trimmer....
you would be reasonably set with cheap tools for under $300. I get real frustrated weight each load w/ a ballence scale...too.
with that said, I have since replaced everything except the powder thrower with redding and rcbs equipment. It all depends on if you want equipment that will do the job, or equipment that does the job a little better...


NO doubt that the Redding, RCBS, Hornady, or almost any other press will be better built, but I loaded lots of rounds with a cheap lee press for many years.
I plan on building a long range rifle for the berm at some point and I see myself using the reloading equipment for years to come. I don't mind investing a little extra for a heavy cast press over the aluminum Lee presses. I figured I'd get tired of the beam scale not long after getting started, hence the 750 scale.

I've not done any shooting with a typical hunting scope at anything longer than 200 at the range and obviously haven't ever doped a scope or worked with dialing anything on them other than adjustments for a zero.
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  #5  
Old 02-06-2012, 09:21 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Re: Need a hunting scope recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by SBruce View Post
I am assuming that you'll want a fairly lightweight compact scope since you mentioned a 20" barrel.

...

IMO, if you intend on any shooting beyond about 300 yds, get something with an adjustable objective or a side focus, and get something with at least 12X or 14X on the high end.

There are probably tons of scopes that would work for you, it's just a matter of how much you want to spend. Last I looked, Zeiss was about $800, Leupold was slightly less. You could get Huskemaw 3-12X for about $1K, Swarovski for about $1500-$1800

Good Luck
Yeah...definitely not looking at the $800 price range. I have my second kid on the way and just other stuff to spend money on at the moment. I could probably hold off on the scope for a bit until more funds are available, but I'd like to do enough shooting to work up a load for this rifle before hunting with it.

Everything I'm looking at is 12-14x on the high end, mostly the 14x and most have the SF.
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  #6  
Old 02-22-2012, 02:01 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 245
Re: Need a hunting scope recommendation

Scope shopping is almost painful. You can read anything and everything, but without looking through them under tough conditions, reading and or going to the store and looking through them inside doesn't do much to make a decision. Seems just about any scope is going to perform well during daylight hours or indoors under fluorescent lights.

I found some great prices on Nikon and Leupold scopes, and I'm reading a lot of great reviews about the Monarch 4-16x42SF. Still trying to figure out if a dupliex, BDC, or Mil Dot reticle is the way to go. I'm probably over thinking this for a PA deer gun.

Cabela's ran a sale last weekend on some things and I picked up an RCBS Supreme Master reloading kit for $269 + tax.
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2012, 06:13 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: MN
Posts: 1,219
Re: Need a hunting scope recommendation

You are right, especially when we don't have large bank accounts lol!
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