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Top Magnification Needed?

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Unread 01-13-2009, 05:30 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 22
Top Magnification Needed?


I am quite new to the notion of "long range" and really fit more into the medium range category as I am coming to understand it having read some on this board. I will soon have the following situation:

1. Custom .300 Win Mag/24 inch barrel Lilja ultra light custom/Lilja barrel/with muzzle brake. Final weight with 4 rounds--6 1/2 - 7 1/2 pounds depending on scope. (and no, it doesn't kick all that badly.

2. Custom .300 Ultra Mag/27 inch Lilja barrel/with muzzle brake--total weight with 4 rounds--about 9 1/2 - 10 1/2 pounds--depending on scope.

Chief use of both will be hog and deer hunting in Texas--150 to 500 yards with occasional carry in the high country after Mule Deer and Elk.

I currently have a Swarovski PV 3-12x50 mounted on the light rifle as I await the build of its big brother. I am currently trying to decide between several scopes choices as follows:

1. Leave the 3-12 on the light rifle and mount something with more magnification on the long range Mama.

2. Take the 3-12 off and mount it on the RUM and put a little, even lighter Swaro 3-9 AV on the little guy for the ultimate in light weight.

I suspect most folks will reject the second option--but my question is:

1. What would be the highest reasonable magnification I would need for shooting at, say 450 - 700 yards. Would 12 be enough? (I see folks winning 1,000 yard matches with 22 power.)


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Unread 01-13-2009, 06:22 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,084
Re: Top Magnification Needed?

What would be the highest reasonable magnification I would need for shooting at, say 450 - 700 yards.
About 15- 20X would be about all you would need deer and elk at that range. If you are going to try to shoot little piglets in the head at long range then you better get some serious magnification.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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Unread 01-13-2009, 07:28 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Philadelphia Pa.
Posts: 403
Re: Top Magnification Needed?

Just purchased a Bushnell 6.5/24x50 scope hope will be enough for 100 to 1000 yrds. most likely not much 1000 yrds.
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Unread 01-13-2009, 10:29 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 2,630
Re: Top Magnification Needed?

this is always an interesting topic and one that pops up fairly often. my take is it's a very idividual thing and the more peoples opinion you get, the more confused you might be. one guy can get by just fine with a 10x at 1000 yards and the next feels a little under powered with 20. like Bob said, if you're trying to take a hair off a knat's ass, you might need the Hubble telescope. the quality of scope definitely has something to do with it, as do the shooters eyes. last year i didn't have any trouble lining up on a groundhog at a little over 1000 yards. the scope was set on 16 power.

i recommend looking through any scopes you are considering at objects and ranges you're going to be shooting at and try to determine what magnification "you" need at 1k.
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Unread 01-14-2009, 08:47 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 22
Re: Top Magnification Needed?

Thanks for the replies. I happen to be a big Swaro fan--and I notice there is not much mention of their scopes here--although I have to admit I didn't do much homework going backwards in the posts. Now, on any BB on any subject, when the experts stay away from a product there is/are usually some pretty good reasons. For example, if you ask a bunch of offshore fishermen why you don't hear about Van Staal spinning reels in comparison to some others--durability is probably the key.

So in this case, I am guessing that the reason for lack of popularity (if in fact that exists) of the Swarovski brand is either: (1) foreign made, (2) warranty issues, (3) price, or (4) some functionality issue.

Since i will NOT be trying to shoot a gnat off a hare's ass (see what I did there? ), I love the TDS reticle--or now that that Swaro doesn't offer it any more, perhaps the Ballistic Reticle--I'm not much into twisting turrets, even if that were needed up to 6 or 7 hundred yards.

Thanks again,

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Unread 01-14-2009, 11:03 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: IOWA
Posts: 2,123
Re: Top Magnification Needed?

Uncle Russ,
I am in the process of making the same dicision. I am looking at putting on the Nightforce 2.5x10-32mm on a light 30 cal carry rig, but have concerns that 10x would not be enough for elk at 7-800 yards. I might have to sacrifice magnification for better quality. I also want a lighted reticle. There seems to be a void in the scope industry for a less than 2# scope with quality turretts for repeatable dialing of elevation, and 15-20x magnification. I am sure there are Leupolds and others that will do it, but you take your chances on when and where they might go bad. You also might want to look at Nightforce 5.5x22 NXS for your 300 RUM.
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Unread 01-17-2009, 11:16 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 30
Re: Top Magnification Needed?

Keep in mind that magnification effects other aspects. All else being equal, a 50mm obj scope will exhibit better optical quality in a 14X vs a 20X. I used 14 as an example because it has served my friends and I very well as a hunting power including 1000+ yard scenarios. For a hunting scope you will have many shots in low-light and you never know when you are going to have that quick 75 yard opportunity. The higher power scopes can be less than ideal for those situations.

Yes you can turn a scope down, but we use a windage reticle thats built for 14X so we usually leave it there.
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