Magnification for varminting

Discussion in 'Varmint Hunting' started by petenz, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. petenz

    petenz Well-Known Member

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    I recently have been using a .223 for varminting, it is my 'beater' ultralight .223 that sees use on goats, wallabies etc, but it also just happens to shoot .25" groups with my 55gr v-max handloads. I've been having pretty good success out to 250 yards or so (I zero for 200) with the 3-9 leupold I have on it, past there I tend to shoot over/under because I hold over for elevation (I don't trust the friction adjustments on the vxi) and often don't get it quite right. If I had adjustments that I trusted, I have no doubt that (in the absence of wind etc) I would be able to hit rabbits past 300y with it. My farthest shot I have taken with this rifle that has connected was a rabbit at 382 yards, in a slight left to right breeze. I guesstimated the holdover and windage, and smacked it dead center

    The question is, do I really need a bigger scope? I don't see any advantage to it, I can see a rabbit pretty well at 350-400 through my 3-9

    If I was shooting further, I could see the need I suppose
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2008
  2. linksmechanic

    linksmechanic Well-Known Member

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    Some people like more magnification some don't. What ever you prefer. My self I like as much as I can afford. You can see more detail and also use a higher magnification as a spotter.
     

  3. MachV

    MachV Well-Known Member

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    There use to be a few high powered scopes(NF8-32&12-42 and a couple of cheaper 32xs) but looking at the prairie dog arsenal these days you'll find a few 12x Leupolds, a couple of 16x IORs, 4 more IOR variables that are set to 18x(The MP-8 reticle is MOA @ that power) and 2 3-9xs that have mildot reticles in them.
    One 3-9(Tasco) is on a 22lr that has ben used to get a few dogs past 300 yards in perfect conditions, the mildot really helps! The other 3-9(Sightron) is on a lite CZ in 223 and is my favorite walkabout critter-getter, again the mildot makes it work for me:cool:
    There is a Leupold 3-9 VX1 on the 17 HMR that works alright but not my first choice of scopes.The x hairs are a little too far apart to use effectivly for holdovers.
    For me the 3-9 works great for a walking varminter/calling gun but prefer 12-18x when the range gets past 400 or when shooting targets(prairie dogs off of a bench).
     
  4. Poset

    Poset Member

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    I have had the same question; finally decided it comes down to personal preference and finance. To use a 3-9 at the distances you mention, however, sugggest you need something more than a fine duplex reticle- mildot or varmint, probably- to help eliminate the "guesstimate" of windage/elevation adjustment.

    I shoot groundhogs; out to @ 200 yards I use a 223 with a 3-9 Leupold (fine duplex). Beyond that, I go to a rifle with a higher magnification and a varmint reticle, although the smaller field of view can make target acquisition difficult. My latest is more magnification (6.5-20) with side mount adjustment... I can see them at lower magnification, then quickly zoom in for a shot.
     
  5. tulku

    tulku Well-Known Member

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    Scope Magnification :

    Depends on a lot of Variables . The distance , the size of the game , the type of rest or free-hand , lighting conditions , reticle size , your eyesight , the weather/ heat waves , and probably more . For small targets like prairie dogs off a Tripod Rest or Bench , I prefer a 16X out to about 500 Yards . All shots are in bright sunlight and the Reticle is a fine cross-hair. Beyond 500 Yards I prefer all the magnification I can crank -to under the atmospheric conditions that time of day . If you are successful by your own definition .....why change ?
     
  6. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    It seems to me that you are doing pretty well with what you have.

    The method of hold over and windage will continue to build your skills. A scope with clicks will just cost more money and you'd loose many shot opportunities due to the time it takes to range, click then shoot. The bunny would be in a different spot and you'd still have to use your current method.

    I'd stick with what you have. Should you fall into some big bucks then something with a graduated reticle. Which then brings all of the mind boggling stuff that tulku mentioned.

    I have no problem at some pretty distance targets with a 14X. To have more power available isn't bad either.
     
  7. 1kstr

    1kstr Well-Known Member

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    Would you take shots beyond than 400 yards if you could see farther than that? If you answered yes, you may want to consider something with a top end up to the 16-24x. Pick the scope that best fits your pocketbook. Buy the best you can afford and then save and add another $200 just for good measure. You won't look back. :)

    Good shooting,

    1kstr
     
  8. petenz

    petenz Well-Known Member

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    I have a bushnell elite 4200 2.5-10 that I intend to put on when I get my vxiii 4.5-14 from the custom shop for the .270, I think that the 2.5-10 should be enough for me and the clicks seem to be repeatable and accurate, at least at 100
     
  9. petenz

    petenz Well-Known Member

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    I bought a Stoney point Target turret off ebay and fitted it, it seems to return to zero reliably (Aiming at a bit of chipped paint on my back fence off a stable rest and winding it up and down), I've got a drop chart worked out for out to 500, I'll see how it goes....