Need a hunting scope recommendation

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by jtkratzer, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. jtkratzer

    jtkratzer Well-Known Member

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    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...
     
  2. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    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.
     

  3. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    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:)
     
  4. jtkratzer

    jtkratzer Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  5. jtkratzer

    jtkratzer Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  6. jtkratzer

    jtkratzer Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  7. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    You are right, especially when we don't have large bank accounts lol!
     
  8. Hunter12

    Hunter12 Member

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    Check out some of the new vortex scopes. Very good scope for the money. I have been a sworo fan forever but I am in the same boat as you with kids and I was looking for something with a better price. Good warranty and clear optics. I have the viper hs 4x16x44.
     
  9. jtkratzer

    jtkratzer Well-Known Member

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    A buddy of mine recommended them as well. He's got a Viper PST on his custom rifle and loves it.

    I've been looking at them and I think I'm set on the magnification. With a .260 Rem in a Model 7, as it is right now, I don't think I'd want to take shots longer than 500-600 yards until it's rebarreled to at least 22-24" for the extra velocity. As long as it will group at 1 MOA or less, I'd be comfortable with a 400-500 yard shot. 14-16x should be good for that range.

    I'm wondering if I just stop fussing with it and buy the 4-16x42SF Monarch for $350. My problem isn't that I think I'm not getting enough magnification or sufficient quality in that scope, it's that I've never hunted/shot with any kind of quality glass and I don't have anything to compare it with to justify spending a couple hundred bucks on a scope.

    I should probably just do it and thank myself later. lightbulb

    Just need to pick a reticle pattern since duplex, BDC, and mil dot are all available in that scope. Think the mil dot will be difficult to see when hunting a mix of woods and fields?
     
  10. jtkratzer

    jtkratzer Well-Known Member

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    I have too many choices...Monarch UCC scopes are on sale, 3.5-10x50, 2.5-10x42, 3-12x42SF, and 4-16x42SF are all within $50 of each other.

    I'm used to a 3-9x40 cheapy and mostly have it on 3 or 4x I'm starting wonder if need anything more than a 10-12x out to 500 considering the ACOG is a fixed 4x and I shoot that at 500.
     
  11. jtkratzer

    jtkratzer Well-Known Member

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    I ordered the Monarch 3-12x42SF Nikoplex today and a set of Talley rings and base. Thanks for all the suggestions.
     
  12. jtkratzer

    jtkratzer Well-Known Member

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    Glassed some things that are 2 miles away and the clarity/crispness is unreal compared to what I've looked through before.
     
  13. overbo

    overbo Well-Known Member

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    IMO,you WAY over scoped your rifle.You have a very good scope but w/ a 20''(carbine) barreled 260,a more compact scope would served the capabilities of that rifle just fine.Even a quality fix power scope like a 4x M8 would been a very good combo and weighed a bit less than your Nikon.
     
  14. kc

    kc Well-Known Member

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    All the Scopes recomended are of great quality no complaints here..
    I have been using BURRIS for over 6 seasons and they have been great for the price.
    They have never lost there zeros even setting for a few years in there cases.
    This is my opinion, think long about the price and how often you shoot.
    If I was shooting on days over 400yards just plinking my BURRIS has worked great.
    or is this a week of Deer hunting and all you will be doing is one shot,
    what is that one shot worth?
    If you are shooting compition, I would say buy a NightForce and spend $2.000+
    but you may be one of the guys that hunts one or two seasons. It the scope that
    never looses it point of aim that you need. Mine have been beaten, droped,bumped and every night mare that nobody wants becaus they need to take a few shots just to see if it is still on.
    Mine are still on, and will shoot just fine.