New Varmint/Target rifle what size scope

Discussion in 'Varmint Hunting' started by notahd, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. notahd

    notahd Active Member

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    I've got this 220 Swift AI in the works. I've used a Hart barrel 1.250 at breach .975 at muzzle and 26" finished overall with a 1-9" twist. I've used a FN action (SPR) Winchester Mod 70 pre 64. I've put all this into a Richard's Micro Bench rest stock. Now I'm stuck on what scope to use. I've got a good deal on a Weaver 35 X 40 AO scope that a friend bought and wants to get rid of. Is this to large? The price is right. I haven't seen the scope but it could be in my hands when he comes back home around christmas. I will also be using this rifle for target shooting.
     
  2. tulku

    tulku Well-Known Member

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    If you're taking Target / BenchRest Competition , 36X or higher is what the big boys use . If you're into informal Target Shooting and Varmints as I am , and you live where it's Humid , a 36X will drive you nuts in the Summer . For Testing Loads at 100 Yards when it's hot and humid , I use mostly something around 15x to 20X . I know the Pa. Benchresters use 50X at 1000 yards in Summer . How they can shoot thru the heat waves ..... I'll never know .
     

  3. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

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    When you say "Varmint/Target rifle", you need to clarify. For some this means 100-300 yards & to others it means 1,000 yards — or more.

    I grew up shooting woodchucks in Western NY where shots could be anything from 25 yards to 5 or 600 yards although most seemed to be 75-150 yards. For those ranges I carried either a 4-12 or a 6.6-20. For a heavy barreled varmint rifle I believe the 6.5-20 was ideal AT THE RANGES I WAS SHOOTING. For a lightweight carry rifle I used the 4-12 power. I could have used more magnification for a few shots but I would have had trouble with close shots where I would have more magnification than was practical.

    I believe the 35x scope you are considering would be OK for long-distance work but totally impractical inside 300 yards.
     
  4. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    notahd,
    The 35X scope is great for certain shooting disciplines but varmint shooting isn't one of them. It would be great for looking at the moon's craters but when that sun is blazing around 100 degs those heat waves are gonna mess you up.
    I have 6.5-20's on three of my rifles (.243, .25-06 & 6.5-284) and they give me the flexibility I need for hunting and target shooting. Low-light shooting; 6.5X - gathers more light as legal shooting comes and goes, 12X - matches my bino's when I decide to shoot an animal and 20X; all the magnification I need for long range hunting, LR target shooting and load development at 100yds. (My fourth rifle, a .300WinMag, wears a 6-18)
    Side note:
    When doing load development it's important to me to be able to clearly see a 1/2 - 3/4" dot or circle at 100yds. I want to know exactly where my crosshairs are at when the sear breaks. My point of aim has to be the same every shot.
    I've done load development for other guys with 3X9's on their deer rifles. To me that's like walking in grandma's back bedroom, in pitch dark, feeling for the light switch/chain in the middle of the room!
    Bottom line: if you can't see it - you can't hit it. :) JohnnyK.
     
  5. notahd

    notahd Active Member

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    I'm looking at the 400-700 yard shots on varmints. Now if I take it to the range and go shooting at the 200-400 yard I want to know where my bullets are hitting. On my other rifles that I have for varmints is a Remington 700 22-250 bull barrel with a Ospray 10-40X50 and a Ruger 77 Mark II 204 heavy barrel with a Ospray 10-40X50 on it. They both work well and have a side focus. Both of these guns I shoot 100 to 400 yards and have no problems. Knock them dead every time. This is one of the reasons I'm putting this 220 Swift AI together for is the LONG range reach out and touch me shots if you can. I also have a Ruger 22 Hornet with a heavy barrel with a 10-40X50 Barska on it that I have been working up different loads for and it seams to be working well. The only problem with this is that to get it to group a dime at 200-250 yards I have to have the rounds OAL so long that they won't fit in the rotary mag and have to be fead single. Now this way It will put 10 rounds in a dime at 250 yards all the time.
     
  6. notahd

    notahd Active Member

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    After giving this some more thought and reading other forms I believe I might go with a Bushnell 4200 Elite in a 8-32 X 40 AO. After looking around I found one at $550.00 I think it is in the ball park.
     
  7. tulku

    tulku Well-Known Member

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    Notahd , The Bushnell Opitics are very good ( elevation Range is pretty Limited ....some folks buy a 20 degree Base to get to Long Range ) ) , but before you spring for one , scroll down to this Sites " Long Range Scopes and Other Optics " , and read the thread " Bushnell Warranty Crap " . Not saying it should change your mind , but it is interesting reading . Good Luck in your Scope search .
     
  8. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    400+ with a 22-250.....hope you can dope the wind really well.
     
  9. Catfish

    Catfish Well-Known Member

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    Your friend is dumping it because it is to big for his need so if your are simlar it will be to much for you too. I often carry a 224 TTH with an 8 1/2 x 25 X Leupold on it, but I also have an AR with a 3 x 9 Leupold on it for those that are under 275 yrds. I carry the AR on 3X and every coyote I`ve killed with it so far it has been set on 3X, and I have some close to 300 yrds. with it. From the bench the bigger the better, not so in the field. I would say something in the 4 x 12 range would be your best bet. If you going to try to reach out there with it get a scope with traget knobs and a good range finder.
     
  10. notahd

    notahd Active Member

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    It is my understanding that jolly ol St. Nick AKA wife has a weaver 6 -24X42 in the bag for christmas. I still might look into the other for my 6mm BR when he get 's back into town.
     
  11. LewisH

    LewisH Well-Known Member

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    The guys have been telling you that high magnification fixed power scopes are no good for varmint or all around hunting, and they're absolutely right!

    The field of view is small, and it's nearly impossible find the target fast enough at reasonable ranges.

    I once had the experience of trying to shoot a coyote at about 30 yards with a 20X fixed power scope. All I could see at first was fur, and by the time I figured out which end was which, the critter had skedaddled.

    Stick to variable power scopes for hunting. That 35X scope is really only appropriate for benchrest shooting.
     
  12. Ron Ankeny

    Ron Ankeny Active Member

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    All you need is a good spotter and a town of patient p-dogs. :)
     
  13. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

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    You have a beautiful sounding heavy varmint rifle in the works. At the ranges & uses you listed go with a 6.5-20 variable power scope. At 6.5 you will be able to get on your target, & if you have time crank up to 20x for the precision placement.

    A 35x scope will give you precision aiming — IF (big if) you can get on the target. A 35x fixed power is strictly a target scope.

    The most powerful low-power I would consider would view about 8x but 5 or 6 is ideal. As long as you have low power to get on the target you can have as high of an upper range as you can find. If you can afford one, the Bushnell 6500 4.5-30x50 lets you get on target at low power & then zoom in for precision placement. There are other expensive scopes with similar zoom like the Swarovski Z6 series or even the March scopes if your budget allows. For me, I would drop a Leupold 6.5-20 on, but I've already got one sitting in my shed since I sold my .22-250.