Scope magnification

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by fishonnw, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. fishonnw

    fishonnw Member

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    I am shooting a VX3 3.5-10 on a 30-378 and really like the set up I am shooting. However I have noticed that I am having a harder time when target shooting to 500 yards because of the magnification. I know many people hear use the 4.5-14 or should a guy just step up to the higher powers. Can higher magnification be a disadvantage to a guy?

    Just looking for some opinions on the subject.
     
  2. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    I use a 4.5x14 on my light rifle 7mm Rem Mag. I use a 3.5x15 Nightforce on my heavy rifles (338Edge and 338Allen Mag). Never had a problem or felt it was a disadvantage for shooting big-game. I'd feel confident out to 1200yds or so with it.

    The only advantage I can see with higher magnification is the ability to judge horns (make sure the animal is legal) at a greater distance. I almost always carry a spotting scope 20-60x and tripod when I'm hunting long range, so it just costs me a little weight.

    I use a ballistic reticle on my nightforces (NP-R1) that is only accurate for hold over at the highest magnification (15x), if I had the 22x scope, it would only be accurate at 22x. I like the greater field of view from the 15x scope (for spotting my own shots). Also, generally, the higher magnification will be more troublesome when mirage is bad.

    Hope this helps,
    AJ
     

  3. fishonnw

    fishonnw Member

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    Thanks for the help. I have always just been a hunter and never shoot an animal over 400 yards. Reading about things here on this site has sparked an interest in greater yardage. Thanks again, and I look forward to reading and learning more about the longer ranges.
     
  4. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    I think to use a 30-378 to its full potential you need a scope with more power. With that said I am putting a 1.8-10X44 US Optics scope on a 300 Win Mag mainly because of the weight issue of the larger scopes and I want a large field at the low end and with the good glass it will work well out to 800 yards on game.
     
  5. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    "If ya can't see it, ya can't hit it"

    I like to know exactly where my bullet is going to hit. Not in the neighbor hood of, but exactly. I like magnification. My lowest variable is a 4.5-14x40 Vari-X III on my 7Mag. I have a 6-18X40 Nikon on my .300WM and a 6.5-20X44 Nikon on my .243. You can always turn it down. JohnnyK.
     
  6. fishonnw

    fishonnw Member

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    Sorry for my lack of knowledge on powers. However an earlier post says the scope will only be accurate on the highest setting. As powers increase will point of impact change with higher powers. If I bought a 6.5 - 20 and I used the scope in a hunting application on 10 power would the point of impact be different on 20 power? In my opinion hunting situations will not always allow for the higher powers. Sounds like this topic can open a can of worms.

    Thanks.
     
  7. squirrelduster

    squirrelduster Well-Known Member

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    You are correct about the can of worms.

    I hunt Blacktail deer in California and these deer like the brush and nasty cover. If you want to shoot a big buck here you are most likely shooting over 300 yards into brush.
    I have a Sightron 8-32x56 on my 7WSM and a Nightforce 8-32x56 on my 300 win mag. The high magnification allows me to see the branches and if I can thread the shot through the opening. It also allows you to judge the animal better to see if there is a problem or if it big enough.

    The bad point is the extra weight but I believe it is worth it.
     
  8. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    Only the ballistic reticles. The center crosshair should remain on the same point, however other aimpoints will change with different powers. Some of the very expensive scopes are FFP (first focal plane) and this means that the reticle will change sizes to match the change in magnification; in this case, all the aimpoints will impact in the same place regardless of the magnification.

    Most common scopes are SFP (second focal plane) and the crosshairs and entire reticle don't change size as you change the magnification, so every aimpoint except the center crosshair will move on the target as the magnification is changed.

    Hope I explained that well enough to be understood, sometimes my explanations get people more confused (normally just my kids when I try to explain math to them :D)

    AJ
     
  9. squirrelduster

    squirrelduster Well-Known Member

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    A.J. had a good description.

    The other thing to remember is that each scope has a fixed magnification that the ballistic reticle will have the required spacing.

    Look at it this way, if your scope has 1 MOA hash marks on the upright post when you look through it, the spacing will only be 1 MOA at the magnification it is calibrated for. My Nightforce 8-32 is calibrated at 22 power so if I am below 22 power the MOA marks will be farther apart than 1 MOA and if I am at 32 power the MOA marks will be approx. .75 MOA apart.
     
  10. LongBomber

    LongBomber Well-Known Member

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    It comes down to a personal thing and how good your eye's are. I like a little more magnification and past 500-600 yards even the 14x is not enough for me, but my hunting partner hates anything over 12x and he has very good eyesite. I find that I like to see the target very clearly, and I find the center of the target is completely covered at 500yards with my 4.5-14 luepold, so you are not sure of exactly where the center of the target is.

    As stated earlier you can alway turn it down... For shooting targets at over 500 yards I like something with at least 18x on the top end and a low end somewhere around 6x for carrying when hunting. If I find a long shot I have the time to dial up the power and dial in the elevation correction.
     
  11. Natty Bumpo

    Natty Bumpo Well-Known Member

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    For hunting medium and large game, 10X on a scope will do fine for as far as you can shoot your rifle effectively. If you're wanting to see detail or judge trophy quality, that's a different matter. But for hitting the vitals out to 800-1,000 yards, 10X will work (admittedly, I've only shot inanimate targets at this distance). When shooting, don't focus on the target. Focus on the reticle. It's O.K. if the target's even a little blurry (as long as you've adjusted for parallax).

    I'm not saying don't get more magnification. Being comfortable with and having confidence in your equipment is worth a lot.
     
  12. badaboom

    badaboom Well-Known Member

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    "Being comfortable with and having confidence in your equipment is worth a lot."

    I'm a firm beleiver in shoot more, shoot more often.

    I’m still learning and primarily firing out to 550 yards Max thus far accurately.
    I use Kentucky windage, fine plex, TDS and 4D recticles.
    Max magnification is 3 or 4 - 10X, 12X and 16X are the higher magnifications on my rifle scopes.
    40 - 50 MM objective lens
    I'm concerned with weight - my rifle scopes are all less than 18 OZ.

    I feel that the higher power scopes are better used for small critters
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  13. fishonnw

    fishonnw Member

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    Let me make sure I know what is being said. If I have a duplex reticle magnification will not change point of impact because the duplex is center of the reticle. It seems as though having a fine duplex reticle might be a good with target turrets. This will teach me to use clicks for greater distances, rather than hold over points in the reticle which would have to be on the same power as the gun was sighted in on.

    I am understanding this correctly?
     
  14. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    You got it.

    Many folks use ballistic reticles and still click their adjustments when they have enough time.

    AJ