Too much scope?

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by MPBR, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. MPBR

    MPBR New Member

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    Hey all.

    I'm just getting into the whole long range hunting thing.....I live way up in the North and did all my hunting the last several years with a pre-64 Model 94 30-30 in thick brush for big bucks. I also shoot a .308 with a 3-9x40 when hunting slightly more open areas or moose.

    This season I'm going to be trying some different tactics and hunting wide open clear cuts on brush edges where I may need to make 200-600 yard shots. I also have a Western moose/elk hunt planned next year so have decided to setup a really true long range capable rig. This rifle will be for sitting and waiting for game to come to me.

    I already purchased a Vortex Viper 6.5-20x50 PA...now I'm wondering if it is too much scope for practical hunting purposes. I'm just wanting to try something with higher magnification, practice long range shooting and be able to drop a deer at 500+ yards..I'm thinking of putting it on a Savage 14 American in 270 WSM...not a true 'long range' rifle, its a sporter but I like the blued wood look and its handy enough to hike with if I have too.

    Thoughts or suggestions? Is this a good scope and rifle combo for my intended purposes?

    Thanks
     
  2. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    I think the scope you have chosen is a good choice. With a magnification range from 6.5-20 it will handle both the up-close stuff to the waaaaaay over there stuff.

    My one suggestion for you would be on cartridge choice. The 270wsm is a nice cartridge. .277 bullets do not have the best ballistic coefficients (BC) which will not be optimal as you become more proficient and want to shoot farther and farther.

    My recommendation would be to go with the 300wsm (available in the same Savage 14 American Classic). There you get much better BCs.
     

  3. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I shoot a Savage model 12 270 WSM as my primary long range rifle with a 4-16 Vortex HS LR, the 6.5-20 should work fine but it will depend on your terrain and the ranges you'll shoot.
    The rifle your looking at if new will have a 1-10 twist, some early ones are 1-11, which will stabilize bullets like the 150 Berger and 165 Matrix which are great long range bullets, I've taken elk out to 865yards with mine and it was easily enough bullet and power. I was shooting mine last week at 1890 yards and doing very well, it has no ballistic issues what so ever gun)
     
  4. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Additionally, keep in mind that shooting offhand at higher magnification is just as difficult as long range shooting is itself. The higher the magnification, the more prone the scope and rifle is to shake. At least with me, anything above 10X requires some sort of rest for accurate shooting.

    As my years increase, the magnification threshold at which stabilization is necessary, lessens.:D
     
  5. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    No it's not too much scope. As for choice of rifle, if Elk and Moose are really high on your list you need a lot more gun than the .270. I wouldn't start with anything less than a 7mm Rem mag, 300wsm, or 300wm and would really say that for those guys at long range you should really be looking more towards the 300wm and 300 RUM.

    Sure you'll get guys claiming to kill everything from cape buffalo to grizzly bears at a thousand yards with a .243, but in the real world your highest likelihood from small calibers on big game such as those two species is to end up with a badly wounded animal that gets away or that takes a half dozen or more shots to bring them down dirt dead.
     
  6. walkinhorseman

    walkinhorseman Active Member

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    I am going to offer an opinion that is different from most here. The scope for a hunting rifle should be in harmony with the format and purpose of the rifle. The size and weight of a hunting rifle scope should not unbalance the handling of the rifle. The first criteria that I see as essential is for a scope to mount as low as necessary to provide proper cheek weld with the stock. Because of this, better quality optics in the lower range variables with 40mm and less objective lenses are a better choice than 50mm and larger objective scopes. Putting a 6.5x20x50 on an 8 pound sporting rifle is not consistent with the with the purpose of the rifle. To really use scopes much larger than a 4.5x14x40 (0r 50) the rifle platform needs to be more in the weight class and format of a heavy sporter (9 or 10#) or a varmint style rifle. Steadying a scope over 12x from a field shooting position is difficult. I see a true long range rifle being a system that is heavy, of heavy caliber and being designed to be shot from rest. Those rifles would benefit from the extra power and not be encumbered by the extra weight and bulk of the larger scopes.
    Hunting rifles should be purpose built in caliber, weight, and optic. My sporters weigh from 8# scoped to 10# scoped. I find that the light rifles are better balanced with a 2.5x8 and as the weight goes up the largest that I have on a hunting rifle is 4.5x14x44. I choose the rifle that best matches the style of hunting that I will be doing, whether that is a 21" barreled 338 Federal or a 26" barreled 338 Win Mag.
    I would think that a 4.5x14 with a ballistic reticule or target elevation turret added would be a better fit for your rifle.
     
  7. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Our group of guys, most years kill between 10 and 15% of the elk killed in a large unit in MT, most die to a 270 cal or smaller. My 270 WSM shoots a .650+ BC bullet with over .300 section density over 3000fps easy, the bull I smoked this year at 865 was hit with over 1600ft lbs of energy at 2120fps, one bullet cleaned out a large path through the liver and one lung I shot him again even though it was not needed through the lower shoulder and the bullet cleaned another path clean through him. At worst that's right with a 7mag with the best bullets it can shoot so just how is that inadequate????:rolleyes:
    The only elk that was lost last year was shot with the largest cal an 8mm mag. and the most shot up elk I've seen was done with a 338 Win but those had ZERO to do with the cal they were shooting!!!!
     
  8. C.O. Shooter

    C.O. Shooter Well-Known Member

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    Placement, Placement, Placement!
     
  9. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Not everyone is capable of placing every shot within .5 MOA of their aim point every time or even consistently.

    Ballistically the .270 is simply inferior to the 7mag and other calibers I recommded.

    Yes you can kill an elephant with a .243 if the bullet is placed in exactly the right spot with enough energy to get there.

    I don't know this guy or most who post here so I'm going to give the best recommendation I can for the "average guy" which is going to be considerably different from what will work for a very experienced guy who can place those shots and has the discipline to say "no" when everything is not exactly right.

    There are exceptions to every rule, but they do not disprove the rule.

    Remember too this is the "Basics Starting Out" forum and with that in mind usually it is the new people to the sport whom we are trying to help, not folks who have been doing it for 10-20-30 years.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  10. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    Have you checked out the ballistics of the 270wsm shooting a 165grain Matrix bullet?
     
  11. walkinhorseman

    walkinhorseman Active Member

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    Big Green makes a valid point that takes this thread, kind of, of course. The key point is that all of the technology that can be purchased will not replace skill. Shot placement and bullet construction are the key to clean quick humane kills. Know your capability and know your limitations. You will learn these through trigger time, not under clinical conditions. You must also have the discipline and ethics to ignore the T-factor when it drives you to attempt a shot beyond your demonstrated skill level. My point about scope selection is to select an optic that compliments the man-machine interface and does not detract from it, therefore limiting your performance.
     
  12. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Yes and it's definitely doing well with that particular bullet.

    Compare that though to the 7's and 30's shooting the high BC bullets in their calibers and you're right back to the same superiority.

    There's just nothing you can do with the .270 you can't do better with a 7mm or 7.62.
     
  13. Nimrod

    Nimrod Well-Known Member

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    I can get rock solid with a 20X on a 7.5 pound rifle over my pack or on a bipod either one. I think it's a matter of practice and familiarity with your equipment.

    If moose are on the plate I might look at one of the .30 calibers but then again I like the .270 calibers too. The right bullet in the right place is the most important IMHO.

    Bob
     
  14. MPBR

    MPBR New Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I suppose I should have pointed out that I'm not new to hunting and shooting...just new to 'long range' hunting with high powered optics and there seemed to be a alot of knowledgeable folks on this forum that I was hoping to share information with.

    I shoot a lot and have done most of my hunting the last several years with a williams peep sight and a 4 power scope inside of 100 yards, so i was hoping for some information from people experienced with scopes in the 6.5-20x50 range and their viability in the field together with a good setup for them.

    Someone replied that a 6.5-20x50 scope may be an unblanced on a 7.5lb sporter rifle and this was my main concern with the scope i just bought. I am also considering a Sendaro SF II in 7mm mag instead of the 270 wsm sporter however the sendaro is quite cumbersome with the 26 inch barrel...I'd much prefer a 24 inch pipe on a 7 to 7.5lb rifle rifle with a bipod if it's viable.

    All comments appreciated...got the scope already now just need the rifle for it!