Top Magnification Needed?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Uncle Russ, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Member

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    Folks,

    I am quite new to the notion of "long range" and really fit more into the medium range category as I am coming to understand it having read some on this board. I will soon have the following situation:

    1. Custom .300 Win Mag/24 inch barrel Lilja ultra light custom/Lilja barrel/with muzzle brake. Final weight with 4 rounds--6 1/2 - 7 1/2 pounds depending on scope. (and no, it doesn't kick all that badly. :)

    2. Custom .300 Ultra Mag/27 inch Lilja barrel/with muzzle brake--total weight with 4 rounds--about 9 1/2 - 10 1/2 pounds--depending on scope.

    Chief use of both will be hog and deer hunting in Texas--150 to 500 yards with occasional carry in the high country after Mule Deer and Elk.

    I currently have a Swarovski PV 3-12x50 mounted on the light rifle as I await the build of its big brother. I am currently trying to decide between several scopes choices as follows:

    1. Leave the 3-12 on the light rifle and mount something with more magnification on the long range Mama.

    2. Take the 3-12 off and mount it on the RUM and put a little, even lighter Swaro 3-9 AV on the little guy for the ultimate in light weight.

    I suspect most folks will reject the second option--but my question is:

    1. What would be the highest reasonable magnification I would need for shooting at, say 450 - 700 yards. Would 12 be enough? (I see folks winning 1,000 yard matches with 22 power.)

    Thanks,

    Russ
     
  2. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    About 15- 20X would be about all you would need deer and elk at that range. If you are going to try to shoot little piglets in the head at long range then you better get some serious magnification.
     

  3. nfhjr62

    nfhjr62 Well-Known Member

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    Just purchased a Bushnell 6.5/24x50 scope hope will be enough for 100 to 1000 yrds. most likely not much 1000 yrds.
     
  4. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    this is always an interesting topic and one that pops up fairly often. my take is it's a very idividual thing and the more peoples opinion you get, the more confused you might be. one guy can get by just fine with a 10x at 1000 yards and the next feels a little under powered with 20. like Bob said, if you're trying to take a hair off a knat's ass, you might need the Hubble telescope. the quality of scope definitely has something to do with it, as do the shooters eyes. last year i didn't have any trouble lining up on a groundhog at a little over 1000 yards. the scope was set on 16 power.

    i recommend looking through any scopes you are considering at objects and ranges you're going to be shooting at and try to determine what magnification "you" need at 1k.
     
  5. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I happen to be a big Swaro fan--and I notice there is not much mention of their scopes here--although I have to admit I didn't do much homework going backwards in the posts. Now, on any BB on any subject, when the experts stay away from a product there is/are usually some pretty good reasons. For example, if you ask a bunch of offshore fishermen why you don't hear about Van Staal spinning reels in comparison to some others--durability is probably the key.

    So in this case, I am guessing that the reason for lack of popularity (if in fact that exists) of the Swarovski brand is either: (1) foreign made, (2) warranty issues, (3) price, or (4) some functionality issue.

    Since i will NOT be trying to shoot a gnat off a hare's ass (see what I did there? :)), I love the TDS reticle--or now that that Swaro doesn't offer it any more, perhaps the Ballistic Reticle--I'm not much into twisting turrets, even if that were needed up to 6 or 7 hundred yards.

    Thanks again,

    Russ
     
  6. trueblue

    trueblue Well-Known Member

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    Uncle Russ,
    I am in the process of making the same dicision. I am looking at putting on the Nightforce 2.5x10-32mm on a light 30 cal carry rig, but have concerns that 10x would not be enough for elk at 7-800 yards. I might have to sacrifice magnification for better quality. I also want a lighted reticle. There seems to be a void in the scope industry for a less than 2# scope with quality turretts for repeatable dialing of elevation, and 15-20x magnification. I am sure there are Leupolds and others that will do it, but you take your chances on when and where they might go bad. You also might want to look at Nightforce 5.5x22 NXS for your 300 RUM.
     
  7. Sharpstick

    Sharpstick Active Member

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    Keep in mind that magnification effects other aspects. All else being equal, a 50mm obj scope will exhibit better optical quality in a 14X vs a 20X. I used 14 as an example because it has served my friends and I very well as a hunting power including 1000+ yard scenarios. For a hunting scope you will have many shots in low-light and you never know when you are going to have that quick 75 yard opportunity. The higher power scopes can be less than ideal for those situations.

    Yes you can turn a scope down, but we use a windage reticle thats built for 14X so we usually leave it there.
     
  8. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    I have a 7.5 lb 300 WSM carry gun that has a Kahles 3-9 with TDS and is more than capable of clean kills on deer out to 600-700

    Key is an accurate chrono and ballistics program with custom reticle info such as exbal that allows you to determine exact zero ranges for each crosshair at certain powers. My settings allow me exact zeros from 317 to 840 between 6x and 9x. I am not comfortable at the lower powers and longer distances.

    You can easily find a swarovski 6-18 or 3-12 with TDS on ebay or gunbroker for around $1000.

    Buy the chrono and exbal and load it up on the computer and see the possibilities.

    BH
     
  9. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Member

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    Understood, Sharpstick. A person also has to be aware that as you age, the usable exit pupil goes down--from say, 6, when you are a young stud to about 4 when you are really getting along in age. So if a 56 mm objective has an exit pupil of 7 (at 8 power), my poor, old aging eye does not--at least in theory.

    The more I think about it, the more I am tending toward strapping the 3-12x50 on the long-barrelled R.U.M., and putting either a Swaro 3-9X36 or 3-10X40 on the little tote gun.

    As to my personal definitition of the term "long range", I really am not going to shoot at ranges that many on this board would call long, simply because I doubt I will be able to do so effectively at this point in life. I would like to be able to take a 500 yard shot, under ideal conditions, with a reasonable likelihood of making a kill. I might try such a shot (just being honest here) on a huge mule deer on the last evening of the season--that I could not approach more closely. But mostly, I would reserve such attempts to feral hogs.

    Thanks to all.

    Russ
     
  10. elkspert

    elkspert Member

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    I am having to make the same decision. I'v started a 7mm Dakota build. I plan on using it on deer and elk out to 850 yards max. I am split between a vx4 er/t 6.5x20x50 or a schmidt and bender 3x12x50. Would the quality of the schmidt and bender on 12 power be all that is needed or would a person be better off with the higher magnification?
     
  11. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Member

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    I ended up making the following decision, based on the fact that "long range" for me is somewhat short of what most folks on this board mean by that term--it is highly doubful I will ever attempt a shot on game beyond 500 yards. Accordingly, with that in mind, in addition to the desirablitily of lighter weight and cost considertions:

    1. I will move the 30 mm Swaro 3-12 X 50mm with TDS reticle to the new build in .300 RUM. Total weight, with scope, covers, sling, and 4 cartridges should be just over 9 1/2 pounds--not too bad for a 27 inch countour-5 barrel.

    The main problem with this rig, I think, due to the focal plane, will be the amount of space covered by the reticle at "long" distance.

    2. I will fit a 1 inch tube Swaro 3-10 X 40mm with ballistic reticle to the mountain rifle, which will bring the weight (as figured above) to exactly 6 pounds 14 ounces.

    With this rig, the BR reticle will only be used for holdover at the power setting of 10 and the subtension will not increase except with regard to the distance.

    Thanks to the folks who resonded for you assistance.\

    Russ