What power scope for .338LM?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by A/C Guy, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. A/C Guy

    A/C Guy Well-Known Member

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    I've decided to buy a .338LM. I need to buy a new scope, but I am unsure about what magnification to get.
    My questions are
    "What power do you actually use shooting 1000 or 1200 yards?"
    "At what power does mirage become a problem? (Note that I live in the desert)"
    "Does anyone use a fixed power such as a 10x56?"
    "Has anyone tried a fixed 10x56 and decided that it was not enough magnification?"

    Price is not really the issue. I am planning to buy a quality scope (Valvada, Swarovski, Zeiss, or S&B)

    I may at some point attempt longer distances, but the majority of shooting will be at 1200 yards or less. What would be a good recommendation for 1600 or 1800 yards?

    Last, MOA or MRAD?
     
  2. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    What power is really a personal thing. I'm assuming your talking about 1000-1200 yard hunting shots. I Know alot of folks here like the 5.5-22 while others prefer 3.5-14 and some 10 fixed. I personally prefer 12-42-depending on conditions and purpose I can go low enough and high enough.
     

  3. A/C Guy

    A/C Guy Well-Known Member

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  4. A/C Guy

    A/C Guy Well-Known Member

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    What power do you actually use at 1000 and 1200 yards?
     
  5. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    my max power is 22 and I use that power every chance I get.

    I too shoot in a high plains desert where mirage rules. I still use as much power as the scope will give me. Reducing power to eliminate mirage hasn't worked for me. If I can see it I can read it better (well....I try). It's there whether you see it or not.

    Plus the side focus can be used to focus at different ranges to see mirage/wind drift at those ranges.

    Of your three choices I'd go with the first one as I don't thing the extra power and increased objective size will give you "that much" more.

    The MP-8 reticle is one of the best! IMO.
     
  6. 300R

    300R Well-Known Member

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    I too use 22x at every chance i get,but i would say realistically between 14.5x-22x is where i am at most days,ior also makes a 3-18x and a fixed 16x very nice scopes,i have also used a s&b 4-16 pm2 with the p4 fine reticle at the distance you mentioned and can recommend that scope also,as far as mil or moa it's what ever you feel more confident with i don't have a preference for either so long as the turrets match the reticle,good luck with your choice.
     
  7. A/C Guy

    A/C Guy Well-Known Member

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    I noticed the 3 to 18x scopes and thought that I would never use the lower powers on that rifle. The Valdada variable seems to offer the most value, I have their 6 x 42 fixed and I am happy with it. It's not quite a Swarovski, lens coatings are better on my Swarovski, but the Valdada was half the price. The MP-8 is getting rave reviews from everyone that has it, plus a 35mm tube is huge plus. I wanted to find out if most guys that have the variables are actually using the higher magnification and that seems to be the general consensus; most are using the 14 to 20x magnification with little exception.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  8. azsugarbear

    azsugarbear Well-Known Member

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    IMO, Hunting applications require more versatility in a scope than target shooting. Typically, target shooting is done under more controlled circumstances, with non-moving targets and lots of time. Hunting is uncontrolled, with lots of last-minute details to quickly solve before a shot can happen.

    I love my NF NXS 5.5-22X50. It has enough low end to allow me to find an animal that suddenly appears at 300 yds. and enough magnification to read vegetation a long way out. I keep the scope on lowest setting (5.5 power) when hunting, just in case something pops out at close range. If longer shot presents itself, I usually have time to dial up and read the wind and calculate a hold to compensate for it. I will stay at 22 power for the shot if mirage will allow. If not, then I dial down until mirage does not affect my sight picture of the intended target.

    I typically dial up for elevation, and hold for windage. For this reason I like the NP-R1 reticle from NF. It has 2 MOA hashmarks on the vertical stadia.
     
  9. A/C Guy

    A/C Guy Well-Known Member

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    I looked at the NF and then I went to another store and looked at the Schmidt & Bender 5-25x56. Wow, what an incredible scope. I then went back to compare the NF again to confirm the differences in clarity. The NF is nice, but the S&B is fantastic. I hate the thought of spending the extra $1200, though. I drove to a dealer (Cactus Tactical) that advertised the Valdada as being in stock. POS doesn't stock squat, he tricks people into coming to look and then tells them they have to prepay it and then he will order it. If you don't like it, he charges a 15% restock fee. Idiot owes me some gas money for wasting my time.

    The rifle just arrived yesterday. Got bullets, powder, primers, bipod. No Brass, No Dies; I guess I can wait a little on the scope. Brass won't be here for a few weeks. It is on backorder at Midway.
     
  10. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    I've run into the same thing so now I call ahead of time to confirm they have the exact one I'm interested in, in stock. Nonetheless I'd not lay out that kind of money in advance unless I was really very comfortable and confident in who I was doing business with. If the business out of the blue goes belly up you might get pennies on the dollar years later through the bankruptcy court.
     
  11. yobuck

    yobuck Well-Known Member

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    im in the same camp as azsugarbear as to how i use my scopes.
    i dont use the high dollar scopes however.
    power is a personal thing. i personaly dont like alot of power when im shooting at game.
    12x is about as high as i go regardless of distance.
    i like having a decent field in the event of a miss and the animal moves.
    others i hunt with will crank it up when their ready to shoot.
     
  12. Longshot38

    Longshot38 Well-Known Member

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    My 338 wears a 5-25x56. But you mentioned 1000-1200 yards. I really like about 15x magnification for that application.
     
  13. coyotezapper

    coyotezapper Well-Known Member

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    Powder Valley Inc. has 338 LM brass in stock and is cheaper than Midway.
     
  14. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    coyotezapper, thanks for the Powder Valley tip. Seems the 338LM brass is 34 bucks cheaper than Midway per 100. I'll put it to good use.