.300 Win Mag hunting scope

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Wlfdg, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. Wlfdg

    Wlfdg Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    I'm building a .300 Win Mag on a Savage 111 action with a heavy sporter barrel.
    I have 2 scopes to choose from, SWFA SS 3-15x42 ffp and a SWFA SS 5-20x50 HD

    Would you say the 3-15 is enough?
    Should I suck it up and hump the 5-20?

    P.S. This is going to be a dedicated hunting (elk and mule deer) rifle. Shots out to 600yds, 800 under the best conditions.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  2. dok7mm

    dok7mm Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2015
    For most hunting situations, the 3-15 will work well. For long distance use, the 5-20 might be better. I use a 3-24x52 for most everything. Flip a coin!
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  3. 300whisper

    300whisper Well-Known Member

    May 15, 2012
    Both will work fine. I would probably go HD for better glass and larger objective for better light gathering. I just purchased a bunch of 3-15 SWFAs and a couple of 6x's. No complaints from me on these scopes.
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  4. Rick Richard

    Rick Richard Well-Known Member

    Jan 7, 2014
    You have to ask the question "what is it mostly going to be used for and what distance"? Long range shots and target, then higher magnification. General hunting and not intended for targets, then I would go with the 3-15.

    To try and shoot itty bitty group, you need higher magnification and fine reticles. Just look at what bench rest shooters use.
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  5. Mach 1

    Mach 1 Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2018
    I would go with the 20 power, you can always turn it down but you can't go the other way. I use a nf nxs32 power for hunting alot and you would be surprised how often I use it on 32 power. However it only goes down to 8 power which is fine for the most part. It is nice having the extra magnification though when taking the longer shots when the mirage and weather permits. FFP isn't a biggie to me but I can see where it would be nice to have it on a little more of a hurried shot.
  6. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    I very much prefer a 20x high end on my long range hunting scopes. While I usually carry at a lower power setting for field of view, the higher power range enables me to more effectively dial in on mirage to aid with my wind dope, and, has on many occasions, discerned bullet deflecting saplings/brush, or minimally visible game in the background.
  7. Mercracing

    Mercracing Well-Known Member

    Aug 9, 2018
    I would take the 5-20 for the larger objective so you can gather more light.
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  8. lancetkenyon

    lancetkenyon Well-Known Member

    Jun 3, 2013
    For 600-800 yards, the 3-15×42 is plenty of scope. I have shot my .280AI that used to wear a 3-15×50 out to about 1300 and it was very sufficient for the use of shooting at deer sized game and up. Even coyotes.

    If you plan on using the rifle for still hunting and stalking, as well as a long range rifle, the 3x on the low end will be nice with a wider FOV for quick target acquisition.

    If you have a separate rifle for still hunting, and this is for glassing and shooting, the SWFA 5-20×50HD is a fantastic scope for this purpose. Your rifle is already going to be heavy, the added 6oz is not going to break the back. If it was a 6# rifle, I would suggest the lighter scope for sure.

    If the 5-20×50 is illuminated, another plus for a hunting scope. The HD glass will also help with light gathering, and clarity of course.

    The only issue is no zero stop shims for the 5-20. So pay attention when you dial!
  9. Wlfdg

    Wlfdg Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    I have this shim in the 5-20 HD scope I have on my Savage LRP match rifle

    Thanks for everyone's input.

    I'm going to go with 5-20x50 HD.
    I was talking it over with one of my athletes. He was pretty convinced that I could drop 6ozs from my pack and train harder for the upcoming season simultaneously.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
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  10. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    I have the 5-20x50 HD on my .300 WSM and it's simply awesome.
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  11. Aoudad shooter1975

    Aoudad shooter1975 Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2017
    I find over 20X not good for hunting...14x to 18x about perfect for long range stuff...if I were you though the 5x20 would be my selection
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  12. Backcountry_IDN

    Backcountry_IDN Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2018
    I built the one on the left with a 111 action in .300wm as well. At first I went with a nightforce 5-20x56 shv. It did great! Had no complaints except for how heavy it was. 29.5oz. it's definitely not extremely heavy. But when you have a 4lb stock, #3.5 barrel, and a Harris bipod. 14lbs dressed is heavy for a pack rifle. If I were to do it all over again I'd go with a different stock for sure. Or saved up more for a carbon fiber fill.

    I now switched to a vx5hd 3-15 and cutting out 10oz makes a difference. Not to mention way better clarity on the vx5hd.

    Even at 1000yards I don't ever throw it on 20x so the 3-15 was a better choice for me.

    Attached Files:

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  13. wildcat455

    wildcat455 Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    Wlfdg, I agree.

    I Looked elsewhere for my weight savings.
    I realize my hunting style may not be suitable for anyone but me.
    It seems there's always a trade off, and a sacrifice for just about everything.
    As long as you are willing to make those trade offs and sacrifices, you're on the right path for you.

    I choose more magnification on my hunting rifles than most probably would. On the high end, 20-24X is where I ended up, but with some non magnum calibers, I'm at 12-16X. My choices seem to serve me well for hunting out west.

    I don't put my rifle in a pack when I am hiking, I either carry it shouldered on a sling or in my hand, and the 8-10 oz extra weight is rationalized because I don't carry binoculars with me. My rifle is on my shoulder or in my hand, because if I am walking or hiking, I am already in my hunt area... I am hunting. I only use binoculars when I am in or on a vehicle. Any other time, I'm using the scope on my rifle
    I have been able to capitalize with this method many times over the years, by taking game at allot closer range than anticipated for my hunts.

    Good luck to you!
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  14. Timnterra

    Timnterra Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    As others have said, for the distances you plan to shoot 15x will be sufficient. I like to have more magnification for target shooting because the targets are small and I often shoot much further than I would at a big game animal. For hunting a 3-15, 4-14 or 3-18 power scope is about perfect in my book.
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