~40mm objectives Vs ~50mm objectives (500 yards and in)?

Buano

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Nov 28, 2009
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949
I have read all about these scope sizes and debates and just wanted to see what the main consensus is here for medium range shooting (500 yards and in). All else being equal, the 50mm will gather more light, will typically be heavier and will typically keep the scope higher above the bore which means you might need a cheek rest added to your rifle. So do most people here hunt 40mm scopes or 50mm? Ive only ever used 40 and 42mm scopes. Thanks!

If you only hunt in the middle of the day a 40MM scope is all you need inside 500 yards. BUT, if you have older eyes, hunt dawn & dusk — especially in overcast weather, like magnification (especially with small targets, a 50MM scope is GREAT. With my eyes I have opted for a 50MM on my last 2 mountain hunts.
 

tuscan

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May 24, 2015
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for my lightweight mountain rifle, 42 for the reasons mentioned - lower to the bore, lighter, no cheekpiece required, etc. It's a March, and low light performance is great. For almost all others, 50, 52, and 56 (Burris, March and Steiner). That size excels at targets/PRS and low light. And the March is very light at only 24 ounces so it sights on a hunting rifle. My personal best on a steel target was 1866 yards with a vortex pst ii 3-15x44. It had plenty of elevation adjustment on a 20moa rail for that shot with a 7mm RM. But, it's low light performance wasn't as strong and I traded that scope.
 

xsn10s

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Mar 7, 2016
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My do all big game hunting scope is an old VariXIII 2.5-8x32mm Premier Reticle Mildot. I got the idea from a Chuck Mawhinney article and it has served me well. I've shot out to 800 yards with it no problem, and usually carry it at 2.5X for quick shots. IMO for 500 yards and less magnification isn't as important as clarity, low light brightness, and accurate color. So low to medium magnification and good glass quality for me is more important than bell objective. I think a scope with either LOW glass or Schotts glass will serve you well. Heck I sold a Zeiss Conquest 1.8-5.5X38mm that would have been good for 500 yards and less. It's really what works for your eyes and your preference. But having had, and still have, 50mm objectives I prefer the higher end glass with low to medium mag and 40mm or smaller objectives.
 

CCAguns

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Feb 3, 2009
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Louisiana
When i was younger the mid priced leupolds were all i needed. About 50 i had to go to the next tier. Now, in my 60's i have to have top tier glass to see as well as i used to. You cannot cheat time or age.
I agree totally. At almost 66, I need better quality glass. However, that doesn't necessarily mean larger objective. 40mm scopes look better on rifles, weigh less, and, unless you really need the magnification, can have magnification lowered to get pencil of light desired.

Larger objectives may help with extreme magnification, but most hunting applications do not require this. I got rid of any scope I had over 10 power as the mirages show up due to the temperature down here in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas where I hunt. I've never needed more than 10 power and have shot small, blackbuck antelope at almost 700 yards. Lots of practice on the range , and even more luck!

Unless you strictly hunt in a stand, heavy scopes can be awkward to carry. They look ridiculous on short or light rifles. I'd stick with 40mm to 44mm and spend the extra money on the next step up in quality.
 

J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
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10,720
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My k525i went down at 5:40 this afternoon looking at a feeder 10' in the woods, 200yds away. I was in a field. By going down i mean the point i would not have been able to count points on a buck at the feeder. This is on 15x. It never did go down in the field. Im in arkansas. My leica 2800 went down 10 to 15 min earlier. By going down i mean you couldnt see well enough to range an object. Sunset was 5:00 on the dot..


Not sure if this is what it's called, but I call this "whiteout". When a scope looses it's ability to gather light, It will normally just go blank. As the light goes away I turn the power down, At some point depending on the optics and the available light, the scope will not be of use and the hunt is over.

Quality means a lot, but size matters also, so I arm myself With as many advantages as possible. What I look for "NOW" in a scope is a Power range from 3 to 6x up to 25x depending on use and caliber. Then I look for the best Light gathering ability In the power I think I will need. Also clarity is very important with these old eyes so the brand of scope can have a different coating and one will be better than the others.

I don't shoot matches any more so I don't need a special scope for this use and just look for the best hunting scope that I can afford for the need and distance. What I need now is much different than I was when I was 30 so change has forced me to adapt. Also the power needs have changed for this type of shooting (Long Range).
Seeing error in your hold can make a large difference at extreme distance, so higher power can be beneficial when making long shots. Also the ability to change the power for closer shots also helps if you hunt where running shots are normal/possible.

It is absolutely correct that you don't have to have a 60mm objective and a gazillion power scope to make a great shot, but the more flexibility the scope has built in to it, the better for all around use it will be. If a scope does everything a person wants for his type of hunting, Then It has enough power, light gathering and fits him best and is enough scope. If you know the benefits of certain things, and the drawbacks you can make a decision on what is best for you. There is no one perfect combination for all uses and needs.

J E CUSTOM
 
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