basic scope for pigs and elk?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by socalhunter, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. socalhunter

    socalhunter Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Hi folks,
    I am a newbie and was attracted to this site because I need top upgrade my sons rig because he was not able to connect with a cow elk at 300 yards with a .270. I do not blame my son and I didn't want to go to much into debt but when my son gets out of boot camp in late Nov I want to reward him.

    I am thinking in terms of a rig around the 1$k range and yes I just read the thread by Bruce Ventura. It is an interesting thread but I have somewhat different parameters for what I believe my son needs.

    I want a rifle that can humanely take dow an elk up to 400 yards and the recoil is somewhat managable with out using a muzzle break. The 300 Win mag seems to fit that bill although on the long range rifle thread I can discuss calibers.

    I want a scope that can start at 1 or maybe 2.5 power because based on my limited experience hunting pigs in Cal a pig shot can be well under 100 yards and of course can be plus 300 yards in the same area just depends on luck and opportunity . I suppose the same can be said of elk. for practical purposes such has time restraints my son and I for that matter can only go to the nearest range ( Angeles shooting range in Pacoima Ca) a few times a year so 400 yards would most likely be our long range limit. I am thinking the highest magnification I would need would be 10x but the again I am not an expert.

    We currently have used Lepould scopes on our .270s but there are so many scope choices now it makes my head swim. I have heard good things about the Vortex line which does have a lifetime warranty which I know not all the mfgrs have.

    Based on the collective wisdom of those who have hunted what brands and models would you folks recommend,

    Thanks
    Socalhunter:)
     
  2. Top Cat

    Top Cat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    A new rifle is not a substitute for experience... it is common for inexperienced shooters to look to their equipment when there is a failure in the field, when quite often the rifles are more capable than the shooter.

    The 270 is an excellent round. A 270 with any Leupold scope is a fine Elk rig to 400 yds easily, if the rifle is working as it should and the bullet is placed accurately on target.

    Putting in time behind the trigger at long range is mandatory with any caliber to become a good marksman, and moving up to a magnum won't substitute for a lack of marksmanship, and might just make accurate shooting more difficult for an inexperienced shooter because of added recoil.

    You might consider adding a range finder, but I'd recommend shooting more. Find a range or some land where shooting at longer distance is a possibility and put the money that would have been spent on a new rifle into ammo and range time.

    Welcome to the site.

    TC
     
  3. socalhunter

    socalhunter Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Thanks TC,
    My son and his guide did say he hit the cow elk but she was able to run up a steep hill. The debate over what is the best elk caliber or does one need a .30 mag vs a lighter cartridge is an old one. Your absolutely right though practice does make perfect.

    Socalhunter
     
  4. skyfish25

    skyfish25 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    113
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Good glass is getting a little easier to buy. For a hunting rig under 600 yards, no need to go with 30mm tube. Check out Cameralandny.com and the minox deals. Good glass for the price.

    Make sure the rifle fits the boy. Practice, I take my kids out and shoot milk jugs/quart containers. Seems to keep their interest more than punching paper, and they know when they hit. We fill with water.

    The 300 WM is great, but recoil can be much. Always, the 270 is adequate, if buying new, at least consider the 7mm Rem Mag.

    Also, a common thing my kids do. Even I do sometimes. Is try and peak over scope when hunting to watch the hit, instead of watching through the scope. Makes a bad shot every time.
     
  5. COBrad

    COBrad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    960
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    As has been said already, the 270 is perfectly adequate for elk at 400 yards. What is needed is good shooting skills. From the sound of your post I would suggest against a magnum. The heavier recoil is going to make good marksmanship that much more difficult. After you have exceeded the capability of the .270 decide if you need something bigger... for the longer range it affords.
    The scope part is easy. I like a 3-9 for the use you suggest. This will work for pigs close in, and you can get good practice shooting small varmints like prairie dogs out around that 400 yard mark on 9 power. My personal choice in the Zeiss Conquest.
     
  6. Walker1

    Walker1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    132
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    My elk/big game rifle is a Savage 7mmRM with a Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14x44 scope. I am nowhere near a longrange hunter as my longest shot on an elk was right at 500yds. I am trying to learn how to shoot long range and this site is pointing me in the right direction. A lot of practice has gotten me further along. Helps to get to know the rifle. I like the 4.5-14 for the range you said. I have a 4.5-14x50 leupold on my 22-250 and have killed a few coyotes as close as 75yrd.
     
  7. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,106
    Joined:
    May 22, 2011
    I also hunt pigs in California. I use a low magnification range and always hike with the scope on the lowest setting.

    Sounds like you should be looking at 2-7X or maybe 2.5-10X. You may find 1-4X too low for a 400 yd shot, although it will work fine in a pinch. You also have a good argument for a 5X or 6X magnification range, say 1-6X, 2-10X or 2-12X, but they are probably out of your price range.

    The good news is that there are lots of good choices nowadays. The magnification and objective size are not so large that you have to worry too much about glare performance (although I always consider glare for a hunting scope). Go with a reputable name, preferably made in USA, Japan or Philippines. Lots of good values out there.

    A standard plex reticle seems to work very well if it is thick outside a narrow thin crosshair. If you get a flat shooting caliber like 270, 7 mm Rem Mag, 300 WM, etc., you can just zero at 200 yds and you’ll have a point blank range out beyond 400 yds. You can also go with a ballistic drop reticle, but if so I recommend you keep it simple.

    I looked at a few scopes in this magnification range at the last SHOT Show. One of my favorites is the Burris 2-7X32 with the E1 reticle. I liked it so much I bought one for my BLR .358 Win. But I can also recommend others in your general price range: Burris MTAC 1.5-6X; Bushnell Elite 2-7X32; Leupold VX-R 2-7X33; Weaver Super Slam 2-10X42. That covers a pretty broad price range. Get a Howa 1500 or Savage, one of these scopes and you’re GTG.

    Looking at my notes, the Nikon Monarch 2.5-10X42 (and its variants) and Vortex Viper 2.5-10X44 had average glare performance at best at the 9X magnification setting. While it’s not a deal breaker for this type of scope, why not go with another one that doesn’t have that issue? If you have to have a Nikon for some reason, I would steer you toward the 2-8X32 because the glare is generally less with a lower magnification and objective size.
     
  8. socalhunter

    socalhunter Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Thanks guys good points! My son will get some basic rifle marksmanship training in the USMC. My son is great at the range of course hunting conditions can be a bit different. You guys are right my son and I do need to practice more.

    thanks Bruce for thelightbulb on scopes.
    Socalhunter