Lower power for better groups???


Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2002
Wenatchee, WA
Just curious, what scope, and on what magnification do you shoot your tightest groups?

For various reasons, I don't have the Leupolds that I did last year, so I've been making do w/ a Sightron 6-24x w/ dot reticle, a Weaver V16 w/ duplex reticle, and a Tasco SS10x42.

The weird (and kind of disturbing) thing is that the tightest groups I've shot, especially out of my .308, have been either w/ the SS10x42 (fixed 10x), or the others set on 10x or 12x, max. And I mean some of these have been downright scary little groups (hey, even a blind hog finds an acorn once in a while). But when I turn the power up, especially to 24x, my groups grow slightly in size, like perhaps 1/4-1/3" bigger.

It's almost like I can't see the bullet holes clearly enough to get *too* excited about them, or something. I mean, I get irritated trying to control the 'wiggle' of the crosshairs at higher powers, but some of my best groups have had a few shots that I would have sworn there should have been a shot out of the group (and yes, the paper was big enough, I doubt I would have missed by that much), but it was almost like I had the special hole-seeking SMKs or something.

Never thought to try lower power when I had the Leupold 6.5-20x and 8.5-25x scopes. The higher power does seem to help at longer ranges, though, as at 300 and beyond I have a hard time holding as tight w/ the 10X.

Anyone else have similar experiences, where their group sizes got *bigger*, at least at 100yds, w/ more magnification?


Something to consider:Virtually every 100 and 200 yard benchrest shooter shoots a 6ppc with a 36 power scope without exception.And these are the guys who need to shoot 5-shot groups in the 1's and 2's every time,or forget about being competetive.

I have not had that experience, but the opposite. I have shot some great groups when my hold was not exactly pinpoint on the same spot at farther ranges though. An example of power helping out, I shot a group with my brothers 338/378 a while back and it was a 3 shot 1.2 moa group, worst I'd ever seen this gun shoot, and by double **** near. I looked down to see the power set to 5.5x. Turned it up to 22x and shot a .550 moa 5 shot group. I was not using a good rest at all so the 22x helped me really see the movement that was really going on. Ignorance is bliss, I remember being frusterated trying to get a solid rest but just couldn't tame the movement enough, so I just did my best with what I had. The scope at 22x let me time things precicely, where I hadn't even seen the movement before on 5.5x.

I see you're from Wenatchee, reminded me of a time I was hitchhiking back to Alaska through there when I was 16. I about froze my *** off up the road aways near a lake on the left just north of there heading tward Omak. It was 106 degrees that day in late June, that night I thought of surviving the NIGHT!

I had just a wool blanket and summer clothes. I got my Slumberjack mailed to me by mom the next day in Omak.

No idea what the temp was that night but **** what a temp swing!!
What about too much power for very long range shooting? For example will there be too much mirage to use a 22x scope at 800-2000 yards on hot days?
I run a 6-20 Nikon on my 16.5 pound gun,And a 8.5-25 Leupold LR on my heavy gun.To me 20 power is about the max for me on hot day's.Also barrel heat from my light gun causes some trouble also...There was a few match's last year when I ran around 16 power on my light gun.They were the two worst group's I had all year.....
Thanks guys, I haven't used a rifle scope with more than 16x. 22x sounds just right then.
Warning! This thread is more than 21 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Recent Posts