Picking A Scope



Can anyone help me I've Been trying to pick a scope I've run into the same problem as trying to pick a scope as a rifle all I get is the scope companies bios opinions.I hear alot about leupold vari-XIII 3.5x10x 30,40 and 50. I will be hunting in the mountians of Utah, Idaho, And Wyoming alot of trees and low light conditions.


Well-Known Member
Jul 30, 2003
Bountiful, Utah
People all too often get too high of a magnification on a scope, ESPECIALLY when going after big game. 4X for a 275 yard shot is in no way "under-powered" on the scope. Been there, done that. I've never made an initial shot under 200 yards for elk here in Utah. Deer are closer, but can also "be out there".

1. The famous 3-9 is famous simply because it is so good at matching up with what's needed. I've never cranked a scope above 6X for a hunting shot.

2. 40mm optics are as large as I'd get, simply because it'd raise your sight picture off of the stock. 40mm glass with low mounts.

My suggestions? 3-9X40, 3.5-10X40, or 4-12X40 scopes. Partial to Leupold. VX-II or Vari-X III.

Mark in Utah


Nov 15, 2003
Pocatello, Id
I got the 4x12 leupold VX-II and added the stoney point target knobs (total ~$400)figuring that I would eventually upgrade when finances recovered from the purchase of a new rifle. Well, I still haven't upgraded. The scope turned out to be everything that I wanted and more. The click adjustments return POI perfectly and the fine duplex reticle allows shots as far as I am capable of making. Needless to say this is for a strictly hunting gun in 300 ultra, if you are building something for ultra long range or target shooting you will have totally different needs.
p.s. I notice alot of guys from my area on this thread. If anyone is interested in getting together and doing some shooting let me know. The group of guys that I shoot with are all pretty new to the long range game and would love to get together with some more experienced people.

Dr. John

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2002
I like leupolds. they are affordable, reliable. I would go with a varX-II, 3-9 40mm. the leupolds have the longest eye relief I could find so I never have to worry about getting the scope in the forehead on a high recoiling rifle. I have a 458 win mag with a varX-II 2-7 variable which I really like. my newest is a varX-III, 6.5-20 50mm long range target mildot. great for real long range. I once owned a VarX-III, 1.75-6, 32mm. this one was outstanding. was smaller but very clear.


Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2004
Western Colorado
You might want to look at the IOR line of scopes. I have used their 2.5x10 on my .300 Jarrett for years. I use the MP8 reticle for both quick range finding and hold over. IMO the optics are second to none. As others have mentioned here, for the use you have described I would suggest an objective lense in the 40mm range to keep weight and bulk down, and look close at the field of view on the lowest power of whatever scopes you consider. I want lots of FOV when I'm hunting in the timber.


Well-Known Member
Mar 16, 2003
Boise, Idaho
Idaho does not allow any electronic devices on scopes, so the illuminated may not be the best choice.

"In any hunt, including any-weapon seasons, it is
unlawful to pursue or kill big game animals:
• With any electronic device attached to, or incorporated
on, the firearm or scope." http://www2.state.id.us/fishgame/common/regulations/bg/bg03/bg03_7-14faq.pdf
Also, the maximum weight of the rifle with scope and sling can only be 16 pounds total, so the size of scope you get may be determined by what rifle you want to put it on.

[ 01-27-2004: Message edited by: gonehuntingagain ]

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