thoughts on max magnification for practical use

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by ajhardle, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. ajhardle

    ajhardle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    132
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    A few weeks ago I was shooting at a mile for the first time, early morning sunlight on my target (I was laying in the shade of hill) and I thought this is amazing. I can see my score rings, ever so faintly, drawn with a sharpie. Millet 4-16.

    Now today my shooting group included a Razor 5-20, mark 4 10x and 12x Nikon binos. Conditions were: hot afternoon sun shining on light gray desert dirt to reflect some of the worst mirage I've shot through, winds blowing with no consistency, and the target, brown paper with marker, was facing away from the sun. I could not see the holes in paper any better with any particular optic, where the Razor clearly has better glass in "normal"conditions.

    My conclusion was that for any target I have a reasonable chance of hitting at long range, a 16x should do the trick no problem.

    Now a higher power scope has its place, but I think that place is on rifles that typically have a smaller caliber and are shooting tiny objects (or groups).

    So I would like to here perspectives from more experienced shooters than I, or any hunters' personal experiences on magnification.
     
  2. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,182
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    Whatever the preference, always keep in mind that the higher the magnification factor, the tighter the eye relief gets. Consequently, with a heavy recoiling rifle at high initial magnification, the chances of a black eye (or worse) are increased.

    I have a 6.5-24 on my big bore rifle and I don't believe I've ever cranked it beyond 16 except to see what 24x looked like..... Like having a CTS-V. You know it's under the hood, but you don't ever use it, maybe once for a rush, but thats it (and I speak from experience on that...lol)

    The other issue is 'shake'. At high magnification, the slightest movement of the rifle is magnified by the scope power. I shoot offhand a lot so cran king it up adversely impacts my shooting prowness.

    The CTS-V don't shake btw, it just rocks.
     
  3. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,364
    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    What's your 0-60 on the little caddy?? I leased a Volt last year and they didn't tell me about "sport mode":D:D:D. The dang thing goes from a 9 second 0-60 down to sub 6 second 0-60 when I"m in "sport mode". Really pisses of the electric car haters when I toe the pedal and clean their clocks as silently as if they were deaf.:rolleyes:

    As to scope mag. I've got dang near all of my scopes turned to 16x in the field as the field of view closes too much otherwise. The only scopes of mine that aren't at 16x afield are the ones that top out lower.
     
  4. ajhardle

    ajhardle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    132
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    So, maybe sixteen is the magic number. Or maybe for automobile/firearm enthusiast at least. I sold my autocross racer to buy more guns. I guess I found my priorities.
     
  5. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,182
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    About 3 seconds give or take. Problem is, keeping the Michelins from incenerating themselves. With a 'Vette motor under the hood and 550 ponies under your foot, discretion is always advised.

    The CTSV is always in 'sport' mode. I'm not. I actually prefer the wife's Caddy. She has a DeVille DHS with a 32V Northstar. It's no slouch either and insurance is sane. Insurance on the V is insane.

    I took a hard look at a Prius. My problem with an electric anything is I drive too far. The extension cord ain't long enough.....

    When you get to be my age, you can have guns and cars and motorcycles and all that stuff. The trick is to get rid of the kids....lol

    16 works. Just keep in mind that again, as the ocular magnification increases, the eye relief decreases. Put your money in quality glass and a lower primary magnification. You'll be farther ahead.
     
  6. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,364
    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    How's the shift shock accelerating with the V?? My Mustangs had horrible shift shock; the Volt is basically as fast and has zero shift shock.
    The odd thing with this car is when you are on gas for a road trip (or if the battery is depleted) and you hit the throttle, the generator often picks up stronger to recharge the battery after you've already accelerated. The engine rpm and growl being dissociated from what the car is doing is rather unnerving to start with. You get used to it, same as you get used to plugging in every night and paying nearly nothing for gas. I drove 46 miles and change yesterday and used .03 gallons of fuel; the charge ran down just as we rounded the block to my house.

    As to the "pius", I don't know why anyone would go there unless they drive better than 50 miles a day or everything they drive is hiway. The volt's range suffers at higher speeds and you'll go to gas at 30-35 miles instead of the 45-48 I get running secondary roads and in town. The prius takes over somewhat when hiway is on the menu every day; the Volt only does 35-40 mpg hiway.
     
  7. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,865
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    I shoot a 32x scope @ 100 yards. Do I have to? Definitely not. But I like to really zoom in on that 1" bullseye to see just how tight my groups can get. That's how I test my loads. I know that if I can zoom in that close, and watch the target, I know if I flinched, or if the gun doesn't like the loads. Zooming in that close there is no excuse why your groups shouldn't be tight, especially when you can see the hole(s) you just shot at and you can aim directly on it again. That's just my theory on it.
     
  8. 42769vette

    42769vette Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    399
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Depends on the purpose. Practical to 1 person can be entirely different than practical to the next. If your a Benchrest guy zoom the hell out of it, if your a long range shooter, get a scope with 16xish zoom and go to work. Remember in long range shooting internal travel trumps zoom every time.
     
  9. rcairflr

    rcairflr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    134
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013

    I'm surprised you use a 1" bullseye at 100 yards. I use 1/4" with a 24x scope.
     
  10. ajhardle

    ajhardle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    132
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    I actually have 2 24x Scopes mounted currently. The AR has one specifically for load development, but it so much fun, I haven't taken it off. The other is a 223 varmint rifle that shots half moa consistently. When it had the 16x power it also shot half moa, some 1/4moa.

    Can I shoot groups just as small with the 16x? Just about. The smallest are maybe .10 smaller with 24x. Or my switch to lapua brass made the difference.

    Can I see bullet holes with the 16x? No problem. In half decent condition, out to 300 yards.

    Is it worth limiting my field of view and eye relief to shoot a "larger" target? My extreme long range rifle generates a good amount of energy, I like feeling safe behind the scope and confident I will witness that bullet impact.

    Now, can I read the mirage as well? Right now, no. I've been meaning to poke a hole through the lenscap. Hopefully that will help.
     
  11. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,865
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    It depends on the targets I have available to me. I usually use Birtchwood Caseys which some have 5 sets on each target for load testing, and those have 1/4" or 1/2" bulls, and some I have are 12" diamter circles with different rings, and a 1" or 2" center bull.

    Just to clarify, I am NOT a benchrest competition shooter, I just like to see how accurate I can shoot, and how well my loads respond to my rifle.

    For hunting, you don't need that much magnification. For hunting a 20x will work just fine for WAY out there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  12. Joel Russo

    Joel Russo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,938
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    I have shot numerous sub 12" groups at a mile using 14-16 power.