Usable Magnification

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by ctimgo, May 17, 2015.

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  1. ctimgo

    ctimgo Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2012
    What is the usable range of magnification. 24x sounds great but is it usable? Mirage is a problem when you get into the upper range of magnification so what is the highest that most people use in real like applications?
  2. davkrat

    davkrat Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    My 4-16 I can max out with no real problems. The lowest 20X of my spotter there are days I could never aim through it. You could always dial it back though.
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    24x Is a lot of Magnification and IMO to much for hunting if it is a fixed power.

    I prefer something in the 3.5x14 to 6.5x20 for hunting. a 8.5x 25 will work under best condition
    but may have to be adjusted down under certain conditions.

    I have used a 32x on targets but the mirage was bad unless you had perfect conditions and/or you could read mirage well.

    The 3.5x14x50 or 55mm seem to be the best all round (For Me) but if you want more power a
    18 to 20 power max variable would be my suggestion.

    Just My Opinion

  4. EdWalton

    EdWalton Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2014

    I just bought a Schmidt & Bender in 5 – 25 x 56mm. I’ve spent a few weekends scoping over our power line. There’s a lot of lighting & distance variables that come into play. At times I have a hard time seeing the fine crosshairs at 5X (its front focal plane); at distances of more than 1,500 yards during the bright daylight the humidity limits me to under 20X; at end of day 12X is about my limit. It’s a magnificent piece of glass, but I finding learning how it will perform in all the various situations is exciting.

  5. Bughole

    Bughole Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    It just depends on the conditions. Some periods of the day you will use all you got and when that doesnt work dial it down. There is no absolute. All condition dependent.gun)
  6. slm9s

    slm9s Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2008
    Decide what the lowest mag you might need for the application of the scope. Some rifles will hunt this timber and need a 3x or 4x on the low end = 4-16 might be perfect. Some will only be in open country and a 6x or even 8x would be just fine on the low end = 6-24 or even 8-32 would work. This would really aid in load workup/LONG range shot spotting if you're shooting paper/steel with the same rifle when not hunting.
    My $0.02
  7. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2007
    Your field of view is reduced at high power. For instance, I once put a fixed Weaver 36x scope on my 22-250 woodchuck rifle, and I cold not find the chuck I had seen with binoculars. I agree with a variable, about 4-12x that can be adjusted up or down,.
  8. Rick Richard

    Rick Richard Well-Known Member

    Jan 7, 2014
    For hunting, I like magnification in the 3 - 16 range. Good compromise for close and distance use. I also rather a thicker cross hair reticle than a fine one since a fine one can be difficult to see in low light conditions.
  9. geo4061

    geo4061 Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    The highest magnification you can use under the current conditions the better. I was amazed with the first 5.5x22 scope I bought. When sighting it in at 50 yards I could actually see inside the first bullet hole. It was amazing. I had a lot of fun that day trying to put one inside the other. What is the old saying " aim small miss small" or "if you can't see it you can't shoot it".
  10. Rich Coyle

    Rich Coyle Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2013
    On a hunt two years ago I found horns out on the flats with 8X binos. I put the 5-25X and started cranking up the magnification. Finally the scope topped out at 25X. The deer got up and started my direction. I was finally able to see three points, which is mandatory in that area, and killed it. So for me, 24X is as low as I would want to go on an open country scope.