What's your variable scope power range?

Time a and situation certainly change what Optics and range I prefered. 10-12 years ago my Mainstay Fishery was June July focused usually wrapped up by early August. So we hunted beginning of the season and lots of heavy brush. Started running lpvo scopes and wondered where they had been all my life, couldn't imagine hunting without them. Fast forward 10 years and I'm doing a fishery that wraps up in September and my hunting is October to Christmas. Up here the amount of light in early August compared to October is hard to explain unless you've lived this far north. Found myself wandering around finding my lpvo a might lacking in the hrs long dawn where my hunting was occurring. That 20mm wasn't cutting it in spruce, gave up 1x speed but much brighter image.

Neither scope was a bad scope, just different application so different tools.

Most of us start out young and poor, or at least that's true for myself and all my peers. Youth can do amazing things with a Walmart 700 and a blister pack scope. Eventually time is traded for money, and with that better tools are bought. Now it's easier to find and own a broad swath of tools (optics) for my more limited time afield.

While my top shelf will always have a few seasonally swappable (or geographical location swappable) optic options. My hunt for the do it all scope continues, and it seems we're getting close. Or at least the revitalized mpvo segment is at least dancing around near perfect. Fingers crossed there is something in the pipeline for shot...
 
I hunt NE Penna. and our lease has varied terrain. If I sit on stand over a marsh, I can see deer out to 1600 yards. A do-able shot for me is self-limited to 400 yards-absolute max if wind is not blowing the tree stand around. For this I like a 4.5- 14x and use a varmint hunter reticle for compensating for the range- No dial clicking for me. I need this much magnification because I will only see the top half of the deer/bear due to marsh vegetation. If I sit in a stand that offers a shot at 200 yards max I use either a 2.5-8x or straight 6x with duplex crosshair. FWIW I am use to using 45x optics in the game of Benchrest, so at the ranges I have listed I do not have a problem finding them in the scope if a follow-up shot is required. On the longer shots the animals are in swampy marshland where they are never disturbed and continue feeding for a long time-so one can wait for the best shot placement presented. Recovery is another story, so you get rather selective on what you shoot.
 
3X to 4 X on, the Low end and,.. 12, 14, 16 on Upper end for, Deer/ Elk / Moose, is Perfect,.. IMO
The Upper Range, allows for good Load "Work up" at, 100 - 200 yds and 3 or 4X in the Timber "Works Fine" for, Big Game !
My son just bought, a 4X - 16X Zeiss Conquest for his New, 7 PRC, Proof bbl'd, Tikka, Elk Rifle and,.. he's HAPPY, so Far !!
 
Having lived in the western US many years and having spent time in family hunting camps as early as the late 1960's, I am always interested when I'm at a gun store/shop listening to people discuss scopes. Most of my family members used either fixed 4 power scopes or 3-9 variables. I naturally went with 3-9 when I bought my first scope because that's what my dad had on his rifle.
Over the past several years, and zoom ranges have increased, I have purchased a variety of different variables. One such was a Zeiss 6-24. I mounted it, hunted with it, but found myself in a situation where I was trying to get a follow-up shot (didn't need it) and couldn't because of the field of view at 6 power. I sold the scope not long after that and now most of my scopes are either 3x or 4x at the low end (I don't shoot competitions, only shoot targets for load development and dial up work).
When I was in Germany, I found most of my scopes bottom end was 1-3 power with one rifle wearing an aimpoint for driven hunts: most of the shots we had were less than 100yards.
So, the question is, what is your scope zoom range and why do you like that range?
I'm curious as to what the community thinks and what your experiences are.
I don't have a favourite. I think for hunting the most versatile scope i have is my SFP 2-10×50 khales with a german iv style
reticle: easy to use, after zeroing you don't have anything to touch, point and shoot from 0 tp 250 yards, very good in low light with a symple reticle, easy to pick up in every situation for longer range work i have a FFP nightforce SHV 4-14×50 with exposed elevation turret for drop compensation and a mil r reticle for wind compensation. It works great but for hunting in low light or in deep wooodsthe khales is better. I used to have a LPVO, too. That was great for very short range daylight hunting (i killed some boars and roes, always inside 40 yards and shooting off hand in deep woods with it). I also have a leupold fx2 fixed power 4x33 with duplex reticle on my little cz527 in 7.62×39. It is amazing for its purpose. Very fast to pick up, very crisp image, light and compact.

Overall i would say a 2-10 or something like this is a very good power for a versatile scope. For the objective i prefer a x50, unless i have to really keep things compact. There is no best, everything depends on the application.
 
For second focal plane I like the 3-4 on the low and about 12-14 on the high. On the first focal plane I've got a 4x14x50 nf and two 5x25x56 nf . The gun dictates the scope . I had a ffp in my muzzleloader and found I didn't like it as much as I thought and switched to a 5x25x56 second fp and like it better . The center fire longer range guns I like the first focal.
 
Growing up & hunting the woods in central Maryland, I started with the 3-9 duplex scopes of they day.

Now living in central Pennsylvania the terrain hasn't really changed aside from hunting a few gas/power lines.
But I've changed scope preferences.
Now I'm running mostly 4 power on the bottom end with anywhere from 12 to 20 power on the top end.
All but 1 are second focal plane.

My competition scope for both short range BR and long range is a Sightron SIII 10-50X60.
 
For most shooting of deer sized game, 10 to 12 power at the top end is enough. 3 power at the low end is good for close, moving targets. However, it's nice to have higher power to be able to discern what you might be shooting at, seeing the rack, counting points, etc.
 
I run vortex gen 2 razor 4.5-27x56 on all my rifles except one of them that has an Athlon Cronus btr gen 2 4.5-29x56
The only issue is those scopes weigh 48oz. That is 3lbs.

Too heavy for a hunting rifle except a dedicated heavyweight LR or varmint rig in my opinion. I like to keep my hunting scopes in the 24-34oz max range.
 
I would be happy with a 16X50 having a 30mm tube. Enough magnification for 12-inch-wide targets at 1,000. most of my shooting is at ranges of less than 600 yards.

Having a 2nd or rear focal plane scope with a MOA or Mil Rad reticle, the power settings work out well at reticle hash marks spaces/power producing whole numbers.
16 X > 1 hash mark space on reticle = 1 MOA, 1 MR
8 X > 1 hash mark space on reticle = 2 MOA, 2 MR
4 X > 1 hash mark space on reticle = 4 MOA, 4 MR

Works good with a 4-16X42.

My Mil Rad scopes are 6-18X40's. At max power, 18X. brightness is usually not a problem - good glass & coatings.

If looking at a target shows only unfocused fur, the range is short so reticle hash features are not needed. For the 4-16 X crank it down to 4X. For the 6-18 X crank it down to 6X.

For 1st or front focal plane scopes, minimum power settings reduce reticle features to tiny sizes that are difficult to see or use. Lit up reticles powered by batteries are then used.

With a 16X50 scope the field of view is usually adequate, brightness adequate, no effort needed to determine hash mark spacing, no reticle drift considerations with power changes, lighter weight, less cost, fewer inner workings to fail. The big problem is that they quit making fixed power scopes like over 4X.

I should have mentioned that I don't shoot deers & such.
 
The only issue is those scopes weigh 48oz. That is 3lbs.

Too heavy for a hunting rifle except a dedicated heavyweight LR or varmint rig in my opinion. I like to keep my hunting scopes in the 24-34oz max range.

I think that as well, and then am reminded that a large majority of folks park somewhere near a blind or lookout, setup a tripod and then sit and wait. Not exactly the tens of miles per day Alpine hunting idea of my youth.

While terminally boring to me, it's probably becoming the majority hunting method. Well suited for big zoom ratios and 3 lbd scopes.

Different strokes for different folks it seems.
 
The only issue is those scopes weigh 48oz. That is 3lbs.

Too heavy for a hunting rifle except a dedicated heavyweight LR or varmint rig in my opinion. I like to keep my hunting scopes in the 24-34oz max range.
That what a lot of people say, I have no issue with it. However, I think it's because I run carbon fiber manners stocks so it offsets the weight a bit
 
I prefer things lower power. I have a 6-24, but it is to much for normal western hunting situations I think.

Most of the stuff I look for and use now are 2-12, 3-9, 3-15, etc.
 

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