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traveler

What power scope...

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If your current scope bit the dust, what power would you replace it with? With the somewhat recent trend of hgher power scopes, how high would you go? I'm talking stand sitting, assuming you have a spot with plenty of visibility, clear cuts, fields, power lines... Guys always talk about how short the shots are here in MN., but the last 2 bucks I've shot have been over 200 yards. not super long, but long enough to get me wanting more power then my 3 by 9. I want o set my 7 mag up strictly for longer range shooting. How much power is too much? I shoot fine with 9 power, carried a friends 4 by 12 and liked that better, but I'm looking higher. So how high is too hgh? 16? 20?

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I like the 3x9 personally. If it's big game and you can't use a 3x9 for it, its too far away. It depends on the perks and quality also. I shoot a bushnell on my .270, my brother a swift on his 30-06. While hunting antelope this year I found his scope to be better and clearer, as it allowed a lot more light through to see, if you know what i'm talking about. I ended up shooting both my goats with his gun, one at about 50yds, the other about 250 yds. Both were taken just where I aimed with the 3x9. If you plan to shoot some varmints, I'd go bigger.

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For regular deer and elk hunting, I like my 3 x 9 Leopould Vari X II.

Mine usually does not go much above 5 power while hunting. I got lucky this year with my scope cranked up to 9. I spotted a cow elk about 350 yards out crossing an opening. I turned up scope, waiting for another animal to cross. When there were no other elk coming out, I started running to cut her off as she crossed the next opening. Well, she stuck to the treeline, and we nearly ran each other over. I never had time to crank the scope back down, but I was luck enough to find her in the crosshairs at a whopping 30 feet. ANy more magnificatin and I probably would have missed my chance.

I have a Bausch & Lomb 6 x 24 on my 220 swift, and I would not want to use that thing for big game hunting. Field of view is small, and at high magnification it takes some fiddling to get a clear picture.

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The thing that you have to consider is the low light conditions. Any scope is good during the bright daylight hours (within reason I guess). Now, if you are talking the first few minutes of legal shooting and the last few of legal shooting...and after hours shooting for critter hunters, you separate the men from the boys! The higher you crank up your scope, the less light gathering abiltiy your scope has. So, in those precious and often the best shooting times, quality optics are worth their weight in gold. In my opinion, I would spend less on the gun and put the extra money into optics. Contrary to what you say, the trend now is actually getting away from high powered scopes. More folks are going to quality single shot rifles and putting good lower powered glass on them such as the 3-9 or the 2-7. In my opinion, the highest power scope needed on a deer rifle would be a 4-12 and that is pushing it. Just my thoughts! Good luck with your search!

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The 3x9 should be fine for the hunting you mentioned. I rarely ever crank my scope up to 9x when hunting. I believe in a quote that I hear said in FM, I forget who said it. Aim small, and miss small. At high magnification, the chances of a miss increase. IMO.

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Well, I guess there aren't any other magnicacation junkies out there smile.gif I'm shooting a Leopold vari-x 2 3x9 now, the scope I may buy is a Redfield Illuminator 6x20 50 MM. Now we're talking power. Again, stand sitting, open shooting, weight not being an issue. The ballistics on the 7mag make shooting out to 300-400 yards doable, and 9 power just doesn't cut it for that far out. The trend toward higher power scopes I mentioned was in reference to availability, a few years ago 9 power was about it, now there are plenty of hgher power scopes out there. Single shots? No one I know. So no one else has the power???

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In 1975 I put a 3 X 9 Bullet compensator on my 7MM Remingation Mag. Parker Hale. I just love this unit and it has taken several moose (14), and countless deer (touch wood, single shots). It has NEVER had to be re-sighted in and I can honestly say I have never had to crank it up beyond 6 power. If, I was ever to replace it I am sure I would go with the highest quality glass I could find in a fixed power of 4.
Sure a 7 will reach out to 300 yds and further but can U ensure that every shot and I mean single shot will be a kill is so blast away?? I always recommend guys/gals to not go the max of their gun but rather cheat and get as close to your animal as possible. (So much for my soap box).
What I did this year was rob the bank and finally purchase a quality set of binos and use them for searching the woods. They are 8 X 42 Nikon, I ended up with a salesman that finally seemed to know about optics. He did NOT try and sell me the largest power (or most expensive) on the shelf rather he tried to show me the difference and explain there is something like exit pupil, meaning there is only so much light U can use compared to power and maginfaction. I can honestly say I didn't fully understand but sure did notice the difference between a pair of 8 X 42 and a pair of 10 X 42s. The largest power is NOT always the best optics in gathering light etc.

It is YOUR money but I would only recommend that U shop around, try the various brands, powers, and scopes and put your good hard earned money into the best optics you can afford no matter what power you chose.

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Travler

I'd go with a 3-9X32 or 40. I have a Leopold Vari X II 3-9X40 on my rifle and was able to take a antelope at 325 yards this year. You'll be very happy with a 3-9 and it will work on anything you are hunting. I'd recommend Leopold or Nikon.

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Canuck, thanks for your insight, I sure do want one shot kills, and would be praticing on those longer shots. The gun, as you say is capable, and I plan to be as well. Keep in mind, long shooting is only unusual here, out west it's quite common. I share your feelings on quality glass, it's why I chose a Leopold. The redfield I mentioned is a 50 mm, and the illuminator series is the best light gathering scope Redfield made. Exitpupil stll does come into play, but this is good glass I think.

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Canuck brings up a very, very good point. Field glasses are by far one of the most important things you need for hunting deer...and other critters. Spend the extra money here, it is well worth the investment. I think its fun to have high powered scopes and I have had a few in the past. Today, a 4-12 Monarch is the largest I have. Why....well I thought it was great at the time and they look really cool, but I eventually found a 16 and 20 power scope useless for hunting. With the exception of varmint hunting( because its like bench shooting), I am willing to bet that others will find the same thing. When you crank these scopes up, you will need a very steady rest and no wind to be able to be accurate. If you plan to shoot this high of a magnification free hand, you better log about 20,000 shots before you even plan to be remotely accurate. That is just my opinion. By the way, I would highly recomend a Redfield scope to anyone. They are a little cheaper but the glass is not that bad. I really love their wide angle scopes, they are fantastic. Good luck!

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thanks for the insight, Jim. Maybe 12 power is as high I should go; I just saw those Redfileds at a great price,,, You're rght about Redfield wide angle scopes, Two of the guys in our camp shoot them and love em'. I have a 20+ year old 3 x 9 weaver on my '06, It's wide angle like those Redfields.

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