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Scope Quandary: Here I Go AGAIN!

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Scope Quandary: Here I Go AGAIN!

Old 02-03-2007, 05:34 PM
Fork Horn
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hamiltucky, OH
Posts: 485
Default Scope Quandary: Here I Go AGAIN!

And I thought choosing a rifle was confusing!

I've got 3 guns & 2 scopes, since I decided to tossthe cheap-a$$ed BSA Red Dot that was on my AR15 and replace it with a Nikon Prostaff from another gun in the safe. That leaves me with a Leupold VX-II toallocate to either a Remington 788 in .243ora 700 CDL in .30-06.Since I'm heading back to BC this Fall to chase elk (atno smallexpense), I'm wanting to send the VX-II to the 788, and outfit the CDL with some new glass.

The one thing I found about hunting in BC was that the Black Timber was freakin' BLACK! On stalks, I'd dial my 3-9 down to 3, & that was fine for the < 10yds of visibility I had. On the other hand, we spotted some bulls across the canyons, & the extra magnification was handy to have. I'm thinking I want to go variable rather than fixed.

I also found that the dumb-a$$ed see through rings I had on my rifle were completely at odds with sticking the gun into a scabbard. (Those rings had been with the scope on another rifle, & the "service" folks saw fit to plug the whole rig onto my CDL.) I won't be using such a setup for this scope. I have noticed, however, that I seem to pay precious little attention to mounts and rings. I wonder if that's something that will come back to bite me...

It seems that the scope mfgrs want to get us all up to 50mm objectives & bigger, with 14X magnification or even more. However,most of the research I've done to date suggests that <40mm objectives give better exit pupil numbers, adequate brightness, not to mention lower cost, and that most game isn't shot above 6X, anyway. I'm thinking a 2-7 x 30-something, or a 3-9x40 (which I've used so far).

So that pretty much leaves brands, right? Holy CRAP! Can the mfgrs really justify having such huge product lines? Do they sell enough of each model to justify keeping them around? Suffice it to say, I'm confused. I tried to do the logical thing, by picking up several scopes & looking through them. This was complicated by the fact that I brought my 4 boys, ages 3-11, with me into a crowded store on a Saturday afternoon. In any case, my eyes seemed to tell me some different things compared to what I've read around these forums. And I know in the end, thatmy eyes that are ones that are going to have to make this decision.

The Zeiss Conquest didn't "wow" me like I thought it would. The Bushnell 4200 didn't overwhelm me, either. The Leupold VX-III seemed much clearer than I've been lead to believe. The Nikon Monarch seemed fairly pedestrian when compared to the others - I was expecting more. (I'm more than pleased with the ProStaff I have, but I didn't check one of those against the others in this trip.) I did take a look through a $900+ Swarovski AV, & it was awfully nice! Then, of course, I started wondering what was wrong with it, since most of their other scopes were $1200 - $1800. I certainly wouldn't want the red-headed stepchild of a high-end scope line!

Honestly, I was most surprised by the Burris Fullfield II: it seemed just as clear as any of the others, and amazingly bright. Having heard mixed reviews about Burris, I wasn't expecting much.I was originally thinking that it wasn't really fair to compare the FF-II toscopes ina higherprice range, but I kept going back to it after looking through the others. I didn't get a chance to check the Signature Select, but I'm certainly going to do so in my next outing. My next trip will be sans children, & I'll be going on a clear day just prior to dusk. Hopefully, that will afford me the time to put the models through their paces in some meaningful conditions.

Price isn't a huge object: I own a pair of Zeiss 8x42 FL binocs, & I'm thrilled with 'em. However, it'sbeen my experience that I've spent all damned day looking through my binocs, whereas Ilook throughmyriflescope for a considerably shorter amount o' time. Most of the scopes I looked through were < $400, then I jumped to the Swarovski. I think I'd probably top out with the Swarovski, if I felt it was really that much better than anything else.

Once again, it all comes down to me having too many products to choose from,and my then trying to solicit too much advice fromtoo many people who have too many opinions! So, to try to keep this manageable, am I at least on the right track with my inclinations regarding magnification & objective size? Am I missing anything critically important? Do I need to take a more critical look at rings & mounts, or will Weaver/Leupold get me by just fine?

And have any of you made it through this stressful process with your sanity intact, and at peace with your final decision? I guess that's all I REALLY want out of all this!

Many Thanks,

Folically Challenged is offline  
Old 02-03-2007, 06:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Stoughton WI USA
Posts: 27
Default RE: Scope Quandary: Here I Go AGAIN!

Here's a thought for you. I think you are on the right track with power range and such. In additition, since you are considering the Swarovski, I would seriously look into the Leupold LPS. It is a 30mm tube (versus the American standard of 1 inch), this allows you to have a larger variation in max and min power. I would recommend the 2.5-10x45 sounds about perfect for what you are talking about. Price wise you are probably looking at $900ish.

If you are going to stick around that $400 range, I would pick out three scope, and go in, line them up, and find out which one your eyes like best. I like Nikon and Ziess. And of course the VX-III is good. 3-9 and 3.5-10 are probably the best "all around" scopes. For what you are talking, I would not even consider a fixed power for elk hunting. That's just me.

338shooter is offline  
Old 02-03-2007, 06:37 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 218
Default RE: Scope Quandary: Here I Go AGAIN!


this is a goodin fer yer application

dump the see thru rings unless yer a gerraff and use standard rings

carry it on three power

early is offline  
Old 02-03-2007, 07:42 PM
Fork Horn
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Default RE: Scope Quandary: Here I Go AGAIN!

I'm a Leupold fan, and the scope I like the best (of the ones I own) is a VXIII 4.5-14x40 with a 30mm main tube. I find that light transmission is about equal to any of my 50mm objective scopes.
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Old 02-04-2007, 01:50 AM
Giant Nontypical
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Location: Saskatchewan Canada
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Default RE: Scope Quandary: Here I Go AGAIN!

As far as the glass goes go with what your eyes and head tells you. The swaro AV is a nice piece andI wouldn't give ita worry. Ihave a friend who has a number of AV, plus a couple members here (who I have come to trustinfo they provided), all say it is a solid scope.

The Conquest was the best in its class to me- resolution, edge to edge clarity and features. I have since bought 2 more as they have performed great in every facet. I currently have leupolds, 3200 Elitesand the usualbanter of others. I have also owned Nikon Monarch, 4200 Eliteand Burris Sign. Series. IME nothing wrong with Leupold or Bushnell's.In regards to theBurris wasn't worth the price tag IMO & nikon I got a lemon which soured me.

3x9 or 2.5x10 for biggame hunting. It gives me the flexibility to power up or down when required. I have never felt the need for lower or higher in the field. In terms of the objectiveI use to buy 50MM thinking it was beneficial somehow but don'tnow for biggame rifles.I have acouple 44mm Conquests theothers are 40mm's.

Rings and bases, I don't like alum. mounts. Majority of mine are Leupolds, Double Dovetails being my favorite Leuy mount. I also have Warne Maxima's. Both quality and reliable IME/O.

We've all gone through it,you definately are not alone.Good Luck
skeeter 7MM is offline  
Old 02-04-2007, 07:08 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Clermont Florida U.S.
Posts: 4,970
Default RE: Scope Quandary: Here I Go AGAIN!

I also like Leupold's but have some others too. For the money, the Burris Fullfield II is awlfully nice. I had a Signature Select... the optics were fine but the whole thing seemed bulky and less user friendly. I sent it back. Sightron makes some pretty decent units that won't break the bank either. I have a Bushnell 4200 which is good as are the Conquests. You may also want to consider the new Leupold VX-7. It's a 30 mm tube and comes in various configurations. The 2.5-10 X 45 might just be your ticket. The AV Swaros (1 inch tubes) are nice but probably not as good as the top end 30 mm ones. One of my favorites are Kahles (particularily the CL line). Good value for great glass. The upper end Zeiss units are awesome, but pricey. It's all in what you want and what features are important to you. Good rifle scopes are worth the $... IMO.
bugsNbows is offline  
Old 02-04-2007, 04:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
Posts: 87
Default RE: Scope Quandary: Here I Go AGAIN!

If I was going to buy a new scope to add to the many that I already have for my rifles it would be the 3 by 9 by 40 VX-III. I have found in all of my years of hunting that these are by far the most value for the money spent and I have in some cases absolutely abused my optics and they still keep working! Get the basic Leupold Rings and keep them as low as you can get while still being able to work your action.
huntinglife is offline  
Old 02-05-2007, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: SC USA
Posts: 1,434
Default RE: Scope Quandary: Here I Go AGAIN!

I haven't owned a lot but I have a buddy who has a lot of different scopes !!

My experience the regular Burris Fullfield sucks in low light and the adjustments do not "click" so it was a tough one to sight in !! I will never buy another Burris because I feel there is much better for the same or less money!!

I have a Ziess Diavari 3x9x42 and it is a awesome scope !!

I have a Swarovski PV 3X12X50-30mm and it is a very nice scope but not quite as clear as the Ziess in extreme low light(almost too close to call though)!!

My Dad has a Nikon Monarch UCC 3X9X40 on a muzzle loader and loves it !! He has killed some deer just as late as I have with a Ziess Diavari !! I just ordered a Nikon Monarch UCC 6X42 for my son's .223 ........so I will have some first hand experience soon !!

My buddy has about any high end scope you can name !! His favorite's are the Ziess Diavari 3x12x56 !! His son has a Conquest and my friend says the Conquest actually stacks up pretty well untill it gets to the extreme ranges of low light and his Diavari is just more clear and easier to find the target !!

Scopes are a pain because if you spend a reasonable amount of money you wonder if you should have spent more to get the better one.............then when you spend more you have a hard time justifying the expense when you could of had something nearly as good for a lot less !!

Yeh I have two nice scopes but I still wonder if I would've been fine with Ziess Conquest's or Nikon Monarch's for half the price (??) !!
I will say one thing........my Swarovski is as nice of scope as I will probably own ...and because of it I am clumbsy with it and have dropped the gun hard twice and I haven't had it but a month !! Suprisingly the gun has stayed zero'd both times !! I was extremely impressed with that !! Hopefully I will not drop it again !!

CBM SC is offline  
Old 02-05-2007, 09:00 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Missouri
Posts: 1,429
Default RE: Scope Quandary: Here I Go AGAIN!



Clarity is easy to see at the local dept. store but rugedness is very difficult to test except the hard way. When I go to the mountains only one scope is on my rifle. Leupold Vari-X III 2.5-8x36mm. It has withstood the god awfullest abuse you can imagine and never lost zero.

You may also want to check out Kahles. Swarovski makes them and they are excellent, and considerably cheaper than the swaro lines. Weaver Grandslam is a nice scope as well, though the eye relief is a little lacking for the heavier recoiling rifles in my safe. Bushnell elite 4200 is decent glass.... Though I can not attest to their ability to withstand the wilds of BC.

Now to Rings and Bases..... Throw those dam see through rings away now. Go spend the $50 it takes to buy good rings. My god, honestly you have a rifle that cost 600, a scope that will cost you >400, a Trip that will run $6000 and you are going to chance all that and a chance at the bull of a lifetime to a pair of junk rings and mounts. GO BUY A SET OF LEUPOLD RINGS AND MOUNTS.... the only other brand that I would accept is Burris for a hunting rig.
ShatoDavis is offline  
Old 02-05-2007, 09:45 AM
Fork Horn
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hamiltucky, OH
Posts: 485
Default RE: Scope Quandary: Here I Go AGAIN!

Thanks, Shato.

It appears thatwe think alike: I've been looking pretty hard at your exact scope! What's next, are you going to talk me into a .280 or a .338 wm???? Actually, I've kind of been looking at the latter...

I'll troll the scope store again & spenda good long time fondling their wares. I'm also going to park my Yukon 200+ yards away from their front door with a target on my side window. We'll see which scopes can show bullet holes @ twilight.

And trust me, I'll make surethat whatever scope Iend up withismounted right.I can't understand how I've heretofore neglected this aspect of it, given how incredibly interested I've been in "mounting" ever since my early teens...

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