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upgrade scope or binoculars?

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upgrade scope or binoculars?

Old 11-18-2015, 06:17 AM
  #1  
Typical Buck
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Default upgrade scope or binoculars?

Which would you upgrade? My budget is $300-$400.

My scope: A Simmons .44Mag model, 3x-9x. It's very clear but unexceptional in light gathering. (It's on a Savage 111 in 30-06.)

My binocs: I have a pair of Simmons that are clear, but their clunkiness means I leave them at home. I don't find them especially helpful.

My hunting style: I hunt deer in Kansas and we get long shots over fields as in Montana, and shots in the woods like they do in Maine. I hunt from natural ground blinds and also stillhunt the woods. Spot and stalk is an option here glassing hillsides and field edges can work.

I could upgrade both scope and binoculars and still stay in budget: A Nikon Prostaff scope and a pair of Leupold Yosemite binoculars. Each gets good reviews as "bang for the buck."
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Old 11-18-2015, 09:06 AM
  #2  
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As long as the scope is reliable my money would be used for binoculars. If I am lucky I will spend a few seconds looking through a scope on a hunting trip in North America, but I usually spend an hour or more (sometimes much more) daily looking through binoculars. The only thing more important than binoculars to me are my boots.

Last edited by Big Uncle; 11-18-2015 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 11-18-2015, 11:39 AM
  #3  
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Binos IMO given that you are pleased with your scope.

You can't shoot what you can't see; and you don't want to be using your scope to view the area !!!
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Old 11-18-2015, 12:47 PM
  #4  
Typical Buck
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Both of you make excellent points. What you say makes very good sense. Thanks!

Since I posted, I've had the thought of doing some backyard testing of that scope just to see how well it actually does in low light. I suppose I could set set up an antler mount and try to count points.
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Old 11-18-2015, 02:23 PM
  #5  
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It'll be adequate at best in low light. And you won't really know the difference until you can compare with a better scope side by side. But I agree, its probably fine for now. Honestly in my 30+yrs of hunting, I've only had a couple opportunities at deer where the light gathering ability made a difference...but its nice to have for sure.

Nikon & Leupold make very nice bino's for your budget. My money would probably go to Leupold, I have used both I just like them a little better...but both are great. 8x42 is my preference, but you could go 10x42

Then I would save up and get a new scope next year. A Leupold VX-2 3-9x40 is a great midpoint scope that won't break the bank ($300 or less).
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Old 11-19-2015, 06:42 AM
  #6  
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I'd DEFINITELY upgrade BOTH! CANNOT personally even tolerate Simmons after taking dozens of them off customers' rifles when I had my gunsmith shop over the years!
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Old 11-20-2015, 04:37 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by stalkingbear View Post
I'd DEFINITELY upgrade BOTH! CANNOT personally even tolerate Simmons after taking dozens of them off customers' rifles when I had my gunsmith shop over the years!
This one seems to do OK. Budget is a huge issue and I can make do with the scope. I'm leaning more to binoculars.
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Old 11-21-2015, 09:27 AM
  #8  
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Your hunting style should determine your decision. For me, I do very little glassing so I'd dump all my cash into a decent scope. For others, the other choice is right. In any case, buy the best you can. Then save more cash and do the other.
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Old 11-22-2015, 12:38 PM
  #9  
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I have a mid to high end scope (52 mm), but I have a better pair of binoculars (63 mm). The down side is hunting at low light, I can pick out Hogs with my binoculars, I really can't see well enough with my scope to reliably shoot.

If I had it to do again I would try for a better match. It irritates me to go form binoculars to scope, binoculars to scope, binoculars to scope and never get a good enough view in my scope to make the shot.

Nothing like blundering around in the dark looking for blood when there isn't any. I gave up on pushing the envelope, a clean miss is embarrassing. And wounded game is a downer.
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Old 11-22-2015, 01:49 PM
  #10  
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Mudderchuck, if you would turn your scope down in power until the exit pupil is 5mm or larger it'll suddenly magically become bright. you have a 52mm objective lens so as long as you keep your scope turned under 10x it'll remain as bright as it's possibly going to get. See your eyeball pupil will open to about 5mm under low light so the exit pupil of the scope (the size of the image or field of view is over 5mm it's good to go. The exit pupil is measured at the eye relief of the scope from the back of the scope to the distance your eye is. To determine exit pupil you take objective lens in MMs and divide by the power or x of the scope. It changes with the power.
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