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scope choice help for deer hunting #2804065 12/02/11 07:30 PM
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Nathan at Fork Offline OP
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Im trading a Leupold gold ring Benchrest 24x scope I dont need and have been offered a bunch of different scopes. There are three Im interested in. Ill be mounting it on a 270 and my shots range from 50 yards to 375 yards with the average shot between 125-250. Will be used mainly for deer hunting and sometimes pigs. Here are the three scopes Im looking at.

Leupold Vari-x II 3-9x40 --even trade
Nikon Buckmaster 3-9x40 plus $100 cash to me
Leupold Mark 4 AR 6-18x40 and an extra $100 from me

The 6-18 is from what I read, marletedd towards the AR platform with a BDC knob for a 55gr 223 bullet. I was told you can get another knob from Leupold for different loads, but not positive the different loads are other 223's or if I could get one for 130gr 270. Also not sure if the 6x lowest setting is too much.


The other two are 3-9 which Im not sure if the 9x would be enough for the few times Id be taking shots in the 300-400 yard range.

Any input would be helpful. Thanks.



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Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: Nathan at Fork] #2804102 12/02/11 07:45 PM
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I've got a 6-18x Leupold on my .270. In my opinion it's probably the best choice for any range to 400 yards and beyond. 6x is not too much even up close.

Go to the Leupold website and check out their offer to customize and build any turret for any rifle/ammo combo.

The Mark 4 would be my choice. Or you could just sell your scope outright and buy a Zeiss, Vortex, or other quality optic of your choice. Good luck.



Mike
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Hunt near Freer
Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: LandPirate] #2804751 12/03/11 12:01 AM
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I got the Nikon pro staff on my 270 and take shots like that with breeze I don't think you could go wrong a Nikon I shoot my once at the beginning of the season it never gets nocked off


Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: Anew] #2804782 12/03/11 12:18 AM
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My prostaff has been deadly accurate since I mounted it 3 years ago and never had to adjust it.


Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: Scope_em&Smoke_em] #2804788 12/03/11 12:22 AM
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I also use the 150g


Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: Anew] #2804809 12/03/11 12:31 AM
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Might hold off a bit, a new Leupold should be hitting the shelves shortly to replace that dang faulty uncovered cds turret.


Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: rifleman] #2804945 12/03/11 01:53 AM
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between the 3 you listed go with the Leupold 3-9 x 40 VX II ( for a deer hunting rifle)


Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: ctonsmitty] #2805092 12/03/11 03:06 AM
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I have a 5-15x50 Bushnel elite that I used to shoot a buck last year at 6 yards because I rattled him in and that's how close he was before I could make him stop. I had no problem making a very quick target acquisition even at that extreme close range, so I don't think you will have any issues with the 6x even though it's a 40mm objective instead of a 50mm. As far as 9x at 300+ yards I would highly discourage it. My feeders are 115 and 265 yards on one stand and my other stand I'm hunting a large open area off a point where deer cross. Most of my shots are 250-350 yards and I really really like that 15x to make precise shots at those distances. At 9x your cross hairs are just too big to know exactly where you are aiming and I believe the extra zoom helps you hold to a tighter area and make a better shot. I own Nikon, Bushnel, a low end Zeiss, Burris and Leupold and everything being equal, you can't go wrong with Nikon but I'd suggest the Leupold and spending $100. I think you would be much happier, plus I've never regretted spending more on optics but I have definetly regretted spending not enough before



A mature buck might be a deer, but you can bet it's a totally different animal
Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: Bwana83] #2805112 12/03/11 03:14 AM
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Thanks guys, I believe I will go with the 6-18x. If I dont love it, I can always put it up for trade or sale. But, After reading the replies, I believe it will work for what I need. I called Leupold and they did say they could send me a bdc turret for my 270 load so thaat should be alright, although, I may just not wworry about that as Im used to holding over at long distances and havent had a problem with doing that before, Thanks guys!



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Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: Nathan at Fork] #2805126 12/03/11 03:20 AM
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3x9 would be much better for hunting with a larger field of view at close ranges for a follow up shots if needed. Also with higher magnification you lose light transmission even with a 50mm objective. I would only go with the higher magnification if you want to target shoot. I hunt with a 1x4 scope out to 200 yards and if I know the shots will be farther I use a different gun with a 3x9. It all takes practice, you have got to know the gun, your limitations and conditions that you will be hunting in.


Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: Nathan at Fork] #2805141 12/03/11 03:28 AM
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I think the big power scope is a totally wrong choice. Most guys shoot at too much power anyway and cranking up scope power only makes it worse. The Leupold is a rear focal plane optic. Eye relief will change with power and the greater power difference the more this will vary. In addition you'll have to adjust the scope for parallax over 200 yards and you'll have to know the range. In short, point of impact will change and it will do so dramatically with big changes in power. Further if you're using a Mildot, it will only be useable for a specific power, usually at the highest power. You won't be able to use the dot for holdover/holdunder and it won't be fast. 9x is more than plenty for up to 400 yards and chances are in field condition, even in a stand from a cold barrel, this is beyond the consistent abilities of most shooters. At greater than 12 power you'll also be picking up your heartbeat and the higher the power is cranked up the worse the effect will be.


Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: quartierleblanc] #2805548 12/03/11 02:27 PM
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Partner...I cull shoot some ranches, and work on a lot of rifles.
I have never seen a scope I needed to identify a large buck...They jump at you with your raw eye..

I did mount a 3x9 Mark 4 last yr on a 222 for Doc, and was impressed with the glass...Lot more scope than rifle..

My bud and I hunt with a 30-378 Wtby SAKO, and Rem 700 308 both
with Burris 312 XTR Ill 3x12 mil dot scopes. We have both taken
deer and prairie dogs, and coyotes over 500yds with each...no problem...We also hunt with 3x9 mk 2 Leu, 3x9 Zeiss, Conquest &
the game bio has a 4x14Zeiss on his 25-06....used as an alternative to a binocular may serve some function, but as hunting glass they are all good...DD


Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: quartierleblanc] #2805769 12/03/11 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted By: quartierleblanc
I think the big power scope is a totally wrong choice. Most guys shoot at too much power anyway and cranking up scope power only makes it worse. The Leupold is a rear focal plane optic. Eye relief will change with power and the greater power difference the more this will vary. In addition you'll have to adjust the scope for parallax over 200 yards and you'll have to know the range. In short, point of impact will change and it will do so dramatically with big changes in power. Further if you're using a Mildot, it will only be useable for a specific power, usually at the highest power. You won't be able to use the dot for holdover/holdunder and it won't be fast. 9x is more than plenty for up to 400 yards and chances are in field condition, even in a stand from a cold barrel, this is beyond the consistent abilities of most shooters. At greater than 12 power you'll also be picking up your heartbeat and the higher the power is cranked up the worse the effect will be.

Not sure what you even mean by people shoot at too much power, but very simply put the bigger the power the smaller spot you are aiming at. Ever heard "aim small, miss small"? As far as eye relief and parallax, I'm not sure you have ever used a descent quality of scope if you had either of these issues. I own a half dozen scopes in the $400-600 range and none of them have these issues. Set the parallax to 200,400 or infinity and it will focus at any range and point of impact will absolutely not change at all. As far as the mildot even if it only works at the highest power, how fast are you trying to shoot at 300, 400 yards or farther? If your in a hurry you're not going to hit it anyway, specially at those distances. If your picking up heartbeat at 12x with a cross hair that covers a button, what do you think it's gonna look like when a cross hair at 8x that covers a baseball is bouncing around??



A mature buck might be a deer, but you can bet it's a totally different animal
Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: Bwana83] #2805827 12/03/11 04:52 PM
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Huh? The aim small saying is not much more than a nice saying. As far as scope choices most of my rifles sport Swaro's or US Optics.
But lets get back to basics. Image and reproducability are two different animals. Parallax is set on most commercial scopes at about 100 yards, some at 200. But you still have to adjust them and if you can't you have a cheap scope. Parallax is always a problem at shorter range and longer range. How big a problem is how the scope is built.
The image for most scopes is optimized at a specific power, with the sharper images at lower power. Image is determined by objective size and light transmission the latter which is directly related to the optical glass. Swaro light transmission will be in the 95%+. Cheaper scopes are in the 90% range. Crank up the power, the less light transmission you get. It's that simple.
Then you have problem with eye relief which is directly proportional to the exit pupil. The greater the difference in power the greater the optimal eye relief. You probably don't know how to figure out exit pupil and how it affects image especially in low light but I'll do it for you. The exit pupil for the particular scope noted is 2.5. at 16X. Anything less than 4.5 to 5 is considered pretty dismal for low light.
Further there is the focal plane problem and where the reticle is placed in the focal plane. This a rear focal plane scope and unless you heavily overengineer it like in the high end Zeiss or S&B the image will alter in relationship to the reticle.
All of this adds up and it mainly adds up in the under 100 yard and over 300 yard ranges and especially at higher powers. The vast majority of commercial rifle scopes sold for deer hunting except for the high end ones ($1K or more ) are designed to function within these parameters.
Ever wonder why military sniper scopes were always fixed power and front focal plane? Well now you have a good idea of why
If you don't believe me that shooting at lower power might be better ( I like 6X ) then do an experiment. Have a shooter run 5 round strings on a High Power match course at 200, 300 and 600 yards with max mag on his scope. You can even let him/her cheat and use a bench. Then try the same thing after zeroing at 6X. The results will be surprising. BTW a decent HP shooter will blow the doors off the scope shooter using NM open sights.

For a 270 deer rifle the 3X9 is the way to go.


Last edited by quartierleblanc; 12/03/11 05:12 PM.
Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: quartierleblanc] #2806526 12/03/11 10:24 PM
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Ahhh a military man, gotcha. I came to kick rear and chew bubble gum and Im fresh out of bubble gum is a nice saying, aim small and miss small is something to live by while shooting firearms or archery alike. Specially if you want to go from an average shooter to a very proficient one. Not even sure why you brought up several of the things you brought up but every "issue" you speak of is so minute and unnoticeable while shooting a deer or any other animal that is not an issue at all. And since we are talking about "figuring out", let me do the same for you. A typical objective lens is around 100mm long and set for parallax @100m (we'll use metric to keep it simple). Say you shoot at 500m without adjusting and have it set at 15 power....(100/500)/100mmx15 would be an error of .03 mm or about 3/4 of an inch. Like I said before and like your other "issues", not an issue at all, especially when this is an extreme case.



A mature buck might be a deer, but you can bet it's a totally different animal
Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: Bwana83] #2806573 12/03/11 10:53 PM
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4 or the most 6 power. Are you deer hunting or target shooting? You will probably have a buck at 50' and have it on 12 power.I have never set a variable at more than 6 power while hunting. Try to find a running deer if you have the power set too high. Good luck


Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: don k] #2806578 12/03/11 10:56 PM
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it's no big deal if you're used to it.


Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: rifleman] #2807785 12/04/11 02:33 PM
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Bwana,

You're wrong on so many levels it might take all day to correct. Only one statement you said is golden. And that is for most people it won't matter except with the following caveats of using a proper scope and reasonable magnification on the shot.
Remember what I said about parallax? It really matters at short ranges and long ranges and besides there are many things involved in parallax error including exit pupil and the numbers get very small when a scope is jacked up to 16 power.
I'm not sure what you mean talking about reticle size growing because I can assure you that in rear focal plane scopes the reticle does not grow in size.
I bet you didn't know that the record 50BMG sniper kill was made with a 10X scope? Guess that blows the aim small miss small saying.
You might even be wondering how the Canadian sniper did that considering his reticle was covering 25 inches and it wasn't luck. This one I don't usually give away for free but consider this my Christmas gift. He wasn't using the center of the reticle as the aiming point he was using the JUNCTION of the reticle. It's a neat trick and works like a charm. You're not going to read this one in many places.
I'm also curious about how you don't think using a mildot is fast. Of course for most people using a mildot is not necessary. If you know the ranges and have range cards set it's very fast. With a 308 zero at 200 and use one mil low at 300 and 2 mils low at 400. Split the difference at the 250 and 350 ranges and it will usually get you in a 6 inch circle.
Also I don't think any precision shooting instructor in the country is going to agree with you aim small theory and none would support high magnification for field conditions.
The scope in question is really designed for the AR platform with a varmit hunter in mind. These guys are shooting a small target and often moving target but a talented and smart shooter is going to use the higher mags to spot but will zero and shoot somewhat lower especially is he knows he has a rear focal plane optic.
For the 270 the Leupold 3X9 is the way to go. It does what it needs to within the parameters of what it's designed for. The other one doesn't.


Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: Nathan at Fork] #2807796 12/04/11 02:39 PM
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Go with the Nikon. It's an outstanding and high quality product easily comparable to the Leupold (in my opinion) and an extra C-note in the pocket is always a good thing. texas



always room for another buddy!



Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: wrknonit] #2807808 12/04/11 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted By: wrknonit
Go with the Nikon. It's an outstanding and high quality product easily comparable to the Leupold (in my opinion) and an extra C-note in the pocket is always a good thing. texas


I agree. You get a lot more performance/dollar with a Nikon.

IMO, Zeiss and other German-made scopes are like Rolex watches. People want to own them just for the name. A Nikon Monarch or Buckmaster has practically the same light-gathering performance (I've checked the specs) for a LOT less money.



"Some people will never like you because your spirit irritates their demons."
Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: Texas Dan] #2807972 12/04/11 03:49 PM
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I had some extra money in my pocket from a card game the other night so I splurged and bought a 4x14 by 44 zeiss conquest scope. I was amazed of how much later i could sit in the evenings and still see through this scope when i couldnt see deer with my binos. worth the extra money to me.


Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: matej] #2808010 12/04/11 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted By: matej
I had some extra money in my pocket from a card game the other night so I splurged and bought a 4x14 by 44 zeiss conquest scope. I was amazed of how much later i could sit in the evenings and still see through this scope when i couldnt see deer with my binos. worth the extra money to me.


+1



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Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: csmith936] #2808507 12/04/11 08:20 PM
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+ 2


Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: glasshole] #2809064 12/05/11 12:04 AM
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I agree about the Zeiss glass and late evening viewing...they
are very good...Even straight 10 older Zeiss are great..also
somewhat more pricey than a Nikon or Mark 2...I had a Mark 3
3x10 on a 338 that was quite nice..I think it was about $465
whsle when I got it several yrs ago....I gave one of my sons
a Zeiss 3x9 conquest that has worked quite well also..about$
400...Suggest you get the one you are happy with....You are
the person who has to be pleased...DD


Re: scope choice help for deer hunting [Re: Don Dial] #2809334 12/05/11 01:27 AM
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Whatever scope you choose, remember that putting an expensive scope atop your rifle will do nothing to improve your shooting accuracy. That only comes with long and repeated practice.

As I heard a hunting guide once put it...

"When a guy shows up with a beautiful rifle and expensive scope, the hunt will most likely include a lot of cussing and missed opportunities. However, when a guy shows up with a well-worn gun and fixed-power scope, there will be meat to pack."




"Some people will never like you because your spirit irritates their demons."
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