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fixed power scopes #7315315 10/15/18 08:52 PM
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garyrapp55 Offline OP
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I was at Fossil Pointe yesterday shooting with a friend and he mentioned upgrading from the Nikon P223 he currently has to a fixed power scope of around 12x. It got me to thinking, I run my scope at 15x (max mag.) most if not all the time. If I were to get a fixed power scope of say 20x, what would be the disadvantage compared to going with variable 5x20? I imagine I wouldn be running the variable all the way up anyway. I feel it should be mentioned this scope would be for LR only.

Re: fixed power scopes [Re: garyrapp55] #7315317 10/15/18 08:54 PM
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Field of view/target acquisition.

Thatís the main reason to have a low power option. And itís a big one in most applications.
Maybe not for LR only if youíre not hunting but others can speak to that better than me.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: fixed power scopes [Re: garyrapp55] #7315321 10/15/18 09:00 PM
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Some things right off the top of my head;

Eye relief is often times shorter on the highest power.
The Eye box is much more sensitive, meaning your head position needs to be perfect of the FOV will black out.
Aberrations are much more apparent.
Due to the increased size, the amount of travel can be limited.

These are side affects caused by both fixed and variable power. With variable powers, you can dial the magnification back slightly to be more forgiving. However the physics will not allow for that on a fixed power.


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Re: fixed power scopes [Re: garyrapp55] #7315325 10/15/18 09:02 PM
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I still feel like a fixed high power scope will limit you somewhere down the road. That is unless you have PLENTY of guns. I wouldnít want the most accurate rifle I have to be otherwise useless.

Re: fixed power scopes [Re: garyrapp55] #7315335 10/15/18 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted By: garyrapp55
I feel it should be mentioned this scope would be for LR only.


I have a fixed 10X on a 308 I use for target shooting. No disadvantage for that purpose.


Scott

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Re: fixed power scopes [Re: garyrapp55] #7315357 10/15/18 09:30 PM
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Scott, that's half of the subject posts.
I agree with you that 10X is exceptional and it is something I have run, but I wouldn't rin anything higher than 12X in a fixed power for the reasons aforementioned.


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Re: fixed power scopes [Re: garyrapp55] #7315359 10/15/18 09:31 PM
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One limiting factor of a high magnification fixed power, other than whatís already been listed , is the ability to dial down to combat mirage. On a fixed 10 or 12x, this may not be a big deal, but when you start getting up into the 20x range, mirage is going to kick your butt when conditions are right. This directly applies to LR target shooting, if thatís the only discipline the scope will be used for. Thereís a multitude of other negatives when you start talking about hunting. Again, Iím specifically talking about high magnification, 16x and up.

Re: fixed power scopes [Re: cblackall] #7315376 10/15/18 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted By: cblackall
One limiting factor of a high magnification fixed power, other than whatís already been listed , is the ability to dial down to combat mirage. On a fixed 10 or 12x, this may not be a big deal, but when you start getting up into the 20x range, mirage is going to kick your butt when conditions are right. This directly applies to LR target shooting, if thatís the only discipline the scope will be used for. Thereís a multitude of other negatives when you start talking about hunting. Again, Iím specifically talking about high magnification, 16x and up.


Yes, mirage in certain situations is going to be brutal.


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Re: fixed power scopes [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks] #7315985 10/16/18 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted By: QuitShootinYoungBucks
Originally Posted By: cblackall
One limiting factor of a high magnification fixed power, other than whatís already been listed , is the ability to dial down to combat mirage. On a fixed 10 or 12x, this may not be a big deal, but when you start getting up into the 20x range, mirage is going to kick your butt when conditions are right. This directly applies to LR target shooting, if thatís the only discipline the scope will be used for. Thereís a multitude of other negatives when you start talking about hunting. Again, Iím specifically talking about high magnification, 16x and up.


Yes, mirage in certain situations is going to be brutal.


Agreed!


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Re: fixed power scopes [Re: garyrapp55] #7316285 10/16/18 05:13 PM
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The disadvantages are mentioned in previous posts.

Some advantages are:
Can be brighter than similar quality variable due to less lenses
Can be more durable than similar quality variables due to less internal components
Reticle sub-tensions do not change. This can be accomplished with a SFP variable by leaving it set on one power or using a FFP scope
They generally weigh less than a similar power variable
They generally cost less than a similar quality variable

That said I prefer a good quality variable.


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Re: fixed power scopes [Re: garyrapp55] #7316873 10/17/18 01:29 AM
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I used to run an SWFA 16x, and now run an SWFA HD 5-20. Both are great.

Shooting off a bench, the 16x wasn't much different. The extra 4x at the top end was nice, but the better quality glass was the biggest difference - enhances your ability to see misses at distance. And the 5-20 has a more forgiving eyebox than the 16x did, although neither was bad in that respect.

When you get into anything where you're going back and forth between bench/prone and positional, you really need to be able to dial back for the positional stuff. Eye position is too sensitive at high mag to run at 20x or higher when you're on a rooftop or offhand or whatever.

Also, you need variable mag for sure if you're hunting, for obvious reasons.

Re: fixed power scopes [Re: garyrapp55] #7316970 10/17/18 02:35 AM
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The variable scopes now are much lighter and more reliable than they were before so I always go with a variable now.my primary use is for hunting and I like to be able to dial down for better field of view or close range shooting or for better light in low light conditions. I also like to dial up to be sure that spike that i want to cull doesn't have a small 3rd point that is hard to see.

Re: fixed power scopes [Re: patriot07] #7317285 10/17/18 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted By: patriot07
I run an SWFA HD 5-20. The better quality glass enhances your ability to see misses at distance.

I leaning toward this option as well, for the stated reason. I have the 3-15 and can't see and correct for misses.

Thank you guys for enlightening me on the fixed power scopes. I have only ever had 1 and it is a 4x on my 10/22. That's apples and oranges when considering LR scopes. I'm back to courting the 5-20.

Re: fixed power scopes [Re: garyrapp55] #7317442 10/17/18 03:10 PM
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The low light advantages of lower power/more field of view can be a big deal for hunting also. At my place every minute I can gain at the end of the day could someday make the difference between killing "The One" or not. It may already have, because my old scope just couldn't compare to my new one.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: fixed power scopes [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #7317829 10/17/18 07:56 PM
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Last edited by Smokey Bear; 10/18/18 10:33 AM.

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Re: fixed power scopes [Re: garyrapp55] #7318003 10/17/18 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted By: garyrapp55
I feel it should be mentioned this scope would be for LR only.


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Re: fixed power scopes [Re: garyrapp55] #7318185 10/18/18 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted By: garyrapp55
Originally Posted By: patriot07
I run an SWFA HD 5-20. The better quality glass enhances your ability to see misses at distance.

I leaning toward this option as well, for the stated reason. I have the 3-15 and can't see and correct for misses.

Thank you guys for enlightening me on the fixed power scopes. I have only ever had 1 and it is a 4x on my 10/22. That's apples and oranges when considering LR scopes. I'm back to courting the 5-20.
I've tried cheap stuff (PST Gen 2, XTR II, fixed power SWFA, SWFA 3-15, etc.) and more expensive stuff (Minox ZP5, NF ATACR, Razor Gen 2, Vortex AMG, Steiner T5Xi, Athlon Cronus, etc.) and keep trying to convince myself to replace the SWFA HD, but I just keep coming back to it. It's much better glass than anything cheaper, and you have to spend double the money to get anything appreciably better.

If it had a zero stop and a slightly less outdated reticle, I'd never look for anything else, ever.

Re: fixed power scopes [Re: patriot07] #7318290 10/18/18 03:40 AM
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You're right Brad.

I will never sell my SS 5-20. Sure I have an ATACR that is "more scope", but the SS 5-20X will always have a home with me. It is ole reliable.

I has lived on my LR-308 through the summer, and not been used. Well, as soon as hog sign showed up again, that rifle and scope got pressed into service. I think it was about April since I placed them in the safe, so of course I checked zero last week. It needed to move a whopping .1 Mil down, and .1 Mil left. That was probably due to a fouled barrel sitting for 5 months and a weather change, no fault of the scope. I even put a new battery in the illumination just to make sure it was ready for winter.


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Re: fixed power scopes [Re: FiremanJG] #7318352 10/18/18 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
Originally Posted By: garyrapp55
I feel it should be mentioned this scope would be for LR only.


Previous post deleted.

Sorry for the off topic reply OP. Get the Variable.


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Re: fixed power scopes [Re: garyrapp55] #7318449 10/18/18 01:15 PM
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I have never hunted with a fixed power scope. On the second lease I hunted on for over 15 years due to my stand location a LONG shot was 120 yards normal was less than 50 and most were 30-40. I shot a 3-9 variable scope and I never took it off 9 power, even at 30 yards I never once had a problem with finding my target or focus etc.


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Re: fixed power scopes [Re: garyrapp55] #7318461 10/18/18 01:25 PM
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I'm interested in fixed power for different reasons than the OP. In an earlier reply it was mentioned that a fixed power gathers more light than a variable due to light passing through fewer lenses. So, for the sake of discussion and confirming what I hope is true, consider that all things are equal; a variable set on 6x will gather less light and provide a lesser quality image than a fixed 6x? If yes, then would it be true that light gathering and image quality would be identical when compared to fixed 3x, 4x and 6x? I'm pretty sure I'll be putting a single shot .308 (Henry) together and want a fixed 6x on it but want all the light gathering capability I can get.


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Re: fixed power scopes [Re: garyrapp55] #7319562 10/19/18 01:30 PM
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Theoretically its true but there are other things like glass quality (coatings), objective size (exit pupil) that have an impact on light gathering as well. Go with a 42 mm or larger objective to allow for 7mm or larger exit pupil. Get the best quality glass you can afford and you'll be happy.


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