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Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle #8149092 01/30/21 03:28 PM
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Was never really sure what magnification is best practice when sighting in a rifle or confirming zero before season at 100 yds. I assume some of this will come down to personal preference, but just a general understanding of low, middle, or maxed out.

Personally, when deer hunting over a feeder at 100ish yards, i'm very rarely cranked up beyond 6-7x when taking a shot. Is this the same approach i should take at the range, or go higher/lower? Heck, maybe it doesn't even matter, but something i always kind of thought about, and was curious to hear from some folks on their approach and reasoning.

Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: TijuanaTom] #8149113 01/30/21 03:44 PM
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Your sight in should not change at all with changes to the power level of the scope, if it does you have a scope problem. Sight in with it at the power level you can see the target best with. If you want to verify with your favorite power level go for it and or sight in with that power level.

Last edited by kmon1; 01/30/21 03:46 PM.

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Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: TijuanaTom] #8149119 01/30/21 03:51 PM
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It's a topic that's been thrown around several times before with never full agreement. I prefer a higher magnification when sighting in a rifle and lower setting when using it in the field. There's no question a higher magnification makes it easier to see movement of the cross hairs, which aids in making sure the shooting rest is solid. However, a lower magnification works better in the field because the excessive movement created with a higher magnification plays with the mind and muscles. I like to use the analogy of driving down the highway and keeping your vehicle centered in the lane. A lower magnification equates to staying focused well down the highway rather than near the front of the vehicle.

After setting the scope with a high magnification, I remove the rear sandbags and set the scope to a lower magnification to make shots with only a forearm rest or even no rest at all (free hand). This also helps test the accuracy of rifle and scope as well as the shooter.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 01/30/21 03:54 PM.

Dan

Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: TijuanaTom] #8149155 01/30/21 04:23 PM
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You know, with all the fixed power 6X I hunt with, it's never a problem deciding!!! smile

Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: Blank] #8149235 01/30/21 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Blank
You know, with all the fixed power 6X I hunt with, it's never a problem deciding!!! smile

X2


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Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: TijuanaTom] #8149394 01/30/21 09:23 PM
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Cranked to 9X at all times, I prefer highest magnification. Staying steady, good breathing and not anticipating shot and letting trigger squeeze off are keys to good shooting for me.

Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: TijuanaTom] #8149428 01/30/21 10:06 PM
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I like it on high magnification or close to it

Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: kmon1] #8149445 01/30/21 10:19 PM
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The only problem I have with low power sighting in is that you can’t ‘see small’. Low power doesn’t allow you, (unless you’re a Hawkeye!) to distinguish between 1/4 to 1/2, or 1 to 2 or even 3 to 5 inches depending on the power and your own eyesight. If you can’t see small, it’s very difficult to shoot small and realize your rifles capabilities.


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Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: TijuanaTom] #8149533 01/30/21 11:52 PM
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On high the whole time, always have done it that way.

Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: TijuanaTom] #8149680 01/31/21 02:12 AM
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I use the highest one possible using the side focus aka paralax adjustment for focus. Works every time.

Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: P_102] #8149683 01/31/21 02:13 AM
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Originally Posted by P_102
The only problem I have with low power sighting in is that you can’t ‘see small’. Low power doesn’t allow you, (unless you’re a Hawkeye!) to distinguish between 1/4 to 1/2, or 1 to 2 or even 3 to 5 inches depending on the power and your own eyesight. If you can’t see small, it’s very difficult to shoot small and realize your rifles capabilities.


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Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: P_102] #8149782 01/31/21 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by P_102
The only problem I have with low power sighting in is that you can’t ‘see small’. Low power doesn’t allow you, (unless you’re a Hawkeye!) to distinguish between 1/4 to 1/2, or 1 to 2 or even 3 to 5 inches depending on the power and your own eyesight. If you can’t see small, it’s very difficult to shoot small and realize your rifles capabilities.


Great explanation! Simple

Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: P_102] #8149804 01/31/21 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by P_102
The only problem I have with low power sighting in is that you can’t ‘see small’. Low power doesn’t allow you, (unless you’re a Hawkeye!) to distinguish between 1/4 to 1/2, or 1 to 2 or even 3 to 5 inches depending on the power and your own eyesight. If you can’t see small, it’s very difficult to shoot small and realize your rifles capabilities.


I agree with this 100%.

From my own experience, I typically cannot shoot anything tighter than what the crosshairs or dot is covering and on lower magnification, they will cover more of the target and hence the group sizes tend to be larger as a result. Same optic, higher magnification, same target and distance and the group sizes tend to be smaller...because the crosshairs/dot are covering less of the target.


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Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: TijuanaTom] #8149843 01/31/21 04:51 AM
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I keep mine all the way up to have more precise shooting at night for varmints. For deer I keep them all the way up to better judge the antlers.


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Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: TijuanaTom] #8149849 01/31/21 05:05 AM
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Leaving a scope set to it's highest magnification equates to using a fixed power scope. Fixed-power scopes are still available and some folks actually prefer them, even though most models are 6X and below. That in itself carries some meaning when it comes to how much magnification is a must in the deer woods. Fixed power scopes also have fewer parts and lenses, which makes them more reliable.

When in the field, the only time when I turn my scopes to their highest magnification is when I need to make sure a distant buck is legal. Most of the time I keep them on 6X, but will occasionally turn them down to 4X when hunting thicker woods, or even 3X at dusk and dawn since light transmission decreases with higher magnification.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 01/31/21 05:30 AM.

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Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: TijuanaTom] #8149967 01/31/21 02:41 PM
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Mostly, I hunt the edge of the woods. Call me a ‘beanfield hunter’ without the bean field. I sight the guns in at max power, which is usually 14 or 16 power. I hunt at 8 power, unless I’m in the woods.

I have accidentally left my 220 scope on 20 power when I went coyote hunting. The coyote was maybe 50 yards from me when I got him in the scope. Well, I got some of him in the scope, but don’t know what part, but it was brown. That one got away.


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Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: TijuanaTom] #8150012 01/31/21 03:18 PM
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I will zero a scope at maximum magnification. Aim small, hit small.

When the rifle and scope are on standby, magnification is turned to the lowest setting, focus is set for 100 yards. Turreted scopes are sitting on 0 and 0. Find what needs to be shot, turn magnification up as needed, dial up if I want to. After the shot, reset to lowest magnification and 0, 0. (I never dial wind)

Also, mag in, bolt back, selector on fire for bolt actions. ARs are chambered and on safe.


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Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: Texas Dan] #8150828 02/01/21 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Texas Dan
Leaving a scope set to it's highest magnification equates to using a fixed power scope. Fixed-power scopes are still available and some folks actually prefer them, even though most models are 6X and below. That in itself carries some meaning when it comes to how much magnification is a must in the deer woods. Fixed power scopes also have fewer parts and lenses, which makes them more reliable.

When in the field, the only time when I turn my scopes to their highest magnification is when I need to make sure a distant buck is legal. Most of the time I keep them on 6X, but will occasionally turn them down to 4X when hunting thicker woods, or even 3X at dusk and dawn since light transmission decreases with higher magnification.


If you buy quality optics you won't have to worry about them being reliable.


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Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: FiremanJG] #8151873 02/02/21 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by FiremanJG
I will zero a scope at maximum magnification. Aim small, hit small.

When the rifle and scope are on standby, magnification is turned to the lowest setting, focus is set for 100 yards. Turreted scopes are sitting on 0 and 0. Find what needs to be shot, turn magnification up as needed, dial up if I want to. After the shot, reset to lowest magnification and 0, 0. (I never dial wind)

Also, mag in, bolt back, selector on fire for bolt actions. ARs are chambered and on safe.

How can you be a long range shooter and not dial for wind? Wind is the nemisus for all shooters.

Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: TijuanaTom] #8151890 02/02/21 01:21 AM
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Holding over....instead of dialing.


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Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: Son of a Blitch] #8151899 02/02/21 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Son of a Blitch
Holding over....instead of dialing.

Kentucky windage (hold over) equates to injured game and not a well places shot. If you have the tools and systems call the shot to ensure you can make the shot, use it.

Re: Scope Magnification when Sighting Rifle [Re: TijuanaTom] #8151948 02/02/21 02:13 AM
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Dialing for wind can be an exercise in futility as it changes too frequently. Faster and just as accurate to hold and change when needed.


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