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  #1  
Old 06-10-2002, 11:25 PM
BlueNose BlueNose is offline
 
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Location: North Bay, Ontario
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Question 4x Scopes - How far is too far?

I've read many articles where a hunter will shoot a 270 over 200 yards with a fixed 4 power scope. Jack O'Conner is a good example. Do you think these people are pushing the limits? How far is too far with a 4 power?
  #2  
Old 06-11-2002, 12:25 AM
Jack Jack is offline
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How big is the target is an important factor here. I will assume you're talking about deer sized game, rather than varmints.
IMO, 4x is enough at reasonable ranges, say, out to 300 yards. Probably more of a factor, again IMO, is position- prone? rest? standing? sitting?
  #3  
Old 06-11-2002, 08:23 AM
Dutchboy Dutchboy is offline
 
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I use a 1x3 on my Whelen, and on big game such as elk, I have no problems out to about 300 yards. That's all I need.

On my mulie rifle, I have a 3x9, and I never crank it past six in the field, EVER. I don't like the wobbly feeling I get on the higher powers. FWIW, Dutch.
  #4  
Old 06-11-2002, 08:46 AM
BlueNose BlueNose is offline
 
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Thanks guys, I personally haven't even taken a target shot at 200 yards with my 4 power, so I would never do so in a hunting situation. I'm actually only comfortable taking a shot out to 150 and only if I've got a good rest with little wind. I do have a couple of guns capable of much further, but until I practice at the longer ranges, I'm not going to shoot that far. Part of the reason for my question are because of 'discussions' I've had at hunt camp over what scopes are reasonable for the big game we hunt (deer and moose) and the terrain (relatively thick brush with cut lines giving longer range possibilities). As I'm relatively new to the scope game (always shot peep or open), I was interested in others opinions. Thanks again,

BlueNose
  #5  
Old 06-11-2002, 10:05 AM
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Rocky Raab Rocky Raab is offline
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In the past ten years or so, the trend is for hunters to use ever more powerful scopes. I've had guys wanting to buy 6-24X scopes for elk hunting. Ridiculous.

More is NOT better when it comes to magnification on rifle scopes (with the exceptions of target and long-range varmint shooting). With more power, you actually lose. You lose field of view, you lose brightness, you lose eye relief, and you lose the ability to shoot at close ranges. That last is due to the constricted field of view, loss of focus up close, and very small lateral eye position area.

The longest range you could/should shoot with any given scope has more to do with the reticle than the scope power. When the reticle appears larger than the target, that's too far.

Thick crosshairs restrict that range more than fine ones, but fine ones are harder to see in dim light. That was the whole idea behind the original duplex reticle. The fine section in the center allowed good definition at long range, while the wide sections allow a decent chance at close shots in the dusk.

O'Connor was right. A fixed 4X or 6X is fine for any reasonable shot at game animals.
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  #6  
Old 06-11-2002, 10:29 AM
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For thick brush and occasional long shots down power lines, etc. I use a low power variable on my deer rifles. The rifles I use in that kind of terrain wear either a Weaver 1-3 power, or a Leupold 1.5-5 power. Leave the scope at the lowest power ALWAYS for close shots, especially quick shooting.
When you get the chance to shoot across a clearcut, crank the scope up- you'll have enough power to see a deer or moose just fine.
  #7  
Old 06-11-2002, 11:02 AM
Dutchboy Dutchboy is offline
 
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You know, Rocky, I would figure a 6x is far too much magnification when you are prying elk out of thick timber.

A couple years ago, my father-in-law and I bumbled out of camp about a half hour before daylight, and walked down the ridge. About 5 minutes after I peeled off, he bumped a bull out of his bed. As in, he da## near kicked it....... When all was said and done, the elk was gone, and he hadn't gotten a shot off. The 4x scope didn't allow him to get "on target". It was all fur, or nothing. The next week, he put a Elite 4200 1.5x6 on his rifle.......

I asked him once how big that bull was. He said he didn't know, but the antlers reached to his ass. We hunted the rest of the season for that big boy, but no luck. FWIW, Dutch.
  #8  
Old 06-11-2002, 12:10 PM
Brant Buster Brant Buster is offline
 
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How far through your scope can you see Bluenose?

And how fine and how clear is the reticle in your scope?

These are the factors that will determine whether a 4X scope is enough to meet your needs. Some really good advice has been given here by the previous posters.

If you don't mind looking at a somewhat expensive scope, take a look a Leupold Vari X III 1.5X5X. I really love this scope! At 100 yards on 1.5X it has a field of view of 66 feet - phenominal! And it cranks up to nearly five power, although a little shy of that.

Acquiring your target even if its only walking slowly is sometimes a real chore in getting a shot, especially in low light. This is a great scope.
  #9  
Old 06-11-2002, 01:29 PM
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Rocky Raab Rocky Raab is offline
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I agree, Dutch. I wouldn't recommend 6X for deep timber, either. The question was about how far not how close, so I didn't delve into the dense timber question too much.

The scope on my woods elk gun is a 1.5-4.5X, if that serves to illustrate anything. I keep it on 1.5, too! But my coyote-calling rifle has a fixed 6X. That's a longer-range proposition - usually.
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  #10  
Old 06-11-2002, 01:47 PM
BlueNose BlueNose is offline
 
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Brantbuster,
Last year I was hunting with a poor quality 4 power scope that I was really unhappy with. It was clear and I could see well in perfect weather, but as soon as the rain or snow started, it was only a matter of time until I couldn't see. After that hunting season I actually picked up a Bushnell Elite 3200 in 1.5x - 4.5x at a pretty good price. I haven't hunted with it yet, but this spring I was sighting it in, and I'm pretty happy with it. It seems to be very crisp and clear. I've always wanted a Leupold, but they're a little out of my price range.

I'm happy to hear the endorsements for variables in a similar power range to my scope. I haven't really read a lot of posts in this forum about the lower powered scopes on rifles, but the first time I put a 1.5 times to my eye, I was sold for the up close and personal deer and moose hunting I do up here in Ontario.

Guess I should probably find a good shooting range to get some practice in at the longer distances (200 plus) in case I ever get the chance to head out to Alberta after Elk.

BlueNose
  #11  
Old 06-11-2002, 08:50 PM
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Wahnie Wahnie is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rocky Raab
I've had guys wanting to buy 6-24X scopes for elk hunting. Ridiculous.
My father is one of those guys.

He just bought a Trashco Target 10-40X50mm for his .30-378 WBY, his deer/elk rifle. He complains about how small 2" circles look at 100 yards. LOL.

I agree with everyone on here. Its all a matter of preference and where you hunt. I personally, never use anything over 6X, even for varmints. $0.02
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  #12  
Old 06-12-2002, 09:20 AM
Roman Knoll Roman Knoll is offline
 
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If you want good sights for brush hunting for deer+ size game, get yourself an Aimpoint. That's what I do in my "neck of woods". Most of people would shoot accurately enough for up to 100 yards.

I hunt moose in Sweden. In my place the forrest is dense and clearings small. Running shots quite often. Four power scope gives you lot of distadvantages in such scenarios.

Roman
  #13  
Old 06-12-2002, 09:30 AM
Dutchboy Dutchboy is offline
 
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Not legal

Roman, in Idaho, we aren't allowed any electrical devices on our guns while big game hunting, which leaves out the red dot sights, aimpoints, etc.

Aside from that, I'm pretty sure that on a 10 day pack-in hunt, I would not want anything that needs a battery on my gun. With my luck, it would drain, and I'd be out of luck. JMO, Dutch.
  #14  
Old 06-14-2002, 06:55 AM
Roman Knoll Roman Knoll is offline
 
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Much depends on the model. The only make I consider useful for rifles is Aimpoint. Iíve tested models from other manufactures and found that they will do on pistols/revolvers but never on rifles.

New Aimpoint models have simply incredible battery life. I have their older models too, on rifles and a new one on my hunting revolver. It never happened that any of my Aimpoints run out of juice during whole hunting season. In Sweden, we hunt in very rough terrain and sometimes in appalling weather conditions. I never had anyone of my Aimpoints letting me down.
All my rifles have open sights (or QD peep sights) just in case. Actually, a scope may get damaged or loose zero easier than Aimpoint

Roman
  #15  
Old 06-16-2002, 01:33 AM
gafrycanada gafrycanada is offline
 
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
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BlueNose,

You're gonna love the Elite 3200. I bought one last year in 3-9x40 and hunted with it last fall. It gathers tons of light and has great clarity for the price range. I was able to get mine with the 3-2-1 reticle and it is great for getting on target in a hurry. It's like the duplex but has an intermediate step down in reticle thickness in between. I didn't have the opportunity to try out the Rainguard as it was sunny and over 20 deg C in October 2 hours NorthWest of Edmonton if you can believe that. Not that I'm hoping for rain this year but I sure would like to see how it works under those conditions.
 

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