My high powered rifles that are pure hunting rifles carry fixed power Weaver K6 scopes. My varmint rifles that are made to be shot from benches wear adjustable power scopes up to 36X. My carry around varmint guns wear 3x9 or 4x12 variables. I will except a less expensive scope on a varmint gun because varmints are normally hunted here in bright sunny conditions. Big game are normally hunted at sun up and sun down. The better optics really show their stuff in low light conditions. Without knowing what you are hunting or under what conditions you are hunting it would be hard to recommend a scope for you. DR
My rifle for New England deer hunting has a 3-9x40, because my shots could range from 30-ish yards in woods to 300 yards across a cornfield. Nearly all of that was from a stationary position in a tree stand or a blind. If I did a lot of still hunting, I'd choose either a fixed, low-power scope or a red dot to keep things light and compact.
In my experience, adjustable objective scopes are only really necessary with air rifles, due to their limited range and the need for more precision. For hunting, that's just one more adjustment to fiddle with that can distract you from the shot you need to take NOW. One of my air rifles has an AO scope and the other doesn't, and even when trying to nail the squirrel's head at 30-40 yards the AO didn't seem to improve my effectiveness. But the Field Target airgunners swear by 'em.
I like Leupold really well and a couple of rifles currently wear them. Have a nice Burris variable power target scope with adjustable objective on a .220 Swift. Also still enjoy using various scopes from yesteryear such as Lyman All-Americans (3 rifles wear them), and Weaver K models. All my scopes saving for one are fixed power, 4x and 6x.
I particularly avoid a bunch of "stuff" on scopes. "Stuff" is way oversold and doesn't compensate for marksmanship skills.
Here's a couple of .220 Swift rifles kept around here. The Ruger 77V wears the Burris 6X18 target scope. The Winchester Model 70 wears a 6x Lyman All-American.
Preference: variable magnification, adjustable parallax, adjustable objective, BDC-type reticle, rugged design, as much light-gathering and clarity as I'm able to afford.
Nikon's ProStaff and Monarch series falls right in there, as do some of the Leupold scopes, in terms of quality/clarity, at a price that's sensible for most needs I've ever had. Have loved the Nikon ProStaff 3-9x and Leupold FX-II 2.5x28 Scout scope for < ~175yds or so.
Would just love a couple of decent Swarovskis or US Optics, as well as a NightForce for long-distance stuff. Donations of such gear can be sent to: 42 Lemon Street, Hope KS, to the attention of Marginal Distance Shooter. :embarassed:
I have A couple of Leupy Vari XII c 4-12 AO .................... great scopes ( late 80's) My eyes still don't need a wonder red -dot . As I GROW--"GEEZERLY" I know where to find one or two. btw.....My Voere KDF in.270 Win. & an Argentine Mauser 1909 ---.30.06 wears the pair . / 15 GAME ANIMALS have succumbed to their combo.
"I particularly avoid a bunch of "stuff" on scopes. "Stuff" is way oversold and doesn't compensate for marksmanship skills. "
^^That. Simple crosshairs work fine for me. If you've got to have the robotic, laser-designating, radar/infrared homing, self-adjusting super scope, maybe you're not the shot you think you are. I prefer to match my skill against windage and elevation.
For general deer hunting in mixed terrain at ranges up to 300 yards, I found that any decent 2x7 scope will allow quick pickup at low power and ample magnification for the longer ones. A 3x9 has worked fine on my .223 at any range I can still see the little critters and hit them. Both of my current scopes are Bushnels; neither has ever been a problem accuracy- or vision-wise.
3 X 9 X 40 Burris Fullfield II on my model 77 Ruger, 30/06, same scope on my T/C Pro Hunter .50 black powder barrel. On my Tikka T-3, 25/06, I have a Zeiss Conquest 3 X 9 X 40 and on my T/C 25/06 barrel I have a Minox Za-5 3 X 15 X 42, which is my favorite set-up for deer hunting out of a box stand overlooking clearcuts. I too dislike all the multiple crosshair, ballistic scopes, I find them too busy and distracting for me. I have the regular duplex recticles in all my scopes. I also don't like large objective on a scope as I want a scope mounted a low as possible, by using a good quality scope I've found you don't give up any noticeable light with 40 or 42 objectives, as compared to 50 or 56, and still get to use lower mounts.
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