I am hurrying up and waiting on Rock River to send my new 24" AR. I have, on my bolt gun, used a 6x20 power. I can't remember the last time it was moved off of the 20x setting. My typical shooting is 100-300 yard with occaisonal tries at 500 on a good day. Which leads to my question. Would I be better served with a fixed power scope of 24x or 36x? Are there any big disadvantages here? I realize if I ever changed the upper to a lighter barrel to shoot off-hand, a scope of that power would be useless but I'll cross that bridge later. Is mirage a big issue here? I'd appreciate hearing from any group members who have had experience with these high-powered scopes as to what I'd be running into.
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May 16, 2006, 03:54 PM
You would be better off with a variable-power scope in the 3-9x, 3-5-10x, or 4-12x range.
May 16, 2006, 04:13 PM
I hate to be a choosy begger but could you elaborate somewhat on your answer? I'm one of these folks who always needs to know why.
May 16, 2006, 04:17 PM
If he's USED TO shooting at 20x, and it works for him, then how does it help him to cut his max mag in half, as you suggest - just wondering/asking.
May 16, 2006, 04:17 PM
A fixed and high magnification scope will make target location difficult. It will also drastically limit the field of view. Eye relief will be critical.
If you are only shooting benchrest at known distances, then a high power fixed power scope is probably a good choice. The target is always the same thing, in the same place. You don't change distances often.
A 10x or 12x scope has enough magnification to resolve and aim on 1 MOA targets (approx 1" per 100 yards) against an abitrary background. The lower power will be helpful when you need to locate other targets or observe a wider area. If you ever want to engage multiple targets, the low power will help.
May 16, 2006, 05:01 PM
Thank you.You may have answered at least part of my question in that about all I'll do with this gun is not terribly serious target and silhouette shooting off the bench or prone. Its too heavy (10lbs) to do much in the way of off-hand shooting unless I change out the upper but that's another day. Are the fixed power scopes pretty dark i.e. in the early morning and towards dusk would a person have problems seeing through it? The Weavers and Sightrons are certainly more to my liking as far as price but do they do well? And is mirage a big problem with these scopes?
May 16, 2006, 05:03 PM
All else equal, a higher magnification will mean less brightness (ie, during low light) and more apparent mirage.
May 16, 2006, 06:17 PM
I'll second Zak's opinoin and add that the fixed power's are about as bright as their variable couterparts. The two major influences in brightness seem to be tube diameter and objective diameter. I have found 30mm tubes to be significantly brighter and they also have more vertical adjustment than 1 inch tubes. I have also noted that with a 30mm tube a 44mm objective nets a scope that doesn't require super high mounts to work effectively. Whereas a 1" tube with similar brightness would have a significantly larger objective and attending taller mounts. People make all combinations work, I don't think there's really a wrong answer. As frustrating as it sounds, it's not uncommon to spend more than the cost of a rifle for optics. The differences become much more apparent as light dims or targets get distant (or both).
May 16, 2006, 06:22 PM
All else equal, main tube diameter has nothing to do with image brightness.
Brightness is mainly a function of: lens & coating quality, objective lens size, and magnification.
May 16, 2006, 09:07 PM
I have a 24" RRA Varmit with a fixed 20X SWFA SS that I use STRICTLY for paper punching. I love this combo but it is really not set up for any type of hunting/plinking because of weight and the exit pupil size and field of view of the scope. The main advantage of the 30MM tube is extra strength and elevation/windage adjustment range. My SS has over 100 inches at 100 yards. Its nice to have if you ever get into +500 yard shooting.