Scope my Kimber Montana: 4x33, 6x36, 3-9x40?


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Richard.Howe
January 1, 2007, 02:09 PM
Say it was your decision to make, and you had three scopes sitting in boxes next to your new lightweight Montana .308. You're choosing between a Leupold FX-II 4x33 fixed, 6x36 fixed, or Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40.

This will be a <300yd whitetail deer rifle with occasional use in Colorado for mulies. I'm personally leaning toward the 4x33 for a number of reasons...but...

...what would you do? :D

Thanks!
Rich

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Vern Humphrey
January 1, 2007, 02:13 PM
I think 4X33 is ideal -- that's what I have on Bigfoot Wallace, my Custom '03 Springfield in .35 Brown-Whelen, and what I always choose for a hunting rifle when I can find one.

rangerruck
January 1, 2007, 02:19 PM
zeiss. without quesion. Zeiss makes their glass, and it is the top 1 or two glass makers in the world, you see them and sworofsky , little tags, and lrge earth based, and nasa scopes.
and doctors' stuff.
their field toughness is legendary. i remember reading a story about a dude who came across a standing rifle, a few years back, up in the snow, in the mountains. when he got it down, and cleaned and lubed it up, he realized it was either a ww1 or ww2 rifle, scope setup. the rifle was to rusted out and could no longer work, but the scope was fine. not even fogged up. I think zeiss bought it from the guy, and they have it , in part of their collection.

Outlaws
January 1, 2007, 03:15 PM
Zeiss might be good, but there is no need for that zoom power at less than 300 yards. For sub 300 yards I vote 4x.

Richard.Howe
January 1, 2007, 04:32 PM
Great recommendations so far. To clarify, I'm a big fan of both Leupold and Zeiss, as the CS departments of both have treated me very well. I am no glass snob, but have had some warranty experiences that cause me to use only a few makers of optics, and Zeiss/Leup are two of them (others being IOR, USO, NF, Kahles, S&B). So -- please, let's keep the Leupold vs. Zeiss vs. Nightforce vs. Bushnell vs. BSA on-and-on-and-on discussion out, and focus (pun intended) on the magnification levels for this application?

rbernie
January 1, 2007, 04:40 PM
Zeiss might be good, but there is no need for that zoom power at less than 300 yards.Depends on what you're normally hunting and how close to that 300 yard mark you really tend to hunt. The kill zone on a small whitetail doe at 300 yards is a mighty small target, and I'd hate to drop one in the gut instead of the chest at that range....

My 'do it all' rifle has a VXIII 1.75x-6x/32, and it's a fine scope. But it doesn't have as much magnification as I'd like for smaller deer sitting 'way out there'. Fortunately, I don't tend to shoot at things much past 200 yards anyway, so it's works well for my normal usage.

If I could standardize on one scope, it'd probably be the VXIII 2.5x-8x/36 as the best all-around 'not too big and not too small and not too heavy and not too light' field optic. But of the choices given, I'd opt for the Zeiss as the most useful of the three. Weight aside (and the difference is less than four ounces, all in all) the Zeiss will be no less rugged/durable than the FXs and will have the ability to reach out farther than the fixed scopes without giving up the close-in performance of the fixed power scopes.

Vern Humphrey
January 1, 2007, 04:49 PM
For varmit hunting and such, a higher power scope may be an advantage. But for deer and similar critters, 4X is just fine. In fact, I have a Ruger M77 in .30-06 with a Weaver K2.5X and have never wished for a more powerful scope on that rifle.

rbernie
January 1, 2007, 06:29 PM
In fact, I have a Ruger M77 in .30-06 with a Weaver K2.5X and have never wished for a more powerful scope on that rifle.And you've used that combination to successfully harvest 100lb does at 300 yards on a number of occasions? ;)

I'm as much against the trend for overmagnification as the next guy, but I doubt that many of us are marksman enough to keep a 300 yard shot in the boiler room of a small doe at 250-300 yards with a 2.5x scope - especially when the reticle alone is likely to be the width of the killing zone of the aforementioned doe at 300 yards...

Magnification is no substitute for basic marksmanship. But magnification *can* help a rifleman make a more precise shot when used wisely, and I fail to see the harm in that.

dakotasin
January 1, 2007, 06:39 PM
6x36 for the combination of lightweight and magnification. the 4x would be a second choice, and the zeiss wouldn't even make the list in this application. i've had success at 6x from 15 feet to 450-ish yards. at the extreme close end of the spectrum, a 6x is a bit much, but workable.

bernie- deer at 300 yards isn't difficult. a prairie dog at 700-800 yards w/ a 4x scope is, but not a deer. one of my most memorable kills was a prairie dog at a touch under 600 yards w/ a 30-06 and a 4x bushnell scopechief (both the gun and scope are gone now, thankfully). not my longest kill or biggest trophy, but the degree of difficulty was harder than a 'dog at 1000 yards w/ my 25x leupold...

Vern Humphrey
January 1, 2007, 06:41 PM
And you've used that combination to successfully harvest 100lb does at 300 yards on a number of occasions?

On occasion. More importantly, I've shot running deer with that combination fairly frequently.

I'm as much against the trend for overmagnification as the next guy, but I doubt that many of us are marksman enough to keep a 300 yard shot in the boiler room of a small doe at 250-300 yards with a 2.5x scope - especially when the reticle alone is likely to be the width of the killing zone of the aforementioned doe at 300 yards...

This sight has dual crosshairs which subtend 4 minutes from the crosshairs to the top of the thicker post, or 12 inches at 300 yards. The intersection of the crosshairs themselves subtend only about 1/2 minute -- hardly enough to cover the boileroom at that distance!!

Magnification is no substitute for basic marksmanship. But magnification *can* help a rifleman make a more precise shot when used wisely, and I fail to see the harm in that.

True -- and I know people who routinely shoot much farther than 300 yards with iron sights. I used the M1 and M14 at 600 yards with irons -- and had no difficulty.

Let me point out that most experienced hunters with 3X9 variables routinely leave them set at 3X -- and don't consider that a handicap. On the other hand, I have known hunters to lose a movnig animal in a scope with too high a magnification.

rbernie
January 1, 2007, 07:13 PM
This sight has dual crosshairs which subtend 4 minutes from the crosshairs to the top of the thicker post, or 12 inches at 300 yards. The intersection of the crosshairs themselves subtend only about 1/2 minute -- hardly enough to cover the boileroom at that distance!!
I don't know what the reticle filament width is on a FXII, but based upon my experiences with the M8s and 1.75x-6x VXIII, I'd be willing to wager that they're pretty wide. Dunno for sure, but it's certainly something to look into.

Let me point out that most experienced hunters with 3X9 variables routinely leave them set at 3X -- and don't consider that a handicap. On the other hand, I have known hunters to lose a movnig animal in a scope with too high a magnification.All true.

My point here (poorly articulated, perhaps) isn't that a 4x can't be used at 300 yards - it's that it's not necessarily the best solution under all circumstances. A shot at running game requires less magnification that a shot at grazing game that's partially obscured by brush. Having a variable magnification scope allows the hunter to make the decision as to which magnification to use; having a fixed magnification optic by definition leaves no option.

My scopes are normally set between 2x-3x, but I've been known to crank up to 6x when trying to sneak a shot between obstructions (or to determine the viability of doing so).

i've had success at 6x from 15 feet to 450-ish yards. at the extreme close end of the spectrum, a 6x is a bit much, but workable.
Presuming that the poll didn't limit the choices, would you recommend a FXII 6x instead of a VXIII 1.75x-6x/32? Why, or why not?

dakotasin
January 1, 2007, 11:07 PM
depends on the rifle in that will the short tube of the 1.75-6 fit between the rings w/o resorting to extensions, etc? if not, then the 6x36 is the choice. if so, the decision is tougher, and really goes beyond the scope of the topic at hand, but, hell, i got a minute and a good hijack once in awhile never hurt nobody...

since we are talking leupolds, we have reasonably tough scopes. the 6x36 is a solid performer, but comes in second place to the 6x42 - a much more fair comparison to the vx-3. if, we keep the discussion limited to the 6x36 and the 1.75-6, then the vx-3 wins because of comparable weight, better optics, and more versatility; the biggest factor being the superior optics. although the vx-3 is a variable, durability between a vx-3 and nearly any fixed-power is going to be close to a wash.

if we expand the discussion to include the 6x42, then it wins. it will have the best optics, the sight picture will always remain the same, and there is an advantage in durability (if mostly theoretical) w/ the 6x42.

it is my opinion that the leupold 6x42 is the best all-around big game hunting scope, bar none. optics are superb, it is simple, rugged, and light (something too many hunters overlook). put the 6x42 into a set of talley lightweights, and you have worry-free perfection on top of a rifle; the problem being that you must now find a rifle and stock system that is as solid as your scope and mounts. if you really want to go one more step, have a custom x-hair installed that already has the hashes in it for long range shooting, dialed in to your exact load (not an approximation ala the b&c reticles, or the bdc reticles). careful if you do that, though, because it really marries you into your particular bullet and powder. an alternative to that is to have turrets installed on a 6x42...

Richard.Howe
January 1, 2007, 11:41 PM
Man dakotasin, your post was timely. Hijack appreciated.

I just hit "Submit" on my order (24hcf) for a Leupy 6x42 FX-III and some Talley lightweights when you gave your advice. It strikes me that this scope, based on everyone's direction, appears to be a safe compromise while still staying relatively light and uncomplicated. This has been one expensive thread...

Range report to follow!

Have a great night,
Rich

.38 Special
January 1, 2007, 11:53 PM
I just hit "Submit" on my order (24hcf) for a Leupy 6x42 FX-III and some Talley lightweights...
FWIW, I believe you have ordered the finest combination available on the planet. Together with that rifle... Perfection. :)

A note on Zeiss -- I'm generally underwhelmed. Not that it isn't great glass, but I believe most of the breathless adoration (not commenting on anything written here, BTW) comes from folks more impressed by the price tag than anything else. I've nearly injured myself rolling my eyes at people who stand in the gun shop peering through a Zeiss (or Swarovski, or whatever) at a stop sign across the street and exclaiming that "I can see forever!!!". A $20 Tasco looks good in those conditions. The real test is to stand in a brightly lit spot and try to read box labels in a dark corner of the shop -- and the best Leupolds are equal to anything to come from Germany.

And the kicker? The German scopes don't stand up to recoil and "hunting abuse" as well as Leupolds.

Ha. That should ruffle some feathers. ;)

onemsumba
January 2, 2007, 01:29 PM
I'm looking forward to that range report. Not much hard data out on the new Kimber rifles just a lot of hearsay....

Richard.Howe
January 2, 2007, 03:11 PM
It may be a while...I move to Colorado next week, where the winters aren't particularly, uh, hospitable. I think I may wait 'till I return to Texas in the summertime, when a trip to the range isn't equivalent to loss of your fingers to frostbite!

Omaha-BeenGlockin
January 2, 2007, 03:56 PM
I have that same rifle in 7mm-08---I scoped it with a Zeiss Diavari C 3x9x36 in Talley lightweight ring mounts. Nice compact scope for a nice little rifle.

The Conquest is a bit much because of its size---not its power. Leupolds are just fair to middlin---not bad but not exactly all that good either.

.38---the reason you buy Ziess is when the Loopy guys are back standing around the truck---you are out still catching every last second of daylight---saw it done and that's when I switched to Ziess. Nothing in the store will give you that kind of real world comparison.

Richard.Howe
January 2, 2007, 04:10 PM
OK, ok, BSA is crap compared to Redfield; Redfield is crap compared to Bushnell; Bushnell is crap compared to Burris; Burris is crap compared to Leupold; Leupold is crap compared to Zeiss; oh wait, Zeiss Conquest is garbage compared to Zeiss Diavari; yadda yadda yadda.

I've had $2000 Schmidt & Benders and $200 Sightron S2s, and each one of them is good for its intended purpose. Like I said above, this thread was never really meant to be a brand vs. brand urination distance contest. Let's be honest: a top-of-the-line Leupold and a top-of-the-line Zeiss mean basically 3 minutes difference in when you leave the blind. If I'm hunting that far past dark, then I'm probably stretching the law a little.

Thanks a lot for everone's feedback regarding magnifications!

Have a great week,
Rich

Will Fennell
January 2, 2007, 04:16 PM
.38 Special.....in my 30plus years of experience with hard use of telescopic sights, the decided edge in durability has been with Ziess and Swaroski, NOT Leupold. Matter o' fact, I think the current Leupold stuff is just as clear and bright as the better german 'scopes, just not nearly as durable. I have had 3 Leupolds fail in the field[not talking about moisture, total failure with lenses rattling around in the tubes], and never a problem with the mutliple Ziess and Swaroski scopes.......just my experince.....YMMV

Lonestar.45
January 2, 2007, 04:47 PM
Of the three you mentioned, I'd go with the Zeiss Conquest.

Having said that, I think that lightweight Kimber is wanting, no begging, for Leupold VX-II Ultralight 3-9x33.

.41Dave
January 2, 2007, 05:00 PM
My vote is for the Zeiss.

.38 Special
January 2, 2007, 11:31 PM
.38---the reason you buy Ziess is when the Loopy guys are back standing around the truck---you are out still catching every last second of daylight---saw it done and that's when I switched to Ziess. Nothing in the store will give you that kind of real world comparison.
Get a copy of John Barsness' Optics for the Hunter. Turn to page 26 and look at the table displaying the German DEVA test results. Note that the two best scopes in terms of light transmission were exactly equal in perfomance. Note that one was a Zeiss. Note that the other was a Leupold. :neener: ;)

.38 Special
January 2, 2007, 11:34 PM
.38 Special.....in my 30plus years of experience with hard use of telescopic sights, the decided edge in durability has been with Ziess and Swaroski, NOT Leupold. Matter o' fact, I think the current Leupold stuff is just as clear and bright as the better german 'scopes, just not nearly as durable. I have had 3 Leupolds fail in the field[not talking about moisture, total failure with lenses rattling around in the tubes], and never a problem with the mutliple Ziess and Swaroski scopes.......just my experince.....YMMV
Get a copy of John Barsness' Optics for the Hunter. Turn to page 41 and look at the table displaying the German DEVA test results concerning reliability. Note that American made scopes are subjected to twice as much punishment as German scope in these tests. Noty that Leupold performed exactly on par with Swarovski. :neener: ;)

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