At 100 yards, unless you are using "Shoot-N-See" targets, its a little hard to see 22 cal holes for me when using the 3x9 scope, so on my new rifle I mounted a 6x18 and 50mm Bushnell. These ole tired eyes can now see where I'm hitting. I picked the scope up from WallyWorld for 120 bucks which is not much more than what I had spent for the 3x9 at the gun store.
January 14, 2008, 03:59 PM
For 200 yard shots 2.5 X is plenty, but a 4X would also not have too small a view for closer range.
Most of my hunting rifles have always had a 4X scope. For hunting antelope I do prefer a 6X.
I don't think one needs a variable power scope for up to 200 yard shots.
January 14, 2008, 05:14 PM
"It wont go into the woods, it is just a paper puncher,"
If shooting from a bench rest, the more power the better. A high power scope sight is critical as to eye relief and head placement, but it pays off.
I will be going from 20 to 25 X this year for F-class off a bipod. A more experienced friend is headed for 32 X after using 24 X.
If for offhand shooting at a good sized target like a hunting rifle, 6 X is enough and the usual 3-9 variable is OK>
January 14, 2008, 10:32 PM
I can see 30 caliber bullet holes in regular paper targets with a good 8x Leupold scope, unless lighting conditions are poor.
A good 3 to 9x variable would be a fine choice (stress good - magnification does NOT translate to visual acuity - I can see more detail with my good 14x than with a cheapo 30x spotting scope). Much more magnification that that and it gets harder to find your sight picture. My son's 3-9x Leupold will almost see 7 mm holes at 200 yards - meaning that under the most ideal lighting conditions, you do see them. With the "shoot-n-see" targets you can get away with less magnification or less quality optics.
Why bother to even bring up the ability to see your bullet holes? Because knowing where each shot lands gives you valuable feedback on each shot so you have a better idea how you're doing. Thatís important-- it's how you develop the ability to "call your shots".
You can shoot excellent groups with no scope at all, for instance, but you won't know it until you either sight through a separate spotting scope or make the walk. Then you may discover you have a flier or two, but you have no idea which of your five shots were the flyers, so you're missing important information about your performance.
20x is big overkill unless you're trying to read the dates on coins at 100 yards. I would guess that you'd not be happy with 20x as it limits your field of view such that finding the target becomes more difficult, and your eye position behind the scope has to be super precise or you see nothing. A friend of mine recently installed a 20x scope on his long-range 7 mm mag. My son and I both did better than he, me with the 4-14x (at 14) and my son with the 3-9x (at 9). He (Mr. 20x) spent most of his time trying to locate the 4" targets at 380 to 500 yards. Some people do very well with high magnification scopes, but they have a lot of experience with them. Regardless, they are slower in target acquisition. I find them irritating to use.
A good shooter with good equipment will be able to shoot groups approaching 1 MOA with iron sights at 100 yards, whereas the same shooter, assuming the rifle can do it, might be able to shoot a half inch using a scope. The rare shooter/rifle can do better yet. The best five-shot groups I've gotten with my Rem 700 are just under 1 MOA, at 100 and 200 yards.
January 15, 2008, 01:39 AM
+1 to everything rcmodel said. At any given price, you can pay for higher magnification or better lens quality. I have found that high quality lenses are far more important than magnification. High quality lenses means better resolution, which means often you can see more and better with a $200 3-9x40 scope at 9x than you can with a $200 4.5-14x50 scope at 14x. A smaller but sharper, clearer target is easier to hit than a larger but fuzzier and less distinct target.
January 15, 2008, 02:02 AM
14x or + , especially if youre just punching holes to paper.
January 15, 2008, 03:19 PM
Let me toss in a vote for one of the most overlooked....A quality fixed 6X. High magnification is not a shortcut to good shooting. It takes a combination of breath and trigger control, plus tons and tons of practice. Essex
January 15, 2008, 03:30 PM
A good 2X7 variable is my favorite for these ranges on deer sized game, the 2 power option comes in handy for close up and heavy cover. I rarely take mine above 4 power unless I'm to lazy to pull the binos out...:D
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