An optics question for you varmint hunters.


November 15, 2008, 12:13 AM
What's your average range, what caliber and what power scope do you use?

I'm trying to decide what power Nikon scope to put on a heavy barrel AR.

4.5-14X or 6-18X?

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Savage Shooter
November 15, 2008, 12:59 AM
Well for most ranges a 3-9 is more than enough ever tried to swing on a coyote running with a high power scope it ain't easy. low power is the way to go trust me. I went WWWWAAAAYYYY overboard and got a 6-24x44 scope for my savage 12fv .223 it's now been reduced to a paper puncher but I did shoot a nice crow at 352 paces(don't own a range finder, cheap and set in my ways:D) but I'm selling it to get another project rig a nice light savage .223 I will be getting a leupold 3-9 for sure.

November 15, 2008, 01:20 AM
What about a 4.5-14X? Would that be too powerful?

I was mostly thinking of ground hogs/prairie dogs.

November 15, 2008, 01:41 AM
it really depends on how far and what youre shooting at. If its long range bench or sandbag, go with a higher power scope. I shoot a Remington VS but since most of my shooting is long range off a sandbag, I use a Leupold III in 6.5x20. If I was going for running targets or carrying it a lot, I would use a lighter weight rifle and lower powered scope. 3x9's are hard to beat for general purpose

November 15, 2008, 02:28 AM
My preference on an AR is a 6X24. The low power is excellent for coyotes on the run and 24X is the the only way to fly for ground squirrels at 200+ yards. Don't go with a cheap scope because at those powers cheap scopes don't allow enough light through so you can end up with a dark or milky view.

November 15, 2008, 03:14 AM
I always had a 6-24 on my 22-250, but when a friend damaged the scope last week I had to mount an old 3-9. I'll be honest, I enjoy the rifle much more with the 3-9 than I ever did before. The rifle is capable of .5MOA, no questions asked. Punching paper can be fun, but while hunting I was getting too caught up with EXACTLY where the bullet was going. Now I just place the crosshairs on the groundhog and adjusting parallax, focusing, changing magnification, or worrying about range. Heck, the longest shot I can even take around here is 400 yards, and with a standing groundhog that isn't exactly a difficult target :neener:

+1 for a manageable scope that you can just have fun with.

P.S. - However, I am still looking for a replacement for the 6-24.

Art Eatman
November 15, 2008, 10:17 AM
9X was sorta marginal for a prairie dog at 400 yards, but to 300 yards I had no trouble with either a 2x7 or a 3x9 on the little critters.

I used a Simmons 44Mag 3x10 on my '06, shooting at a 22" steel plate at 500. I could hold one MOA and sometimes a bit less. IOW, for coyotes, 10X would be plenty at, say, 400 to maybe 500. Range estimation and wind get to be more important than magnification when you get past 300 yards.

November 15, 2008, 01:46 PM
On prarie dog guns I like fixer 10-12X, for bigger dogs I have to agree that the variables are probably tops.
Quality is a must for real high power as has been said and I might ad that top quality scopes have much more dependable adjustments.

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