I need to settle on a scope for my .223 sps varmint. With all the choices I'm beside myself. I'm now debating between the Leupold VX-II 3-9x40mm and the Nikon Buckmasters 4.5-14x40.
For the most part I'll be target shooting out to 300 yds but want something I can use if I go varmint hunting. I could really use some ideas/suggestions/advice.
thanks in advance
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November 25, 2008, 11:21 PM
i have had afew leopolds i have no complants my wife has a nikon were you adjust the power is sloppy but other than that works ok i would go with 4-12 power for little more money
November 26, 2008, 12:18 PM
I have that exact Nikon Scope on my .223 Remington 788. I shot PDogs with it and it is a great scope. I paid about $290 for it.
November 26, 2008, 03:28 PM
i like leupold, for a .222/.222mag/.223, i like a 6x (if you can get ahold of 1 i really like the 7.5x leupold M-8 on my .222 mag, which is nearly identicle to a .223), and as you said a 3-9x leupold, or a 2-7, but i am old fashioned (somewhat), and would prefer to match a scope to a gun then get an all arround scope (i have tried and hated both 6-24 and 6-18 scopes) the only nikon i have is a 4x prostaff on my savage .17hmr, it seems to work allright for me.
November 26, 2008, 04:27 PM
Go for the higher magnification for varmints, 9x is good to 500 on deer, but not those little critters!
November 26, 2008, 04:46 PM
it all depends on what you are hunting, i see no need for more than a 12 or 15x for any varmint shooting, i have shot quite a few chucks at 500-600 yards with my leupold FX-III 12x, and on a 223, its pretty much a 300 yard chuck cartridge, and a 6x or 7x is all that is generly needed, i use a 6x on a .222, and a 7.5x ona a 222 rem mag, i have no problem finding a chuck in them, i also have no problem finding a deer in my Weaver K4 on my 30-06, or my K4 on my .300 wby mag, which i have shot several deer to 350-500 yards, but i am old fashioned, and i think differently about scopes than most of you probally do, but, to me, a 9x is still a varmint scope to 350 yards or so.
November 26, 2008, 04:46 PM
++1 hossdaniels -
Need more power!
Those little suckers are sure small out at 300yds., especially when the target is approx. 2"x2".
I shoot a lot of ground squirrels & crows, here in Cali., usually out to 200/300yds. - so it's a fair shot. But in Montana, where I'm from & go every summer, prairie dogs are out past 300/400yds. - you're going to need as much power as you can afford.
I went with the Nikon Buckmaster 6-18X40SF w/ Target Dot Reticle. Mounted on a CZ527 Varmint, in .223. At 300yds., I could still use more power.
Friendly, Don't Fire!
November 26, 2008, 04:49 PM
My varmint gun has a Vari-X-III 3.5-10
November 26, 2008, 05:17 PM
i have traveled to mantana, and the dakotas to hunt prarrie dogs, i used my leupold 6x to 225 yards on my 222 rem, my leupold 7.5x at 275-300(300 when the light was in my favor) on my 222 rem mag, and my leupold 12x out to 546yards (by my rangefinder) on my .22-250 rem, i could have used a 15x, but it was not perticularly needed, i have used and hated both 6-18x and 6-24x, i never used it, and didnt want it.
November 26, 2008, 05:31 PM
I can't say anything about Nikon scopes since I've never owned one but I do own Leupold scopes with the following magnification:
3.5 - 10x
6 - 18x
6.5 - 20x
8.5 - 25x
Leupold has a very good, lifetime warranty with reasonably fast turnaround (about two weeks) on warranty work. I like the clarity of their scopes and the overall quality. I have a Vari-X II in 6 - 18x that I bought about 10 years ago and it's still as good and clear today as it was when I bought it. As for the magnification, some have commented that you should match the scope to the firearm but I don't quite agree with this. I feel that you should match the scope to YOU. Some folks are really good at hitting soda cans at 300 yards with a 4x fixed power scope but then again, they could probably hit a golf ball at 100 yards with iron sights. Most of us probably aren't in that elite group and so we need to see EXACTLY what we're aiming at. For us, magnification isn't an option, it's essential. So if you fall into the second group, get as much magnification as you need or as you want. You may want to think carefully about what reticle you choose if there's an option. You can always send your scope back to the manufacturer (with Leupold for sure) to change the reticle but if possible, try to get it right the first time because it does make a difference. As for power, a scope with 18x or higher at the top end may allow you to see a target and range it more accurately than one with lower magnification but that may or may not matter to you. Sorry to go on ...
November 26, 2008, 06:11 PM
i know what you are saying, and i assume you are adressing me in that, and not to worry, i hear that arguement, from, faimly, friends, and people i hardly know, i know your point, understand where you are coming from, but, at least personally it seams to me that my cartridge runs out of poop befor my scopes do, with 2 personal exceptions where i went to higher magnification, a .224TTH which went from 12x to 15x, and my .257 Wby, which went from 4x to 6x, and the increase in magnification definalty made a diffrence, both scopes seem to be very fine optically, and both are weaver K serise scopes, and i know the varibles have advangtages, but disadvantages as well, they are heavier, and as a rule not as bright and not as wide a fov as a fixed power in the same magnification scope, i currently use scopes from 2.5x-15x, nearly all are fixed power, with the exception of a leupold VX-III1.5-5, which so far i have no complaints, but i do quite a bit of shooting and make sure to farmiliarize(?) myself with a rifle befor i hunt with it, and i can honestly say i could have used more magnification for some of the shots i have taken, but i never consider myself underscoped, even with a 2.5x at 250 yards, but let us rember, this is a deer, bear, elk, etc., not a pop can, and i highly doubt i could hit a pop can with one of my 2.5x scopes at 250 yards.
sorry, i can rambel on forever if im not stopped, fortinualty, my typing skils are mediocre, and i will stop at this.
November 26, 2008, 11:06 PM
From what I'm gathering, it looks like I should be going for the higher magnification. I agree, better to have and not need then need and not have.
I really appreciate everyones comments and suggestions, thanks a bunch.
I will let everyone know how it goes once i recieve the scope and hit the range.
until then, thanks
November 28, 2008, 02:42 PM
I have a Leopold VIII that is great. I dropped the rifle out of a tree stand, a quick bore sight looked good so I climbed back up and later shot at nice buck at about 275 yards. No change in zero. Clear and solid. I don't know about a Nikon.
December 8, 2008, 06:54 AM
Well guys, I was able to go out this weekend and shoot my new Rem 700 with the Nikon 6-18x40 Buckmaster. The rifle shoots like a dream. I wasn't able to bore sight it but simply mounted it and was able to site it in within 5 shots. I got it to where it's shooting sub 2" groups at 100yds. I couldn't tweek it further because of the cold and my fingers were giving in plus i didnt have a bench rest. Hopefully, this next weekend its warmer and I can finally take it to 300yds.
BTW, I can see how important it was to get the higher magnification when switching between 50 and when 100yds. I can only imagine that I'll wish i had more power when i go to the 300yd range.
thanks for all the info guys.
December 8, 2008, 07:35 AM
I have the Buckmaster 6x18 onn my Ruger #1.
Great scope - you'll be fine at 300yds. - and beyond.
Good luck !
December 8, 2008, 01:16 PM
I got it to where it's shooting sub 2" groups at 100yds. I couldn't tweek it further because of the cold and my fingers were giving in plus i didnt have a bench rest. Hopefully, this next weekend its warmer and I can finally take it to 300yds.
Well done on your choice of scope ... did you lap the rings before mounting the scope (just curious)? I have a Leupold Vari-X II 6-18x on my Remington 700 "Alasan" Ti in .300WSM and it's a good combination (for me). I keep it around 10X at 100 yards, 12x for 200 etc. I would prefer a reticle other than the current fine duplex and may send it back to Leupold to have it changed. I bought it over 10 years ago before all of the "fancy" reticles were available. I now prefer Leupold's TMR reticle if I can get it ... their SPR reticle is excellent also.
I'm sure you'll end up shooting under 1" at 100 yards. All three of my Remingtons (.308 Win, .300WSM and .300WM) in stock form are sub MOA rifles. I reload for them and that can make a HUGE difference. Are you planning on using factory ammunition or reloading for this rifle?
December 17, 2008, 06:42 AM
I did not lap the scope 1858. I just recieved a boresighter and a shooting vise so i redid the mount and got everything nice and straight. I'm using factory ammo for now until I break it in. In the meantime I've just decided to enter the realm of reloading so i have alot of reading to do. But yes, i do plan on reloading in the very near future.
I haven't been shooting again due to the holidays and work, but come January I'll be out there everyweekend.
December 17, 2008, 07:41 AM
Target shooting and varmint to 300 yards I would go with nothing maller than a 4.5-14x40mm with a 6-18x40 being a little better.
I have a Leupold vx-II 6-18x40mm on my M700 VLS in 223. Depending on your varmints I would say go with a VX-III 6.5-20x40 or 50mm. I can't stand 50mm objective myself. On a 1" main tube a 50mm obj doesn't do a darn thing except move the scope futher up in the air. You would be better served by a 40mm objective with better coatings.
I really prefer a 6-18 or 6-24x on my varmint scopes. This will give you good range for close in shots on out to 300 400 even 500 yards with the 24x. I top quality optic in a 12 15 or 20x would also work. I like the 15x Weaver Kt-15 this has ben discontuned for a while now but you can find them on gunbroker and ebay sometimes.
Now reticals Leupold have some fancy ones with lines and dots for hold over and windage for me they just clutter up the FOV in my view. I like a duplex, fine duplex, or a stright corsshair. Many like the Balistic milldot scopes I don't they are good once you know how to use them but I personaly don't care for again a sluttered FOV.
As far as what scope to buy look at
Bushnell elite 4200
Bushnell elite 6500
Burris sig select or fullfield II
Weaver V-16 or V-24
If you have the big bucks you can look at
If you go to a Pdog field you will not see many 3-9x scopes out there unless they are on rimfires.
December 17, 2008, 07:51 AM
Like you, I had heard the names Nikon, bushy etc. but I recently ran across this outfit.
Purchased one of their scopes, and it is top notch...
December 17, 2008, 08:33 AM
Leupold, I love mine!!
December 17, 2008, 09:28 AM
3-9x40 is the sweet spot is scope prices these days. The leupolds are generally nice but overpriced. You can impress others though. The 3 best bang for bucks in scopes these days are: