Need a high powered scope to push my .308 Savage 10FP


December 10, 2008, 10:53 PM
I have a Bushnell 3-9x50mm Banner scope:

I love the look of the 50mm lens on my Savage 10FP. It simply looks like it belongs. I also like the fact that there is more optic surface area to capture light in dusk/dawn situations. The price is reasonable ($158). But what I'd like is a scope that really allows you to zoom in. Any suggestions? I'll go any brand.

Basically what I'm looking for is a scope that is:

50mm dusk/dawn lense
high power
reasonably priced - $800 is too high, $150-$300 is easily affordable.
rugged is better.

Also, any idea why the 6-18x is 50mm

but the 6-24x is a smaller 40mm?

I would think the higher zoom scopes would have bigger lenses. The opposite seems to be the case once you hit the 40mm/50mm range.

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December 10, 2008, 11:00 PM
I personally would choose the 6-18x40mm Nikon Buckmasters with BDC ( Hands down the best value for quality glass at $359

December 11, 2008, 12:00 AM
I also like the fact that there is more optic surface area to capture light in dusk/dawn situations.

Maybe you need to read up on scope design and optics theory before you go on posting. Please use sources other than scope manufacturer's adverts. The objective size is not the end all an be all measure of a scope. Maybe read up on the exit pupil and how much light the human eye can actually accept. Many professionals hate 50mm scopes as they set the rifle too high. Also the higher the power the less light is transmitted. Also in modern optics light transmission is all about coatings the more the better.

Instead of those budget scopes if you want to see some real good performers for a decent price check out the following scopes:

- Nikon Team Primos 3-9x40 (this is a rebadged monarch): $200
- Bushnell Elite 4200 3-9x40 (this has rainguard which adds another coating
that increases light transmission): $290
- Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40: $450

Any of these 3 scopes will run circles around the scopes you have listed in light transmission and they are all 40mm objectives. Also they will be able to be mounted nice an low where a shooter wants their scope mounted. I don't mean to rag on you but there are fallacies out there perpetuated by the scope manufacturers themselves and bigger is not always better.

December 11, 2008, 02:52 PM
millett trs-1 is a great scope for the cash, i have one on my savage 10fp, it was about $315. is 4.5x16x50. but if you already do or are thinking about shooting more than for fun put down the extra cash and get a 700-800 dollar scope. besides this trs1 i have never been statisfied with a cheap scope

fireman 9731
December 11, 2008, 04:58 PM
NcStar Mark III.


Illuminated range finding reticle.

side focus paralax and big easy knobs to adjust for elevation and windage.

$170 one ebay.

Cant beat it for the money!

December 11, 2008, 07:58 PM
This sure went off the high road in a road in a hurry...........

I also like the fact that there is more optic surface area to capture light in dusk/dawn situations.

There is no lie there, while I totally agree that size does not matter at all unless it is with in the limits of what the eye can take in and even then the coatings have to be of sufficient quality to pass the light.

If you have 2 scopes of equal quality (coatings) at 16 power at the high side, one in 40 and one in 50mm it would make a difference.

I believe that the eye can take in around 4mm of light, maybe 4.5??

Take the objective size divided by the power. 40 or 50 / 16 gives you 2.5 and 3.125.

The 50 would be brighter at 16x. That being said the 40 at 8 power and the 50 at 11 power both bring in more light than the eye can use.

Past all this I believe in modest power of small scopes, but I'm a hunter before a shooter so it does not mater. :D


I would spend as much as you can afford on a Nikon and never look back!!!

The 3200's and 4200's are fine for the $$ as well.

How far and at what are we shooting?? Highest power needed is another key.........

FWIW, and YOMV!!!!


December 11, 2008, 09:16 PM
Listen to Lipadj47 and Litman252.

A 50mm objective isn't all that it is cracked up to be if you aren't FIRST buying quality glass.

I'm no scope snob, but I am a dusk and dawn hunter. Light transmission is high on my list of concerns.

I just sold in a flea market an old Simmons 3-9x50 that has FAR WORSE light transmission than my Leupold Mark 4 3.5-10x40mm

In fact, both my mother and father just replaced their Simmons 3-9x50 with a Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40. Both rave about how much more light transmission they get from their $150 Nikons.

You CAN buy fairly inexpensive, high light transmission optics-- the Nikon Prostaff is about as low as I'd go.

But seriously.

Cheap tactical scopes are cheap peices of junk. End of story.

Someone mentioned the Millet TRS. While I REALLY like my Millet DMS-1 on my AR, I can REALLY see that the light transmission is not up to par on Millets that I would hope for in a dusk and dawn scope.

And there is:

NcStar Mark III.


Illuminated range finding reticle.

side focus paralax and big easy knobs to adjust for elevation and windage.

$170 one ebay.

Cant beat it for the money!

This is money flushed down the toliet in my opion. NcStar is right there in quality with Lepers and Baraska.

None of either that I have seen have decent light transmission, nor would any I've experienced hold zero. My father took a Lepers that I rejected a while back. It didn't hold zero-- no matter how careful he was. He lost a deer because of it.

If you want optics with good reviews that will not break the bank, look at:

Nikon: Prostaff, Buckmaster, Team Primos

Bushnell: 3200, 4200

Burris: Fullfield II and above

Ziess: Conquest

Weaver: Can't remember the name

Millet: TRS (if light transmission isn't your first consideration and you don't mind 1/8 clicks.)

Leupold VX-II and above (VX-II, VX-III, Mark II-- I left out the more expensive)

If you can find used, you can perhaps get up a tier in optics to something like:

Leupold VX-III, VX-L, Mark IV
Kahles (arguably one of the best in light transmission)
Nikon Tactical
Bushnell 6500
Burris XTR

Ocassionally take a look at to find some good deals on dealer samples from

DON'T forget good mounts. An optic is only as good as what you use to stick it on your firearm!

-- John

December 11, 2008, 09:30 PM
NcStar Mark III.


This would be the first good I've heard about any NcStar optic.

Leapers (except for the early generations) and Barska are way better than NcStar in my experience.

I like my Barska 6x24 (they should have stopped at 20X, I never use it higher) better than my 10X Bushnell Elite 3200.


fireman 9731
December 11, 2008, 10:29 PM
I know the NcStar isn't a high quality product, but I sure wouldn't call it low one. I haven't had any problems out of mine, it has held perfect zero with millet rings through lots of bumps, shooting, and transporting. and of course 10-40 magnification is overkill, and its gets a little blurry past 25x magnification, but it sure is handy when you are shooting at longer ranges. light transmission is pretty good. If you are a dusk and dawn hunter, and can get an illuminated reticule with lots of power out of a scope that I personally haven't had a single problem out of for 170 bucks, I dont see what there is to loose.
There are lots of better scopes out there, dont get me wrong, I just think that you getting a lot of scope for a little bit of cash out of the NcStar.

December 11, 2008, 10:50 PM
If you are a dusk and dawn hunter, and can get an illuminated reticule with lots of power

The problem with dusk and dawn hunting isn't so much as seeing the recticle (that CAN be an issue) as much as it is seeing what you are shooting at.

In some states, like mine, it is illegal to shoot a male deer under 4 points. I've hunted many times and tried to figure out if that was a horn or was a branch on the tree behind the deer. A mistake means breaking the law in cases like that.

A few days ago, I was looking through both my Leupold Mark IV and my Millet DMS-1 at about 5:15 CST. At the 100 yards from my house to the end of my driveway, I was shocked at how much more I could see with the Leupold. I estimate that I had about 10-15 minutes more time that I could use the Leupold over the Millet. That makes a difference in hunting.

And Leupold is, in no stretch of the imagination, the brightest optic you can choose. I place mine somewhere just above the transmission of a Nikon Buckmaster, and below the lenses I've seen in Kahles, Swavorski, and S&B. If I understand correctly, mine shares the same lenses with the VX-III.

EDIT: I am glad to hear that some are pleased with both NcStar and Lepers scopes. After the debacle I had with a Lepers, I have become highly critical of those in that tier.

-- John

December 11, 2008, 10:53 PM
No offense but for $200 you could get a Nikon Team Primos 3-9x40 which is a monarch with a BDC reticle and a real lifetime warranty. This will run circles around the ncstar for $30 more. And with all due respect ncstars are low quality chinese made bottom of the manufacturing barrel products. I'm glad you have had luck with yours but they tend to be inconsistent at best why pay $170 for something that may or may not last when there are so many good cheap japanese brands out there.

December 11, 2008, 11:02 PM

Plus one to above price.

Crisp clear 9 power is way above fuzzy dark 40 power!!!!!!!!


December 12, 2008, 05:39 AM
Bushnel 3200 10X with mil dot Heck of a deal for the money.

Will Learn
December 12, 2008, 03:12 PM

December 12, 2008, 03:50 PM
I found an old Jap Tasco World Class Plus mil-dot 10X40X50 for my 308 and love it. I thought it wouldn't stand up to the recoil but I haven't had a problem. This model was made before Tasco went to China. Mine was $300.00 and I was lucky to get it.

December 12, 2008, 04:26 PM
i have a bushnell banner 6-18x50mm scope, it seemed ok, it came on a used rifle, and i shot the rifle once, then replaced the scope with a 12x leupold, but optically it seemed ok and quite bright, adjustments seem good,i still have it, but dont use it, and have been considering selling it, it was made presumably in the mid 1990's. BUT, fankly, your 3-9x is fine for long range, i have a leupold FX_III 6x42mm on a .257 Wby Mag that i have shot deer with at 600+ yards in PA strip mines.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
December 12, 2008, 04:35 PM
Sounds like you really need a study on Optics 101 and 102. The QUALITY of the glass grind is far more important to resolution/clarity than any other factors. This is why good scopes are much more expensive.

BUT, the Objective lens size (the bigger the better) does also add to resolution as well as light gathering in low light. The magnification is also a factor in seeing the target, but not as important as objective lens size, and not nearly as important as glass quality (and coatings). So if you want a good scope, you need to up your budget by 2 to 5 times what it is now. You really get diminishing returns on resolution with the higher magnifications over 20x. Good glass with 14 or 18 power is far far better than crap glass on 32 power. Believe it. Having said that, all other things being equal, the more magnification, the better, up to about 24 to 25 power - past that and even sometimes below that, you can have mirage problems, depending upon the ambient heat level.

So you're on the RIGHT track looking for something with a larger objective lens. You're on the WRONG track wanting to increase your magnification (beyond 18 or 20 or so), UNLESS you are willing to spend way way more and get great glass that can really utilize the magnification. By the way, that Bushnell 6-18x50 is not a half bad scope for $120. Some guys rave on the Mueller Eradicator as a pretty good value in a fairly high magnification scope, and it is pretty good if you ask me, except that the eye relief is poor. Ideally, though, you would drop $500-$800 or more, and get yourself a Sightron S3, Leupold Vari-X 3, Long-range, Premier, etc., Swarovski, Zeiss, IOR Valdada, Kahles, Docter, etc. I have a Zeiss Conquest 4-14x50 which is pretty clear, but even I admit that I'd like to have more than 14x when I get past the 200 yard mark. Really, even past the 100 yard mark, I prefer to have 18-20 power at least, but the Zeiss on 14 power gives the clarity of a low end Bushnell on 20 power, and gives a wider field of view.

This ratcheer is pretty much the ultimate long-range scope, in my view:

[Hmmm, can't find it - I though Swarovski made a 6-24x70mm....]

At least until you get into the extreme high end stuff like US Optics, Schmidt & Bender, and NightForce, and even then it can easily hang.

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