Which magnification for varminter?


August 2, 2004, 12:38 AM
Alright, I've narrowed it down to either a 6.5-20x50 or a 4-14x50 for shooting out to 500 yards with a .243 Sauer 202 Varminter.

Glass will be either Swarovski, Nikon, IOR, or Kahles. I'm leaning towards the IOR because of the Zeiss glass, 30mm tube, and excellent price-for-features. Nikon Monarchs are a bit cheaper, but I'm a little more concerned about quality than with the European glass.

1) What would be your preferred magnification and why?

2) What would be your preferred brand and why?

3) Would you get an illuminated reticle for varminting?

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August 2, 2004, 12:57 AM
While not a varmiter I would go for the higher magnification and a non-illuminated reticle. All the brands you mentioned are good quality.

I am interested in other comments.

August 2, 2004, 12:57 AM
1. preferred mag. for 500 yards? I'd say 36-40x is more in tune with that kind of distance, IMHO.

2. Any of the brands you mention are good makers, I happen to favor Zeiss products but I think Nikon makes a great scope for the $$ too.

3. I don't see much need for illuminated reticle personally, but if they suit ya that's fine. As long as it doesn't halo on you and make fine target acquisition difficult they certainly won't hurt ya.

My .02

August 2, 2004, 01:52 AM
I think the bidding starts at 24x for those distances and I'd pass on the illuminated reticle for the stated purpose.

Both of my .22-250s (Sako and Weatherby) both wear Leupold; one a fixed 36x BR and the other a 8.5x25 Long Range.

August 2, 2004, 02:27 AM
My .22-250 has a Nikon Buckmaster 4.5-14x. Optics are beautiful but I find myself wanting more. Groundhogs look pretty small at 400 yards, I'm looking now at 8-32x scopes. So far Bushnell 4200 and Burris look like the best scopes (to me) for the $$$$. YMMV.

August 2, 2004, 08:27 AM
I'm pretty new to varminting, so these tips on magnification are good to know for me. I'll look more seriously at the 6.5-20 or a higher magnification. I'd be willing to bet that most shots would be within 300 yards, but I want the ability to go further as I get better.

Keep 'em coming guys. All of this information helps me out a lot. :)

August 2, 2004, 11:55 AM
my varminter wears an 8.5-25 vx-3.

the ability to turn the power down is important on days w/ serious mirage.

14 power is too low, and illuminated reticles are wasted on varmint rifles.

the nikon monarch is in a completely different (lower) class than the other scopes you mention. either cross it off your list, or if you must have nikon represented, look at nikon tacticals.

August 2, 2004, 01:03 PM
I was also wondering how the Bushness Elite 4200 compares in quality to the Nikon Monarchs as far as clarity and quality of optics, repeatability of adjustments, and durability of the scope itself. Do the Bushnells use glass crystal like higher-end scopes or are the lenses plastic like the Springfields and cheaper scopes? Speaking of which, do the Nikon Monarchs have actual glass lenses or are they also plastic. From what I understand, they are glass, but I figure that it is always good to double check with the experts here. :)

August 2, 2004, 01:40 PM
the nikon monarch is in a completely different (lower) class than the other scopes you mention. either cross it off your list, or if you must have nikon represented, look at nikon tacticals.

This is good for me to note, dakotasin. I had listed the Nikons because I have been extremely pleased with their cameras and they seemed to be a good value for the number of features. I have not, as of yet, compared a Swarovski or IOR or Zeiss next to a Nikon, though, so I cannot comment on the comparative quality difference between them. (Another reason why I am open to people's far greater experience then mine here...)

Another reason that I listed the Nikon and Bushnell scopes is because I am looking to put a Schmidt and Bender on a hunting rifle in the near future. The fact that I am looking to put exotic glass on two different rifles within a near proximity of time frame has resulted in a substantial amount of sticker shock... :evil:

August 2, 2004, 02:02 PM
.. 6-24x is plenty for me.I like the biggest lens as possible on the front.sunshades are nice on sunny days.

the lower magnification makes scanning wide open areas for movement quick...the high magnification brings in clumps of dirt that may be mistaken for a rodent..so its subjective to your habits.

I dont care for illumination for ranges past 50 yards.

August 2, 2004, 07:01 PM
i notice that leupold isn't on your list. kind of odd that it isn't, actually. when i first saw your post i figured you were just 'anti-leupold' because so many people say ya gotta have one... but, after reading your posts, i think maybe you just aren't familiar w/ all the glass out there... you really do need to check leupold out.

as noted, i would look for glass that tops out at least 20x, but more is better. for a dedicated varminter, i would rank in this order: nightforce, leupold, zeiss, swarovski.

all those scopes are high-end can't-go-wrong scopes. my own dedicated varminters wear leupold vx-3's. the best price-for-performance in my experience. nightforces are very, very nice, but very, very expensive.

August 2, 2004, 09:38 PM
I hadn't forgotten the Leupies. Initially, I have stayed away from the Leupolds because everybody and their grandmother has a Leupold and I like being different. (I'm trying not to be a glass-snob).

However, today I played with a Leupold 6.5-20x50 VX-III next to a Nikon Tactical 2.5-10x44. After setting both of them on the 10x power I really couldn't tell much of a difference between the light transmission and optical clarity between the two. However, looking through an IOR 6-24x50 w/ 35mm tube was like a night and day difference between the others. Everything just seemed to jump out when looking through the scope. I suppose that I've always had the Leupies in mind if all else fails, but if I can't tell the difference between the Nikon and the Leupold, why pay the difference in price? :confused:

August 2, 2004, 11:58 PM
well, you'll have to get what you want to be truly happy - regardless of how good one brand may be over another (real or imagined).

there's tons more to a scope than light transmisson and clarity... resolution, weight, ruggedness, tracking, repeatability, weight, warranty, etc etc etc, and etc!

leupold is a known quantity, and i've had a lot of successes w/ my leupolds. i have no experience w/ the ior's, though...

anyway, of the scopes you are talking of, the only place leupold really shines is in eye-relief, weight, and warranty. basically everything else is a wash, or is better than leupold.

so... for a varminter, weight isn't a factor. that brings eye-relief up, and a 243 isn't much for recoil. so eye-relief isn't mandatory, but can make mounting possibilities a lot nicer. warranty... nikon is getting better (what a company says they'll do and what a company actually does can sometimes be very different). leupold set the standard. again, no experience w/ ior. the german zeiss' take forever to get back, but they do stand behind their stuff - don't know about the conquest series. swaro stands behind their stuff, but again, it takes forever to get back (overseas shipping).

ok, difference in price... i doubt that an equivalent power and grade nikon is any less expensive than leupold. you'll note that all the brands that compete within a class are closely priced. i have no doubt that the 6.5-20 was more expensive than a 2.5-10 nikon... expect you'll find prices pretty close though when comparing similiar scopes...

whew, this got long... anyway, you are considering some very nice scopes, and doubt you'll find a flaw w/ a one of them. the only knock on ior is that the 35mm tube could make rings kind hard/expensive to get. but, if the ior looked that much cleaner to your eye, you won't go wrong by going that route. btw, have you checked out schmidt & bender, yet?

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