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Beginner Scope Question

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by dlzigjr, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. dlzigjr

    dlzigjr Well-Known Member

    Hi Guys,

    Recently bought a NEF Handi-Rifle in .204 Ruger. I am an experienced (30 years) shotgunner but my only rifle experience is .22 LR (thousands of rounds as a youngster) with iron sights, and I've taken a few deer with a borrowed Rem 700 in .270. My question is in regard to scopes. I have a 3-9x var Tasco Pronghorn 32mm and just mounted that on my new Handi with some Leupold "high" rings (955870). Is this a proper scope to fully realize the accuracy potential and flat shooting characteristics of the .204 Ruger? I realize you get what you pay for in optics so I'm not asking if this is as good as a $2K scope, but is this the right magnification choice for this caliber? I am interested in being accomplished enough to shoot crow sized targets at 100 to 200 yard range for starters...

    Thanks for input,

  2. proplinker

    proplinker Well-Known Member

    3-9x should by great for 100-200yards any farther and you might want to try a 6.5-20 but I would start with the 3-9
  3. PT1911

    PT1911 Well-Known Member

    personally I would look for something more on the lines of a 3x12.. 200 yards is a pretty long shot the extra magnification will make for a more accurate shot and allow you to push you limits a little more than a 3x9 without going crazy and getting into fly on the critter's ass at 400yds scopes.. just my recommendation..
  4. dlzigjr

    dlzigjr Well-Known Member

    okay sounds like....

    my 3x9 is a good starter to become skilled at 100 maybe to 150 yds. Any recommendation for brand and model in a reasonable price range (for me I'm thinking 150-300 dollar range) when I decide to upgrade in the magnifications your talking about? I will be shooting in NE Arkansas delta where you can see for miles...so I bet I will tire of 100 to 150 yard range pretty quick...lol.


  5. AKElroy

    AKElroy Well-Known Member

    You have a decent combo. This is not an expensive rig, and sometimes we put too much emphasis on high-dollar equipment to get the job done IMO. I believe NEF was acquired by Marlin a few years back, and I have heard they equip some of the handi-rifles w/ button-rifled barrels, so you should have terrific accuracy potential. With the negligeable recoil of the .204, that Tasco should be just fine. I would suggest low mount rings for a 32mm scope. You can find side-mount hammer extensions to clear the scope to allow cocking the hammer off to one side in order to get a mount closer to the bore centerline.
  6. PT1911

    PT1911 Well-Known Member

    barska is putting out several good scopes within that price range that have great features and several different magnifications.. on the higher end of your range you can get some nice bushnells as well... I would hate to recommend a specific scope beyond that as I think it would be best for you to check out a variety rather than just listen to what someone else thinks is a good scope..
  7. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    the scope is too small for two reasons; it is not enough power for the 204 ruger, and it is not a big enough objective bell, to let in more light, for good sight pics, at long range. I would go with something in a 42, 44, or 50 mm objective bell.
    A nikon , Pentax, or mueller will fill the bill, for about 150 bucks or less.
    if you can find higher power , say 12 x for low and 20 x for hipower, that would be good.
  8. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    oh yeah, if you don't have a hammer ext. go to a gunshop and see if they have any, they are a must for a single shot, to get the hammer back without squeezing it under the scope, to pull the hammer back without one.
  9. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    lastly, allways keep whatever you are using for your front rest, in the exact same place every time. I kept my bag or whatever, right up against the front of the trigger guard. you want the rest like that , or right under the breakopen, becuase if you move it forward, you will put diff types of pressure on the front of the bbl, and it will throw your shots all over the place, vertically.
  10. dlzigjr

    dlzigjr Well-Known Member

    RR, thanks for advice, and I have the hammer ext that came with the gun, but havn't installed it yet...
  11. All4eyes

    All4eyes Well-Known Member

    Its a good start for a scope, but I would look into a 4-14X40 Simmons Prosport ($65 at natchezss.com). A little more magnafication will help at longer ranges.
  12. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    In a pinch, a 3x-9x will do the job, but considering it's an .204, I'd go with an 4x-16x myself, with 4x-12x on the lower end. Also I wouldn't even think of keeping the Tasco Pronghorn on there, it WILL fail, sooner or later. It may not be catastrophic failure, just tracking issues that will drive you nuts. Get a decent scope on there and you WILL be able to shoot better. Nikon Prostaff and Weaver Classic V series are both decent scopes that'll perform well for you, and not cost an arm & leg in the process.
  13. gbran

    gbran Well-Known Member

    The .204 has the ability to shoot itty bitty little targets far, far away. Be it paper or 300 yd ground squirrels. Once you figure this out, you'll then realize you need more glass. 3x9's don't do justice to this caliber's abilities.
  14. Since you're not asking about scope quality, but rather magnification, my answer is this.

    No, absolutely not. Not a chance. That is a super flat shooting round, capable of zapping critters out to 300 plus yards. If you're shooting targets or small rodents, there's really no such thing as too much magnification, provided the glass quality and objective lens size support the magnification. I'd want bare bare minimums of:

    Objective Lens size: 42mm, but preferably 44, 50, or 56mm.

    Magnification: 6-18x, but preferably at least 6-20 or 6-24x. Or, even better than a variable power, ideally, you'd have something like a Weaver, Leupold, Super Sniper, or Sightron fixed power target scope - on a budget, something like the Super Sniper fixed 20x42mm.

    Just M.O. (after shooting many targets). When I'm shooting precise groups on targets, I prefer 12-14 power at 50 yards, at least 18-20 power at 100 yards, and at least 20-24 power at 150-200 yards. But I'd shy away from the 8-32s for two reasons: most of the scopes available in this offering are cheap and cannot begin to have the glass quality to support such magnifications in a variable power scope, and the high quality ones are super expensive with an objective big enough to give you a decent exit pupil, and secondly, in the summer, mirage starts to become a real problem in some cases once you go past 24/25x, sometimes even past 18-20x, depending on many circumstances of heat, terrain, glass quality, etc.

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