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Scope Recommendations for a .223 Bolt Action

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by quatin, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. quatin

    quatin Well-Known Member

    Hi all,

    I just picked up my first rifle and I need some information/recommendations for a scope to put on it. It's a Savage 12FVSS chambered in .223. I really plan on only using it for target shooting 100-200 yards. I've only begun the search for a scope and so far it seems there's alot of perks and gadgets that I don't need. I really just need something like a simple sturdy 3x9x40 to start me off with. I'll be shooting in broad daylight or in a lighted indoor range so I won't be looking for high quality lenses, I'll probably be shooting from the bench so I don't expect to use parallax adjustments and etc. I really need help cutting through all the fat, but not far enough that I'd have to re-zero every time. Other than that, my requirements aren't stringent. I will more than likely upgrade the scope later on and retire the old one to a rimfire rifle (which I will purchase later on..). Also, what are the consequences of buying used scopes? I realize that rifles wear out, but do scopes suffer the same situation?

    On a second note, are there serious differences between scope rings and scope mounts? I bought a Leopold STD scope mount just because it was convenient during the time of purchase, but haven't bought scope rings yet.
    Thx in advance.
  2. Not exactly what you're asking for, but related:

    BTW, buy the best scope you can possibly afford. I wouldn't "trade up, later." I'd go ahead and take the plunge on the better scope, now.
  3. swingset

    swingset Well-Known Member

    A 3-9x isn't much of a target scope, if that's your desired purpose.

    I'd go for a good varmint/target scope in the 24-32x range and try to get as good glass as you can possibly afford, if making tiny groups is your goal. The Bushnell Elite series are a good scope for the $$, so are the Nikon and the Super Sniper scopes. Used, they're even a better deal.
  4. P0832177

    P0832177 member

    Low end suggestions for a 223

    Weaver V16 is good value and totally adequate for punching paper out 200 and even 300 yards. I would not say the V24 because it seems to be milky when the power is above 20X.

    Moving up price wise with an increase in quality
    Sightron has some nice scopes in 4-16/6-24, and the same can be said for Bushnell 4200 series scopes.

    Moving up in price and not necessarily in quality
    The Leupold VX3 scopes 6.5-20 would be great!

    Get good mounts, Warne makes a great mount with in mounts to match!

    Have fun!
  5. jeepmor

    jeepmor Well-Known Member

    NC star

    I put an NCstar 6-24x50mm that I got from gunbroker for $99. Lighted reticle, pretty bright optics for price, but not as good as my leupold.

  6. ID_shooting

    ID_shooting Well-Known Member

    We put a Leupold vxII 3-9x40 on my wifes Ruger .223. She loves it, there isnt a whistle pig inside of 200 yards she can't blast.

    If you watch eBay or used in your local gun store you can find them good deals. We paid <$200.00 for hers.
  7. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    I really haven't decided either in 30 years! On a Rem. Brown Precision Urban sniper I had a 6x40 S&B, a 8x56 Kahleswith German #2 that I actually won a regional practical rifle throphy in 1984 with, a 12x Leupold Target which was great for Varmints and pin point in good light, and finally a 3-10 Varix3 Illumnated Leupold which I was preparing for a Randy Cain practical rifle class with. Seems the later was more in line with what a .223 "Urban Sniper" can do. I save the 6-24 for 22-250 ect. for truly long range tiny targets!;)
  8. MikeH

    MikeH Well-Known Member


    I bought a Mueller 8.5-25×44AO after reading good reviews at SavageShooters. Wasn't disappointed at all. Glass is much clearer than the Simmons AETEC I used before. Only problem I have with it so far is that the target turret has the tendency of coming loose.
  9. YodaVader

    YodaVader Well-Known Member

    For target work regardless of how you shoot I would suggest a scope that can be adjusted to eliminate parallax. Having a scope that is parallax free at any given range eliminates one of the variables that can affect accuracy.

    On my own Savage .223 12BVSS I have a Weaver V16 at the moment which is actually borrowed from my Shilen barreled Ruger 10/22. It is a decent scope and I fired my best targets with the Savage yesterday.
  10. Limey46

    Limey46 Well-Known Member

    This may be pure heresy, but I use a BSA Platinum 6-24X target scope on my Savage .223 Urban Tactical model, and it's just great. The glass is clear and bright, and the clicks do just what they're supposed to. The scope was on the gun when I got it, and at first I figured I'd soon replace it with something more expensive, but 500 rounds of consistent performance have convinced me otherwise. At this level of recoil and use -- purely range shooting out to 200 yards, no slamming around -- the BSA seems very capable indeed.

    Whatever brand you go for, I think you'll be better off with a target scope than a hunting-style model. For one thing, having high magnification in your scope means you don't also need a spotting scope to see your hits.
  11. quatin

    quatin Well-Known Member

    Pardon my ignorance on the subject, but does clarity really affect your aim? I can understand if the image was blurred, but when I looked through a $400 scope and a $150 scope the only difference I could see was a bit more brightness in the $400 scope. The difference was not significant however, I can understand in low light conditions or at a huge distance how the more expensive scope may prevail, but for shooting in broad daylight to 200 yards it seems unnecessary. Granted I can afford the more expensive scope, I am just trying to gather information as to what differs between the two to justify the purchase. For example, I was at a store the other day trying to figure the difference between a Bushnell Banner and a Bushnell 3200 Elite. At the same price, the Banner had higher magnification and a larger field of view than the Bushnell 3200 Elite, the rep at the counter really couldn't tell me much more than that the Bushnell 3200 Elite was a "better" series. I'm not trying to be cheap or anything, but it just made me feel uneasy to take a leap of faith and buy a scope costing $200 more because it was $200 better :D . Call me nitpicky but I just wanted to be an educated consumer for once...:)
  12. Limey46

    Limey46 Well-Known Member

    An Elite 3200 is "better" than a Banner because, while its lenses are probably more finely finished, its mounting/adjusting hardware is almost certainly more carefully calibrated and robustly made. Lens technology has advanced to the point where the differences between $50 and $500 worth of glass can be quite subtle, but a mechanism that'll work perfectly 5000 times is still more expensive to manufacture and assemble than one that'll start failing at 500 (or 50). That's how the cost/quality business works in scopes.
  13. Terrierman

    Terrierman Well-Known Member

    Stop and think how precise the machining has to be in order for an adjustment on a scope to move the impact of a bullet 1/4" at 100 yards, consistently, repeatably and across the full range of magnification the scope offers. And then stop and think about how precise the glass must be ground for the lenses to be clear and in focus in the entire field of view. And how important it is for the lens coating to be properly selected and evenly applied. And then stop and think about how precise the tube has to be made, and how precise the lenses have to be mounted in the tube and how important it is for the whole affair to be gas tight to prevent fogging. And then stop wondering what the difference is between a $100 scope, a $300 scope and a $1,000 scope.
  14. trstafford

    trstafford Well-Known Member

    I have a Burris fixed 10x on my 223 ground hog shooter. works great at all practical ranges. plus you can get more glass for the money since fixed power scopes don't have as many internal workings. If looking at the target is an issue buy a good spotting scope you'll like it better than trying to use your scope
  15. quatin

    quatin Well-Known Member

    Ok, thx for the advice. It does make sense that there's differences in the mechanics as well as the glass. I think I've narrowed down the view a little here. However, I've read some articles that recommend getting as high magnification as you can for target shooting. With that in mind should I get a good 3x9x40 or for the same price get a 4x12x42/6x18x50/etc. being that they're both the same price? So generally, do I buy the highest magnification (with mediocre quality) I can afford or the best quality scope I can afford. I won't be picking at the cheapest stuff in plastic cases, so I assume they're reputable scopes.
  16. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    Think the Bushnell 3200 10x is the finest scope value for the $$. You can mail order one from places like Midway or Natchez ect., ALOT cheaper!
  17. JTW Jr.

    JTW Jr. Well-Known Member

    I am loving the Super Sniper 10x rear focus so far , I am realtively new to shoot with a scope , and after trying a few diff ones , this works the best for me so far. I plan on gettnig a 20x for whichever bolt gun I decide to go with. the SS 10x is mounted on my AR.
  18. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Well-Known Member

    After I spent enough money repeatedly on lower quality scopes I came to realize that having good glass is like have a good rifle.

    And once you get good and spoiled by a nice high quality scope you will be glad you spent the money.

    I used to use a 1 - 4 X 20 on my .223 The reason for that is that the rifle just won't shoot super long distances. I never shot much over 200 yards but at that distance the 4 power was just fine.

    However, if I were in your shoes I would go for one of the good 3-9 X 40's that you can get from Leupold or Bushnell in the $250 to $300 range. And I would not hesitate to look on ebay as there are some good deals on used Leupolds there fairly frequently. They are guaranteed for life regardless of who owns it so if something actually goes wrong you can ship it to the factory for repair.

    The 3-9 magnification is a great hunting scope and its as much as you will need for a .223. The problem with the higher magnification scopes is that it is difficult to hold one still enough to use the 24 power unless you are on a bench. If you are shooting somthing that is running you will not use the higher power anyway because tracking something at 24 power is nearly impossible.

    I have a couple of Leupolds and a Bausch and Lomb (which is now Bushnell). Two of mine are 3-9X40's and one of the Leupolds is a 1-4X20.

    The only other thing I would toss in is to suggest that you get good steel rings and bases. They will cost you around $80 new but they absolutely affect the stability of the zero on the scope!
  19. Cueball

    Cueball Well-Known Member

    I have a Savage Model 12FV in .223 myself. I would strongly suggest that you get the best glass you can afford up front. I have multiple scopes in the closet from where I upgraded. Get something that you will be happy with from now on.

    Another thing I would suggest is to get an AO (Adjustable Objective) scope. I didn't do that at first and I regretted it very quickly. Invariably, you will eventually find yourself wanting/needing to shoot at a different distance than the 100yds the non AO scope is calibrated for. When this happens, and it will, you will lose the sharp focus you once had and will begin looking for a better scope and wishing you had bought one with that feature the first time.

    Specifically, I would look at 3-9X40 AO or 4-12X40 AO scopes to mount on that rifle. Bushnell is what I have on mine and I am very happy with it. It seems to be a good product and a good price point.

    Good Luck and Happy Shooting!
  20. quatin

    quatin Well-Known Member

    Hi all,

    I stopped by Walmart on the way home yesterday and just bought the largest scope they had with AO, a Bushnell Banner 6x18x50. Apparently Walmart doesn't have much pickings in the way of scopes, go figure :eek: . It was sort of an impulse buy, I was there to get a gun case. It kind of reminds me how I went to a store to look for ammo and bought a rifle...Anyways, was this a bad decision? I have no clue about the Banner series and there's no negative reviews that I can find online.

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