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Why a fixed 10x Leupold M4 rather than a 3.5-10x Leupold M4?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by dodging230grainers, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. dodging230grainers

    dodging230grainers Well-Known Member

    Considering that the variable 3.5-10x Leupold MK4 is $400 cheaper than the fixed 10x40mm M4, why would I choose the fixed scope, if I could simply leave the magnification on 10x on the variable Leupold? Wouldn't that be the same thing?

    Can anyone outline any pros or cons for the fixed 10x compared to the variable 3.5-10x?

    As long as I leave the magnification on 10x, I can still use the mil-dot system perfectly on the variable, right?
  2. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Well-Known Member

    The advantage of fixed power scope are that they have less moving parts so there is no change in zero, less chance of mosture geeting inside and they have less lenses inside so light transmission is supposedly better.

    When you are buying hundreds of scopes to be used by 19 year old kids in a far off land,, the fixed power scopes make more sense for marksman taking 95% of their shots past 400 meters.
  3. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    In addition to the above, the thickness of the tube metal is greater on the fixed power 10x40mm M4, making it able to take more abuse.

  4. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    Fixed scopes are the scope of choice, for many experienced hunters who want bright, clear scopes that won't let them down in the field.

    However, the American tendency to believe we're getting "more for our money" when we sacrifice quality for perceived versatility has all but eliminated the fixed power scope from the marketplace. I know guys who scour eBay for used ones for that reason.

    Consider this, though. For, say, deer hunting, what does a 3-9x40mm offer that a 4x32mm doesn't do just as well, with better light gathering and less to fumble with?

    So, you can fumble with the thing and make the image twice as big, if you don't mind it being darker. So what? A quality 4X won't let you see a deer well enough to hit it?
  5. dodging230grainers

    dodging230grainers Well-Known Member

    My natural inclination was to go with the fixed 10x, as I understand simpler is often better. But does a $350 price tag increase justify it?

    Most of my shooting will take place between 200-600 yards, but I want to be able to shoot out to 900-1000, considering this is a Remington 700 24" .308!!
  6. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

    Scopemakers haven't forgotten their "roots".

    At one time (40s and 50s) Weaver was the benchmark of affordable scopes and their line was mostly the "K"-series, eg. K4 (4x), K6, K8, K10. They were decent scopes and perfectly fine in use.
    But the other scopemakers hit upon a slick marketing angle - partly abetted by the arrival of "deer/varmint" calibers like the .243 and 6mm - the Variable scope.

    Of course their marketing campaigns undermined the Weaver line with the plausible sounding argument of: "Why buy a fixed power scope for varmints and another one for deer when you can buy our Variable 2x7 and have both bases covered in one scope???" In the space of a decade the sales of fixed power scopes to hunters fell into the basement and, of course, Weaver had to counter by bringing out variables of their own.

    For the longest time my rifles all wore Redfield Widefield 2x7 variables and I'd bet the magnification on all of them was set a 5x at least 90% of the time. That's to say I probably could have done nearly all my deer hunting with the old second-hand K4 I had on my first deer rifle in my teens.:uhoh:

    And for varmints (mostly woodchucks in those days), I had a K6 on my first centerfire and had no idea I wasn't supposed to be able to hit woodchucks at 400yds. with it.:eek:

  7. dodging230grainers

    dodging230grainers Well-Known Member

    So perhaps the advantages of variable scopes are slightly overrated, but useful occasionally I suppose.

    The question is, is it worth the $300-400 jump to get the bombproof fixed 10x?
  8. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Well-Known Member

    The Mark 4 scopes will not have any "change of the zero" with magnification adjustment.

    And yes you can use the mil-dots on the variable scopes...Leupold calibrates the dots to be used on max magnification, no matter the power of the scope.

    The dots will work at 5x (half of 10x) too...but the math is a bit different
  9. dodging230grainers

    dodging230grainers Well-Known Member

    So I also have the option of just leaving the magnification on 10x, zero the scope on 10x, and shoot on 10x, as I would with a fixed power, and it will work perfectly, right?
  10. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    Damn good question. Or is the variable in question really worth the price jump over some other scopes? Swarovski's optics are phenomenal, but are the scopes worth $2500 apiece? Hell if I know what something is worth.:)

    What about Leupold's 12X varmint scopes? Not mildot, I guess.

    DRYHUMOR Well-Known Member

    I've been told, but haven't verified it personally, the Leupold 10X and 16X are the only two made in the USA right now.
  12. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Well-Known Member

    If the price of the fixed 10X40 MKIV doesn't bother you, other than costing more than the MKIV 3.5-10X10; the OP might also consider giving the Nightforce NXS in 3.5-15X50 a serious look.

    When I re-scoped my SSG 69, I narrowed it down the the Leupold and the Nightforce. The Nightforce had noticeably better glass, more magnification range, an illuminated reticle, and appears to have sturdier construction than the Leupold variable MKIV (it is on par with the fixed power Leupold which is good). Considering the NXS costs basically the same as the fixed power MKIV and has more features and better glass the choice was pretty easy.

    I will complain about the fact the NXS is both large at 14.7 inches long, and heavy. Thus far though the optic has been worth the extra size and weight. Absolutely accurate adjustments, great clarity, and it can hold 15X in failing light.
  13. t george

    t george Well-Known Member

    i like the adjustable scopes because when im in the field i just set it on about 7 and leave it alone, but when im at the range i like being able to bring it up to 14.5x and use it as my spoting scope
  14. dodging230grainers

    dodging230grainers Well-Known Member

    One last question, say I had the 10x fixed, and I cranked up the elevation knob 30 clicks to shoot at say 500 yards, is there an easy way to return to my 100 yard zero?

    Should I just mark my 100 yard zero on the elevation knob with a marker or something?
  15. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Well-Known Member

    Once you get zeroed at your 100yd line, you unscrew the set screws on the turret cap and move the zero indication to indicate the scope is zeroed. Then screw them back down. Returning to zero is as easy as cranking the knob back down to your zero. Just make sure to have an idea of how many turns you had to make to get to your added elevation.
  16. db_tanker

    db_tanker Well-Known Member

    I love my 6x Leupold.

    First was on my 308 Mauser, now it sets on my 22 Hornet.

    I thought that variable scopes were the way to go until I was presented with that "don't walk away from THAT deal" scope. I am glad I listened to that little voice. :)

    The 10x would be a nice one to have on a few different rifles I own...now I just need to move into that next higher income bracket. :D

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