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1-6x vs 2-10x

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by mainecoon, Oct 23, 2018.

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  1. mainecoon

    mainecoon Member

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    I am thinking of going low power for my next hunting scope. This will be for New England deer and a possible dream trip west for elk. Currently I have a 3-9x but am thinking of going down to 2x or 1x on the bottom. Is one of these better than the other for this application?
     
  2. cheygriz

    cheygriz member

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    I've hunted the Rockies for many, many years with a 2.5-6X42.

    I've never felt the need for anything over 6X for big game. The scope stays set on 2.5X 99 percent of the time.
     
  3. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    If elk are on the menu I’d want a 2-10 unless I knew beyond doubt the shots wouldn’t be that far. I have 1-4, 2-7, 1.75-6, 3-9 and 3.5-10 scopes and any of them would have worked for 99% of the game I have killed. I’ve only shot one elk and it was in the early 80’s so I’m not an expert.
     
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  4. LocoGringo

    LocoGringo Member

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    You could go for inbetween with a 1-8x...
     
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  5. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    For hunting in the Rockies, I would suggest the 2-10. I've never taken a shot on game close enough that 2x would be awkward, but when you're in Big Sky Country, having a little magnification on the top end can help. That's assuming you're okay with taking game beyond 300 yards. If not, either optic will probably work equally well, but the 1-6 is a 6x zoom whereas the 2-10 is a 5x zoom. Higher zoom levels typically result in more expensive optics, so given two scopes of equal quality, the 2-10 will typically be a little cheaper than the 1-6.
     
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  6. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Member

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    I use a 1-4x scope on my main AR. For High quality glass, I think it is about 250-300 yards or so where I find 4x is getting on the wide end for something like an 8" target. It's not that I can't see it or hit it, but it starts becoming small to the point where I needed to take extra time to make sure I am centered on it. With that said, something has to be very close to where 2x is too tight. I'm thinking room distances.

    Here is an example to where 1x is indispensable... (starts at about 11-12 seconds in)



    You'll probably be fine with either. The question is, are you willing to give up quite a bit of magnification to pick up 1x?
     
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  7. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    ! wouldn't go below 3 unless it was for very close and fast encounters- think dangerous game in thick cover, or close quarter battle- which is kind of the same thing.
     
  8. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I’m happy to shoot short and fast above 10x, so none of my hunting rifles have any scope which goes below 3x, save my 458wm.
     
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  9. edapp

    edapp Member

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    I really like the 2-12 that is on my hunting rifle. I have never needed to go above 8x, and probably 6x would be fine, but I really like being able to go down to 2x.

    2x with an illuminated reticle is very quick to get on target at close range. I walked up on a nice buck at about 10 yards this past weekend. The scope and magnification was not a problem at that distance, and the red dot made finding the target very easy. I didn't shoot the deer, but I was glad to have my scope set on 2x, and if a shot was available I would have been ready.
     
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  10. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I have a 2-12x42 VX-6 on my deer rifle. Doesn’t give up anything on either end
     
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  11. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    I would definitely like to have one.
     
  12. mainecoon

    mainecoon Member

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    Thanks for the comments. I'm thinking of either a Burris Veracity or Vortex Viper HS in 2-10x. Anyone have either of these?
     
  13. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    You'll never notice the difference between a 2-10X and a 3-9X. No manufacturer makes a scope that is true to the listed magnification. Start looking carefully and brand "A"'s scope advertised as 3-9X may actually be 2.7-8.3X, and brand "B" may actually be 3.2-9.4X. They just round off. On top of that when you adjust the focus ring the magnification changes. The same scope might be 3X when focused for my eye and 2.6X when focused for you.

    I tend to err on the side of lower magnification rather than lower. I prefer a 3-9X most of the time over a fixed 4X or 6X scope, not to get more magnification, but less. For my uses 4X is too much most of the time. For a scope meant to be used for quick snap shots something with 1X on the low end is the way to go. I have some 1-4X scopes on AR's

    I'm beginning to think that a 1-6X with a 30mm tube might be a very good all around scope, but I don't have one.
     
  14. urbaneruralite

    urbaneruralite Member

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    50' at 100 yards field of view is wide enough for 10 yard shots. That'll usually match up with 2x. I wouldn't go any narrower than that or you can wind up trying to figure out which part of the animal you are seeing through the scope. Elk can be shot close, too, and fill more scope than a deer does.

    I'd buy the scope for deer that you actually hunt and not worry about elk. 6x works fine at 300 yards. Any scope with 2x on the low end will go high enough for elk.
     
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  15. IndianaBoy

    IndianaBoy Member

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    I love my 1-X scopes but for a hunting rifle the 2-10 options with the larger objective lenses are probably a better solution.


    The 1-X scopes are generally quite a bit heavier than the 2-10. Just something about the necessary glass to get 1x on the low end.
     
  16. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    I hunt elk, deer and antelope in WY with a 2.5-8, a 2-10, and have used a 3-9 in the past. I think any of these let me take the close shots while also allowing me to reach out as far as I'm going to shoot on game. When hunting in dark timber, I do appreciate the 2-3 power range, the only bull I saw while hunting this year was a spike that popped out about 10 yds away. Like a genius, my crossbow was slung while I was cow calling when he popped out, so he got away this time, but I'd much rather be on 2-3 power in a situation like that than 10.

    On the other end, keep in mind that if you are using a BCD reticle on a second focal plane hunting scope, the reticle is only accurate at one magnification, usually near the top. FOV at 8-10x is fine IMO for 200-400 yd shots, but I'm not sure I'd want too much higher.
     
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  17. rbernie
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    rbernie Contributing Member

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    I have several Viper HS 2x-10x/44 mounted on field-oriented rifles. I find them pretty satisfying; decent glass for the price, good mechanicals, and I've not found 2x to be a hindrance at tracking and shooting fast-moving game at contact distances (especially if you already shoot both-eyes-open at close range). They are a bit heavy, if you're looking for a lightweight mountain gun kind of package. All in all, I've found them to be a solid choice - no regrets.

    Having said that, I've moved upscale a bit for my favorite field rifles and use a VX5HD 2x-10x on them. It's got better optics than the Viper, doesn't have the weird color / tint of the VX6 that I find personally off-putting, has a very big and forgiving eye box, and is lighter than the Viper HS by a fair bit. It's my favorite field optic overall, and I've been lucky enough to find several of them NIB for less than $600 each.

    As an aside - I have found that most 1x variable optics that I have tried (at least those in the sub-$1500 range) have enough optical distortion at their lowest setting such that I never really liked using them all the way at the bottom end of the magnification scale anyway. For my rifles, if I genuinely feel the need for 1x and I'm not willing to shell out the dollars for a Swarovski-quality variable, then I get a true unmagnified 1x and be done with it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  18. LRDGCO

    LRDGCO member

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    I hunted New England deer for decades, mainly in NY and Vermont where 100 yards was an unimaginably long shot. And I've hunted elk in the Rockies now for five years. Rockies elk are either timber and valley shots from 25 - 200 yards, or they are very long range shots indeed at well over 300 yards, often way uphill. In may case, my self imposed limit is 300 yards, so the latter don't figure for me.

    Unless you really fancy yourself a "long range hunter", 6x is really the max magnification desirable in a hunting scope - in my opinion. So, for advice, I suggest the best glass you can afford in either 1-6 or 2-10.
     
  19. Bartojc

    Bartojc Member

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    All my hunting rifles have 3 on the bottom end except one that is 2.5. I do not think you would be handicapping yourself going with a 2-10, and you'll appreciate the little extra magnification out west.

    -Jeff
     
  20. Olon

    Olon Member

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    Nice shooting!
     
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