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I think I need more magnification.

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by mmb617, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. mmb617

    mmb617 Member

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    I'm pretty new to the AR platform having bought my M&P Sport II just after Christmas last year. I had never shot a rifle with a scope on it so at first I just used the stock iron sights which worked fine at 50 yds, but when I moved out to 100 yds I had a lot of trouble seeing where my shots were hitting even using splatterbust targets. My eyes were never too good and they certainly haven't improved in my "golden years".

    So I bought a 3x9 scope and that did the trick. I can't afford high end equipment but I found this one and it's been great at 100 yds:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BD55L82/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    As I've gotten more comfortable at that distance I wanted to try some longer shots. Our club has a range that has target stands at 100, 200, and 300 yds. Today I went over to that longer range and at the 200 yd distance I once again had some trouble seeing where my shots were hitting even at 9x. I could just barely make them out which made dialing in difficult.

    I'd already hung a target on the 300 yd stand so I tried that one as well. I could not tell where I was hitting it at all without walking up a good ways.

    I'm thinking that what I need for those longer shots is more magnification. I've been looking into possibilities and wonder if this one would be a good choice:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F47BW6...olid=2SLB1C8ACEWEV&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

    I welcome any thoughts you might have on the matter and would really like to hear from anyone who might have that same scope.

    I'm not a hunter so I only need something that's good for those longer shots at the range, if that's a consideration.

    Thanks in advance for any help or advice!
     
  2. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Seeing hits out a ways.......reactive targets or spotting scope.
     
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  3. Jessesky

    Jessesky Member

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    What good is zooming in on a blurry picture if it’s still blurry?

    More so than magnification, I’ve found glass quality to be important in defining targets at range. I understand everyone has a budget, but there is a significant jump in clarity at certain price points.

    It’s tough to make a very clear 6-24 power scope like the one you posted for $300. If you spent that $300 on something with the same 3-9 magnification like you already have but focusing spending on better glass than zoom range, I’d hedge my bets you’d be able to see much better.
     
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  4. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    When it comes to scopes, binoculars and spotting scopes you get what you pay for. IMO :thumbup:
     
  5. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    That 3-9x scope, inexpensive though it is, apparently works for you. At 9x, glass quality is starting to become really important.

    In my experience:
    - At 12x, glass is critical; cheap glass is painful to use for any period of time. I can't stand sub-Leupold glass here.
    - Beyond 12x, you're wasting you're money if you're not buying Leupold or better. It's awful.

    So, you need to decide how badly you want to see .224 bullet holes at 200 yards. It's not cheap.
     
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  6. stillquietvoice

    stillquietvoice Member

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    I feel your pain. 5 years ago I could see 223 rem holes on 200 yd targets at 9x, scope weaver kaspa. At dame distance with Nikon 4-12 was easy. Now it's difficult at 16-18 and still can't see holes at 300. Your best bet is to get a good spotting scope to use for checking your groups.
     
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  7. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    You need more quality, not more X's. You should be able to shoot MOA with 1X per 100 yards with good glass. I certainly don't think you need more than 2X per 100 yards. When you get above 10X there are a lot of negatives and scope quality becomes even more important. And more X's mean more money if you stay at the same level of quality. I'd much rather have a decent 3-9X scope than 4-12X scope at the same price point. With a quality scope you should see 22 caliber bullet holes at 200 yards with a 9X scope.

    If you want to see bullet holes beyond 200 yards you probably need a spotting scope on a tripod. Mine is 20-60X and 200-300 yards is about as far as I can see individual bullet holes anyway. Above 30X-35X or so the image isn't sharp enough to see bullet holes beyond 300. I'd have get into something selling in the 4 digit price range to do that. I'll walk down and see the target before paying that much.
     
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  8. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    i have that scope on my .300, and i was able to pick out .30 cal holes in the white at 200-300. I could differentiate line hits on the shoot n c also, which is harder in a way.
    Im not positive youll be able to pick out .223 holes, but for the cost that Nitros a really solid optic.

    I also had my Athlon Talos spotter out, a 250msrp optic, and it didnt do any better than the scope with all the mirage.
     
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  9. MCFLYFYTER

    MCFLYFYTER Member

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    If you are wanting a budget 24x, I'd personally go with the athlon argos. It spanks the vortex pst gen 2 and does so at 1/3 the cost. If your life depends on the scope, I'd spend several thousand minimum, but otherwise budget scopes today can be very good.
     
  10. mmb617

    mmb617 Member

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    I don't feel the picture I get from my current 3x9 is blurry, it's just too small at 300 yds. Actually I think the picture I get is very good considering it was a $110 scope. Maybe I'm wrong but I figure if Bushnell can make a scope that good for $100 then the $300 one is probably decent as well. To me it seems I need the picture bigger, not necessarily clearer.

    The one thing I know for sure is I don't want to see them badly enough to spend 4 figures on a scope unless there's a decimal point somewhere between those figures.

    I never thought about a spotting scope because I figured a good one would cost just as much as a rifle scope, but after looking at a few maybe I was wrong about that too. Certainly something to take under consideration.

    I can just see the holes with my present 9x scope, barely at 200 yds. But I can't see them at all at 300 yds. My budget says anything in the 4 digit price range is definitely out. I got plenty of exercise today between hanging targets and walking partway down to see where I was hitting. I'd rather that not be part of every range trip.

    Thank you. I was hoping to hear from someone who has that Nitro scope. I'm quite pleased with my low end Bushnell 3x9 scope for what it is. If the 24-50 is comparable quality I think it will be worth buying. The Bushnell website lists it's MSRP as $549-$699 so I don't think it's an absolute bottom of the barrel scope.

    It seems like you can get more for your money on a lot of things these days. I have been pleasantly surprised at the quality level on several items I bought cheap lately.
     
  11. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Rimfire at 50 yards or centerfire at 100, I like 12X.
    Did well with less mag, when eyes younger.
    Now that I'm older and everything is falling apart, I may need more LOL
     
  12. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    High magnification is good if all you want to see is a tiny little bullseye that won't even move an inch until you walk the 300 yards and move it yourself. For 'practical' disciplines, less magnification and more field of view is better.

    "X" is intended to convey a simplified idea of magnification, as opposed to something like focal length. Do we suppose that a target at 200 yards will appear similar at 2X magnification to the same target at 100 yards? It seems to me that a good rifleman ought to be able to make a shot count at 100 yards with 0X iron sights. So 5X should be good for 500 yards. A real problem is that both the glass and the atmosphere create interference such that increasing X by 2 doesn't result in an image twice as big with equal quality.

    Bear in mind that there are range conditions wherein you will not be able to see a .224" hole at 300 yards with a multi-kilobuck spotting scope. If you really want to see the distance, you need clear conditions as well as good glass. The best X-power is selected based on what field of view is practical for your purpose.
     
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  13. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    I concur about glass quality being more important than magnification. One of my friends can’t get past the fact he can see targets at 300 plus yards better with one of my scopes on 9x than he can with any of his scopes with almost twice the amount of magnification.

    There have been a bunch of salient points made in this thread IMO. mmb617, better glass may be the solution for you instead of more magnification, in fact that’s what I’d put my money on.
     
  14. mmb617

    mmb617 Member

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    Thanks for all the input. It's certainly given me food for thought.

    The longer distances do bring more factors into play. I never give much thought to wind at 100 yds but I noticed yesterday that my shots at 200 and 300 yds were all off to the right. There was a fair amount of wind blowing from left to right and I'll bet that was why. It's going to be impossible to compensate for that sort of thing if I can't see where my shots are hitting without walking halfway to the target after each shot.
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    It's still moving your bullets though.

    Buy glass until it hurts a little, or more, once paid for you'll never regret it.
     
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  16. mmb617

    mmb617 Member

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    Well to my surprise the new scope that was scheduled to arrive on Tuesday actually got here yesterday. Today is another of the 95* ones we've been having lately so I went to the range at 8 AM to try out my new scope and beat the worst of the heat.



    The good news is that I'm really happy with this scope. I set splatterburst targets out at 100, 200 and 300 yds. I first used the 100 yd distance to sight in the scope which was pretty far off to the left at first but was really clear at 10x, super easy to see the holes. I'm new to scoped rifles and later reading leads me to believe that I'd be better off sighting in at 50 yds so I'll do that next trip out. Today was just getting the feel of things and checking the sight picture at some longer ranges.



    Next I tried the 200 yd targets and found I liked 12x best for that distance. Again the shots were very easy to see, much better than with my old scope.



    Finally I moved out to the 300 yd ones and quickly found that 24x was blurry. The temp was already over 80* by then which I'm sure didn't help. But when I dialed back to 16x the image was crystal clear and I could make out my holes although they were a little hard to see. Then I noticed that while my target was in the shade the left portion of the target stand was in full sunlight so I made that long walk to change the position of the target into the sun. Wow! Big difference. I could now see the hits quite clearly at 300 yds.



    I brought along my 15-22 with it's new scope (the old one from the AR) and was pleased to see how much better it is now at 100 yds which is as far as I expect to shoot it.



    I'm very glad I went ahead and got the 6-24x scope. It's capable of doing what I wanted, that being letting me see my hits at 300 yds. I don't see any reason I'll ever need anything for any distance greater than that as it's the longest range at my club. I've got lots of room for improvement in my accuracy at that distance but I'll work at it.



    I will be the first to admit that I'm no marksman but I will also say that there's obviously some room for improvement in my equipment other than the optic. For one thing I'm still not happy with my trigger. I did install an aftermarket single stage trigger but I still think it's too heavy and not smooth enough. I'm thinking about maybe trying a two stage, as I've never used one but from what I've read they sound like a solution to what I don't like about my present trigger.



    I also don't like the amount of rotational flex in my handguard. I need to do more research on possible cures for that.



    I just wanted to give an update to those who offered their input in this thread.
     
  17. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    I don't worry about my hits when shooting for a group.
    Trying to see them could lead to peeking.
    Just fire 5 shots and then take a stroll, see what ya got.

    Don't want to walk back and forth a lot, shoot 5 at one bull, 5 at another, then walk down.

    Never been one to run to the range for an hour, I go and take as long as I need.
    Not rushed, just enjoy the day..............relax, and shoot well.
     
  18. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    BTW, my AR wears a 3-9X. Its for hunting yotes.
    Will shoot some 200 and maybe longer on the range.
    Wear some comfy walkin shoes too.
     
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  19. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    I have the 5-20x version, as yet unmounted while I sort out plans for a quasi-precision AR. What I can say is that glass quality is much more in line with MSRP than the close out prices they’re offered at. It won’t beat a high dollar scope in clarity but it is one of the nicest I own.

    Id also say that for $300, there isn’t a spotting scope I’d recommend for your purposes that could likely do much better.
     
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  20. mmb617

    mmb617 Member

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    I'm going to resurrect this thread because I'm now thinking about getting a spotting scope. As I mentioned earlier the Nitro scope I have allows me to see the hits at 300 yds if the target is in full sun, but that target stand is only in full sun for a short time each day, it's often shaded by the tree line along side. Since several members mentioned a spotting scope I thought I'd give one a try.

    I take it you like the Athlon optics as budget glass goes. Are you familiar with this spotting scope?

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Athlon-Optics-20-60x80-Talos-Spotting-Scope-with-Angled-Viewing-Waterproof-Tan/373097933372?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

    I'm wondering how it would compare to this one since I like my Bushnell rifle scope.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bushnell-Trophy-XLT-20-60x-65mm-Waterproof-Spotting-Scope-w-Tripod-Hard-case/124325310371?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m1431.l2649

    I know the Bushnell is about twice the price of the Athlon new and I'm trying to evaluate my maximum bid for this used one. Is it significantly better?

    It's not a hard and fast rule but generally I figure a used item in good condition is worth about 1/2 what a new one would cost. Any input on whether that rule would apply here?

    Up until a couple months ago I'd never even looked through a rifle scope so this is all new to me. Any input other than to suggest that I spend way more money than I can afford would be appreciated.

    I do understand that no $100 scope is going to be as good as a $1000 one, but at every price point there are some that are better than others.

    I have till Friday to decide on the ebay auction unless the price goes high enough that I won't even consider it. And if by chance there's someone else here who's bidding on that same auction, send me a PM and I'll drop out.
     
  21. MCFLYFYTER

    MCFLYFYTER Member

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    The half price for used is not even close, depending on the optic. With lifetime warranties now, a used optic can be very close in cost to new. Even if it is old and outdated, they likely wont have parts so you will get an updated replacement.
     
  22. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    The Athlon spotter is going to be the better value IMHO, and you just don't get much in a spotter at the $55 mark.
     
  23. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    First and foremost, this is my opinion and I'm sure there are some folks more knowledgable that I am on optics.

    A friend and I have gone on several prairie dog adventures to South Dakotas over the past 8-10 years. The guide that we use recommends that we use a scope with up to about a 12x power. Now we are not generally shooting more than 500 to 600 yards and usually 300 to 400 yards. We know he has clients that want to shoot 1000 yards and more so I'm sure those clients use higher power scopes.

    Over the several adventures, I've up graded my scopes to higher quality and have been pleased with the better optics. I have a fixed 12x power scope on my 204 Ruger bolt rifle while my long barrel 204 Ruger AR-15 has a variable scope that goes up to 20x. With the AR-15, I do limit the magnification to 12x or so.

    My friend shoots a 22-250 bolt rifle at the prairie dogs.

    Since my last prairie dog hunt, I've built a bolt rifle chambered in 22 Bench Rest. While I have not purchased the most expensive scope, I've not scrimped either.

    For spotting, we use binoculars for the most part. Again, better quality yields better results. Binoculars are more flexible than spotting scopes. There are situations where spotting scopes would be more useful.

    I shot Service Rifle competition some and found that better quality spotting scopes yield better information.

    Anyway, I hope that I provide a data point for one to include in their optic choice decision.
     
  24. mmb617

    mmb617 Member

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    I just wanted to say that you know what you're talking about. That scope which sells for $240 new is already at $152 with 3 1/2 days left in the auction. I had no idea used optics held their price so well.
     
  25. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    Took me a while to learn this lesson
     
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