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Too much magnification?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by JimJD, Mar 24, 2009.

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  1. JimJD

    JimJD Member

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    In recent posts it was stated I purchased a Remington 700 SPS Varmit (.223) that was sold at Dicks Sporting Goods as a package, meaning it came with a scope. I'm not all that crazy about said scope. So, I embarked on a search for an affordable piece of glass.
    Initially, I was looking at some Mueller scopes (variable power) as I've had good results with their APV on my Ruger 10/22. Then, I read about the Bushnell Elite 3200 10x40. That got me thinking about going with a fixed instead of a variable.
    It sounds like a great scope, then I made it worse.

    I started reading about the Super Sniper sold by SWFA. That one seems to get kudos in most cases, it sounds like a good scope for a great price. Right now, I'm leaning towards the S.S.. But if I do go with it, or another fixed power scope... what magnification should I pick?
    I'm thinking a 10x should be fine, keeping in mind the .223's maximum range, and the fact my local rifle range is 100 yards. Then I start thinking about (in the S.S.'s case) the 16x and 20x. Plus, I might be able to get occasional access to a range that maxes out at a 1000 yards with points in between.
    But I only know so much about optics... which is little. So, I'm left wondering if mounting a fixed 16x or 20x is too much for what I currently have.
    10x? 16x? 20x? What's a optics noob to do?

    By the way, I have plans to get another bolt action in a year or two if I can afford it. Minimum, .308. I can always swap the scope...

    A huge thanks to all of the members here! You've been so helpful and kind!
     
  2. PT1911

    PT1911 Member

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    I would go with the 16 or the 20... the better you can see the target the better chance you have of making the shot you want... aim small miss small.. right? aim at the tick, hit the deer....assuming the tick is just behind the front shoulder about center mass... possibly lower depending on your preference...:D
     
  3. Runningman

    Runningman Member

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    Are you using this for varmint hunting? If so I would recommend a good 4.5 - 14X at a minimum or something like a 6.5 - 20X variable power target style scope would be even better.
     
  4. popeyespappy

    popeyespappy Member

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    A lot will depend on your intended use for the rifle. 10x is actually fairly high powered and the limited field of view of higher power scopes makes target acquisition harder and following a moving target a lot harder. Higher power scopes also tend to exaggerate mirage issues at longer ranges.

    Having said all that the Bushnell 4200 8-32x40 on my Savage model 12 sure helps my old eyes to shoot little bitty groups at longer ranges. I’ve also got Super Sniper scopes in 10x and 20x and I’ve got Bushnell 3200 Elite scopes in 10x40 and 3-9x40. The 10x SS scope is a brighter than the 20x. The SS scopes are both more repeatable the Bushnells. The SS scopes are also heavier. The Bushnell scopes are nice enough and a lot cheaper.
     
  5. a-sheepdog

    a-sheepdog Member

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    I think that you will find that 10X is pretty good all around. The fixed higher power scopes are going to make the slightest wobble/movement magnified tremendously. I would opt for something in the 3.5-10X range or maybe a 4.5-14X. I am not a varmint hunter and am not shooting off of sand bags or other platform. If you are benchrest shooting, the higher power might be better. The quality of the glass is going to be a factor also. Just food for thought.
     
  6. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    For varminting, you would want higher magnification than big game or human-sized targets. 3x9 or 10 vs 6.5 x 20.
     
  7. JimJD

    JimJD Member

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    I won't be doing any varmiting right now, just paper punching from a bench. I'll be using my rests and whatnot.

    popeyespappy, I was thinking the same thing. But when I looked through a fellow shooter's 20xsomething scope at a 100 yards a couple of years back, it reminded me of going from VHS to DVD. "Wow! I couldn't see that before!"
    But like you said, higher magnification will make target acquisition and following a moving target harder. Maybe the 16x is a good balance? I have a lot of thinking to do on this one. Pro's, con's, etc.

    I forgot to add, once I have it all down; I'm going to be loading my own ammunition. I have the equipment, just want to read my reloading books again before I do.
     
  8. Rancho Relaxo

    Rancho Relaxo Member

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    I started with a 3-9x leup. vxII on my heavy barreled varmint 223 (it was the only good scope I had at the time), then went to a 4-14.5x (I think that was the magnification) Nikon Buckmaster, then a 6.5-20x Nikon Monarch. I think I've found what I'm looking for now. I made a hit on a ground squirrel at 462 yards last spring off a bench in the wind. I couldn't have been able to do it with a 3-9, and at 14.5 it would have been pretty tough too. Hell, it was hard enough cranked up to 20x! 20x is too much for 100 yards, even with a solid rest for me, but dialed down to 16x and I get some fantastic groups.
     
  9. yoshi76

    yoshi76 Member

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    The 10x SS is good. I find 3-9x to be perfect for deer hunting. People like more mag more varmint or bench shooting but that requires a good solid rest.
     
  10. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Member

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    I think it's hard to have too much magnification when you're shooting targets off a bench. Out in the field it's another matter entirely. Trying to quickly locate a target with a scope set on 16x is a PITA. Personally, I like a 3-12x or a 4-16x scope. That gives me fairly fast acquisition for hunting and fairly high magnification at the range.

    Those high magnification scopes get dim a lot faster in low light too.
     
  11. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I would buy a Bushnell Elite 3200 10x40 rather than ANY Super Sniper scope based on my recent experience with one. I shot a 458 SOCOM last week at the range (wasn't mine) and it had a Super Sniper on it ... all I can say is what a total piece of crap! I'm sorry to be so harsh but that's what it was. It was like looking through the bottom of a jam jar ... just horrible ... and the mil dot reticle looked like it was painted on the glass. :barf:
     
  12. moooose102

    moooose102 Member

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    unless all you are going to do is target shoot, at a fixed yardage, i would get a variable power scope. in a perfect world, all scopes would be 1-30 power variable, with a range finder, and an auto zoom feature that would select the proper zoom setting depending on yardage. but this isn't a perfect world. not by a long shot. did i mention it would also feild dress whatever you shot also?! lol.
     
  13. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    No, it's not too much for a precision rig like a turnbolt .223. Not at all. Get at least 16. I'd tend toward the 16 over the 20 for a .223 in most cases. But if you're planning on shooting targets or varmints at 150-200 yards or more, then I'd go with the 20.
     
  14. Lucky

    Lucky Member

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  15. MMCSRET

    MMCSRET Member

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    In my limited experience, I was started out with fixed power Redfield and Lyman scopes, as variables came of age I switched and had to learn all over again. I find with varminting that 10X is very good, higher and it magnifys the heat distortion to the point that accuracy is lost simply due to not being able to see. I like the 10X for the 223/22-250 class including the full size 17/20 calibers. For the smaller cases, 22H/218 I like 6X. Good shooting!!!!!!!!
     
  16. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Member

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    That looks like a Barska who makes it?.

    Must have been something wrong with that Super Sniper they have pretty decent glass. Definitely on par with the 3200 glass are you sure it was a SWFA Super Sniper? There was a time near the end when Tasco made Super Snipers where the quality took a turn for the worst.
     
  17. ATAShooter

    ATAShooter Member

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    I have the SS 20X. I am well satisfied with it. We punch paper @ 100 yds and it is deadly as sin. I use it for 500 and 700 meter also, with excellent result. The paralax markings seem to be pretty much on the money, the optics are great and clear as a bell. The paralax adjustment is on the reticle end and is easy to turn, which is nice due to I do not care for it being on the Objective end of a scope. The Mil Dots work great for a .308 or 30-06 for compensating yardage. I have used it on .308, 30-06, .223, .243, and 50 BMG. Best results came with the .308.

    OK, now the cons I have with it...

    The paralax adjustment goes well under 100 yds. With this being said, anything at less than a 100 is VERY hard to aquire the target. And when you do, it is like looking at something under a microscope. So I do not use it for less than 100 yards. For example, if you are looking at a target of Osama Bin Laden @ 100yds... View thru the SS 20X is his eyeball. So less yardage, the 20X is overkill on magnification.
    The Mil Dot on a .223 will be off a touch if you are using it for Yardge compensation. Not alot, but enough to aggrivate you. On a .50 BMG, I have found it doesn't even go near being correct.

    My observation for the 16X was ( my brother has the 16 ) more field of view @ 100, of course. I also noticed also that what I was seeing at 100 yards with the 20X, his was at 60 yards. So we could punch paper closer than 100 with it. At 500 meters, his still has a great target picture, but at those longer distances is where that ole 20X really comes alive.

    Comparison - I have a Leupold Long Range Target scope, 6.5 X 20 VX III. If I set it on 20 X, I really cannot tell any difference between the two scopes, ( even though I have 800.00 tied up in the Leupold ), and the Leupold has no yardage markings on the paralax adjustment, which can be aggrivating because there is no starting reference point. The advantage with the Leupold, is I can kick her back to 6.5 X and pop squirrels out of the tree @ 50. The variable does make it nice for dual purpose.

    So by going by the original post.... if most of your shooting is 100- 200 yards the 16X is your best shot. This scope's quality for the money is unmatched.
     
  18. Lucky

    Lucky Member

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  19. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Jim,

    I will try to answer your overall question of whether or not you can have "too much magnification". Short answer: Yes. Surprisingly, this is when you are shooting at long distance (i.e. 1,000 yards), as opposed to shooting at short range or mid-range targets. At long distance, mirage comes into play. I have two scope that I current use at 1,000 yards (a 6.5-20X, and a 6-24X), and in both cases, I find myself dialing down to 18X or slightly less, so as to mitigate the effect of mirage. With a variable power scope, you can do this. With a fixed high power scope, you cannot. Just something to think about.

    Don
     
  20. JimJD

    JimJD Member

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    So, let's say a fixed scope purchase didn't happen. What would be the variable power "equal" of the Super Sniper, both in quality and price.
     
  21. USSR

    USSR Member

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    It's quite a bit cheaper to build a decent fixed power scope than a decent variable power scope (more moving parts). I would be looking in the $500-$600 range atleast, for a quality variable power scope. The thing you have to watch out for (aside from quality optics and repeatability of adjustments) is, the amount of windage and elevation adjustment that is available. Scopes with tube diameters of 30mm typically have more available W&E adjustment than 1" tube scopes. Hope that helps.

    Don
     
  22. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

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    I have really enjoyed my Nikon Buckmaster in 6-18x. It is decent glass and has held up to a bit of use and abuse on my end. It should be pretty close to the SS in terms of price. I have never looked through a SS so I can't compare the image. I will say I have heard, key there is heard, that the glass on the 10x SS is far better than the 16x or 20x and while you don't have the magnification you have a much brighter image with better resolution and truer colors. It makes sense. They price the scopes the same. The tubes/turrets look the same. The only thing to change is the glass. It wouldn't make sense that you could make an equal quality piece of glass at 20x as you could at 10x for the same buck or everyone would do it.

    I would think anything in the Bushnell 3200 line, Weaver line, Nikon buckmaster line, Leupold VXI or II, Sightron SII, or Clearidge would be right about in line optically and price wise with the SS. You may be pushing more money for one of those that turns a max magnification of 20x but for something with slightly less top end you won't be out much if any more money. Those should all be decent scopes. Nothing world breaking but certainly into the realm of decent and not the generic Chinese junk out there.
     
  23. jlg

    jlg Member

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    Unless you're shooting off a bench, I don't recommend more than 10x. The higher the magnification the more noticable your body shacking / swaying is to your eye. It can be very mentally defeating.
    10x is what military snipers use. It's honestly enough unless you're shooting prairy dogs at 800 yards off a bench.
     
  24. PT1911

    PT1911 Member

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    Very true... good point to make.
     
  25. jbech123

    jbech123 Member

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    There are alot more variables to consider. Mirage is one, worse as magnification increases. Under all but extreme distance shooting scenarios, a fixed 16 or 20x scope would be a bad choice for deer hunting. Very serious varmint or target work they have a place.
     
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