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What's your preferred scope magnification for mid to long range shooting?

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by Rockrivr1, Nov 14, 2022.

  1. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

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    So I'm settled on getting a NightForce ATACR scope for mid to long range shooting. Now that that is settled, I need to determine what my best bet would be for magnification. I was originally thinking that a 5-25X56 would be the best option. But I've been reading that the 7-35x56 can be more beneficial for longer range shooting. These would be F1 models with Mil-XT reticles. I'd mostly be using them for bench rest shooting on a 6.5 CM bolt action rifle with a little PRS mixed in at ranges from 100-1000+ yards.

    What do you prefer?
     
  2. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    For precision or bencherest shooting I like higher magnifications and when it comes to long range shooting, my experience has shown me that depending on the atmospheric conditions, the higher magnification ranges of your scope can be rendered useless. Here in Texas, this summer we had two days out of two months that were not in the triple digits and we were averaging 103º daily.

    The higher magnifications could be advantageous in cooler climates but I also know that when I have shot ELR, there is a sweet spot where the target will be better visualized for your eyes through your scope and seldom will it ever be the the max magnification.
     
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  3. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    In reality, you’ll almost never shoot at 5-7x, and in PRS matches, you’ll likely never even scan for targets at 10x or lower. Most of us are hanging out 10-18x for most shots, and spooling up 20-25x for the longest shots. There WILL be times that having 25x being in the middle of your range instead of the extreme top end will be an advantage, and there WILL be times when shooting at 30-35x is an advantage.

    That’s largely why the 7-35x is more popular. There’s some urban legend that the image quality and eyebox are better in the 7-35x, but I can’t personally confirm either claim. But buying scopes for that purpose, but the 7-35x over the 5-25x.
     
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  4. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I use quite a few 6-24 scopes and most of the time I am running them between 12x and 16x for mid range targets. I'll crank the magnification up for long shots as needed.
     
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  5. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    I like plenty of power, repeatability, and top tier glass.
    My view is .. Get the big one..:D
     
  6. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    For the ranges you're describing, I feel like I'd want to have something between 4 and 6 on the low end, and 24-30 on the upper end. I've never shot that far on the upper end, so I'm just kind of speculating on that end.
     
  7. powermad

    powermad Member

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    If you have a few bux burning a hole in your pocket March has a new one coming out in the spring.
    8-80x56..
    https://marchscopes.com/news/14179/
     
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  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I run a 5-25 and don't miss the extra 5X of the 4.5-30 it replaced, but I'm sure there are shooters good enough to make use of it.
     
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  9. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    The first time I saw a one thousand yard range I was intimidated to say the least and thinking to myself, holy crap what have I gotten into this time, I remember the target was pretty good size and I had a 8-32x56 scope I’m sure I turned to the max power, I actually shot well that day.
    Here’s an peek at 1k Benchrest shooting and pit duty
     

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  10. GoldieMI

    GoldieMI Contributing Member

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    I run a 5-25X and a 7-35X
    mostly 14X range for anything in the 500-1000 yard PRS...that seems to be the sweet spot for my eyes and the glass relief on both
     
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  11. EBB67

    EBB67 Member

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    5-25x50 or 56 period for all my shooting, unless its a short barreled AR, then a simple hologram is fine
     
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  12. trekker73

    trekker73 Member

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    A lot of powerful scopes mentioned, its interesting to see what the long range fellas use
     
  13. EBB67

    EBB67 Member

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    Hahahah,, They have some nice stuff and i got to check out a few of them. theres 40x and a 60x as well, but they 'll ruin you as going back to a 25x and you'll feel like your blind lol
     
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  14. EBB67

    EBB67 Member

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    I forgot to mention I as most everyone else run FFP as if the second plane scopes maintain the reticle size regardless of power, unlike the FFPs that grow and shrink with the maginification, and in turn your reticle marks will always represent the same value. Also I won't use anything that has covered turrets, for distance Tactical exposed turrets are a must have.

    Personally if money isn't an issue the NF NX8 in 4-32x50 is a workhorse and goes for $2150, next is the NF ATACR 7-35x56 for $3600,

    Leupold realy starts the wallet burning with the Mark 5HD 7-35x56 at $3100 , and the monster is the Mark8 3.5-25x56 for a staggering $4699.99 When your wife gets mad at you for spending $600 for a barrel and in a womans mind its $600 of metal pipe lol, you punish her for the bitching and drop the Mark 8 on her so she can get pissed with at least a tad of feeling justified. lol

    My favorites however are Vortex but a leupold or especially a Nightforce purist will never give them the praise they deserve. My Favorite is the new Razor HD GENIII 6-36-x56 for a steep $3999, and you can still find the HD GENII around in 4.5-27x56 , they list for $3599, but now having been replaced i've seen them for 3 and under. For the budget minded two of the nicest scopes for the money are the Venom 5-25x56 for $699, but I managed to find one on ebay with no reserve and got it for just a tick over $500, and it was new in the box. And my greatest score at auction was the Viper PST GENII 5-25x50. Retail is $1399, but I managed to find one brand new as an open box, which this case the acatual scope box itself was sealed but the cardboard box it shipped with was open. and I don't know how but i had the winning bid for $628.

    Now for the joke of it all that happens when you mix big names, with lengendary history, egos get fueled and to stay that way the fuel source is money and legends can survive on minimum wage so the only way to ensure they stay legends is to get bigger and bigger price increasees till the amount is so large that it just has to be the best. Anyway i've shot with both the NF and Leupold scopes, as well as the decommission GII Razor which actually just sold recently to get the new one eventually, and at the moment still own and shoot with the Viper and the Venom, Now for the real truth. There are folks out there that will comment on the two ebay finds, and commend their quality look and then take aim down lane and are really impressed, and then i'll notice they're using a $35 walmart bushnell or even crazy names i've never heard of with all cluttered, poorly finished designs, and odd size glass etc. So to them when the hear the price they take a step back and go whoa, as i guess $35 to over a grand would. This happens at a pulbic range with daily all day shooting for $10 and its a place you go to site in your stuff, or for testing, and it draws a lot of people who love guns, but can't afford a big membership at a club, and thats just fine.

    Now the opposite is when I go to a private range i'm the loser lol, They look down at me twice, once for the low retail price, and a second time for getting the deals on ebay as not only am i not wealthy but i'm also cheap, hahaha, Now the facts and moral of the story, at my max of 1000 yards, and any other distance under 1000 and having tried various levels of magnification, which by the way, no matter what i use as my eyes are not like they used to be I take advantage of the ability to crank those scopes to max and then leave them there, and from there elevation, and parallax are all i adjust. Now i can only comment in normal bright daylight and clear weather conditions, but I kid you not, the differences in focal quality all the way to a thousand is so small i can barely tell. and Thats what all these companies beat into on and on about how much better this is to that la la la . Now in fairness both the leupolds and the NFs and the Big Vortex Razor should be indistinguishible anway as they're all in the same price range. and the Viper is claimed to be something like 30% clearer than the Venom and the the Razor is supposed to be so good, that after going from it back to the Venmon and Viper it should be so obvious that it proves too you just how much that extra few thousand did for perfections.lol

    Sorry folks, just can't tell. which leads me to another point as there are many scopes in the 600 to 1200 range as well and i'm i'd have the same results with them. so as much as I love the NF NX8 or the Mark8 leupold, what am I getting for $4000? even the darn turrets were all about the same in precsion. at least for me at 1000 yards is just to fuel my ego. and probably why after discovering all this i havent got the new Vortex. Now I cannot comment on how they'd be in rain, or snow, or early morning or dusk which can be huge depend on how well they take light in. but for a normal day i'll equip any gun in the future in that price range, but probably never leave Vortex, because hands down their customer service and warranty are so amazing that I'll let the big money guys make fun of my stuff forever becasue check this out.

    When I bought that Viper on ebay, it was brand new but technically used as it was a return so somes name was on it first.. but i get it and as i'm taking it out of the box ,I tripped and threw my arms forward launching the socpe out of my hand and 4 feet off the ground and sailed for around 6 feet then nose dove into the tile floor bounced end to and and smack two turrets leaving them dented and while no other marks were apparent i didn't know if the seals ruptured, or whatever. so I call vortex and tell them i needed a price to check it out. so asked me the whole embarassing story and he asked for my email and said it would be under warranty?? and i said but i got it off ebay , and i did the damage, and said i could have bought it broken, found it in a trash can, or smashed on purpose because i just felt like it and still covered, The warranty is lifetime, and available to anyone whose hands it passes. They said I i ever got a real deal on scope that someone damage and they were selling it for parts or whatever , to grab it because they were repair it and restore the finish back to as new standards!

    So he said an overnight Fedex, with a form to sign that he prefilled with what happened, i shipped it on a Tuesday they got it wednesday, did the repairs, then call me me and emailed me to give me the details and shipped back thursday overnight and back on my gun, by Friday afternoon. Lastly the warranty applies to the entire line from thier lowest price offering up to the $4000 piece. So thats why i'm a vortex fan. Hope maybe theres some info of use to someone out there.
     
  15. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    To get a great deal on scopes, call optic planet with your price you want to pay and don’t give in. If your ready to buy that day you can get a great price.
     
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  16. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I have 2 Horus falcon 5-20 and 1 Bushnell HDMR 5-21 I use for similar applications. When I first went to sniper school, I used a fixed 10X MK4 on a 308 rifle and we fired out to 900 meters.
     
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  17. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Is 40x "big" enough?

    When I got invited to shoot out to 800 yards with some in my group buy, I got Athlon Argos Gen II 10-40x56mm (Yeah I am cheap but I am retired and don't compete so figured it was "good enough") - https://www.eurooptic.com/Athlon-Argos-BTR-10-40X56mm-DD-SF-30mm-BLR-SFP-MOA-Riflescope-214071.aspx

    I also have Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24x50mm for "closer" shooting :) - https://www.eurooptic.com/Vortex-Strike-Eagle-4-24x50-with-EBR-4-MOA-Riflescope-SE-1627-Kit.aspx?
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2022
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  18. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Well I’ve shot 1k with a 32x and did ok but have certainly moved up in power.
    I moved up to a Sightron 10-50x60 ( great scope for the money) sold it to a buddy…
    From there I bought a Vortex Golden Eagle 15-60x52 HD glass. Great scope mechanically but disappointing image quality at high magnification.
    I just ordered a Nightforce competition 15-55x52 ED glass, a top tier scope with world class glass.
    Mine are all second focal plane specifically for long range Benchrest shooting.
     
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  19. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

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    I have rifles with both Vortex and Leupold scopes and I like them both. For this purchase though I promised myself I'd get a NightForce. So with that said I've been perusing The Sniper's Hide and their Optics for sale section. There are many ATACR scopes up for sale with well below new prices. I'm eyeing two right now. One 5-25 and one 7-35. Both will save me hundreds so for me it seems like the right place to buy. Still undecided on the magnification. These NF scopes sell fast so need to make a decision pretty quick.
     
  20. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    I would be very cautious buying high dollar scopes from private parties. Lots of scammers out there. I recommend you call optics planet with your CC ready,
     
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  21. EBB67

    EBB67 Member

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    The auction scopes I aquired were from an optics distributor that auctioned off excess return stock. as for any big money item, unless the manufacterer will completeley refinish and referbish even the tiniest of blemishes than id stay away. with NF, the ATACR is nice, but honestly over the top for 1000 yard max shooting. the NX8 is the most popular and widely in server with law enforcement, and i know some that swear by it, and when I was shopping around and called their tech deparment even they steered me clear, and claimed the NX8 was just the better bang for the buck. you won't get that too often from a company. but unlike my Vortex stuff, when you say you have a Night Force the conversation will end at that and you'll never get asked if you have the cheapest or the priciest. as the names burned in history and another Rolex like aura shine from it lol
     
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  22. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    Wow! that is more powerful than some spotting scopes.
     
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  23. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Member

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    While you do need to be cautious buying anything from private parties, I've bought several high end scopes (S&B - Kahles) off other forum member's on Sniper's Hide, Accurate Shooter's, and Long Range Hunting forum's over the years.
    Some people just have to have the latest & greatest scopes to hit the market, and you can buy some great scopes for some great deals if you look around.

    Optics Planet is the last place I'd spend my money.
     
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  24. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    They have a great return policy, will even accept returns on NVD’s and thermals. I don’t always purchase from them but if it’s something I might not want to keep (lots of stuff I want, I don’t have walk in stores available to even look through one) they have always been good.

    If you are dumping a couple grand into something you are not sure about, it helps a lot to know your not going to be stuck with it, if it’s a dud.
     
  25. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Something worth noting - as it is common for unwitting new shooters to fall into this particular trap - is the influence of exit pupil on apparent brightness in these extreme magnification scopes. These scopes are designed for the specific task of benchrest competition, which has the luxury of regularly scheduled match start times, so light availability is a bit more reliable than other field shooting might demand.

    When we’re talking about 60x50 or 80x56, the exit pupil at those magnifications is less than 1mm, and they will appear extremely dark. I generally notice a darkening in scopes for anything below 2mm exit pupil, so getting down around or below 1mm exit pupil is far too much of a good thing for the ways I shoot. For their purpose, these extreme magnification scopes are fantastic, for almost anything else, eh, typically not so much.
     
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