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Thread: Fixed Power Scopes

  1. #1
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    Default Fixed Power Scopes

    There was some decent education in the Scope Review thread recently, so I figured I'd follow up here.

    Basically, I'm looking to gift a fixed power to someone who uses an old 4x. It's used for whitetail in the L48. I think the user's experienced eyes might appreciate some modern updated optics, and might also enjoy a jump to 6x.

    The fixed power aficionados in the other thread seemed to suggest fixed power scopes are a dying breed. This seems to be the case, as a lot of models like the Zeiss 4x appear to be discontinued.

    So I'm looking at the Leupold VX II 4x 33, VX II 6x36, and VX III 6x42.

    Anyone have any experience with these? I did some goggling, but there wasn't too much out there by way of useful (or trustworthy) information.

    And other suggestions in this general price range? I looked at the Schmidt and Benders on Camera Land, and unfortunately they appear to be out of my present gift-giving ability. What other manufactures am I overlooking?

    And any thoughts on how well a 6x42 would pair with a long action Rem 700? I wonder if the 42 means he'd need new mounts/rings as well.

    Any other considerations I should be thinking about? I shoot, but I really don't tinker much other than cleaning.

    I think most of the shots will be 200 yards or less, although there's been at least one shot at 400. Mostly open fields, but a little brush here and there because you never know. .30-06.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    If his old scope is a Leupold M8 4X none will be an upgrade.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I've got all of the scopes you've mentioned and all would be serviceable, my favorite is a 6x42. I'm not sure they make a brighter scope or you could use it if they did.

    There are also Weavers (not made in the US any longer) in 4x and 6x.

    I've recently become aware of an Eastern European "Meopta" in a 6x42 as well that's priced about what the Leupold is. I've heard they're a good scope but not marketed very effectively in the US.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  4. #4

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    The 6X42 Leupold is a very bright scope. I have used them on a 270 Win. and a 7mm Rem mag and it worked well on both.

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    It was late when I was typing that and I of course meant the FX fixed scopes, rather than the VXs. Thanks Doughman for pointing that out.

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    I think the deciding factor for your hunters use would be if he is someone that takes running shots often, then I would stay with the fixed 4 - if he seldom, if ever, takes running shots then I would feel the 6x36 to be a better choice...
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    I only have two of the 4xs but a half dozen 6xs as well as 4 each 3xs and 4 2.5x.......while I only own 2 variables......I see no advantage to a variable power scope for Alaskan big game hunting. They add weight and contain another component for failure. Perhaps I'm an old phardt that remembers the fogged scopes of 40 years ago and I am reluctant to change once I found something that works but I consider the 3x Leupold the hands down best scope for large caliber, rifle hunting of big game. The long tube allows maximum eye relief adjustment in the rings especially useful for magnum length actions. The durability is unmatched!

    Moose/bear rifle = 3x Leupold
    Sheep Rifle = 6x36 Leupold

    A good read for hunting scope selection is John Barsness' "Optics For The Hunter" or "Rifle Trouble-Shooting and Handloading"

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    I take a look for those books. See if I can remember how to read paper, as opposed to screens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    If his old scope is a Leupold M8 4X none will be an upgrade.
    I guess I'll have to ask. If he's got something better than what's available now, I guess I'll save some dollars and get a Fish Phone instead.

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    I use low rings (by Redfield, Leupold, Talley, Ruger, Sako) to mount several 6X42s to LA 700 & Model 70s with no problem. Eye relief is very generous and non-critical with plenty of tube space.

    The Leupold 6X42 is a superb hunting scope and must needs to be experienced to fully appreciate. If I wanted to kill very small animals at very long range or believed that I'd normally take shots closer than 25 yards then I'd probably select another type of sight, but for a general purpose hunting rifle they're impossible to improve upon IMO.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    1Cor has it right on that 6x42 Leupold as it will handily handle about everything but close quarters dangerous game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VernAK View Post
    1Cor has it right on that 6x42 Leupold as it will handily handle about everything but close quarters dangerous game.
    I won't argue what someone wants to use or not, but I've a Leupold 6X42 sitting on a bear rifle and from point blank to further than I'll admit, I am a lot safer than any bear is. IME there's not any hunting situation that a 6X42 is a poor choice due to its forgiving eye box and generous FOV.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    I can't shoot well off-hand using 6X. I shoot off-hand regularly, and I know. 6X also limits the FOV.

    Sooner or later in a hunting situation you WILL need to, or want to, make an off-hand shot.

    4X, or even lower, X is the way to go. You can still buy the Weaver K4, fixed power scopes. They are IMO, better than the older ones from days gone bye. I've got 2 of them, and they are entirely satisfactory, even though they don't cost a lot of money which seems to be a prerequisite for some folks.

    I have a really great 1", Fixed, 4X scope made by BSA. IIRC, I paid a little over 26 dollars for it. It would be much more valuable now, but I failed to keep the Bubble Pack it came in, and that surely must detract from the value.

    There is a limited number of Fixed Power scopes in the market for good reason. The demand is not there. The demand is not there because their usage is also limited.

    To the lower powers for hunting, and the higher powers for long range. AND, they don't MIX too easy. A Variable is the perfect answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    There is a limited number of Fixed Power scopes in the market for good reason. The demand is not there. The demand is not there because their usage is also limited.

    Smitty of the North
    I've tried to keep popularity from influencing my decisions about a lot of stuff and have found varying degrees of success. I figure what's most popular says more about the people than the item in question. Music and politicians tend to come to mind in my defense......

    If you consider turning a power dial an advantage, then variables are better than fixed. However if there are other requisites, then it's not nearly so cut and dry...... For a hunting rifle, I find a lot of advantages to a fixed and mostly use them (and mostly Leupold 6X42s though I've got 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 4.75, 12 power options as well) for hunting big game. I realize that my position is unpopular, but then I didn't vote for the current President nor do I listen to Pop Music.....

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I'll also answer a common misperception that you have to have high magnification to shoot long range... you simply don't. Twice with my Scout and it's 2.5x IER, I've shot a big game critter at near 300yds and several more at 200yds....and that's a long poke for most folks. I've hit steel gongs a mite further reliably.

    A 4x scope has never been underpowered for me to 300 yards except on gophers and a 6x will get me out well past the point I'll take a shot at anything.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    I'll also answer a common misperception that you have to have high magnification to shoot long range... you simply don't. Twice with my Scout and it's 2.5x IER, I've shot a big game critter at near 300yds and several more at 200yds....and that's a long poke for most folks. I've hit steel gongs a mite further reliably.

    A 4x scope has never been underpowered for me to 300 yards except on gophers and a 6x will get me out well past the point I'll take a shot at anything.
    I'm sure that's true, and something worth considering.

    Smitty of the North
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Shot many a target at 500 yards with peep on M-14 while in the Marines.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  18. #18

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    No doubt, the fixed versus variable debate will not be resolved in just this thread.Like most on this board, I've owned (and still own) dozens of both.

    But for the past several years, I've graviated to a fixed power.Specifically, a 6x42 Leupold.Here are my reasons:

    1.Ruggedness: just that many fewer moving parts to go wrong...even in a tough scope as offered by Leupold
    2.Constant eye relief: no need to worry about field of view regardless of your field shooting position.With a fixed power, it doesn't change...not true of most 3 to 4X variables.No worries about scope ring cuts or losing the target momentarily while trying to find the right eye relief.Important on hard kickers.
    3.6X42 offers as large an exit pupil as the human eye can use.I don't hunt at night, but the 6x42 has never failed me in any day time low light conditions.
    4."Big game" from deer/antelope on up offer large targets in the kill zone.Certainly 10" up to a lot more.6X will easily handle that unless we're talking 1/2 mile shots.Deer are a LOT bigger than ground hogs or prairie dogs LOL.
    5.While zero tolerances sound good in marketing,any variable has to be supremely lucky to hold an absolute constant zero over the entire magnification range.This introduces an element of "where am I really zeroed at 350 when I set the zero for say 5X...and I'm now cranked up to 14x?".Fixed power eliminates that concern.
    6.Fixed powers are lighter and generally more accomodating in terms of mounting and setting up the perfect eye relief.
    7.I've shot groups so small with my Lilja 7STW and a 6X42 that most forum members would accuse me of lying.Let's just say well sub .5MOA with full power 7STW loads.If this doesn't get it done, then I screwed up...not the rifle or scope.
    8.Ensure you always bring the rifle and scope up with BOTH eyes open...this facilitates quick target acquisition by using binocular vision.

    No doubt, a ticked off brownie in the alders would not be an ideal candidate for a 6X42.But then, I'd opt for a Ghost Ring set up on a 458 Lott and hope my rifle didn't jam.

  19. #19

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    One reason the demand for fixed power scopes is not as high as variable power scopes might be because my newest fixed power scope is over 25 years old and I have yet had to replace one. I own both but it would not be much of a handicap if all I had was fixed power scopes.

  20. #20

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    I have enjoyed various 6x for open country mule deer- just dandy. But they were hopeless for close range coastal blacktails when I moved into the brush. If they were on the move, there was no shot.

    It's used for whitetail in the L48.
    Specifying that and less than 200 yards, I'd say a 6x would be a mistake. Fine at the longer ranges and still animals, but an eternal frustration when the shooting got close, especially with fast deer.

    If you really want to rattle up his life, get him a 2x. Still plenty useful at 200, but an eye-opener at less than 50. You cite the trend toward variables, but there's also another trend- toward higher powers. I don't agree with it.

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