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Thread: what rifle scope for sheep and goat?

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default what rifle scope for sheep and goat?

    I'm in the process of having a custom lightweight .308 built. I'm interested in hearing some advice for the glass to put on top. If you are able to make a recommendation please justify or validate your suggestion if you can, that way I can compare different recommendations. THanks
    Tom
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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Well,, I have faced this same question many times and have made a few different choices here is what they are and why.

    Basic old Luppy 4x, no nonsense get it done.

    Zeiss Conquest 3x9x40, because I wanted more light gathering, side by side I can see about 15 minutes longer with my Zeiss and Swarovski scopes than I can my Luepold

    I then started liking balistic turrets and have several Leupold VXII with the CDS, these make nice scopes for the money and with one turn on the turret you can have plenty of dial for 308.

    I have now gotten older and like the Swaroviski turret scopes and have both a Z3 and a Z5, the Z5 will be on my Kimber this fall, the balistic turret gives me 675 yards on the dial.
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    All my scoped rifles wear Leupolds. All variable power. My open country guns wear a 6.5x20. Guns I might hunt at dusk or dawn with have a 50 mm objective.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    Leupold compact 2 -7 or 3 -9
    anything else for sheep and goat is just extra weight
    if you want to chance messing up your hunt take something with turrets.
    Sight in for MPBR and hunt within or slightly over those parameters

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    I have VX-3's on all my rifles except my mountain rifle (Kimber Montana .300wsm), which I broke down and bought a Swaro Z6 2.5-15x44 about a year or so ago. I got it used and saved a fair amount, I wouldn't have been able to afford it otherwise and all I can say is there is a pretty significant difference in light gathering for sure. It's not a light scope by any means (something like 19 oz.) but I'm willing to sacrifice a little extra wt. for this glass.

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    Member oakman's Avatar
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    I really like my Leupold VX3 with the CDS. 3.5-10x40. I used to have an almost identical scope with a 50mm objective, but found it to be a little too bulky. easy to catch on things when hiking, too difficult to get in and out of my barney's pack, etc. I'm sure if I worked at it, I could get comfortable and confident shooting out at the limits of this scope. Just not enough time....I've shot well with this on a .300 win out to 400 yards or so, does the job well.

    In all the years of using a leupold scope, I've never had one fog up, never had any mechanical problems, etc. I'm sold on them.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    For a lightweight .308... the basic 4x or 6x Leupold is pretty tough to beat. A 6x will easily shoot to the limits of the cartridge on a game animal and 4x will shoot farther than most people should even try. A lot of guys like variables, but even on my variable equipped rifles I tend to shoot animals with them set on 6x, if not lower.

    I don't personally worry much about light gathering on mountain rifles, there's usually plenty of light unlike compared to hunting timber. I'm not sure that big objectives really gather more "useful" light than a 4x33 or a 6x42 since the exit pupils on both (8.25 and 7 respectively) exceed what that human eye can typically use (about 6, depending on genetics and age).

    Big objectives come into play when the magnification goes up, but as I said earlier...4x or 6x is generally sufficient for big game animals.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    For a lightweight .308... the basic 4x or 6x Leupold is pretty tough to beat. A 6x will easily shoot to the limits of the cartridge on a game animal and 4x will shoot farther than most people should even try. A lot of guys like variables, but even on my variable equipped rifles I tend to shoot animals with them set on 6x, if not lower.

    I don't personally worry much about light gathering on mountain rifles, there's usually plenty of light unlike compared to hunting timber. I'm not sure that big objectives really gather more "useful" light than a 4x33 or a 6x42 since the exit pupils on both (8.25 and 7 respectively) exceed what that human eye can typically use (about 6, depending on genetics and age).

    Big objectives come into play when the magnification goes up, but as I said earlier...4x or 6x is generally sufficient for big game animals.
    I agree. I only own one variable; a 1.5-6x. The remainder are all 4x or 6x fixed. If I can't do it with a 6x, it's too far for me to be shooting.
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    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    For North America it is hard to beat a 3 x 9 Leupold for endogenous goats and sheep. I would rate a straight 4 power or 2 x 7 as my #2 choice. I agree with a prior poster that light gathering is USUALLY not a significantly consideration in the mountains. Interestingly my choice of scopes over the years has seen the same progression as stid seems to have experienced. My current scope for sheep and goats internationally is Leupold's Mark IV with ballistic turrets.
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    Member Redlander's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Leupold VX-3 2.5-8x 36mm

    Light weight, plenty of power, plenty of eye relief. The only thing I'm going to do later is send it to Leupold for the B&C reticle. Let's just say I had to go about half way to sheep country for the bear.
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    Something to consider with the higher power variables is that you can leave the spotting scope at home. Especially if you mount a bipod on your rifle. A 6.5x20 Leupold can allow you to count the growth rings on a sheep horns. Very important for those rams who might not be full curl, but are otherwise legal age wise.
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    I have a Leupold 3.5-10 X 50mm with a 30mm tube on it. Kinda wish I had a different reticle than the heavy duplex, but it's a great scope with good glass. Someday soon, I'll probably get into the Swaro or Huskemaw turret optics, but for under $1000 the Leupold is hard to beat, and they're sturdy . . . one might just bang it on a sheep or goat hunt. Let's just say my leupold didn't go off site, as I'm sure better Nikon and up would do the same.

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    I e never owned anything fancier than a VX3 but I won't buy anything less than a VX2 anymore, they can be had for such reasonable money and are so reliable I can't justify anything else. My new mountain gun is getting a 3.5-10 VX3.


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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default .308

    Considering your chambering a vx3 fixed 6 with CDS and a rangefinder would be fine. A .308 doesn't have 500 yrd terminal performance. So you don't need huge glass or a 30mm tube. Get within practical distance and let-er-rip!

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    I just mounted a 3x9 Leupold VX-II CDS Ultralight on a 7mm-08 I'm putting together right now for the mountains and eventually my daughter. I like it so far, but I've just been breaking-in the barrel at the range.
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/730...ProductFinding

    It saves a little weight, and Leupold VX-III's have been my go to scopes for years. Leupolds are on all my rifles, except one Swarovski and a Zeiss.

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    ...and Semper Fi back at you tboehm.

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the the input guys. I'll take some time and look through the recommendations and see what shakes out. I don't want to limit the rifle use to just the mountain of sheep and goat but so I'm thinking that a stronger variable is in order. Sid might be on the right track but don't know if I can swing the price tag, can you tell me which z5 you went with?
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    I've got one of the Leupold compact 3x9's on my tikka, which cut a lot of weight off the rifle since I had a nikon monarch 4x16x40 on there. I'm liking the set up so far, it's got more than enough zoom than I'll ever need for a 270 Win, and does pretty well close to dark. I'm not saying it gathers near as much light as say a 50mm objective would, but I feel it's a good trade off for the weight savings, and the glass is crystal clear.
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    i have/ had Leupold on nearly every rifle I've ever had. They are excellent scopes. period. That being said, i also put a Swarovski Z3 on a rifle, and it DOES make the Leupolds seem inadequate. I guess the best way to describe it is that you dont know what you are missing until you experience it. In the store, the difference is not as clear. But in the woods (swamp, mountain, etc.) the extra shooting light is very much noticeable! the problem is that once you outfit one rifle with a swarovski, then you 'need' them on all of your rifles.
    its better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt...

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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlak2fl View Post
    i have/ had Leupold on nearly every rifle I've ever had. They are excellent scopes. period. That being said, i also put a Swarovski Z3 on a rifle, and it DOES make the Leupolds seem inadequate. I guess the best way to describe it is that you dont know what you are missing until you experience it. In the store, the difference is not as clear. But in the woods (swamp, mountain, etc.) the extra shooting light is very much noticeable! the problem is that once you outfit one rifle with a swarovski, then you 'need' them on all of your rifles.
    ^^^^ what he said!
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