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Thread: What is your favorite hunting scope and why?

  1. #21
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    Good post! But, I see really four types of scopes. The traditional "set and forget" with simple crosshairs. The somewhat newer "set and forget" with BDC reticle (Leupold BDC) The simple crosshair in a specialized cranking scope (forceplex NF) And, a type of BDC reticle in a designed cranking scope (MOAR/MIL in a NF, Vortex, etc.)

    Given the size and vitality of animals in Alaska shooting past 400 yards or so invites a wounded animal. One may potentially have better bullet placement with a cranker, but foot pounds of energy at target is still in question at LONG range. (Unless, of course, one carries a .375 Cheytac up a mountain ) The "wannabe sniper" with his metal clanging specialized cranking scope is anathema to big game hunting in Alaska. Shooting moose and bears at 700-1,000 yards is plain irresponsible. Fortunately, most "wannabe snipers" reside Outside and don't come up here to take long pokes at big game.

    Btw, I too looked at the SHV but was turned off by their dealer/middle man markup margins. I much rather have my money be put into the scope quality rather than the middle man's bank account. You should check out Tract Toric.

  2. #22

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    I have read a bunch on Tract Toric, looks like good optics. I put a 28 oz. Bushnell 4.5-18x44 LRHSi on a Tikka CTR 6.5 Creed. It is going to be a range gun, I'm to lazy to carry the beast hunting. But, sitting at the bench and dialing elevation will be new territory for me with the mil/mil retice.

    I put a SWFA 3-9x40 HD on the Tikka T3X Superlite 6.5 Creed. It is another scope for turret twisting and the whole set up comes in at a hair over 7 lbs. ready to go. Hoping to get the granddaughter on a caribou this fall.

    If I do my part, both of the above set ups will easily allow practice out to 800 yards from the bench and field positions. That should make any 400-500 yard shot much easier on a caribou. Hopefully we can stay under 200 yards.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post
    I have read a bunch on Tract Toric, looks like good optics. I put a 28 oz. Bushnell 4.5-18x44 LRHSi on a Tikka CTR 6.5 Creed. It is going to be a range gun, I'm to lazy to carry the beast hunting. But, sitting at the bench and dialing elevation will be new territory for me with the mil/mil retice.

    I put a SWFA 3-9x40 HD on the Tikka T3X Superlite 6.5 Creed. It is another scope for turret twisting and the whole set up comes in at a hair over 7 lbs. ready to go. Hoping to get the granddaughter on a caribou this fall.

    If I do my part, both of the above set ups will easily allow practice out to 800 yards from the bench and field positions. That should make any 400-500 yard shot much easier on a caribou. Hopefully we can stay under 200 yards.
    Sound like very good set-ups. I am very partial to Bergara and needed a scope on my new one. Compared a Toric to a NF and, to my amazement, saw an obvious difference in resolution and low light performance in favor of the Toric. Needless to say, that is what I have on my Bergara.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldfoot View Post
    Good post! But, I see really four types of scopes. The traditional "set and forget" with simple crosshairs. The somewhat newer "set and forget" with BDC reticle (Leupold BDC) The simple crosshair in a specialized cranking scope (forceplex NF) And, a type of BDC reticle in a designed cranking scope (MOAR/MIL in a NF, Vortex, etc.)

    Given the size and vitality of animals in Alaska shooting past 400 yards or so invites a wounded animal. One may potentially have better bullet placement with a cranker, but foot pounds of energy at target is still in question at LONG range. (Unless, of course, one carries a .375 Cheytac up a mountain ) The "wannabe sniper" with his metal clanging specialized cranking scope is anathema to big game hunting in Alaska. Shooting moose and bears at 700-1,000 yards is plain irresponsible. Fortunately, most "wannabe snipers" reside Outside and don't come up here to take long pokes at big game.

    Btw, I too looked at the SHV but was turned off by their dealer/middle man markup margins. I much rather have my money be put into the scope quality rather than the middle man's bank account. You should check out Tract Toric.
    I could not agree more....the 700-1000 yard shooting is exhibition shooting and should be saved for targets and not game animals. There are far to many invariables that come into play that the average shooter can not overcome to make it ethical hunting. There are some guys who can make those shots because they have paid their dues and my hats off to them but as for every 19 year old that reads to many gun rags, he thinks buying a Creedmoor makes him a capable sniper.......NOT!

  5. #25

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    Anything but Vortex.

    Seriously. Iíve had great experience with everything from Nikon to Leupold to Redfield to Swarovski. I think Swaro is well worth the money, if you have it. If you donít, thereís lots of great stuff out thereóthe high end scopes arenít necessary but I think the cost is justified if itís a realistic option.

    I used to think anything more powerful than 6 or 7x was silly, but as my eyes have aged Iíve found I appreciate 9x and 12x a lot more than I used to. Necessary, no. But helpful.

  6. #26

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    Hey Coldfoot, your statement,

    "Sound like very good set-ups. I am very partial to Bergara and needed a scope on my new one. Compared a Toric to a NF and, to my amazement, saw an obvious difference in resolution and low light performance in favor of the Toric. Needless to say, that is what I have on my Bergara"

    I almost went with Bergara due to glowing accuracy reports and they look good. Once I discovered the safety does not lock the bolt down I passed. I must have something in my brain about this lock the bolt down thing, as thousands of shooters have no problem with it. It's just me being me!

    I still have my old 4 powered Weaver with the post reticle. It still works, but the glass is not as clear as the average scope is now days.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post
    I must have something in my brain about this lock the bolt down thing, as thousands of shooters have no problem with it.
    I have something about the times while passing through alders with a rifle on my back, and a branch grabbed the bolt handle to clank open the action. I spend a lot of time in the alders, so have lots of opportunity for it to become my "thing."

    I'm right there with you.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post

    I still have my old 4 powered Weaver with the post reticle. It still works, but the glass is not as clear as the average scope is now days.
    I still have a 4x Swift my Dad gave me either as a Christmas or birthday gift when I was a kid. It rests on a 10/22 that he also bought me....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post
    Hey Coldfoot, your statement,

    "Sound like very good set-ups. I am very partial to Bergara and needed a scope on my new one. Compared a Toric to a NF and, to my amazement, saw an obvious difference in resolution and low light performance in favor of the Toric. Needless to say, that is what I have on my Bergara"

    I almost went with Bergara due to glowing accuracy reports and they look good. Once I discovered the safety does not lock the bolt down I passed. I must have something in my brain about this lock the bolt down thing, as thousands of shooters have no problem with it. It's just me being me!

    I still have my old 4 powered Weaver with the post reticle. It still works, but the glass is not as clear as the average scope is now days.





    I hear you and that is definitively a negative for guys who brush bust a lot, particularly, if they keep their rifles slung over their shoulders. But, for me, I try to stay away from thick brush as much as possible because I am sort of half deaf due many years of shooting without appropriate hearing protection when I was young. I have trouble locating sound. Meaning, I hear it, but don't know where its coming from. Not a good thing when walking bear trails.
    I seldom ever have my rifle slung over my shoulder or in a pack. It is always at the ready. I guess years of hunting solo has made me a bit more cautious/alert than the average hunter. Consequently, my bolt coming loose is seldom a concern.
    Regarding Bergara accuracy, no question the average Bergara rifle is inherently more accurate than any other rifle at the same price point. I hope Bergara does not undergo the corporate trajectory most new firms trying to gain a foothold in the domestic market do: 1. Start as a hungry, ambitious new company with superior products at price point that achieves success and establishes brand name recognition; 2. The company now incrementally increases prices and cheapens their product; 3. The company loses credibility and market share and starts the death spiral.....
    As you know, some big name brands got greedy and sloppy and are now paying for their stupidity.....(a rifle and rifle scope company come to mind...)

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forager View Post
    Anything but Vortex.
    What are your reservations about Vortex? I'm new to hunting/long range shooting, but have heard them referred to as great value optics-- is this just hype I'm hearing? Are there other brands you'd recommend over Vortex at those price points?

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtb_tom View Post
    What are your reservations about Vortex? I'm new to hunting/long range shooting, but have heard them referred to as great value optics-- is this just hype I'm hearing? Are there other brands you'd recommend over Vortex at those price points?
    Iíve had issues with a couple of vortex optics, and just donít think the glass is all that greatóunless you get the higher end vortex glass, and at those price points I think there are many better options. Vortex is one of those that I just think are overhyped, and a lot of what people like is the great warrantee. But a number of other companies have similar warrantees, and in my opinion, youíre more likely to actually need the warrantee with vortex. If you want great Ďvalueí optics I would look at redfield and some others, but thatís just me.

  12. #32

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    Thanks, I'll do some looking into Redfield.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtb_tom View Post
    Thanks, I'll do some looking into Redfield.
    Yikes! There is a gigantic learning curve ahead for you. From your other posts, I gather you are new to the firearms-hunting fraternity. So, let me share some thoughts: 1. Since you are likely to shoot inside of 200 yards at most and given monetary/durability considerations, I would choose a fixed power scope,4x or 6x in a SWFA (great bang for the money), older Leupold, older Weaver, older Burris, etc. with Duplex crosshairs. Of course, that assumes you are a "set and forget" shooter not a knob cranker (wannabe sniper). 2. Don't buy newer cheap variable scopes because most will break down. 2.Most scope reviews are tainted by self-serving biases from people who get paid to promote products. Be skeptical!
    You can go to different websites where you can separate the self-serving shills from the real folks when talking rifle scopes.
    Right now, SWFA is having a sale. The optics are not fantastic, but very good and the scopes are bomb proof!

  14. #34

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    I just got my dadís old triple deuce off the rack for a cleaning. I havenít shot it much and knew without a shadow of doubt that it had an old fine cross hair k6 Weaver. I was wrong itís a Kolmorgen! Now those were some dandy fine scopes back in the day! Another favorite of mine is the old Universal brand made I believe in Florida!

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldfoot View Post
    Yikes! There is a gigantic learning curve ahead for you. From your other posts, I gather you are new to the firearms-hunting fraternity. So, let me share some thoughts: 1. Since you are likely to shoot inside of 200 yards at most and given monetary/durability considerations, I would choose a fixed power scope,4x or 6x in a SWFA (great bang for the money), older Leupold, older Weaver, older Burris, etc. with Duplex crosshairs. Of course, that assumes you are a "set and forget" shooter not a knob cranker (wannabe sniper). 2. Don't buy newer cheap variable scopes because most will break down. 2.Most scope reviews are tainted by self-serving biases from people who get paid to promote products. Be skeptical!
    You can go to different websites where you can separate the self-serving shills from the real folks when talking rifle scopes.
    Right now, SWFA is having a sale. The optics are not fantastic, but very good and the scopes are bomb proof!
    We have a local guy who was born with a silver spoon in his pie hole. He has a couple of coyote rifle scope combos that are worth more than my truck. He likes to flap his lip on the radio about his quality shió-stuff. I just tell him to let me know when his Schmidt and Bender actually lands a bullet from that 22-284 barrel burner on a yote......to my knowledge so far it hainít drawn fur😳. His gun shoots 1/2 inch groups on paper. My mini 14 with a 4x Universal shoots 1.25 on a good day and the coyotes are scared to death of that thing.

    What I am saying is that you canít spend your way to success in the field with high dollar shió-stuff! You need to pay your dues. Spend the extra money on ammo and practice from hunting positions. When meat for the freezer presents itself in the wild all of that shooting from a bench is going to be of little value.

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    Spend the extra money on ammo and practice from hunting positions. When meat for the freezer presents itself in the wild all of that shooting from a bench is going to be of little value.
    That's almost the whole package. I notice that many of the same guys prefer to spend their time standing around sporting goods counters and firing lines yammering about just the right gear, rather than getting out and using the stuff they already own. If they'd devote 5% of that time to shooting their guns rather than their mouths, they'd be immensely better shots. Add another 5% for being in the hills learning the ways of the animals, and their only complaint in life would be too little freezer space.

    Jawing and spending are sure fun. But the winners of countertop debates and the authorities at the range are seldom even marginally successful hunters. I'm betting they wear out the seats of their pants long before they break in their hunting boots!
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

  17. #37

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    Definitely new to hunting and optics, less so firearms in general-- though I still wouldn't call myself an expert there. I feel fortunate to be in an age where so much information and advice is so readily available-- but it leaves a lot to take in!

    I am definitely a set and forget type, and do like the simplicity of a fixed power, what little scoped shooting I've done has always been with fixed. I'd rather spend money on getting more rounds through in practice than a nicer scope.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtb_tom View Post
    Definitely new to hunting and optics, less so firearms in general-- though I still wouldn't call myself an expert there. I feel fortunate to be in an age where so much information and advice is so readily available-- but it leaves a lot to take in!

    I am definitely a set and forget type, and do like the simplicity of a fixed power, what little scoped shooting I've done has always been with fixed. I'd rather spend money on getting more rounds through in practice than a nicer scope.

    You can buy used, but, be aware most people who get rid of a scope do so for a reason: Won't hold zero or mechanical problems. Once in a while, there are some honest people who are simply "upgrading" (buying into the BS hype) and sell perfectly sound scopes. The older fixed power Weaver, Leupold and Burris scopes tended to be sturdy and reliable. SWFA scopes have OK glass but are mechanically bullet proof. You can read all kind of information regarding scopes in many "gunny" sites. Remember to separate the "set and forget" from the "knob twister" reviews.

    Regarding, shooting skills, go to a nearby range and you will see most shooting off sandbags. Seldom ever one sees guys shooting offhand without sticks, prone without a bipod, kneeling or sitting using a sling. Practice offhand shooting inside of 100 yards. Some practice generalizes to actual hunting situations. Do not believe for a minute people who are great hunters are great shooters. Neither are great shooters great hunters. The goal is to be both. But, it takes time and effort.

  19. #39

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    BrownBear and Coldfoot, you both nailed it! I pretty much only shoot from the bench when getting a scope dialed in. I have a series of three gongs. A 4 inches at 50 and 100 and a 8 inch gong at 200. I fair better when free hand shooting at those gongs with low magnification fixed power scopes over high magnification. My 3x9 scopes are very very seldom set on >6X.

  20. #40
    Member Redlander's Avatar
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    Favorite scope is a Leupold VX-III, 2.5-8x36. Itís lightweight, relatively compact, good optical quality, good price point, provides good low end power for close shooting, yet decent high end power for reasonable (for me anyway) long end shooting. Iíve got a friend that lives on the river (boats and snow machines), he has a tank for a scope, which I believe is a Nightforce, 2.5-10◊42 COMPACT. Itís on a Ruger 77 .308; has never had a problem with it losing zero. I just like one a little lighter.

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