Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: Scope for Browning BLR/Alaskan hunting

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    9

    Default Scope for Browning BLR/Alaskan hunting

    Hello everyone,

    I recently joined the forum but haven't had a chance to introduce myself. I've been reading posts on the forum for several weeks and it (you) have already proven to be a great source of information. So now I'm seeking your advice/opinion on matching a scope to a rifle I recently purchased.

    A few weeks ago, I bought a Browning BLR in 325 WSM. It isn't listed in the catalog but it is listed on the Browning website- it is stainless steel and has a camo synthetic stock with the dura-touch coating. I've been intrigued by what I've read about the 325 WSM, and believe it would make a fine rifle for hunting big game out West and in Alaska.

    Now I'm faced with the unsavory task of matching a scope to the rifle. My family and I typically put Leupold scopes on our deer rifles, with a few Nikons thrown in for good measure, but I was wondering what you believed to be the best match for my "new addition."

    My two leading choices right now are the Leupold VX-II in 3-9, and the VX-III in 2.5-8. However, I have also looked at the VX-III 3.5-10, the Nikon Monarchs, Zeiss Conquests, and a Bushnell Elite 3200 in 3-10 or something along those lines. My family and I believe you can't go wrong with Leupold scopes, but I was wondering if there was a noticeable difference between the VX-II and VX-III in your opinion that is worth the added cost to jump up, because I couldn't seen much of one when comparing the two side by side. I'm leaning toward the VX-II at this point because I couldn't tell much of a difference other than price. I also loved the Zeiss Conquest, but again wonder whether I need that much scope or whether it is worth the added price.

    Trust me, I'm not cheap and I'm a firm believer in buying tough, high quality gear and taking care of it so that it lasts, but I also think that at some point it gets difficult to justify spending several hundred extra dollars for a negligible difference in quality, and at this point, I can't just throw that kind of money away when I could get something comparable for that much less money.

    A friend who works at a local sporting goods shop also showed me the Bushnell Elite 3200, which I wasn't initially interested in, but I was thoroughly impressed with the clarity and brightness it possessed when compared to the thousand dollar Zeiss and Swarovskis he also showed me, especially for having a $220 price tag. He told me that the 3200 series is actually made by Baush and Lomb which Bushnell acquired. I thought it was great but I have some concerns about Bushnell's durability when compared to Leupold or Zeiss, etc.

    So what do ya'll think? Sorry about the length of the post- just curious as to your thoughts and experiences. Thanks in advance, any thoughtful advice you can offer is appreciated.

    JG

  2. #2

    Default Burris?

    You cant go wrong with the Leopold. but you might wont to check out the burris line. they are priced about the same as leopold with a little better optics. I've been very please with mine three scopes and there binocs. I'm not nocking anybodys products just a thought. there posi lock adjustments are a little insurance in a hard kicking rifle in a hard enviroment.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Mountains of VA
    Posts
    224

    Default

    I agree with your family - you can't go wrong with Leupold.

    I have a BLR in 308. I tried several different scopes then came to the conclusion I liked it best without a scope. It carried and handled best that way. So I went with peep sights. I love it that way.

    I have other 308's in other configurations (bolt, semi-auto, & single-shot) for other hunting situations so the BLR is my quick, close-in 308. The bolt gun and the single-shot feel much better with a scope attached.

    Having said that, the scope that best fit the BLR was a Leupold 1.5 - 5 VX III. It is short, light and presents a wide field of view. It is small enough and light enough that it didn't make the gun feel "over loaded" on top.

    It is my understanding that the VX III advantage over the II is better glass and 1/4 minute click adjustments.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    If it were mine (I have a BLR Take down in 300 WM on order) I would choose any of the following:
    Leupold 2x7, 2.5x8, or the Zeiss 3x9 Conquest. Since most of these rifles come with iron sights I would install the scope using either Talley or Warne QD rings. But you can not really go wrong with a good Bushnell or Burris either. I just lean towards Leupolds.
    Tennessee

  5. #5

    Default

    I'm with everyone else on both Burris and Leopold, but gotta draw the line between VX-II and VX-III. For rifle/caliber combos with lotsa recoil, the shorter eye relief of the VX-II can be a problem. Probably not an issue with the 325, but a consideration. I'd make the choice between the two based on weight distribution and handling. Whichever allowed you to move the scope forward or back to just the right spot for rifle balance and quick handling, that's the one I'd pick.

    As for zoom range, I'm definitely sold on the 1.5x5. In Alaska you have a lot more use for the extra field of view at the lower end than extra magnification at the top. I have it on 7x57, 284 Win, 358 Win, and 375 H&H. Even on the first two and the 375, 5x is plenty for long shots on deer and larger game. You'll literally kiss your scope for joy after using the 1.5x when a shot has to be taken very quickly inside 20 feet.

  6. #6
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    905

    Thumbs up scope

    The Leupold 2.5x8 would be perfect!
    Alaska

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    15

    Default

    I hunted PWS blacktails with a BLR stainless 300WSM and used a Burris 3x9 Shortmag scope. The scope is compact and has a reticle set up for shortmag ballistics. I also used Warne quick release mounts incase I needed Iron sights as backup. BLRs are great guns.

  8. #8
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    730

    Default Scoping....

    Gotta' agree with BrownBear. I'm sold on the Leupold 1.5x5 for my use.
    I tried a Swarovski 3x10 on my 330Dakota and found that I kept it set on 5x or 6x all the time anyway. I prefer lower power scopes...either a 1.75x6 or the 1.5x5...both in Leupolds. I sold the Swarovki and bought another 1.5x5 Leupy. I don't need and won't use more magnification. And in brushy country, the wide field of view makes a massive difference. And 5x is enough X's for virtually any Alaskan hunting.

  9. #9
    Premium Member AZinAK's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    South Central
    Posts
    527

    Smile My thoughts...

    I owned a BLR and the best advice I can give is get a scope with a lot of eye relief. I had a 300 WSM and the scope set as far back as I could get it on the rings was cutting it close to actually being set too far forward. It was a Cabelas guide series 3-12x52 if I remember right. I really liked the gun and would have kept it but I just couldn't stand the english stalk. Ended up selling it and getting an A-bolt in 300 WSM with a Zeiss scope. Love it.

    AZinAK

  10. #10
    Member wykee5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sodak
    Posts
    208

    Default Difference Between VXII and VXIII

    All good opinions, but here is some technical info. The difference between the VXII and VXIII is scope construcition. The VXII is a two piece steel tube, threaded and screwed together at the center, with OK optics. The VXIII is a one piece, machined steel tube, with better optical coatings. In other words, probably get the Leupold, but don't get VXII. Spend the extra bucks, and get the VXIII. I'd also look towards the 2.5-8 in terms of magnification. On a 325, there really is no need to go with more magnification. Nikon monarchs are also a good scope, with better light transmission than the the VXII by far and a little better than equal to the VXIII. The monarchs used to be an aluminum tube, which in theory isn't as strong as a steel tube, but how hard are you going to bang your scope on the rocks anyway? In my experience the Nikons are a little hard to adjust the magnification in cold weather. I talked to a Nikon rep this spring, and they were redoing much of their scope line, and I am not sure if the new ones are in stores yet. But personally, what I would do is put the VXIII on it in 2.5-8, and then never worry about it again. Hope that helps.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Thanks to everyone for your insight and advice so far... Definitely some good points to consider. I plan to do a little more research over the next week or so before I make a decision, so if anyone has any further thoughts please let me know! I'm currently leaning toward the 1.5x5 or 2.5x8 VX-III's, but also plan on looking further into some of your other suggestions that I hadn't previously considered as well... Great suggestion regarding the quick release mounts as well! Ahhhh the tough decisions in life... thanks again to all.

    Jon

  12. #12
    New member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Go with the Leupold!

    Hey Jon,

    I stongly suggest you stay with your family's experince with the Leupolds. I, like so many that have offered good advice, have tired and own several different brands of quality scopes. But, having had the privilege to actually tour the Leupold factory down in OR not long ago on a business deal, would never buy anything but Leupold from now on! It is truly amazing what they put ALL of their scopes through, including the less expensive Rifleman and VX-I series too! Absolutely awesome! Same quality throughtout too, from Rifleman to VX-7!

    Yes, the only real differnce in a VX-II and a VX-II is the one-piece vs. two piece construction and the quality of the lens coating. Both are great! My favorites tend to be the 2.5X8 and the 3.5X10s in the VX-III. I just can't seem to fall in love withthe lower 1X4s and 1.5X5s.

    I have an older BLR in .358. Handles fine with VX-II 3-9X40, in Weaver rings that come on and off pretty good while holding the POA. I need to have some fiber optic iron sights installed as the original Browning ones darn near require reading glasses to see!

  13. #13
    Member shphtr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Chugiak
    Posts
    1,376

    Default Scope choice

    "I'm currently leaning toward the 1.5x5 or 2.5x8 VX-III's, but also plan on looking further into some of your other suggestions that I hadn't previously considered as well..."

    Don't forget about the often over looked 1.75 x 6 - an excellent scope that will fit mag actions and thought by some to be one of Leupold's most "recoil resistant" offerings.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    fairbanks
    Posts
    23

    Default

    i just purchase the Zeiss last year and like it the best. I have three leupolds, and two nikons and like them but the Zeiss is much clearer to me. I do not like anything that bushnell makes but I like the nikons, but would rate the leupolds above them, and the Zeiss at the top but that is just me.......

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    402

    Default

    Leupold vari-XIII 1.5-5x20mm heavy duplex

    Ain't a big critter in the whole state that needs more than 5x to see and shoot at any ethical game taking ranges.(I would buy a pure fixed 1.5 leupold if they made it for strictly a DG type rifle as it is better than the 2x they have)

    The feild of view can be such a fast targeting benefit in thick stuff on 1.5x it is almost a must (once you use a 1.5x you will never really like anything higher again for DG situations)when even just walking around in bear country.

    jedi

  16. #16
    Member AK Tubes's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    122

    Default I went with Zeiss Conquest, but...

    I have a Zeiss Conquest 3x9 on my .300 RUM. It's served me very well. IMO I thought it was more crisp and clear than the Leopould VX-III when I compared the two in the store...but not by an astounding amount and you might not.

    My Zeiss has never fogged on me and cleans easy in the field. I was goiing to buy one or the other. I looked at a bunch of scopes, and for that price point, those two made the top of my list. IMO you can't go terribly wrong with either, but my friends with Leopoulds look through my Zeiss and say how clear it is, but maybe mine's just cleaner than theirs

  17. #17
    New member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default Browning BLR in 325 WSM

    Hi,
    Not to hijack the thread. But I was wondering about the rifle? I was thinking about getting the same model and caliber. a Browning BLR in 325 WSM. How do you like it? Shoot to your expectation? kick? How about a quick review after you get your scope mounted? Thanks.

  18. #18
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    535

    Default

    I think the quality of the VXII's is really great, I am a Leupold fan. I have a friend with a VXII 1-4 on his 375 H&H and it has enough eye relief to shoot comfortably and not worry about getting bit. I don't think the VXIII's have enough of an edge to warrant the price difference, but its up to your eyes not mine.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    9

    Default update

    Thanks again to all. I really appreciate you taking the time to offer points of advice and opinions based on your experiences. Nothing Earth-moving has happened in the past week, as I've been trying to find a store in the area that carries the 1.5x5, 1.75x6 and 2.5x8 to compare. I've found some great prices for the VX-III's and they all seem to be great scopes, but I'd really like to check them out in person before making a decision, especially considering how important balance is for a quick-point rifle such as this. Once I can get a feel for how each scope would balance with the rifle I'll probably have a better idea of which I will go with.

    To n8atak: Being a lefty, the availability of southpaw rifles has always been a problem, so most of my hunting rifles are levers or single-shots.
    I currently own two Marlins and a vintage Winchester Model 88 in .308 Win, but I think the BLR is a great new addition to the gun safe.

    The gun is fairly light, has a crisp trigger pull, points like "Lightning", and cycles rounds just as fast. Having a box magazine rather than tubular also has its advantages, such as the ability to shoot pointed bullets and carrying a "back up" clip. Plus, I think the synthetic camo stock matched with the stainless steel is a sweet all-weather set up.

    Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to hit the range, so I can't say much about the recoil or accuracy of this combination just yet, other than that I've heard that it won't kick your teeth in and that the BLR has a reputation for being quite accurate. I don't have expectations of it being on the same playing field as a match-grade rifle, but I'm fairly confident that it will be more than suitable as an accurate hunting rifle when used within my/its limits.

    The biggest problem I have run into so far has been the availability of factory ammunition. I have only been able to find 220 grain Winchester Power Points, although I'd like to try the 180 and 200 gr's as well. Of course, you won't have the same problem if you handload, but at this point I just don't have the free time. Hopefully Federal and some other companies will start loading for it soon, although I did find a place "Down South" online that makes custom loads I've been looking into.

    Hopefully I will have a chance to test it out tomorrow or the next day. I will let you know how it goes. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a PM so we don't clog the thread. I replied in a general post this time just to share my thoughts with anyone else who may be curious as well. Good luck and thanks again to everyone for your help.

    Jon

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    9

    Thumbs up finally... a decision.

    Hi all,

    After much debate I was able to make a decision on the scope. I was talking with my Dad over the weekend and we struck a nice compromise which made my decision much less difficult. He has wanted to pick up a 1.5x5 for his deer rifles for several years, so we decided now would be a good time for both of us to upgrade. We ordered the VX-III 2.5-8 in matte silver for my BLR, and the 1.5-5 matte for his Marlin.

    At least this way I'll have the option if I decide to switch the 1.5x5 onto the BLR before my trip next year, depending on what we're hunting and what other creatures may be roaming the area.

    I also saw that Leupold is making the 3.5x10 in a new finish called "gun metal gray"... It's a nice match to the finish of my rifle, but I think that much power is probably overkill for what I'm trying to do. Too bad they aren't making the lower powered scopes in it yet... but maybe down the road they will.

    Also, as luck would have it, the local outdoors store actually got a shipment of 180 and 200 grain 325 wsm's in this past week, which I had previously been unable to find. By the time I got there, there were 3 boxes left (1 of 180 gr. Ballistic Tips and 2 of 200 gr. Accubonds), which I grabbed immediately! So now that the scope is on its way and I have the ammo I've been looking for, it's almost time to get this baby sighted in! Now I just need to find the proper rings and bases.

    Thanks again to all- I'll keep you posted on how it shoots once its all set up. I will probably have some more questions on your experiences with bullet performance on big game (180, 200, and 220's), but I'll save that for another thread down the road.

    Good luck to everyone preparing for the upcoming hunting season. Stay safe out there and shoot straight!

    Jon

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •