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Thread: Sighting in a variable scope questions?

  1. #1
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    Default Sighting in a variable scope questions?

    I have Leupold 2.5x8 VarX III's on all 3 of my rifles.

    I'm curious how you all site in your variables - on low power, highest power, middle?

    Do you find shifting POI at all at different settings?

    Is it best to site in on a large bull at a low setting, or a small bull with the highest setting, or is it all personal preference?

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    I personally use the highest power setting. If the scope changes the point of impact when you adjust the power it is defective and needs to be returned for warranty work.
    Tennessee

  3. #3

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    I sight in on the highest setting, then shoot confirmation groups at the middle and lowest settings.

    I kinda wonder why I bother with variable hunting scopes, because I always leave them on the lowest setting in the field. Go figure. I could save weight, bulk and money with fixed low power scopes on all my hunting rifles. 2x is plenty because it gives you such a precise aiming point, even for smaller deer out at 300+ yards.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickeyfinn View Post
    I have Leupold 2.5x8 VarX III's on all 3 of my rifles.

    I'm curious how you all site in your variables - on low power, highest power, middle?

    Do you find shifting POI at all at different settings?

    Is it best to site in on a large bull at a low setting, or a small bull with the highest setting, or is it all personal preference?
    I use 3 x 9s and keep my scope at 4 for normal shooting ranges and that's the setting that I sight in at, I make confirmation shots with the higher settings and if they are off I send the scope back to the manufacturer and get it replaced. Higher power settings tend to make the target seem jittery because vibrations are magnified, so the lower settings seem to give a more stable sight picture. Also, the lower setting makes you concentrate more on accuracy making you a better shot. If you don't plan on ever shooting over 200 yards a 4x fixed power is all you should ever need, save the bucks unless you think you may be taking some long shots. The power setting should not change the point of impact. I have only had to send one scope back and it was a Cabelas scope which they replaced, no question or problem. I use Burris and Leupold on all my rifles now and have never had a problem with either brand. You get what you pay for and when it comes to optics, don't be cheap.

  5. #5
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    Sight the scope at the highest setting, and once the rifle is shooting straight enough, check the scope at mid setting, and then low setting. That's all there is to it. More than likely the POI won't change.

    I carry my rifle afield with the scope set at it's lowest power, and only crank it up when I want to clearly see the spot on moose I want the bullet to hit. For example, when I want the bullet to strike just behind the shoulder, or to brake the shoulder bone.

    I have found that the easiest way to sight a rifle once it's shooting straight enough (on paper) is to use a gun vise or a very solid rest: I fire one shot at 100 yards, and without allowing the rifle to move at all, I adjust the scope so that the reticle's center points straight at the bullet hole on the target. Of course, you have to figure first where and how high on the target the bullet should hit.

    By the way, that's the same scope i have on my .338 for the past 12 years. Haven't had a single problem with it so far. It's a great little scope. The advantage of the lowest setting is greater field of view than 4x or higher, which is very useful for close shots or shots on moving game. It also gathers the most light when you need it the most.

  6. #6

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    All scope companies recommend that you sight in on high power. There is a reason for that and it is important. Do not sight in on low power only, long shots will be afftected. If I was a scope company and you sighted in on low power then it was off on high power and I knew you sighted in on low power, I would send the scope back to you ask you to sight in on High power then see if it hits at low power. If it didn't then I would replace your scope. It is not hard to read the instructions given with a fine scope like Leupold, Zess, Swaro, Nikon and others. They wrote for those instructions for a reason. Good luck, good shooting and good hunting.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  7. #7

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    At any given distance, at the scopes highest power, the target appears the closest it possibly can, magnifying the amount of any adjustment to its maximum potential, thus requiring less adjustment.

    1) Sight picture etc better at higher magnification.

    2) It assumes that if there is point of impact change with power change that it will be consistent. In other words if sighted in on 12X and point of impact moves when going to 4X then the point of impact will be correct when returning to 12 X

    3) An extension of point 2. If point of impact moves with power change then it is better to have the sighting done on 12X since the top power will be used for long range or very small animals.

    It's the same reason that if you sight in your scope a 300m it certainly will be dead on at 100.
    If its perfect at say 12x when you take it to 3x it will be ok
    if perfect at 3x and you take it to 12x it will be off some

    1- I can be more accurate at the higher power. Once the scope is zeroed as best as I can get it at max power than I am confident of the zero.
    Someone mentioned checking the zero at various powers to see if the POI shifts. That was an affliction that plagued some variables scopes in the "good old days." However it it occurs now, to any perceptible degree, I would send the scope for repairs.
    2- Parallax issues manifest themselves more at higher powers. Where you might not see any parallax issues at say, 6.5X, it might jump up and bite you at 20X. So, I put on full power and fiddle with the AO until I get it just right, then I zero.
    If the scope does not have an adjustable objective, such as one on a hunting rifle, then you can pretty discount the second reason, but I would still like to see what it does for me.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

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