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Thread: Low-Power Scope Question

  1. #1
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    Default Low-Power Scope Question

    I've got a scope question and I figured guys who hunt Alaska would be good to put it to. I'm shopping for a scope for a 375H&H that I'm having built. I'm a "two-gun" hunter. I have a 308 for everything deer sized and smaller. Then I use a 375 on everything bigger. (At least it usually breaks down more or less along those lines.) So I need to scope to be at least somewhat versatile.

    I'm looking at the Leupold VX-3, but haven't decided between 1.5-5x or 1.75-6x. (Actual magnification is 1.5-4.5x for the first, 1.9-5.5x for the second.) I would like to get the increased high end of the 1.75-6x. But I'm concerned about the low end. This is a gun I'll definitely use for boar hunting. And if I ever win the lottery it will be the one I'll take out for brown bear and to Africa. So what do you think, if you got rushed by a boar at close range would you rather have the 1.5x low end, or would the 1.9x be just as good?

    If it really doesn't matter then I'll go with the latter. But if the 1.5-5x is noticeably better in tight quarters then that's how I would want to go. Unfortunately I don't have the option of viewing them side by side up here.

    Thanks,

    Ben

  2. #2
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Choice

    I actually have something near what you are proposing. I have a 375 Weatherby - which is a wildcat that has just about the same ballistics as the new 375 Ruger (about 100 ft/sec faster than the 375 H & H). It also shoots 375 H & H ammo very well.

    I think you have a great weapon for everything up to elephant. I"m a confirmed Leupold person. With that said, I had the VX-III in both 1.5 x 5 and 1.75 x 6. The 1.5 was on my slug gun and the 1.75 on my rifle.

    I honestly can't say I see any big differences on either end so this is what I suggest. Mount the new VX3 in 1.75 x 6 on your 375 H & H WITH quick release mounts. I have the Leupold mounts and I'm very happy with them. Fortunately I have never had to use them but I have had the scope off & on the rifle to check out the mounts effectiveness. They keep their accuracy better than I do.

    So that is my suggestion. It should get you through any situation.

  3. #3

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    90% of my 18 scopes are either 1.5 X 5 or straight 2.5X compact, and all are heavy duplex or German #4 reticle, and all are Leupold. In 45 years I have never had a Leupold failure. All my scopes have Leupold Quick Release Rings. If charged by anything I prefer "NO" Scope.

  4. #4

    Smile your call.....

    I have both scopes. The 1.5 X 5 has the German # 4 and the 1.75 X 6 has the post cross hair reticle. Leupold's custom shop put them in for me. If you want a little more magnification and ability to transmit a little more available light then go with the 1.75 X 6. After using both they both have merits. As we know most of it comes down to the shooter. My .338 wears a 2.5 X 8 with the standard duplex reticle and my brown bear was killed at under 30'. I could see the bear plenty good with the scope on 2.5 power. Several times over the years I have read or heard where some one looked through their scope and the bear was just a blur because it was so close. I haves 8 Leupold scopes from 1.5 X 5 to 3 X 9. All of them focus very well just a few feet off the muzzle when they are set on the lower end of their power range. Maybe other scopes don't or maybe ones mind can become a blur when under stress. Either one will serve you well.

  5. #5

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    I use the VXIII 1.5x5 on my .338WM and have never felt the need for any more magnification, even when I took a caribou at 300 yards or sighting in at the range. I very happy with this scope.

    I have had one failure with a Leupold: just this past year on a sheep hunt I missed a nice ram by feet when I took the shot. Apparently a fall while packing into the hunt area caused an internal failure of the windage mechanism. A range session after the hunt produced a 6" spread at 100yards, this rifle and ammo ( my handloads) grouped at 3/4" prior to my hunt. I am still sick to my stomach over that as I was hunting a highly sought after and difficult Draw Permit hunt area.

  6. #6

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    I have the same delema with my 358win. I hunt some very close stuff where shots have been as close as 15 yards this calls for the 1.5-5. But I am not always in that tight stuff and the 1.75-6 would be great and also for sighting in (goup size mainly). The one gun two scopes with QD rings is one thing I have concidered.

    I have a VXII 2-7 on my 270win and that has too little FOV for the real close stuff and the VXIII 1.75-6 fall right between them.

    I would use 25 yards as the disiding factor, If you never shoot inside 25 yards get the 1.75-6 if you will shoot inside of 25 yards or need to shoot at moving game (charging maybe) than its the 1.5-5.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by 338WM View Post
    I have had one failure with a Leupold: just this past year on a sheep hunt I missed a nice ram by feet when I took the shot. Apparently a fall while packing into the hunt area caused an internal failure of the windage mechanism. A range session after the hunt produced a 6" spread at 100yards, this rifle and ammo ( my handloads) grouped at 3/4" prior to my hunt. I am still sick to my stomach over that as I was hunting a highly sought after and difficult Draw Permit hunt area.

    This is why QR Rings are the way to go, all you need is an extra scope allready zeroed, if you fall on your scope, you just flip two leavers and good to go. Sorry about your scope failure, I assume Leupold repaired it for free.

  8. #8

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    Man talk about splitting hairs, 1.5X5 vs. 1.75X6??? I doubt I could tell you which was which if put on two different rifles and I held them up to look through, and that is at either end of their zoom spectrum.

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    "If you want a little more magnification and ability to transmit a little more available light then go with the 1.75 X 6."

    Exactly. And if 1.75 is too much magnification on a bear it will be close enough to touch with the barrel anyways!

    I have a 1.75x6 on my 375 I took to Tanzania on a buff hunt a few years ago. It worked great from a heartebeast at 30 yards to an impala at 300. My cousin put a 1.5x5 on his 375 and he and I both like mine better in hind sight. I don't think you would be disipointed by either, but for me the 1.75x6 is the way to go.

    My 2 cents.

    Brett

    PS. I haven't used them, but the burris euro diamonds are in the same price range and are a nice scope. My uncle has one that he likes. You might look into them.

  10. #10

    Default PRACTICE at short range

    I'm with Lanche - you're splitting hairs worrying about the difference between the 1.5 and 1.75 for close shots. BOTH will easily aid you on close shots if you practice, NEITHER will be a savior if you don't practice.

    Here's what I mean by practice - this or some variation. The range I use has a minimum target range of 25 yards, so I can't practice closer than that at the range.

    Set your scope at the lowest power, and load three shells in the magazine (or however many your rifle will hold), and leave the chamber empty. That's how I carry my rifle most of the time in Alaska, so that's how I practice. When I'm walking, I always have my scope on the lowest power - if the animal is far enough off that I need more scope power, I'll likely have time to twist the dial higher.

    I stand at the shootiing line, with my rifle in one hand (like I carry it with a pack on my back) pointed downrange. Then, I practice seeing an animal at close range - bring the gun to my shoulder while chambering a round, squeeze the first shot off as soon as I acquire the 25 yard target in the scope, followed as quick as I can by two followup shots.

    With a little practice you can get pretty fast (I've had the range officer tell me I'm getting close to violating the range's no rapid-fire rule, even tho I'm shooting a bolt gun), and you learn to quickly get on target and start the lead going.

    You can create your own variation...but if you don't practice some type of drill like this, it won't matter if you have 1.5x, 1.75x, or 10x.

  11. #11
    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    I have a VX-II 2x7 on my 375 H&H. My closest shot was 30 yards. 2x was perfect, I was only 1 or so inches off where I wanted to hit it at.

    Ron

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    I prefer the 1.75-6 only because of the 32mm Objective lense. For me the 20mm lense is just too small. If you can I would go somewhere and hold them side by side and have your eyes tell you which one you want.
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    Thanks guys,

    That helps. I know I'm splitting hairs. But I have about a month and a half before the gun is back from the smith's, so I have time to think about it. And nothing passes the time like ruminating over 1.75x vs 1.5x.

    Mdhunter. I think that's good advice about practicing at close range. I tend to do most of my practicing at 100 yards (trying to hit an 8" steel plate offhand). I don't do enough close in stuff.

    I do know that when I hunt my variable scopes essentially never go above 5x. In fact, it's rare they are ever above 3x. I usually hunt at 3 or 4x in case I startle something close in. Inevitably if I see something further away I want to shoot I don't take the time to crank up the power, so I just shoot at whatever power I'm on. So I guess I wouldn't really be limited by the 5x top end.

    I'll have to think about it.

    Ben

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    Here's a question for you guys who shoot the German #4 reticle. Is the crosshair on that reticle thicker than the one on the regular duplex? I know the wider bars at the periphery are, but I'm talking about the thin hairs right in the center of the scope picture.

    Thanks,

    Ben

  15. #15
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Something To Consider

    You will get older (or you will die - not much of a choice there). Your eyes will have less visual acquity. I don't know how long you plan to keep the same outfit (in my case I usually keep a gun/scope for over 30 years) but you might want to consider more power for "later on in life".

    Just something to keep in the back of your mind - and from someone who is not getting old - I'm there.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bad Ben View Post
    Mdhunter. I think that's good advice about practicing at close range. I tend to do most of my practicing at 100 yards (trying to hit an 8" steel plate offhand). I don't do enough close in stuff.

    I do know that when I hunt my variable scopes essentially never go above 5x. In fact, it's rare they are ever above 3x. I usually hunt at 3 or 4x in case I startle something close in.

    Ben
    Once you do a little practice at 25 yards on 1.5x or 1.75x, you'll start to carry it on low power, as that's the easiest way to quickly acquire a target at close range. Also, your ability to look at something, and then raise the rifle and be pointing at it or close to it, will improve as well.

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    If it's a choice between a straight tube with 20mm objective versus a bell with a larger objective, choose the straight tube, even if you give away some magnification. That's simply one less thing hanging out in the breeze to bang on things when you fall.

    I have a leupold 2.5x, a 1x4, and a 1.5x5. Either would work. For a 375, assuming you're shooting caribou and larger animals, the 2.5 would work fine.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    For close shooting practice I have a simple program, all of my rifles are Tang safety just like my mossy 500. I practice my short game with it, and after limiting out on hares 5 or 6 weekends in a row I gurantee I could smak a bear in the brain box inside 30 yds shooting instinctively. <grin> I killed a few bunnies last year before I even realized I had jumped em!

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    I have a 3x9x40 VX-2 on my 375H&H and love it. I'm almost 60 and like the extra power and have no problem in close and the rifle shoots 3/4" groups at 100 yrds. The scope is good in low light also. I tried the Burris and it failed in short order and had a very unpleasant time with them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
    I have a 3x9x40 VX-2 on my 375H&H and love it. I'm almost 60 and like the extra power and have no problem in close and the rifle shoots 3/4" groups at 100 yrds. The scope is good in low light also. I tried the Burris and it failed in short order and had a very unpleasant time with them.
    Yeah, I've heard bad reviews of Burris when it comes to customer support. Unfortunate.

    I have a scope like the one you mentioned on my 308. It's their Mark 2 tactical scope in 3-9x40. Unless I'm mistaken the Mark 2 is just a VX-II dressed up with a mil dot reticle and tactical turrets. The scope is unusually bright. In fact this evening I compared it side-by-side with a VX-III in 2.5-8x. Believe it or not the Mark 2 was significantly brighter as the sun went down than the VX-III. I was surprised, pleasantly I suppose.

    Ben

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