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Thread: Choosing Optics/Parallax Issue

  1. #1

    Default Choosing Optics/Parallax Issue

    I know that optics come in so many different ranges from quality to size to price these days, just wondering what you guys out there have on your rigs, I have almost finished my Remington 700 300 RUM and I am trying to decide on a good pair of Glass, I am leaning towards the Leupold VX-II or VX-III in 3-9 or 4.5-14 and I am trying to keep it in that price range from 500-650$. Do any of you guys shooting over 10X have parallax issues on game 300-450 yards? Just wondering if its worth getting the AO on the scope for adjustment @ 14X? Any input would be appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default good question

    was wondering the same any input??

  3. #3
    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    Default

    I can't see ever needing more than a 3-9X on a big game rifle. Usually, if anything, I'm wishing I had LESS magnification so I have a bigger field of view at close range. 4.5X isn't going to give you much margin for error if there is a mad grizz at 15 yards. Also, I killed a caribou at 398 yards with a 3-9X scope set on 6X (.300 Wby Mag)--had no desire for more magnification at that range. I also don't like the idea of a parallax correction on a big game rifle. Just something else to have to mess with, possibly giving the animal time to get away. I like something simple, light, and quick to put into action. If you want to split the difference, you could go with the VXIII in 3.5-10X. I also don't see the need for an objective lens bigger than 40mm.Just my preference/$.02

  4. #4
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by onehook View Post
    I know that optics come in so many different ranges from quality to size to price these days, just wondering what you guys out there have on your rigs, I have almost finished my Remington 700 300 RUM and I am trying to decide on a good pair of Glass, I am leaning towards the Leupold VX-II or VX-III in 3-9 or 4.5-14 and I am trying to keep it in that price range from 500-650$. Do any of you guys shooting over 10X have parallax issues on game 300-450 yards? Just wondering if its worth getting the AO on the scope for adjustment @ 14X? Any input would be appreciated.
    I have an array of scopes atop my rifles and have been satisfied by most brands in their respective price range. Presently, the only AO scopes I have are a 3.5X10X40 Vari-X III on a 270 Win, 4X16X40 Bushnell Elite 4200 on a light weight 7mm STW, an older 4X12X40 Redfield on a .222 and a 6X24X44 Burris Signature on a 220 Swift. They are all great scopes and fit my purposes well. I will say the Burris is very heavy--otherwise very good, but on the heavy barreled Swift the weight doesn't really matter; the Redfield is not as bright as some, but its been a great scope. The Elite is one of the best scopes I've ever used. Excellent eye relief, useful magnification range, precise and responsive adjustments and the optics are crisp and bright. The 4200s are a real bargain optically and I have had excellent service with them. The Leupold is an older scope, but still a very good scope. I'll say that Leupold provides excellent customer service, but then I've sent at least three (seems like more) of their scopes to be repaired or replaced in the past several years. I know they have a reputation for durability, and they are durable, but even they give trouble occasionally. In my mind I always feel as if I am paying more for their service than for the actual product, which is not all bad. However there are better optics for the same or less money than a Leupold, but in the event the scope fails you may have to wait to get your scope back. Turnaround time for Leupold service is around 14-21 days (shipping time included). In early march I returned a 2X7X32 Bushnell Elite 3200 that would not hold zero and it took close to 10 weeks to get it back, so pick your poison.

    Selecting a scope has a lot of components: PRICE, durability, magnification, weight, objective diameter, eye relief, field of view, finish, tube diameter, etc. to name a few. I determine which characteristics are most important and search for the models that best fit my application and try to make an educated decision.

    As far as an AO on your scope, it depends. I really like fixed power scopes, just a personal thing. I have several on various rifles and my friends do not make fun of me anymore, but once in a while someone wonders if there are good for more than 50-100 yards. I have a 4X Nikon Monarch on a Sako 338 WM that I can shoot sub 6 inch groups from field positions at 300 yards. Now that is not a tiny group, I know, but I pull that off most anytime I bring the rifle out and its from prone or a sitting position, so its really not too bad. Remember that is a 4X scope with a fixed parallax of 150 yards. If you maintain good form (keep your cheek position constant on the rifle) an AO is not too important on a hunting rifle for killing big game (varmints are another story) even at 400-450 yards. However if you are using higher magnification and want to shoot tiny groups at extended range I would recommend you select a scope with an AO. While hunting, you probably will not have enough time to range the target, adjust the parallax and then take the shot on a mature animal. I typically leave my AO set on 200 in open country and find this works fine for me. I've made three shots in the past several years over 300 yards on big game (all with variable scopes with AO) and did not adjust the AO on any of them. Shooting varmints or paper targets I set the scopes accordingly, but not on big game. My $.02.

  5. #5
    Premium Member AZinAK's Avatar
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    Default My advice...

    Zeiss Conquest 3-9. Great clarity, great it low light conditions, not too expensive, and has a great eye relief.

  6. #6

    Default Parallax

    Most hunting scopes are set parallax free at 150 yards. You do not need parallax adjustment on a big game rifle, period. If you are shooting prairie dogs out at 400 yards, it may make a difference. I'm not quite sure, but I don't believe magnification makes parallax worse, so if you crank up to 10x and beyond, no different parallax wise than 3x. I can't imagine trying to adjust for parallax with everything else your mind should be considering when preparing for a shot on big game, and it makes the scope heavier.
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

  7. #7
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Default Scopes need AO over 10X

    Quote Originally Posted by blackfoot View Post
    Most hunting scopes are set parallax free at 150 yards. You do not need parallax adjustment on a big game rifle, period. If you are shooting prairie dogs out at 400 yards, it may make a difference. I'm not quite sure, but I don't believe magnification makes parallax worse, so if you crank up to 10x and beyond, no different parallax wise than 3x. I can't imagine trying to adjust for parallax with everything else your mind should be considering when preparing for a shot on big game, and it makes the scope heavier.

    Whether you need parallax adjustment on a big game rifle is not the same as if you need adjustment on a scope. Parallax is very real and different manufacturers set it at different distances for various reasons (i.e. centerfire rifles, rimfire, shotguns, muzzleloaders). Magnification multiplies the effect of parallax and above 10X you need to have some adjustment or you will find there are several inches of parallax in your scope, enough to cause problems even on big game if you use enough magnification. Say you have 4 inches (1 MOA) of parallax at 400 yards and with 14X this is about right; probably 4-6 inches if the parallax is set for 150 yards. Now you have a rifle that will hold MOA out to 400 yards and now add your excited state of mind, heart rate and such and figure probably another MOA for that. Without the parallax problem you may be able to hold a 8 inch group, but add the parallax and you are 12-14 inch group. I'd say that correcting the 4-6 inches out of the picture could certainly be meaningful, wouldn't you?

    While I readily admit that there are many bells and whistles on hunting equipment today that are not necessary, an AO is not one of them. Parallax is well understood and it is such a basic concept in the scope business that there are very few scopes above 10X that does not include some kind of AO. For example, Leupold use to make a 4X12X40 vari-x II that had no AO and there are probably others, but they are few and far between.

    I agree that an AO is not necessary for hunting big game. But that is because I do not feel that high magnification is necessary to hunt big game; not because I don't think that a AO is necessary on a scope above 10X. An AO does make a scope heavier; it also is another component that can fail/break and it's something to agravate you on the range or in the field. There are lots of reasons to not want an AO but if you use higher magnification scopes you have to accept these traits. If you doubt that this is true, just give it a try. Use a 14-20X scope at different ranges without moving the AO and see what happens to your groups in terms of MOA at 50 to 400 yards.

  8. #8

    Default Lower Power

    Parallax is present at lower powers also, thus the existence of the 6 power scope with parallax adjustment for hunter benchrest. Leupold has made the 4.5-14 without the AO is the Varix-III, VX-III, and VX-3, whatever they are calling it now, for years. My point was to say, and it sounds like you are in agreement, that for 99% of hunters, having a scope with AO will only get them in trouble. I know two many yo-yos that think they can get a 300 Ultra Mag with a 4.5-14 and start shooting moose at 1000 yards, without even understanding what parallax is let alone all the other variables in hitting a target at 1000 yards. I have the 2.5-8 on my sheep rifle, and am confident with it out to 400 yards. Beyond that, and even at that for most shooters, the shot is just not ethical. I too have witnessed parallax in my benchrest scopes and varmint scopes, it is very apparant. The other variable for hunting is this. The parallax adjustment is not correct for yardage. For instance if an animal is ranged at 500 yards and you turn your AO to 500 yards, that doesn't mean it's parallax free. It takes much time and effort for benchrest shooters to adjust their scopes to be parallax free, and it is rarely at the yardage marked on the AO. So you go out there with a new 300 Ultra with a 4.5-14AO and range a moose at 500 yards, set your AO, and you still have parallax error. Just impracticle for 99% of hunters.
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

  9. #9
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by blackfoot View Post
    Parallax is present at lower powers also, thus the existence of the 6 power scope with parallax adjustment for hunter benchrest. Leupold has made the 4.5-14 without the AO is the Varix-III, VX-III, and VX-3, whatever they are calling it now, for years. My point was to say, and it sounds like you are in agreement, that for 99% of hunters, having a scope with AO will only get them in trouble. I know two many yo-yos that think they can get a 300 Ultra Mag with a 4.5-14 and start shooting moose at 1000 yards, without even understanding what parallax is let alone all the other variables in hitting a target at 1000 yards. I have the 2.5-8 on my sheep rifle, and am confident with it out to 400 yards. Beyond that, and even at that for most shooters, the shot is just not ethical. I too have witnessed parallax in my benchrest scopes and varmint scopes, it is very apparant. The other variable for hunting is this. The parallax adjustment is not correct for yardage. For instance if an animal is ranged at 500 yards and you turn your AO to 500 yards, that doesn't mean it's parallax free. It takes much time and effort for benchrest shooters to adjust their scopes to be parallax free, and it is rarely at the yardage marked on the AO. So you go out there with a new 300 Ultra with a 4.5-14AO and range a moose at 500 yards, set your AO, and you still have parallax error. Just impracticle for 99% of hunters.
    You are correct about parallax in all magnifications, except that we were speaking of hunting and the parallax being out a bit with a 4X, 6X or even 8X scope amounts for very little correction, normally fractions of an inch. Certainly important for BR, but irrelevant for hunting. Boosting magnification is when parallax correction must be considered, even for shooting in the field.

    As for shooting at 400 yards in the field, I can't say I am "confident" at that range. Presently, I do not have a range to practice regularly at that distance which limits my LR capabilities right now. But I have competed regularly at the 300 yard line; "Egg Shoots" use to be one of my favorite past times. Even at three hundred yards parallax is not the problem, nor is it resolution or a host of other issues, it is the ever changing variable, WIND. This is only magnified at 400 yards. As you well know, wind drift is a real problem. A normal 30 caliber 180 grain bullet can show from 6 to 24 inches (at 400 yards) in a 5 to 20 mph wind, respectively. While I have several rifles that shoot very well at LR and I have made some "good" LR shots, 400 yards on an unwounded animal is a long ways for anyone. I don't care who you are or how much you practice, especially here in AK where there is almost certainly wind to contend with and normally it is a brisk & gusty wind, it's too far to reliably connect at these long distances. It is one thing to do it from a firing line in known conditions to a known target, it is quite something else to do it in the field "confidently." 300 yards is not a difficult shot in most conditions with a good rifle and modest shooting skill, but a shot at 400 is difficult for anyone, anywhere while hunting. Not saying you can't do it; I trust you when you say you can. However, I would just do it and not tell anyone, you might give more innocent souls the wrong idea.

  10. #10

    Default Agreed

    400 is the MAX range I consider myself to be reliable at. That is with a custom rifle that will put 5 shots in a hole at 100. I will not take a 400 yard shot if there is any chance of getting closer, or if it is windy, etc. Only under ideal conditions, which are seldom present.
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

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