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Thread: fixed power or variable scopes

  1. #1

    Default fixed power or variable scopes

    I was looking at a scope the other day and started thinking about the pros and cons of variables and fixed power scopes. I have used 3-9x40 scopes and always liked them but think that a fixed 4 power would be kind of nice, especially for a 22 or something.

    What does everyone else think? Any reason why a fixed 4 power is better?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobblehead View Post
    What does everyone else think? Any reason why a fixed 4 power is better?
    Generally speaking anytime you have less moving parts that equates to less to go wrong in a scope or the simplier the better a lot of times. That said I have variable power scopes on all of my scoped rilfes.

  3. #3

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    I use a lot of straight 2.5 Power with Heavy Duplex, they are cheap, lightest at 8 oz. plus Short & Rugged.

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    I'll be honest and tell you the reason I've favored variable power scopes (up to 10 or 12X) in yrs past is because of the "just in case factor". Just in case I need more magnification. Seems I've never needed anything over 6X so bought 2 low powered variables. That being said,I just mounted a 4.75x40 Weaver GS on my 9.3x62.

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    Hopeak has it right......low, fixed power with large reticles [I prefer posts] when hunting big game.

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    I really like a variable myself. All of my scoped guns (rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders) have variable powered scopes. The what if factor to some degree makes it nice to go up for a long shot. I really favor scopes any more with a small magnification on the low end, so I can see if I have a close encounter in the thick stuff. My most recent scope is a Leupold Euro 2-7x32 on my Kimber .325. The 2x makes it fast handling and able to pick up objects at 10-15 yards. If I do get a long shot I can crank it up to 7.

    Brett

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    One nice aspect of fixed powers is you just point and shoot. No fiddling with the power ring required. I've gravitated back to the fixed powers over the last couple of years in the interest of simplicity. I find a fixed 4x perfectly adequate out to around 300 yds. and further than that I'd rather just try to get closer. After using 3.5-10x and 2-8x scopes for several years I found I either started fiddling with it and blew the shot, simply shot at low power or had the scope turned too high for the shorter range.

    I do like the low powered variables on certain rifles (brush guns, DG rifles) because you can turn them down to 1 or 1.5x and shoot with both eyes open when you're in thicker country at bayonet range but for open terrain or a .22 a fixed 4x is fine with me.

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    There's not much to dispute about the notion that fixed power scopes are lighter and more robust than variable. The mental gymnastics required to justify use of a variable are substantial.

    It's as simple as this: If you have a 338 winmag or better moose/bear rifle used for hunting moose and big bears, the leupold 2.5x compact is a good choice at ~7 ounces. If you have a 270/7mm sheep/goat rifle used for mountain hunting, get the leupold 6x with the 36mm objective at, like, 11 ounces. If you have a 30-06 or 300 winmag that you use for everything, put a leupold 4x (9 ounces) on it.

    The variable 2x7 is heavier than all of these.

    Also, show me someone who says you can't hit a sheep-size target at as far as one should shoot at sheep (400-500 yards, if you know your rifle), and I'll show you someone who is not acquainted with reality.

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vek View Post
    The mental gymnastics required to justify use of a variable are substantial.

    the leupold 2.5x compact is a good choice at ~7 ounces.

    The variable 2x7 is heavier than all of these.
    Not much gymnastics needed at all! I'm not nocking fixed powers at all, but to say they are THE answer is ludicrus! I think it depends on the rifle, its intended use, and the person. My 2-7 weighs 11.4oz. Yes it's heavier, but not unreasonaly so. Anyone who thinks shooting accurately at 300 yards with a 2x is just as easy as shooting with a 7x is indeed doing some mental gymnastics. I'm not saying you can't because you sertainly can shoot animals at 300-400 yards with out a spotting scope attached to your rifle. Some people have issues with variable power scopes while hunting. I've never understood that. I always leave it on the lowest power. I can usually shoot anything I see with confidence on the lowest power. 90% of the time I see something far enough away to want it on higher power I have the second it takes to crank it up. Usually the only time you don't have time to mess with the power is if you jump an animal close up. In that case if you leave your scope on low power it will be where you need it anyway.

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