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Thread: Scope for hard hunting!

  1. #1

    Default Scope for hard hunting!

    Hi all

    I am looking for opinions and info on scopes, I need a scope for a rifle and have newver done variable route and have always gone wuth fixed power scopes. Has anyone had experience with the S&B summit 2.5-10, is it really worth the price they ask and is it availabe with a target dot? If any of you have a favorite what would you suggest I don't need a ton of magnification just a solid crystal clear reliable scope. Thanks all!

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    A good friend of mine and a VERY experienced hunter said this when I asked him about the expensive European rifle scopes: "I've owned them all. Swarovski, Schmidt & Bender, Zeiss, Kahles, and I go back to Leupold over and over again. You really aren't giving up anything 99% of the time and they are hard to beat for the money."

    The only time I would personally consider the expensive Europeans is if I planned to do some serious night/very last light hunting. So if you plan on hunting leopard or lion over bait, elephants on problem animal control at night, or predators or wild boar at night then I'd strongly consider one. Otherwise a Leupold VX3 or Euro are hard to beat. Now spotting scopes and binnos that's another matter! For me European or nothing!

    Brett

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    I have about 20 maybe 25 rifle scopes. My favorite is the Leupold 1.25 to 4 power European 30MM tube with the German #4 reticle.

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    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wapiti00 View Post
    Hi all

    I am looking for opinions and info on scopes, I need a scope for a rifle and have newver done variable route and have always gone wuth fixed power scopes. Has anyone had experience with the S&B summit 2.5-10, is it really worth the price they ask and is it availabe with a target dot? If any of you have a favorite what would you suggest I don't need a ton of magnification just a solid crystal clear reliable scope. Thanks all!
    So you're contemplating a twofold departure from your normal setup? I can say that I've never regretted going to variable power scopes from my original fixed ones as you describe. I pretty much use magnification in the same rane your talking about for my general purpose hunting rifles. I like being able to zoom down to the 3x or lower for brush or heavy timber. 9 to 12 seem plenty for me when it comes to the upper end of the range for the shots I'm capable of making.

    I've never owned an S&B but will say that I've run a Leupold variable, Zeiss variable, and a Swaro variable for years now and all have proven to be up to the challenges of being beaten around on a 4 wheeler, in and out of small planes, and of course hunted with in the brush, timber and rocks... that being said, I've been fortunate to never have put any of them to any form of "ultimate test" as far as dropping into the rocks from 30 foot. But I have had them kind of experiences with my Swaro binocs and they've stood up to it. I think the S&B is equally well built. I think the 30mm tubes tend to be a bit more durable as well as a bit better in light transmission, but of course they are heavier, and of course, the Leupold is more economically appealing.

    In the end, they all bring something to the table, and it'll become a personal preference type of decision in the end when you factor in all these various plusses and minusess... I dont think you can go wrong with any of the brands mentioned already in this thread, nor could you go wrong with the S&B you mentioned.

  5. #5

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    If I had $999.00 to spend on a good rifle scope. I would not buy ONE. I would buy two good scopes in the $249.00 to $489.00 price range, and spend the $110.00 each for two sets of Leupold Quick Release Rings. Sight in both scopes on the same firearm, and pack an extra scope, to leave in base camp in case of an accident or equipment malfunction. Often my back-up/reserve scope is a Leupold straight 2.5X compact, with Heavy Duplex, they weigh 8 oz.

  6. #6

    Default new scope

    Any leupold vx model is great. I have a VXII 3-9x40 for all my hunting. I live in kodiak so I have to deal with condensation/ fogging a lot and this scope weathers it all, very clear too. Goes for around 250-300 bucks I think. Highly recommended

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    If I had $999.00 to spend on a good rifle scope. I would not buy ONE. I would buy two good scopes in the $249.00 to $489.00 price range, and spend the $110.00 each for two sets of Leupold Quick Release Rings. .
    AGL- that's a great plan. I've often contemplated buying a really expensive scope for one of my nicer rifles but I can't seem to do it. A VXII or VXIII is a really good scope for the dollars and for the price of a Swaro I can buy two or three Leupolds in case of failures. For the hunter I don't know if a high dollar scope has many advantages over a Conquest or VXIII.

    Heck- I've put my spare 4x on a couple of rifles now and like it so much I use it most of the time.

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    AGL- that's a great plan. I've often contemplated buying a really expensive scope for one of my nicer rifles but I can't seem to do it. A VXII or VXIII is a really good scope for the dollars and for the price of a Swaro I can buy two or three Leupolds in case of failures. For the hunter I don't know if a high dollar scope has many advantages over a Conquest or VXIII.

    Heck- I've put my spare 4x on a couple of rifles now and like it so much I use it most of the time.
    The high end glass, 30mm tube, and large objective are suberb for last/first light or night hunting, but how many of us hunt leopards and lions? Not many. When I finally do I'll pony up for some Euro glass, but until then I'll gladly make do with Leupold.

    Brett

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    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Adam Barringer View Post
    The high end glass, 30mm tube, and large objective are suberb for last/first light or night hunting, but how many of us hunt leopards and lions? Not many. When I finally do I'll pony up for some Euro glass, but until then I'll gladly make do with Leupold.

    Brett
    No disrespect to the leopards and lions, but dealing with a grizz while butchering or packing a moose is far more a significant situation when it comes to my selection of rifle / optics combos. So in my case last light / night hunting is a factor. That being said, I've never considered a fellow to be "making do" when he (and I for that matter) uses a Leupold... They make very fine optics and have been a mainstay for generations of Alaskan hunters (and hunters worldwide for that matter)

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Adam Barringer View Post
    The high end glass, 30mm tube, and large objective are suberb for last/first light or night hunting, but how many of us hunt leopards and lions? Not many. When I finally do I'll pony up for some Euro glass, but until then I'll gladly make do with Leupold.

    Brett
    I saw some photos of an aquaintance hunting boars somewhere in Europe. They were heading for the stand about the time an American would be climbing down. I understood the 56mm objective perfectly at that point.

    I'm pretty happy not to have to hunt in the full dark up here!

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    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    I saw some photos of an aquaintance hunting boars somewhere in Europe. They were heading for the stand about the time an American would be climbing down. I understood the 56mm objective perfectly at that point.

    I'm pretty happy not to have to hunt in the full dark up here!
    I agree, but like I said, I have finished butchering by light of a campfire or flashlight. And more thimes than I care to remember, been getting back to camp after dark with a load of meat on my back. Got stalked the last half mile to the cabin one time in pitch black. It wasnt a good feeling. I never went all the way to a 56 mm objective, but when I settled on the 50 mm that I did purchase, the thought that if this ever happened to me again and the desire to be better equipped if it should, was a factor in my decision.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriso View Post
    That being said, I've never considered a fellow to be "making do" when he (and I for that matter) uses a Leupold... )
    That's true... I think in hunting scopes you can get a VX3 scope and it's very likely superior to anything you could buy 10 or 20 years ago, at any price.

    I've thought about the meat packing thing but I've never had a bad experience yet. I also mostly hunt open country. The two guys I know that had bad bear encounters ended up shooting them right off the muzzle so the scope was pretty much moot at that point. it is an interesting point to consider though. At one point I had a 1.75-5x and on low power it was surprisingly good in low light/ near dark despite the 32mm objective.

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    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    That's true... I think in hunting scopes you can get a VX3 scope and it's very likely superior to anything you could buy 10 or 20 years ago, at any price.

    I've thought about the meat packing thing but I've never had a bad experience yet. I also mostly hunt open country. The two guys I know that had bad bear encounters ended up shooting them right off the muzzle so the scope was pretty much moot at that point. it is an interesting point to consider though. At one point I had a 1.75-5x and on low power it was surprisingly good in low light/ near dark despite the 32mm objective.
    Exactly my experience, thats why my preference is a variable that will go lower on the magnification ranges.

    Also, as far as having had a "bad experience" packing meat, I have never had one yet either, and the one guy I know who did had it happen in broad daylight, but I have thought about what it would be like if it did ever happen, and I know I pack with my scope turned down to 2x and the rifle handy when I'm in brush of thick timber.

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    I saw some photos of an aquaintance hunting boars somewhere in Europe. They were heading for the stand about the time an American would be climbing down. I understood the 56mm objective perfectly at that point.

    I'm pretty happy not to have to hunt in the full dark up here!
    Exactly! That's what they were designed for.

    Brett

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Adam Barringer View Post
    Exactly! That's what they were designed for.

    Brett
    Which is why I prefer them considering I dont spend every moment of the dark of night during hunting season in the relative safety of civilization. Sleeping out at night after butchering, in spite of your best efforts to clean off, and all the smart stuff about keeping the packs and any heavily scented stuff away from the camp and so on, still carries with it certain levels of risk exposure. The same attributes that allow the europeans to hunt at night could come into play very well if you ever wind up with a bear in camp... If you dont like a 50mm obj or 30mm tube, no-one is forcing you to buy one. A high quality varible power scope turned to its lowest setting, maybe even with illiminated reticle, could be your best friend someday. And nowadays, you can have these features, plus inherently better light transmission from higher quality lens systems, and still have durability like we all came to expect from our Leupolds back in the day. Near as I can tell, other than price, the only tradeoff is weight... so youve got to decide how much money your willing to spend for the clarity and low light abilities, and how much extra weight you're willing to carry. Personally, if it comes down to giving up my variable scope for want of a few ounces... I could shake them off on the treadmill!

    Every european scope I've owned has far exceded my expectations regarding light transmission, clarity, and durability. Some are fairly heavy admittedly, some not so bad. I would love to own a 2.5-10 Schmidt and Bender...

    By the way, did you ever find out you question about the target dot Wapiti?

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    "I could shake them off on the treadmill!"

    Isn't that the truth!!!! You've got all these guys cutting tooth brushes in half, dehydrating baby wipes, ect, ect and they have a spare 20-40 sitting around the mid section! Rather commical if you ask me. I agree with you on the Euro glass. The only real draw back I see other than price is a little extra weight, but then I'm not so sure how much of a problem that really is.

    Brett

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    Wapiti,

    For ruggedness and durability, stick with your fixed power scopes......many consider the old 3X Leupold as about the toughest of all......according to the guys in optics forum at 24 hour campfire, Leupold is coming out with the 3X again with updated coated glass etc....this would be my first choice for a tough, Alaskan hunting scope.

    I'm just hoping they come out with a post reticle again in the 3X

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VernAK View Post
    ... Leupold is coming out with the 3X again with updated coated glass etc....
    Wait a minute! I thought I heard angels singing!

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    I just hope that it is affordable....I've been paying $200 for used 3xs.....anything less than $400 and I'll have to get a couple.....

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    If you have the money for the S & B I say go for it.

    If you want a "solid crystal clear reliable scope" for less money then buy a Zeiss Conquest.

    Leupold makes solid reliable scopes but optically they fall behind even less expensive scopes.

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