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Thread: What magnification Scope?

  1. #1

    What magnification Scope?

    I have noticed that my UK hunting kin favor large scopes. Could you please fill me in on what you use, the terrain you shoot over, the distances involved, and your preferred stance? (Sitting, kneeling, prone, etc.?) I'd appreciate the insight. Thanks. ~Muir

  2. #2
    Hi Muir

    When I started out, it 4x32 or 4x40 was pretty much standard for hill stalking ,
    You would see the odd German client come in with large [2-10 x 56] german scopes.
    In 94 I got a 6x45, which was an epifany for me !
    I have used 8x56 for foxing since about 95.
    Since 2000 I've used an 8x56 for everything , although I have a swavo 8x50 on my 270.

    When ever possible I try and shoot prone of a bipod but in woodland I use split sticks , most woodland shots will be taken 40 - 100 metres and hill shots [prone with bipod] will average 60-150 although I'll take shots up to 220-250 if I really need to! Shots over 250m are rare with me and really only out of nessessity[i.e. wounded animal]

    I think larger scopes are getting more popular here, but so is the use of bipods and shooting sticks
    An 8x's scope I feel gives a good sized picture for shot placement , I've tried vari scopes up to 20x but find it all a bit too complicated with bits to turm & focus

  3. #3
    Hello Muir

    Same here. Started out with a 4X scopes soon when over to 6X scopes and finally ended up with 8X scopes. First on my .22-250 foxing/lamping rifle and now have them on everything.

    I do have a a 6-24X56 Zeiss on the .22-250 these days but rarely wind it up past 12x

    I have never been a fan of cheap budget priced optics, and have always purchased top end European products. Even to the extent that I've got a Swarovski on my .22lr.

    I prefer prone off a long Harris bi-pod for hill stalking, and use all positions, as well as crossed sticks for woodland stalking depending upon the requirements

  4. #4
    I have a Swarovski 8x50 on the 222rem and a S&B 3-12x50 on the 270win.

    I could probably live with the fixed 8x50 on both except for Boar trips.

    Most of my shooting is in low light or no light, I really like the 50mm scopes. The S&B is a bit heavy, I will probably swap it for a Swaro this year.

    My shots run from 75 - 200m. Most shot at 100-120m. Shots are almost always sitting or standing over sticks.

    I shot a deer from prone this season for the first time in about 5 years.

  5. #5
    Muir, like many others I'm learning. One of my favourite scopes would be the bog standard 8x56 of good quality. I don't know about others but our deer just seem to vanish with the first light and only appear at last light. Since about two years I'm using a 3-12x50 S&B zenith flash-dot. Except for the weight I think this is as good as it gets. Great red dot on 3 mag if one goes into the forest after deer, 12 mag with a fine reticule for long range stuff. For a change I have a 6.5-20x50 zeiss conquest on my deer rifle since this week. Yesterday eve we where lying up on a elevated hump on a flat bog bordering a forest. Range to the forest 180m to the left, I expected to see deer comming from the front crossing at 250m. So on the bipod lying in the sheep sh*t. About to pack up at last light a deer comes out of the forest. Tried to check range but could see dibbly at that light through the leica. The zeiss scope was not to bad at 6.5 or a bit above. It took me about another 10min of observing to find out which way round the doe was, at least she was in a patch of yellow grass. I shot her high lung and scraped the spine. I wanted it to be high to drop her.
    Off I went with my knife and left heavy gear with my friend. Tripping and falling through the bog I arrived wet to see the doe dead but a calf running around. Called my friend he should bring a rifle.. quick. Anyway he made it and at almost no light I got the calf at about 50yds off the shoulder.
    Sorry for the long story, but that's the way it is. Closest so far 10-15 yds but then also precise shots way out. Standing, sitting, kneeling prone or off sticks, whatever suits.

  6. #6
    Another vote for the 8X56 S&B.

    I could probably do with a 6 or even 4 times magnification but the 8 came along 2nd hand at just the right time and I bought it. I think having nothing to fiddle with is a positive thing, at least for a beginner like me, and the 8 matches up nicely with my binos. However, more field of view would be nice and sometimes I find it tricky to acquire the target so a 6 or 4 wouldn't be a bad thing. My rifle has excellent QD scope mounts so maybe if a good scope in 6 or 4 came up 2nd hand I might consider it, the problem being that the QD mounts are about 300.

    The new Swaros look really nice but I don't think I'd be safe with a variable, too much for me to fiddle with when I should be concentrating on spotting the deer.

  7. #7
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    I shot my first deer, on the hill, with a Churchill 270 mounting a Pecar 4 x 81 on a QD sidemount at just under 100 yards. 4x was perfectly adequate way back then (in fact there were some then who still used iron sights).

    4x is still, IMHO, perfectly adequate now. More that enough at 100 yards if your eyesight is that of a young man.

    For woodland stalking and pig I will use a Zeiss Diatal-C 4 x 32 with a "duplex" type No 20 reticule. For the hill either that or a Zeiss Diatal-C 6 x 32 with the same No 20 reticule. It depends on how close you expect to be able to stalk to.

    Years ago I would have said I'd prefer to use the old "post and crosshair" similar to on the 303 No4(T) or 7.62mm L42 sniper rifle. Or the "German" reticule on the old Zeiss-Jean ZF4 and ZF6.

    But not now. The less "rubbish" in the way of broad pointers, posts and side posts that covers the deer the better.

    That "duplex" style is at least is something decent (along with Redfield type mounts) to have come out of the American 'scope industry.

    I also think that the less weight the "add ons" the better. Keeping the 'scope and rings under one pound in weight is best. So that rules out even something like a 6 x 42.

    With these x32 and x36 sights it is important to try the less cluttered reticule type. As said whereas I favoured once a "post and crosshair" I now think that a "duplex" Zeiss No 20 type is better. In a smaller size 'scope this is far better than the Zeiss No4.

    I want to be able to see ALL of the animal I am shooting at to see how it reacts AND to be able to see "around and about" it when I shoot. To not lose the sight picture when the shot is taken.

    And to not have the vision of the other eye blocked by a huge eyebell (I was taught to shoot a rifle always with both eyes open).

    It isn't just about seeing the "barn door" it is about being able to see the barn and a good bit of the farmyard too (without a weight penalty) that is the major advantage of a good 4x or 6x.

    Swaros, S & B, Zeiss, Pecar, Kahles are ALL good. I think that the lesser quality makers rely on 8 x 56 because they can't get a good enough light collection with their lenses in a 4 x 32 or 6 x 32 or similar.

  8. #8
    When i started stalking i used a 4x ziess jena with the post & rail reticle on a .243 for woodland stalking. On my .308 i had a ziess variable 1.5-6 never had it off 6x in 30 years.
    Bought a Mauser last year and have a S&B 3-12x50 FD no7 reticle on that. Most of my shooting is driven out to 70-80 mtrs. The flash dot is a great aid when i shoot down on the running moose range
    For hunting with the dog i use a merkel combi with a 2.3-7x32 Kahles with the post & rail reticle

  9. #9
    Another Scmitt 8x56 fan here too. I Strted out with a Ziess 6x42 on the 223 but one night shooting cubs i was struggling to see them well enough so i swapped it for a Meopta 4x12x56 that i absolutely hated so i took it back again and swapped it for a Scmitt 8x56 then i bought one for the 270 then a 30mm tube 8x56 scmitt for the 6.5x55, I had an AGS vairable on the HMR but swapped it for an 8x56 Docter. On the 22 i bought a Leopold Centenary 3x9x40 that is set on 6 perminately.

    Most of my shooting is at Foxes with the 223 out to 250 maybe a little bit further on the right day, I tried a mates 243 Ackley last week with a 4x12 smitt on and it was ideal for the long stuff but couldnt cope with something at 75m without turning the mag down.

    I favour a heavy duplex Reticule for low light work and lamping It doesnt seem to obscure to much of the target even at 200m+


  10. #10
    I seldom shoot at over 150m, and usually standing or highseat as most of my stalking is woodland. The scope on my main deer rifle is a 6x42 Hertel & Reuss which I've had for almost 20 years now and felt no need to change - I find that 6x is fine for all ranges except really close-up stuff when sometimes it's too much magnification! As long as the reticle is fine enough to use precisely, yet be clearly seen in low light, and the scope has good light gathering, then it's all I'm looking for.

    My second rifle has a very nice Swarovski 4-12 vari prower on it, but I'm ashamed to say that I never seem to use it - it stays fixed on 6x although it's good to be able to bring it down to 4x occasionally. If I were buying a vari power scope today, I'd probably opt for something which would let me reduce the magnification even more, and to hell with increasing it too much.

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