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Thread: Why are such large scopes on rifles required today?

  1. #1

    Why are such large scopes on rifles required today?

    This has been puzzling me for a little while now the amount of posts about scopes and nearly always the advice comes out for some scope with a high magnification and 50mm+ objective. Just why are such scopes needed?

    After all larger means mounted higher. Heavier and far more expensive. I remember fitting my first 6x scope it was a 6x42 and it took a little while to get used to it after using a 4x magnification scope for so long. MY first ever scope was a BSA 4x20 on my Meteor the BSA 270 when I bought that used had a Nikko Stirling 4x32 Special Sporting scope on it and the width of the view was a eye opener compared to the 4x20 . Then I bought the Brno ZKK in 308 and the Zeiss Jena 4 x scope for it the heavier cross hair was much easier to see in the low light of early morning and later evening so a 6x42 scope was bought to replace the 4x32 with it's fine cross hairs and everything seemed BIG.

    Once I got used to it though it proved effective and not the handicap at closer distances in the wood that I thought it might be but I would not want more magnification for such use. So why does the modern shooter need such big scopes?

    What I am I missing here?

  2. #2
    Personally I have found the larger objective lens gives longer dusk shooting especially in woodland and at night with a lamp. My deer rifles have a fixed power magnification of 8 to go with the 56 objective lens. My foxing and bunny rifles both have adjustable magnification up to 12 to help at night when some of my shots will be out to 400 metres. This is just what I have found works for me.

  3. #3
    It's pretty simple really - higher performance/ more precision at longer ranges.

    For deer shooting at reasonable ranges hjgh power scopes aren't a necessity but many folks like to do a bit of higher precision range shooting with their deer rifles too.

    There's a bigger market for luxury goods than there's ever been so the manufacturers oblige and produce a wider range of toys.

    The same question could be asked related to cars: "why do folks need a 4L engine when a 2L is more than adequate?"

  4. #4
    My .17 hmr has a 6-20x40 mm leupold on it. Both my deer rifles are 8x56 and 2.5-10x56. Out of the 3 I actually prefer the 6-20x40 and even for shooting rabbits at normal distances I like to keep its set on 12x. Must just give me a bit of extra confidence. However I've never had problems with the fixed 8x scope either.

  5. #5
    Because they make accuracy at longer range easier, with a higher mag and finer aiming point/reticle. Simples!

  6. #6
    I went out foxing with a buddy Thursday evening, my first time in the field with my new 243 and Meopta 3-12 x 56 scope.
    Absolutely stunned with its performance as the light drew down, with a better quality scope it is almost unreal how much more you can see, than with the naked eye. There has to be some ambient light of course. Would have confidently taken shots, sadly Charlie wasn't playing ball.

    I usually stick with 6x mag for most situations, its nice to have the variable mag if you fancy some longer range stuff too.

  7. #7
    Why - two reasons.
    1. We have all spent too much time in front of the computer and the T.V. and our eyes are now totally crap.

    2. We have never learned the necessary fieldcraft skills so have lost the ability to stalk so can't get in close enough any more.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  8. #8
    why are guns preferred over bows & arrows - technology moves on and we all want something that performs better. Simple.

  9. #9
    just had a look at jack Charlton shooting with Lea McNally he was using a small BSA scope on his stutzen BSA 270 hell of a group at the range ..........large dinner plate !
    first time I stalked with some real old school stalkers they looked at my Steyr and 8x56 scope and mod with bemusement
    guess we have just moved on in the world
    8x56 fixed does everything I need
    Norma

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Conure View Post
    This has been puzzling me for a little while now the amount of posts about scopes and nearly always the advice comes out for some scope with a high magnification and 50mm+ objective. Just why are such scopes needed?

    After all larger means mounted higher. Heavier and far more expensive. I remember fitting my first 6x scope it was a 6x42 and it took a little while to get used to it after using a 4x magnification scope for so long. mythology first ever scope was a BSA 4x20 on my Meteor the BSA 270 when I bought that used had a Nikko Stirling 4x32 Special Sporting scope on it and the width of the view was a eye opener compared to the 4x20 . Then I bought the Brno ZKK in 308 and the Zeiss Jena 4 x scope for it the heavier cross hair was much easier to see in the low light of early morning and later evening so a 6x42 scope was bought to replace the 4x32 with it's fine cross hairs and everything seemed BIG.

    Once I got used to it though it proved effective and not the handicap at closer distances in the wood that I thought it might be but I would not want more magnification for such use. So why does the modern shooter need such big scopes?

    What I am I missing here?
    I agree but I am old school I started with a 4x32 on my stalking rifle mostly open hill stalking then went to a 4x40 which was a bit better at light gathering ,then a 6x42 which I found to be the perfect all round scope, I like many others was seduced by variable powered scopes
    wish I had never bothered remained on 6x for a long time now left on 7 my eyesight is not what it was( combination of age and diabetes)

    No doubt bigger magnification is an advantage for long range shooting and many of today's stalkers seem to come into the sport from a target shooting background so its understandable that they would feel more comfortable with what they are used to, don't need a big scope for shooting at deer stalking ranges 200 yards or so max.
    Some say a bigger objective lens is better at dusk and dawn and of course it is the question is how much better, in the UK the law is one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset so what do you gain 10/15. Minutes at either end of the day, does that little bit extra outweigh the disadvantages?
    Foxing some might find a big scope an advantage depends how good a shot you are really, again in the beam of a light around 200 yards is my limit, if you can shoot better than that fine,however working as a professional stalker and all clients having to shoot at a target before being allowed to stalk I have seen how poor a lot of peoples marksmanship can be at 150 yards and thats in broad daylight.
    The disadvantages which will depend on the rifle but in my case fitting a 3x12 x50 meant fitting medium mounts to get the objective lens to clear the barrel it also meant grinding and bolt to clear when operating, only to find the comb was to low had to experiment quite a bit to get a decent cheek weld finally settled on a 10mm comb extension which I am quite comfortable with now, but in hindsight I wish I had stuck with the 6x42 would have been a lot less trouble and I don't feel I gained anything by going big.
    I could have avoided reworking the bolt by going for high mounts but the amount next raise the comb would have been ridiculous.

    Each to their own and if you want a big scope that's OK, are they needed not really.

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