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Thread: The advantages of a variable scope?

  1. #1

    The advantages of a variable scope?

    I've done a search and have seen a few thoughts on this. Apologies if there is a thread that answers the question but I didn't find one.

    When stalking deer:

    When does your variable scope really earn its money?
    Are there times when you're really glad you're not confined by a fixed mag scope?
    Do you use the full range of magnification or is anything beyond about 12x rarely used?
    Do you regularly use the scope for observation at mag beyond the limit of your bins?
    If the truth be told do we love the marketing and allure of a new piece of high end glass only to set it on 6x or 8x to zero and then pretty much leave it there?

    So much will depend on the specifics of when/where you're stalking (ie woodland, open hill, limited summertime high seat observation) but any thoughts appreciated.

  2. #2
    They do have many uses.
    Although a fixed x7 or x8 will do everything.
    Low power x2-4 close in and for follow ups where the deer may run.
    Med x5-8 for general stalking at all light levels.
    High x9-12 for well rested longer shots.
    What I will say is if you cannot afford a top end zoom then buy a top end fixed rather than a cheap varible.

  3. #3
    IMHO No I bought vari scopes when they were all the rage recon I have not alterted the one on my 243 for at least 2 years think its set about 7x the one on my 6.5 I put it on the new rifle a week or two ago and tried zero at bot max and min x then put it to 8 and it will probably stay there if my S&B had been a finer reticule 8x50 it would have been left on most used rifle so I now have it on one I call estate rifle.

  4. #4
    for woodland stalking, a 6-8x fixed is all you'll ever need ,however if you use the same rifle for foxing (or rabbits like some folk on here) a variable comes into its own

  5. #5
    Dusty

    I shot with Swarovski 8x50s for about 10 years. It was getting into load development that moved me on to variable scopes. I agree with John's comments above. Sometimes on a well rested shot, I will crank the scope up to x15, but normally it sits at 7.5. Buy the best you can afford and unlike rifles, you will be pleasantly surprised when you trade them in eventually for something better. I think I got almost the same trading in both Swarovski 8x50s as I originally paid for them.

    Good luck. JCS

  6. #6
    very happy with my fixed 7x50 meopta. A friend has the 6x42 version, thats good too. Both have the little roe rangefinder that gives you an idea of distance too. Not very expensive but not bad glass at all.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by www.yorkshireroestalking. View Post
    They do have many uses.
    Although a fixed x7 or x8 will do everything.
    Low power x2-4 close in and for follow ups where the deer may run.
    Med x5-8 for general stalking at all light levels.
    High x9-12 for well rested longer shots.
    What I will say is if you cannot afford a top end zoom then buy a top end fixed rather than a cheap varible.

    Spot on. I reckon John has done this stalking deer thing before! JC

  8. #8
    Nothing wrong with a variable, but I would stop at a 1.5-6x. These are getting a bit rare now, so maybe 'nowadays' anything beyond the standard 3-9x is more than you really need. The problem to me is getting an aiming image of roughly the same size as you see in your binoculars.

    Like everyone else I spot with the naked eye, which gives me an instinctive range marker. Then I use Habicht 7x42's to confirm what I've seen is safe and OK. From that point on my mind's made up, and I'm trying to get it into the sight for the shot. At this point I don't want to be have to be fiddling about making mental or manual adjustments, so a fixed 6x is all that's needed to do the business out to 200yds. The only time this doesn't work is if somethings pops up startled at close range ... say 40yds when you may not have the time to frame it in a 6x 'scope.

  9. #9
    I spent 20yrs shooting a 270 with a 4x32 on it.
    It is perfectly for deer especially as the bulk have been red inside 100yds
    BUT....I find it difficult to get a proper centred bead on a 4-6" bull on paper with the scope I have.
    mainly as the no.4 reticule obliterates the bull at 100yds. a variable in those circumstances is perfect.


    I have a 2 variables on a rifle i use for rabbits
    one for .22 barely moves from 6x (only goes up to 9x anyway)
    the one on my HMR gets wound all the way from 6-20 depending on the situation. very handy to pick out the best bunny out of a bunch of three as once you shoot one you dont tend to get another chance!
    I shot one that was blind in one eye last week, couldnt tell that through the 8x42 bins but once I had zoomed in it was obvious.

  10. #10
    i wound my 6 - 24 x 50 pvi2 high grid up to 24x this morning and settled the first bar down on the target, as it walked past the hedge which i'd ranged with my leica i let go and my target dropped on the spot. there is a time and a place for these gadgets! (its about 06.30 or 23.00 with an archer on the back). i still love my 8x56 though!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Offroad Gary; 01-05-2011 at 20:01.

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