Budget 'high seat' stalking scope for short range/low light

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
Before you say it, I know, similar has been asked before many times. But, I'm interested in your advice on quite a specific and narrow choice please.

(Hopefully) picking up the Tikka .308 on Wednesday from a very nice man I was introduced to. He's selling it as a package and I didn't want to be a pain as he's a lovely guy whose retiring and the rifle and price are good. Thing is, and despite him using it for stalking, it has a 6-18 power scope on it. As 95% of my shooting will be sub 50yards Ive been advised that even 6 mag is pushing it a bit in terms of power. So that rules out your usual 8x56 and 6x42 German choices. Ideally what I need is a fixed low mag scope with a large objective (made in japan?). Can't find one...(btw, this is just to get me started for a year or so)

So I've been looking a little more into it. Let's start at the (rock) bottom:

An EB Optimate! Super cheap but everyone says good things about them! Seen the 8x56 but believe they do a vari-mag model with a 50mm objective. Anyone? - One just sold on Ebay for £30!:)

A Simmons WTC 3.5-10x50. Lusted after one in my air rifle days and no one seems to have a bad word to say about the Philippines made ones. £70-90 used. No brainer?

A Hawke (!) Vantage 3.5-10x50 IR. Ticks the boxes is terms of low mag and objective, but its a Hawke :oops: (BTW nothing against them personally, I have one, , but seems they are 'frowned on' by some on here). Bout £195 new so guessing around £130 S/H?

Brace yourself. A weird one...a Falcon Menace 4.5-18x56 (1 piece tube). Been looking at these for rimfire range work, long range bunnies and to stick on a future .223 I have a slot for. I know not a first choice stalking scope at all but it has the low mag, the 56mm (ahem) bell end and goes for around £150-200 used. Only issue I see is the weight, but hey, I'll be in a high seat with it rested on the edge so balance not crucial.

A Vortex Diamondback 3.5-10x50. Heard loads of good stuff about Vortex (incl warranty!). Know its variable mag (they more or less all are) but again very good user reviews here and stateside. Circa £200 new at Optics Warehouse. Bit less S/H I suppose.

A Sightron S-TAC 2.5-17.5x56..very nice, but I'll stop there...I'm way beyond budget! A Z8i?...

As I think you'll agree theres not much point recommending the 'usual suspect' scopes for these particular needs (Meopta, S&B, Swaro, Zeiss etc) so I'm respectfully asking only for your opinions on those listed please (or any comparable that Ive overlooked) not your particular favourite toy.

At the moment thinking The Simmons WTC for cheap, reliable and to simply get me shooting, or the Vortex based on very good reviews. Very interested in what you think of my 'wildcat' Falcon though.

Many thanks, Shep ;)
 

Tom D

Well-Known Member
Don’t get a fixed, get a variable, 3-12 for example is pretty useful. I’ve just swapped my 3-12 for a 3.5-18 though. You might be only shooting from a high seat just now but you never know what the future holds. Get something that can cover you for some open country stalking too and 3x will be fine at 50 yds or even 15yds.
 

Essexsussex

Well-Known Member
Hi Sheprador - I have a weaver super slam 2-10x42 that is a great scope and usually £600 brand new. It is in a faded box but brand new and never mounted. Even got ballistic turrets! The down side is that it is silver but if you can live with that or spray or cerakote it you could have a £600 scope for £200 (I know a bit more than your budget). One inch tube and made in Japan.

optocs warehouse had a ludicrous clearout of these and I bought his and a couple of grand slams (cheaper version than this) which are on my rifles now. This has sat there waiting for me to get another rifle but I doubt I really have use of the two I have so it must go.

ES
 

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
Don’t get a fixed, get a variable, 3-12 for example is pretty useful. I’ve just swapped my 3-12 for a 3.5-18 though. You might be only shooting from a high seat just now but you never know what the future holds. Get something that can cover you for some open country stalking too and 3x will be fine at 50 yds or even 15yds.


Just highlights how our opinions all differ so drastically Tom. I'll bet someone comes along in a minute and says 'get a fixed mag with no bells n whistles...its all you'll ever need'. And fair dues. To be honest I think you are right for many reasons, the main one being I can't find a decent recommended low/fixed mad scope with a 50/56 objective. Thank you.
 

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
Hi Sheprador - I have a weaver super slam 2-10x42 that is a great scope and usually £600 brand new. It is in a faded box but brand new and never mounted. Even got ballistic turrets! The down side is that it is silver but if you can live with that or spray or cerakote it you could have a £600 scope for £200 (I know a bit more than your budget). One inch tube and made in Japan.

optocs warehouse had a ludicrous clearout of these and I bought his and a couple of grand slams (cheaper version than this) which are on my rifles now. This has sat there waiting for me to get another rifle but I doubt I really have use of the two I have so it must go.

ES

Thank you ES. Not looked at Weaver tbh but they look good having a quick Google. A silver scope though! People will laugh and point surely? :eek:
 

Alantoo

Well-Known Member
Stick with what is on the gun.

I am surprised you have been advised that 6 times was "pushing it"? I have a Z4i 3x12x50 and it is always wound to 12 at the 100yard range but it is always set to halfway (around 7-8) when stalking or in the highseat. Only at beyond last light do I sometimes wind it down to 3 just to see if I can pick out anything else in the shadows.

6x will give plenty of field of view to locate the animal at close range.

I do have three of the Simmons WTC, on 2 Air rifles and one to swap with a Yukon Photon on the 22LR, so have had only good experience with those at sub 100 yard ranges.

Alan
 

Essexsussex

Well-Known Member
Thank you ES. Not looked at Weaver tbh but they look good having a quick Google. A silver scope though! People will laugh and point surely? :eek:
They are very fashionable. With some people....!

even if you don’t buy this one, I do rate them and you may find someone in a similar position to me and get a different one cheap.
 

Home Loader

Well-Known Member
I use 6x42 s&b and Swarovski and have never had a problem with to much magnification, most of my small deer work is sub 50yrds like yourself and a lot are taken sub 20yrds. If you have your heart set on a low mag scope look for a 4x32 or 4x36 or the 3-9x36 Swarovski in the classifieds.
 

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
They are very fashionable. With some people....!

even if you don’t buy this one, I do rate them and you may find someone in a similar position to me and get a different one cheap.

Thank you for the offer mate...it was only a joke and noted that you rate them regardless of finish :)
 

reloader54

Well-Known Member
I have a menace 4.5-18-56 on a savage 223, it'll work from 25-500 yds on gongs, but I have used it from a high seat and roofs out for foxes out to 300 yds. although 50-100 is more common. I rate the falcon scope it's never let me down.
 

Essexsussex

Well-Known Member
Wow, wasn't expecting that Alan! Its also go a fairly narrow 42mm (I think) objective lens. I'm absolutely not being scope snobby, in fact quite the opposite. Maybe I should try it first eh? Thank you.
maybe sit outdoors with it tonight and see what you see. Don’t need to shoot anything. It won’t be terrible and might be fine.
 

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
I use 6x42 s&b and Swarovski and have never had a problem with to much magnification, most of my small deer work is sub 50yrds like yourself and a lot are taken sub 20yrds. If you have your heart set on a low mag scope look for a 4x32 or 4x36 or the 3-9x36 Swarovski in the classifieds.

Thank you HL. Its not really that my heart is set on anything. Its just where I will be shooting the syndicate owner has told me he sold a 8x56 very quickly because the max range is 50 yards (at one location) and often far less. I shot one deer from a stand there last year at 50 yards on what I think was 6x mag on his Swaro. Bugger me, can I remember the sight picture?! No. But I figure something from 3-9 or 3.5-10 would work.
 

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
You shoot gongs at 25 yrds?!?! That must get scary! Respect. Very glad someone nods to the Falcon Menace. Reckon a scope that might work on a 22lr, a 223 and a stalking rifle but isn't 'fashionable' is just right up my street (maybe 'tinny rails on each rifle?) Thank you RL-54.
 

Andall

New Member
Any German variable. I use s&b 2 1/2 -10 klassic which does all i need and as others have said you never know what you may need in the future.
A.
 

reloader54

Well-Known Member
You shoot gongs at 25 yrds?!?! That must get scary! Respect. Very glad someone nods to the Falcon Menace. Reckon a scope that might work on a 22lr, a 223 and a stalking rifle but isn't 'fashionable' is just right up my street (maybe 'tinny rails on each rifle?) Thank you RL-54.

yes 25yds, I load frangible bullets,
 

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
Any German variable. I use s&b 2 1/2 -10 klassic which does all i need and as others have said you never know what you may need in the future.
A.

Agreed mate and solid advice. But figure the variable S&Bs are probably way out of my budget for now?
 

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
And why not mate. I thought I'd sometime ago read that we in the UK are not allowed to shoot at steel gongs for H&S reasons? Maybe Ive got that wrong, or is that just at official ranges? Genuinely interested :)
 
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