Scope advice

BRACES of Bristol - Mauser M12 with Schmidt & Bender 2.5-10x56 Illuminated Scope


Well-Known Member

Please help, I'm about to buy my first rifle and obviously need a suitable scope. Two proffesional stalkers have both advised me to go for a 8 X 56. The local gunsmith is telling me I want a 6 or 7 X 42. With the gunsmith stating that the larger scope was developed for boar shooting in the moonlight.

I'll be stalking in woodland, and spending some time in highseats at dusk and dawn. I also plan on stalking reds on the open hill. Can you please tell me what you think?

Thanks in advance.


Well-Known Member
I take it a variable is out of the window?

I have always thought a fixed 8 is alot of glass unless you have a specific task in mind i.e static/high seat work. However some love them.

I have a 3-9x40, but 9 times out of 10 it sits on 6 which is great for about everything, it focuses at very short range and is OK for longer shots. I also love to be able to wind it down when stalking in close cover, or crank it up when I have to take a long shot (rare).

I would say a fixed 6 is the best all rounder availible.


Offroad Gary

Well-Known Member
i use an 8*56 schmidt and bender 30mm tube. if you dont kill it with the bullet you can club it to death with the scope!

i have been told that some people find an 8* a bit powerfull, and it can exadurate "wobble", which compounds the problem, if using sticks a lot.

i've used a 6 * 42, and found it ok, but i'll probably stick to the 8* as things look just that little bit bigger/clearer. may try a variable at some point.

i think either are ok for most UK hunting situations, but what i have learnt in my fairly short stalking carreer is that the following are important..

1. quality is paramount - you want to be able to see your target in all conditions, 3 hrs up a tree in the p1ssing/freezing rain will tell you if your scope is up too the job.

2. reticule - must be thick enough to show up against a dark target in low light - unless you go illuminated.

3. your binoculars must be as good as your scope, if not better - if you cant find them/sex them, you cant shoot them.

just my thoughts, i'm sure some others will have a different opinion :rolleyes:


Well-Known Member
I have a 3-9x40, but 9 times out of 10 it sits on 6

I'm exactly the same, it useful to be able to wind it in and out at times. Previous to my conversion to variable I was always a 6x sort of bloke. Going for a 56 object in woodland might be a good idea...but what's that about pupil size, light and object lenses...can't remember but I'm sure someone will.

Whatever you choose, go for as much quality as you can afford.


Well-Known Member
When I started stalking nearly 50 years ago my first rifle had a fixed 6X42 scope on it, whilst I found this grand for forest use I wished I had more magnification when on the hill after Reds.
My second rifle was a Sako Finnbear 7mm Rem.Mag. and being strapped for cash I fitted an ASI 3-9X40 mm variable.
This budget scope gave me NO hassle even used with that `poky`cartridge and my experiences with the versatile variables have caused me to follow the same sensible path all my life.
Currently on a .243 Varminter I have a 6-24X50 ,on a .308 varminter I have a 6-18X50, My principal all-round stalking rifle is a .270 and is topped by a 3-12X56 steel Nova.
My rarely used 8X68s was fitted with a 2.5-10X56 .

Do NOT buy a fixed 6X as you will regret it at a later date, the versatility of a variable will face any challenge you are likely to meet.



Site Staff
I have a S&B 6X42 on one of my rifles the rest all sport variables. It used to be the other way around but age has increased my liking for variables a bit, but the ability to wind down the magnification has more to do with it. The ability to vary the magnification is in my opinion an advantage. The fact that they are set on 6 for most of the time matters not, because the times that you need the variable option make them worth while.
It is by and large, though not always the case, to get the best you can afford.



Well-Known Member
Hi Jared,

Go with the 8x50 option it will give you an extra 1/2 hour in the woods and will be fine for the hill. 7x50 will push a lot of light into your eye, try it go down to the shop at around dusk and ask take a 6x42 scope out side and look though it then take the 8x50 scope out and have a look and I bet you'll be able to see what ever your looking at better in the 8x50 scope.

So DON'T buy the 6x42 scope if you can try to get hold of a variable powerd scope something like a 2.5-12x56 or something you'll find that in the woods you'll probably shoot with it on 4x then on the hill on around 9x.

You won't regret it. Your gun dealer is probably recomending the 6x42 scope because of the increased field of view.




Well-Known Member
I use a meopta 7x50 wont break the bank has good low light properties, cross hairs arent to thick and has an accurate range finder on the lens but only for Roe! I had a 8x50 swaro fantasic scope but hated the cross hairs. I rember 1 night walking back to the car afetr an evening stalk senn a black silouette of a fox in the field next to me! Popped the rifle onto the sticks and the fox turned red!!!! Bang and I missed the bugger!! And that after missing a potential medal buck with the scope it went in came the meopta and now bang its dead!!! It is personal prefernce but it does pay to buy a good scope. But again there are under rated scopes out there like the simmons deerfield I had on the 308 when I 1st bought it, held a zero and was fine in 1st light and last light but the swaro gave me a little more time! But another thing to think of is whats the point of shooting a beast then having to sprint out to find it gralloch it before its too bloody dark especially without the aid of a good dog!!



Site Staff
Get yourself a good 3x9x40 or 50 scope. Spend as much as you can on it, even a good second hand one is worth looking at, but be carefull it has not been dropped and damaged.

Burris, S/B, Leoupold are all good scopes within a reasonable price range for most people.

Dont buy a cheap scope and put it on a big rifle. You will have problems.


Well-Known Member
Or infact buy an expensive scope and cheap mounts and you'll have problems of a different sort when the mounts move.


Distinguished Member
I have a Schmidt and Bender 3-12x50, Ill Reticule, bullet drop compensator, Mil Dot Reticule, double turn turret going for £1250 if your interested? Cost £1500 new.


Well-Known Member
going on what others hav said , i only by variable scopes for my centrefires as you can wind it up or down as and when you choose most of the time it sits on 7 power but i only go for 30mm tubes (personal prefference) for better light gathering meopta, zeiss, swarovski are my choice and tend to go more to meopta as price and quality are pretty good,
but as jason points out mounts are just as important i now only buy mounts that hav windage adjustments on them saved me no end of money in wasted zeroing sessions because the mounts were slightly out

for sale new set of 30mm mounts for mauser 98 model slightly bent :evil:


Well-Known Member
My stalking rifles both have S&B 8x56 on and cannot be faulted they have been used mainly for woodland stalking and high seat work but have also been on the hill and lamping foxes.
My new rifle has a S&b zenith 2.5-10 x 56 ill and though not used and abused like the others is really good and when funds allow I will probably fit another to my 25-06.
mounts are important!!


Well-Known Member
As others have said, good mounts are essential.
On my 2 Sakos I have their own`Optilock` and `Apel` on both the Carl Gustaf and Weatherby. [all are steel.]



Well-Known Member
Hi Stag,
How do you rate that Carl Gustaf of yours? I had one, the first rifle I brought. Very accurate and fine to look at, but you don't see many of them around. I found it impossible to get any information on them at all!


Well-Known Member
Hi Beo.
I bought my .270 Carl Gustaf Model 2000 on 15-07-94 following the relaxation of rifle calibres to a ceiling of .270 in 1993 for use in Southern Ireland.
Prior to that year we had to cull deer with .22cfs. I have had a lot of experience of being obliged to kill Sika, Reds, Hybrids and Fallow with totally unsuitable weapons.
For work in the GB I used a Mauser Mod. 77 .30-06 usually with the 150gr Speer BT. SP. bullet but I was unable to afford another rifle for Ireland so I sold the .30-06 to a Swede for a high price. My rifle was the only one with which he had shot a clover-leaf group at 100 metres !
The .270 is only a necked down .30-06 anyway !
With 130gr Speer SPBT and 140gr Hornady Spire Points it will hit a one-pence piece at 100yds.
This rifle has a 3 lug, 60 degree bolt lift and can be loaded or unloaded on `safe`and was guaranteed to place 5 shots in 25mm with factory Norma 150gr ammo. [it has a 3 shot in-line magazine.]
I ordered a Swarovski 3-12X56 Nova steel scope on Apel mounts with it at the same time, an excellent move for over the years I have had falls on ice etc and it has not gone off zero.

If you wanted info on this model I can copy it for you.




Well-Known Member
Thanks for the reply Stag,
If you have any information about Carl Gustafs that you could let me have I'd be very grateful. My rifle was also a 2000 but in 6.5x55 and again I found it to be very easy to shoot I brought it second hand so had no information with it. I got rid of it because I was concerned about using a wood stocked rifle in Scotland, so I part exchanged it for a T3 308 synthetic. My old CG has'nt been sold and is still sitting in the shop. I'm very tempted to buy it back!


Well-Known Member
Thanks for the replies gents. I have to say this forum is fantastic for beginners such as myself. Your replies are very much appreciated. I'll be visiting the local gunsmiths at dusk to see how they differ, having taken on board all your comments.

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