Elk Rifle

CJohnson

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
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245
Location
SC
I took a buddy on his first elk hunt and we spent a lot of time shooting out to 300 yds. We then proceeded to work into a nice bull opening morning and he killed him at 19 yds in thick timber. After that experience, I’ll always lean towards having some room on the low power end. I personally have a VX5 3.5-15x44. I don’t think a x50 is super necessary for an elk rifle because I don’t know how many shot opportunities are presented in low light conditions.
 

PredatorSlayer

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Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
1,181
Hello all,
I'm a new member to the forum. I drew my first elk tag for first rifle in Colorado this year. I'll be carrying a Browning X-bolt Western Hunter LR in 300 PRC (A little overkill maybe, but I wanted something that would double as a long range target rifle). I have a Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50 (that I already had) on it now but I'm worried that 6x may be too high for bottom end magnification. I also have a Razor HD gen 2 4.5-27 x56 which I think it way too much scope and unnecessarily heavy. I've been eyeing the Razor HD LHT 3-15x50 and the Razor HD LHT 4.5-22x50. Any suggestions on these two scopes for elk hunting are greatly appreciated. I have listed only Vortex options because I get the 40% off MSRP through Expert Voice, but I'm certainly open to other suggestions. I'd like to keep it under $1500. Thanks in advance!

6x isn’t too high on the low end for elk. I shoot running coyotes at 10 yards with that same scope and several of my rifles have 5-6x on the low end and I have never had an issue shooting elk or deer or bears. If you want something new, I would do a NF 2.5-10x42 or 3-15. If you want to go cheaper, I would do look at the SHV line.

I would go VX5HD or VX6HD over the Vortex LHT series. I have owned both, neither held zero when traveling, but the glass on the Leupold is better and overall quality felt better. Both tracked fine.
 

keystone112

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Nov 19, 2021
Messages
129
To each his own. For me, I went with a VX-5HD 2-10 for my elk rifle. I can get it done at distance on 10x and get it done up close on 2x.

I gave the Nightforce SHV 3-10 a hard look also.
 
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jeg0005

Newbie
Joined
Jul 8, 2022
Messages
6
Take a look at the Bushnell lrhs from GA Precision. Has been solid for me and seems to fit the criteria you’re looking for


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Thanks, I'll check it out!
 

Gila

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Joined
Apr 25, 2020
Messages
533
Location
Socorro New Mexico
Razor HD LHT 4.5-22x50 quite a few of these going up for sale on the boards. Not sure why. The photo shows what an MPO 3x18x50 might look like on a hunting rifle. The rifle is a modified Tikka T3X in 300 win mag. The scope is about 13.5 inches long and weighs about 32 oz. The tube is 34mm. The rifle is about 9.3 lbs as modified but shoots incredibly well. Believe it or not the recoil is rather pleasant and I can shoot it all day long.

Whatever you decide to do, shoot the hell out of a new scope. That way Murphy's Gremlins are less likely to ruin your hunt. I am itching to get out to the range and burn some powder. I have a rifle tag in a great NM unit this October, really looking forward to it.

rifle3.jpg
 

House21

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2019
Messages
10
In my opinion the higher the magnification the more you're going to want to zoom in when shooting, which is fine if you're shooting at targets but when it comes to animals I always tend to lean for the 3-9, 3.5-10 or 3-15. If you have a shot at 30 yards and the lowest your scope will go is 6x and the animal runs after the shot, your ability to get back on target with a higher power is much harder than with a lower power. The same goes for long shots. Anything in the 9x-15x max power will easily let you shoot out to 600 yards or further if you're capable. My furthest shot was just over 550 yards and that was taken with a 3-9 scope and I didn't feel under scoped and it was nice and light.
 

Gila

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Joined
Apr 25, 2020
Messages
533
Location
Socorro New Mexico
I used a 3x9 for decades...longest shot was a pronghorn at 453 yards with a .270. My eyes aren’t what they used to be, so now I need about a 12x to really see well enough at 450yards. Beyond 12X I need to be prone with a stiff bipod or sitting with a very stiff tripod to be steady enough for a shot. However on a “hurry up” shot 10x is about all I can handle. At the range I am good with 18x at 1000 meters with a stinger rest or prone with stiff bi-pod.

To be honest if it was me, 6x on the low end would be alright with the type of elk hunting I typically do. I usually hunt timber edges in the pinon, juniper meadows for elk. If “close encounters” are a good possibility, I would opt for a 3X with a 2nd focal plane so that the reticle is right there where it should be. In fact I have a 3x16 2nd focal plane on my .270 that I can use for that purpose.
 

TagEater

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Joined
Feb 26, 2022
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42
only reason I'm looking at vortex was because of the discount
You may double check your ExpertVoice... I also have the privilege and was stoked to find Vortex on there. Only to find out, it is only for their apparel!!
 
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LongCut

Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
54
I am a fan of the lower end being lower.

After getting a couple Leupolds in 3-15 and 3-18, I am trying to figure out how I hunted in thick PA woods with a 4.5-14 for the past 20 years.....

My buddy went on his first elk hunt about 5 years ago. Bought a new rifle and insisted on a 6-18. It lasted one season before he finally listened and took it off. Twice they got into herds and he couldn't pick out the shooter bulls in time to get a shot because 6X was too much for both situations.
 

Gila

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Apr 25, 2020
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Socorro New Mexico
My experience with western hunting is seldom have shots under 150 yards. I am talking about pronghorn, mule deer and elk. I took my 3x9 off of nine once that I can remember: for a pronghorn that came running down a range border fence toward me. I downed the buck when he stopped at 150 yards. It is a good thing to have field of view for a follow up shot though, if one is needed. Where I hunt the elk typically bed down on pine slopes. I don’t “bust” a bedding area if I can help it. I generally hunt somewhere between the bedding and feeding areas.
 

grizz19

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Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
76
Location
California
I just picked up a Nightforce SHV. Went with Nightforce based on durability and quality. Kristy Titus has a pretty good podcast out with some of the Nightforce guys where they talk some about the testing they do on the scopes. You can pick up a demo model off of euro optic for a couple hundred bucks off as well. That’s what I did.
 

jzeblaz

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2012
Messages
93
Location
Santa Rosa, CA
I'd go Leupold VX-3 2.5-8 or 3.5-10 if it were my 300 PRC. Excellent glass and I like them way better than the Vortex scope I have.
 

EdP

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Jun 18, 2020
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517
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Southwest Va
A 3-9x40 or 2.5-10x40 would be perfect IMO. I had no trouble taking a bull elk at 350 yds with a leupold 3x9. You don't need 15x for an animal that size. If you need a follow-up shot you will have a much easier time finding it in the scope with the increased field of view a 9x gives over something higher. I certainly would not go over 12x. To put that in context, I shoot SFP scopes with BDC reticles and don't dial. With a 200 yd zero, that puts me using max magnification for shots much past 250.
 

SDHNTR

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Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
3,484
Razor HD LHT 4.5-22x50 quite a few of these going up for sale on the boards. Not sure why. The photo shows what an MPO 3x18x50 might look like on a hunting rifle. The rifle is a modified Tikka T3X in 300 win mag. The scope is about 13.5 inches long and weighs about 32 oz. The tube is 34mm. The rifle is about 9.3 lbs as modified but shoots incredibly well. Believe it or not the recoil is rather pleasant and I can shoot it all day long.

Whatever you decide to do, shoot the hell out of a new scope. That way Murphy's Gremlins are less likely to ruin your hunt. I am itching to get out to the range and burn some powder. I have a rifle tag in a great NM unit this October, really looking forward to it.

View attachment 429593
That's a hunting rifle?
 
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