Scopes: Lightweight, Ultralight, or "Stupid Light"

Dave0317

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Mar 22, 2017
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North MS
"Stupid Light" is what Andrew Skurka calls gear that is built so light that it is marginal or even ineffective for the uses it was made for. So in shopping for a lightweight scope, I don't want to go that far.

Putting together a rifle that will be primarily an eastern deer rifle, but will be brought on an Elk hunt (backpacking/bivy hunt) every couple years or so. A .308 Model Seven.

I want it to be lightweight and I am considering a leupold 2-7x with LR Duplex, a Leupold 4x, or the 2.5x Ultralight.

I would probably go hunt with a 300 yard-ish max range limit. Maybe a little further depending on how that LR duplex works out.
I have pretty extensive marksmanship experience including lots of long range shooting. I know I could hit a easily visible 10 inch steel plate with the 2.5x. Here in MS 2.5x would be enough for the areas I hunt without question. Without any Elk hunting experience, is that low magnification going to be handicap? Is 4x enough? At this price point, should I consider the fact that a fixed power scope has less to fail than the 2-7 variable? Or is the extra power and LR reticle going to be a big advantage?

Thanks for any input!
 

406

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Nov 28, 2016
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For the ranges you're talking about the 4 would be fine, over kill in brush.

Get the variable. I have a cheaper variable Leupold Rifleman that I have beat the shit out of and have had exactly 0 problems with going into it's fifth year. You'll plain have more options and I wouldn't worry about the toughness of those scopes.

Just my 2 cents

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

robtattoo

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Mar 22, 2014
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Tullahoma, TN
I've got 2 VX-2s one regular 2-7x33 with the LR duplex & one Ultralight 2-7x28

Honestly, unless you're really, really counting grams, there's only an ounce difference between the two & comparing them side by side, the x33 does seem to gather a little more light. I could probably extend my hunting time by 10 minutes at dusk.

That said, the x28 gives up nothing whatsoever in clarity & useability if the weight really is a big deal.

Price is pretty much a wash too.

So.......that was pretty much zero help!
 

LBFowler

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Jul 6, 2015
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I've been penciling out a lightweight rifle build, and the Leopold VX-2s really seem to be the only game in town for lightweight scopes, and not a bad scope at all by most accounts. I think mostly what you are giving up is objective size on the lighter end and not much else, I might cave and pay a few more ounces for the VX-3i since it has noticeably clearer glass, but we will see. If I remember correctly the variable VX-2s were still much lighter then most fixed power scopes out there, so I was having a hard time justifying a fixed power.
 

coop22250

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Palmer AK
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Model 7 308 SS, HS Precision stock, 4 rounds in the magazine. Less than $1000 total. Could get lighter but shoots great. I shot 150 gr for years because I wanted a little extra speed, got a free box of 180 Partitions and shot them just so I could reload

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Needless to say I shoot 180 gr partitions for everything. Took a nice caribou at 277 yards, one shot, both lungs and walked about 10 yards before tipping over.

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I have a 3-9 vx 2 on it. Weighs 11 oz. you can go down to 9 oz in the ultralight but I don't trust them. This scope has been banged around in an atv scabbard many miles since I bought it in 2009, and never moves.

I have a Browning Mountain TI 325 WSM, 5.5lbs, 2-7 leupold, hair over 6 lbs total, high dollar gun but the 7 is still my favorite! Good luck and enjoy.

Cool
 

jeffpg

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Mississippi & Texas
I'm from south-central Mississippi myself Dave, but I've hunted around the world a bit, enough to see just about every situation imaginable.

If I were you, I'd look hard at the Leupold 2.5-8x36 with the B&C reticle or even better yet slightly heavier, the Kahles 3-9x42 with TDS reticle.

I have the little Leupold on a Rem Titanium .308 and it's perfect and I run the no longer made Kahles on several lightweight rifles and it's my favorite. They're both plenty light and fully functional.

I don't take either out west on serious deer or elk hunts though. I've been in too many situations that practically demanded more glass for shots that stretch the limits of them, at least for my eyes.
 

luke moffat

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I have a Browning Mountain TI 325 WSM, 5.5lbs, 2-7 leupold, hair over 6 lbs total, high dollar gun but the 7 is still my favorite! Good luck and enjoy.

Cool

I like your style!!! I have a model 7 in 308 that wears a 3-9X33 ultralight Leupold as well as a 18" barrel 325 WSM Browning TI I gave to my dad to use now that goes 5.8 pounds scoped with a 2-7X28 ultralight leupold.



I used the 2-7X28 on the browning TI to kill sheep and goats both just beyond 250 yards with it. Also shot a grizzly bear at 330 yards with it. I don't find 7X to be limting giving what you are wanting to do.

Heres the video of that grizzly hunt:
[video=vimeo;68429410]https://vimeo.com/68429410[/video]
Hiking Trip/Grizz Hunt on Vimeo

I also killed sheep, goats, grizzly bear, black bear, moose, caribou, and deer with a couple Kimber 308s, and the Model 7 .308 with both the 3-9X33 ultralight and 3-9X40 VX-2.

All of them work. Obviously the 3-9X40 is 33% heavier that the 2-7X28 but I haven't found either limiting by daylight and small objectives, but I primarily hunt open country and not thick timber so maybe thats why.

My currently uber light rifle wears a 2-7X28 Leupold ultralight as well. For the distances you speicify I think it'll work just fine for ya if you are trying to keep weight to a minimum and no really interest shooting beyond 400 yards.

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[/URL]
 

JWP58

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Boulder, CO
Just an fyi I purchased a leupold vx1 2-7x33 lr duplex scope and it came in at 8.85oz. Advertised weight was 9.9oz
 

luke moffat

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Just an fyi I purchased a leupold vx1 2-7x33 lr duplex scope and it came in at 8.85oz. Advertised weight was 9.9oz

Dang my VX-2 2-7X33 is 9.8 oz on my scale. That vx-1 is pretty darn light for the 33mm objective!
 

hodgeman

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Hard to go wrong with this one...

FWIW, I like the 4x33 Leupold. No problems shooting to 300 yards with it and it works just fine for about any hunting you'd do. One thing i prefer is the constant eye relief with bifocals. The little variable UL scopes with the smaller eye box change the eye relief radically through the power swing with my bifocals.
 
OP
Dave0317

Dave0317

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North MS
Thanks for the insight guys. Sounds like the majority would say 2-7 or 2.5-8 is the way to go. And I agree, any weight savings with a fixed power would be small, I guess part of my attraction to that is just the simplicity of no adjustments, constant eye relief, and more foolproof field use. I have embarrassingly missed stuff (targets, not animals) by having a second focal plane on the wrong power before.

Consensus also seems to be durability and quality is more than adequate on variables these days. I haven't used a variable on a hunting rifle since I was a kid, and it was very cheap. Zero wandered as you changed the power setting. The only variables I have used as an adult have been S&B scopes and Vortex Razors, can't afford anything near that quality. Those were issued items.

Anything else I should be considering?

Any other fixed 4x fans out there that feel there is no disadvantage in using that type of scope? Or any other practical advantages to it over a variable?
 

Vagrouser

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Apr 16, 2017
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Depending on what and where you're hunting being able to adjust to lower magnification on a variable power scope may be a bonus. For example descending from goat hunting in grizzly country, it will be reassuring to have the wide field of view at 2x as opposed to being stuck with 6x. That said, most of my deer rifles all wear fixed power scopes, either 4 or 6x.
 

coop22250

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I don't know how much you are looking to spend by I paid $189 for a vx1 2-7x33. They go for under $150 on eBay if you shop there. Not as bright as some but kills everything in the crosshairs
 

gbflyer

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Feb 20, 2017
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FX4 Leupold is a great scope. Lightweight and bulletproof. Excellent light gathering. Mine is on long term loan atop a .458 win mag. In my opinion, it's the best all around big game scope there is for any shot I should be taking.
 

GKPrice

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This is on my lightweight rifle, vx-3. It saves weight over the 3x9s and larger. Great clarity, warranty, and handy @ out-west distances.

AGREE ..... I'm still undecided on the VX3i, last week I was talking with a Leupold Tech about 3.5 x 10's, he told me there was nothing "more" robust than that model in particular but when I specifically asked about the "VX3i" I got a No Comment .........
 
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