What's your ideal scope magnification range?

TheCougar

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2016
Messages
1,926
Location
Fort Worth, TX
Top and bottom ideal magnification ranges. I'm about to pull the trigger on a bushnell LRHS and I can't decide on the 3-12 or the 4.5-18. I like the 3x lower and I'm not sure if the 12x upper is enough for deer and antelope out to 700 yds. First world problems. Recommendations on a good medium-long range hunting magnification?
 

KurtR

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,425
Location
South Dakota
im a 4.5-18 guy i run a 6x24 and never wish i have had less mag. At 6 my ffp reticle is just a cross hair and i have shot deer at 50 yards with it no problem most of the time i run at 12ish but when i need more mag it was nice having the option.
 

excaliber

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2013
Messages
422
Location
Southwest Idaho
I have a 4.5x14 and I wish I had more magnification. The reticle covers the entire 1" center target diamond at a distance of 300 yards. At 550-700 yards I'm just aiming at a point which I think is center on the target.

Some people say 10x is all they need to get out to 1000 yards. All I know is I'd really like to have 20-24X on the high end if possible.
 

missjordan

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
1,027
Location
Missoula, MT
12x will be plenty for shooting and hunting out to 700 yards but I like to have the ability to go higher if needed. I'd say the 4.5-18 would be plenty


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Retterath

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2013
Messages
764
Location
South Dakota
I run a 2.5-10 nightforce on my 7wsm. it works awesome when in the timber still hunting elk. 10 power is enough in my opinion for 600 yards especially when its for big game. 15power is nice too but I do like that mine goes all the way down to 2.5 power. My buddy won 2 1000yard matches with a straight 10x scope. When I build my 338 I will for sure be going to at least 15 power.
 

BruinPoint

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
283
Location
Grand Junction, Colorado
From my experience guiding and hunting with different people, it's usually the shooters with the "Hubble" that can't find a critter in the scope when the moment arrives. Just saying. To answer the question directly, a 2.5-12x would be my ideal. I have scopes that top out at 16x and it's been too much for me at times but on the other hand at 10x sometimes I wish I had a little more.
 

GKPrice

Banned
Joined
Sep 27, 2014
Messages
2,442
Location
Western Oregon
"MY" self imposed limit is "in the 500's", I have tried all sorts of scopes over the years from 6 x 42 fixed to 6.5 x 20 - I'm settled on a VX3 (not VX3i, not trusting the new ones as yet) 3.5 x 10 x 40mm - I'vw been hunting mostly elk for the past 4 seasons with speed goat thrown in when I've been in WY and I've found 10X (for me) to be totally perfect for game (mine are hunting not target) - they're either on 3.5 or 10, never in between unless by accident and I kill stuff as good as the next guy - I also prefer either a WIDE duplex or Leupold CUSTOM dots (when I get time to chrono the pet load) - no scope failures ever, misses are on me ....
 

rfurman24

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,710
My favorite scope to date is the Sightron SIII 8-32x56. I personally have never felt like I needed less than the 8 but it would be nice to have. I can get by with a 5-25 or a 6-24 but at longer distances I am always wishing I had more magnification. I just do not see myself ever going below a 20x limitation on a scope.
 

cooperjd

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2016
Messages
273
Location
castle pines, co
i like a 4-16; so of your choices i'd go with the 4.5-18. for years and years i hunted with my 4.5-14x, and never thought i was over scoped with the 4.5 lower end, even on close shots on whitetail, and sneaking up on a herd of elk this past fall from 40-80y away.

i just picked up 2 4-16x vortex vipers and i think i'll like them a lot.

i've just never had a problem being overscoped on close range animals when its go time...i understand the concern, but nearly 100 whitetails and a few other critters later and 26 years of rifle hunting, never been an issue.
 

wind gypsy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
3,518
In LRHS I run the 4.5-18x. I would much prefer a SFP scope in 3-12x power range.

4.5 works fine on the low end but I wouldn't want to go much higher. I think 3-18 is about the ideal range but also feel like some scope makers have to make compromises to get that kind of mag range, especially with FFP reticles. I had a 3-24 March that sounded awesome but wasn't ideal for a hunting scope.
 

Felix40

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2015
Messages
1,383
Location
New Mexico
I grew up with 3-9 on everything. Recently got interested in more long range stuff and put a 6.5-20 on my rifle. Its awesome. Ive killed running animals at inside 50 yards but i can see hits on paper at 400 at the range, further on shoot and see targets.
 

CLICKBANGBANG

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2016
Messages
294
My favorite scope to date is the Sightron SIII 8-32x56. I personally have never felt like I needed less than the 8 but it would be nice to have. I can get by with a 5-25 or a 6-24 but at longer distances I am always wishing I had more magnification. I just do not see myself ever going below a 20x limitation on a scope.

That's a lot of scope for hunting. I'm getting another Sightron, Illuminated 8-32. But it's for a long range bench gun. This will be my sixth or seventh Sightron.

I've used the Sightron Stac 3-16x42 on a 6.5 CM and really like it for hunting. This year I'll be using an Stac 4-20x50 on a 7mm RM. I love these scopes.
 

rfurman24

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,710
This is a long range hunting forum.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

rickjames80

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2013
Messages
462
This is a long range hunting forum.

LOL! This kinda sums it up. I like the 2.5-10 personally, but I stalk animals in the trees and my longest shot ever was only 425yds. IMO 3-4.5 is not that much difference, but 12-18 is very noticeable. I would base it on how far most of your shots are though.
 

CLICKBANGBANG

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2016
Messages
294
This is a long range hunting forum.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

Lol. Touché! But my opinion is thats a lot of scope for hunting deer or antelope. If it works for you, I'm happy.

I think the SIII 8-32 is a great scope. I've spent a little time behind one, and can't wait to get the MOA2 on order for my RPR (I'll get it before the next squirrel shoot we do). But I've missed shot opportunities large game where I couldn't find the animal in the scope quick enough. Between trees, and bushes, and junk. I have yet to miss out on a shot because the target was too small in the scope. Because of this, my FOV minimum, may be larger than what most guys want. The 16-20x max magnification gets me out to 700-1,000 yards fine. I think 12x is too low for 700 yards. I'd want 16x plus. JMHO. ;)
 

Dave0317

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
141
Location
North MS
I think either would be fine for shooting out to 700. I have a 3-18 Vortex and the FFP reticle does get really thin at 3x, but I like that magnification range a lot. If you are in the prone or otherwise a good steady position, there is no reason not to use max power though. I might back off on power just a little if I was a little closer so you have enough field of view that you don't lose the animal if it runs after the shot.

The only other reason to pick less magnification is if you will occasionally use the gun for a stalk/still-hunt. Then the lower end almost becomes more important than the upper range of magnification. As stated above, this is the long range forum, but that doesn't mean you won't use your rifle for other type and if hunting on occasion.
 
Top