Scope magnification suggestion

centermass556centermass556 Senior MemberPosts: 3,508 Senior Member
For you shooters....

What would your magnification range be for a .223 you plan on shooting out to 300yrds with, and a .308 you plan to shoot out to 500yrds with
"To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
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Replies

  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,788 Senior Member
    As always it depends on how much you want to spend. 4x12x40 seems to be a sweet spot for a balance between weight, light transmission and magnification over longer distances. I have a Redfield Revenge 4x12x40 on my .243 and I am satisfied with it out to 300 .

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,952 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    As always it depends on how much you want to spend. 4x12x40 seems to be a sweet spot for a balance between weight, light transmission and magnification over longer distances. I have a Redfield Revenge 4x12x40 on my .243 and I am satisfied with it out to 300 .

    D

    This. Anything doing duty past 200 yds, I prefer 4-12. 3-9 minimum.

    Luis
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    Like Wambli said it depends on intended usage. I would recommend a 4.5-14 or 6-18, you can always dial the power back, it just depends on how much weight you are willing to tote around if these are not dedicated bench guns.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,583 Senior Member
    .223 I'm running 4.5-14x50
    .308, 6.5 I'm running 6.5-20x40 and 6.5-20x50
    .338 I'm running 8.5-25x50
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,378 Senior Member
    I'm pinching pennies to buy a scope for similar uses later this year. It will be my "floater" scope but spend most of its time on a 6.5 Grendel. I plan to get a Vortex Viper PST 6.5-20x50.
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "It's far easier to start out learning to be precise and then speeding up, than it is having never "mastered" the weapon, and trying to be precise." - Dan C
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,102 Senior Member
    For you shooters....

    What would your magnification range be for a .223 you plan on shooting out to 300yrds with, and a .308 you plan to shoot out to 500yrds with

    Same for both. 2x--7x or at most 2x-10x.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,552 Senior Member
    I have a 6-18x40 Nikon Buckmaster with side focus.
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,490 Senior Member
    JasonMPD wrote: »
    Same for both. 2x--7x or at most 2x-10x.

    :agree:

    Just food for thought, I have taken most of my big game at 4 to 6x.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,508 Senior Member
    Say I am shooting near stationary targets that are on average 70" tall and 36" wide.
    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,102 Senior Member
    Say I am shooting near stationary targets that are on average 70" tall and 36" wide.

    10x tops.

    A 70" tall target even at 4x will look plenty large enough to hold MOA. If it's gnats ass target shooting go up to the Hubble scopes. 22" square targets I often shoot at 600 yards are no problem with even 5x.

    If wind holds are a concern or the target needs to be led for movement a broader field of view is important.

    ETA. If we are talking static known distance targets I would look for a quality "second focal plane" scope with relatively thin crosshairs.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • hawk18hawk18 Senior Member Posts: 729 Senior Member
    If "out to" means a moving, man sized target from zero to 400 yds, I would go with 2X7. I use this on both my 30 cal hunting rifles. For more static targets, I have gone with more magnification. For my .223's :

    Short lightweight CZ 27--4.5x14
    Long heavy bbl varment---6x24
    20" AR--- 2.5x10

    The decision is still to be made on my.308

    Hawk
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,944 Senior Member
    4.5-14, unless you are talking about a dedicated benched group shooter. Have generally found that a top end of 10x doesn't quite cut it for target work, and that I need REALLY good light conditions to want to crank my 6.5-20 up above about 16x.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,102 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    4.5-14, unless you are talking about a dedicated benched group shooter. Have generally found that a top end of 10x doesn't quite cut it for target work, and that I need REALLY good light conditions to want to crank my 6.5-20 up above about 16x.

    A 70"x36" target isn't "target shooting". That's larger than average man size. That's point blank range shooting easily accomplished with a battle sight zero.

    If you want a telescope on your rifle, that's fine. If you need precision, get the Hubble. If you want repeatable accuracy, less eye fatigue and better field of view, don't go above 10x. Go 12x for more versatility perhaps, but using more than 10x will be less useful in situations of variable ranges.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,459 Senior Member
    I would get a Leupold VX-2 (or 3) 4-12x 40mm AO with the Custom Dial System. One dial for .223, and another for .308........


    Leupold_vx-3_cds_rifle_scope_03.jpg
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,552 Senior Member
    Guys, this is an open forum that is also used by people even believe that it should be considered authoritative because it's Guns And Ammo. So let's try to get our nomenclature right.

    You would berate someone who would refer to a magazine as a "clip," I will berate someone who refers to his variable scope as a 4X12X40 or even worse a 2X7.

    A riflescope is described by its magnification on the left of the X (meaning power) and the size of its objective lens in millimeters on the right of the X. If the scope is a variable, the notation on the left of the X will be expanded to express the actual magnification of the scope, a dash and then the maximum magnification of the scope due to its zoom element.

    So, a 4-12X40 means that the scope is a variable model with a normal magnification of 4X but its 3X zoom gives it a maximum magnification of 12X, and the front lens, the objective lens is 40mm in diameter.

    A 2X7 scope is a 2X scope with a 7mm objective lens and that .284 inch diameter lens is not usable for anything to do with rifles except perhaps to inspect the bore of a 7mm or bigger caliber rifle.

    Also, there is NOTHING in a 4-12X40 that indicates the amount of light transmission. That is totally due to the number of elements and the type of coating(s) used.

    On the other hand a 40mm objective in concert with a 4X magnification will generate a 10mm exit pupil which should generate a very clear picture for the eye. The size of the exit pupil is a function of the diameter of the objective divided by the magnification. The human eye is usually 5-6mm or smaller, depending on conditions (the brighter the light, the smaller the pupil.) So at dusk or dawn, when the pupil is most dilated due to low light, a large exit pupil is desired. On the other hand the 10mm exit pupil is wasted in bright sunshine when the eye's pupil might be just a mil or two.

    Next, recommending magnification ranges and objective lens size without knowing anything about the intended use is a waste of electrons. Even knowing that the target is 70 inches high and 30 inches wide is meaningless, unless just hitting that thing is all that's required. In F-class (or any other highpower shooting,) the target frame is 72 inches X 72 inches for long range, that's 800, 900 and 1000 yards. It does not require huge magnification to hit that reliably and in fact people are doing that with peep sights or even just plain AR-15/M16 peep sight and front post. The aiming black is 44 inches across and that's still very usable for those iron sights and low magnification scopes.

    On the other hand, in F-class the X-ring is 5 inches across, so at that distance, you need a lot of magnification, especially if you're going to hold on target.

    So, knowing the size of the target frame is still only one part of the requirement, unless, as I said before, simply hitting anywhere on the frame is all that's needed.

    Are we going to be shooting at this at any hour of the day, or only on nice days?

    Once we have the conditions and the degree of accuracy defined, we can propose magnifications and objective lens sizes. Cost will be the next factor to consider and then of course, the type of reticle required. And knobs or no knobs, AO, SF or N/A. So many things to consider.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,552 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    I have a 6-18x40 Nikon Buckmaster with side focus.

    The reason I like this scope better on .223 at 300 yards than the 4.5-14x40 I use on my Model 70 .30-06 is that I can see the holes at 300 yards (sunny day, white target), and because I have to sharpen the cross hairs up, between 100 and 300 yards. The side focus makes this very easy. This is on a 20" heavy barrel AR-15 that is set up for varmint hunting, and I typically have it set on 6x. But most (nearly all) of my shooting with it is at targets, so although the 18x is not necessary for the actual shooting, it is nice for viewing the target at 300 yards. I have never owned a spotting scope, so I use this rifle for that.
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,508 Senior Member
    Pegasus, you have my attention.

    With my .308, I want to be able to engage targets with a "x" area of 18"x12" at 500m, with two shots on each target, and between an hour after BMNT and an hour before EENT. Weight is not a factor.

    And what is the use of AO?
    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,788 Senior Member
    4x12x40 has sort of become short hand.

    With deference to Pegasus, I will attempt to use the dash instead of an X... Grammar Nazi!

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,490 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    4x12x40 has sort of become short hand.

    With deference to Pegasus, I will attempt to use the - instead of an X... Grammar Nazi!

    D

    FIFY

    Technically a magazine is a place to store ammo, powder etc, an ammo dump.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,583 Senior Member
    For paper punching nothing wrong with and A/O on a scope but for hunting I much prefer side focus, less chance of loosing sight of your game or game seeing your movement adjusting your scope.
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,102 Senior Member
    Pegasus, you have my attention.

    With my .308, I want to be able to engage targets with a "x" area of 18"x12" at 500m, with two shots on each target, and between an hour after BMNT and an hour before EENT. Weight is not a factor.

    And what is the use of AO?

    I still stand with my original suggestions of 2-10x or up to 3-12x. 2-10x will cover a good range for you out to those distances and certainly everything in between.

    Additionally, you'll have a greater exit pupil diameter at 10x than at 18x and up.

    My 44mm objective scope on my SPR has an exit pupil diameter of 8.8mm to 7.3mm in the 5x to 6x range. Phenomenal light transmission and I can see targets well within the size you speak of with ease.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,552 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    4x12x40 has sort of become short hand.

    With deference to Pegasus, I will attempt to use the dash instead of an X... Grammar Nazi!

    D

    You failed right away.

    I am not a Grammar Nazi, I am a technical verbiage Nazi.

    I don't see how using an X instead of the correct - is short hand for anything. I will tell you what it does say, to me at least. When I see someone talking about his (or her) riflescope and describing it as a 4X12X40 or even worse, a 2X7, I interpret it as someone who doesn't know the first thing about riflescopes, and their opinion on anything to do with riflescopes is at least suspect but probably closer to useless. It's like sending a big signal saying something like "hey guys, I don't know squat about riflescopes but let me tell you what scope you should buy."

    This is an shooting sports enthusiast forum, we talk about everything related to guns and ammo and the fact is, riflescopes are very much an essential part of a rifle system; we need to be correct when we talk about these items, if only to show that we are not totally ignorant.
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,552 Senior Member
    jaywapti wrote: »
    FIFY

    Technically a magazine is a place to store ammo, powder etc, an ammo dump.

    JAY

    Excellent. Now, if you would be so kind as to inform: the NRA, the myriad firearms manufacturer, the various LE agencies around the world, probably the US and other military outfits around the world and most everyone else. Don't bother educating the media or Hollywood, or politicians, that would only confuse them further.

    I suspect you do not own any firearms with detachable box magazines.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,788 Senior Member
    Without getting into a "flame" war with Pegasus, my response early was just a short quick reply.

    I will expand a little.

    I stated that
    "4x12x40 seems to be a sweet spot for a balance between weight, light transmission and magnification over longer distances."


    So first let me correct myself and say 4-12x40.

    The OP had not given a lot of details relating to his budget, application, etc. and so I mad e a general comment. 4-12x40 provides a good balance on a hunting rifle, as a Leupold VX-2 weighs in at just 13.8 ounces plus rings and claims light transmission of 94%.

    The OP's original post was:
    "For you shooters....

    What would your magnification range be for a .223 you plan on shooting out to 300yrds with, and a .308 you plan to shoot out to 500yrds with"

    I am not a fan of toting around a 9lb plus gun to hunt or shoot with unless I am stuck at a bench. Shooting a .223 to 300 yards or a .308 to 500 yards on man sized targets, I consider the 4-12x40 to be light enough and sufficient if a quality optic is used.

    The Redfield Revenge 4-12x42 I use on my inexpensive Savage stainless .243 that shoots less than .5 MOA with my hand loads has a 91% light transmission, weighs just 15.3 ounces and has a lifetime warranty from Leupold.

    IMHO

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    I think I kind of agree here on getting the nomenclature correct. This new glass cost alot of money. Its good to be clear. punn intended
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,552 Senior Member
    Pegasus, you have my attention.

    With my .308, I want to be able to engage targets with a "x" area of 18"x12" at 500m, with two shots on each target, and between an hour after BMNT and an hour before EENT. Weight is not a factor.

    And what is the use of AO?

    CM556, I am honored. First to your last question. As was already stated by Wambli, an AO or Adjustable Objective is a mechanism usually found at the front end of a riflescope that allows you to focus the image of the objective (your target), precisely on the same focal plane as the reticle. This removes any apparent parallax, a condition where the target appears to move around the reticle as you position yourself a little differently behind the riflescope. The vast majority of the non-adjustable riflescopes meant for centerfire rifles have their focus set somewhere between 100-150 yards. At that distance the reticle will be merged precisely to the focal plane of the image of the objective and there will be no movement.

    The riflescope takes advantage of an optical effect called depth of field to keep most of the image you see in your scope in focus. I could go into great detail about this effect, but in essences if means what's beyond the focus point is pretty much "in focus" all the way to infinity and what's in front is also in focus but that degrades rapidly compared to what's beyond. The further away from the proper focus of the lens, the more apparent parallax will become. The range of the depth of field is a function of magnification and aperture size (F-stop for the photographically savvy.) The higher the magnification the smaller the depth of field and the larger the aperture (the smaller the F-stop,) the smaller the depth of field. There are mathematical formulae to calculate all that.

    More to your point now.

    The X to which you refer represents about 3MOA's worth (15+ inches) at 500 meters. This is akin to a 3 inch dot at 100 yards. It does not require great magnification to consistently hit a 3MOA X-ring at distance. At 1000 yards, that ring would be 30 inches in diameter. That can be done quite reliably with a 10X scope, I would think. I am older now, with 60 receding in the rear view mirror of my life and my eyes are not what they used to be. To help compensate for that and keep up the level of precision needed in F-class, I buy quality magnification and given your parameters, I would opt for something closer to 20X in top end magnification. On cloudy days, this can become difficult to see clearly, so I would also consider an objective lens of 40mm as a bare minimum. I have been spoiled by the 56mm lens of my NF and especially the one in my March, but I run them at 40X and more.

    Now bisley stated that he uses the side focus to sharpen the cross hairs at 100 to 300 yards. That is indicative of a problem either with the scope or the shooter. You do NOT use the side focus to bring the reticle into focus. You do that once when you get the rifle scope mounted on your rifle and you do that with the focusing ring on the eyepiece. Aiming at a blank wall or a cloud, you keep taking quick peeks at the reticle and adjusting it until it looks sharp, crisp and well-defined to your eye in position. Then you lock that down. You may want to check it every year or if you change the position of the scope or you get different glasses, if you wear glasses.

    The AO I described earlier is the simplest and most precise way of focusing the image on to the reticle by simply twisting the objective lens element using a focusing ring at the front of the riflescope. Don't worry about the distances written on the ring, they are only a poor approximation. This method is imply, highly precise and easy to use, but it's a pain to use from position.

    The SF, or side focus, is the other method used to bring the image of the objective into the same plane as the reticle. This is a little less precise than the AO, and it's more expensive but it's very easy to use from position. I have a few AOs, by my NF and my March are side focus, simply because they were not available as AOs.

    First you lock down the eyepiece focus for the reticle, then you can play all you want with the AO or SF.
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,552 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    Without getting into a "flame" war with Pegasus, my response early was just a short quick reply.

    I will expand a little.

    I stated that


    So first let me correct myself and say 4-12x40.

    The OP had not given a lot of details relating to his budget, application, etc. and so I mad e a general comment. 4-12x40 provides a good balance on a hunting rifle, as a Leupold VX-2 weighs in at just 13.8 ounces plus rings and claims light transmission of 94%.

    The OP's original post was:



    I am not a fan of toting around a 9lb plus gun to hunt or shoot with unless I am stuck at a bench. Shooting a .223 to 300 yards or a .308 to 500 yards on man sized targets, I consider the 4-12x40 to be light enough and sufficient if a quality optic is used.

    The Redfield Revenge 4-12x42 I use on my inexpensive Savage stainless .243 that shoots less than .5 MOA with my hand loads has a 91% light transmission, weighs just 15.3 ounces and has a lifetime warranty from Leupold.

    IMHO

    D

    No flame war intended, expected or desired. We are all adults talking about a great subject and we are sharing knowledge and helping each other.
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,552 Senior Member
    early wrote: »
    I think I kind of agree here on getting the nomenclature correct. This new glass cost alot of money. Its good to be clear. punn intended

    That would be "pun", not "punn" and "a lot" not "alot".

    That's being a Grammar Nazi, though to be correct, it's more of a typo Nazi.

    :HUGE_GRIN:
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,459 Senior Member
    Pegasus wrote: »
    That would be "pun", not "pun" and "a lot" not "alot".

    That's being a Grammar Nazi, though to be correct, it's more of a typo Nazi.

    :HUGE_GRIN:

    68582894.jpg
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,552 Senior Member
    I love that one, good one. I'm borrowing it.
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