The American and his choice of optics

NorwegianNorwegian New MemberPosts: 19 New Member
Hi guys, im new here and this is my first post,
hopefully someone here can answer a couple of questions of mine :)

I got some questions about optics, specifically optics ment for the American market.
you see in Norway, we usually buy 3-12x56, or 2,5-10x50 scopes for deer hunting,
And most scopes available in stores are Zeiss, meopta, swarovski, Leica, or Nikon.
All fairly expensive scopes, so i was looking to buy a scope for a decent price on amazon or ebay.
However i can barely find any scopes with a objective lens diameter at 50mm or bigger,
and if they are bigger than that they either have a 1" tube, or the magnification
is just too high for my use, in Norway we have allot of rugged terrain and mountains
and we almost never shoot at distances over 250 yards, so, here comes the questions,

Why are there so few scopes with 50+ lens diameter on the American market?
When you first find a scope with big lens diameter, why the extreme magnifications?
is the high magnifications because of the flat terrain in most of the US?
in Norway we are allowed to hunt at night if the moon is up,
Cant you do the same in America?

And finaly:

Can anyone recommend a scope under 400 usd that has:
3" tube,
fog and waterproof,
magnification should start at max 4X ,
1/2 moa adjustments,
illuminated crossair (Red dot)
has a lens diameter of at least 40mm
is good in low light settings,
and have no problem handling the recoil of 30-06 ?

I would greatly appreciate all answers.
Sincerely A fellow deer hunter
- Norwegian

Replies

  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    For game species (feral hogs and coyotes are the main exclusions) hunting hours 1/2 hour before legal sunrise to 1/2 hour after legal sunset.

    The scope sizes you listed are generally (in my area) considered to be to much magnification or too heavy. A lot of the USA isnt as flat and wide open as you have been lead to believe. Lots of places said to be flat aren't flat when you get your feet on the ground. There is just no place to hide on a bunch grass plain.

    A scope I recommend that fits most of your requirements is the Nikon Monarch 3-12X42.
    This one. http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-MONARCH-Riflescope-Black-3-12x42/dp/B00BAHVZ7Y

    Welcome aboard. You ever seen a grown man nekkid?
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,078 Senior Member
    The problem with 50+mm objective lenses is that you have to mount them higher. The common technique here in America is to mount your cheekbone on the stock, and with big objectives, you usually have to rise up off that comfortable (and quickly repeatable) anchor point to see through the scope. Europeans (as I understand it) are more comfortable with anchoring on the chin, and they typically hunt in more heavily forested areas - so the height is not a problem and the extra light coming in is desirable.

    Personally, I'd be much more concerned with GOOD glass rather than BIG glass. Under $400 U.S. for everything you want is going to be tough. You could get close with a Leupold VX2 4-12x40mm, but will have to give up the illuminated reticle at that price point. They offer the illuminated option in some of the higher-end VX3 line that have the 30mm main tube, but that's going to be over and above $600.

    How necessary are the illuminated crosshairs? I have a Leupold 4.5-14x50mm that has them, and usually, if there is enough light for it to be legal to shoot (30 minutes before sunrise and after sunset) I can see the wires without having to turn the scope on. Maybe its useful on those foggy/rainy/snowy mornings, but I haven't had to shoot with it turned on yet.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,384 Senior Member
    The 50mm objective is just viewed as being too big in this country, both from a storage and weight standpoint. I have exactly one 56mm objective Leupold VX-3L in 3.5-10x56mm and it is a 1" tube as you described. The L-series VX-3s have a half-moon cutout on the bottom of the lens to overcome the scope ring height issue, but it comes at a price premium. Your problem with the tube diameter in the American scope market: 1" tubes are viewed as the standard choice for shorter distances while 30mm tubes are marketed for longer ranges due to the higher click adjustment range. In short, if they offer you a 30mm, most of the time, the manufacturers' assumption is that you also need a higher magnification range.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,429 Senior Member
    I don't think I've ever seen a scope with a 3" tube (76 MM). Did you mean 30 MM perhaps?
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 6,550 Senior Member
    I grew up hunting big pine so when I got my firsr scope it was a large objective Bushnell. I cant say that the new ones are great, but the one I still have on my rifle is just fine and none of the critters that got in front of it seemed to care that it wasnt a 2k scope.

    They still have a selection of 50mm objectives in various powers, they arent Ziess, but you are not paying that kind of cash either.
    [url]http://www.bushnell.com/hunting/rifle-scopes/elite/elite-2-5-10x-50-multi-x®[/url]
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,807 Senior Member
    I think this is about as close as you will get in a 30mm tube.

    Lifetime warranty

    Bushnell part # 731642E under $200.00

    http://www.amazon.com/Bushnell-Trophy-Illuminated-Reticle-Riflescope/dp/B004NK5814

    731642E-lg.jpg?width=800&height=800&ext=.jpg

    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:
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 7,075 Senior Member
    A large objective does not mean better light gathering, it's the quality of the lens'. Start a new trend and get a normal size Leopold, you will be happy!!
    And welcome to the forum, I'm glad to see new members from other countries, adds a new prospective on how things are done elsewhere!!
  • NorwegianNorwegian New Member Posts: 19 New Member
    Farm Boy Deuce : "For game species (feral hogs and coyotes are the main exclusions) hunting hours 1/2 hour before legal sunrise to 1/2 hour after legal sunset."

    ok, we are allowed to hunt if there is a(close to full/full) moon up...
    Bigslug wrote: »
    How necessary are the illuminated crosshairs?

    Its not a must, but it would be nice to have for "moonshine-hunting"
    50 or 56 is normal here, even 4-16 x 72mm zeiss is pretty common,
    So we usally just ad a chin piece to our riflestock to compensate for the big sight,
    ,or buy a GRS stock (pretty nice norwegian adjustable wood stock) which is made like 30 min from my house :P


    Big Dan, i looked at the bonecollector series, anyone tried it out?

    Big Al1: i know, but i can afford the big names in optics right now, just used a shitload of cash on the new rifle, (Heym Sr30)

    Teach: i did mean 30 mm ;)
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 6,550 Senior Member
    Big Al1 wrote: »
    A large objective does not mean better light gathering, it's the quality of the lens'!!
    ???
    huh?

    The bigger the objective, the more light it can gather. Telescope 101 unless something has changed, light gathering is a function of the largest aperture. Quality lenses make it clearer but they dont gather light.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,919 Senior Member
    ???
    huh?

    The bigger the objective, the more light it can gather. Telescope 101 unless something has changed, light gathering is a function of the largest aperture. Quality lenses make it clearer but they dont gather light.

    But the more expensive coatings cut down on light absorbed in the lenses, in effect giving you more light out the ocular lens in your eye.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • NorwegianNorwegian New Member Posts: 19 New Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    But the more expensive coatings cut down on light absorbed in the lenses, in effect giving you more light out the ocular lens in your eye.

    well, a 50mm lens will take up more light then a 42 mm lens if they have the same coating,
    however a 42 with good coating can perform as well as a 50 with poor coating..

    but i doubt i can finding a 42mm lens(with any type of coating) that can outperform a 56mm lens when it comes to brightness in poor light settings...

    atleast thats my opinion from what i have tested...
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Posts: 1,079 Senior Member
    ???
    huh?

    The bigger the objective, the more light it can gather. Telescope 101 unless something has changed, light gathering is a function of the largest aperture. Quality lenses make it clearer but they dont gather light.

    While a bigger objective "can" gather more light, it doesn't mean that it will. At some point, a better made smaller scope WILL gather more light than a poorly made bigger scope. Coatings, good glass, and good construction do matter.

    Light Gathering:
    Equal Quality: bigger objective > smaller objective
    Unequal Quality: smaller objective (can be) > bigger objective
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,078 Senior Member
    [QUOTE=Norwegian;424216
    but i doubt i can finding a 42mm lens(with any type of coating) that can outperform a 56mm lens when it comes to brightness in poor light settings...
    [/QUOTE]

    This is where you have to prioritize a little.

    On non-target guns without adjustable cheek pieces, I prefer a lower mounted scope with better glass and coatings because, while I may give up a few extra minutes of shooting light at the start and end of the day, I can get my sight picture faster and hold it more comfortably when I don't have to raise my head off the stock and wiggle around until my eye lines up.

    You can legally shoot at night, so it's a little different game for you. You can bet I'd be strapping on some kind of cheek riser pad with a 56mm objective though. You for certain would want a 30mm or larger main tube with a front end like that. A scope is a little like a funnel - you may be able to "pour" a lot of light in the wide end, but you can only get so much through the narrow end. A wider tube requires the light to bend less while travelling through the lenses to get to your eye, so the image will usually be a bit clearer. You also get more windage and elevation adjustment.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,919 Senior Member
    Norwegian wrote: »
    well, a 50mm lens will take up more light then a 42 mm lens if they have the same coating,
    however a 42 with good coating can perform as well as a 50 with poor coating..

    but i doubt i can finding a 42mm lens(with any type of coating) that can outperform a 56mm lens when it comes to brightness in poor light settings...

    atleast thats my opinion from what i have tested...

    The darkened statement above is mostly what I'm saying except that I will go one further and say that a scope with a 40 or 42mm Objective with good coatings will probably out perform a scope with a 50mm objective with lesser quality coatings. I believe coatings trump objective size. And also, I have read where a larger objective doesn't do a lot until you start to get above a setting of 10 X or higher.

    I will say that here in the U.S. hunting deer within the law, I never really had much use for the high dollar optics. However, if I hunted where you do as you do, I would definitely spend the extra to get something in the class of a VX-3L Leupold with at least a 50mm if not a 56mm objective Lens and 30 inch tube. It's going to set you back twice what you're looking to do, but it will pay off I believe.

    Also, my one VX-3L still needs to be on its lowest setting in a low light situation to get the benefit of the fancy glass. At any power setting above say 5 or 6 power and it starts to lose any advantage it has in low light. That's why I really like my 3-9x40 Nikon Prostaff for really low light. Set on 3x it is noticeably as bright or brighter than any glass I have.

    Oh, and just to clarify, I hunt at night for Hogs and Rabbits, but I use a spotlight and often open sites.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,736 Senior Member
    Over here there are no restrictions on hunting with regards to daylight hours.

    We can hunt all sorts of animals 24/7 including Red, Rusa, Sika, Fallow, Whitetail, Sambar deer, Elk, Tahr, Chamois, Wild Boar, Goats, possums, Rabbits, Hares, hell we can even hunt Cougars............

    For most applications we follow the American 'Ideal' when we choose scopes......the only exception is when we go hunting Cougars at night. We use what we call 'Beer Goggles' for that................low power, fuzzy optics that are available in any bar or place with a liquor license, cos they allow you to score easily.................Actually, if 'Beer googles' weren't available, the chances of bagging most Cougar's would be very slim..............
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Posts: 1,079 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    Over here there are no restrictions on hunting with regards to daylight hours.

    We can hunt all sorts of animals 24/7 including Red, Rusa, Sika, Fallow, Whitetail, Sambar deer, Elk, Tahr, Chamois, Wild Boar, Goats, possums, Rabbits, Hares, hell we can even hunt Cougars............

    For most applications we follow the American 'Ideal' when we choose scopes......the only exception is when we go hunting Cougars at night. We use what we call 'Beer Goggles' for that................low power, fuzzy optics that are available in any bar or place with a liquor license, cos they allow you to score easily.................Actually, if 'Beer googles' weren't available, the chances of bagging most Cougar's would be very slim..............

    Friends don't let friends beer goggle.
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    Friends don't let friends beer goggle.

    You had better friends than I did. My friends encouraged me to do that... Looking back it is all fuzzy enough that I think I had a good time.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,919 Senior Member
    Friends don't let friends beer goggle.

    I try not to use beer goggles but I have done a bit of Beer Googling.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,311 Senior Member
    Any scope is going to reduce the amount of light available to your eye. And the eye can only use a certain amount of light anyway, not very much, like 6 or 7 mm from the ocular lens. A 1" tube won't change that; it only gives you more elevation adjustment (and windage, I guess). Not likely to be a problem at night, where range is limited. I've never seen a 56mm objective lens on a scope over here; that's HUGE.

    The lower the power, the larger to diopter (the amount of light coming through the lens.) Were I shooting by moonlight, I'd get a 4X scope, save a bunch of money. Or probably a 3X-9X, since they're easier to find and cheaper, and give you a bit more magnification in daylight. Personally, I'm impressed with Redfield scopes, which are very bright and probably the best of the Chinese scopes, which are getting better all the time. And affordable.

    I've never used a lighted reticle, always wondered if the red light wouldn't burn out the target.

    We have very strict rules over here about hunting game animals at night. Shining a light on a deer and shooting it will get you arrested, your car confiscated, your gun taken, and your license suspended. A big No NO. Also, it's not considered sporting, except for raccoons and foxes (which you don't kill, in America.) Hogs aren't game nor are coyotes where I live, and can be hunted whenever you like.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
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