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I new here, and the world of tactical shooting, but I have a 4-12X scope on my 22-250 and regularly shoot( targets only)250yards. I see these scopes with 24X and 32X capabilities! IF I were to invest in this sport a little, and set a personal goal to eventaully be hitting 800yds what power is really necessary?

Basically: What power do you guys prefer for certain ranges?
 

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Depends on the type of shooting. If you are just punching holes and trying to get small groups at long ranges, then put a high power scope on your rifle. But, if you are intending to use it as a tactical rifle, then a compromise must be met. Light gathering & field of view suffer with higher magnifications. Both of those are critical for tactical/sniping use, but not at all for a range rifle. There is a very good reason why 10x is the scope of choice for many military sniper rifles. Its a very good compromise. I feel 10x is good through 1000 meters for man size targets. If you plan to go beyond 1000, I would go up.

Just as a ball park, I'll through out this formula (and I'm sure I'll be criticised)
For tactical/sniping I suggest 1x for each 100 meters. If you plan to engage out to 1200 meters, then 12x. 1600, 16x. Many probably consider this unadequit, but when considering field/sniper use, I think it works well.

MEL
(man, the forums need spell checking)
 

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The science of optics is basically a sort of balancing act. Think of it getting something good on once side and loosing something on the other.

But first lets talk about power or magnification.

The Mark 1 Mod 0 Eyeball (Your eye for those in Rio Linda) when young will resolve approximately 1" at 100 yards. That is if you take a bottle cap that contrast with the back ground an place it out at 100 yards and your eyes are in good shape or corrected to 20/20 you should be able to see it. (Children will find this excercise easier than adults.)

1" or about 1 minute of Angle (MOA) is a measure of this. If the rifle will shoot 1 moa then you should be able to hit that bottle cap at 100 yards with open sights, or a 2" jar lid at 200 yards and a coffee can lid at oh say 450 to 500 yards with open sights.

That means that a trained infantryman should be able to take a "tactical target" out at 600-800 yards most times if he exercises care.

Now magnification enhances this equation by making the "target" appear larger.

At 4x magnification, the bottle cap will appear the same size at 400 as it does at 100 with the eye. 8x and it will appear at 800 as at 100 yards. This assumes such things as perfect optics, no distortion by the atmosphere(mirage or haze), conditions that hardly ever exist.

Oh, so just add more power to the scope and compensate for these problems. Well, sort of. However often adding more power or magnification to the scope begins to cause resolution to decrease, and often aggravate problems such as mirage and distortion. The aforementioned balancing act. So with a big variable, you can just reduce the power. Whoa! Not so fast. There are other considerations like weight and cost. Therefore, addition of too much power is not always the answer.

So when picking a power consider the target. For a hunting scope in years past 4x was considered adequate. Varmints usually require 12 to 15x, with 12x considered plenty for normal varmint shooting to say 600 yards.

If we consider a 1" kill zone on a prairie dog at 700 yards, 14x will .5 inches resolution at that range, if I didn't make a mistake in my math.
This should be plenty to take out PDs for most hunting of varmints. Lower powers on variables such as the typical 4-14x allow a 4x value that is very useful for area spotting and this can be turned up to zoom in on an identified target.

Functionally, people today tend to to use too much power on their variables and sacrifice resolution and optical clarity when faced with mirage effects in warm weather. Ok, so why would they make 22x variables and 40x fixed target scopes.

Well, we are Americans right? Big is good, bigger is better, biggest is... well you get the idea.

But people like John Unertl, Weaver, and others knew the true skinny 50 years ago. The USMC could pick any scope it wanted and often settles for 10x or less for precision shooting. Get the idea?
 

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i find a Leupold Mk4 PR 3-9x40mm scope mounted on my 700P more than adaquate for 1000 y/m and the real hard part about shooting that distance is getting the .308 on target (correct scope ajustments and perying the wind doesnt shift mid bullet flight)
never used irons past 600m regularly but at that range i can guarnetee a hit on a torso sized target
still i see a lot of people with 18x scopes @ 100y
everyone has thier own desired scope's power
 

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For pure tactical work, like what Mel is talking about, 10X is fine. For what I currently do, punch paper and the odd tactical match, and since my eyes are not what they used to be - I use my 3.8-22X. I prefer to see what I'm shooting at and the 22X gets me there. (there is very little chance that I will be involved in pure tactical maneuvers anytime soon).

If you wander up and down the firing line at a 1,000 yard matche, you'll see scopes that vary from the tactcial 10X to the benchrest 36 or 45X fixed. Most seem to be variable powers that are 20 - 25X at the top end.

JeffVN
 

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Jeffvn said:
and since my eyes are not what they used to be - I use my 3.8-22X. I prefer to see what I'm shooting at and the 22X gets me there. (there is very little chance that I will be involved in pure tactical maneuvers anytime soon).
This Jeffvn is one smart cookie. I agree with him totally!

Sn-3 3.8-22x58-35 ERGO EREK on M40A3 Clone. :D



 

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Critter - your scope choice show how brilliant you are!! :lol:

USO SN-3 3.8-22x58-30, MOA lit Reticle - on an M40A3 clone (actually a McMillan A-4 with cheek adjustment; Nesika Tactical Action, Hart 26" 10 twist barrel)


JeffVN
 

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Here is my version of the story.

Gunsmith who built the rifle said it would be a great idea to put a compensator on the barrel. He put a beautiful rebated thread on there so that the comp looked like it was a part of the barrel. Reduced recoil and a low drag look were the result.

So went to my first tactical match and "Sorry those aren't allowed!"

Not a problem, just unscrew the comp and shoot. However, now that beautiful thread was exposed to the air. A check of the gunsmith's catalog and a little ring with matching thread and knurling was available for $50 or so. I got one for this rifle and one for my 7mm WSM.

 

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Well, to be perfectly honest I use a 30x variable, but I am sure that a 22x one would work perfectly well. But I also use a .260 with a 100 grain Sierra Varmint Hollow point at 3270 fps. This combination will ruin the day of PDs at that range that are used to laughing at 40 or 52 grain .224 hollow points that go wide of the mark at that range in any kind of wind.

 

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Yes, but I like to see the color of their eyes when I off them. :twisted:

Also, that isn't an easy target at 500 yards the kill zone is about 3" x 3" if you want a solid hit.

The 30x high res really gives you a lot of detail when observing the target. The 5 to one zoom of the SN-3 gives you a good 6x (same as LRF) so that you can find the target. Once you can identify it, then you zoom in. (Original reason for zoom scope.) otherwise you spend all your time scanning the field looking for the thing after you see it in the LRF.

The .260 gives you enough power to really wack the target without ricocheting all over the field.
 

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Critter

When did you get your hi-res SN-3. When I talked with John Sr. (in May before his accident), he said that they had pulled the 30X, but might be re-offering it this coming shot show. I've been drooling for that magnification with my MOA scale reticles for nearly 2 years.

JeffVN
 

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In 1993 or there abouts.

It was a special order. Required special lit MIL reticle.

Scope is 6-30x58 with a 35mm main tube. Here is a more detailed picture of the scope.



The delivery was 3 years and cost around $3500. This was a totally custom scope, designed from the ground up. I think they probably threw away the design, which makes reproduction difficult. For date verification, look at the old style rings also made custom. That set up has killed many, many PDs.

When John Jr. assembled the scope, he mounted it on the rifle and I picked it up in B. Park. John Sr. didn't get a chance to look through it until 2 years later when we went PD hunting in NE Montana. At that time we went to the range to check zeros and he shot a .25" three shot group at 200 yards. He commented that the scope resolved very well, a result of precision assembly and everything coming together really well. That Lilja barrel, a 26" 1 in 8 twist really likes the 100 SVHP. MV is 3270 and it literally launches PDs.

That is the last scope I will sell.

Other scope is a 3.2-17x44/58 EREK on a Cooper 57.

PS: I bought this scope back in the days when everybody was bad mouthing USO. My philosophy is that if I like something, I let people know. If I don't I let the vendor know and if they don't fix it, I quietly never buy anything from them again.
 
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