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Fixed power conundrum

Discussion in 'Scopes & Optics' started by vriesmana, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. vriesmana

    vriesmana Seattle New Member

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    I'm a shooter and deer/elk hunter. Right now I'm having an internal debate as to what's better for me: a lighter fixed scope or a somewhat heavier variable scope.

    Here's the funny part, I already have an incredible scope. A German-made Leica ER 2.5x10 power. The performance of this scope is simply awesome. Yet I'm thinking of actually simplifying to a Leupold fixed 4x on my primary deer rifle, a 6.5x55 caliber Sako model 85. In my decade of hunting I'm beginning to wonder why I use a 30mm scope with a 42mm objective lens (weight 21oz with rings) when a 1 inch scope will be fine (weight 13oz with rings). Also, the Leupold is better balanced, sits lower to the barrel and has no power settings to play with.

    I hunt eastern Oregon, walking all day at 4000 feet altitude through rough terrain. Dense pine forest mixed with open canyons and all that. Last year I noticed myself carrying the rifle by the scope a lot, using it as a carry handle. Scoped, my rifle weighs 8.6 pounds.

    Anyone else had this dilemma? Variable scopes let you bring things closer. But aren't binoculars for that? I am thinking I might well be served well by a lighter, simpler scope.
     
  2. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    I have 3-9x scopes on my big game rifles and have them set at 4-5x when I hunt. I don't think I've ever cranked it up or down when I actually shot an animal, so a fix power would probably be fine for me too. Maybe if I had time and was shooting Best of the West distances I would power it up, but I rely on my stalking skills rather than my long distance shooting skills when hunting big game.

    Quit carrying your rifle by the scope though. They were never designed to be a handle. Maybe if it was a Nightforce...no, not even then.
     
  3. Darkker

    Darkker Mesa, Wa Active Member

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    Well, that is an interesting take on things, OP. If you are in the open country, you likely aren't shooting close-by. So do you want to see them in your bino's, and guess with a low power scope, or dial in and put the bullet exactly where you want?

    There really isn't a wrong answer, just what you want.
     
  4. Boboclown

    Boboclown North Carolina Well-Known Member

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    A variable is nicer if you're in the brush. A fixed power is doable, but can make things difficult sometimes. YMMV. Washington probably has more open land for hunting than where I go in NC.
     
  5. gundog10

    gundog10 Member

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    There is no wrong answer and I have killed deer using both. But my favorite scope was a 2x7x30 on a ruger 77 in 25-06. You should go out and try one. They are not big and flashy and no real WOW factor but they just work and are light weight to boot.
     
  6. eightyeight mag

    eightyeight mag sw wa Active Member

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    Love my 4-14x56 Nightforce SHV for elk.

    56mm lets plenty of light in for timber hunting and 4x is plenty low.
    If I'm in a clearcut and need to make 500 + yard shot it is no problem at all with 14x.

    Maybe its just me, but when I'm elk or deer hunting, I'm constantly changing scope power to fit my surroundings.

    Took a bull last season with it and was only a 75 yard shot in fairly thick alders. 4x was perfect.

    Used a 3-10 leupy for years and after switching to the SHV no way I would go back.
    Just my .02
     
  7. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I have a fixed 4x leupold in a scout set up for dens forest hunting.

    I've not seen any possible shots that it wouldn't handle where I hunt. Hunting over 200 yards and maybe I would opt for a variable.

    That's from someone who still is a hiker with a gun and not a hunter...:oops:
     
  8. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    My friend has 2-7X32s on 3 rifles,