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Pairing Optics with Rifle

Discussion in 'Scopes & Optics' started by FLYPNW, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. FLYPNW

    FLYPNW Fircrest, Washington & Jensen Beach, Florida Member

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    Looking for any advice and input on the considerations I should have when pairing a Tikka T3 Forest in 7mm Rem Mag with a new scope. The only other rifles of mine that are scoped were paired by my father and my grandfather, thus I have not been through this process before. My primary use for this rifle will be elk hunting.

    1. What power(s) should I consider? (For what it's worth this rifle will be a companion to my Winchester Model 70 in 30.06)

    2. What features should I consider?

    3. Lastly, what manufacturers should give extra attention based on quality, support and reputation, and conversely, which ones should I avoid?

    I am not interested in making this a show piece rifle. I just want a great optic well paired with a great rifle that allows me to get the most out of it's effective range and the ballistics of 7mm RM.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    What is your budget for the optic?
     
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  3. FLYPNW

    FLYPNW Fircrest, Washington & Jensen Beach, Florida Member

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    Good question. I don't have a range of numbers necessarily, but I'll say I would consider the $500-$700 range once I've done my homework. If it's worth it to go a little more for a step up into the heirloom quality range, then I would consider that as well.

    Would it suffice to say that I'm not tied to the low end and I'm not in a hurry? I certainly don't want to overspend, but want to make a smart decision. One could go out and buy a $1,500 Zeiss just to be sure he got a good piece, but if I can find a worthy piece for significantly less my wife and my wallet would both be less pissed at me.

    Sorry, I wish I could be more specific.
     
  4. edslhead

    edslhead Vanc Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Silver Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    For elk I would say 3x9 would be plenty. Leopold makes great inexpensive ( $200 ) scopes in that power range. I've seen Zeiss for less than $500. Do a little PC searching and you'll find what you want.
     
  5. USMC-03

    USMC-03 Moscow on the Willamette (i.e. Portland, Oregon) Well-Known Member

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    I'll second the Leupold recommendation but for the majority of hunting situations consider sticking to a fixed power scope; 2.5x or 4x is more than adequate.
     
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  6. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    I'd vote for a Leupold VX-III 3x9x40. It's the classic hunting scope, made here in Oregon and is great quality. I've had one on my 30-06 for years and hunted all over the state. I've never been left wanting with it.
     
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  7. Beta1759

    Beta1759 Beaverton Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    My vote is for a Leupold as well for all the reasons mentioned above.

    Additionally, you can get the CDS dials cut for the scope once you get your load figured out. This will let you simply dial the distance and take the shot with confidence.
     
  8. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I like the big tube 50mm scopes for more light.Not sure as I haven't done side by side but I like 'em
    What I wouldn't do is even think of a $200 scope on a 7mm as it may or may not last very long.
    I would definitely go Leopold.Not sure I care as much for the Vortex warranty as I do for the luppy quality.
    I think the VXIII I 30mmtube,50mm objective I have on my 308 is 4-14? 4X is plenty for close range and the 14 gives me a few extra yards with my old eyes.
    About $800+- though. Buy once cry once.And if you are on the wet side,you want a nice dry scope
    Nikon is my second choice for brand
     
  9. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    As for features,I think a lot of folks want to be too tacticool and get all kinds of silly reticals,keep that simple to look thru.
    A side focus is nice,just make sure the turrets aren't the big tacticool ones.I didn't believe a guy when he said they can get in the way hunting.He was right.Great for some bench shooting but for hunting not so much
    And remember,too many features for the price break and you lose something important
     
  10. edslhead

    edslhead Vanc Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Silver Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've got the VX2 4x12 AO on my 7mm BLR and its been great . Low, capped turrets and nice fine cross hairs that don't get in the way. The eye piece on it is much smaller than on a Vortex or Nikon. Makes it a good choice for the lever guns so ya don't get your thumb jammed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
  11. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    Tikka says the stock on the forest is designed for a higher head position to utilize a scope with a larger objective:
    http://www.tikka.fi/rifles/tikka-t3/t3-forest
    So I would definitely be looking hard at 50mm objective scopes.
    Normally I prefer a <44mm scope, cuz I like to snuggle down on my hunting rifles, but in this case I think I'd look harder at the larger scopes.
    I wouldn't go less than 4-14 for power either. Lord knows the big Rem7 can reach out there a ways, so more than 9x would be useful. Remember that when you get up over 10x, you need to have parallax adjustment and know how to use it.
    So plan on spending more than you might have first estimated.
    Unlike a few others, I like the BDC reticles, as long as they aren't so busy they clutter the view.

    The least I would go with is a Burris USA made Fullfield, and go up from there.

    Good luck, and be sure to check the MFR's recommendation for ring height.
     
  12. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Many before me have recommended Leupold scopes, and I agree with them.
    Previously mentioned was a CDS dial for Leupolds, too. However that is only available for select scopes. VX-6 and VX-R scopes are two that I know this is available on.
    The area that you plan on hunting with your 7mm, and your own skill, will dictate the scope power you choose.
    It's nice to have the extra power some of the scopes provide, but if you spend any time in the timber, you should think twice about buying a scope that has more than 3x at the bottom end. I've shot my 30-06 at smaller targets than an elk at 400 yards and didn't think 9x was too little. However, if you won't be hunting where the shots are close, the 12x of the 4-12 Leupold wouldn't hurt.
    As far as objective lens diameter goes, don't over do it. A high quality 40mm lens will bring in more light than your eye can use in low light. This is not something you will be able to test at a gun counter, but if you spend any time in the timber in the 1/2 hour before sunrise, or after sunset, you will will appreciate good glass. Not only that, you may want a lighted reticle. When it's too darn dark to see cross hairs, this is a godsend.
    30mm tubes (or larger) and 50mm lenses add weight. How much this matters is subjective.
    All this drivel aside, my pick is a 3-9x40 Leupold VXR. The VXR has good glass and a lighted reticle in a 30mm tube. I don't use a CDS dial, but know my yardages so I can dial them up if needed.
    My 2 complaints? #1, it's a little on the heavy side. #2 the elevation turret isn't covered and can sometimes be knocked off of zero when dragging thru the brush.
    If something happened to the rifle I use and I had to outfit another, I'd pick the same scope again.
     
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  13. fry

    fry pacific north west Active Member

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    4x14 signature series burris is what I put on my Winchester CRF 7rem mag.
     
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  14. ChiefStealth

    ChiefStealth Graham, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    Distance? One year, I got a Elk at 17 paces, in thick timber, with a .300 WM! Had the scope set on 2X. Was still too much. Another year, I had a shot that I figure was a little over 400 yards. 7X was not enough. But, most years, the distances are more "normal".
     
  15. Bookmark Man

    Bookmark Man Grants Pass, Oregon Member

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    The 7 Mag has long legs. I would get a 4-16X or even more magnification. This gives you lots of field of view at 4X and if the animals is further away you can turn up the magnification to verify you want to kill it.
     
  16. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking of going out to 24X max for my new 7mm,since I won't be using it too much for close range shooting
     
  17. Bookmark Man

    Bookmark Man Grants Pass, Oregon Member

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    I'm with you on that. My new rifle is a big 6.5mm and has a Leupold VX-6 4-24X52. It is definitely better than the six Swarovskis I compared it with for regular daylight hunting and matches them in low light performance. This is based on side by side comparisons outside the store after sunset as darkness set in.
     
  18. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    guy in town here has a couple of NF for sale.I'll ave to take a look at those before I make a decision.
    The 5- 22 magnification should be good.
    We were talking today about how 1 manufacturer's version of a 6-24 can be a lot difference than the nextones version,just in the magnification department.
    Apparently there isn't any real standard to judge them by.
     
  19. Bookmark Man

    Bookmark Man Grants Pass, Oregon Member

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    I can tell you positively the glass in the Nightforce is better, based on side by side comparisons. The Nightforce 5-22X set on 22X allowed me to see the same detail as the Swarovski z5 5-25X on 25X. It also lasted longer in the low light comparison.
     
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  20. edslhead

    edslhead Vanc Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Silver Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Just the weight of a NF would rule it out for me. 2 lbs is a lot.
     
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