Really need some scope education (please)...

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Starship, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Starship

    NE Portland
    Active Member

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    I started another thread about putting a scope on a Ruger 10/22. (big thanks to those that responded). BUT...
    As I mentioned in the thread I've never had nor know anything about scopes. Sooooo if someone has the time I could use a little education. BTW, will be used to shooting paper, tin cans, plastic and other assorted things that don't move as I sneak up on them. :)

    A scope that was recommended (more than once) was a Nikon 3-9X40 BDC. I use this as an example as it had the most numbers and letters.

    What does the 3 stand for, The 9X40 and the BDC?
    I was also offered a 6X what does this mean vs the 9X40?
    Why or what makes a scope rim fire specific over any other scope?

    Any help is really appreciated.
    It's hard to make decisions when I don't even know what I don't know.
  2. elsie

    Way over there on the left
    Well-Known Member

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    3-9X40 BDC is broken down as: Variable power 3 to 9 times magnification (X). BDC means the reticle (crosshairs) have marking for different ranges (Bullet Drop Compensator). 40 means that the objective of the scope (the lens toward the muzzle) is 40mm in diameter.

    A single number, such as 6X, means the scope has a fixed magnification of 6.

    As magnification increases, the field of view (the width/height of the area you can see) narrows. One item that is only occasionally mentioned is 'eye relief'. This is the distance your eye needs to be from the scope to view through it properly.

    I used to, before my eyes started getting worse, use a straight 4X20 scope on my 22s. One way to find what might work best for you would be to go to a sporting goods store and look through all the various scopes.

  3. fyrediver

    Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Something to consider with scope purchases is that the higher the magnification also equates to higher amplification of your movement. Even your pulse can become evident when looking through a 9 power scope. People tend to fidget their shots with the higher power scopes.

    I believe the main difference with rimfire scopes is the factory set parallax correction. Rimfire are set closer than regular high power scopes.

    Parallax is the correction of the offset between the barrel and the scope. In order for the scope to aim directly at the impact point it is slightly angled off center of the barrel. If they were parallel the two points wouldn't intersect. The distance at which the two lines (barrel and scope reticle) intersect is the parallax correction.

    They may also be slightly less robust as they don't need to withstand the same level of recoil.

    Bullet Drop Compensators are reticles set with range markers to allow quick shots without having to guess at the holdover (as much). These are caliber specific reticles based on the ballistics of the round. There are still variables that effect the holdover such as bullet weight, velocity, barrel length, etc. The BDCs get you pretty close from my limited experience, but they're not perfect.

    Finally, with optics you definitely get what you pay for!
  4. iamme

    Lane County
    Well-Known Member

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    3-9 is the magnification range, x40 is the exit end size. After that a specific reticle may be mentioned.

    I didn't see your other thread but give a good look at Millett and the Mueller's for good low cost rimfire scopes.

    ETA: "Finally, with optics you definitely MAY get what you pay for! "

    Fixed it for you. Like all things there are some brands that you pay a nice mark-up for the writing on the box.
  5. pakrat57

    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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  6. Otter

    Well-Known Member

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    If I was in your shoes I would buy an inexpensive variable power rimfire scope in 2-7x or 3-9x. This scope will be parallax free at 50 yards and have plenty of magnification for your intented purposes. A BDC type reticle is nice to have. I have one on my 22LR, and the main crosshair is dead on at 50 yards, the first hash mark is dead on at 75 and the second hash is slightly low at 100 yards.

    The Nikon is a fine scope, especially the Monarchs, but probably way more money than you need to spend considering your needs. I would suggest you buy a scope with a decent warranty in case it does fail. I've yet to see a modern scope with truly terrible glass these days. You do get what you pay for in optics, but don't pay any more than what you really need. Sounds like you are new to the get an okay scope and spend your money on ammo. My guess is you will get hooked having fun, and then progress into better equipment.
  7. MarkAd

    Port Orchard
    Well-Known Member

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    Read the websites given to you, and bookmark them for reference.
    Simmons makes a nice 3x9x40 for about 50.00 bucks, nice scope, clear and accurate.
    Called 22 rimfire mag it will work very well. I use mine to shoot a 100 yards on my 10/22.

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