Correct scope magnification for 30-06?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Christian3006, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Christian3006

    Christian3006 AH Member

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    Hello everyone

    I have decided to mount my winchester to be, chamberd in 30-06, with a leupold vx3 scope, and here is where my confusion starts. Would a 3-9 x 50mm magnification scope be to powerful (I hunt mostly in fairly open country,small mountains etc.). And if it is to powerful would the 3-9 x 40mm be more suited. One thing that kinda concerns me is that the 50mm scope is mounted high and might affect the way I aim and shoot, thus I would be shooting in a slightly incorrect manner, causing more felt recoil (as it is I am on the edge of comfort as far as recoil goes)

    Thanks in advance for everyone's help and time
     
  2. 6MM

    6MM AH Veteran

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    Good Scope Selection. i"ll try to be brief. The 50MM is the objective size and actually helps to gather more light, and it also gives you a wider field of view. If you go to the Leupold website and check out the specifications you will see that. They will define it as Field of View at 100 yards/meters and give a distance. The 40MM is smaller objective and gathers less light etc.

    So you have to decide what you are really wanting to do with your rifle. If it is sitting in a deer stand (or leopard hide) waiting for that last light shot then you might want to consider the 50MM. If not then I'd go with the 40MM as it weighs less and at the end of the day that is what counts IMO.
     
  3. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Christian3006 6mm gave you the up and up on the difference in scopes. I hunt here in the south east and my deer hunting starts well befor daylight and runs until after dark so for me it would be 50mm or bigger both the wifes 30-06 and my 308 that we are taking to South Africa next month have 4x12x56mm mounted on them I like all the light gathering capablity that I can get yes it weighs more but in low light its worth the extra weight.

    Bob
     
  4. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I think it is only you that can answer if you think a scope has to high power or not.

    It has very much to do with what you are used to, what, how and where you hunt and how you shoot.
    My lowest scope is a Leupold 3-9x40 and I have that on my 375 Ruger.
    My highest is a Zeiss 6-24x56 and I have that on my 6.5-06.
    Many hunters have huge problems with 3x at close shots and prefer 1.5 at the low end.
    I manage fine with 6x even at very close shots.
    I have also been shooting clays with a 3-9x40 scope on my shotgun/rifle and having decent results using 3x power.

    As others say, the size of the objective decides how much light it gathers and how your field of view is.
    A 50mm Leupold objective gathers more light than a 40mm Leupold objective.
    But a 40-42mm objective from one brand can be much better than a 50-56mm from another brand when it comes to low light hunting.

    My Zeiss Victory 5-15x42 is so very much better in low light than my friends Leupold VX3 with a 50mm objective.

    If you want a scope with a 50mm objective. Just make sure to mount it as low as possible.
    I see so many that buy a 40mm objective instead of a 50mm because they are worried the scope will be mounted to high and then use a mount high enough for a 50mm objective.....

    Since you are at your edge of comfort recoil vice, I will very much advice you to put on a Limbsaver recoil pad instead of the one that is on the gun now. It really helps a lot.
    If it is legal for you to use a silencer on your gun where you live, then I will highly recommend that. It reduces the recoil and noise very much.
     
  5. buffybr

    buffybr AH Veteran

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    I like to think of myself as a hunter, not a long range shooter. I bought my first centerfire rifle, a .30-06, back in 1967. I topped it with a cheap 3-9x40 scope and used it to kill an elk, mule deer and pronghorn antelope almost every year until about 1980 when I rechambered it to .30 Gibbs. I also "upgraded" it's scope to a 3-9x40 Weaver. That combination filled my freezer with a couple dozen more elk and put a large bull elk, two bull moose, a mountain goat, and an Alaskan caribou on my wall.

    The same time that I rechambered my .30-06 to .30 Gibbs, I also built a .257 Ackley topped with a 6x Leupold for medium size game. For over 30 years, this has been one of my favorite rifles. I've used this rifle to kill a mule or whitetail and a pronghorn antelope almost every year, and also used it on a 375" bull elk, three bighorn rams, a Dall ram, and a mountain caribou.

    For my first plains game hunt in South Africa, I bought a 7 mm Rem mag and topped it with a 3-9x40 Weaver scope. I also used this rifle and scope on a Canadian arctic hunt for musk ox and barren ground caribou, and on a second South African plains game hunt. At home in Montana I've also used this rifle for elk and pronghorn antelope.

    In 2005 I bought a Cape buffalo hunt in Zimbabwe and for that hunt I built a .375 Ultra mag and topped it with a 2-7x32 Leupold scope. I used that rifle and scope on another South African plains game hunt in 2007, where I made my longest ever rifle shot on a big game animal of 348 yds on a gemsbok.

    I few years ago I built a .300 Weatherby Vanguard with a 4-12x40 Leupold scope. I've used this rifle for exotics in Texas and elk in Montana, and will be taking it to South Africa in July.

    My point of all this is that I've 45 years of pretty successful hunts, and most of them were with fairly basic rifle scopes. I've been happy with the scopes that I mentioned above, and I've never wished that I had a bigger, higher power, or needed more light with the scopes that I've used.
     
  6. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    A 4-12x42 is the most versatile. You will very rarely use the 4, hunt mostly with the 6, 7 or 8, and the 12 is great for practice at the range. My humble opinion, of course.
     
  7. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Agree, 12x and up is very humbling from unsupported field positions. From most realistic hunting situations 10-12x is the maximum I would go.:shooting:
     
  8. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I like the Leupold VII 4x12 40 mm or Leupold V3 in 3.5x10 40mm. For me the 50mm adds more weight and size to the rifle than is necessary, especially if you are carrying it around all day.
     
  9. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Veteran

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    I have used Leupold scopes on all my hunting firearms and have never been let down. I have currently over 20 of them. Not so with other who used other brands. A 3X9X40 is what most of my rifles wear. I have shot out to past 600 yards with them, but do not suggest shooting that far at game on a normal hunt. I also have the 3.5X10X40 on rifles and really like it. The 50mm scopes even when mounted as low as you can place most people head in a un-natural position. IF you really feel a need for better(and brighter) optics then buy a Nightforce NXS. They are like Leupolds on steroids. Mine work better than either of my spotting scopes at the range and are lower power.
    To see if the gun/scope choice fits you. 1) make sure rifle is unloaded even if you need to remove the bolt. 2)Close your eyes while holding the rifle in a carry position. 3) Now mount the rifle as you would shoot it. 4) Open your eye or eyes. You should be looking thru the scope without needing to move your head. If you have to move forward or back for a clear full view then you need to adjust the scope eye relief forward or back. IF you have to lift your head you need to mount the scope lower and/or possibly not use a 50mm lens to get it lower. "I personally" have never seen a real need for the 50mm lens. Before I would get a 50mm lens I would just buy a higher quality scope.
    It is like Binos. You can have 2 pair of 8X42 and one you can hardly make out the deer(or insert whatever animal you choose) and the other you can tell the antlers size plus the fly sitting on them. Be the middle of day or at sunrise/sunset. The are both the same size but the optic quality make the difference.

    Bottom line I suggest a 40mm lens and stay away from the AO lens. The less you have to fiddle and adjust the better you are when hunting.
     
  10. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Determine what ranges you will be using your rifle and then decide.

    I have found that 2 1/2 X 8 or a 2 X 7 or a 3 X 9 will get the job done and very well.
     
  11. fhm3006

    fhm3006 AH Enthusiast

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    Hi Christian3006

    I have a Leupold VX-3 4.5 -14x40mm on my 30.06 the past couple of years and it is a great scope, best i ever had on my 30.06 - period.

    Magnification can be quick-hand adjusted up to 14 x, but i have found through my hunting sprees in bush and savannha / Kalahari that a setting on 10 x works excellent for me in all conditions. Check out this link for specs Leupold || VX-3 4.5-14x40mm

    Leopold scopes is excellent value for money - they also come with a lifetime guarantee which speaks for the quality and reliability. Just one word of caution - get GOOD MOUNTS!!! for your scope - go for the best mounts you can afford.

    Good luck and let us know what you decided on and how it shoots.
     
  12. dvdegeorge

    dvdegeorge AH Senior Member

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    Bingo ....50mm is hype and won't net you much light gathering if any but will ad bulk and a higher scope profile...4x12 is more magnification than need on a 30-06 don't care for the eye releif on them either....If you wanna splurge get a Leupold VX3 3.5x10x40 if not a VX2 3x9x40 will get it done as far as you can shoot and in any legal hunting light
     
  13. BARTFRNCS

    BARTFRNCS AH Enthusiast

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    For the best bang for the buck get a VXII 3X9X40 LEUPOLD. It will spend most of its tim either on 3 or 9 but 6 is pretty common too. Its just a rugged get it done nononsense tool for your 06. good luck and it wont break the bank either.
    Bart
     
  14. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    You might look at the redfield 2x7. I think it is plenty of magification for the 06. I really like mine I have it on a 300 ruger compact mag. It is as clear as my leupold. Lenny
     
  15. rphguy

    rphguy AH Enthusiast

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    why not get the Leup 3X-L?
    with the little moon cut out of the bottom so you can use shorter mounts.
    It's what I've got on my new rig. shoulders and lines up sweetly.
     
  16. dvdegeorge

    dvdegeorge AH Senior Member

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    Ahhh nope not even an option...enjoy yours though
     
  17. B9.3

    B9.3 AH Veteran

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    On my Winchester Model 70 30.06 I have a Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 (#20-Z Plex) in Warne Lever Mounts. (Low .250") It is the perfect choice for this rifle & caliber.
     

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