To Scope or Not to Scope

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by adam12, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. adam12

    adam12 AH Member

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    OK, a .375 H & H and/or a .416 Rigby. The game to be hunted: Lion and/or Leopard.

    Would you recommend scoping and if so, what magnification?

    I just don't know what the "typical" ranges the cats are usually taken at.
     
  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    1x5, 1x6, 2.5x8 power would be good choices.
     
  3. Paw Print

    Paw Print SPONSOR AH Fanatic

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    I would go 375. I ussually try and do leopard at 80 to 100 yards and lion is mostly under 50. A variable scope 1.5 to 7 with good light intake should be perfect.
     
  4. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    For Leopard, scoped and a quality one at that, you need to gather all the light that you possibly can, shots to be taken at no more than 4 power on Leopard, otherwise your field of view becomes tuff...

    On lion depending on where you'll be hunting, if it is in an area such as Moz where shots at night are legal same applies as on Leopard (above)

    If it is in SA the recommendations as above are perfect as well...

    There are so many combinations one could possibly use.

    Remember to bring a back up scope...

    My best always
     
  5. Grady

    Grady AH Veteran

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    Why not have the best of both....Put a good quality scope on the gun with quick release mounts backed up by iron sights???
     
  6. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    AGREED!!! ;)
     
  7. Paw Print

    Paw Print SPONSOR AH Fanatic

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    Good idea, agree.
     
  8. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

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    Hello Adam12,

    So as not to lead anyone to believe that I have ever hunted either of those sometimes naughty kitties, I have not.

    However, I've seen both, in The Kruger Park, and while hunting other species, outside the park boundary.

    There are so many leopard in the Lowveld of Limpopo District, S.A. that, daylight sightings are not all that rare.

    The point? (here's an idea Velo, when telling a story........have a point).

    Even though I've taken my share of non-dangerous game with various calibers and styles of "iron" sights in The USA, as well as in Africa, plus one dangerous animal via an iron sighted double rifle......nonetheless, big cats inspire me with awe, more than the rest of the dangerous ones in Africa (grizzlies in thick vegetation or in darkness do too).

    Therefore personally, I would not risk wounding one by relying on iron sights, especially in the twilight that they, (almost always leopard), are often, if not usually shot.

    Speaking with my favorite PH, as well as any other PH that will hold still long enough to put up with my child-like questions about such things, they all seem to favor Austro-German scopes #1 and Leupold #2.

    Both species are typically taken at close range (besides, an animal is not really "dangerous" game, unless you are close enough for him to bash you around after only a short charge.)

    Some PH's will not agree to guiding a client for leopard with iron sights only.

    Again, I have not hunted either if I ever do ($$), I would use either caliber you mentioned (I am a rifle enthusiast and then a hunter) but with a Zeiss fixed 4x (non-variable power).

    I don't believe those are in production at the moment but, the an internet search often turns them up.

    Not cheap but, better than having your optics fail half way around the world.

    If you simply must have a variable power scope, I recommend the Zeiss Conquest 3 to 9x (also recently out of production but still available on the internet).

    I convinced one of my friends to put a Leupold (wanted to save money) fixed 4x scope on his new .35 Whelen (his go-to rifle for Africa and some Alaskan species as well), and he has had nothing but excellent results with same.

    Jaco Strauss is a PH and recommends a 4x (great minds think alike).

    And, I agree with both Jaco and Grady that, both scope and iron sights on the same rifle are a better than good idea.

    Jaco recommends also bringing a spare scope, I have done just that (fortunately did not need it) and it is little extra to bring in your rifle case.

    My parting shot (sorry) is that for hunting other than rodents under about 300 yds/meters, I have had the most excellent results with Hornady round nose bullets.

    For what you plan, also the Woodleigh RN bullets seem like they would be about perfect.

    Mine was a lot of talk from someone who has never hunted either species you are after.

    Your best bet is to follow your PH's recommendations in pretty much all things but the above is my dos centavos worth anyway.

    Good luck to you,
    Velo Dog.
     
  9. rnovi

    rnovi AH Veteran

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    Leopard in low light? I'd go with an e-Dot scope on quick release mounts and call it a good day.
     
  10. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    :) cats are soft skinned higly strung animals, the hornady will work very well as they will creative good wound channel and good hydrostatic shock, these two are instant killers on cats....

    The woodleighs would work pretty well to, any soft should do the trick quite well, i would avoid mono metal rounds such as Barnes trip shock, and tsx, in my experience, especially on leopard the projectile does not encounter enough resistance to create the much needed wound channel and because of the absence of the latter lower shock...

    My best always
     
  11. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    If you want a proper low light scope, then Swarovski or Zeiss.
    Personally I prefer Zeiss, but you can't go wrong with any of them.

    I know some people try to sell the idea that Leupold is about the same, but they are totally wrong.
    Maybe if you compare the top line of Leupold with the earlier Conquest models, they might be right, but that is not even close to the top Zeiss models.
    Of course if they use lamps for you to shoot the Leopard on the bait, it doesn't matter much.

    You have 4 different Zeiss models that have great low light abilities. The Victory Diarange, Victory FL, Victory HT and Victory V8.
    Personally I would recommend the Carl Zeiss Victory V8 1,8-14x50 ill. T*.
    VICTORY V8 riflescopes from ZEISS ? greatest zoom for all situations | ZEISS International

    It is great for both short and long shots and it works very well in low light conditions.
    It is far from being low priced, but the same can be said for a Big Cat hunt and it is well worth its price.

    A bit off topic, but regarding the Conquest lines.
    Zeiss has come with 2 new Conquest lines now. The Conquest DL and the Conquest HD5.
    The Conquest HD5 is a development of the old Conquest line and the Conquest DL is a development of the earlier Duralyt line.
     
  12. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    For the $$$, Nikon and Leupold makes a decent scope, it just doesn't have the resolution or night vision as the top of the line stuff.
     
  13. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I totally agree enysse.
    When I am buying a scope for a gun that will be used in good light conditions only, I buy one from Leupold.
     
  14. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

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    Howdy again,

    I've not looked through a Nikon scope in about 10 or 15 years.

    Back then, they were not worth the price of a hammer to smash them with.

    They (Nikon scopes and binoculars both) were slightly blurry around the edges and generally less "crisp" of an image than I like to see, when peering at some critter that I've spent a lot of money and both sore feet to get a shot at.

    However, if enysse is currently recommending them, they are very likely improved since then, (within their price range), I would definitely trust his opinion on today's Nikons.

    I do however have experience with Leupold, quite a bit of it.

    They make various grades of them and the higher grade Leupolds are quite good, the lower grade ones are just OK, for the money.

    Be that as it may, I totally agree with Norwegianwoods in that: Zeiss, Swarofski and actually most if not all recent production Austrian / German scopes definitely give you a better defined "crisp" image of your target (IE: Bambi, Thumper, Big Bird, etc.), compared to any other scope brands that anyone cares to name, including Leupold.

    They are not cheap but, as I pointed out in another post, they are cheaper than having your scope fail you, when you're half way around the world, plus a two hour hike from the truck.

    Still a bit spendy but worth every penny, in my grumpy old man opinion.

    Stay safe, stay in shape and stay in practice.

    Cheers,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
  15. Spooksar

    Spooksar AH Veteran

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    I going after leopard next year, my PH recommends the scope that gathers the best light. Brand Leoupold, Ziess, or Swarovski. I put a Swarovski 2-10 with a 55 mm objective lens on my 370/9.3x66 Sako. Doctori recommends a Nosler Accu-Bond 250 gr at 3500+Fps. That is what I'll use.
     
  16. bassasdaindia

    bassasdaindia AH Enthusiast

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    Leupold 1.5-5x20 VX3

    say what's up with the profile pictures ?
     

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