Which Rifle Scope to Use with Big Bore Calibers?

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by BETO, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. colpittman

    colpittman New Member

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    I have two scopes that I have relied on for ALL of my big game hunting:

    - Schmidt & Bender 2.5x10x56 with a German #4. I have this scope on a Steyr Model M 30.06 most of the time, mounted with a forged schwenkmontage claw-release system. I have used this scope on over 50 hunts, on and off the rifle, and from no-light to bright lights in the artic, this scope has performed. I have never lost my zero when removing and replacing the scope. I used in once on a .378 Wthby and fired over 30 rounds through a Lazermark - same level of performance. If you have the money to spend, don't waste it on lesser scopes.

    - I recently put a Nikon African 1.1x4x24 Illuminated German #4 on my Ruger Mark 2 .375H&H Safari Magnum, and this scope is remarkable. The optics are incredibly clear and just as good at the shorter ranges as the Schmidt and much better than scopes costing 2-3 times as much. Mounted with a Warne system, I have no lost my zero when taking the scope off the rifle, and the red/green illumination dots are adaptablet to a number of environments and light conditions. This is a VERY well made scope at a reasonable price, and perfectly configured for dangerous game.
  2. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    I posted sometime back on this subject of scopes on big bores..I did some extensive testing with a .375, 416 Rem, 458 Win. 458 Lott, 505 Gibbs..I also ended up with a sack full of broken scopes.

    My test revealed the .375 and 416s could handle about any scope without damaging it. The 458 Lott and 505 Gibbs trashed every scope within 250 rounds, and most much sooner. Every scope tested was a high dollar scope, both US and Foriegn. I won't mention any names but the only scope that I could not trash was the Leupold 2.5 Compact and I believe that is because the internal adjustments are actually under the adjustment turret..I got the impression that the heavier a scope was the more vunerable it was to recoil and I also noticed that the big European scopes tended to slip in the rings regardless of how tight you screwed them in, perhaps it is the finish as it seems slick..

    I believe many get away with the scopes they use on the really big bores because one person in a million shoots those monsters anywhere near 250 times.

    Anyway for what its worth, and keeping in mind that it was a range test project and not particularly scientific, but neither is the bush very scientific....

    I read of a simular test on the .458 Lott in an old Rifleman or Handloader magazine and they claimed the same experience, thus the reason for my testing.

    Bottom line with me is the .458 Lott, and larger calibers are 200 yard rifles at best and are seldom used at over 100 yards. Therefore the need for a scope does not apply with me..

    All my big bores over .416 are set up with shallow V irons or a Receiver sight such as the Williams that has adjustments that curious hands cannot play with. As to eyesight, I have found that a visit to your eye doc can fix you up to shoot iron sights in most cases. My old eyes require bifocals, yet I can still shoot irons as well as I did 60 years ago..I am sure this is not always the case an for those that cannot shoot the shallow V, the receiver sight has a lot to offer as its easier with bad eyes. If not then your locked into a scope..

    I also believe many of todays hunters have never used irons and only surmise they cannot shoot them, those folks should spend a little time using irons and they might be surprised just how accurate they are.
  3. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    I use a Lynx 1-3x20 for DG and a Lynx 4-12x40 for plains game on my .375,and I am perfectly happy with them.
  4. Shakey

    Shakey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Judging by the recent activity, this thread needed resurrected anyhow. Yes, I have tried the Aimpoint H30L. I chose the 30mm tube (easier to find rings, can mount it on my .375 H&H with my existing Talley rings). I got it for mounting on my .470 NE, and I had Searcy machine integral Talley bases into the rear “V” rib (option he offers). I find it to be a very impressive aiming system. It has unlimited eye relief (which is very important to me for a .470), and target acquisition is fast with both eyes open. Since I started shooting rifles, I have always used telescopic systems. These have no magnification, but it is impressive how accurate you can be. I’ve shot it on both a .375 H&H and a .470 NE double. They have a 2 MOA dot, big enough to grab your attention, but small enough for precise shooting. The main drawback is remembering to adjust the dot intensity or brightness. In bright light, you have a tendency to increase the dot brightness. Once light fades, however, it can become too bright if you don’t dial it down. The reverse holds true when you start at a low setting in the early morning hours, then fail to increase the brightness as the sun takes over. You’ll shoulder the rifle and be searching for a dot that is suddenly very dim and hard to see. Basically it takes some minor discipline during the transition times. Despite this, I can still recommend it.

    As for all other scopes, Swarovski rules. I have a top of the line Leupold and a couple basic model Zeiss scopes, but I always go back to Swarovski when I head out on serious outings like Alaska, and for what it’s worth, Alaska will test every piece of equipment you have.

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