300 Win Mag scope help

Discussion in 'Hunting Equipment, Gear & Optics' started by Brandon.Gleason, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. Brandon.Gleason

    Brandon.Gleason AH Veteran

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    Afternoon, all.

    Planning to send a CZ 550 300 Win Mag to Wayne at AHR after our rifle season is over here for his package 2 tune up. Looking to put some better glass on it when it gets back. Thoughts on Swarovski Z5 vs Z6? I know the obvious of zoom range and 1" vs 30mm tube, but any noticeable difference in clarity? This is going to be an all around rifle (whitetail, elk, plains game, etc). I'm not much into long range shooting. I'm waxing and waning between the Z5 2.4-12x50 and the Z6 2-12x50. I've a Z6i 1-6 on a 375 which I love, I'm just not sure the illumination will be worth the price increase for me given the intended uses of this rifle.

    Thanks.
     

  2. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff SILVER SUPPORTER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I have 2 of the Z5 2.4-12x50 BT models. One is on a Sako 338 win mag and one on a custom 20inch 308. Both will be heading to South Africa in 2020. You cant go wrong with either of your choices. The differences in them to me was so minor I went with Z5 to save some money.
     

  3. Travis2282

    Travis2282 AH Enthusiast

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    Only thing that I don’t “love” about my z5 is I have I believe it’s called the 4 H reticle. It is very thin to me. Only would be a problem in heavy timber near dark.
     

  4. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Why do optics numbers matter...

    Hello Brandon;

    Three thoughts come to mind when reading your post:
    • Wayne's AHR package #2 includes shortening the barrel to 22" if memory serves. While some people find this practical on the larger calibers rifles (.375, .416, .458) supposedly to gain handiness in dense bush, I would really think twice and very hard before chopping a .300 Win mag to 22". The .300 Win is a great cartridge, but it already does not shoot as flat as the faster .300's (Wby, RUM, Blaser, etc.) with a 24" barrel. Chopping it to 22" will likely make your .300 a glorified and noisy .30-06. To each his own, but I personally would not do that...
    • Regarding scopes:
      • As you may know a 30 mm tube will not really give you a better light transmission in a significant way over a 1" (25.4 mm). A rifle scope is too short for that difference to have a meaningful impact. What a 30 mm tube gives you is an increased range of internal adjustments. With modern long range shooting people think: "ability to click more corrections!", which is true enough, but originally this really allowed for scopes that were not mounted perfectly parallel to the axis of the bore, to be zeroed, without having to shim the rings, upward or sideways. Very useful!
      • What is really important is the diameter of the front objective. A 50 mm objective will capture all the light your need for up to 7x magnification. Few people know why traditional European scopes were 4 x 28, 6 x 42, 8 x 56, etc. It is because the typical human eye pupil at full dilation is generally around 7 mm in diameter. Therefore, the formula to calculate the front objective diameter that allows a light beam 7 mm wide to reach the shooter's 7 mm pupil at dusk, is to multiply the magnification x the pupil diameter. Hence 4x magnification x 7 mm pupil size = 28 mm front objective; 6x magnification x 7 mm pupil size = 42 mm front objective; 8x magnification x 7 mm pupil size = 56 mm front objective, etc. In so many words, a scope with a 50 mm objective starts transmitting less light than a typical human eye can use, when you crank it up past 7x (7 x 7 = 49). You can check this easily for yourself at dusk. Crank any scope at full magnification in the last minutes of light and while looking through it, crank the magnification down slowly. The image will become visibly brighter as the magnification decreases.
    What this means is that if clarity/brightness is important to you, you need to keep these numbers in mind. They are essentially irrelevant during daylight (most quality glass since the 1950's transmit more daylight than the typical human pupil can absorb without shrinking) but they are critical at dusk and dawn.

    In addition, I have personally never understood why anyone could possibly need more than 6x magnification for hunting big game, all the way to 400 yards, but modern marketing has me soundly defeated. I chuckle seeing even Zeiss succumb to fashion and put out 6-24 hunting scopes on the market. To hunt what? Squirrels at 600 yards? The old 1.5-6 x 42 was likely the very best compromise, but the modern 2-10 (or 2-12) x 50 can be cranked down in low light, so why not...​
    • Regarding mounting scopes on the CZ 550, you likely already noticed, or maybe you were lucky the first time and did not have the problem, but CZ produced two 550 action lengths that the .300 Win mag can be built on. So-called "American" or "Express" rifles have a "standard length" (shorter) action, and so-called "Safari" rifles have a "magnum length" (longer) action. Most .300 Win are "American" but some are "Safari." In both cases the scope bases being integral to the action front and rear bridges, this means that the position of the rings is also fixed, and you need to pay close attention to the measurements of the scope tube to make sure that it is long enough between the front objective and rear ocular bells to fit over the action. For example, the section of 30 mm tube on my grand classic 1.5-6 x 42 Schmidt & Bender was too short for the scope to mount on the CZ 550 Safari magnum length action. Depending on your action and your scope this may or may not be a problem, but it is worth checking. The 1-6x on your .375 H&H does not have the issue, because it does not have a front bell... Same for the 1.25-4 x 20 Schmidt & Bender on my .416 Rigby...
    I personally do not spend $$$ on scopes featuring a variable mechanism of more than 4x. To me a 1.5-6 is perfect; so is a 2.5-10; or a 3-12 although I do prefer going down to 2 or less on the low end. Variable mechanism of 5x (Swarovski Z5) or 6x (Swarovski Z6, Zeiss V6, etc.) are TO ME (and in about anyone's experience from the 1920's to the 2000's until the explosion of frenetic marketing of telescope-sized rifle scopes) wasted $$$:
    • The brightness drops like a rock in low light as soon as the magic 7 mm beam is reduced (12x magnification with a 50 mm objective means a 50/12= 4 mm light beam: barely half the light your eye could use actually reaches it)...
    • Folks end up frenetic in confusion trying to find their target in their 12x, 16x etc. scopes reduced field of view, while a 6x is all they need to shoot and offers twice or three times the field of view...
    A parting thought would be to suggest also looking at Leica Magnus, Zeiss Victory - and even Conquest, Schmidt & Bender ... and all the rest: Meopta, Vortex, Leupold, etc.

    Just my $0.02 and I hope that the post was of interest :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
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  5. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    One Day, thanks for the education. I'm going to have to "book-mark" this post.
     

  6. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    If you want large objective, consider the Trijicon 2.5-10x56 Accupoint. I use them on my groundhog guns shooting out to 500 yards.
     

  7. Fastrig

    Fastrig AH Enthusiast

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    The Swarvo is an excellent scope. I'd highly suggest reviewing the Leopold VX-6HD as well. I looked at both and went with Leopold as, IMO, the glass was just as good, they were less expensive, eye relief/FOV was better for me, and they have a lifetime warranty. Went with the 2-16x42 version with the stand firedot reticle.....have two of them, one on a 300 win mag and one on a 9.3x62, very pleased with this setup.
     

  8. BigSteve57

    BigSteve57 AH Enthusiast

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    On my 300 WM I went with a Zeiss Victory FL Diavari 4-16x50 T Rapid Z 800.
    The optics are superb and very bright even at 16x high power. 4x is where I carry the scope and hunt with it unless I'm ready to shoot a very long ways and in a superb shooting position such as prone. All I ever use 16x for is antler tine verification and quick ranging estimation. I wanted a scope that had ranging lines in it which were not specific to a particular load so I opted for the Rapid Z, but not because I intended to use it the way Zeiss envisioned.

    What follows is how I use the Rapid Z 800 reticle and would apply to any rifle scope.

    I have talked to others who don’t really are for the Rapid Z system where you’re expected to use the Zeiss App to set your scope power so that you can choose one of the numbered lines on the reticle for hold over. I don’t like it either as there is simply no time to fool with it while hunting. But as I alluded, I use the system differently and it works quite well for me.

    What I did was take the scope to our shooting range to measure the actual subtensions of the items in the reticle. Everything lined up exactly! Imagine that. Once I did that to my satisfaction I made up the following which I carry on a laminated card. The MOA values are good for 16x however it's simple math for other powers - e.g. double it for 8x etc... Again for 4x. That's it. Couple this with a good rangefinder and it's as fast as any stadiametric system.

    This information isn’t available "officially" from Zeiss as far as I know, even though I asked them for it more than once. The blue entries are mine and those that are next to the reticle represent MOA.

    Anyway, this is what I came up with and perhaps those using the Rapid Z system might find this helpful if not just a tad bit interesting:

    Zeiss Rapid Z Subtensions.jpg
     

  9. Buckdog

    Buckdog AH Enthusiast

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    i say go with the swaro 2.5-15x56 Z6i with the side mount paralax adj. You can't beat a swaro for suberb optics and outstanding customer service! IF this scope will fit on your gun?
    The 56mm objective will gather tons of light at dawn and dusk. Plenty of magnification for that 300 winny to reach out on a elk if you need to, etc Darn near ideal and you already love your z6i so its a no brainer.
    BTW I also agree with the sound advice already given DO NOT CUT THAT BARREL SHORT ON A 300 MAG! You will ruin it to a glorified 30-06 with a huge muzzle blast. Just cant burn the powder in a 22" barrel. 24" minimum and a 26" best for a 300 mag.
    PS I also love any Schmidt & Bender but thats more money yet.
    Leupolds arent even close to that swaro!
     
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  10. Tucketed

    Tucketed SILVER SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    You can find some very nice Swarovski Habicht PV scopes on eBay. You do need to be patient. I have two 2-12 x 50 which were the predecessor to the Z6. Last one from Gunbroker at $700 a few months ago. They are great scopes great glass and personally i like better than the Z6. They can be found at $700-$800. They are hard to beat for an all around scope.
    Ed
     

  11. buckmarkhunter

    buckmarkhunter AH Enthusiast

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    I am a fan of the nightforce scopes. I have a 7mag and 300 mag with the more economical shv line. One illuminated and one not moar reticle. I have a couple long range customs with the higher priced nsx. The nsx is better glass but not for the price difference on a hunting scope. I went to Africa in May. I brought both my scopes mounted in nightforce rings in my carry on. When I got to the lodge I used a torque wrench popped them on and they were good to go.
     

  12. Brandon.Gleason

    Brandon.Gleason AH Veteran

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    Thanks, all.

    @One Day... , fantastic post. I really enjoyed reading it. This rifle is built on the magnum action, so I'll be sure to double check tube length vs ring spacing. Thank you for bringing that up.

    I very much agree with leaving the barrel long. Wayne asked me my desired barrel length when he did my 375, I'm planning to ask him not to shorten the 300 when doing this upgrade.
     

  13. Firebird

    Firebird AH Enthusiast

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    I have a swarovski z5 3.5x18x44p on my Rem 700 .300wm. I love it so much I bought a second one and put on my 7mm stw. It goes to a low enough for close range shooting and high enough for long range and the the forward bell is small enough that you can still mount it low and get a good cheek weld on the stock. Good glass is good glass and very few of us have eyes discriminating to know the difference until you are in poor light-and Swarovski among others is very good in poor light until you zoom it all the way up . . . The swarovski is comparatively lighwithght, sleek and looks good on a rifle.
    The deal breaker difference is that is something happens to your leupold scope you send it to Oregon. If something happens to your Swarovski it also goes back to the factory. I've not done this but a friend who broke his swaro binoculars felt like the turnaround was disturbingly long.

    IMG_3952 (1).JPG IMG_4039 (1).JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2019

  14. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    This could not be more timely Brandon.Gleason, as I just went myself through the exercise. I just had a custom rifle put together on the CZ 550 magnum action. Think of mine as exactly what yours will be after Wayne's #2 package, except mine has a 26" pipe and is chambered for the .300 Weatherby. I reckon it to be the ultimate PG rifle :)

    You will be amazed how many modern scope will NOT fit on the CZ 550 magnum. There is clearly a fashion trend toward compact scopes, and many of them are too short for a magnum action. I will spare you many hours of anxious research by sharing with you the magic number. To fit on a CZ 550 magnum action, a scope must offer a strict minimum length of 135 mm or 5.31" of tube between the front objective bell and the rear ocular bell. And with 0.5" inch high rings (Talley, Warnes, etc.) the objective bell cannot be more than 57 mm or 2.25" in diameter.

    This eliminates a lot of current scopes from Zeiss, Swarovski, Leica, Schmidt & Bender. "Trust me!" if I may say, you really want to check the tube length before buying. You will be shocked how many of them are too short! A non-exhaustive list of quality scopes that will fit the CZ 550 magnum action include: Leupold VX 3i 3.5-10x40; Zeiss Conquest V4 3-12x44 and Zeiss Conquest V4 4-16x44 (both by the skin of the teeth); Leica ER i 2.5-10x42; Schmidt & Bender Klassic 3-12x42...

    A way to eliminate the problem is to use a straight tube scope. Based on my recent research, they are all long enough to work. The problem of course is that a 20 mm, 24 mm, 26 mm objective will gather incomparably less light than a 42 mm objective. You likely will not see much difference during daylight, but the difference will be day & night (pun fully intended) at dusk or dawn...

    I personally have a Leica ER i 2.5-10x42 on my .300 Wby; another Leica ER i 2.5-10x42 on my .375 H&H and a Schmidt & Bender 1.25-4 x 20 on my .416 Rigby; all three absolutely identical triplets built on CZ 550 actions and fully customized (AHR bolt-mounted 3 position firing pin-blocking safeties; straightened and filled bolt handles; Timney direct triggers; integral barrel boss rear sights; barrel band front swivels; barrel band front sights; tuned up feeding rails & ramps; smoothed up actions; kevlar stocks with full length aluminum bedding blocks; etc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
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  15. Brandon.Gleason

    Brandon.Gleason AH Veteran

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    Thank you, One Day... .
    I'm waiting for a response from Swarovski regarding tube length on the Z5 and Z6 models listed above. I recall midway having listed these in the past, but only see them on certain scopes now. I see the Z5 3.5-18x44 listed at 6.55" objective bell to eyepiece bell. Haven't pulled a Z3 out of the other safe yet to measure that scope body. It seems like those parameters (5.31" tube length and 57mm objective) leave quite a bit of leeway.
     

  16. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Legend

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    What are you intending to hunt? Deer I assume??
    Personally I would go for the z5 - lower magnification but better for tracking movement of the quarry.
    I think the Swarovski 3-9 x 36 ( I think I have that right).
     

  17. Brandon.Gleason

    Brandon.Gleason AH Veteran

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    Intending it to be an all around rifle up to about elk size animals. Planning for it to be the primary rifle to a 375 for plains game, as well. I've a 3-9x36 Z3 on a CZ 308 now, that's the one I haven't dug out of the other safe to measure the scope tube length, yet.
     

  18. Fastrig

    Fastrig AH Enthusiast

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    If you are going with a Swarovski, and based on your intended uses for the rifle, then you might want to look at their Z8i 1.7-13x42. That scope would give you best of everything, i.e. excellent close and long distance optics. I’ve been debating between this and the 2-16 variant for an upcoming Blaser R8 300 win mag barrel purchase, though going with the 1-8 variant for the 375 H&H barrel because that is going to be used just for DG in Africa, Alaska, etc. and want a 1x for that application.
     
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  19. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    To the best of my knowledge Brandon all the Z5, Z6 and Z8 will be long enough. Some of the Z3 have little to zero margin. The critical distance is "F" and as noted above you need a minimum of 135 mm. FYI the Talley ring are a little narrower (.6") than the Warne (.705") and they are necessary if you go the Z3 route. Keep in mind also when getting the rings that both Z3 and Z5 have 1" tube while Z6 and Z8 have 30 mm tube.

    One more thought. For the longer scopes, you must also keep in mind that there is a rear sight on your barrel. This limits the maximum overall length of the scope you can use. Both Talley, Warne and Alaska Arms rings will not be high enough to get the scope over the rear sights, which is just as well because you do not want the scope to be much higher than 1.5" 1.75" above the axis of the bore. Per my measurement, scopes with a maximum length of 14" will work. Longer than that and you will need to start balancing your numbers (for example "A" vs. "F" vs. "E" in the below tables).

    I believe that the Z5 3.5-18x44 should work with overall length 14.29" which is a tad long, but there should be enough play in the tube length 6.34" to slide it back just enough to clear the rear sight, and the objective diameter 1.97" will clear the barrel with a .5" high ring. The Z5 2.4x12 x 50 should also fit perfectly. I would personally prefer the 2.4x12 x 50 because I do not need 18x on big game (12x is plenty enough) and the 50 mm objective will gather a bit more light at dusk & dawn than a 42 mm, but to each their own :)

    If money is no consideration, the Z8i 1.7-13x42 is indeed a very good option.

    I would pitch again to not forget to take a very serious look at the Leica 2.5-10x42 Visus i (the newer name for the Leica ER i 2.5-10x42).

    upload_2019-12-1_11-43-54.png

    upload_2019-12-1_11-38-6.png

    upload_2019-12-1_11-41-42.png
     

  20. Brandon.Gleason

    Brandon.Gleason AH Veteran

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    Those charts are perfect. Thank you. Where did you source them from? I had a very hard time finding that info in google searches or on the Swaro site.
     

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