CZ550 .375 Scope Questions

npm352

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Hi all,

I recently got a CZ550 in .375 H&H. It has the American stock but I think is called the Safari Classic. Love it. Looks good, feels good and shoots well with open sights.

I am headed to Zim in July for tuskless ele, buff cow, and hyena (and maybe some plains game depending on time.) I want to get a scope with QD rings (warne probably) with a Leopold scope. My hope is to have the scope off for the ele and on for other stuff. I am debating on which route to go. They have a VX2 in 1-4 power as well as a VX1 in either 2-7 or 3-9. These are in my price range. The gun is for this Safari, but maybe more buffs down the road and maybe a Leopard if I find gold buried in my backyard. Also, I'd probably just do one gun safaris with it in the future if anything dangerous is on the menu.

Questions: 1. Any thoughts on the scope options by guys that have been there and done that? 2. Would medium rings be the way to go. 3. Has anyone had issues with the front site guard blocking scope view?

I appreciate any advice. Thanks guys!
 

gizmo

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I have med rings on my 416 and put a raised cheek piece on it. I'd go with the 1-4. Mine is a Nikon monarch 1-4. On 1 power fov is like open sites and you can see the front sight post. 4 is there if you have to reach out for pg stuff. Just my opinion.
 

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+1 on keeping the scope on. Get a 1-4x or whatever at the high end. Putting that shot right into the brain on the ele, I think you'll want the scope.

I know a gent who has done more big bore shooting in just the last few years than most will do in their lifetimes. He got tired of sending his Leupolds in for repair and switch over to Nikons a year or so ago. I think he has yet to break one.
 

Royal27

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first, enjoy every second of the trip!!!

1. I ended up with a Zeiss 2x10 HD5 after originally getting a Leupold 1.25x4 vxr. Nothing against the leopold, I just decided I wanted a more all around scope. It worked great and I'm glad I war with it, even though I don't think I ever went above 4x.

2. I go as low as the scope I have will allow. It allows for better cheek weld and even then I almost always use a cheek pad now.

3. I can see the front sight but it doesn't bother me.

Ive never used a Nikon scope, but really respect Phil and Gizmo's opinion. Also, no need to remove the scope for elephant, unless you just want to for personal reasons.
 

JTEX

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Was it me and I was gonna do the one gun thing with a 375 I would have two scopes in rings........ Something with a minimum 1x for Elephant, if I was gonna use a scope, which I would and another scope like a 3x9 or 4x12 for the other stuff. 375 has a pretty good trajectory for farther shots and I like magnification myself.

I want a minimum of 1x or maybe 1.5x for elephant or other really close stuff so I can shoot with both eyes open.

Really? Nikon over Leupold.................
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Was it me and I was gonna do the one gun thing with a 375 I would have two scopes in rings........ Something with a minimum 1x for Elephant, if I was gonna use a scope, which I would and another scope like a 3x9 or 4x12 for the other stuff. 375 has a pretty good trajectory for farther shots and I like magnification myself.

I want a minimum of 1x or maybe 1.5x for elephant or other really close stuff so I can shoot with both eyes open.

Really? Nikon over Leupold.................

Really. The Nikons from a durability point of view are doing better than the Leupolds. Not that Leupold isn't fixing the scopes, it's just that there's been no need to send the Nikons back per the feed back I'm getting from one who was a died in the wool Leupold fan.
 

gizmo

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Absolutely. Nikon has come a looong way in recent years. Out of the mid range optics like leupold, bushnell, etc they are hands down the best. If you haven't used any of their new optics I highly recommend giving the a try. I wasn't a big fan until a couple of years ago I decided to give them a try. Now 99% of my optics and even my cameras are Nikon. Give them a try you'll be surprised.
 

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I have probably 30 Leupolds over about 35 years and have used 'em and still use 'em on rifles up to 458 lott and one on a 8 1/2lb. 470 NE. Only ever had one let loose.....

The few Nikons I tried had great glass but the "scope" part was just junk......... They wouldn't track or hold zero. Maybe they are better now, I hope so, the glass was pretty good and they are cheap.

I don't consider Leupold to be "mid range" myself, well maybe rifleman stuff. I figger Mid range is more along the lines of Bushnell, Nikon and Weaver, nowadays some of the Weavers are doing well.

I have always liked Nikon cameras, might explain the glass, they have been into lenses for quite a while.
 

Bos en Dal SAFARIS

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I also shoot the 375h&h safari clasic in CZ. I have a 1.5-5 vx3 on low mounts. On 1.5 magnification you see the fromt ring in your scope but there is no obstruction to the cross hair. If you zoom to 3,4 or 5 it is no issue as you dont see it!!
I must say this week i had some problems with the rifle not grouping on 100yards. Will go through everything to see if all is still tight!!

hope the recoil wasn't too much for the leeupold to handle? Bullets keep on hitting within 3-4" from the centre and it dies not adjust accordingly if you try and dail it!!

I will let you know what the problem was as soon as i get out to the range

All the best
 

npm352

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I appreciate the feedback and look forward to more. While I may end up shooting the ele with a scope, I like the idea of open sights as I am pretty quick with them and still have good vision. Maybe I am being too traditional. Sounds like there are quite a few scope options. It also sounds like a Leopold low power can be put into low rings. I have always had good luck with Leopold, but this is my first "big" rifle so admittedly I can't speak to the durability....
 

Royal27

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Maybe I am being too traditional.

not at all! when I said "for personal reasons" in my first post this is exactly what I meant.

I don't know what it is, but for me it is important to take that ele without a scope. my eyes are declining though, so I may have to use a reddot, etc...
 

npm352

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For sure. My dad has some declining eyesight and he uses to be really good on iron sights but recently has a really tough time with muzzleloader tags that require open sights. I have nothing against a scope, but think if I can get away with open sights because it usually happens pretty close in Zambezi (I've read) I will. Either way, I do need a scope and am leaning towards the lower power options for versitility reasons.
 

ActionBob

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Well I shot an elephant so now I'm an expert! (not) With a 375, use a scope, I explain why down below.

If buffalo and especially leopard is in your future, or any other dawn or dusk or dark shadows critters (I used mine on a jackal at dusk)... Consider an illuminated reticle. For the money, I love my Leupold VX6 2-12 on the 375, admittedly, don't really need that 12X.. But it can be handy if trying to get a good look at something. A VX6 in 1-6 would be awesome and practical (90% sure I will put one on my 416)... but both are way out of your budget (sorry).... However don't buy two scopes. with all the options available these days, no need t oscrew around and you will be way better off to put the extra money into a little better quality. I also really like the 30mm tubes on a big bore gun where weight is not much concern. Just go look through them. Before you buy, go look at a Leupold VXR in 2-7 and one in 1-4. If on a budget, I would do a 2-7 (even for elephant) on a 375 and the 1-4 on a 416 or bigger.

If you want to shoot an elephant with a 375, use a scope!!! If you really want to shoot open sighted, use a gun with the power of a 458 Lott or more, just to get that extra shock and knock down if you are off target a bit. People kill elephants with 375's all the time, but there is so much that is uncontrollable and that you just don't know until after the bullet hits, have some "extra" on accuracy or on "thump", you might be ok giving up a little on one or the other, but not both... I suspect most PH's will tell you they prefer the accuracy and to bring a gun you shoot well with a good scope.

I'll pass on what I thought was sensible advice. A 375 has excellent penetration with the right bullet and load. (I was terribly impressed by the Federal Premium Hydro Solids, blew right threw the elephant's head, it was a 416 Rem Mag but I'm sure a 375 would do the same or more) 375's are inherently accurate and again with proper loads, have great trajectory on par with a 30-06. It is truly the best all around African caliber! So good choice.... It will no doubt drop an elephant of any size, in it's tracks, "IF" you hit the brain. USE A SCOPE!

If you want to shoot an elephant open sighted, use something in the range of a 458, preferably a Lott or with the best bullet and load possible if a Win Mag. Or as a bare minimum, a 416. The three 416's I'm familiar with are the Rem Mag which I used, the Ruger which duplicates it, and the Rigby which I also own now but have not used on an animal.. but I do think the Rem Mag was designed to duplicate factory Rigby loads. Anyway, back to the 375 H & H (or Ruger), these 416's have 20% more energy than the 375's... So you have that much more "whack" if you miss the brain by a 1/2 inch.... I missed the brain by about that but also grazed the spine where it connects and nocked him down and then put in two more (always pay the insurance unless you PH stops you). One through the chest (top down or bottom up) and one in the top of the head. I'll never know if that bull would have dropped if hit in the same place with my 375. But I'm positive it would have with a 458.

Ok enough preaching; Stay at 2x or lower on the low side and a minimum of 4x on the high side, but personally I would go to 6 or 7x on the high side. 1-4, 1.5-5, 1-6, 2-7, 2-10, or 2-12... All good on a 375. I have no experience with a Nikon on a big bore but the cheap one I had was accurate and decent, just not top end. I have a Swarovski Z6i in 2-12 and in my opinion, it is not worth the extra cost over a VX6. Love the z5 line and the Zeiss HD5 line but again, on a DG rifle, I like the 30mm tube. I have Warne QD Med rings on my 416 rem mag and the tightest point is the bolt handle to the eyepiece. Yes I can see the sights at 1 or 1.5 X and a shadow at 2x but don't ever recall seeing that when I was shooting at an animal. I completely agree with Royal, mount as low as you can... This might be a reason to go to a very small scope like a VX3 in 1.5 to 5 or something like that.

I know you said your budget is only so much, but the old adage of spending 1-2 times as much on a scope as on the rifle is not far from being great advice.... To me the VX3 or VXR would be as low a quality as I would go. Monarch 3 or better in a Nikon? I'm not real familiar?
 
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ActionBob

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not at all! when I said "for personal reasons" in my first post this is exactly what I meant.

I don't know what it is, but for me it is important to take that ele without a scope. my eyes are declining though, so I may have to use a reddot, etc...

But Royal You have a 458 Lott! My PH has been in on a lot of elephants and he said the 458 Lott type guns just have enough concussion effect to knock them down, even if the shot is right beside the brain. He was real cool with a 375, but wanted it to be accurate!
 

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, but think if I can get away with open sights because it usually happens pretty close in Zambezi (I've read) I will..

My PH showed me where they had shot a tuskless early in the season in thick cover. To paraphrase he told me, "we shot the tuskless at six paces because we couldn't see it at seven." :)

But Royal You have a 458 Lott!

And one I hope I can use to shoot an elephant without a scope!!! LOL
 

thi9elsp

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NPM352

I have a CZ550 375 which I put my old VX1 1-4x20 shotgun scope on. I used it to take my one and only dangerous game, a cape buffalo in Zimbabwe in 2011. I have since purchased a second CZ550 in 404 Jefferey. I shopped diligently and got a good deal on a Zeiss Duralyt 1.2-5x36. The 404 hasn't been blooded yet, but I love the Zeiss glass and the red dot. I used Warne Medium QD rings on both.

I also hunted plains game in Zimbabwe and took a nice Kudu, Impala, and bush buck. None of the shots was over 100 yards. I used my 30-06 on all of them but never put the power above the minimum of 3x.

John
 

CAustin

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Sir Action Bob knows what he is talking about. I would go with the Lupeold VX-6. Put a little extra into your scope and you will not regret it.
It has a 120 foot wide field of view at zero mag for the elephant. Then when hunting those buffs it will make getting that first shot right a lot easier.
 

thi9elsp

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CAustin - VX-6's are great - I have a 3-18 44 on a Les Baer 223. The glass is unbelievable. I have it for antelope and prairie dogs in Wyoming.

Looks like the 1-6x24 could be a great fit for a 375. Picked up my Zeiss Duralyt for what was about $700 worth of trade and cash. I'm not sure for that price, one could find anything significantly better. If I found a similar deal again, I would probably buy it and put it on my 375.
 

ActionBob

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CAustin - VX-6's are great - I have a 3-18 44 on a Les Baer 223. The glass is unbelievable. I have it for antelope and prairie dogs in Wyoming.

Looks like the 1-6x24 could be a great fit for a 375. Picked up my Zeiss Duralyt for what was about $700 worth of trade and cash. I'm not sure for that price, one could find anything significantly better. If I found a similar deal again, I would probably buy it and put it on my 375.
Here you go! I've never gotten my hands on one, but they look like a good option, maybe a challenge mounting with the flared out objective? Nice prices!

http://www.eurooptic.com/zeiss-duralyt-riflescopes.aspx
 

thi9elsp

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Those are good prices. Thanks for the link. I have to get through the trip to New Zealand in April before I buy any more toys!

Here are a couple pictures:

1 of what I traded along with $100 for the new Duralyt back in Fall 2013. I had not shot the 870 in 10 years, the Leupold scope was close to 20 years old, etc. The value of what was not being used for what might be used!

2nd picture is the Zeiss installed on the 404 Jefferey. It's a bit tight when working the bolt, but comfortable.

IMG_0239.JPG
IMG_0277.jpg
 

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