Objective Size Indecision

HookMeUpII

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I recently purchased a Browning X-Bolt White Gold Medallion Edition with maple stock in 300WM. My intent is to use the rifle for PG hunting in South Africa in 2023. The gun will serve a dual-purpose of hunting western big game here in the USA like elk, mule deer and maybe if the stars align sometime, moose.

I've narrowed down my brand to Leupold. It seems like they make a great optic for the money. I am torn between two optics:

VX5HD 3x15 44mm or VX6HD 3x18 50mm

I keep hearing that 44mm is plenty of objective for what I am looking to do, effective shots to 300 yds with proper training and practice. However, I keep seeing 300WM platforms fitted with 50-52mm objective scopes and wonder if I am short changing myself with the 44mm. I'm told this firearm is a 600 yd platform all day long as long as the shooter is capable and trained.

What am I am giving up here by going with the 44mm? It seems like with the 50mm VX6HD, I get a little extra magnification at the top end but low end is the same. Theoretically, I should still maintain the same close range field of view for shots at 100 yds or less?

I'm very much back and forth in my head because I want this platform to be able to grow with me as my abilities increase. I understand the larger objective will result in better light capture and a better view at full mag. I also know one of the drawbacks to a large objective is having a high mounted scope.

Thanks in advance for helping me sort out this confusion.
 

Red Leg

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For the hunting that I do, which includes everything from Texas to British Columbia to Europe to Africa (especially Africa) I have no use for a 50mm objective. That extra 6mm seems to turn almost any well balanced rifle into something far less so. Maybe a "platform" rather than a hunting rifle? A quality scope will give plenty of light transmission and clarity with a 44mm objective lens.
 

sgt_zim

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color me as not a fan of large OBJ for spot and stalk hunting because of the additional weight. if you're sitting in a blind or stand, no probs with the extra weight

also, don't really see a huge need for 15x or 18x on the high end for a hunting rifle, even a 300 WM. Field of view gets REALLY small.

for my money, low end magnification at 1.5X to 3X is more desirable for hunting

high end...8x, 9x, 10x, or (maybe) 12x

you just don't need to be able to count the hairs on the animal's balls in order to be able to put the bullet in the vital zone.

ymmv, but that's my view of it.

the VX6HD 2-12x42 would be an excellent choice.
 

Andrew Short

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I just purchased a 338 win for my plains game hunt. I went with a 3.5-10x40 for cost savings and lack of need for the 50 mm.

If you plan to hunt elk or white tails where a dawn dusk shot is likely, I might would choose the 50mm as that’s what’s on all of my deer hunting rifles.
 

HookMeUpII

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You all have brought up another really good point about the weight and balance. The buddy who I would be hunting out west in the future with mentioned the weight. Backpacking in a very heavy rifle setup doesn't really make sense.

It seems like with light capture being a factor, the 44mm might even be a good middle ground between something like a 50mm and a 40mm.
 

BourbonTrail

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50mm is great for low light, high magnification. However, for plains game shooting in bright sunny Africa or western US, you’ll end up wanting a sunshade (more to worry about). Go with the 40-44. I have a 50mm for hunting in the grey of winter, but otherwise it’s just a glare tube that requires taller scope mounts.
 

Hogpatrol

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My 2¢, If you are shooting past 500 meters/yards, in low light, the 50 or 56 would suit. Inside that range on PG size game, a quality scope in the three to sixteen variable range with a 42 or 44 objective works.
On a 6.5x47 Lapua I recently built, I went with a Sightron FFP 3-16x42. It was one of the lightest FFPs that the price wasn't in the stratosphere. Total package 7 1/2 lbs. sans ammo.
IMG_20210422_122828226_HDR.jpg
 

curtism1234

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I'd be much more concerned about scratching that high gloss stock

For 300 yards or so, any good scope in the 2-14x power range and 36-50mm objective is going to work fine. Glass in 2021 is uber high quality and clarity in a good scope.

I'd pick based on weight desire and whether you want to use the scope to assist in glassing/sizing. A 40 or 44 with a max 12-14x seems reasonable but so does a 3-9x40
 

WAB

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I totally agree with the VX6 2-12. I doubt very much that you will ever need more than 6-8x on big game. On my varmint rigs it’s an unusual day that I can use magnification beyond 14x due to heat waves. We’re popping prairie dogs at 400+ with 12x-14x. IMO, all you’re doing is adding weight to your rifle for a capability you will never use.

I am going on a specialized hunt that requires longer shots this fall. I’m using a Swarovski Z6 1.7-10x with the BRH reticle. This would be an outstanding scope for your .300.
 

Ike85123

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Bigger scope equals more weight and possibly a higher mount.
The 44 in my opinion is would be very adequate for 100 to 1000 yrds.
I would make sure it had double coating and 4in eye relief. That is more important to me than the size. Especially in lower light or bright sun hunting.
I would buy the vx6 with in a 44mm unit , instead of the 50mm
 

ActionBob

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The only place I have a 50mm objective is on an AR 10 set up.

I just cannot get my head down into the scope with the high mounts required with 50. So I'm not comfortable shooting. I would argue the 44mm promotes accuracy.

As for weight, if you take that rifle to high elevation, you are going to be wishing for a 1" tube;)

And I fully concur with @Red Leg on the look of of such rifles.
 

HookMeUpII

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Bigger scope equals more weight and possibly a higher mount.
The 44 in my opinion is would be very adequate for 100 to 1000 yrds.
I would make sure it had double coating and 4in eye relief. That is more important to me than the size. Especially in lower light or bright sun hunting.
I would buy the vx6 with in a 44mm unit , instead of the 50mm

What would be your reasoning for the 6 over the 5? From what I understand the 6 has:

- Illumination, standard
- Electronic reticle level
- Addition swag included like lens caps (which are surprisingly $89 each from Leupold)

I think I'm going to keep it in the 40-44mm range as everyone stated. I'm leaning towards the 44mm for the added light gathering in the event I do end up on a western hunt, making shots at dawn or dusk.
 

Ike85123

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What would be your reasoning for the 6 over the 5? From what I understand the 6 has:

- Illumination, standard
- Electronic reticle level
- Addition swag included like lens caps (which are surprisingly $89 each from Leupold)

I think I'm going to keep it in the 40-44mm range as everyone stated. I'm leaning towards the 44mm for the added light gathering in the event I do end up on a western hunt, making shots at dawn or dusk.
The 6 is 3x18 vs the 5 at 3x15. I just think for spending that much money, I would want as much versatility as I could get. And the lens caps are a nice plus ! Haha
 

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The quality of glass is far more important than the size of the objective lens. In the mountains weight rules the decision. I like a 1" tube with modest variable power and an objective no larger than 40 mm - less is better. Most of my hunting is done in mountainous terrain and you do NOT want to be carrying a rifle with more scope and weight than you need. I like my S&B Summit (2.5 - 10X) and even that is a pretty big scope.
 

ActionBob

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The quality of glass is far more important than the size of the objective lens. In the mountains weight rules the decision. I like a 1" tube with modest variable power and an objective no larger than 40 mm - less is better. Most of my hunting is done in mountainous terrain and you do NOT want to be carrying a rifle with more scope and weight than you need. I like my S&B Summit (2.5 - 10X) and even that is a pretty big scope.
On my goat hunt, I used a Swarovski 3-9 x 36. It worked just fine;)
 

sgt_zim

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On my goat hunt, I used a Swarovski 3-9 x 36. It worked just fine;)
I've got Vortex 4-12x40 on my 6.5x55. It was a terrible choice for where I hunt. FOV just sucks on close shots, and they're all just close shots.

Really leaning towards Leupold 2.5-8x36
 

WAB

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I've got Vortex 4-12x40 on my 6.5x55. It was a terrible choice for where I hunt. FOV just sucks on close shots, and they're all just close shots.

Really leaning towards Leupold 2.5-8x36

You won’t regret buying that scope. I used to use it exclusively on big game, and then I gravitated toward VX6 and Swaro. I doubt that I have made a single shot that I could not have made equally as well with the old VX3 2.5-8x36. It is one of the best optics for the money ever made.
 

Ike85123

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The 6 is 3x18 vs the 5 at 3x15. I just think for spending that much money, I would want as much versatility as I could get. And the lens caps are a nice plus ! Haha
I mistakenly put an x instead of a -, but im sure u knew what I meant.
To elaborate. U said u were gonna use it in the states on deer and elk also. So my way of thinking was having those extra 3 clicks could be worth their weight in gold at 300 to 400 yrds looking at at a trophy bull, with alittle fog,heat waves or haze in the air.
Acouple years ago there was talk about leupold adding those 3 clicks to the 5. I havent seen one, but sounds nice. I dont care for illuminated scopes. And would be at a better price point.
Bigsupplyshop had these scopes awhile back at 25% less than anyone else. Might wanna give them a look.
 

sgt_zim

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You won’t regret buying that scope. I used to use it exclusively on big game, and then I gravitated toward VX6 and Swaro. I doubt that I have made a single shot that I could not have made equally as well with the old VX3 2.5-8x36. It is one of the best optics for the money ever made.
It's now offered as "VX3HD" with CDS for 500 US. I'd say that's a pretty stellar deal.
 
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