Scope suggestions please

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Parsons, May 12, 2014.

  1. Parsons

    Parsons AH Senior Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. I went looking around today for scopes to look through and nobody here has a 1-4x or 1-6x. I am in WV and apparently people think we need 12x magnification for 200 yard shots in between mountains. May run by a cabelas and gander mountain tomorrow and see what they have. I try to stay away from big box stores but may be the only place I can look through what I want. Also most places here only carry scopes up to about $400.
     

  2. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I guess I grew up playing video games and such. Actually learned how to shoot clay pigeons with a scoped .22, while I didn't hit them every time, I learned to track and follow through with my shot. I dropped a deer once at 5 feet on 6x.
     

  3. bluey

    bluey AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    that is a serious way of practicing ,enysee.
    ive got to get back to you once l try this ,mate .
     

  4. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Bluey there was a trick shooter over 25 years ago that used to shoot white aspirin tablets with a .22, I said if he can hit a aspirin I damn well can hit a clay pigeon! I have hit them with shotgun slugs, .270, 30-30.....
     

  5. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Enysse,

    The great failing with large, variable power scopes is not in the scope, it is with me.
    I tried one once for a couple years and found them too distracting, if not the solution to a non-existent problem, (for me any way).
    I lost more than one opportunity because I had it set too high when an opportunity popped up at very close range.
    For easily distracted people like me, the less moving parts the better.
    The KISS principle was intended for people such as I ("Keep It Simple, Stupid").

    I've never played a video game but grew up shooting zig-zagging jack rabbits, mud hens/coots (sometimes flying) and hand thrown claw pigeons, with iron sighted .22 rifle and even hit a few flying coots with my Ruger Bearcat .22 revolver by age 15 or 16 (I sure missed plenty as well until I got the rhythm of things).
    Also, I was not too bad at smacking pheasants out of the air with a .22 rifle (iron sighted), as well as a re-curve bow/flu-flu arrow.
    During my former career, we (The SWAT dudes and dudettes) would, like yourself, shoot flying clay pigeons with shotgun slugs/870 Remingtons, (we also did so with MP-5s and M-16s, set on semi auto).
    But to this day, I still find large power scopes awkward to find close range, running/jumping animals in, especially when I am half worn out from hiking all day.
    Blah, blah, blah.

    I have tried many sighting arrangements on my hunting rifles.
    When my eyes were young, I did very well with receiver/aperture rear ("peep") and blade front on several of them.
    But, nowadays I appreciate a good quality scope, mounted low over the bore.
    The 4x Zeiss is my favorite for African PG and N. American deer, swine, caribou and similar, close or far, if they are stationary or bolting for cover.
    Someone said "If it works, don't fix it", I find comfort in that.

    However, as I age it might be that next time I plan to hunt in strictly open country (grassveld / desert) I could be persuaded to use a 6x, but, with my geezer eyes, I'm not sure I could focus well enough to drop anything at 5 feet with it, (5 yards probably but, that's just me).

    Whatever you, me or anyone peers through when aiming, as long as it works for you/them/me then, it is the right thing to use.

    I apologize for the long/tedious duration of this rambling thing.

    Kind Regards,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2014

  6. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hi again Enysse,

    No doubt D. Metcalf is a fine writer but I still disagree with him on scopes for PG.
    C. Boddington is more experienced in Africa than 20 people like me but, I still disagree with him on Weatherby rifles/cartridges.
    Pondoro Taylor wrote pretty much my favorite book on Africa so far but, I still disagree with him on what the recoil of a .500 Jeffery feels like.
    Etc., etc.

    Best Regards,
    Velo Dog.
     

  7. JGRaider

    JGRaider AH Fanatic

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    I just returned from a 9 day safari in Namibia. I topped my 7Rem mag with a 2-12x42 VX6, duplex reticle, and it performed superbly. Great glass, it's tough, and the 10-12x is there if necessary. Most of the time I kept it on 6x, and managed to take 12 head of game with it.. Although I am a big fan of the FX3 6x42's, I cannot say enough good things about the VX6.
     
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  8. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Velo Dog, you do have a point, the big scopes do make a gun hard to carry, more hideous to look at and for the most part 6x will do. I only use 1 inch tubes on my scopes...no more than 40mm too.
    I too have tried shooting everything with open sights too. And the KISS theory works best for most people, no argument. I have actually missed out on game way out there, than at my feet most of the time...
     

  9. Stocky

    Stocky AH Veteran

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    I was a big fan of lower power variables and fixed magnification scopes ... until I started using the higher powered ones. VX 6's in particular. When you're looking at a herd of 100 wildebeest and trying to see the one your PH has his eye on I've decided the more power the better. You may not need it to make the shot but it sure comes in handy picking the one to shoot.
     
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  10. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Looking real hard at this one...and the 1-6x as well (maybe a little more flexibility on mounting positions due to the lack of ocular bell).
     

  11. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Could not agree more with you Stocky, it definitely helps seperate the herd. I think a lot of times guys hit brush when their scope is turned down too, they don't see all the details.
     

  12. Grady

    Grady AH Enthusiast

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    Parsons, when you decide which scope suits you eye and shooting style, don't make the mistake of buying the scope for the only purpose of a African PG Hunt. I will take a WAG (wild assed guess) and say that you will probable use your gun on other hunts.
     

  13. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Enysse,

    We are in agreement on the 1" tube and 40mm bell maximum demensions thing.
    These latest 30mm tube scopes are supposed to be brighter / gather more light but, my eyes cannot tell the difference.
    If I was one to hunt leopard, perhaps I would have another look through various brands/models of 30mm tube scopes.
    As things are now though, I have looked through them a few times at the rifle range and back when I worked in a gun shop.
    The only thing "different" about them that I could see was that they make a normal hunting weight rifle look awkward and top-heavy, instead of sleek and handy.
    Maybe a 30mm tube does deliver more light to the shooting eye but if they do, it is a miniscule plus, that is way negated by the huge minus of the largeness/top heaviness they add.
    In terms of big game rifles, I must have a handy weapon, even if for non-dangerous game (99% or more of what I can afford to hunt).
    If I ever find myself returning to ground squirrel / prairie dog hunting, I will get another heavy barreled .220 Swift and put a large scope on it (10x, perhaps 12x but it need not have over a 1" tube or over about a 42mm bell even so).
    No PG/deer/caribou./boar rig of mine needs to be a big scope with a little rifle under it.

    As for ripping off this thread, I apologize to Parsons.
    Hopefully you (Parsons) can glean something useful from all this jabber between us all.

    Cheers,
    Velo Dog.
     

  14. Stocky

    Stocky AH Veteran

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    I'm not a fan of the VX6 because it's 30mm, I'm a fan because of the power range. I don't believe there's a 1" on the market that can be set at 2x for close-in or dangerous game yet cranked up to 12x for the occasional long shot or to pick horns out of a herd.

    Hideous? I'm thinking more along the lines of "masterpiece." :sneaky:


    dragonslayer.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
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  15. Frederik

    Frederik AH Enthusiast

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    There is so much to choose from when it comes to scopes two things however are important if you can hit the target at 25 yards and 200 yards with the same scope comfortably you are on the right track. In bushveld you will be able to shoot almost everything on 6 x power. The higher magnification does help when you have time and have to pick an animal at a distance. Just remember to crank down the magnification after.
     

  16. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I agree! Nothing the least bit hideous about that rig! And talk about function!
     
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  17. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I like tarbe's .308, the scope doesn't stand out from the gun, either does Stocky's. Not hideous at all!
    I will tell you that the cheaper scopes in the 50 to 150$ range are huge and heavy, they cut corners to put out a cheaper product. Like it or not I own more than a few of them too. They work, just not pretty, Simmons are on at least 8 of my guns.
    The size of the scope does make a difference to me, because if you backpack hunt or carry a gun all day long something that is big, is going to bother you after a while, same reason PHs cut their barrels down in length.
    That is why I grab which gun, that fits the hunt of the day. Are we going hiking or are we going shooting?
     

  18. buffybr

    buffybr AH Enthusiast

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    I have a Leupold 2-7x on my .375 RUM. I've used it hunting in Zimbabwe and on two PG hunts in South Africa. I had absolutely no trouble making shots with it on animals from Steenbok to Buffalo, and at ranges from 30 to 350 yards.

    I also have a Leupold VX-1 4-12x on my .300 Weatherby. I've used it on several Western US hunts, one South African PG hunt, and on a hunt in New Zealand. I've easily made shots with it at ranges from 50 yards to a Klipspringer at 314 yards.

    Just out of curiosity, what do you disagree with Boddington on about Weatherby rifles/cartridges?
     

  19. Stocky

    Stocky AH Veteran

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    Absolutely. One thing I've noticed on my African rifles is that the heavier .375 sits a whole lot better in the sticks than my 8 lb .280. While the lighter rifle is of course much nicer to carry around the Rockies, Africa is more shooting than hiking and therefore I am updating it with a stock that's a full pound heavier. In North America one frequently has the option to shoot from a good, rested position in either sitting or prone. That is rarely the case in Africa, almost everything is off the sticks due to the grassy vegetation. Heavier rifles are simply more steady in the sticks.

    Putting a 4-12 VX-R with a CDS dial on it as well. The VXR is smaller, more compact and lighter than the VX6 2-12 and the firedots are great. Since I muffed a 100 yard'er on a reedbuck this last hunt, I'm shifting gears out of necessity to match my excuse. As it currently is told, I couldn't seem to keep it as steady off the sticks as the heavier .375, he was standing chest-high in reeds (imagine that), when I tried to avoid the brush I called the shot a tad too high on the shoulder and apparently, when you add that 2" for a 200 yard zero, shot right over his back. (So by changing the stock and the scope I'll have to make up some new excuses if I miss again. Don't worry about me, though. I'm pretty creative when it comes to theses things.)

    Two-inches is not an issue on most plains game, but it is on pigmy antelope. I'm learning that 2" high sighting can make a real difference on duiker just like it can on a woodchuck. (Another plus, I figure, is that I can do my part to keep you Afrikaans from whining so much about us Americans shooting too high.) Should the terrain warrant, with the CDS dial I'll have the option to change zero at will.

    I did the same thing on the .375 (CDS dial) and it's working out very well. Keep the dial at 100 (has a zero-stop so you can do it by feel) under most situations for precise shot-placement and dial it up as required.

    Live, Hunt & Learn
     
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  20. Dakota48

    Dakota48 New Member

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    Regardless, use Quick Detach Rings and bring an extra scope, my Swar on a .375 malfunction after the first shot of the Safari, ended up sharing my daughter's shortened .270 WSM, since, I have packed an extra, already sighted in and of course have never needed it !!
     

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