Scopes - 30mm vs. 1" tubes on hunting rifles

WAB

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You guys are spot on. There is a gap in the market for ‘best’ quality 1” tubes for slim European stalking rifles with claw mounts. I’m rebuilding one now. It deserves a Z6 quality scope but a 30 mm tube is not going to work.

One 1” tubed scope that has unbelievable low light performance is the Trijicon Accupoint 3-9x. I have lined mine up at last light on deer in one of our greenfields alongside my Swaro Z6 and Z8’s. The trijicon wins hands down.
 

Dee S

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My Athlon scope just came in yesterday. It's a 30mm tube and my first. I was reading this thread as I was waiting for it to arrive and was wondering what all this fuss was about size and weight. I had no idea. It came in and it does look monstrous next to a 1" tube and weighs considerably more as well. I'm not putting it on a rifle I'll be toting through the woods or up a mountain, so I'll be fine with it, but I'll think twice before I order another one with a 30mm tube.
 
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Of course, when improving the rifle platform for range first step is 30 mm scope.

34 mm is providing more clicks, and more price $$$ per click.
Cheaper solution is, scope mounts or base with inclination + 30 mm scope.
When this is not enough, 34 mm tube is next step.

So, far I have two match rifles, 30 mm scopes, and 20 MOA inclination on the mounting system. Actually, on one rifle I have piccatiny rail with 20 moa inclination + 30 mm scope (SFP), on another rifle I have standard piccatiny rail and single base scope ring with 20 moa inclination + 30 mm scope (SFP).
@mark_hunter
Some companies are even offering 40moa scope rails for even more range. Because of these newer big objects scopes a lot of companies are doing adjustable cheek prices on the rifle or you can buy after market ones.
I like the KISS,principal. I just buy the best quality 1" scope I can afford and mount it as low as I can.
At one stage leopould was offering large objective lenses that looked like the had been hit by a piece of barrel so the could be low mounted. A great idea.
Bob
 
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I obviously misread your post Bob. My apologies.

I suspect very rarely does anyone fool around with magnification in the presence of game. I can think I have done so maybe twice in the last decade. Like you, depending on terrain and scope, mine tend to sit at 4 or 6 power.

The two most meaningful scope developments in my lifetime have been with regard to lens brightness and clarity in poor light and the development of a dependable electronic red dot. Much whitetail hunting in the States can be a first and last light thing, and the quality of modern glass - scopes and binocular - is astounding compared to our choices a few decades ago.

But for many years a Lyman All American 6 power was my primary scope (riding a Ruger No. 1B in .270. I have no doubt both would do the job today.
@Red Leg
The first scope I had on my 22 was a 3/4" nikko sterling with a fine cross hair. Half reasonable on a sunny day and the ducks guts in its day. That progressed to a 2 to 7 Redfield with the w use view tv screen and I was in heaven. Oh how things have changed.
Bob
 

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Playing with scope power for me goes in simple way like this:
When sitting at sunset on a blind, I turn magnification to 8x power, on 3-12x56 scope, then from power 8x i make fine tunning till I get best visibility. Then I donttouch anymore,

For ordinary day time stalking power is set somwhere in range from 6x to 8x. Once I am happy, I dont touch any more.

When going in the bush, and expecting close range shot, I keep power betwee 1x and 3x, for scope 1-6x20. Same for driven hunts.

During hunting, once the power of scope is set, later rarely I change the power of scope.

For long range shooting at targets, with high power scope, 50x, with paralax correction, I tune dials, all the time, depending on present conditions.

First I adjust paralax till picture is clear, then I fine tune power of scope till get best possible contrast of crosshairs against light blue f-class target. As the light conditions change, basically fine scope adjustments are frequent. Not to mention occasional click here and there on widage and elevation, as the wind and mirage change during the day. But target shooting is not hunting.
 

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I obviously misread your post Bob. My apologies.

I suspect very rarely does anyone fool around with magnification in the presence of game. I can think I have done so maybe twice in the last decade. Like you, depending on terrain and scope, mine tend to sit at 4 or 6 power.

The two most meaningful scope developments in my lifetime have been with regard to lens brightness and clarity in poor light and the development of a dependable electronic red dot. Much whitetail hunting in the States can be a first and last light thing, and the quality of modern glass - scopes and binocular - is astounding compared to our choices a few decades ago.

But for many years a Lyman All American 6 power was my primary scope (riding a Ruger No. 1B in .270. I have no doubt both would do the job today.

I think the above in bold is very true. Walking around, scope is set on minimum.

I get into a high seat or blind, mag gets set to roughly the 7mm pupil exit rule

If the game is far away, I probably have time to get stable (sitting, prone etc) and then play with mag.

Most of my scopes roughly work in the 3-12x range and 12x tends to be for zeroing...
 

Justbryan

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I just bought a 300WM and 6.5CM Blaser R8 and I chose to mount a simple plex reticle Swarovski Z5 with a ballistic turret on the barrels. The Z5 has a 1" tube and is ultra light. I plan to buy a 375 H&H standard barrel and mount a light 1x6 on it. I just switched from a Kimber Montana to add a little extra weight and portability.

I like a the 30mm or 34mm Khales and Nightforce for the range and plinking. But they are way to heavy for traveling light, walking, and mountain hunting.

I have owned a Swarovski DS for a year but it is still in the box (it was a gift). I will probably trade it for something lighter and more practical.

So, I may be the only person on this site that prefers a Z3 or Z5 to the more expensive 34mm and 40mm target scopes. As I hunt more and get older, the more I value the simple things like a 1" tube Z5 with a plex reticle.
 

Sika98k

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In practical terms most of us shoot most of our game within 200 yds. My go to rifle wears a Kahles CL 3-12x52. It’s a 1” tube. I’ve never felt compromised by it. In fact it is a superb scope. A 275 wears an old Zeiss 3-9x36 again a 1” tube, as clear as crystal.I confess that my 375 wears a Zeiss Duralyt 1.2-5 x36 and does have a 30mm tube.
 

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I have one 30mm scope and it will be my last. It's a Leupold VX 5HD. I loosely mounted it on a rifle and immediately hated it. It's too damn big. It's been sitting in my safe ever since. I'm perfectly content to stay with my 'inferior' 1" tube scopes. I like Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40 scopes. Excellent glass, reasonably priced, light weight and a fairly minimalist design. Perfect for my needs. I'm a hunter not a sniper. I don't need big objective lenses, high power and target turrets. K.I.S.S.
 

curtism1234

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My only 30mm is my most recent purchase of a Vortex Viper. I got it because of its eye relief, positive clicks, and it fit the budget. The down side is its 18 ounces (some 1" are just as heavy though). Because of that, i am considering ways to reduce overall weight. May try to flute or change the barrel to lose 8 ounces.

Regarding magnification, I play around on game. I generally keep scopes at 2.5-4. If it is evident the shot is going to be over 50 yards, I normally twist it into the 6x range. I think it helps find holes to shoot through. If there are point restrictions or i am trying to judge, I turn it to max (normally 8-10x) to have a good look.
 

Nevada Mike

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So I am not alone. There is a contingent of classic owners who do not want an HVAC project on top of their rifles. I do hope some scope manufacturers see this thread.

I do not have any adjustable comb, thumbhole, bull barreled, 12 pound super 6.5 rifles that need a huge GD scope to be effective. Been killing game with a 2-7X Leupold for lot of years and really don't need something the size of an oil barrel mounted on my hunting rifles.

Sorry for the rant. But every time I get a new rifle I go shopping for. a scope and the ones I like are sliding down the optical scale to 'bargain' basement quality, while the better scopes are ever bigger with far more whistles and bells than I want or need. Grrr...
 
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So I am not alone. There is a contingent of classic owners who do not want an HVAC project on top of their rifles. I do hope some scope manufacturers see this thread.

I do not have any adjustable comb, thumbhole, bull barreled, 12 pound super 6.5 rifles that need a huge GD scope to be effective. Been killing game with a 2-7X Leupold for lot of years and really don't need something the size of an oil barrel mounted on my hunting rifles.

Sorry for the rant. But every time I get a new rifle I go shopping for. a scope and the ones I like are sliding down the optical scale to 'bargain' basement quality, while the better scopes are ever bigger with far more whistles and bells than I want or need. Grrr...

Agree. Picked up a couple FX4 Leupolds over the years. They are fantastic scopes, gave one away. My grandfathers killed game quite handily with 2.5X and 4X steel tubed Weavers. I still have one of those that I would like to have restored.
 

Scrumbag

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So I am not alone. There is a contingent of classic owners who do not want an HVAC project on top of their rifles. I do hope some scope manufacturers see this thread.

I do not have any adjustable comb, thumbhole, bull barreled, 12 pound super 6.5 rifles that need a huge GD scope to be effective. Been killing game with a 2-7X Leupold for lot of years and really don't need something the size of an oil barrel mounted on my hunting rifles.

Sorry for the rant. But every time I get a new rifle I go shopping for. a scope and the ones I like are sliding down the optical scale to 'bargain' basement quality, while the better scopes are ever bigger with far more whistles and bells than I want or need. Grrr...
Hello Mike,

You have a fair point. The problem is most of the "top quality" scopes are from Germany or Austria and the makers know their core market. A lot of the Hunters on the European continent will something that suits their hunting and that will involve a lot of hunting at dusk or sitting in a high seat under a moon for boar - For this, 50mm objectives are really the minimum. Also, for a black boar at night, it is quite easy to lose even a thick cross-hair again their coat. So, an illuminated reticle is popular for that as well which tends to add at least some bulk, somewhere.

Scrummy
 

Nevada Mike

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Scrummy - I understand your point - European hunting is rather different to how hunting is done in the USA, Africa, and many other parts of the world. We carry our rifles, often in rough terrain, for many hours at a time. Light weight, low bulk, optical clarity, and ruggedness are premium. Very few hunters in North America are hunting at night. Typically hunting begins half an hour before sunrise and ends half an hour after sunset.

Some European optics makers make scopes specifically for the NA market - the S&B Summit with a 1" tube is one example, even though it is still a rather large scope by American standards.
 

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