Some questions on a plains game rifle

PHOENIX PHIL

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On scopes, may I suggest you take a look at Nikon. Great optics for the price.
 

sestoppelman

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I counted 6 among my rifles today of Nikon scopes. One of the best values in optics.
 

ActionBob

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Will do. The salesman didn't show me that so I'll ask next time. So a question, there's a big bump in price to go to the VX3, what does that give you? I ask because I never spent over $50 for an optic for my plinkers so this is new territory for me.

I am not very familiar with the VX2 as I usually figure I mostly get what I pay for in optics and have not gone below a VX 3 level in a few years. The VX 2 may do great in most situations.... What I would consider on that light weight gun would be the little VX3 in 2.5-8 x 36. Small to mount low, and light weight to stay with the theme of the gun. This scope also comes with a neat little feature to set the zero for one caliber but two bullets weights. So you can sight in and be close enough using 150 grain and 180 grain.

If you really want low light advantage, for a similar price consider a VXR illuminated. Similar or same quality glass as vx3 but in a 30mm tube... So much bigger scope but still small and low mountable if you go with a 2-7x.

Another plug for the VX3 is that Leupold has a promotion running until Oct. 15th for a free Carhart Jacket with a VX3 or VX6.

An if you have a real piece of junk scope you would not mind getting rid of, Gander mountain has a trade in going on worth checking into... (works for a Nikon as well). I'm not normally a fan of Gander as the help is not always knowledgeable and I usually find their prices high. But run into the right salesman and he will match prices plus give you the trade in and then have them print a second receipt and send that in for the rebate. Cabela's is promoting the rebate but you can print it from the Leupold web site and get it no matter which retailer you buy from.

As for Nikon, Prostaff 5 is supposed to have improved glass more like the old Monarch quality but Prostaff price. Personally I think a vx3 is better glass but for the money I agree Nikon is worth a look. And they now have an illuminated Prostaff 5, probably the lowest priced illuminated recital out there.

For my hunting guns I usually follow the rule of thumb to spend 1 to 2 times as much on the scope as I did on the gun... But I'm sure you will get at least 80-90% of the glass quality in a vx2 or Nikon and probably be very happy with it.
 

bassasdaindia

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IMHO VX3's are the best value for money scopes.

I have Swarofski as well as VX3 and I prefer the VX3's , I find that the Swarofski's are double or almost double the price of a VX3 and they don't give me double the optics.

I am also a fan of the VX6 , I just wished they would have more of a range to choose from in the VX6

good luck with your choice .
 

ActionBob

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Bassasdaindia I'm mostly with you on this.
I think the vx6 is my favorite! I have 3 Swarovski's as well and love those also, but at least half again and up to triple the money. Great glass but so are the vx3 and especially the vx6. I wanted my wife to put a Z3 Swaro 3-9 x 36 on her 30-06 and we had the salesman mount it up and she did not like it. He mounted a vx3 2.5-8 x 36 and she loved it.... All she expects is to pull the gun up and instantly be lined up looking at the target. Something about the eye relief and eyepiece on the vx3 and vx6 that just works.

You can now get a pretty wide array of scopes in the vx6 line, a 1-6, 2-12, 3-18, 2-24, and a 7-42... And each in a couple configurations. Unfortunately most retailers don't stock very many but it's getting better. You can certainly get them on line and I've found the retailers can get them in a day in most cases.
 

enysse

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I know a lot of people want to tell you a Swarovski or Zeiss scope is worth the money, but I honestly think there is no better scope for the dollar than Leupold. I think eye relief really helps out a lot. I never have had a problem with them and none of my friends either. I'm happy with the VX3 but of coarse the VX6 line is superior.....and I really take my hat off to the guys that buy them, they are an EXCELLENT SCOPE.
 

Royal27

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I know a lot of people want to tell you a Swarovski or Zeiss scope is worth the money, but I honestly think there is no better scope for the dollar than Leupold. I think eye relief really helps out a lot. I never have had a problem with them and none of my friends either. I'm happy with the VX3 but of coarse the VX6 line is superior.....and I really take my hat off to the guys that buy them, they are an EXCELLENT SCOPE.

Plus one!

I put a Zeiss HD 2x 10 on my .375, and I really like it, but Im still very partial to Leupold. You just can't go wrong with any of them and they are definitely a great value.
 

NIGHTHAWK

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Just wanted to follow up and let everyone know my choice. I ended up going with the Tikka T3 Lite in .308. Unfortunately they didn't have the caliber/finish I wanted in stock so I'll have to wait another week. I mostly just picked that because I liked the feel of it the best mounted on my shoulder. Plus I know that the Tikka's are well made. It's very light weight like the name implies, with out the scope I thought I was holding an air rifle. As for the scope I tried a few and I am thinking about the Leupold vx-2 in 3-9x33. It was raining and place was busy so I am hoping when I pick it up I can try some scopes outside. I still was impressed even at 3x I could read the fine print on an ammo case across the dimly lit store!

Good choice Brushmore. I have one in .243 LH and it worked great for smaller animals including a bushpig on my last Safari... I also took a SAKO Finnbear in .375 H&H that dispatched several larger PG and a Buff. PM me when you're ready and I'll sell you my SAKO. I've got it's replacement ordered in left hand (My preference).
 

Bert the Turtle

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Buy the best scope possible. Not the best value, not the best at a price point, the best. I understand that everyone has a budget. But, if your budget includes a plane ticket to Africa, hunting, and taxidermy, it includes a top of the line Swarovski or Zeiss or Schmidt and Bender. Get a few skull mounts instead of shoulder mounts to cover the difference.

The animals move at dusk and dawn; the diminishing returns of the finest glass can only be truly understood in the worst conditions. They extend shooting light and give you more chances at game. Especially if you are on a budget, buy the best glass. A rich man can afford to turn in early and try his luck next year or the year after. A person on a limited budget stands the most to gain from glass with truly superior low-light performance. I shot my Kudu at last light on the last day of my second trip after not having had an opportunity the first trip and hunting hard for him for most of the next trip. Plane tickets alone for a third trip would cover the cost of even the most expensive hunting scope.
 

ActionBob

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Bert;
I have to agree with you. Excellent points on the total cost and cost/benefit.

I have Swarovski's in Z3 3-10, Z5 3.5-18, and a Z6i 2-12. They are all great glass and I love using them and it is always a pleasure to even just pull them up and look through them.... But I get the same feeling from my Leupold VX6 2-12 and use it more than any other.... And bought a second one exactly the same. First time I bought two scopes the same.

I took a jackal at dark and a duiker at very last light with the VX6. Worked great.
 

Bert the Turtle

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I have no experience with the VX series, so I can't compare them to the z6i's that I am familiar with.

I agree with what you are saying entirely. If you find the VX6 works as well as any other scope, and costs less, that is excellent and clearly the way to go. What concerns me is when people say X scope is 80% as good as Y scope, but only costs 50% as much. That is false value in the context of preparing for an African hunt that includes travel from the US. For a hunt in the backyard, the value equation is different, a $100 scope may truly be a stretch, and I get that.

I understand and accept that there are practical limits: if there were a scope that was 1% better than the VX6 and cost $100000 more, I don't think the gain would be worth it. But the scopes we are talking about top out at less than $3k and that puts all of them within range for a person who can legitimately afford even one African hunt. We all see the $5000 "all-inclusive plains game hunt" and at first think that is the cost. But there is airfare, taxidermy, and most of all the opportunity cost of the time off work. Anyone who can afford to go to Africa is making a fairy decent income at work and vacation time is time not earning that income. I don't see any way that even a basic plains game hunt comes under $10K by my math. The scope is a one-time expense and when one considers the disproportionate number of opportunities at low light, it really doesn't have to be much better than the next scope to be worth it.

I'm glad to see the OP went with a 308. I assume that because he bought a 308, he didn't already have a rifle in the same general class; that is to say he is probably a relative newcomer to the sport. A 308 is acceptable for all the plains game, if perhaps a bit light for the biggest, and about optimal for everything from kudu down in my view. Better to start off with a 308, 1000 rounds of practice ammo and a trip to **NOT**PERMITTED** than to spend the same money on a 375 and 200 rounds of ammo in my opinion. Certainly the 375 is the better (best) "all-round" African rifle, but with modern monometal bullets, the 308 is fairly versatile and perfectly adequate for a plains game hunt. A man well trained and practiced with a 308 will be far better off than a man with a 375 that hasn't much shooting experience. It is easier all around to gain that experience practicing with a 308. The skills learned will translate directly to the 375 and it won't take nearly so many rounds to become proficient with the latter once experience is gained with the 308.
 
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NIGHTHAWK

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I too can appreciate high end equipment; to include optics. But, I've taken about 30 Plains game (up to an Eland) and many north American animals, including several Elk, under all types of conditions with an off the shelf Browning A-Bolt Stalker in 7 mm Rem Mag and a used VX3 scope that I purchased on eBay. (T0tal package: rifle & scope $1,100). I know how well the gun shoots and how to shoot it. Practice and confidence = well placed shots, great trophies, and memories...
I believe that I've passed on one significant animal in a low light condition... Of course, now that I think about it, it was a Sable that was standing behind a tree at dusk on the last day of my hunt. I'm certain I made the best decision not to shoot, due to the obstruction, not the low light condition and the ability of my eBay scope. I came back a year later and shot what I know to be a better quality Sable under different circumstances. You don't have to spend a small fortune on a rifle or scope to be successful...
 

Royal27

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I too can appreciate high end equipment; to include optics. But, I've taken about 30 Plains game (up to an Eland) and many north American animals, including several Elk, under all types of conditions with an off the shelf Browning A-Bolt Stalker in 7 mm Rem Mag and a used VX3 scope that I purchased on eBay. (T0tal package: rifle & scope $1,100)

I would consider that scope "high end" though, just not relatively expensive, even new. Is it the highest end? No, but that that is a heck of a quality scope! Same for the rifle actually.
 

Bert the Turtle

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Royal, you raise a good point. There has been a real burst of quality optics coming out recently. An excelent if not currently top of the line scope today may well perform as well as the best available scope of 10 years ago.
 

Royal27

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Royal, you raise a good point. There has been a real burst of quality optics coming out recently. An excelent if not currently top of the line scope today may well perform as well as the best available scope of 10 years ago.

Yup!

Better is always better and I'm in no way saying that the Vx3 is as good as the Vx6. I do have several rifles, including one i will take to Africa next year, that don't have scopes the quality of the Vx3 though.
 

jduckhunter

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After reading all of what you guys have said about optics I'm almost ashamed to admit that I have never had anything but Leupold VX2's on any of my guns. I've stomped all over North America and traveled to Africa twice and I can't remember not shooting or missing a shot because I didn't have enough light or a clear enough view.
 

Bert the Turtle

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That makes perfect sense, JD. You'll only see what you see and as an experienced ethical hunter, you pack it in when the shooting light is gone. Better optics just move that time back a little.

Perhaps I feel strongly about it because 1)I have poor eyesight and 2) I've happened to take a fair percentage of my animals at last light. I took a great waterbuck at light where my PH could see him through binoculars but would not have tried a shot with his scoped rifle. He was so excited about the possibilities created by that extra little time that my wife gave him her scope at the end of the trip.
 

JGRaider

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I guess it all depends on a person's definition of "better/best". Great optics aren't at the very top of my priorities with regards to riflescopes. A consistent POI/POA is far more important, and so is usability (eyebox, eye relief, being able to see the reticle in poor light. In 42 years of big game hunting I've never been denied a shot due to my scope's having inferior glass. A VX3 will get you way past legal shooting light, and an illuminated firedot duplex in a VX6 will do even better. The VX6's are world class scopes.
 

Royal27

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After reading all of what you guys have said about optics I'm almost ashamed to admit that I have never had anything but Leupold VX2's on any of my guns. I've stomped all over North America and traveled to Africa twice and I can't remember not shooting or missing a shot because I didn't have enough light or a clear enough view.

My a fore mentioned rifle with the "inferior" scope is wearing a Vx1. I don't think I've ever missed a shot due to it either, but under the right conditions I could see it happening. That being said, it obviously hasn't worried me enough to change it yet!

Would I sit in a leopard blind with that scope? No! But for most applications it is fine. Heck, I rarely even move the magnification past the 3x minimum.
 

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After reading all of what you guys have said about optics I'm almost ashamed to admit that I have never had anything but Leupold VX2's on any of my guns. I've stomped all over North America and traveled to Africa twice and I can't remember not shooting or missing a shot because I didn't have enough light or a clear enough view.

I agree with you there. The VX2 was all I could realistically afford at this point. I wanted quality optics but I also wanted to make sure I could afford plenty of ammo for practice. So far I am very impressed with it. I can notice a huge difference in low light than I can with the naked eye. My eyes have degraded a bit with age but I still have pretty good eye sight. I see 20/20 and with my glasses I am at 20/10 so maybe that part of it.
 

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