Which Rifle Scope to Use with Big Bore Calibers?

colpittman

New member
Joined
Dec 3, 2010
Messages
8
Reaction score
5
Media
7
Member of
SCI, B&C, NAHC, NRA
Hunted
Africa, Asia, Germany, Czech Republic, Republic of Slovakia, Peru, South Korea, Vietnam
I have two scopes that I have relied on for ALL of my big game hunting:

- Schmidt & Bender 2.5x10x56 with a German #4. I have this scope on a Steyr Model M 30.06 most of the time, mounted with a forged schwenkmontage claw-release system. I have used this scope on over 50 hunts, on and off the rifle, and from no-light to bright lights in the artic, this scope has performed. I have never lost my zero when removing and replacing the scope. I used in once on a .378 Wthby and fired over 30 rounds through a Lazermark - same level of performance. If you have the money to spend, don't waste it on lesser scopes.

- I recently put a Nikon African 1.1x4x24 Illuminated German #4 on my Ruger Mark 2 .375H&H Safari Magnum, and this scope is remarkable. The optics are incredibly clear and just as good at the shorter ranges as the Schmidt and much better than scopes costing 2-3 times as much. Mounted with a Warne system, I have no lost my zero when taking the scope off the rifle, and the red/green illumination dots are adaptablet to a number of environments and light conditions. This is a VERY well made scope at a reasonable price, and perfectly configured for dangerous game.
 

RayAtkinson

AH fanatic
Joined
Mar 17, 2009
Messages
672
Reaction score
574
Location
Filer,
Media
25
Articles
1
Member of
SCI Dallas
Hunted
RSA, Botswana, CAR, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya way back when, and a few others that I can't remember.
I posted sometime back on this subject of scopes on big bores..I did some extensive testing with a .375, 416 Rem, 458 Win. 458 Lott, 505 Gibbs..I also ended up with a sack full of broken scopes.

My test revealed the .375 and 416s could handle about any scope without damaging it. The 458 Lott and 505 Gibbs trashed every scope within 250 rounds, and most much sooner. Every scope tested was a high dollar scope, both US and Foriegn. I won't mention any names but the only scope that I could not trash was the Leupold 2.5 Compact and I believe that is because the internal adjustments are actually under the adjustment turret..I got the impression that the heavier a scope was the more vunerable it was to recoil and I also noticed that the big European scopes tended to slip in the rings regardless of how tight you screwed them in, perhaps it is the finish as it seems slick..

I believe many get away with the scopes they use on the really big bores because one person in a million shoots those monsters anywhere near 250 times.

Anyway for what its worth, and keeping in mind that it was a range test project and not particularly scientific, but neither is the bush very scientific....

I read of a simular test on the .458 Lott in an old Rifleman or Handloader magazine and they claimed the same experience, thus the reason for my testing.

Bottom line with me is the .458 Lott, and larger calibers are 200 yard rifles at best and are seldom used at over 100 yards. Therefore the need for a scope does not apply with me..

All my big bores over .416 are set up with shallow V irons or a Receiver sight such as the Williams that has adjustments that curious hands cannot play with. As to eyesight, I have found that a visit to your eye doc can fix you up to shoot iron sights in most cases. My old eyes require bifocals, yet I can still shoot irons as well as I did 60 years ago..I am sure this is not always the case an for those that cannot shoot the shallow V, the receiver sight has a lot to offer as its easier with bad eyes. If not then your locked into a scope..

I also believe many of todays hunters have never used irons and only surmise they cannot shoot them, those folks should spend a little time using irons and they might be surprised just how accurate they are.
 

DOC-404

AH elite
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
1,243
Reaction score
301
Media
57
Hunting reports
Africa
1
I use a Lynx 1-3x20 for DG and a Lynx 4-12x40 for plains game on my .375,and I am perfectly happy with them.
 

Shakey

AH veteran
Joined
May 18, 2011
Messages
160
Reaction score
46
Media
161
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
1
Member of
SCI, DSC, NRA
Hunted
US, Canada, RSA (Limpopo, Eastern Cape), Zimbabwe (Omay North X 2, Dande Safari Area, Dande East), Botswana
Hi Beto,
this is an old thread and no doubt you would have made your choice by now.

I would be interested in knowing your final selection, and your evaluation of what you ended up with.

I too am looking for, (considering), an optical sight for my .458 Lott which is mainly used as a back-up rifle on buffalo in Australia.

Normally my back-up guns are neat on top (no scopes) but our late season hunts see a sometimes need for shots out to 100yds and beyond and my tired eyes are strecthed with shots beyond 100, with open sights.

I too considered the Trijicons, we get quite a few of these in our camp each year and they seem to be the real deal, though I have become intrigued with the prospects provided by the new 34L Aimpoint sight.

Without wanting to hijack your thread, did you consider, or has anyone else tried, one of these sights yet ?

Thank-you in advance,
Paul.

Judging by the recent activity, this thread needed resurrected anyhow. Yes, I have tried the Aimpoint H30L. I chose the 30mm tube (easier to find rings, can mount it on my .375 H&H with my existing Talley rings). I got it for mounting on my .470 NE, and I had Searcy machine integral Talley bases into the rear “V” rib (option he offers). I find it to be a very impressive aiming system. It has unlimited eye relief (which is very important to me for a .470), and target acquisition is fast with both eyes open. Since I started shooting rifles, I have always used telescopic systems. These have no magnification, but it is impressive how accurate you can be. I’ve shot it on both a .375 H&H and a .470 NE double. They have a 2 MOA dot, big enough to grab your attention, but small enough for precise shooting. The main drawback is remembering to adjust the dot intensity or brightness. In bright light, you have a tendency to increase the dot brightness. Once light fades, however, it can become too bright if you don’t dial it down. The reverse holds true when you start at a low setting in the early morning hours, then fail to increase the brightness as the sun takes over. You’ll shoulder the rifle and be searching for a dot that is suddenly very dim and hard to see. Basically it takes some minor discipline during the transition times. Despite this, I can still recommend it.

As for all other scopes, Swarovski rules. I have a top of the line Leupold and a couple basic model Zeiss scopes, but I always go back to Swarovski when I head out on serious outings like Alaska, and for what it’s worth, Alaska will test every piece of equipment you have.
 

Steve Bosang

AH member
Joined
Jul 18, 2015
Messages
32
Reaction score
31
Location
Durango Colorado USA
Media
9
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
RSA
..Myself I shoot weaver Grand slam series scopes. They run from $259 - $400. I shoot them on every gun I have scoped & had no problems with it. I have a 375 H &H shot probably 400 rounds through it with out a scope problem!! Don't know about the 458 lott though?
>> There are better scopes out there but if you are on a budget I think they are good. I'm not sold on all that higher dollar stuff for a rifle scope. The quality should be in the binoculars as I'm putting the scope on the animal to kill it not evaluate it. As far as the light gathering quality they all brag about - if it's that dark out maybe we shouldn't be shooting!!!!
I agree the Grand slam and Super Slam Weavers are very good for the money..They are high end Japanese made scopes with all pro features and high light transmission..Good Choice--Zeiss of course is very nice also..
 

browningbbr

AH enthusiast
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
498
Reaction score
224
Location
Southern Wisconsin, USA
Media
32
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Member of
SCI Northeast Wisconsin Chapter, NRA, Local Sportsmen's Club
Hunted
South Africa, Tanzania
I have two scopes that I have relied on for ALL of my big game hunting:

- I recently put a Nikon African 1.1x4x24 Illuminated German #4 on my Ruger Mark 2 .375H&H Safari Magnum, and this scope is remarkable. The optics are incredibly clear and just as good at the shorter ranges as the Schmidt and much better than scopes costing 2-3 times as much. Mounted with a Warne system, I have no lost my zero when taking the scope off the rifle, and the red/green illumination dots are adaptablet to a number of environments and light conditions. This is a VERY well made scope at a reasonable price, and perfectly configured for dangerous game.

+ 1 I have the same set up on my .416 Rigby. About 100 rounds put through it since sight in and it still holds zero. This includes a 14 day hunt in Tanzania.
 

B9.3

AH veteran
Joined
Dec 21, 2009
Messages
117
Reaction score
34
I have a Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 in Warne quick detach rings on my Weatherby Mark V Euromark 375 Weatherby Mag..
It has crystal clear optics, & 4" / 100mm eye relief. The tube is long enough so mounting on any rifle is not a problem.
It is very good in poor light or shaded areas. I truly love this scope after owning a dozen Leupolds. Mostly VX-3s..
In fact all my rifles have Zeiss scopes.. My best is Zeiss Victory HT 2.5-10x50 on my CZ550 9.3x62 because that is the rifle I use if I am hunting in foul weather or dark thick scrub. It's night performance is brilliant & target acquisition is instant.
there is no looking for an image with this scope because it is there..
 

Bruce

AH elite
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
1,223
Reaction score
977
Location
South Africa
Media
59
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SAGA/ Cape Hunters/ SA Hunters Association
Hunted
Namibia/Zimbabwe/Zambia/ South Africa/ Botswana/ Tanzania
VORTEX Razor HD 1-6 x 24.... fantastic light gathering and clarity, plus has the illuminated reticule if required. Swarovsky quality at a lesser price.
 

thriller

AH elite
Joined
Sep 23, 2013
Messages
1,186
Reaction score
1,431
Location
Alabama
Media
27
Member of
NWTF, NRA, DU, SCI and QDMA
Hunted
Countries: Argentina, United States and Zimbabwe States: AL, LA, FL, MS, Tenn., SD, ND, IA, NE, KN,SC, GA, TX and NC
I like trijicon, Swarovski and leupolds myself. With the accupoint being high on the list because it has a light up sight with no batteries and quality glass to boot.
 

bassasdaindia

AH elite
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
1,324
Reaction score
862
Media
20
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
3
my choice on the rifles would be as you have them , to stick with the Leupold .

IMHO they are the best value for money scopes .
 

BC.Pat

AH enthusiast
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Messages
474
Reaction score
509
Location
Victoria, British Columbia
Media
10
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
Hunted
Botswana , Namibia, Sierra Leone
I am afraid I am a big of a optics pig , I run Schmidt & Bender almost exclusively, there is no doubt they are way too expensive! And many scopes are close and the 98% solution. But for optical quality from everything Ive read and compared S&B wins the day. And I smile every time I look thru them.

PS the ACOGs an excellent optic for what its designed for.

Regards
Pat
 

fiocchi

AH veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2016
Messages
136
Reaction score
34
Media
15
I am afraid I am a big of a optics pig , I run Schmidt & Bender almost exclusively, there is no doubt they are way too expensive! And many scopes are close and the 98% solution. But for optical quality from everything Ive read and compared S&B wins the day. And I smile every time I look thru them.

PS the ACOGs an excellent optic for what its designed for.

Regards
Pat
Here's a man who knows what he s talking about. Shame S&B have ditched their best scope ever made, the 4x36, re-made with a longer front tube in 1" and if you're listening, please also make a 1.25-8x36 in 1" with a small diameter ocular bell and no illumination. Those are the two options I'm dying for from S&B!
 

CTDolan

AH elite
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
1,460
Reaction score
1,442
Location
Minnesota
Media
18
Articles
1
All my big bores over .416 are set up with shallow V irons or a Receiver sight such as the Williams that has adjustments that curious hands cannot play with. As to eyesight, I have found that a visit to your eye doc can fix you up to shoot iron sights in most cases. My old eyes require bifocals, yet I can still shoot irons as well as I did 60 years ago..I am sure this is not always the case an for those that cannot shoot the shallow V, the receiver sight has a lot to offer as its easier with bad eyes. If not then your locked into a scope..

I also believe many of todays hunters have never used irons and only surmise they cannot shoot them, those folks should spend a little time using irons and they might be surprised just how accurate they are.

For a long while now I've shot nothing but open sights. Being a former bowhunter (and handgun hunter) I prefer open sights and close-in hunting. Personally, I have no interest whatsoever in taking shots beyond 75-100 yards (and anything over 50 yards will only be taken under exceptional circumstances).

Were I to put a scope atop one of my heavy rifles, though, it'd be a Leupold. That's what I put on my 378 Weatherby, back in the day (Vari-X III, 1.5-5x). It stood up to a little over 200 shots of full power, factory 300 grain loads, no problem.
 

zephyr

AH enthusiast
Joined
Feb 27, 2011
Messages
320
Reaction score
303
Location
Vermont
Media
9
Hunting reports
Africa
2
My 400H&H Just trashed a Swaro Z6 in 1X6, would guess 300-400 rounds. Bought a VX6 1X6 to replace it. will let you know what I think of the new scope when I mount it soon and what Swaro's warranty program is like on a 6 year old scope.
 

Gert Odendaal

AH legend
Joined
Apr 19, 2012
Messages
2,298
Reaction score
2,329
Media
884
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SAJW
I do not scope my .458 Mannlicher Schoenauer , but it has a ghost ring on ...
VN6r6In.jpg
klj8m66.jpg

My .375 H&H Magnum Coggswell& Harrison has a ghost ring as well , although it is a a Scout rifle configuration with a quarter rib , three flip up distance indicator blades..as well...
Uk87OpA.jpg
DglKtRK.jpg


My 404 Jeffery is a v-express sight which shoots extremely accurate..more accurate than what I am capable off...

WlgWYHS.jpg

Currently I am shooting it with a Leupoldt 1.5-5 x 20 scope while hunting...
 

Attachments

  • WlgWYHS.jpg
    WlgWYHS.jpg
    10.7 KB · Views: 148
  • VN6r6In.jpg
    VN6r6In.jpg
    123.5 KB · Views: 267
  • Uk87OpA.jpg
    Uk87OpA.jpg
    1.5 MB · Views: 240
  • klj8m66.jpg
    klj8m66.jpg
    119.5 KB · Views: 228
  • DglKtRK.jpg
    DglKtRK.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 189

BWH

AH legend
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
2,798
Reaction score
2,866
Location
Texas
Media
102
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
4
USA/Canada
3
Member of
Ducks Unlimited, Texas Trophy Hunters, Trout Unlimited, SCI, DSC & NRA
Hunted
USA & RSA
I would never recommend going "cheap" on the glass.... for primo rifles & hunting purposes. That being said.... money goes a long way with Vortex & Leupold. I'd like to own Trijicon, S&B, Swarovski, Leica, etc...... just never needed or could justify.
 

ChrisG

AH elite
Joined
Jan 6, 2015
Messages
1,040
Reaction score
1,209
Location
Adirondack Park, NY, USA
Media
44
Articles
1
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
3
Member of
NAHC, NRA, Rocky Mtn. Elk Foundation.
Hunted
USA, Canada
+1 on Leupold. I would go with a VX-2 or higher on a .375ish recoil level. for a .40+ I wouldn't go below the VX-3 line. I personally prefer the old VariX-3 as I think it was a tougher scope. If you can find one used they are usually a good deal. In my mind they will hold up better to the recoil. I have no emperical data to back this up however. Honestly, I had a Weaver V3 1-3x20 on my .416 for a while while I was waiting for my leupy to come in. o_O It held up just find but has since been moved to my 6.5x55. I just love the look of a scope that has no objective bell on it.
 

Brett Becker

AH member
Joined
Jul 26, 2013
Messages
48
Reaction score
17
Member of
SCI, Australian Deer Association, SSAA
Hunted
Australia, Namibia
You won't find anything but Leupold VX 3 scopes on all of my rifles ranging from 22 through to 450 NE. Great value for money and never had a drama yet. And until I do , they won't wear anything else.
 

Hogpatrol

Silver supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
6,248
Reaction score
14,236
Location
Delaware, USA
Media
76
Articles
4
Member of
Atglen Sportsmen's Club, NRA ,SCCFSA,
Hunted
RSA, DE, NJ, PA, KS, TX, ME
Another vote for the Trijicons. I have three Accupoints, a 5-20 with green dot and two 2.5-10s with the chevron post. It took some getting used to the chevron but I prefer it for quick shots. I own and have used Nightforce NXS for my long range stuff but they are on the heavy side. Their SHVs are a great scope too at half the price of other Nightforces.
 

broncolcj

AH enthusiast
Joined
Apr 6, 2014
Messages
339
Reaction score
522
Location
Colorado
Media
78
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA, SCI
Hunted
South Africa, Namibia
Trijicon works great for me on my 375 CZ 550. Swarovski is also a good tough one I use on my 340 weatherby. If you really want to go crazy, Schmidt & Bender is really excellent
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,374
Messages
713,004
Members
66,650
Latest member
Andreaswqo
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

degoins wrote on Treemantwo's profile.
I have a like new VC .450 I might part with. I had it built in 2013 and it has served me well. Also have a VC fitted leather trunk case for it along with the plastic case it came with. I'll take 14000 for all of it.
Matt W wrote on Jody's profile.
Hi Jody,
I have been looking for ideas on the best way to display my European mounts from Africa. I came across some of your shield work and was wondering if you would be willing to make one for me? If so, please let me know the cost. I like the shield with the two spears that you built for a member years ago. Thanks.
cal pappas wrote on Mnelson2's profile.
Nelson. Is this message a PM format. I want to send you my email, but don't know if this is the cirrect way to do it. I'm at <pappas@mtaonline.net> Send me an email with your phone and I will call you about a skull I have. I went to school in Boston and am from Bernardston in the west part of the state. Moved to Alaska in 1984 adn never looked back.
BeeMaa wrote on Justbryan's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. He was a pleasure to do business with.
BeeMaa wrote on 375Fox's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. Was a pleasure to do business with.
 
Top