Which Rifle Scope to Use with Big Bore Calibers?

Edward Wright

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Oct 13, 2016
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Quebec, Newfoundland, Wyoming, Kentucky, South Carolina, Indiana
I am surprised Nightforce has not been brought up till now. The 50 BMG crowd I know say good things about them, and that is a bunch of recoil for a scope. I do believe they may offer a DG piece as well, not sure though. The Aimpoint 30L I saw used on Buffalo was given praises by the PH for its fast acquisition. Now this was on video, and could be S&M , but LE, and military use Aimpoint around the world.
I have pondered that 30L for my 458???


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Apr 27, 2017
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USA, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana
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 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.

This thread has been going a while which means it is both important and popular. Agreed, about use of open sights. I too set up, sight in and shoot dangerous game rifles with open sights first. Only then mount a scope. I am very particular about the mounts and the method of mounting including lapping to minimize stress on scope. The scope is going to get a severe pounding from the heavy recoil of a DG cartridge- no doubt. I also have the 2.5 Leupold Compact on my heaviest hitter, a 450 Watts, and so far after at least 200 rounds- no issues. Another nice thing about that model scope is the good eye relief- listed IIRC at 4.9". Not the most expensive scope out there but it certainly seems to be a good model.


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Jun 3, 2013
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I've pretty much switched over to Trijicon 1.5x 6 with the green triangle for all my big rifles. In the last month I have been diagnosed with Macular Degeneration in my right eye, I'm getting treatment but I may never have my sight back fully. I can shoot with this scope right handed out to 50 yards. Which is ok for dangerous game. For longer shots I'm teaching myself to shoot left handed. I use the scope on everything bigger then 375 H&H with good success.

Dr Ray

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Apr 1, 2017
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Cairns, Australia
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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.

I would certainly appreciate the data etc on the Swarovski.
I had a Swarovski 3.5-18x44 on 270. Will look at a 416 next year and would greatly value your opinion.

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