Scope for an Ultra Mag?
So my husband just totally spoiled me for my upcoming birthday and bought me the Remington 300 Ultra Mag I have been wanting. It came with a relatively standard 30-06 capacity scope so I want to upgrade to something for long distance - mostly for bear hunting, but also would use it for the long shots on elk/muleys. I think I know what I would like to put on it, together with a muzzle brake, but what would you guys scope it out with and why?
What is your budget, and what ranges are you talking about?
I prefer to match the scope to use, and not to cartridge.
Hadn't really thought about budget as I want the right scope for the job. The rifle was a really good deal but came with a relatively standard remington scope, so I'm reckoning the purpose-bought scope is going to cost more than the rifle. Will mostly use it for bear or elk so shooting between 200 and 500yds, probably more when I get in tune with the rifle a little more. I'd like to get the yardage marking put on it for the 200 grain I will be shooting, so interested in the deal Leupold offer on their scopes.
Shooting past 300 yards is going to require some sort of drop compensation. "Kentucky windage" style holdover just won't cut it. Your two main options are using a holdover reticle or dialing your elevation turret. With even moderate winds, compensating for wind is an issue past 400 yards.
There is a lot more that goes into calculating your drops than just the weight of the bullet. Some 200 grain .30 caliber bullets will have dramatically different ballistic coefficients (BCs) than others, depending on shape. This changes the trajectory significantly at extended ranges even if the muzzle velocity is the same with each bullet.
There are good, simple holdover reticle scopes available that can grow with you. I have had good success with both the Zeiss Rapid-Z reticles and Vortex Dead-Hold BDC reticles. Keep in mind these reticles are in the second focal plane of the scope, so they are only calibrated at one magnification setting. The Vortex is calibrated in Minute of Angle (MOA) subtensions at maximum magnification. The Rapid-Z varies by your specific load, and you set the magnification at a point where the reticle subtensions match your rifle's drops (an online Zeiss calculator helps with this process).
I currently have a Swarovski Z3 w/ BRH reticle on my 300 RUM. This reticle is subtended in mils, and is calibrated at Max magnification. I have been practicing a lot with this setup, and I am comfortable with it.
Dialing for elevation is best with tactical style scopes with exposed turrets that track reliably.
Zeiss Conquest scopes are excellent in every regard, and priced comparatively to Leupold's VX3 series.
One option that does the math for you, but still needs to be field verified by you, is the Burris Eliminator riflescope. This scope integrates a rangefinder into the scope. You match your load to one of the scopes built in trajectory models, and the scope will automatically light up a dot on the lower crosshair post, compensating for the bullet drop, based on the range you get with the scope. By most accounts it works very well out to 500 yards, if you practice. I find the scope ugly and cumbersome-looking. It also over-simplifies trajectory.
With more info including an estimated budget, I could give some specific recommendations on a scope.
Last year I bought a Leupold VX-3 CDS (custom dial system) and I have been extremely happy with it. Once you decide what bullet you want to use, you'll need to chronograph it. Next you need to call Leupold and give them your ballistic info: muzzle velocity, ballistic coeffecient, bullet weight, scope height, altitude, temp... with that info they will make you a custom dial for your elevation turret. My 300 win. mag. is adjustable from 200yds - 700yds. The system is easy to use with simple duplex crosshairs. The VX-3 offers optics comparable to any top end scope and it costs less than $600. Also, you can buy additional turrets for (if i remember correctly) $30, in case you want to use different bullets/loads for different hunts. Definately something to look into, imo. Good luck
The CDS system should work well. It is important to remember, however, that if you are at a different elevation and/or temperature than the one they calculated your CDS on, the drops will be different. The CDS system also does not account for wind. If you understand and field verify your CDS, and use it to moderate ranges, it is pretty slick.
Originally Posted by Mwalczak
I think a Rapid-Z would be a great match for the 300 Ultra.
I just recently got a christensen arms 300rum...i put a swarovski z3 4.5 by 12-50 awesome scope well worth the money good luck with your RUM.
@Bitterroot Bulls - thanks for a very informative and extensive reply - really helpful as I'm on a learning curve here. I visited my local gun store tonight and had a Boone & Crockett very similar to what you mention about the Burris Eliminator. Retailed around $600. The other one I looked at was the Leupold CDS that Mwalczak mentioned, again retailed around the same price. I see the pros and cons of both systems, just not sure which one will suit my style best. I'm mostly planning on using the RUM for long distance opportunities where the elk or bear has no clue I'm about; shorter range under 200yds or hiking out to hunt I would carry my 30.06 Planning on reloads with 200gr acubond powder rl25 and primer cci large rifle magnum.
@Mwalczak - sure is a nice scope, and real quick and easy once you have it set up. I had heard about Leupold and the elevation turret. Sweet deal :)
The Leupold CDS is simply a custom engraved turret. Kenton Industries has been doing them for a variety of scopes for years.
The Leupold Boone and Crockett reticle is my least favorite holdover reticle but it works for many people.
When working up loads for the 300 RUM, don't get married to a certain bullet or powder. I would recommend spending some time to find one that really shoots. I also have had better luck with Federal 215s rather than CCI primers.
If you are looking in the Leupold w/ CDS price range, I strongly recommend checking out the Zeiss Conquest scopes. The 4.5-14X50 w/ target knobs would be a great match to a tight-shooting 300 RUM.
You can often find deals on demo Conquests here:
The most important thing is to become proficient, and get lots of practice.
Let us now how it all turns out, and maybe post a pic of your setup.