Is a 20X scope overkill?
I have a 6x20x50 scope leupold VXIII thinking of buying a tikka T3 7mm mag. Im unsure about the scope being to much for the rifle. I had a 4.5x14 nikon on a 280 rem and at 400yards the scope didn't have enough zoom for me. I hear of guys shooting 400 yards with a 3x9 but I couldn't imagine that! I know Dave Long hunted with a 20x in his book but he might have a better rifle for the scope? I want to set this rifle up for big country hunting(tetons, colorado high country, etc.).
I think its a great match up!. You have everthing except weight in your favor!. Great light gathering with the 50mm objective. Low power for getting a wider field of view when you need it, and for larger targets that have a more forgiving kill zone. Major magnification for clarity of your target at farther ranges as well, you can DIAL in on the kill zone at range when needed.
And if for what ever reason you feel like a 600 yard shot on a whistlepig with that 7mm! lol your gonna be covered for that too!.
Tell ya what though. If you find your not wanting that scope...I will buy it from you.
I don't think so at all. I have a custom Model 70 in 7 Mag and on it I have a 10-40x50 mil-dot scope on it. It's nice to be able to see up close how your shots are hitting at 300 :)
Thanks wolftalonID it's nice to have some assurance from someone with a western perspective. The 3 times I've hunted out west it has felt like a 20x would be a good thing thanks.
They are great if you need for long distance, but I have missed opportunities because of forgetting to turn back down for close up shots. It's hard to make a kill shot when all you have is a scope full of hair!
First of all, there isn't a big difference in light gathering capabilities between a 40mm and a 50mm... Also, shooting on 20 power does not give you a more 'forgiving kill zone'. It doesn't make your physical target any bigger.
An advantage when you're shooting on full power is, you can pick a specific spot on the hide to aim at; discoloration or a patch of hair growing the opposite way right behind the shoulder, etc. That's how I like to use it, anyway.
I wouldn't say the 6.5-20x50 is too much for that rifle, but I prefer the 40mm so I can use low rings. Then, you can mount the scope lower and you can get down on the stock for a solid cheek rest. Not to mention, 40mm is lighter and less 'cumbersome' to pack.
20x might not be too much all the time, but it isn't necessary. Military snipers have been making hits at long distances (1000 yards+) with 10x fixed scopes for decades. Lower magnification has a lot of advantages. With higher magnification, your natural shake, even your heart rate, and its effect on the crosshairs will be magnified. Mirage is magnified as well. The field of view is much wider with a lower range variable. Higher magnifications also reduce your low-light performance because the magnification shrinks the exit pupil, which is essential for low light use. You will also get better optical performance for your money with lower magnification scopes.
A 3-9 variable gives all the magnification needed for typical hunting ranges, and actually much further if necessary.
I recently went from a 6.5-20X50 on my elk rifle to a 4-12 with better glass. Glass quality trumps magnification every time. You see more with a great 9x than a mediocre 20x, and seeing better is what you are magnifying the image for.
Elkoholic is spot-on on low mounting. Cheek-weld is also essential for precision shooting, and a lower mount usually helps getting a good cheek weld.
High magnification is helpfull only in a few, rare circumstances, IMO.
If you can shoot a 1000 yards with a fixed 10 you have alot better eyes than I do. I had a nikon 14 power with the BDC the 400 yard circle on it covered 8" to 10" at 400 yards. It was really hard to center the circle at that range. The 20 power gives me total confidence at that range. I'm wanting to take this on a hunt for muleys in region G. Just thought it would work well for that, but I know more about bows and muzzleloaders than rifles.
Yeah, those circles are a little different. Some guys like them. If that Leupold VX-III scope suits you, then use it. I was just pointing out that high magnification scopes have their issues, and most of the time a little bit lower magnification helps most shooters in the field. Just a few days ago I was shooting steel at 600 yards with my 7-08 and a 2-7x32 Vortex Viper. It wasn't hard to identify the targets. The Viper has a BDC with dots on the crosshairs instead of circles. The dots are .75 MOA, so cover about 3" at 400 yards. The crosshairs are .2 MOA thick, so the cover about .8 inches at 400 yards. A guy can be pretty precise with the setup.
Elkoholic, ??? Not much difference in light gathering of a 40mm vs 50mm? If 56% more LGP thats Light Gathering Power, for those that dont know, I would say its a bit more than not much.
You can calculate LGP of an objective lens by taking the size of the lens in mm and divide by 7, then square the results. To be a bit more blunt, thats why NV systems use such large objectives.
And to clear up your other parts, I didnt say magnification would give you a more forgiving kill zone, I said larger animals will, and lower magnification is nice to have for wider fields of view, AND shooting at larger animals or targets that have larger more forgiving kill zones.
That being said it also means I am implying that smaller targets are nice to shoot at WITH magnification cranked up so you can pin point your kill zone more precisely.
Try shooting a whistle pig at 600 yards at 12x power. You would be lucky to see the thing.
Having high magnification on a LR shooting gun like a 7mm is very desirable in SWAG situations. Seeing the "mirage" if you will helps you see the magnitude of the heat index at range. If you also have a very sensitive parallax adjustment, you can move from near to far, check the difference in heat index or rise rate over the terrain. Spotters use high magnification on their spotting scopes to do this, and can adjust for the rise in the shot from high heat to keep the shooter from over shooting the target on a hot day.
So having it in an all in one set up for the shooter will in many ways help a LR shooter take that shot.
Cheek weld on a TIKA rifle is usually not much of an issue with large objective lens scopes, especially ones by leupold.