Help me choose a scope
I'm new to the forum and thought I would try and get your help on selecting a new scope for my Ruger .270. I'm primarily a bowhunter and really do not have a lot of experience hunting with rifles (i.e., I don't know crap about them!). Anyway, I was thinking about getting a new scope for the gun for my upcoming antelope hunt. I plan on practicing quite a bit this summer, but I still think that I would limit my shots to less than 300 yards with a 130 grain bullet (does that sounds reasonable?). I was looking at the Vortex line of scopes...specifically the Diamondback models. I was hoping to spend around $250, but I'm not exactly sure how much of a sacrifice in quality I am limited myself to in that price range. My next question would be what magnification and objective size to get. I was thinking of the 4-12x40 with the BDC reticle. I don't know anything about the AO options, but I haven't completely ruled that out. Well, that's a start I guess. Any help would be appreciated.
A good rule of thumb is spend equal to the cost of the rifle on price of optics. Match them to the quality of the gun so to speak.
40mm objectives are going to be great for most applications. 3-9 variable powers are nice. Some guys go for fixed power, but with the lower power options, you can scan greater field of view, then you have the option to zoom for a good shot. More power never hurts if you like a larger scope for fun long range shots at coyotes or such too!.
Viper makes a great scope and has come along ways in glass clarity and bonded coatings since they went mainstream.
Zeiss, Nightforce, Leupold Gold Ring, Leicca, all make excellent glass, and a wide range of hunting options in reticles as well. If your handloading, you can get custom BDC reticles from Leupold, Nightforce, and Leicca that I know of, may be able to from others as well.
I personally like to go with 50mm objectives on most of my rifles just for better light gathering capabilities. It also brings in a super clear picture, much more so than a 40mm will. However it can also increase the cost significantly in most lines to do that.
TRU GLOW also has a rather interesting line along with Trijicon in low power scopes that have some fiberoptic illumination options, but I just dont care for them, but worth looking at, you may just find them too cool to pass up.
Sightron my spelling my be off.
Vortex makes nice scopes, and there are some great deals available on their discontinued Viper models (The Viper line is one up from the Diamondback line). Check SWFA.com. I wouldn't get too caught up on magnification or big objectives, Large objectives often require tall rings, which makes getting a proper cheek weld tough. BDC reticles are nice if you know how to use them, and verify your drops by actually shooting.
Sightron also makes nice scopes. If you can swing $400, you just can't beat the Zeiss Conquest 3-9X40. Minox has a line of scopes out that are getting rave reviews as well. I have personally owned Sightron, Vortex Viper, and Conquests ... and would recommend the Conquest first, and Viper second, if you want to spend a little less.
On more of a budget, I've had very good luck with weaver scopes. Not the best optics available but I have had many one shot kills with it. Currently mounted on a Ruger M77 30 06. Been very happy with the combo.
Leopold VariX III Is also a good choice.
Good Luck, There are as many scopes to choose from as opinions on whats good. Just get the best you can afford and have it mounted buy a reputable gunsmith.
Thanks for the input, everyone. I have some decisions to make!
Do all of you have a gunsmith mount your scopes? I guess I figured I could do it myself. I realize its probably a little difficult getting the reticles level.
I mount all of my own scopes, and it isn't hard at all, if you have the right gear. I would recommend investing in a torque driver like a Fatwrench (or borrow one), and a Wheeler engineering level-level-level. Just mount the scope in the rings loose. Then find your proper eye relief by moving the scope forward and back in the rings until you naturally see the entire field of view when you shoulder the gun. Then tighten the rings to where the scope will just rotate with a little twisting pressure. Then put the rifle in a vise (or sandbags, etc.). Then level the action with the Wheeler action level. Then put the other level on the elevation turret (with cap off), and level the scope, while keeping the action level true. When everything is level torque the ring screws to spec with the Fatwrench. And ... there ya go ... ready for boresighting.
It is absolutely essential to get the rings tightened to spec, and NOT overtightened. Overtightened rings can lead to operation problems with the scope, most commonly the magnification ring will be hard to turn or seize completely. If you can't borrow or buy the proper mounting tools, have a gunsmith mount it. And that kid at the local Sportsmart is not a gunsmith. Come to think of it, some gunsmiths don't mount them right, either, so be careful.
I actually own a Fatwrench (got it for Christmas this past year). I recently setup a scope for my muzzleloader and it was nice to have that torque wrench. The thing that I don't have is the Wheeler level. I just "eyed" it as best as I could. I suppose it would be worth getting one of those levels. Thanks for the tip Bitterroot!
Anything Weaver or Nightforce, I highly recommend. Also, while cheaper, FireField has some nice optics. I have a scope of theirs on my 6mm and it took 3 shots to get dead on.
I'm a huge Leupold fan and if the VX3 is too pricey for you, the VX2 or VX1 are still really nice scopes and Leupold has a great warranty!