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Hellequin

'Low mag' scopes...

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Might be an odd topic for this forum, but I just wondered if anyone uses lower (fixed) magnification scopes on any of their rifles, in particular for 'varminting'?

 

I have a Vortex Viper PST 4-16x50 on my Steyr .308 but I'm soon to be getting a Tikka T3 Hunter in .222 and, as it's a fairly slim, light rifle I want to keep it that way with whatever optics I put on. I also like the simplicity (or at least the idea of it) of shooting with a fixed mag/fixed parallax scope.

 

I have an old Tasco Euro Class 4x44 (30mm tube) which has lovely glass and an awesome depth of field; pretty much everything from about 9/10yds to infinity is in focus. I'm also about to pick up a Leupold FX3 6x42 (25mm tube) which seems to get very good reviews.

 

Magnification wise I'd be confident using either on fox out to about 200yds which suits the .222 anyway, although bunnies may need to be taken at closer ranges... The only other 'issue' I can foresee is when zeroing, as in not being able to see the POI/groups through the scope.

 

Anyway, thoughts on the above would be interesting; how many others use scopes of this type (and for what use) rather than the 'more mag the better' way of thinking which seems much more common these days.

 

All the best

Paul

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i used a 7x50 on my foxing rifle for years and personally thought it was just right.tend to do more varmint/gong shooting these day so now use a 5.5x22 nightforce just turn it down when lamping

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I understand your idea of keeping the 222 rig fairly light-but the balance is always,to hit something,you have to see it,and greater mag simply allows bettewr precision in aiming (of course you need a rig that will also delivery accuracy-the T222 should be capable of 1/2 moa-adequate.

Distance and size of target matter- my favourite 22rf for rabbits under 70 yards was a 2-7 Tasco,almost always on 7x.

But my 17s and 222s had 6x24 scopes,and the much better precision allowed more confidence on 200 y shots (I'm not sure much more mag would have helped,but in a good variable you do have choice-though it all adds a bit weight...worth it to me. I would not though go for the heaviest NF scopes for 222 at 200y.

Fox are larger,so a modest mag is ok-more important is a clear reticule (the lower fixed mag scopes are often simple plex style-that may suit your use.)

 

I just would not use a 4x on small targets 200y away as it's too imprecise about the exact aiming point,and therefore POI,and that isn't 'fair' to an accurate 222,or bunny ! ) -but between extremes ,there are plenty compromises of magnification and weight (and decent variables for some flexibility-eg in lower light).

 

Sighting in should not be demanding-on the legs-get close at 50 yards,click up and check at 100y-it's not a long walk,really-even a couple of times.

 

For distances,I am in the 'high mag' camp- I can't see a golf ball at 700y at 4x,8x.....but I can almost count the dimples with a 42x...which isn't quite the same as saying I can hit one in particular...but it helps....

 

gbal

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good morning ,on my 22lr and 17hmr I use a s&b 6x42 very good light gathering and very good with the lamp nothing to mess about with and does excactly what is required. I do have leupold veriables on my large rifles but they are used at much longer ranges

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Thanks gents. I did used to be a fan of higher mag scopes, 6-24x in particular and still am for certain applications, but personally found that in the lower to medium price range (I'm talking £200-£700) the optics suffered at the higher magnification end and the eye-box was usually quite 'fussy'.

 

I haven't mounted the Tasco 4x44 yet but it does give a lovely clear image with the Duplex reticle. My thinking is to zero the .222 at 150yds which should mean very little hold over/under out to 200 yards.

 

I will compare it side by side to the Leup 6x42 first, but if I go with the 4x44 on the .222 I may well be tempted to change the 3-9x40 I have on .22LR for the Leup. That or use it as an excuse to buy another rifle....

 

Decisions decisions! :D;)

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I've been meaning to track down a 3-9x36, but if I'm honest with myself, the last thing I need right now is yet another scope to cause a reorganisation of rifle scope combinations!

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Hellequin, you are fine on the ballistics- give or take a fraction of an inch,depending on bullet ec,the 222 rem zeroed at 200y is 1.1 inch high at 100 (40g ) and 1.5 inch high at 100 (50g)....so with a realistic 150 zero,you will be correspondingly near enough at 200-near enough also in the sense that I doubt that you will be able to hold an inch orso with only 4x mag-that's the trade off-yes it will seem bright enough.

I had no trouble at all with 6-24 Tascos back in the 70s,and they were in the £150 -actually $200- range then-they were probably not as bright as an 8x56 S&B,but so what,in terms of shooting 200y rabbits....

 

You may have done so,but I'd strongly advise just taking the 4x scope out and sighting it on rabbit sized targets at 200y-remember there will be more than an inch of POI uncertainty,and more without a laser ranger. Can you really reliably allow for that via the scope. You can certainly do it much bettewr with more magnification.

Clear and bright and .....tiny are not conducive to precision;half obscured by thick reticule punishes further. Do try it first.

 

gbal

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Hellequin, you are fine on the ballistics- give or take a fraction of an inch,depending on bullet ec,the 222 rem zeroed at 200y is 1.1 inch high at 100 (40g ) and 1.5 inch high at 100 (50g)....so with a realistic 150 zero,you will be correspondingly near enough at 200-near enough also in the sense that I doubt that you will be able to hold an inch orso with only 4x mag-that's the trade off-yes it will seem bright enough.

I had no trouble at all with 6-24 Tascos back in the 70s,and they were in the £150 -actually $200- range then-they were probably not as bright as an 8x56 S&B,but so what,in terms of shooting 200y rabbits....

 

You may have done so,but I'd strongly advise just taking the 4x scope out and sighting it on rabbit sized targets at 200y-remember there will be more than an inch of POI uncertainty,and more without a laser ranger. Can you really reliably allow for that via the scope. You can certainly do it much bettewr with more magnification.

Clear and bright and .....tiny are not conducive to precision;half obscured by thick reticule punishes further. Do try it first.

 

gbal

 

Thanks gbal, I agree with all you say and in particular the issues with small targets/low mag.

 

I have head shot rabbits out to 200yds before but that was on 10x mag, with a .223 (40gr V-Max at 3700fps) set-up which I knew well and in perfect conditions, rested on bipod. I'm under no illusions that 4x mag is a different ball game and certainly wouldn't 'experiment' on live quarry of any species; if I'm not confident on paper/metal at that range then it just won't happen.

 

In all honesty, the .222 I am getting will be primarily for fox as I have a .22LR which I much prefer for bunnies. As quarry goes they are not the hardest to close in to a sensible range anyway. Even so, if I am not happy with the 4x set up at 200 yards for fox I'll either put the 6x Leup on or have an entire re-think. I do think one of the two will suit what I want though, with ranges kept sensible.

 

All the best

Paul

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I use an old West German S&B 6x42 on my .223 foxing rifle. Great glass, I've had nights under moonlight where it gathers enough light to see quite clearly. Superb at dusk.

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An S&B or similar (Meopta, Zeiss etc) 6x42 is on my wish list. 'New' S&B's of that spec seem pretty scarce though and they don't often come up 2nd hand. Which speaks volumes really...

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I've got a Leopold 6x42 on my 22LR and it's great for quick shooting at rabbits at up to 100 yards. So i guess that'll make it fine for foxes up to 200yards based on the distance differences and the size difference between animals.

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I've got a Leopold 6x42 on my 22LR and it's great for quick shooting at rabbits at up to 100 yards. So i guess that'll make it fine for foxes up to 200yards based on the distance differences and the size difference between animals.

 

Which reticle do you have on yours, if you don't mind me asking?

 

The one I'm getting is the 'wide duplex' but I've seen they also do it with a 'long range' version with some holdover hashes beneath the cross... Given the trajectory of .22LR subs and the fact I zero at 50yds (over 6" drop at 100) I reckon something like that might be helpful on the RF.

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I've been meaning to track down a 3-9x36, but if I'm honest with myself, the last thing I need right now is yet another scope to cause a reorganisation of rifle scope combinations!

My CZ527 American in .223Rem wears a 3-9x36 Swaro as does my Brno Mod 2 in .22lr... I'd say get one... Or the 3.5-10 version for a touch more light gathering. My HW77 where's a 4x36 Diatal. Ok I admit, I'm an optics tart...

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My CZ527 American in .223Rem wears a 3-9x36 Swaro as does my Brno Mod 2 in .22lr... I'd say get one... Or the 3.5-10 version for a touch more light gathering. My HW77 where's a 4x36 Diatal. Ok I admit, I'm an optics tart...

 

 

I know that feeling! In the past I've chopped and changed like the bloody weather...

 

Anyway, a brief update on this thread as far as my 4x44 goes. I've decided not to mount it on the .222 at the moment, although I am going to hang onto it for a while just in case...

 

Instead, I've found an old Falcon Merlin 4-14x42 which is the model before the Menace series. It has nice bright glass, although the FoV is nowhere near as wide as the Tasco even when set on the same 4x mag. It does have a fine, skeleton-type mildot reticle though, which along with the extra mag should suit the .222 a little better for more precision out to 250-300 yards. Whether it'll do as well under the lamp is another matter.

 

I still envisage setting a zero of 150yds and a maximum range for live quarry (fox) of 250yards will suit this little rifle best. I pick it up next week so will see how I get on, and whether it likes 40gr or 50gr factory ammo...

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A fixed power scope shouldn't be sniffed at, especially for hunting. 

A 10x  scope hasn't been a hindrance at 1000 yards, and 1200 yards is just about possible on a Figure 11.

All my rifles have fixed power, and that's intentional. 

Go for a quality fixed power,  and you probably won't regret it. Better light gathering, lighter, more robust,  and who wants to muck around with magnification?  

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Tasco Euro class.....:wub:

They were some scope many years ago. Hellish expensive, and one of the very first 30 mm scopes.

Unbelievable clarity.

The kids of today turn their noses up when old timers mention Tasco. The Japanese made scopes were simply stunning, optically.

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4 hours ago, Saracen7 said:

A fixed power scope shouldn't be sniffed at, especially for hunting.

A 10x  scope hasn't been a hindrance at 1000 yards, and 1200 yards is just about possible on a Figure 11.

All my rifles have fixed power, and that's intentional.

Go for a quality fixed power,  and you probably won't regret it. Better light gathering, lighter, more robust,  and who wants to muck around with magnification? 

Ohhhh please please please could Nightforce do a fixed with adj pa NXS ,,,10x   15x and 20 x56,,,,,,?

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If the brief is ".222, slim profile, close and up to 200yds", I'd be thinking something like a 2.5-8x36  VX-3.

I have one on a bush deer rifle and they're very flexible yet compact

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10 hours ago, baldie said:

Tasco Euro class.....:wub:

They were some scope many years ago. Hellish expensive, and one of the very first 30 mm scopes.

Unbelievable clarity.

The kids of today turn their noses up when old timers mention Tasco. The Japanese made scopes were simply stunning, optically.

Ah yes, remember those with fondness.  Cracking good scopes!  The 3-12 x 52 was very popular and very expensive back in the early 90's.

I shoot with a 4x42 Stirling Bisley De-Lux (another cracking good scope from the 80's) on my .22 and for a while used a VX3 4.5-14 x 50LR on my 223 which was a great vermin control scope.

For foxing, especially in poor light, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Delta Titanium 2.5 - 15 although it is a little bigger than the OP was after.

Sightron's 10x42 is another good fixed choice good enough for small quarry to 250m or more.  Some still use it for 1000yds target...

There are some great low zoom options from Swaro (the 3.5 - 10 mentioned earlier) and Zeiss, plus the 4.5-14 x 40 from Leupold (especially when fitted with the LR Varmint ret).

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4 hours ago, Chris-NZ said:

If the brief is ".222, slim profile, close and up to 200yds", I'd be thinking something like a 2.5-8x36  VX-3.

I have one on a bush deer rifle and they're very flexible yet compact

I have a Swaro 3-9x36 on my CZ527 American in .223 Rem and love it!

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