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Question Scopes - modern trends versus traditional...

Discussion in 'Anything Airgun Related' started by 177, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. 177

    177 Donator

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    I can't be the only one seeing more and more adverts trying to persuade us all to part with our hard earned for enormous/tactical offerings.

    I'd like to get to grips with the underlying rationale behind scope purchase and use and would appreciate any input.

    This isn't a "X is better than Y" discussion and I'm not beating the drum for the products I happen to like and use - whatever works for an individual is all good as far as I am concerned.

    That said, I've hunted a bit in America and Canada and I know a lot of shooters over there. None of them that I know of would dream of taking anything with tactical turrets into thick cover, and large object lenses and high magnification are avoided like the plague.

    This is a stark contrast to the general 'bigger is better' approach in the world of airgunning which always baffles me.

    A long range 600 yard hunter is happy with a low fixed mag or a good 3-9x40 scope while we seem to feel the need to go massive object lens, massive magnification and, often, tactical turrets which is polar opposite for infinitely shorter ranges.

    I don't understand it and never have to be honest.

    Outside of dedicated FT (which I still think over-eggs the pudding, a lot) I can't see any advantages that aren't significantly outweighed by a whole raft of associated disadvantages for general target work and especially hunting.

    I briefly tried a tactical scope on an air rifle - as I expected the turrets sometimes turned and buggered zero up if I wasn't ultra-careful removing the gun from its slip.

    For full bore hunting one chap I know who writes a lot for the American shooting press has repeatedly asked some of the bigger scope manufacturers to come up with a fixed 3x40.

    What's odd is that a lot of 'magpie effect' big numbers are bandied around when marketing and advertising products.

    If someone put, say, a 4x40 fixed mag scope on the table next to a 4-24x56 the bigger scope would grab almost 100% of attention by definition, proving that the magpie effect works since the most salient factor of any scope is the quality (which equals performance) of the lenses, tube and other internal components.

    Some people hunt on 12x (I couldn't to save my life) which is fine if it works for them.

    What worries me more is that some people try to hunt on 12x because someone told them that was the way it ought to be done, presumably because that's the way they themselves do it.

    There aren't necessarily right and wrong approaches here - if it works, it's all good.

    I'm not suggesting everyone should march out and buy a 4x40 (even though that would exceed the requirements of the majority of airgunners, IMHO :rolleyes: )

    I'm also not asking anyone to justify their chosen purchase - I hope you're all deliriously happy with your scope(s).

    I'm just trying to understand what people feel they get from the much bigger scopes and especially the tactical ones that seem to be more and more in vogue.

    Tell you something that's a direct contrast to the UK: go into any decent shooting/pro shop in the USA or Canada and the advice you will get will be the exact reverse of the air gunning magazines and gun shops over here.

    Seriously.

    In most of those shops if you asked for a big tactical scope for an air rifle they'd look at you like you had two heads. They'd sell you one, if you insisted, but not before they'd ask what you intended doing and suggesting more appropriate (subjective, obviously) solutions.

    I'm genuinely interested and, if anyone does offer any input, please let's refrain from criticism of them/their chosen product and concentrate on the motivating factors and rationale.

    At the end of the day it's a free country, it's your money and you can do what you like.

    I'm more interested in the market trends and what people feel they get from different products, and I'd appreciate some campfire chat from anyone who wants to offer anything up :)

    Thanks for looking :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
  2. mark.177

    mark.177 Donator

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    bigger numbers = better sales... more features = better sales... as long as folk keep buying rubbish they keep selling it. for air rifle hunting at least you really dont need high mag, you dont want to be faffing around with dials and turrets and you dont need umptean aim pionts... what you need is to be able to see your target and you reticle clearly what you need is a scope you can depend upon, what you need is a scope that isnt sooo big you have to mount it with mounts so high your cheeks floating above the cheek piece and yor straining to get a good sight picture.

    give me a plain simple 4x32 or 6x42 with a choice of fixed parallax at 30 yards or 100 with all the emphasis put on good glass, coatings, baffling and toughness and thats all ide ever need not easy to find these days without spending big bucks.
     
  3. jay5488

    jay5488 Donator

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    My scope, and indeed my reasoning is quite simply this....
    I use a Hawke HD 4-12 x 50 and the reasons are quite simple really, and is nothing to do with bigger is better...
    The length of the scope suits me and the eye relief is perfect, I struggled to get a fixed mag x10 scope that suited me in every way that this one does!!
    The mag never ever moves on mine and as such I hunt and plink on x10 and the reason for this??? Simple, it makes my life easier. That's it in a nutshell!!!
    Just to add the 50mm objective was only because it's the first one I picked up and if anything I would like a 40mm to get closer to the rifle, also I don't have tactical turrets as they are a pain in the bum for the same reason as you say, every time you take them out the bag, catch your coat on them... Etc etc!!!

    Hope this helps, I like everything simple and no bells and whistles, but sometimes you have to have them but not use them!!!!

    Jamie
     
  4. Quentyn

    Quentyn Engaging Member

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    it is funny, if I am paper punching high mag is superb as you can really see where the pellets are landing to the mm.

    If I am hunting I start on 8mag and wind back as the light fades

    if I am HFTing I used to used a 6-24x56 MTC viper set on 15 mag but now I have gone back to the simplicity of a fixed 10x42

    I agree with you that most people dont need the scope they have on their rifle for what they use it for... but it is a free country

    I suspect that most airgunners spend most of their time plinking ( if we are honest) and therefore high mag can be great fun
     
  5. Stevie Darling

    Stevie Darling Sexual tyrannosaurus

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    I use a hawke tac 30 10x42, I admit that when I bought it I knew nothing about scopes, and I am still very much learning.

    I have tried higher/lower mag scopes, but this one just seems to suit me!

    i do apologise if this post is not very informative, as my scope knowledge is in need of a bit more scope:)
     
  6. Comrade Stumpy

    Comrade Stumpy Active Member

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    Our club league limits mag to x10. The thinking being that most new shooters are sold 3x9 mag scopes or x10 fixed scopes. Apart from recommending a mil dot reticule we try and dissuade them from getting mega mag scopes and probably buying a better quality lower mag scope for the same money. We regularly have targets at 60+ yards and x10 is more than enough for these.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
  7. 177

    177 Donator

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    Thanks for the input so far chaps - very much appreciated :)

    That actually makes your comments all the more valid in many ways since you probably hadn't been as heavily influenced, and learned to work with what you had, possibly with more of an open mind or less bias either for or against the product :up:

    I leave my 3-9x and 5-15x on either 5x or 6x and never touch them, so fixed mag would work for all of my shooting with those particular rigs.

    The only scopes I actually use the zoom on are the little Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 1.75-5x32 units. I wind them right down for really close ratting and barn pigeons, and I go up to 3 or 4x for longer range plinking and hunting. They have a plain ret but a typical 15 yard primary zero and 30 yard secondary zero means something just a few yards away is at the top of the bottom thick post, just before it turns into the thin cross hair. Likewise, you can use a similar technique for long shots (distance varies depending on calibre, pellet and velocity) but it's a useful technique to give multiple aim points without needing anything other than a plain cross ret.

    I am a great believer in over-specifying and under-utilising, but this just goes to show that even on my comparatively simple scopes they have more features or capability than I need or use.

    This probably just goes to show something...

    ;)
     
  8. sharpsman

    sharpsman Big Poster

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    I honestly believe with some people thier choice is what looks good and is more snipery looking rather than what they actualy need.
     
  9. neiled

    neiled Donator

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    Excuse my ignorance but what do you mean by "tactical turrets"?

    As you can see from my sig I use quite a large Hawke Nite Eye 3-12x50 IR PA scope and the only reason for this is because I was told that this was a particularly good scope for low light hunting (dawn/dusk) but I do tend to only use it at between 3 & 6 magnification.
     
  10. JD

    JD Donator

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    Are your little Bushnell's 1.75-5x32 Japan made 177 ?

    What I'm trying to say is, we need to be offered some better glass at the low end of the mag range.

    Swarovski & Zeiss have dropped there 4x32's from their line up, and only Meopta offer a 4x32, but we know they would be to much for most airgunners price wise.

    So we need something made to Japan spec's that would have shooters seeing the benifits of good glass over big optics.
     
  11. 177

    177 Donator

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    Nikon Prostaff and Vortex Diamondback both have smaller scopes in their ranges.

    Both do a small zoom and I think I am right in saying that they both also do a small fixed mag.

    Vortex do a lovely BDC 1.75-5x32 in their Diamondback range, and a 2-7x35 plex.

    There's a 4x32 and a 2-7x32 Prostaff as well.

    About a year ago Uttings cleared a lot of the little Prostaff scopes out for £75 each. I was gutted that I missed that event...

    No idea where the little Legends are made - I wouldn't be surprised if it's China. I'm more interested in what they do rather than where they came from ;)

    What I do know is that I am often shooting with one well after certain bigger scopes can't see well enough to acquire a target.

    I've had bigger Legend scopes from several different countries of origin. Ditto to the Trophy XLT scopes (Phillippines and Korea) and I couldn't tell if there was a difference between any of them.
     
  12. darklord

    darklord Can’t beat a tx200 at 30m

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    I tried to by a small high mag scope in the states a couple years ago (2011) and guys in Bass Pro looked at me and said not out here they dont go much over 9X and most 1 -4 x with good quality small objectives.

    Ive got tac stuff i use the mil dots as i shoot targets out to 80 odd yards but for hunting i dont see any use to me for a lot of the things these scopes do.

    Im not saying there isnt a need for these scopes.
    But hunting with air rifles we only used to use 4 x 40s with fine or duplex reticles. or even 3 x 32, But its what the chinese are making.

    The optical quality of cheaper 100 quid scopes is far better nowadays than we used to have for 300 quid scopes in the 80s.
     
  13. lone wolf

    lone wolf Pro Poster

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    My experience of scopes ranges from fixed mag @ x7 out to 700+ yards and back then i knew nothing about them i just got on with it, once i got back onto airgun shooting i was pulled in a little by the marketing and waffle that bigger is better.

    What i know now is that id rather have good glass at a say 3-9 4-12 range.

    When funds present them selves i will buy a good scope for my main gun.

    Ive got a hawke hd 3-9 x50 at the moment and its ok,crosshair is to thick and it doesnt sit well balanced on my scorpion se, i took a richter optics off my scorpion and put it on my superstar thinking the hawke would be better....im swaping over again as the thinner crosshair and 40mm objective lense feels better to me, these two scopes were bought on the superstar and one given very kindly and they both do what needed but as the op states im in no wanting of all the sales waffle and i personaly would have a pro staff or ledgend if funds were allowing.

    Nice and simple with good glass,i do miss the S&B's shame i took them for granted when i was younger and knew nothing:)

    Gaz
     
  14. Wild Bill

    Wild Bill co2 Enthusiast, HW97, K98 owner

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    I use a Bushnell elite 3200 10x40, a Hawke Tac 30 10x52, An EB Sniper 10x42 and a Hawke Pamorama 4-12x40. As you can see, most of my scopes have tactical turrets. ;) :) I use my scopes for HFT only and nothing else. So Tactical turrets or not, they do the job being asked of them. A smaller than 9 mag scope is no use to me or the majority of HFT shooters. Most Tactical turrets either lock in place or are quite stiff to turn in my experience so even if I was using them in the field I doubt I'd ever knock them off zero, but then again I am extremely careful when handling all my weapons. :)

    For hunting I would have a variable mag scope, say a Lightstream, 4.5-14 x44 (possibly the best hunting scope in the world for the money). I would use the 14x magnification and Front Objective AO to rangefind and then drop down to 4.5 -10 magnification for the actual shot.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
  15. Pidlar

    Pidlar Big Poster

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    We regularly have an attendance at our little club of between 50 and 60 shooters on a good day and i recon there are only 1 or 2 who have permissions.As we shoot a course loosely based on an HFT format, I find those who turn up with the duplex type rets struggle with them for a few weeks until they get to look through the kit other shooters are using,when told where to place the required mil dot on the kill,they pull the trigger and the thing falls over. Rather than learn to use what they have,many choose to then change to what everyone else uses in the desire to up their scores etc.
    Vipers,Mambas Panoramas and sidewinders now seem to be very much the norm,on most of the Rifles we get nowadays.
    Regards,Stu.
     
  16. Elk hunter

    Elk hunter Keyboard Hero

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    I disagree with this as I own 4 zeiss and 3 Swarovski & 1 s&b all ranging from 1.5-4x30, 4x32, 6x42 to 1.5-6x42. All are second hand and I paid no more than £300 to £350 of any of them. I don't see how they are to expencive for air gunners as a Bushnull Legend is around this price. You get what you pay for in glass. I bought a mamba lite for my rapid 7 and I've not had it above x7 mag, glass is nowhere near as good but I did not expect it to be. Because there is to many gimmicks instead of concentrating on the optics and less on the toys to sell it. Plus it's to bloody complicated with all the lines.

    Andrew
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
  17. Pidlar

    Pidlar Big Poster

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    For many of us Andrew £350 is the the budget for everything including the Rifle!
    Regards,Stu.
     
  18. lone wolf

    lone wolf Pro Poster

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    Bloody hell id be like a pig in sh#t if i had £350 for a scope!

    Id buy two pro staffs.......one for each rifle!

    gaz
     
  19. jay5488

    jay5488 Donator

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    This isn't the object of the post, money and scope type are irrelevant, it's more what you use and why....

    Well, that's how I read it???

    Jamie
     
  20. Pidlar

    Pidlar Big Poster

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    It was a reply to Andrews quote on Budget.Scope type seems to be very much the subject of the thread.
    What are your views?
     

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