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Scopes Scopes on Air rifles

Discussion in 'Anything Airgun Related' started by Patrick, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. Patrick

    Patrick Donator

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    Nowadays the trend seems to be for ever larger scopes on air rifles.I personally think that these high magnification scopes(over 10x) are unnecessary at normal airgun ranges i.e out to about 40 yds.After all using 10x mag at 40yds is the same as 4yds with the naked eye so lets face if you need 10x mag at 40yds or less you'd be better off visiting the opticians for an eye test and getting some contact lenses or a decent pair of glasses.Some people new to air gunning are swayed by high magnification and large objective lens scopes but they should remember that a scope will not only magnify the target ,it will also magnify any unsteadiness in the hold as well.As regards light gathering capabilities lens quality and the quality of the coatings on the lenses is more important than lens size.If you're shooting in relatively poor light e.g at dusk then a bit of extra magnification may be handy.Some shooters fail to give enough time for their eyes to adjust to the poorer light conditions,allowing your eyes to adjust can make quite a difference,even with a simple 4x32 or 4x40 scope.I believe the pupil in the human eye has a maximum dilation of about 8 so any scope with an exit pupil of more than this is relatively unnecessary.Fixed parallax scopes should be adjusted to about 30yds for airgun use I reckon or alternatively use a PA adjustable scope. I'd be interested on other persons views.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  2. 177

    177 Donator

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    This is a very big topic and not easily covered without going sailing over deep waters and sending a lot of people to sleep.

    I agree with you, mostly :rolleyes:

    Most people with a zoom scope don't use the zoom feature and most of them that do either don't know (the majority) or have done their homework (the minority) to ensure that their plotted mil dot impact points at known range are still usable. Most folks zoom up and/or down and wonder later how their groups turned to crap when using mil dots :rolleyes:

    I tend to leave my zoom scopes in 5x or 6x so a fixed low mag scope would be fine for almost all of my shooting.

    The thing is, people's eyes respond differently and so what works well for one might not for another. I can't get away with my mate's 10x40 mil dot Bushnell Elite, but he loves it to bits and does very well in HFT with it.

    Marketing and press would have us all believe that a bigger objective lens offers a brighter sight picture by definition, but it doesn't. That requires many conditions to be met with the scopes internals and it's why it is very easy to shoot with a x32 scope that is still going strong long after a x40 or bigger just can't cope with failing light.

    I do a lot of 'proper' rifle shooting in America and Canada and 3-9x40 is still by far the most popular scope overall. I know quite a few people who regularly do long range (600 yard plus) shooting with a 3-9x40, so why air rifle shooters feel the need to go waaaaayyyyyyy past that point baffles me.

    Personally I think a lot of this comes down to the magpie effect - if you make something bright and shiny enough people will want it. That's why computers are sold on the basis of high numbers that, for the majority of the userbase, is entirely academic.

    Present a scope with a big front lens, perhaps an illuminated ret, front or side parallax adjustment and as many other bells and whistles as you like and that's the one most people will go for over a simpler, smaller scope that, ironically, offers greater clarity and better low light performance. The argument about using parallax adjustment to range find is redundant since it isn't exact when discussing many scopes which are very obviously geared towards longer-than-air-rifle-range and, when hunting, prey tends not to stand still too long while you're farting about with your optics (in a manner of speaking :rolleyes: ).

    No good delivering more than the eye can handle and no good delivering less than the eye needs.

    A 4 - 6X scope would easily meet the requirements of the vast majority of air rifle shooters and, ironically, the lens and internal quality will often be much better than and more feature rich scope.

    I put a Nikko Diamond 4x42 on one of my spring rifles and a mate of mine was astonished that:

    A. I'd paid so much (£180)
    B. I'd paid so much and it was just a 4x42
    C. It had no mil dots, IR, parallax adjustment or other gubbins

    He quietened down quite a bit when I let him look through it...

    :)

    I put a little Hawke HD 4x40 mil dot on a gun I gave to a friend recently and he loves it. It's small, light, faff free and does exactly what is needed with aplomb. He no doubt want something else for HFT or FT, but he can shoot the rig well and it quite literally brings home the bacon (rabbits and pigeons by the boat load) for him.

    Like so many other things, what we want and what we need often get a little blurred somewhere along the lines...
     
  3. yorkshireshoot

    yorkshireshoot Posting Addict

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    This is a whole forum in itself mate but the big mag scopes are usually used for ft use , for hft something around the 10x mark normally is used and for hunting it's really personal preference , some hunters used fixed scopes at relatively low mag ( 4-6x ) . As for light gathering / optical quality everyone's got an opinion and prefer some brands over others it's not guaranteed that something for £1000 will be ten times better than one at £100 . Hope ths helps
    177 has summed up perfectly what I was trying to say good post mate !
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  4. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    I agree largely with what's been posted so far and usually subscribe to the "less is more" mantra - preferring higher quality, lower-spec items to those that sacrifice quality to give more features at the same price.

    I agree about the magnification and objective diameter to an extent (outside of FT a max. mag of 12-16 is all you'll ever need and that an objective of greater than 40-42mm is usually unnecessary); but would qualify this with the need for the user to know what they require in a 'scope; rather than believing the over-simplified "bigger is better" marketing rubbish.

    Somewhat contrary to my initial statement, I do think adjustable parallax and multi-aimpoint rets are invaluable on airguns due (respectively) to their use at relatively short effective range and very pronounced trajectory.

    Ultimately, as with any other vaguely technical consumer product, the marketing men are always looking to court consumer favour by placing emphasis on over-simplied concepts and numbers to sell products to uneducated customers. Just as we're sold 'scopes through mis-placed emphasis on objective size and magnification, so photographers have the same issue with megapixels and zoom, for example.

    As usual the best course of action is to learn about the field, find what works for you and buy accordingly :)
     
  5. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Donator

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    On my main hunting rifle I have a 4 - 12 x 50, with AO and IR...

    The reasons for this are that the AO allows me to be able to see bunnies at 40 yards and rats at ten yards with equal clarity; not as good perhaps as a fixed mag and parallax S+B, image quality-wise, but pretty good for what I need.

    I tend to set at 4x mag for rats, 6x for general hunting and 10x for ambushing rabbits at long-ish ranges when prone or using a bipod. 12 x and above don't do it for me on an air rifle.

    The IR is not much of a deal-maker for me, but I do use it every so often, usually if light conditions are poor; I could easily live without it.

    This scope is a good all rounder, but as the old adage goes, a jack-of-all-trades is a master of none - it's not excellent in any one field, but it's pretty good on an all-purpose rifle. When I'm rich and famous, my .204, .270 and .308 will all have very posh fixed focus, fixed parallax optics, but until then I'll have to stick to the cheaper options!
     
  6. Akita177

    Akita177 The Absolute State of Britian podcast

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    For general air rifle use i think decent 4x32 scopes are great, fantastic depth of field so no need for AO or side focus you foot will be infocus as will a 60yard target, low parralax error just point and shoot.
    Even variable mag scopes i tend to use around 5x, and will probly never buy 50mm Objective scope ever again.
     
  7. sharpsman

    sharpsman Big Poster

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    For the majority of my shooting i use an old nikko diamond 1.5-6x44,the low mag is great for rats and ferals in outbuildings and on 6x is all i need for Rabbit or pigeon shooting-high mag scopes have thier places but for me its not on a general hunting airgun.
     
  8. Elk hunter

    Elk hunter Keyboard Hero

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    On all my centre fire rifles all have 6x42 or 4x32 fixed.
    On my air rifles I have a x16 and if honest both sit a x6 mag.
    This tells me one thing all the old boys who taught me to shoot and stalk weren't far wrong in there methods. Skill and practice will always wins, but I was alway taught to use a scope with simular mag to your scope when hunting. As in the later 80s early 90s scopes were x6 or x8 good quality Binos were x7 or x8 and I've stuck with this and rarely miss!

    I don't field taget shoot so won't comment on this. .
    Andrew
     
  9. danlightbulb

    danlightbulb Engaging Member

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    I'm a relative novice, but I own two rifles, one has a 3-9 mag and one has a 4-12 mag. I use them both at max magnification and I find the 9x mag more difficult to use than the 12x. Trying to hit a 50 yard 1" to 2" spinner at 9x mag is hard because its just too small in the view to get a consistent aiming point on it. This is worse when trying to test groups on 1" bullseyes. I think 16x mag would be ideal, I've yet to try one though.

    I have tried to shoot HFT targets with it set to its lowest mag and it is harder to me, so I always find myself turning up the mag to the next notch, then the next and find myself back at the max fairly quickly.

    I don't really see why lower mag could be anything except worse. Higher mag allows for greater accuracy at range surely? And to the guy above who uses centrefire, whats that good for, 200 yards? How can you use a 4x mag at that range unless your shooting an elephant.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  10. Darren Petts

    Darren Petts Temporarily Alive

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    Many reticles are just too coarse over the target at 4x for any precision. 4x has it's uses but it has it's limitations too. Anything over 12x or so is best left to ft shooters. 12x offers plenty of precision at any target or quarry. My preference is for 8x or so as it offers the best compromise between dof and precision. Multi aimpoint reticles are essential and zoom functions have only one benefit worth having and that is to help you choose the mag to leave it on unless you have a ffp scope. PA scopes have their uses including using the gun mounted scope as a spotting device around a shoot- less than ideal I'll grant from a safety perspective but one that many do.
     
  11. landymick

    landymick Big Poster

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    Try finding a rabbit in undergrowth in wooded area in day light never mind dusk with a scope on 16 mag ! Hunters tend to use the lower mag because it has greater field of view so you can find your quarry & keep a safe shot.
     
  12. tomsteebs

    tomsteebs Donator

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    Personally, i dont think ir is that valuable, but ithink most other features are.
    Honestly i get whichever scope gives me the balance i want, gives me ao or sf, and a aimpoints reticle. I own a viper but dont need the ir or Target turrets, but i like the fixed 10x mag and the weight as it will sit on a hw98 so it will bring the weight back. I Also use 8x in .22 and 10x in .177
     
  13. Meteor62

    Meteor62 Major Poster

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    I too used to think the ir feature was a gimmick but in woodland I find it a necessity and any scope I had now would need this feature. The blue being the better option for me.
     
  14. Andy_J

    Andy_J Replica Airgun Enthusiast

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    For airgun shooting at sub 12ftlbs, it goes like this:

    1. For HFT, a fixed or variable mag scope up to 10x and a smaller objective lens the better, eg; 3-12x32 or 10x40 with multiple aimpoints ret.
    2. For FT, variable up 50x (more the better) magnification, big objective lens with target turrets. This is used for rangefinding to the yd. eg: 10-50x60 sidewheel paralax.
    3. Hunting with air rifles (sub 12 ftlb), variable mag is better as it offers greater flexibility for close and far (up to 45 yds), eg: 2-7x32 4-16 x50 0r 4-24x44 etc. Very flexible for all types of hunting use.
    4. Benchrest shooting can be done with any scope but high mag preferred to see the pellet hit points.

    Just my opinion.
     
  15. Patrick

    Patrick Donator

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    If you need 12x magnification to see a 2" diameter target at 50yds you probably need glasses mate:D
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  16. tomsteebs

    tomsteebs Donator

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    Its Not about seeing it, the more mag you have Also means the more precise your aiming can be. Ie: If you were on 2x mag the reticle would Probably cover the 2" target. If you had 20mag you can get right dead Centre.
    Obviously this is just a made up situation
     
  17. sharpsman

    sharpsman Big Poster

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    Multaple aim points huge magnifications makes me wonder how we ever hit anything before these so called wonder scopes:confused: but we seemed to manage ok,what concerns me is a lot of people with these high mag scopes seem to think it increases the killing distance of their rifles.
     
  18. OzzyJ

    OzzyJ Donator

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    Agree with everything except point one where go for a small objective. I am guessing this is to get max depth of field. I have played around with multiple objective sizes and picked mine for exactly the opposite reason. With a shallower depth of field the 45ydr (and them blooming annoying 8ydrs) is slightly blurred confirming it definitely at max range and not a trick of the eye set by the course setter. With a 32mm objective I suspect i wouldn't notice this subtlety and would miss more.
    just my personal preference:) of course
     
  19. Patrick

    Patrick Donator

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    #17 Sharpsman I couldn't agree more ,you've made a valid point mate
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  20. Akita177

    Akita177 The Absolute State of Britian podcast

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    The more the target is way from focus the more Parallax error.
    With a 4x20 or 4x32 you dont really need aim points or a fancy ret as the holdover required is b****r all even for a 45yard target, yes you wont be able to use blur to range but you minimise every other margin of error.
    My theory goes agaisnt the HFT grain but i know of some HFT shooters who swear by there 4x20 scopes, and alot of people like the 32mm connect and i wouldnt mind looking down the new 24mm MTC connect.
    And yes it is personal preference though i feel i would miss more 45yards from PX error using the blurr method, with 4x scope where you to shoot it as a 40 or 45yarder it will probly go down.
     

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