View Full Version : Fixed or variable power
December 20, 2005, 20:40
Okay, I posted earlier about mounting the damned optics so that I could see out of them in any position. Seems I gotta compromise some to be able to get a good picture.
Before asking my question, let me give some background. I have tired old eyes that require me to wear glasses. I have NO-LINE progressives that accomodate just about any situation. When shooting scoped rifles, I can adjust the focus for a clear reticle and see the target clearly with out my glasses. But I cannot make out anything up close without using the glasses.
Since I can see to shoot at distances and have no problems with using the scopes, would you recomend using a fixed power or variable power scope. I have a couple in mind but one is variable and the other is fixed.
Which is better and why (why would you choose it over the other)?
December 20, 2005, 22:24
I have several fixed and one variable. I've looked through a 3-9 on 9 power, not a pretty picture. I suppose for varmit shooting a 3-9 or 4-12 might be ok, but then a fixed 10 would work too for varmit shooting too, wouldn't it?
Some say get a variable and use the high settings as a spotting scope. Some people being spotted might take exception to that.
December 26, 2005, 23:50
If my scope is mission-critical, and if my life depends on it, I'm going with known-quality fixed.
If I want to make holes in paper, for fun, or if I want a scope for general use, I'll go with a quality variable. You never know which rifle it'll end up on...
Remembah--you get what you pay for.
December 27, 2005, 00:24
How far are you shooting?
Fixed scoped are always lighter, and the SWFA SS scopes (10x or 20x?) will reach out as far as you would want in a hunting scope.
December 27, 2005, 19:46
How far are you shooting?
In the real world, maybe 250 yds max. Ideally I would want a scope that I could use out to 500-600 yds.
Will be used for most paper and hole punching, but could possibly used for the occasional deer hunt.
I have not used a fixed power scope for rifles and have only had the opportunity to look through some variable power scopes around here. I am considering one of the SWFA Super Sniper scopes because of what I have read about them on the various forums. I also like the adjustable objective feature because of my eyesight.
December 27, 2005, 22:22
The AO feature is used for more accurate imaging for a wide range of distances, not really for corrections for eyesight problems.
Most scopes have an adjustable eyepiece, which is probably what you're looking for...
Right Side Up @ 1000 MPH
December 27, 2005, 23:42
It's hard to beat the flexibility of the eye relief on a Leupold 3.5 - 10 X 40 mm.
fire for effect
December 28, 2005, 06:25
Here is a qquestion, Of all of those people that have Variable power scopes, how many people actually use the feature???
Most people I know leave it on its highest setting.
Right Side Up @ 1000 MPH
December 28, 2005, 08:45
I normally hunt on a low setting, 4 or 5 power. I crank it up for long shots, or for counting points on a deer.
December 28, 2005, 14:49
Good thread and posts fellas. My eyesight is in the same shape you speak of, Tac-40. I been laboring over the same dilemma. (BTW, I JUST leanred about hose progressive eyeglasses in the ticket line at the Pasadena gunshow the other weekend, kewl) Last two days I been reading over the NRA magazine article on the Mossberg ATR. They threatened a write up in the December issue on the Simmons 3x9. I can't find my December issue ! :cry:
December 28, 2005, 15:18
Are you looking for a hunting or target/ varmit scope? A good guality 1.5x6 or 2x7 scope is all anyone really needs for a big game hunting optic. This will handle anything except small varmits out to 500yds, most game is taken at well under 300yds. A 3x9 variable is fine as long as the POI stays the same from one end of the adjustment to the other or at least very close.
If I was going for a fixed power scope on a hunting rifle I would use nothing bigger than a 3x. Any fixed power scope over 4x is handicapped at close range, under 75yds, because the field of view is so small. Most of the deer killed in my state are shot at under 75yds, a really long shot is 300yds.
I've used both Leupold, Tasco and Simmons 1.5x5 or 6 varibles on hunting rifles for years. The Leupold is unquestionably the better of the brands by far, but the two cheaper brands, in their 'higher' end scopes have been quite serviceable.
Fixed power scopes are more rugged than variables, less moving parts. The high power variable are easier to sight in, as long as the POI doesn't change as the power ring is adjusted.
Adjustable objective (parallex) scopes are great for target or sniper work. Where I hunt the deer don't usually stand around waiting for you to adjust your scope, where it's at is where you shoot. With prairie dogs or called predators, you usually have a lot more time to make the shot, therefore you can afford to fiddle with adjustments.
December 28, 2005, 19:13
I've got variable power scopes on all of my hunting rifles. Brand names include Simmons, Leupold, Zeiss and Redfield in ranges from 1.75x5 to 2.8x10.
What I've found over the years is a 2 or 3 power scope is all you need for whitetail hunting if you're in a wooded environment. A 6 power scope is fine for shooting in an open environment.
If it were me I'd just buy a good quality 1.5x6 or 2x7 scope and call it a day.
December 28, 2005, 20:32
My history with scopes is usually a 3x9x40. Right now I have one (Leupold) on my M1A NM HB, with a 3.5x10x50 Leupold on my Win Mdl 70. I also have a Meuller variable on my 300 Whisper AR.
While I like these scopes, I am looking to replace the 3x9 Luppy on the M1A with something else. The existing Luppy will prolly go on a FAL since I have the ARMS mount. Like I said, this will be for the most part a paper puncher rifle, but may be used as a hunting rifle if the occasion arises.
As far as the AO, the ones that I have looked through gave me a good sight picture with the ability of being able to focus the reticules as well as the target. Allows me to use regular shooting glasses instead of prescription lenses that mess with the sight picture.
This is one reason I am looking at the Super Sniper scopes. Fixed power so no fiddling with that. Focused reticule, so no fiddling with that after the first time. Just focusing in on the target and let her fly. Since they only come in 10x and 20x, is the 10x much for those shots inside 100 yds?
December 28, 2005, 20:53
I had a SS 10x42 side focus on a 700 rem heavy in .308. The rifle was a dedicated long range target rifle and a counter sniper rig in a SHTF situation.
Very good, low end scope for this type of application. The high end scopes of this type can run over $2000. The 30mm tube gives you a better field of view than a 1" tube.
The MIL-DOT system in this scope is good for range estimation, if you know how to use it and practice with it alot. A good laser range finder is under $300 and requires no real study or practice.
I would not want this scope for a hunting rifle unless the rifle was going to be used strictly from a stand. Then I would still go for a scope w/o the mil-dot on a hunting rifle, too busy for fast work.
About the 'non-fiddling' with adjustments: To utilize this type of scope to it's fullest potential you HAVE to fiddle with the parallex adjustment at any given range. That's what makes them good for long range shooting, they have the ability to adjust the parallex.
This is a good scope, but not for a hunting application.
December 29, 2005, 11:34
On the Q of actually using a variable scope...
Same reason I have 7x and 20x binocs. ;-) Deer hunting or standing shots I use 3-4x, and 9x for sighting in and playing games w/my bros or prone hunting hogs from across a pasture.
December 30, 2005, 11:20
I prefer variables, but I do have fixed power as well. I have a Tasco SS 16x on the Anzio .50 BMG. I had Leupold 1.5 x 5 on my Rem Model 7 for close quarters bear hunting, it is now on My G1 with a Bushnell Elite 3200 4x -12x on the M7. I have a Leupold 4.5 x 14 x 50 on My Model 700 .300 RUM. The battle rifles usually get Bushy 3 x 9's. On the variables, I use most of the range, especially when hunting. For plinking, the higher magnification for the 500-600 yd targets is nice, allows for spotting. And yes, you do get what you pay for.
December 31, 2005, 11:14
I've got a variable scope that will go out to 20x. Rarely do I shoot it beyond 10x, however. Once you get beyond that, the eye-relief becomes critical and difficult. Plus, unless you have extremely expensive optics, beyone 10x is usually disappointing. I would imagine that a 8-10x fixed would be just fine for 99.9% of your shooting requirements below 200 yards.
Just my humble opinion.
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