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Rifle scopes?

northwoodsPT

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I am considering an OTC rifle hunt in CO this year. It would be my first rifle hunt for elk, we have done archery and muzzleloader the last 5 years.
I have a rem 700 30.06 topped with a late 90s flip over mount tasco golden antler scope.
My question are:
- is it worth upgrading to a new scope? How much better are today's scopes then my current?
-any recommendations on brands? I would only be comfortable shooting out to 300 yds or so.
Thanks for any advice!
 

zachthebowhunter

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The glass is so much clearer these days. If you picked up a leopold vx 2 or 3 3x9 you'd be very happy with it for the elk hunt.
 

hank4elk

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I have same rifle with Talley base and Ziess 10x14x44 scope and it's a tack driver.
That said it was with Leupold Rifleman 3x9x50 on Leupold base ,just not quite so. That scope was $180 new 15 yrs ago.
The Ziess scope cost more than the rifle 35+ yrs ago.
Find a good Leupold and you'll be real happy.
 
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Ballistic

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There's just no good way to say it, Your scope was not likely any good 20 years ago. I had a couple of em in the late 90's because it was all I could afford. If the scope tracks properly and based on my experience with the model it's a mighty big if, just go hunting. The bullet is going where you are aiming and you never noticed the performance before. I would consider losing the scope mounts irregardless, Talley would be my first choice, and I would not use the Leupold bases with wind age adjustments.

If you are still considering replacing the scope outline a budget. The only people who ever bash high end optics are people who don't have them. They are very effective tools.

Have a great trip!
 
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JLS

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If it was my gun I couldn't get that scope and mount off of there fast enough. I'd go with Leupold or Talley mounts and Leupold 6x36 scope.
 

utahminer

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I'm not familiar with that particular model of tasco (it appears that it might be one of Tasco's better scopes), but from my experience with Tasco (on my own rifle and on a buddies) the eye relief was pretty poor. I upgraded to a Vortex viper and it was a night and day difference. Perhaps this isn't an issue on your current scope or you don't notice, but its worth considering, because the time saved from adjusting can improve confidence and mean the difference between success and failure.
 

Rooster52

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If I could not spare the cash for a Leupold ,I would look at the Nikon Buckmaster. They are on sale at several places for around $130 .
 

northwoodsPT

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Thanks for the advice. I never really noticed much of an issue with the set up on my gum. However, it's only been used for PA and WI whitetail hunting, a few days each season. I got the gun from my grandpa, and he always liked the flip over mounts for use during deer drives.
Anyways...
Does anyone have experience with the CDS system on the Leuoplods? Beneficial or just adding another step that could leave you open for a mistake?
 

Muley_Stalker

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I don't take long shots, and like the simplicity of a fixed power scope. I use a Weaver K4 in 4X38, and it does all I need from a scope. Japanese glass just like Leupold scopes.

Jack O'Connor used a 4X scope for most of his hunting.
 

sbhooper

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If you are going to shoot extreme distances, then the CDS would be OK. It is not necessary for normal ranges that most hunt at. I don't like them, because I do not like moving parts on a scope. Anything mechanical can fail at a bad moment and every time that you twist the CDS dial, is just one more chance to fail.

You may consider one of the range finder reticles with lines or dots. I have a Leupold with the B&C reticle that has helped me kill elk to 400 yards. I also have a Bushnell Elite that I have shot at steel out to the max on the ranging reticle and it is right on. To make them exact, though, you have to know the ballistics of your gun and check the lines at the range.

Realistically, if you are not in to extreme shooting, a regular duplex 3x10 etc. is all you need. Just learn the ballistics of your rifle. I would consider Leupold first, due to quality and customer service. Nikon has good scopes, but I have read plenty about customer service issues. I have a Buckmaster on a 6 mm that has been a fantastic scope for a number of years and lots of dead deer. I also have Burris scopes that have been super, but I do not know how good the new ones are. Their customer service used to be real good, but I have read bad things about them, too. I really like the Bushnell Elite scopes and I think the customer service is pretty good with them, but I don't really know. They do not seem as bright as Leupold glass, though. I have no experience with them, but Vortex is another scope that is getting a good reputation built up.

The main thing is to get rid of that Tasco and the flip mount. Put it on a .22 that is not critical. You take that scope on an expensive elk hunt and it quits on you, then you have problems. You have zero need for a tip-off mount.
 

MinnesotaHunter

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A rifle is only as accurate as its weakest link, and personally, I would be most concerned about the mounts, but would definately reccomend you do something about both.

You would be just fine going to leupold dovetail mounts, they are rocksolid and pretty cheap.

As for a scope, it would depend on what you are willing to spend, but I would buy dependability first and features second. From the sounds of your description, about 300yds being your farthest shot, I would seriously consider a fixed or no-frills adjustable magnification. If you add more frills (adjustable turrets, different reticles, super high zoom ranges) the manufacturer has to take from somewhere to still make money. Roughly speaking, and this does not include finding a deal somewhere, start looking at the $200 dollar range for a basic model scope, put it on some decent mounts, and zero that bugger for 200yds, that rifle will be able to kill elk all day out to 300yds, and will be way more dependable.

As for basic models that I would start looking at: Leupold VX2, Leupold FX 6x36, Zeiss Terra, Minox ZV, Burris Fullfield, I am sure there are plenty more but these are where my thoughts go immediately.

Good luck
 

northwoodsPT

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This is great advice and a huge help for someone that has been out of the rifle game for a while.
Given where we hunt, along with my hunting style, it sounds like I don't need to mess with the CDS systems.
My budget would put me in the range of the Leopold vx-2 or something comparable. Any preferences of fixed power vs a variable 3-9?
 

A-con

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You are getting good advice here.
Western elk hunting conditions can be a game of extremes.
Warm and sunny one minuet, freezing and snowing the next.
A shot opportunity at 50 yards, or 500 yards.
It can put optics to the test, and you can’t afford to have them fail.
Lose the Tasco and get a decent scope in some type of solid mount.
You want an option to meet a budget ?, Burris Full Field II scopes can be had for around $200. Put another $50 or $60 into a good solid mount system. No flip over, see through or anything that moves.
Leupold 3X9X40 or 3.5 X 10 are classic elk hunting scopes. The will cost a bit more, between $350 and $500, but the quality and reliability are there, and will last you a life time.
Elk are big targets, you don’t need a high power or veritable, a good fixed 4X or 6X will do anything you need it to, if that’s your preference.
The scopes with hold over marks, or turrets work great, but out to 400 yards, you really don’t need them. A Duplex, sighted in a 200 yards, and learn how far the bullet drops out to 400, and your good to go.
One more piece of advice, have someone who knows what they are doing mount it. A loose scope is a worthless scope.
 

hank4elk

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You are getting good advice here.
Western elk hunting conditions can be a game of extremes.
Warm and sunny one minuet, freezing and snowing the next.
A shot opportunity at 50 yards, or 500 yards.
It can put optics to the test, and you can’t afford to have them fail.
Lose the Tasco and get a decent scope in some type of solid mount.
You want an option to meet a budget ?, Burris Full Field II scopes can be had for around $200. Put another $50 or $60 into a good solid mount system. No flip over, see through or anything that moves.
Leupold 3X9X40 or 3.5 X 10 are classic elk hunting scopes. The will cost a bit more, between $350 and $500, but the quality and reliability are there, and will last you a life time.
Elk are big targets, you don’t need a high power or veritable, a good fixed 4X or 6X will do anything you need it to, if that’s your preference.
The scopes with hold over marks, or turrets work great, but out to 400 yards, you really don’t need them. A Duplex, sighted in a 200 yards, and learn how far the bullet drops out to 400, and your good to go.
One more piece of advice, have someone who knows what they are doing mount it. A loose scope is a worthless scope.

Ditto above advice and Hoopers. A good base and a decent Leupold,Nikon scope with out the fancy dials and your good to go. Your rifle will shoot in the western elk ranges easy,with a duplex reticle on a 3x9x40 easy peasy 400 yrds and in. Bet you can find a good used Leupold online cheap. Talley one piece base is solid,made for your rifle with no messing around.
 

Muley_Stalker

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Whatever you end up with. Blue locktite the base screws. Then check the ring screws everytime you clean it. Just takes 15sec, and you don't ever have to worry about loose mounts.
 

utahminer

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preferences of fixed power vs a variable 3-9?

WOW. I am really surprised by the answers so far. In the past I have seen this question on other forums get heated pretty quickly (similar to asking which brand of truck to buy).

I personally agree with the last two replies and prefer a variable scope, but its all about personal preference. Many will say that a fixed is all you need and has less moving parts; therefore, it has less chance to break. I have used both and even though my scope stays on its lowest power 99% of the time its really nice to be able to zoom in on an animal when the time allows. As for a fixed power scope being less likely to break, I don't know if I personally subscribe to the theory. The only time I had a problem with a scope breaking it was with a fixed power, and I have packed variables for years in some pretty nasty conditions taking a handful of falls.

A couple other points:
1) Check out camerlandny.com for some really great deals. The staff is very knowledgeable and willing to take the time to walk you through a number of different options.

2) I would also add Vortex Optics to the list of companies that make great scopes, have a top notch warranty and can be purchased on a budget.

3) I good bi-pod can make a big difference. I REALLY like my Snipepod. Its quite, fast built well and very easy to transfer from one gun to another. If you haven't heard of Snipepod they are a made in Montana by a smaller company with western hunting in mind. They have a great warranty and whenever you call you almost always end up talking to the owner.

I hope that helps
 

Muley_Stalker

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Just to talk about a fixed power, and some advantages.

Contrary to what someone thinks. They are more reliable.

You never have it on high power when taking a fast shot at close range. One less thing to fiddle with to. Use binos for looking closer.

Eye relief is always the same. A lot of variable scopes have a different eye relief for the different powers.

You don't try and take longer shots than you should. ( lack of practice, or skill)

They're usually lighter.

Less lenses to look through. Which would normally be clearer unless you paid a lot for a variable scope.

Just saying.
 

JLS

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To add to the above, there is no free lunch. You'll pay more money for the variable power option. I'd rather that money go to better lenses, coatings, construction. Fewer moving parts equals fewer things to go wrong.

They are lighter and more compact. Realistically, a 4x scope is plenty for shooting to 300 yards. Could you hit a target with 0x magnification at 75 yards? I would think most could. That's what you'll be looking at with a 4x scope at 300.

I'm in the same boat as BuzzH though, and my eyes are making some changes that aren't for the better. As such, I really like 6x now.
 
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