View Full Version : Help me choose a scope

04-22-2011, 08:41 AM
I'm new to the forum and thought I would try and get your help on selecting a new scope for my Ruger .270. I'm primarily a bowhunter and really do not have a lot of experience hunting with rifles (i.e., I don't know crap about them!). Anyway, I was thinking about getting a new scope for the gun for my upcoming antelope hunt. I plan on practicing quite a bit this summer, but I still think that I would limit my shots to less than 300 yards with a 130 grain bullet (does that sounds reasonable?). I was looking at the Vortex line of scopes...specifically the Diamondback models. I was hoping to spend around $250, but I'm not exactly sure how much of a sacrifice in quality I am limited myself to in that price range. My next question would be what magnification and objective size to get. I was thinking of the 4-12x40 with the BDC reticle. I don't know anything about the AO options, but I haven't completely ruled that out. Well, that's a start I guess. Any help would be appreciated.

04-22-2011, 12:01 PM
A good rule of thumb is spend equal to the cost of the rifle on price of optics. Match them to the quality of the gun so to speak.
40mm objectives are going to be great for most applications. 3-9 variable powers are nice. Some guys go for fixed power, but with the lower power options, you can scan greater field of view, then you have the option to zoom for a good shot. More power never hurts if you like a larger scope for fun long range shots at coyotes or such too!.
Viper makes a great scope and has come along ways in glass clarity and bonded coatings since they went mainstream.
Zeiss, Nightforce, Leupold Gold Ring, Leicca, all make excellent glass, and a wide range of hunting options in reticles as well. If your handloading, you can get custom BDC reticles from Leupold, Nightforce, and Leicca that I know of, may be able to from others as well.

I personally like to go with 50mm objectives on most of my rifles just for better light gathering capabilities. It also brings in a super clear picture, much more so than a 40mm will. However it can also increase the cost significantly in most lines to do that.
TRU GLOW also has a rather interesting line along with Trijicon in low power scopes that have some fiberoptic illumination options, but I just dont care for them, but worth looking at, you may just find them too cool to pass up.

04-23-2011, 12:18 AM
Sightron my spelling my be off.

Bitterroot Bulls
04-25-2011, 04:23 PM
Vortex makes nice scopes, and there are some great deals available on their discontinued Viper models (The Viper line is one up from the Diamondback line). Check SWFA.com. I wouldn't get too caught up on magnification or big objectives, Large objectives often require tall rings, which makes getting a proper cheek weld tough. BDC reticles are nice if you know how to use them, and verify your drops by actually shooting.

Sightron also makes nice scopes. If you can swing $400, you just can't beat the Zeiss Conquest 3-9X40. Minox has a line of scopes out that are getting rave reviews as well. I have personally owned Sightron, Vortex Viper, and Conquests ... and would recommend the Conquest first, and Viper second, if you want to spend a little less.

04-25-2011, 05:57 PM
On more of a budget, I've had very good luck with weaver scopes. Not the best optics available but I have had many one shot kills with it. Currently mounted on a Ruger M77 30 06. Been very happy with the combo.
Leopold VariX III Is also a good choice.
Good Luck, There are as many scopes to choose from as opinions on whats good. Just get the best you can afford and have it mounted buy a reputable gunsmith.

04-25-2011, 09:06 PM
Thanks for the input, everyone. I have some decisions to make!

Do all of you have a gunsmith mount your scopes? I guess I figured I could do it myself. I realize its probably a little difficult getting the reticles level.

Bitterroot Bulls
04-25-2011, 09:28 PM
I mount all of my own scopes, and it isn't hard at all, if you have the right gear. I would recommend investing in a torque driver like a Fatwrench (or borrow one), and a Wheeler engineering level-level-level. Just mount the scope in the rings loose. Then find your proper eye relief by moving the scope forward and back in the rings until you naturally see the entire field of view when you shoulder the gun. Then tighten the rings to where the scope will just rotate with a little twisting pressure. Then put the rifle in a vise (or sandbags, etc.). Then level the action with the Wheeler action level. Then put the other level on the elevation turret (with cap off), and level the scope, while keeping the action level true. When everything is level torque the ring screws to spec with the Fatwrench. And ... there ya go ... ready for boresighting.

It is absolutely essential to get the rings tightened to spec, and NOT overtightened. Overtightened rings can lead to operation problems with the scope, most commonly the magnification ring will be hard to turn or seize completely. If you can't borrow or buy the proper mounting tools, have a gunsmith mount it. And that kid at the local Sportsmart is not a gunsmith. Come to think of it, some gunsmiths don't mount them right, either, so be careful.

04-26-2011, 08:35 PM
I actually own a Fatwrench (got it for Christmas this past year). I recently setup a scope for my muzzleloader and it was nice to have that torque wrench. The thing that I don't have is the Wheeler level. I just "eyed" it as best as I could. I suppose it would be worth getting one of those levels. Thanks for the tip Bitterroot!

04-26-2011, 09:20 PM
Anything Weaver or Nightforce, I highly recommend. Also, while cheaper, FireField has some nice optics. I have a scope of theirs on my 6mm and it took 3 shots to get dead on.

6mm Remington
04-27-2011, 08:16 AM
I'm a huge Leupold fan and if the VX3 is too pricey for you, the VX2 or VX1 are still really nice scopes and Leupold has a great warranty!

04-28-2011, 11:24 AM
Reflex, I am also in the market for a new scope. I would be interested in what you purchase! Keep us updated. I am unsure on what to mount on a new Browning x-bolt 30-06 i recently purchased. Great Thread!

04-28-2011, 11:25 AM
I usually go with Leupold, but might be looking for something new on this one. Have never had any issues with Leupold, very good scopes!

Bitterroot Bulls
04-28-2011, 11:36 AM

What is your budget and intended hunting use? Type of game? Type of country? Intended ranges? Time of day?

With that info I can put some thought into some suggestions for you.

04-29-2011, 11:42 AM
I would like to stay within 2-400 dollar range...i think for the capabilities of this gun that is a fair price range...Western big game(elk, deer, etc.) I think the 30-06 out of the box is limited to 400 yds and under, 400 pushing it with alot of practice.

Bitterroot Bulls
04-29-2011, 12:55 PM

$400 will get you into some pretty nice glass.

The optical king of the heap at that price point is this:


If you want to shoot to 400 yards you are going to need to adjust your aim for the trajectory of the bullet. You can use a scope with a standard duplex style reticle, like the above scope, and adjust the elevation turret in the field; or you can get a scope with a BDC style reticle, or a scope with externally adjustable "tactical" or "target" turrets. You don't need a lot of magnification to shoot 400 yards and in.

Some scope options for you:





Any of those scopes would work well for you. BDC reticles are incredibly effective, if you put the time in to "tune" them in to your rifle and ammunition. I own a Zeiss Conquest and a Vortex Viper, and recommend both. The Vortex BDC is very "clean" and easy to use. The glass on the zeiss is fantastic. The Leupold VX-II will have a bit poorer glass than the others, but is still a good scope.

04-29-2011, 05:21 PM
would you say that the Vortex offers a better product than Nikon or Leupold. Someone said they're warranty was better.

Bitterroot Bulls
04-29-2011, 07:50 PM
Vortex's warranty is the best there is, but Leupold's is pretty good too. As far as the products themselves, I think the Vortex is a better overall product than the Leupold VX-2 line, and more of a competitor in the more expensive Leupold VX-3 line. I think the Nikon Monarch and Viper are pretty much of equal quality. Nikon's Customer Service has been hit-or-miss for some people, but the products are pretty good. I like the fact that they are an Eastman's sponsor.

The best scope I listed is still the Zeiss, and it is one you should consider carefully.

If you are looking for an absolute barn-burning screaming deal, the 2-7X32 Viper is on sale for ridiculously low prices right now, although finding the BDC reticle is going to be hard with that one, as they are mostly sold out.




I have the 2-7X32 Viper with BDC on my backpacking rifle, and it is a dandy (And I paid much more than they are going for now).