Side focus hunting scopes, are they practical and needed?

280ackimp

Active Member
Jul 4, 2017
161
14
New Hampshire
I am in the market for a new hunting scope. I have been using the VX3 & recently the VX3i. I don't dial for now because I hunt in the east where a long shot is 100 yards, I am considering dialing for a western hunt wand am considering this where I expect the shots to be 300 + yards. The rifles I shoot are flat shooters, 257 wby, 280 AI and 300 wby.
Just what are the advantages of side focus ? The 3.5-10x and 4.5-14x that I have do not have adjustable objectives and don't seem under prepared even when hunting out west at 0-300 yards. While I don't shoot beyond 200 yards as a rule, what does the side focus give me when hunting in the 200-500 yard ranges.
 

Slugz

Veteran member
Oct 12, 2014
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Woodland Park, Colorado
I just mounted three VX5 3-15x44s CDS-ZL2 171715 on a 6.5CM and two 280AI. First side focuses Ive had my hands on and liked it. While sighting in then verifying ballistics I noticed how nice it was to range the target, quickly focus to the range then dial moa. Just seemed nice to not be moving my hands all over.
 

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
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Gypsum, Co
For normal hunting conditions it isn't needed.

Now for shooting pariedogs at extended ranges it is real nice.

I only have it on a VX3 6.5-20 that sits on my 22-250
 

mallardsx2

Veteran member
Jul 8, 2015
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I agree with CC and Jim.

IMHO It really isn't needed and really is only useful for extended range shooting or when you are at a bench trying to spot holes.
 

Winchester

Veteran member
Mar 27, 2014
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Woodland Park, Colorado
I agree with what's been said above.
For the hunting ranges you mention it's not needed.
I did get a scope with side focus on my new .28 Nosler but for hunting I set it at about 300 yards and just leave it alone.
It is nice while sighting-in at the range though ... it really makes the targets clear and I can see my bullet holes too.
 

Colorado Cowboy

Veteran member
Jun 8, 2011
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Dolores, Colorado
For normal hunting conditions it isn't needed.

Now for shooting pariedogs at extended ranges it is real nice.

I only have it on a VX3 6.5-20 that sits on my 22-250
I have the same scope on my .220 Ackley Improved Swift. It is great for this and not great for prairie dogs, they hate it!
 
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Bonecollector

Veteran member
Mar 9, 2014
5,589
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Ohio
There is an easy test you can perform to see what it actually does and how it actually does affect long rage impact. I was surprised how important it actually was at that point!