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I heard theat a fixed 4 power scope is sufficient for deer hunting at most any range-(any comments?) and am considering mounting a 4 x scope on my .308 due to the lighter weight vs a 3x-9x. I am wondering if the 4x will be enough magnification for accurate sighting in however.
 

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3x-9x vs fixed 4 power for sighting in deer

Gunpilot: The 4x will do fine out to 100 yds you should be able to see the holes in the target if your eyes are in decent shape, but b-4 sighting in at 100 sight in at say 50 to get yourself on paper that will make it a little easier for you, also take a friend along who has a rifle with a higher magnification scope on his or (her) sorry ladies rifle to assist you in your setup process, 4x was used for many years b-4 the scope manufactures found out we would PAY more if it had the extra ### :D JIM
 

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3x-9x vs fixed 4 power for sighting in deer

JHM is correct, but no matter how you figure it, it will be twice as easy to sight in on a target with 9X magnification then it is with 4X magnification. I'd also prefer the 3X over the 4X while in the woods hunting.

Guess I'm just a variable power guy. :lol:
VH
 

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3x-9x vs fixed 4 power for sighting in deer

I have a 4x on my .270 and its more than enough for Mi. deer. A 3x9 is nice because it gives you a choice if you hunt in open areas. Just remember to check the power before hunting so you don't see either and ant or a patch of brown.
 

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3x-9x vs fixed 4 power for sighting in deer

gunpilot,

With respect to whether or not a 4X scope is enough magnification for accurate sighting in of your rifle.

Look at it this way: If the scope truly is 4X, then at 100 yards it's the same as looking at something with the naked eye at 25 yards. Can you see a dime at 25 yards with the naked eye when it's perpendicular with respect to the ground? Absolutely. Can you see the end of a pencil eraser at 25 yards with the naked eye? Maybe. What this says is that you will be able to resolve at least 1/2 inch at 100 yards and, as jhm stated, you will probably be able to see a .30 caliber bullet hole at that distance. I know I can with a 4X sight. Now if you can see it, you can accurately aim at it with probably about 1/4 inch of uncertainty.

Do you need to be able to see better than this to sight in your rifle? No.
Sighting plus or minus 1/4 inch ain't bad and a 9X scope would only reduce your uncertainty to around plus or minus 1/8 inch....so you would gain around 1/4 inch better groups with a 9X scope.

I've proven this to myself twice in the past: Once in taking a 4X off my .30-06 and replacing it with a 3X9 and once in a varmint rifle by removing the 3X9 and replacing it with a 6X18.

The groups in the '06 got smaller by about 1/4" and the groups in the varmint rifle got better by about 1/8 inch.

Ka6otm
 

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4X vs. 3-9X variable for sighting in a deer rifle

While a 4X scope may be sufficient for hunters under short range situations, the 3x-9x variable scope gives a hunter/shooter much greater flexibility and is the most popular scope sold, according to an article I recently read.

As concerns the difference in weight, I believe you'll find that really isn't much a factor. There is a greater difference in weight between my heaviest and lightest rifle slings than between my heaviest and lightest scopes.

Whatever scope you decide to use for hunting is the scope you must "sight-in" with... obviously. The 3x-9x variable scopes are the most popular scopes because they tend to give the "best-of-both-worlds"... 3x magnification for close shots, 9x for long shots and your choice of magnification for the all the shot in-between.

If you're trying to determine what "load" is best for your rifle, then the most powerful scope you can mount on the rifle is the one you should use. I like use my varmint rifle's 6x-24x variable scope set on "24x" on a different rifle when I'm working up loads for it. The better you can see the bullseye, the more accurately you can "hold" on it... all other things being equal.

Of the six hunting scopes I have on my rifles, four of them are 3x-9x variable scopes including the scope on my Model 99 Savage in .300 Savage caliber I use for eastern deer hunting.

If you hunt where the average shooting range is 150 yards or less, I would recommend you look at a 1.5x-4.5x variable scope like the one I have mounted on my old model Ruger .44 magnum carbine that makes a really great "still-hunting" rifle/scope combination. When I was "still-hunting" through the woods or even when on "stand", I kept the magnification turned down to 1.5x in case I needed to get off a quick shot at close range. Looking through the 1.5 power scope is almost the same as looking through no scope at all and the very heavy crosshairs that thin down to "wire-like" crosshairs at the center helps "guide" your eye to the center of the crosshairs and automatically causes you to "center" your target between the very heavy, "post-like" crosshairs "sprouting out" from all four sides of the scope.

If the deer is far enough away that you need more magnification, then the deer is far enough away that you can afford to take the time to turn the magnification up to "4x" if you need it.

While a fixed power scope at any "power" may be slightly lighter in weight than a variable power scope, the variable power scope has mostly replaced the fixed power scope due to the obvious advantages the variable power scope offers.

As far as what scope to use for hunting, a lot depends on where you hunt and the range you can reasonably expect to get shots at deer. If you hunt in an area like much of the eastern USA where most shots at deer at taken at less than 100 yards, a 4X scope would do just fine. If you hunt out west or in the "bean-fields" of south-eastern U.S. where shots tend to be much longer, the 3x-9x, 4x-12x or even a 5x-16x variable scope would probably be the better choice.

Therefore, depending on the average shooting range your type of hunting requires, I'd go with the variable power scope in the power-range of your choice.
 

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3x-9x vs fixed 4 power for sighting in deer

It really all boils down to personal preference, and also your hunting conditions and limitations. Personally, I like the 3 X 9 because I can change according to conditions. However, you need to keep in mind that I use the same scope for close range wild boar hunting, usually no more than 25 yards, and sometimes closer than that :eek: but also use the same rifle/scope combo for longer range hunting as well. BUT, the 4 X would be just fine, and I agree that out to around 100 yards, you would be just fine with it... Again, just IMHO Your preference plus conditions plus range of shots = which scope would be best..
 

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I was always sure that 3x-9x was the way to go and no one could tell me any different(sorry dad). In Feb of '07 my father passed away and in honor of him that following deer season I used his favorite gun which came with an older Lyman 4x All American mounted on top. I found it to be very accurate and ultra reliable, even after banging it on a rock (I almost broke down in tears). Since then I have found 3 more of the same scope on different websites and have replaced some of my flashier Leupold's on my 7mm-08, .243 & even my .300 wthby. No issues so far, except for the deer and 'yotes! Thanks Pops!!!!
 

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My 6.5x55 carries a 1-4x Redfield. my 30-06 a 2 3/4x Redfield. I don't have to see a bullet hole at 100yds, what I need to see is an aiming point. The targets I make up use a diamond for an aiming point, size depends on the power of scope on the rifle. We're takling abour a hunting rifle here and I really think the straight 4x or even 2 3/4x are better than the variables. I have variables because fixed powers are hard to find for a lot of years now. Both the 6.5x55 and 30-06 will shot groups under 3" at 200 yds, more than sufficient for hunting. With either, the rifles are usable to far farther than you would likely believe. Try this, get yourself a 16" square piece of paper and see how far away it has to be before you can't shoot a hole in it. If you can't do it at 400 yds with a 4x then you probably couldn't do it with the Hubble scope mounted on your rifle!

In the past I used a 338 Win Mag with a 2 3/4x Redfield, 308 Win with the same scope, 7mm Rem Mag with a 4x Redfield and a 243 with a 4x Bushnell. I never felt at a loss for maginfication and the point of impact never changed going from a low power to a high power. All the scopes rode lower on the rifles especially the 1-4x and the 2 3/4x.
 

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In all honesty use a spotting scope. That's what they're for. Buying a scope with enough magnification for spotting your shots can be counter productive for hunting. My reasoning is if you buy a low end scope and need a 4x12 for spotting you are losing out for field of view for close shots. I have found quality optics allow you to see as well with less magnification. A 4x Weaver will beat out a similar priced 3x9 or 4x12 in resolution and brightness.

You can get a fixed 20x spotter for under $100. I use a Tasco World Class 20x and it works fine for me.
 

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Dave said:
In all honesty use a spotting scope. That's what they're for.
Quite right. Or a pair of 8X or 10X binoculars. The rifle's scope that is used for target spotting is likely to be used for "glassing" in the field and that right there is how people get upset/hurt/killed. Don't do it when in the field. Use binoculars.

For sighting in I recommend a red target on a white or cream background. The lead/oil ring left by the bullet passing through the target is significantly easier to see through the spotting scope or binoculars on a red target. Black targets on white or cream tend to mask the bullet holes.

Most hunting rifles are zeroed for 100 or 200 yards. The bullet passes above the line of sight at approximately 25 yards down range. After mounting a new scope, shoot your first rounds through the target at no more than 25 yards. When on target and zeroed for 25 yards, then move the target to 100 and rezero for 100 or 200.

Lastly, I use both 4x and 3-9x. I kill deer out to 225 yards with a 4x and to 225 yards with a 3-9 set to 4.5x. No difference. The "problem" with variability is setting 9x and looking "long" then having the game step out at real close range with little to no time to reset the 9 to 3x. When you see the game up close at 9x all you see is FUR and insufficient outline to make a clean shot. You are guessing at the shot placement on the game up close through a 9x scope setting.
 

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It depends, but on a bolt action I'd rather have the 3-9X40 any day of the week. A few ounces isn't going to matter.
 

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gunpilot - I think you may be asking the wrong question. How about 2-7X versus fixed 4X for a deer rifle. I find that 2X is easier to shoot in a standing position than 4X (or 3X). And 7X (or 4X) is plenty of power for 400 yard shots at deer. Also, one can get fairly compact 2-7X scopes. I've shot lots of sub-one-inch 100-yard groups with a 2-7X scope. I've also shot a number of sub-one-inch 100-yard groups with a 2.5X fixed scope. I think the only real advantage of a higher power scope for normal deer hunting would be its better visability in low light conditions. Another suggestion is to always carry a variable on the lowest power in case a quick, close, offhand shot is necessary. One almost always has time to turn up the power if a long shot requiring a good rest is offered. - Don
 

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Go with a 3-9X, the 4X is fine for hunting, but the 3-9 is probably as cheap as a 4X, they are light weight, and will be easier to sight in at the range. For deer they will be fine, dial it down to 3X and walk around, if you need it 9X will be there. The lower powered zoom scopes also are very clear and sharp, mostly as sharp as a fixed 4X is. You do not need to spend much money to get a good 3-9 hunting scope that stays sharp through the entire range, above 9X you need to spend some bucks to get one that will stay sharp at the top end. Larry
 
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