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Discussion Starter #1
OK folks,

I do a lot of lurking primarily because I know hardly anything yet but I'm trying to absorb all this knowledge like a big sponge. I need your advice on a scope for my new rifle :lol: ...yippie! I just bought a new Tikka T3 SS 7mm Rem Mag and now I need to scope it.

I will primarily (90%) hunt deer and only rarely plan to hunt anything bigger out west. I know I could have bought a different caliber but that's a moot point now and I won't bore you with the details of why I wanted the 7 RM. I am strongly leaning towards the Leupold VX-III lineup primarily because of what I have read here and a good friend's personal experience with the Full Lifetime Warranty. So, I'm looking for what VX-III you would personally choose for this kind of hunting? I would consider other brands but only if they came with Lifetime Warranty.

Thanks for your help.....
LSC
 

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The 2.5-8x36mm is about as good as it gets, and would still be good if you ever do make it out west. The VX-II 2-7x33mm is a little smaller, cheaper and makes for a dandy deer rifle scope.
 

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The 2.5x8 or 1.5x6 VX III or 2x7 or 3x9 VX II. I'd save the $$$ and get a VX II. I'd also buy the scope from Premier Reticle with a #4 reticle installed. The Standard Leupold Duplex reticle is too narrow for me. I normally buy from Jon at The Optic Zone but you save 1/2 the cost on the custom reticles at Premier if you order the scope from them.
 

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I second what EsoxLucius recommends. You cannot go wrong with the Leupold Vari-X III. I would stay away from the Vari-X II because even though they have a great lifetime guaranty, they are also far more likely to require you to exercise the guaranty, which means you're looking at down time, resighting, and just plain old hassle. If you can afford the LPS, go for it.

On the broad stroke, I strongly recommend that you get the absolute best scope you can afford, and when it comes to quality in scopes (and as much as many people don't want to believe it), you get what you pay for. We Americans tend to down play the value of quality optics, but once you experience them in the field you will recognize that superior optics are worth every ¢. I'm partial to Swarovski myself, but I hunt a broader range of country and game than it sounds like you are right now. And in any event, the Vari-X III or LPS will not leave you feeling short-sighted ;-)
 

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Jimi, what are you basing the VX II is going to have problems more readily than the VX III? If it's because the VX II doesn't have a one piece tube I'm sure Redhawk1 probably personally knows someone that built a house using a VX II as a hammer and the scope never lost it's zero or fogged for the next 20 years. :) ( sorry Redhawk, I couldn't resist)
 

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This wont make you Leupold guys very happy, but just my opinions after personal field use and observation here is what I would do (by the way I have the exact rifle you do, plus a Tikka T-3 7-08, and a Tikka Whitetail in 7mag...all stainless/synthetic):

1. Bushnell elite 4200-better optically and less money than VXIII with just as good of a warranty.

2. Nikon Monarch- same as above

3. Burris Signature- at least equal optically with just as good of a warrantly.

4. Zeiss Conquest- Superior scope all the way around, maybe can find it priced about the same or slightly less than VXIII if you look hard enough. This would be my #1 choice right now in this class.

You can spend less money and get equal to or superior optics/warranty than Leupold. I have nothing against Leupold (I have some), there are just better choices in my opinion.
Grubbs
 

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Hi Dave. My comment about the Vari-X II is just personal observation... I have no inside information from Leupold or anything like that. But I spend a fair amount of time at the range and in a good year spend even more time in the field... so it comes from talking to guys about their experience with scopes. Now, as I think about it, most of these guys were tending to shoot heavier calibers and the main problem tends to be the axis' getting whacked. Perhaps with lighter calibers it is not an issue.

I expect a lot from my equipment and if it doesn't perform in the field then I wouldn't piss hard for it. As a result, I am a stickler for quality and I get frustrated when people skimp on what I consider to be important factors. In truth, it's none of my business what people do... but part of the fun of these boards is to expound on things and basically be a blowhard ;-) I love that part! Optics are something that I just think can really enhance one's hunting experience and I think most people tend to look for the cheapest scope with acceptable quality instead of the best scope period. And I'm not wealthy... But I am willing to wait longer to save the money up to get products that maximize my time in the field.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys

I appreciate your opinions and the discussion. I agree with Jimi in that I want to buy the best equipment I can afford with a focus on value/features. I really hate buying things twice which is why I tend to do alot of research before hand. I would love a Swarovski but that's a little out of range right now. I fully plan to spend as much or a little more on the scope as the rifle, don't want to scimp.

Grubbs, thanks for the suggestions but everywhere I've looked including the Bushnell site, the warranty for a 4200 is only a year. I'd certainly consider a Zeiss but I've never seen any close in price/features to the VX-III. I might be looking in the wrong places though.

If I buy a Leupold, it will be a VX-III over a VX-II because of what I've read here and other places about the clarity of the optics being better on the III. Brightness and clarity are a big deal here in SC where we can hunt until 1 hour after dusk.

In fact, I was leaning more towards the 50mm objectives because of that need for brightness. Am I all wet on this thinking?

Thanks again for ya'lls help on this.

LSC
 

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You can hunt an hour past dusk? Wow, that's epic! I have a better appreciation of why this is an important choice for you. The Swarovskis and Zeiss can be prohibitively expensive and again, I think the Leupold Vari-X III or LPS is your top choice. I would definitely take it over the Zeiss Conquest. As for the 50mm Objective Lense... it makes for a pretty big and heavy scope. If you're cool with that, then by all means. However, I think you'll be more than well-served with a 42mm OL and 30mm tube. I am always dubious about new fads and I figured the 30mm product was just another way to sucker guys that want the latest and greatest into buying a new scope. Kind of like all the WSMs and RUMs and what not.. until I really checked it out. The larger tubes definitely make a difference.
 

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Jimi, thanks for the reply. I haven't heard of too many VX II scopes going south but them that's me. I also expect a lot of my equipment. As a fellow blowhard I can say "pleased to meet you". :D From what I've been able to find out about 30mm tubes is there are two trains of thought. One is IF the internal optics are sized in proportion to the 30mm tube the scope will be brighter. If 1" internal optics are used there is no gain other than more adjustment. The second is a scope doesn't "gather" light and only transmits it to the shooter's eye so there is no gain. Which is truely correct I can't say. Most 30mm tube scopes are heavier than 1" tubes. Objective lens over 42mm usually require high rings and that usually places you cheek off of the stock comb. The pupil of a middle age adult normally opens somewhere around 5mm max. An 8x scope with a 40mm objective lens is right there.
 

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Pleased to make your acquaintance as well Dave. I'd say you're more on top of the technical aspects of scopes than I, and what you say makes good sense. I've only shot with Swarovski, Zeiss, and Leupold scopes for the past several years and have been pleased with all of them, but I can understand that if a manufacturer doesn't do a complete job in its design and production it could be a problem. And your comments about requiring higher mounts are right on.

I do have a comment on "light gathering" optics... and of course you are correct in saying that a scope cannot literally gather light. And again, I am no expert, but the way I have perceived it... and been amazed by... is that what these optics do is effectively give you an image that is consistent with the light around your target. For instance, and I know my terminology is off but bear with me here... Let's say that 10 lumens is a measure of sunlight on a bright day and 1 lumen is just this side of pitch black... If at the end of the day you are in a woodline and can see with about 3 lumens in your immediate vicinity and you can tell that in the adjacent field there is probably 4 lumens, but 100 yards away the field looks like 1 lumen from where you're at. What a good scope or binocular does is bring that image in to you at 4 lumens, or whatever the light quality is in the area you are glassing. Likewise, if you were standing in the field and glassing into the woods, you would see the image at about 3 lumens. Whatever the light quality is around your target, that's what you're seeing. So the scope brings you right up there. Doesn't add anything, though it seems like it in comparison to the naked eye. Does that make sense?
 

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As I understand it the "twilight factor" you normally see listed from Euro optics companies increasess with more magnification as long as the overall quality of the optics will support the amount of magnification. As you stated, optics transmit the available light to our eyes so I guess the magnification increases the clarity of the image by magnifying it. Low magnification optics do seem to make things much brighter too. Graybeard has a good handle on all of it. He worked on optics for the government IIRC.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Objective confusion

The thing that confuses me is all the different choices that people make on objective size. If a 50mm objective is the brighest possibility in the magnification you want, why do people choose smaller objectives. Is it strictly a monetary decision?

I saw in some other posts where Zachary chose some smaller scopes for weight but it seemed like the weight savings was only 5 or 6 ounces. That doesn't seem like a lot of savings for the loss of brightness if I understand this aspect correctly. Now having read these posts entirely, I know theses folks know what their doing so there must be something less simple about all these choices.

Anybody what to help me figure this out?
 

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Many folks want a scope mounted as low as possible and a scope with a 50mm objective lens has to be mounted higher on most all rifles. The rifle Zachary is mounting the lighter weight scope on is a light rifle so he doesn't want to weigh it down more than he has to. Money isn't usually a deciding factor on scope objective lens size.
 

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jimi......the Leup LPS can be prohibitively expensive too. The scopes I mentioned in my last post have equal to or better than warranty than the Leupold. The 30mm tubes are useless also, in my opinion for the hunting situations. If you don't mind spending a few extra bucks look hard at the Swaro A-line 3-10x42.....awesome glass. Probably price competive with the LPS and a heck of alot better scope w/out the 30mm tube.
 

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I recently took a leupold vx11 3-9 off a gun and replaced it with a vx111 3.5-10 and the groups the gun shot got much tighter from about an inch to under half an inch( this was done while changing powers while grouping).I'v got one of those conquest,and after dark with a full moon you can hunt with it,it is better than all the rest mentioned in low light conditions.But using the same test it cant hold the same groups as the vx111.BUT for the money the Bushnell Elites cant be beat,I'v done the same test with my 3200 elite and it performed flawlessly(4-12x40)like the vx111.Maybe I just got lucky.P.S I had to send the first conquest I got back they sent me another and its ok but not a home run
 

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Grubbs, My eldest brother, whom I respect, shared your opinion about 30mm tubes but I went ahead and bought one anyway and I have to say, I am extremely happy I did. Except for a Kahles scope that I still have on my .375 H&H I own nothing but Swarovskis, having sampled Leupold and Zeiss as well. I think it is different for different people, but the ease with which my eye takes to the Swaro is noticeable, as is the clarity. My favorite set up includes a Swarovski PV 2.5-10x42 with an illuminated reticle on a highly customized M70 in .300 Wby Magnum. I'd thought the illuminated reticle was a gimmick, just like the 30mm tubes, but again, I am extremely happy with the product. Shooting in shadows at either end of the day, it sure is nice to know exactly where my crosshair is instead of losing it in the shadow and I have taken quite a bit of game with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the help and opinions

Thanks for the help guys. For this first rifle/scope combination, I think I'm going to play it safe and go with the Leupold because of reputation and lifetime warranty. I have a friend whose rifle/scope was stolen and discovered in some bushes 4 years later with a fogged scope and Leupold replaced it so I know they back up the warranty. I may try the Elite's on the next rifle I buy.

Right now I'm leaning towards the 3.5-10 X 50 or the 4.5-14 X 50.

Cheers,

LSC
 

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scope

I have the exact same gun and I topped it off with a vxii 3x9x40. I am very happy with it. Last year I did a float hunt in Ak, rained almost the whole week, the gun and scope saw a lot of ugly weather, no problems. Aren't those tikkas great!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Handwerk, I hope you're right

Handwerk,

Your posts are some of the ones I counted on to buy the Tikka. I hope you're right about those Tikkas since I've never shot one and I don't know anyone who owns one. I pick it up next week and then I just have to decide on the scope and have it mounted....so damn exciting I just can't wait. Anyone remember your first rifle...the one you made the decision to buy all on your own? Yep, I feel like a kid right now.

Handwerk, dod you ever regret not having a bigger objective for brightness?
 
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