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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking at a 17hmr that has a 2-9x scope on it. I've only one gun that wears a scope, a 22lr with a 4x. I've never used a variable before. I am wondering if I will be happy with that 2-9 or if I should go up a level. I'm no marksman and won't be taking long shots with it but it seems to make since to me that within reason, more power is better. Any thoughts?
 

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I have been on sort of a rant lately about people using scopes that have too much power. High power scopes have 1 use that is for bench work. If you were a bench rest shooter where every .050" counts then I would recommend nothing less than a 24X scope more like a 32X. Since that is not the purpose of this rifle, let's not talk about high power scopes, they are not needed. The quality of the scope is important how ever. You did not say what brand/model the scope is. I also have a 22 rim fire with a 4X scope on it for general duty work. I can hunt squirrels in the AM the shoot cans with it in the PM. It sets by the back door for use as pest control. I have never felt under scoped. For years I had a 2.5X setting on it and it worked fine too. I just took it of to put on a 44 magnum rifle. Then I had to replace it. Anyway back to you. The range for an 17 HMR is 200 yards max. Take 200 and divide it by 9 and you have 22.3 yards. Do you think you can hit a varmint with good irons at 22 yards on a bi-pod? There you have it, 9X is plenty for your use. The quality of the scope is very important, the sight picture needs to be sharp and clear. Before you buy a new scope give the one you have a try. If you feel the scope is not up to expectations then get another, but I would look for a better quality scope, not one that has higher magnification. I find myself getting the shakes. At 20X or so, the scope moves ever so little and then I try to hold it still and it moves even more. I loose confidence. I do not notice a lower powered scope moving so much. So I do not try as hard to hold it still. I am talking field conditions where a rock steady rest is not available. If you decide to replace the scope do not look at any thing above 12X or 14X, remember quality makes up for magnification. If you are on a tight budget then maybe a Mueller APV (4.5X14X40) would be what you need. 14X is more than enough power and the glass is not too bad for the money spent. They are $115 shipped. Do not buy a cheap 24X scope, you are much better off buying a quality 9X or 10X scope. Just my 2 cents
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your input. I will take it to heart. My question stems from lack of actual experience and likely, a poor quality 4x on my 22. If I wanted to attempt a 50 yard head shot on a squirrel, my crosshairs would completely cover it head so I was thinking more in terms of magnifying its head to appear bigger but better glass and overall quality may well make that problem disappear entirely. Thanks again.
 
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