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Thread: Spend money on a spotting scope or buy a scope with higher magnification?

  1. #1
    Member Fatberg's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Spend money on a spotting scope or buy a scope with higher magnification?

    Wanting a sanity check here to find out if my logic is flawed.

    I have a 7mm-08 with a cheap Niko Sterling 3-9x40 scope attached. It came with the rifle when I bought it and it works fine for my purposes in the bush. However when sighting it in and for general target shooting I have a hard time seeing the holes in targets at 100 yards.

    I have recently acquired a 308 which I plan to use mainly for range shooting as it's cheaper to feed. It came without a scope so I need to buy one. I don't plan on shooting super long distances, as long as I can see where I've hit at 200 - 300 yards tops then great.

    In an ideal world I'd buy a good quality scope for the Howa and a good quality spotting scope to see where I'm hitting. However it's not an ideal world and funds are limited. The cheap spotting scopes I've tried in the past were terrible and almost not even worth using IMO. It seems to be a case of "buy once, cry once" with them.

    I am wondering if I could get away with buying a scope that has high magnification so that I can see holes in targets instead of buying a separate spotting scope. Thoughts, opinions, similar experiences anyone?

  2. #2
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    when you get up to 14 x in a scope you can see bullet holes BUT its not as good as 9x in poor light and the lack of low end x sucks... a good pair of 10x binos solve your issues and are oh so useful for hunting.... or just walk up and look at target.
    if you dont hunt/shoot past 300 yards,top end magnification is going to be more weight/size /expence you just wont use.
    Trout, Moa Hunter, Fatberg and 2 others like this.

  3. #3
    Member Fatberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micky Duck View Post
    when you get up to 14 x in a scope you can see bullet holes BUT its not as good as 9x in poor light and the lack of low end x sucks... a good pair of 10x binos solve your issues and are oh so useful for hunting.... or just walk up and look at target.
    if you dont hunt/shoot past 300 yards,top end magnification is going to be more weight/size /expence you just wont use.
    Thanks thatís a good point re binos I hadnít thought about.
    Moa Hunter likes this.

  4. #4
    Member chainsaw's Avatar
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    If you don’t already have good binos then that’s definitely the best investment. These are invaluable when hunting and spotting game. After that consider good scope like a 2or3-12 or 3-15 or 18. You won’t regret buying quality optics

  5. #5
    Gone but not forgotten
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    I had a VX5 and could see where I hit the target at 300m on 15x.
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  6. #6
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    I wholeheartedly agree with the above sentiments - you will never regret buying the best optics you can afford.

    If you don't have binos yet and are already going hunting then that seems to be the logical next move - get the best you can stretch to now.

    Are you range shooting at an official range or on private land? If you're on a club range of some kind you can usually get a helpful person to lend you a spotter or spot for you. And by getting to know others there you may find a good quality secondhand scope to buy for the range shooting part.

    From a different angle - did you get the 308 for a specific discipline or purely for the cheaper ammo reason? Can we assume you're not reloading your ammo yet?
    distant stalker likes this.

  7. #7
    Member Fatberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelisreal View Post
    I wholeheartedly agree with the above sentiments - you will never regret buying the best optics you can afford.

    If you don't have binos yet and are already going hunting then that seems to be the logical next move - get the best you can stretch to now.

    Are you range shooting at an official range or on private land? If you're on a club range of some kind you can usually get a helpful person to lend you a spotter or spot for you. And by getting to know others there you may find a good quality secondhand scope to buy for the range shooting part.

    From a different angle - did you get the 308 for a specific discipline or purely for the cheaper ammo reason? Can we assume you're not reloading your ammo yet?
    I donít have any binos but then again my only hunting has been central north island bush where Iíve never really found them necessary. Maybe itís a case of not missing what Iíve never had. Hopefully in future I end up doing some more varied hunting where binos would be useful.

    So far most of the range shooting Iíve done has been on private land but I plan on joining my local NZDA branch when I get around to it and hopefully shooting there.

    I got the 308 mainly because of ammo availability and price. Buying 7mm-08 the other week from my local H&F they were limiting sales to 2 boxes per person and they had only just received a little bit of stock. I am not into reloading but can see myself getting there at some point in future.

    7mm-08 would probably be nicer for range shooting than 308 due to being a bit milder on the shoulder but Iím sure Iíll manage.

  8. #8
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    and a .223 would be nicer still...and cheaper to feed...and arguably more versitile as will fit in below the 7mm-08 where as the .308 pretty much fills same niche.
    7'08 shooter likes this.

  9. #9
    Member Fatberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micky Duck View Post
    and a .223 would be nicer still...and cheaper to feed...and arguably more versitile as will fit in below the 7mm-08 where as the .308 pretty much fills same niche.
    Yes a 223 could be a good option. There seems to be a lot of ammo floating around that isnít being used since Cindy made us all safer. If I need to sneak another rifle past the mrs Iíll say that Micky Duck on the internet said I needed it so itís ok

  10. #10
    Member Joe Schmo's Avatar
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    Take this for what it's worth.
    I'm not a "gun guy", I use them for killing animals and that's about it.
    I practice several times before each season because I like to have confidence and be ethical.
    I have found that shooting a group at 200/300/400 yards and then walking up to the target helps me think about my shooting and think about where my group might be depending on how the shots felt.

    A middle ground might be getting a good pair of 12x binos and walking halfway and looking with them
    tetawa, erniec, Grey Kiwi and 4 others like this.

  11. #11
    dog chaser distant stalker's Avatar
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    Joe's point of anticipating where shots went based on feel is very good, shooting groups with the zoom set so can't see impacts, theories where they went based on shot feel, then checking is a good practice drill. When shooting at an animal/target that doesn't have anything around it to tell you where the shot fell will see you relying on that feel and knowing if your shot was bad or need to adjust dope
    Moa Hunter, Micky Duck and Fatberg like this.

  12. #12
    Member Beetroot's Avatar
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    Surprised no one has asked how much you have to spend on glass.
    I'd imagine you'd be better off putting all the budget into a scope rather than a medicore scope and a medicore spotter.

    I'd also say buying a 223 would be much better than a 308 if you are worried about cheap practice, even a good accurate 22 would be a good option.

    If you think you'll be shooting 100 rounds a year of practice ammo it won't make much difference but 100 rounds a month and it'd be worth going 22e or an accurate 22.
    7'08 shooter likes this.

  13. #13
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    Also an ex north island bush hunter and agree never even consider the need for binos until moving south. Bought a cheap but reasonable spotting scoce that is small & light weight, it about 20 years old, the brand is one that, my eyes seem to like, Nikon. Think I paid about 250 for so there are options, put a passive search on TM.
    Fatberg likes this.

  14. #14
    Member Fatberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beetroot View Post
    Surprised no one has asked how much you have to spend on glass.
    I'd imagine you'd be better off putting all the budget into a scope rather than a medicore scope and a medicore spotter.

    I'd also say buying a 223 would be much better than a 308 if you are worried about cheap practice, even a good accurate 22 would be a good option.

    If you think you'll be shooting 100 rounds a year of practice ammo it won't make much difference but 100 rounds a month and it'd be worth going 22e or an accurate 22.
    In reality I probably don't shoot enough for the price to make that much of a difference. So in that sense price is a smaller factor than availability. You can usually find .308 floating around cheaper than 7mm-08 anyway.

    In your opinion at what price point do you exit mediocre scope territory and get to the better stuff?

  15. #15
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    ooooh now there is a thousand dollar question...and the other end of it is just as controversial...at what point do you STOP getting any more for your dollar???
    I dont buy new....with pretty much anything sporting related...so many fellas buy,try then flick on at what is sometimes a huge loss.
    personally Im more than happy with any scope I own that has leupold printed on the side of it....I dont dial.....I dont need side focus...have one scope with parralax correction,but it normally gets chucked on hundred yards and stays there....

    $500 2nd hand buys a lot of scope..... the 3x9x40 leupold freedom I bought 2nd had for ??? $350 ?? think it was is good value for money,its clear,holds its zero ...all I want,need....job done. you could go 4x14x40mm for similar money and get the higher top end for range work easy enough for similar $$$$
    chainsaw, Synthetic and Fatberg like this.

 

 

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