scope magnification discussion – 4 to 14 or 6 to 24

Forums Optics, Scopes, Rings, & Mounts scope magnification discussion – 4 to 14 or 6 to 24

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    Saltlake58
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    Initial question, What would you call the appropriate uses for the two magnification ranges.  To give a hint of what I’m looking for, in my youth (way too long ago) for hunting Deer, a 1.5 to 4 was considered an excellent magnification range.  Deer are large and most of the time, you are hunting at 100 yards or less. Wide field of view to find the quarry, and enough magnification to line up the cross hairs to make the kill.

    Bench shooting could demand higher magnifications in those days.  I remember stories of hugely expensive scopes for those guys.  

    So, where would the 6 to 24 be superior to 4 to 14 and other way round?  What are your thoughts??

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    agnthooziast
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    I was one of those crazy guys that spent over $400.00 for a Leupold 6.5-20X with AO back @ 1982-83for my 22.250 and a 4-12 Leupold with AO for my .22 LR Anschutz. My buddies thought I was nuts but they sure smiled when they shot’em at long and short range and saw what I could do with them! As long as you can get the lowest focus you’ll need and brightness you want then remember you can reduce the magnification for hunting and dial it up when desired. more magnification = more detail and tighter groups generally speaking. My vote goes to the higher magnification with a 50 bell if it’ll fit your mounts low enough to the bore for you. Remember you will loose some brightness to some degree at higher magnification which varies with the actual scope that you choose.

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    JoeWayneRhea
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      I lean towards the lower power IF you are gonna b happy with it . Don’t buy it and be constantly second guessing your choice . For some guys image size beats imag sharpness .  Be honest and buy according. 
       Par of the fun of scope buying is making those choices 😋

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    MScottLeeman
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    I must say, I purchased a Hawke Airmax 3-9×40 and was using it on my LGU. With the nice thin reticle combined with Very nice optics,it was a pleasure to use. Joe, You mentioned the low power/high optical quality factor on Your last video. I have to agree.

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    allan_wind
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    Well, my first scope is a 4-12x SFP and I would semi-regularly use 4x for pesting up close, and most of the time 12x if my target is at 20 or 30m. With a second focal plane sub-tensions are relative to the zoom range, so in practice, this meant, I would memorize a set of (distance, zoom, sub-tension) range chart.  Then I check and possible dial the zoom setting to either 4x or 12x depending on my target.

    My next scope was a 6-24x FFP.  I have yet to miss 4x.  Greatly enjoy first focal aspect as I now only have to memorize (distance, sub-tension) range chart, and can shoot without having to check or adjust the zoom range.  I do, however, use the zoom aspect of my scope a lot more, and in particular the 12x to 16x range.  Anything beyond that at my target distances would become cumbersome with the narrow field of view.

    So to answer your question, I think there is a valve a little beyond 14x for short range pesting, and beyond 16x or so I think you want to shoot longer distances and/or smaller targets.  Also, for pesting, I do enjoy the illuminated reticle at dusk, so I can see the sub-tensions.

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    Saltlake58
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    So far you seem to be validating what I’ve been finding out the hard way.  I have a nice BSA 3-14×44 FFP, and a really cheap BSA 6-24×40.  Just comparing magnification when shooting at 50 or 75 yards, I con’t use much more than 18x tops.  Between the difficulty in lining up my eye with the scope, and other factors, 18X seems to be as far as I can go.  Then again, that’s a cheap scope, only paid $60 for it on sale a couple years ago.  

    I’ve been leaning to the Athlon 6-24×50, and am pretty sure that’s the way I’ll go.  Athlon also offers a 4-14×44, so was wondering if the higher magnifications really had much of an advantage.

    Will probably go with the 6-24, just for the 18X or maybe a little more on the Athlon.  Goal for this gun will be bench at 75 and 100 yards, so more usable magnification could help.  

    Thanks for the comments

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    Trailryder42
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    I bought the Athlon Helos 6×24 a few weeks ago. I don’t like a scopes reticle illumination turret up near the eye piece. I prefer it on the same knob with the parallax. So I spent a little more on the Helos. But in my experience with it so far, I agree that 18x is just about right for 100 yards and more. The eye relief and pupil size is still easy to get behind at that mag..

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    hawkeye69
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    “Saltlake58”So far you seem to be validating what I’ve been finding out the hard way.  I have a nice BSA 3-14×44 FFP, and a really cheap BSA 6-24×40.  Just comparing magnification when shooting at 50 or 75 yards, I con’t use much more than 18x tops.  Between the difficulty in lining up my eye with the scope, and other factors, 18X seems to be as far as I can go.  Then again, that’s a cheap scope, only paid $60 for it on sale a couple years ago.  
    I’ve been leaning to the Athlon 6-24×50, and am pretty sure that’s the way I’ll go.  Athlon also offers a 4-14×44, so was wondering if the higher magnifications really had much of an advantage.
    Will probably go with the 6-24, just for the 18X or maybe a little more on the Athlon.  Goal for this gun will be bench at 75 and 100 yards, so more usable magnification could help.  
    Thanks for the comments

    
I bought the Athlon 6-24X50 recently and the front flip-up cover spring broke almost immediately, so I reversed it and flip down instead. My biggest complaint is that the side focus markings aren’t even close to the actual distance. At 25 yards it reads almost 40 on the scale. Other than that, it’s clear and I like the reticle. Thus far for target shooting I’ve just kept it on 18X. 

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