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Scope magnification opinions needed

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#1
unforgiven5150

unforgiven5150

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I'm in the market for a scope for my 16" 1-9 twist AR15 upper. I'm setting it up for a semi-distance and varmint/predator hunting rifle. I don't have a lot to spend on it, around $300 for scope and mount. Not a lot, I know. But it's what I have to play with. For the mount I'm either going to go with a SWFA SSALT one piece mount or a Burris PEPR mount, depending where I buy it. Or possibly a Primary Arms deluxe extended mount.

I'm 90% sure I'll be going with a Vortex Diamondback. From what I have read its a lot of scope for the money and have read nothing but positive reviews. Another possibility is a Nikon P223 or possibly a Nikon M223 or Leupold MkAR Mod 1 if I can squeeze a little more money into the budget.

So I'm trying I decide what magnification. I'm looking 2-7x, 3-9x, or a 4-12x. My other upper is a 10.5" with an Aimpoint. So I want the 16" to be scoped with decent magnification.

I originally was set on a 3-9x. But part if me thinks 2-7x would be plenty and another part thinks if I'm going scoped I might as well do a higher magnification and should get a 4-12x. A good part of this decision is because my eyes are getting worse and worse. I will be probably shooting between 100-200m and maybe up to 300m, but I know for precise shooting that's pretty much the upper end of its capabilities.

So what are your opinions and why? Am I missing another option for a choice on scope makers?

#2
Flash

Flash

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While I don't do it any longer, I spent a lot of years varmint hunting, mainly pursuing ground squirrels. Most of my shots were around 200 yards or slightly longer as it was hard to get close in the areas I hunted because of the geography.

I used a Leupold 3x9 for a lot of years and finally one day I said to myself that I would be much better off with twice the magnification, so I bought a 6x18 Leupold.

I was pretty disappointed. Somehow I mentally thought it would be a lot better, but it wasn't and my shooting didn't improve either at that range....or at least not noticeably.

I should've known better as I know from my Engineering research and development that most things tend to be logarithmic in life, like sound pressure levels, light levels and so on and this was no different. For most of these things, the minimum perceptible difference to the untrained eye or ear is a doubling, and so the increased magnification showed up as a small, perceptible difference.

If you can, put a 9 power and a 12 power side by side and check the difference in things at long range. Make sure you're comparing apples to apples, though, and get 2 scopes that are of the same generation and quality of optics. This would almost automatically require the same brand with both side by side. You might get the good folks at Sportsmans Warehouse to let you set this up and you could look the length of their store (smaller range, but you can get a good idea of the difference on that range).

#3
WKshooter

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For prairie dogs I like a Burris 6x18 with side focus with a target dot reticle. For larger varmints I used to use a 3x9 with it set on 3 or 4 power. Anything higher and it was difficult to hold steady in many of the improvised positions I often found myself. I like using the VORTEC scope mounts. Last year I bought a leupold VX-R 2x7 with an illuminated dot and mounted it on one of the carbines. No AAR's as still haven't had time to sight it in as of yet, but I do like the balance.

Personally, I believe a 3x9 sighted in at 100 yards offers a good compromise and allows you to call your shots out to 300 yards once you know your distance and drop...a good range finder helps for distance, especially after you challenge yourself by guessing distance then using the range finder.

#4
unforgiven5150

unforgiven5150

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I'm also toying around with the idea of the new Primary Arms 1-6x scope: https://www.primarya.../pa1-6xrbd.htm.
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PA has always been good to me and I really like the reticle on this.
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