Friday, October 13, 2017


Variable power scopes, that is.

There is a lot to like in a fixed power scope.  One of my favorites was a Weaver K6 that I had for a while, mounted on my old Savage 110 in .30-06.  A good fixed power scope is a joy, but unless you're searching online, you just don't see them.  I was in the box store yesterday browsing scopes, and I don't believe I saw a classic fixed-power at all on the racks.  I don't know if folks seem to buy variables, so the stores stock them, or if folks buy variables because that's all the stores stock, but the box stores seem to stock a bunch of variables. 

I have an old Burris 2.5X fixed scope on my Marlin 336 in .35 Remington.  It's been on that rifle since about 1980 and it has accounted for its share of venison.

I have a nice little Nikon 4X scope on my .22 rifle.  It's a joy to shoot, never a lick of problem.  And, that Weaver K6 is a real good scope.  But, the fact is that there are a lot more variable scopes on the market than there are fixed scopes, so we've got to learn to live with them.

Anonymous asks in Comments:
What power do you normally keep it set at ? I have a 2.5-8x on my .308 but keep it set at 5x nearly all the time. 
That's a good question.  And, the answer is; it depends.    If I'm still-hunting through the woods, slipping from tree to tree, that scope will be set low.   If I'm in a box stand somewhere, I might set it a little higher for the best view of wherever I expect the game to cross.   If I'm shooting paper or steel on the range, I might crank it all the way up to best see the target.

Back in the day,  a shooter might experience a change of impact while switching the power on a variable.  That was pretty common.  But, things have gotten better lately, and if the POI changes, it's often not enough to matter when your game is minute-of-deer.  The simple fact is that optics are a lot better now than they were when I stated paying attention to them way back in the last century.


Retired Spook said...

I've migrated from the ubiquitous 3X-9X-40 scope to a fixed 4X scope for almost everything. And the sorta-Scout rifles are all sporting Burris 2-3/4X scopes. I'm running three of each, FWIW. The non-scout rifles are all running Leupold 4X scopes.

Ryan said...

I have a low powered variable on my AR. It is a 1-4 and I keep it set at 1x. My bolt gun, what you might call a bean field rifle, has its set at the lowest setting also.

Better to start low and add magnification if needed then get lost in the glass.