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How Much Scope for Varmints?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Matt VDW, Apr 17, 2003.

  1. Matt VDW

    Matt VDW Millennium Member

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    Let's suppose, for the sake of discussion, that we have the following:

    1) A .243 Winchester varmint rifle which will, with the right handload, consistently shoot 5-shot groups of 0.8" or less from a benchrest at 100 yards.

    2) A shooter with good trigger control who is competent at estimating ranges, doping wind, and firing from field-expedient rests.

    Given the above, what is the maximum range at which the shooter should expect to hit an exposed groundhog at least 75% of the time on a calm, sunny day?

    And how much magnification does a rifle scope need (assuming it's of better-than-average quality) to give the shooter a clear sight picture of a groundhog at that range?
     
  2. C Broad Arrow

    C Broad Arrow

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    As much as you can afford to put on the rifle.
     

  3. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    max range would be a long *** way. but things get weird past 300 yards in my experience. when shooting past 300 it gets exponentially harder becuase all of the variables that effect bullet flight take on a more significant role.

    the only way to know is to shoot at long range. if you hit it you can shoot that far ;f

    for the scope, my dad uses a 6-18x cranked all the way up and i use a 3-9x. for this purpose i would like to bump up a notch though. so i would go with a good 4.5-14x with good parallax adjustment and a good spotting scope to find the buggers. they are about as close to a stationary target as you're going to find in the animal kingdom, so i wouldn't worry too much about field of view.
     
  4. Matt VDW

    Matt VDW Millennium Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I've been thinking about something with a maximum magnification of at least 10x, but there's a trade-off between power and quality at a given dollar point.

    By the way... is there any real advantage to getting an objective lens bigger than 40mm?
     
  5. Scott H

    Scott H Guest

    Pick up the latest issue of Shooting Times, there is a great article on just this subject by a guy who has been shooting p-dogs for 30 years.

    Benchrest shooting at 100 yards?? That's .22LR territory. A .243 needs a good 4-12x or 6-18x. Try a bushnell Banner series, recommended in the article btw. Anything bigger than a 40mm OL and your cheek is going to raised off the stock, not what you want to be doing for a steady hold on p-dogs and such.
     
  6. tjpet

    tjpet

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    For sit & shoot varminting I like as much magnification as possible so I get my IVG's (instant visual gratification) up close and personal. Nothing like seeing the fleas thrown off from impact to make a guy's day.

    Most of my long range outfits have 6x24x40mm scopes on them. I'm particularly fond of Weaver's. They have excellent optics for the money.

    As Scott H mentioned anything bigger then 40mm is going to raise your cheek off the stock and that doesn't lead to precision shooting at the longer ranges.
     
  7. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    if you do need to get high rings or your rifle has a low comb, like my varmint popper, do yourself a favor and pick up an eagle industries stock pack. it raises the comb of the stock and the padding and suede cheek rest are really comfortable. i could do without the pack part since i don't put anything in there, but you could. beleive it or not but with no more "head wobble" my groups shrunk a lot.


    they list on eagle industries site for $35 but i got mine for $25 at a gun show.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.eagleindustries.com/mainprod.asp?scv=0