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What scope do you have on your .17s?

69565 Views 290 Replies 195 Participants Last post by  ThisIsFun
I am trying to decide on a scope for my Ruger 77/17 VM/BBZ, I would like to keep it under $400. I have thought about the Weaver V-24 not sure I like the reticle, the V-16 is nice. I have also looked at the Leupold VX II 6-18x40. I plan on shooting paper and small fuzzy animals. Any thoughts would be great.
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What I have

is a Schmidt and Bender 2.5-10x56 scope on my Anschutz. It's way above your budget. What I would get if I were you is a Leupold Vari-X III 3.5-10x40.

This scope would be great for hunting, as many of your shots would probably at the lower end of the power spectrum. More power than this for hunting maybe would be needed for a centerfire gun. You have a rimfire whose outside range is maybe 175 yards. At 10x a target that is 175 yards away appears 17.5 yards away!! An easy shot, even if you had open sights.

For the money Leupold has it all: Fully multicoated lenses, ruggedness, good adjustment pots, a wide choice of reticles, good quality glass, and a lifetime guarantee. The model I quoted was only $30 over your budget. Go for it!!! You will never regret having good optics.

I agree with Bill A. unless you're shooting from a bench, higher powers are useless.
 

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I'm sure

the Hummer can shoot out to 350 yards, but the power left in the round is very low at this distance, and if any wind, etc. is present, I'd say it's very difficult to hit anything. At least for hunting purposes.

Of course you're not shooting at large game, but even so, 10x at 175 yards is plenty. Remember, perceived distance through the scope is only 17.5 yards. Why would anyone need 20 or 24x? Can anyone even hold the gun that steady away from a benchrest??

OldSwede is correct about optics: You get what you pay for. Higher end glass IS better, I don't care what anyone says, because the reality is 95% of you have never been in a position to compare at the range or hunting. In the store it's very hard to tell anything. When I put my S & B scope next to a comparable Leupold at the range, you really CAN see the difference. Better contrast, better color rendition, better sharpness, and better light gathering, among other features.

Good optics are a lifetime investment, and with your budget, you can get a lifetime purchase. Just be sure to spend it all.
 

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Mike Pearson said:
Old Swede, you write a pretty good post and bring up some very good points! I think it might be worth noting that a .17 rim-fire being recoilless allows us to use lesser priced scopes with good results. There is NEVER anything wrong with quality but I think sometimes the Law of Diminishing Returns comes into play. The $600 scope might be required and absolutely necessary on a military sniper rifle or even for hunting dangerous game in inclimate climates but my guess is that for the relatively modest needs of a .17HMR shooter, one could do as well for a WHOLE lot less. I'm talking about making hits say out to 200 yards on small varmints. A $150 is NOT equal to a $600 scope as you said and I agree with you 100% but I seriously doubt that a $600 scope would give me (or anyone else) a 4x advantage over one of $150. Would it have an edge? Yes, it would. Would that edge make a difference in hits? Perhaps in some cases it possibly might? Enough to warrant a 4x difference in price? For some, I respect the fact that it would but for me, on a .17HMR (or any other rim-fire), I believe that if I couldn't make the hits with the $150, the scope is likely NOT my fault---the fault would lie elsewhere (namely that guy I look at in the mirror every morning)! Good post Swede! ---- Mike
The problem one has in comparing scopes is that no one ever counts the costs of misses, and failures to pick up a good shooting sight picture after having put the binoculars down. There is also a potential failure to spot other varmints a cheaper scope (while shooting the current varmint) that would be seen in a scope with better contrast, less flare etc. I agree that there is a point of diminishing returns, but to some extent that also depends on the accuracy of the rifle used. Obviously a $1200 scope on a cheap rifle is a waste, because even on a good day, the rifle can't get the accuracy the scope can see.

If we can allow that a box of .17HMR costs $8 that's .16 a shot. Doesn't sound like much. But if you were on a ranch like I was last week, where you may make literally 500+ shots a day, misses etc. can really add up. If you have a cheap scope that leads to missing 10%, failure to get a sight picture quickly enough for a shot, and contrast failures you are wasting approximately one box a day of ammo. That's $8 per day. If you only shoot once a week in summer that's $80 per year. Project that over the life of a scope, say 10 years, and it can be easily seen that you almost can't spend enough on a good scope. And of course many of us are much more addicted to the sport than that.

Based on my experience hunting with people that have inferior equipment, I really think the miss ratio is greater than 10%. And all the guys on this forum with cheap scopes that brag about the distance of their supposed shots are full of S*%&, because they tend to over estimate distances. These are the cheapskates that are far less likely to have laser range-finders to actually measure their shots.
BTW, I find it very difficult to do serious varmint hunting without a laser range-finder.

So spend what you think is appropriate, but I really think most of you underestimate the worth of a good scope.
 

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Stiff neck,
I never said anything about yardage. Two weeks ago, I hunted with ONLY my .17HMR. Longest shot was 171 yards (measured). The range-finder is needed to avoid shots that are too long, or to test the range of the fences etc of the field where one is shooting. I've seen a lot of ammo wasted on shots that were really un-doable, or needed "walking up" to the target. A rangefinder avoids all that. On that particular trip I never had to get out the centerfire gun because I had a very target rich environment at close range.
 

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:cool:

Re: Good scopes.

I HAVE done a lot of ground squirrel hunting. And I don't think a 10% miss ratio is a lot using junk scopes. I agree that there are a lot of scopes that can do the job, and one doesn't need to spend 4 figures to get reasonable quality. It's true that most varmint hunting is done in good light, because varmints are diurnal animals. But one still has to deal with flare, and bad contrast many times, because we can't always pick our shots.

I didn't mean to insult anyone, but I've hunted a lot in wide open spaces, as well as woods. And I don't think anyone's judgement about distance is that good. Even people who've grown up in wide-open spaces. When some one that doesn't use a rangefinder starts talking about the distance that he/she shot such and so, I really doubt it.

I personally was taking 250+ yards shots all the time.....until I got the rangefinder.

Now, I consider that a really long shot. Most of my shots are well under 200 yards. To do a 200+ yard shot I have to get prepared and find a rock steady rest. And I use a centerfire rifle to minimize holdover, if any.

BTW I don't have a scope that's over 16X. I use a 2.5-10x56 for my .17HMR and a 4-16x50 for my .223 Rem. Resolution, contrast and flare control, are much more important than "power".
 
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