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2506hunter
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Explanation of how more expensive scopes work
Jun 10th, 2020 at 10:15pm
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Hi there, this might be a silly question but..

I have always only hunted with your basic 3-9x40 scopes on my rifles and if I have needed to take a shot out to 250-300m I always have a mental reminder before I take the shot of how much drop my bullet has at that range and just holdover on the animal etc. I have never adjusted my scope before the shot as I don't know how accurate that would be and if the scope would have actually made the adjustment, so I tend to just leave it as soon as I've sighted my rifle in and just manually hold over, if you get what I mean?

Now, I really want to get into slightly longer range shooting, max up to 400-500metres but I need a better scope (e.g Leupold Vx5).

My question is, how do the better scopes work in terms of that top dial? It sounds similar to adjusting your scope but a more accurate dial or system. I had previously asked somebody how it works and he vaguely explained that you sight the rifle in at your preferred range (e.g zeroed at 100m). Then you take the rifle out to a range and shoot out to 200-300-400-500 etc and keep turning the dial round to a number where the rifle hits zero at that range (e.g at 200m when the dial is clicked round to 6 it is hitting zero at 200m with no holdover and you should be able to hold the crosshairs exactly where you want the bullet to hit and the scope has made the "holdover" adjustment for you) and so on with every other increment after that.

So how I see it is each increment of range you write down what number it is hitting zero at and if I saw a deer at say 400m and knew that 400m was the top dial turned round to the number 27 then I can just hold those crosshairs exactly where I want that bullet to hit and the scope does all the holdover part for me??

Sorry I know I repeated myself alot then but I'm bloody confused about it all and would love to wrap my head around it.

Cheers!
  

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Re: Explanation of how more expensive scopes work
Reply #1 - Jun 11th, 2020 at 7:33am
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Hi there 2506hunter
There will be people out there that have used them heaps that will explain how they work better. But I will tell you one thing, or maybe a few.

I was same as you just held over, shot out only to two hundred meters.  Then I got a sig scope as part of a package. I could send away for turrets, which you send your ballistic's to them and they send you a turret which replaces the scope adjustment.
These are awesome but the important bit, you need a zero stop, that is so important. It is when you unwind back to your previous determined zero it will stop there. My one would just keep winding, so you never new if you had gone back the right amount or had gone one or two turns to much. Or it moved in the bush.

I ended up taking them off and going back to the non adjustable.

But would be so good with an orange finder and a zero stop.
  
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Re: Explanation of how more expensive scopes work
Reply #2 - Jun 11th, 2020 at 9:17pm
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That's the bigger! A turret is the name I was looking for. Yes sounds like a zero stop would be good for them. Orange finder??
  

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Re: Explanation of how more expensive scopes work
Reply #3 - Aug 16th, 2020 at 9:56pm
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2506hunter wrote on Jun 11th, 2020 at 9:17pm:
....Orange finder??


Good for finding oranges.
Possibly was a typo from "a range finder"
  

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Re: Explanation of how more expensive scopes work
Reply #4 - Aug 19th, 2020 at 5:56pm
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Mate had a Nightforce he could dial in to pretty much any range, but you need to know that range.
So part of his equipment was a rangefinder, then he looked up the App on his phone which told him how much to dial in the turret.
I could sit and have a f*g while he was doing that - all his animals were 400 yards and further - and wind drift ensured half of what he shot ran away with a hole where it shouldn't be.

Out to 200 yards it doesn't really matter, not on my 7x57mm anyway - I sight in at 180 and all the way out to 220 or thereabouts I'm shooting through a 3" tunnel where the bullet doesn't rise or fall more than 1 1/2".

His long range shooting put me right off the game, but there were a LOT of animals on his plot and he didn't seem to mind losing them - just on to the next one.

Longest shot I ever took was on a stag across a big gully - the bullet dropped over 12" and smacked him right through the boiler. No wind that day - or I wouldn't have shot.

I have actually seen a bullet puff dust some five feet to the side of an animal in a decent blow at roughly 350 - 400 yards - was beside him watching through binoculars - quite startling.

  
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Re: Explanation of how more expensive scopes work
Reply #5 - Aug 20th, 2020 at 8:04am
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SF90 wrote on Aug 19th, 2020 at 5:56pm:
His long range shooting put me right off the game, but there were a LOT of animals on his plot and he didn't seem to mind losing them - just on to the next one.


Couldn't agree more.
If long range is your thing, go and beat gongs to death.  A miss doesn't matter there. Punching holes in all the wrong places in an animal is not on, when there is a better way of doing things. Get closer or go find another animal. Know a guy who shoots out to 900, but only shows or tells you about the successful shots. Closer mates of his tell me about all the complete misses, and wounded ones left to die, 'cause its an hour to get over the other side of the gorge. Runs about 25% success rate. That's like me when I was 16 with a fully wooded .303 before I learnt to shoot properly!!!!!
  
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Re: Explanation of how more expensive scopes work
Reply #6 - Sep 8th, 2020 at 7:38pm
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I'm not an expert but I'll share what I know.

If your looking for a scope for long range shooting then there is a few other things I would consider.

Look for a scope that has a large enough adjustment range in the elevation turret (top dial). A quality long range scope can have anything up to or more than 120 MOA (minute of angle)/ 35MRAD (Mill radians).  These will usually have hand grip turret for ease of adjustments.  I wouldn't recommend anything that needs a coin or small screw driver to adjust. No turret screw caps would be preferred as well, less hassle.

MOA adjustment clicks are usually 1/4 inch at 100 yards and MRAD are 1cm clicks at 100m. The either imperial MOA or metric MRAD will would work fine and is just personal preference.  But you do want one that is consistent in movement. Meaning that if you moved it up 30 clicks for a shot, you want it to be back to perfect zero after you move back down 30 clicks. Some of the no brand name or cheaper scopes may not return to true zero or stick slightly when adjusting and move suddenly once you take a shot so your next shot will be off. You also want positive clean click movements and not some mushy soft click where you can barely feel where the next click is.

A zero stop on the turret is nice to have but if you can't find a scope with it then make sure it has the ability to zero the turret. Most quality scopes will allow you to re-set the zero mark position of the turret after you've zeroed your rifle at your preferred range (eg, at 100m)

A decent optical zoom range is nice to have but you don't need anything huge unless your doing something like precision 1000m plus target shooting. 4-16x or 5-25x is heaps. If you can afford or prefer a 7-35x zoom then don't let me stop you.  For a fixed power scope then a 10x or there about would be fine for most hunting ranges.  I like to have my scope zoomed to about 18x and I find that's a nice size for both brightness and picture size.

This leads me to reticles which again is a personal preference. The old duplex is the old standard but there are so many others to choose from now. I like the mil dot version or better yet the ranging christmas tree type reticle which has drop down and windage hold off markings. This has the advantage of not having to adjust your turrets every time.  You can just hold off a known adjustment for a quick shot.

A big objective lens (the outward looking end) is a plus for both low light and the larger power zoom scopes. Anything more than 20x in power will make the picture bigger but also make is dimmer so the bigger objective lens for more light collection is preferred.  At least 42mm. 50mm or 56mm is better but more expensive. 

The image quality or sharpness is depended on how much you spend.  This also applies to the consistency to the turret adjustment.  In general you do get what you paid for.  There are some great deals to be had in the cheaper scopes but you will have to do your own research on user test reviews or have a look at them yourself.

Get decent scope rings. No point investing thousands on a scope only to be held up with cheap rings that will move from shot to shot.

I highly recommend a 20 MOA scope base rail. This will allow you to utilize more of the scope elevation adjust for those really long shots.

Also I highly recommend getting or borrowing a friends chronograph.  You need to know the speed of the bullets coming out of your rifle.  Once you know your bullet speed, ballistic coefficients (BC), range, cross wind speed, rifle specs, bullet specs, etc, you can enter these figures into your ballistic calculator to get your drop down adjustment for your scope.  There's a whole bunch of free ballistic calculators you can get for your smart phone.  eg, Strelok or Ballistics Buddy.

If you don't have one already then you really need to get a laser range finder.  You really need to know what range your shooting at to dial the correct adjustment.

You also want to test your adjusted shots against known ranges and if they're off slightly you can fine-tune your ballistic calculator by tweaking the bullet velocity or BC slightly up or down till they match your actual shot placement.  Some people call this truing your ballistic calculator.

I hope this helps.

Cheers.

  
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