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High Magnification Rifle Scopes - Use Cases

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Marine24 View Drop Down
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    Posted: January/07/2021 at 10:05
I'm working on a new ELR/Benchrest rifle build.  Plan was to build a rifle to start participating in Benchrest/F Class matches and possibly PRS/NRL matches in both the centerfire and rimfire calibers.  My goal is just to get out of the house and have fun.  No plans to build a dedicated F Class rifle with the fancy front rest, but stick with a LR hunting/tactical build to start.

I noticed a number of other rifles where wearing Nightforce and Leupold 7-35x scopes or Sightron 10-50x scopes  These rifles were shooting out to a mile plus or trying to punch the X ring at 1000 yards.  I'm seeing these same scopes on rimfire rifles, which isn't new for benchrest rimfire but seems they are also being used in LR rimfire matches.

My plan is a scope in the 5-25x range and toying with the idea of a March 5-40x.

Squirrelly eye box and mirage come to mind at the higher magnification range, but welcome comments from those that are running these high magnification optics (35x plus).  Why you decided to go with that mag level and challenges you've experienced.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CJarvis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2021 at 10:38
False alarm. I haven't had enough coffee and my reading comprehension isn't working yet...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2021 at 18:19
As you know, I have the March 3-24x42... which is the only March I've had in hand or used that I had any "eye box" issues with.  The 3-24x52, 2.5-25x56, 5-40x56, 10-60x56, 8-80x56 I've had some small time on did not demonstrate any "eye box" problems.  I DID experiment with the 3-24x42 quite a bit, "perfected" my addressment to the rifle and now set up with no NPOA issues, very consistently... I quit swapping it to different rifles and it now permanently sits on my Winchester Model 70 Classic Laredo in 7mmSTW...unless that rifle falls apart, I don't plan to ever move it again.  March's reticle graduations are dead on, both MOA and MIL mechanical increments are as accurate as any out there.  I've had it for quite some time and no issues.  I even let Bigdaddy use it and it came back fully operational.  THAT says a lot.  
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Marine24 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marine24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2021 at 18:35
Nice.  Good to hear.  Like you, I had the issue with eyebox on my 3-24x42 and seems to be common but something you can train to address.  I have it on a 280 Rem and works nicely as a hunting rifle.

I see where March has a 5-42x56 in their High Master glass for around the same money as a ZCO and less than the TT.

Ilya did a quick "look through the scope" video on this March back in Jan 2020 that was helpful but would be curious on how the two compare.  The March Genesis is another option.  Great elevation travel but not sure I'm ready for that technology and price tag.


Edited by Marine24 - January/08/2021 at 07:45
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2021 at 09:28
I've not seen the 5-42 and have no hands-on with the Genesis(though it is one I have extremely high interest in).  Tangent Theta has done an amazing job of listening to "actual users" and implementing their wants and needs into reality.  My Zeiss Hensoldt ZF6-24x72 is still the best all around rifle scope I've ever put my eye to, but there is nothing I've touched that is tactically superior to the TT line.  Perhaps, if I had the SAM version of the Hensoldt, that might be different, but...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chipmaker330 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2021 at 10:52
I love high magnification optics, but there definitely are compromises. Often times I do load development off a bench under very controlled circumstances, and the high magnification is excellent there. Also, when I find myself plinking at 1000yds plus without a spotter, the high mag can be an actual necessity. For your intended mixed use, the biggest downfalls could be the vertical adjustment range inherent to higher mag scopes, and the speed of usability. 

I've shot between 100yds and one mile with a Sightron SVSSED 10-50. The 10x minimum was limiting under 600yds for its narrow field of view, and correspondingly the speed of target acquisition. At a mile, even on 50x, the image was exceptional, however I had to hold over 15 minutes of elevation to score hits. That meant to subtend correctly, I could only use 25 power at that distance. 50x would subtend half as much, and I'd be out of elevation travel and reticle holdover. Even optimizing the mounting with adjustable inserts, there just wasn't enough travel to be able to dial from 100 to 1 mile with my preferred load.

The constant reticle size suits my eye perfectly at all distances as far as visibility and target coverage, but for obvious reasons most high mag scopes tend to be second focal. Transitioning from different distances and different zoom levels can be a mind game in holdover estimation unless your dialing solutions are spot on and you don't hold over, and you don't expect to use the reticle for feedback in real time. 

It's a coin toss on whether mirage will be a friend or enemy based on shooting conditions on any given day. High mag will amplify haze, moisture, and even general impurity in the air, but any scope with a lower bottom end will render that a moot point.

Basically, if you have the luxury of time, and are shooting at distance, thumbs up to high mag. If you want more flexibility and a timer's involved, stick with something quicker and move forgiving.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marine24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2021 at 13:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2021 at 13:52
On my .338LM I have an Ivey Mount (mil) and with the Hensoldt can dial to a little over 3000 yards using hand loaded ammo.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marine24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2021 at 13:57
Similar concept to what March uses in their Genesis line?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2021 at 14:10
Originally posted by Marine24 Marine24 wrote:

Similar concept to what March uses in their Genesis line?


Great system... an Ivey mount was used to break the long range shooting record two years ago.
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