What power scope?

  • Last Post 20 December 2021
.22-10-45 posted this 20 December 2021

I need help on choosing a scope for an Al Story Sharps borchardt in .30-40 Krag.  Rifle has 26" brl.  Most shooting will be at 100yds...with some 200yd. if possible..nearest 200yd. range over 50mi. away.  Cast bullets  of course!   On a single shot like this, I really like the looks of the Leupold fixed power 12X...long scope gives that old-timey look of past single shot target rifles.  Rifle is set up with Talley mounts.  I have come across a 30X 40mm Leupold..wondering if this much magnification will cause problems in summer with mirage?   Would a leupold 1/2 min. dot be any advantage/dis-advantage on the 30 power?  Have also been thinking about Leuplod 6.5-20 40mm?  Any thoughts would be most appreciated.  

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4060may posted this 20 December 2021

 I have a 6.5x20 Leupold scope on my 30-40Krag No.3 Ruger, Leupold dot, used the rifle mostly to shoot Silhouette at Ridgway

had to make a 20min base to have enough scope for 500M, dialed down to 16X or so at 500, kept the mirage manageable for me


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RicinYakima posted this 20 December 2021

My feeling is that it will depend upon the target you are going to use. The CBA score target at 100 yards is seeable for me at 10X, but I need about 14X at 200 yards. Personally, I have a harder time dealing with the small dots in cloudy weather. I have an older 20X Leupold with fine crosshairs on my 40/50 Sharps Straight that works for me. However here in the desert in the summer, mirage can be a problem if there isn't some wind. 

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Bud Hyett posted this 20 December 2021

Not an easy answer, there are many variables. This assumes you are buying a new scope. (I've recently bought two Redfield 3200 scopes for my .22 target rifles out of nostalgia.) Also, there are few fixed power scopes being produced today. With variables, now the mainstay of production, you can adjust power for the day's conditions. You can shoot a 4.5X-14X in Military Rifle if you set the power at 6X.

Note: I may have gotten the last 36X Leupold when I sent one back for repair and they could not repair for a lack of parts. They offered a scope from their stock that had been on display. I took it immediately. 

General Rule:

  • Hunting Big Game - 2X power for every 100 yards of anticipated range.
  • Varmint Hunting - 4X power for every 100 yards of cartridge capability.
  • Target - Rules predominate, e.g., CBA Military Rifle limits to 6X. 
  • Target - As much as I can afford, 20X minimum. 

Varmint hunting for comparison; the .22 Hornet and .218 Bee have 6X and 8X since that is the longest practical range of these cartridges. For prairie dogs, the .22-.250 and .220 Swift have 6X18 and 6.5X20 variables since 500 yards is the limit of my and the rifle's capability. Most often, these scopes are shot at intermediate ranges with power set at 12X or 14X due to mirage and reading wind.

Target; 20X to 36X. The key here is to practice under all conditions and know your scope within these conditions. There are larger power scopes I use, but in selected matches and conditions. 

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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