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  #1  
Old 02-26-2017, 09:02 AM
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fixed vs variable for short range


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Hello; I'm sure this has been hashed over many times. i have searched but would like opinions for my particular use.
I have a BSA Martini Cadet in .22 K Hornet. I'm trying to decide between a fixed and variable scope. Will be used for plinking, paper punching and small game/varmint. Probably no further than 200 yards, more because of terrain than bullet potential. I like variables, have them on my other long guns. But was thinking about, how often will i use the lower powers. Thinking of something in the 3+- to 16+- range. or 10 to 15 fixed. Thought I might get a better? fixed for the money. budget 300-400. would like mil (dots and adjustment), or one of the horus styles. Never used a Horus style reticle but looks interesting, any thoughts.

Another question, with a fixed power scope, would there be any difference between FFP and SFP, or is it not applicable to a fixed power

I would like an old Unertl, lyman, Litschert (sp?), Fecker, but they are way too expensive and probably more fragile. Just would look good on the old Martini
I have looked a lot at the Athlon scopes. they seem to have a good bang for the buck ratio , and i have seen a number of positive reports

Thanks

Last edited by 48woody; 02-26-2017 at 09:09 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-26-2017, 10:03 AM
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Firstly, that is a great little rifle action. I had one for twenty years in 17 Remington.
I personally believe that you might just as well have a variable these days because even the lower priced models (not super cheapy rubbish) are very reliable and with your ability and that accurate little cartridge you might just want to see the head of that squirrel at 100yrds. I now have all variables from air rifle, right through to 375JDJ and in 35-40yrs I have only ever had one show any signs of falling apart.
Have a long look at the Hawke range.
What mounts do you have. I know I had to have mine very high to give clearance for loading, but Hawke do an extended illuminated model which I use on my 8x57JRS double rifle with great success. That may just mount far enough forward to give good clearance.
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Last edited by Sus Scrofa; 02-26-2017 at 10:06 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-26-2017, 11:59 AM
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Right now it has the unertl, posa style blocks. I have a blank rail that I am going to machine to match the spacing and holes of these blocks. Most modern scopes that I have seen, don't have enough tube to properly mount with the 7.2 +- spacing. I have thought all along about a variable, not that the high power may be needed to hit a target, but as you said, I might want to see that squirrel's head, or the crow way off. I was thinking of the fixed sight, as for many years shooters have used them to great success, and maybe that for the same money I could get a better optic. I'll look at the Hawke line. There seem to be sooo many scopes out there.

Thanks

I thought I put this in the scope forum, wasn't paying attention i guess
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  #4  
Old 02-26-2017, 12:10 PM
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I've used fixed powers for years and still use them regularly. I have used them for years on 22 rifles for squirrel hunting in both Leupold's and Nikon's. For many years I deer hunted with a 4X Leupold atop a slug gun and when Indiana switched to rifles chambered in handgun cartridges for deer hunting, I purchased a 44 Handi-rifle with guess what? Yep, a Leupold M8-4 power.
I have a 243 and 22-250 both scoped with Leupold variables and I really like them but my favorite is a Remington 788 in 222 that wears a 6X Leupold. In the 200 yard parameters in which that rifle shines, the 6X for me works awfully well.
O'Conner, Askins and others of years ago used mostly fixed 4 or 6 power scopes but I think that was mostly due to the questionable reliability of variable scopes in their day.
All that having been said, I just purchased a Leupold variable for one of my AR's, so I will compromise on the issue.
I am a champion of the "keep it simple" concept and I've had good luck with fixed-powers so that is the direction I lean where it works. If you purchase a fixed-power, I would recommend the 6X at the distances you will be shooting but as Sus pointed out, a lot of the problems with variable scopes of years past have been corrected so either would serve you well.
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  #5  
Old 02-26-2017, 12:46 PM
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You may want 4X or 6X for those closer targets (25 to 50 yards) So, if you also want/need higher magnification for the further targets, get a variable able to go down to 4X or 6X. Due to narrow field-of-view, trying to FIND the target at 25 yards with a 15X scope is rather difficult. My .02.

Luisyamaha
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Old 02-26-2017, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luisyamaha View Post
You may want 4X or 6X for those closer targets (25 to 50 yards) So, if you also want/need higher magnification for the further targets, get a variable able to go down to 4X or 6X. Due to narrow field-of-view, trying to FIND the target at 25 yards with a 15X scope is rather difficult. My .02.

Luisyamaha
This is very sound advice. My scopes are always chosen with the FOV considered as well as how much magnification is needed for the particular cartridge and use. While 5 and 6X soon scopes are pricey, they have the advantage of a lower minimum power coupled with higher magnification.
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  #7  
Old 02-26-2017, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 48woody View Post
1) I'm trying to decide between a fixed and variable scope. Will be used for plinking, paper punching and small game/varmint. Probably no further than 200 yards, more because of terrain than bullet potential. I like variables, have them on my other long guns. But was thinking about, how often will i use the lower powers. Thinking of something in the 3+- to 16+- range. or 10 to 15 fixed. Thought I might get a better? fixed for the money. budget 300-400. would like mil (dots and adjustment),
2) Another question, with a fixed power scope, would there be any difference between FFP and SFP, or is it not applicable to a fixed power
3) I have looked a lot at the Athlon scopes. they seem to have a good bang for the buck ratio , and i have seen a number of positive reports
1) This seems a bit confused to me. Without some more details, Louisyamaha had really good info. So you like dots and adjustment, but for only to 200 yards max, I would think even a 22K Hornet is moving pretty quick still. Meaning I don't know how much adjusting you would do?
I'm a variable guy, always get to adjust as needed that way. Look at a PA.
2) It is not applicable without magnification.
3) Personally, I'd go Primary Arms over Athlon. The limited amount I've played with Athlon, they are no better than a PA, but sell for more.
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  #8  
Old 02-26-2017, 05:02 PM
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Darrker, I was probably rambling as I wrote. I think the .22K Hornet will have little drop to compensate for within the 200 yards. I was thinking of a variable in the 3+- to 15+- range, more for getting a good look at small targets, also there is the possibility I might use the scope on something else, too. I have a Remington 722 (on lay a way), that was probably a .222, that the PO converted to .223 (wish he hadn't) and i may use it on that also. I'll take a look at the PA's. Seems there are new scopes coming out every week. Too many choices.

If I go variable, would people recommend a ffp, mainly for use on the 223. If i am right you can use the dots(graduations) for ranging at any power on an ffp, where a sfp it is usually at one power, max or at the high end. I'm guessing here.

Thanks

Last edited by 48woody; 02-26-2017 at 05:32 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-27-2017, 06:36 PM
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Pros to ffp:
1) you can range the same way with the power at any setting.
2) after you get used to the scope, you can roughly tell about were your magnification is set by looking at the reticle without lifting up.

Cons to ffp:
1) depending on the quality of your scope, magnification, and crosshairs, your crosshairs and dots can become a little thick on higher settings.
2) they cost more.
3) if its a BDC reticle, you lose your ability to adjust (doesn't apply if your using mil dot).

Pros to sfp:
1) crosshairs thickness and appearance remain constant.
2) if its a bdc reticle, you can "tune" the reticle by reducing magnification and marking or recording it.

Cons to sfp:
1) Graduations are only spot on at max power.
2) You can still range, but there is an extra step based on what the magnification is set at.
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2017, 01:55 AM
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I have variable scopes mounted on most my rifles, either 2-7 power up to 4-12 power which is mounted on my .270. Last Deer season, I used my .308 and hunted in my woods allowing only short range shots, so I had my Leupold scopes' power set on 2-X setting. Found out it is hard to "find" you Buck if your scopes' power setting is > 4-X power. For informal shooting or target shooting I normally use the highest setting (9-power) @ 100 yards or more; and while Squirrel hunting I use either the 4-X or 5-X settings on my .22 Squirrel rifle.
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  #11  
Old 02-28-2017, 03:33 AM
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Squirrel at 129yrds just head showing ..... 12 power ...dead squirrel.
Deer at 50yrds ..................................... 4 power ...dead deer
Two recent shots.
I would not buy a fixed power scope today.
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  #12  
Old 02-28-2017, 05:09 AM
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I buy used fixed power scopes for all my varmint rifles but have several variX-II that stay set on about 12X all the time.
My all time favorite 22 K-Hornet scope is the discontinued straight 8x36 AO Leupold. They are simply great scopes that saves weight.
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  #13  
Old 02-28-2017, 06:56 AM
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When buying a scope for a rifle, I always ask myself, will a fixed scope work for the application I intend for this rifle?

I'm a big fan of fixed power scopes. I will use them any time that it is possible. So, based on my preference, I strongly suggest getting one and trying it. Especially with the Hornet.

I used to own a 22 hornet. It had a 2.5 power post reticel scope on it. Match was perfect. In Michigan, I can see movement of a squirrel at 200 yards, but I never take that shot because I hunt squirrels for meat. (yeah I do). A 4x should be just fine out to 200 yards on a squirrel if you have a decent rest, or are shooting prone. I personally find I am much more accurate in the field with a scope on 4x than anything higher. Even with a variable scope on a bunch of different rifles I own, I keep the scope on 4x. I have binoculars for spotting as they are far easier to use than a scope.

But that is at 200 yards. Most of my in the field and at the range shooting is 100 yards or less. So a 4x is just fine.

I have a 4-12x scope that I swap out on different rifles to do my load development. So dont forget that it's easy to swap scopes for a week or two if you need it.

My big draw to a fixed power scope is that there is very little that can go wrong with these optics. Also, they are lighter weight generally. Lastly, it's easy to find one used, by a good manufacture, at a decent price. Might want to give one a try before you decide to get something fancy and high tech.
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  #14  
Old 02-28-2017, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purist View Post

Cons to ffp:
3) if its a BDC reticle, you lose your ability to adjust (doesn't apply if your using mil dot).

Pros to sfp:
2) if its a bdc reticle, you can "tune" the reticle by reducing magnification and marking or recording it.
There could be something I haven't crossed, for sure. But I've never heard of a BDC in anything but a SFP, the BDC is how they approximate a FFP.

You can "tune" your BDC with different wheels, but that requires money and time with every change. Not an issue with a FFP, it's just adjustment with what you already have.
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  #15  
Old 02-28-2017, 09:21 AM
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I've been looking at a lot of manufacturers sites. Slowly whittling down the choices comparing the features I would like, such as reticle,clarity, ffp vs sfp, price, variable range of scope or a fixed, and the fact that i may use it on 2 or more rifles, take into consideration caliber, shooting distance. At first one, at least me, doesn't think of all the variables that go into choosing a scope. but then i may be thinking too much about it. I have both fixed and variable on the rifles that i do own. The reticle seems at the top of the list, though it probably isn't as important, because that is what you are going to look through, and should be comfortable with. I don't need one for a couple months so will keep looking at the options.

At the moment, leaning toward, mil dot reticle, ffp ($?), variable (3+- to 12+-). Once I get a short list, I will try to find stores that I can look through one.

Thanks for all the input.
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  #16  
Old 02-28-2017, 10:35 AM
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Tough to beat the old reliable 3-9x. If you are doing a lot of shooting under 50 yards, for me, an adjustable objective is a must (usually kicks me up to 4-16x).

I have a few of the unertle and Fecker scopes. nice on varmint rifles, but external adjustments and no nitrogen fill, limit them to warm dry weather.

hunted groundhogs in NY and Pa with a 22 hornet for years, it had a K-6x Weaver steel, made in El paso. fine out to 150 yds, but beyond that more power was needed to score accurately on pasture hogs and get quick kills.

My Hornet couldn't do what my 222 rem can.
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:40 AM
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For what it's worth I have a 3x9 rimfire scope on my Marlin 25-20 & 32-20. Since the are parallax adjusted for 50yds they work great up close & farther out. I use these rifles for small game like rabbits. Most of my shots are 50yds or less. These scopes make head shots easy. With such minuscule recoil it does not effect the scope's in any way. They have been in service for years on these rifles. They would also work great on your 22 K. Also have no problem making long shots when needed.
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Old 02-28-2017, 12:33 PM
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Dom, what brand??
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Old 02-28-2017, 12:39 PM
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Dom, what brand??
The ones I have are Simmons. These are inexpensive scopes but have given years of service with no problem. There are of course more expensive 22 RF scopes if you preferred.
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Old 02-28-2017, 02:07 PM
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Have an old Redfield 10X that was probably the first side focus on the market. It has a fine crosshair reticle with battle scars to prove active use for years. Today, its a backup scope for rimfires and the K Hornet it needed.
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