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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all I wish to thank first this Forum as a new member I have received lots of great advice and opinions on several topics and now I have another simple question at least I think it’s simple As someone just getting back into hunting how much more distance on my shot will I get on the 4-12x40 over the 3-9X40 I have a Savage 111 Long Range Hunter in 300 Win Mag which I purchased for Elk and larger game Both Scopes are Nikon if that helps too

Thank you for taking the time to respond
 

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I'm not sure if I understand your query.

The distance would be the same with either scope. The target can be magnified greater with the 4-12x40, but physically, nothing changes of the shooter/rifle/ammo combination.
 

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Hunting elk is unusual in the fact shots can be from 40 feet to 400 yards. Going by those distances my pick would be a 3-9x40. Too much magnification is a problem in hunting scopes, because of that, I hunt with my scopes set on the lowest power. If a longer shot presents itself a person usually has time to find a way to rest the rifle and turn up the power.

One of the longest game shots I've tried and was successful with, was a straight 3x at over 500 yards. It was an unusual circumstance and I was lucky. So don't recommend that sort of thing and haven't tried it again since.
 

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I echo, completely, what MontyF said above. I'll simply add that if you choose the 3-9 over the 4-12, you will likely be able to also get a better grade scope for the same $$. Better glass and/or coatings trump higher magnification every day and twice on Sundays in my book. :D

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks guys for the input I had asked as Opticplanet has the nikon prostaff's on sale the 4-12x40 BDC is $169.95 and the 3-9x40 BDC is $179.95 so I get more magnafication if needed at a lower price which should be the same optics and am I realy going to see a big differance in the lower magnification's between the two "3x vrs 4x" and please correct me if Im wrong but would it not be normal or best how ever you wish to look at it to keep your scope set at about a 5x or 6x at the ready

Thank you again for all your comments this fourm has been a great learning tool
 

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There are lots of opinions on scopes out there, so what works for me might not be the same that others suggest.

When hunting, like was prevously mentioned I choose to keep the scope set on the lowest power. The reason for that, if you have a chance at a close animal it's a good possibility it will be moving. Getting a snap shot with the scope on higher powers poses a couple problems, target accusition and if locating the target defining what part of the animal you are looking at. For example looking at an elk in close with a 6x setting all you'll be seeing is hair, if the elk are moving you'll find it much harder to determine what part of the elk you are looking at or even which animal you are targeting.
Even with the pricing difference I'd still suggest the 3-9. One other thing I'm not a fan of the BDC. It may be the thing for muzzleloader and shotgun scopes... things with rainbow trajectories, but for high powered rifles like yours, I'd rather use the hold over method at long ranges. All those circles make it too "Busy" for my liking.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Have a few fixed power scopes, but not many. Most are variables ranging from 1.5x-6x all the way through 8x-32x. The majority are Leupold, Burris or Denver made Redfield 3x9x's. I find the 3x-9x to be most useful on just about all the rifles except the varmint ones.

As Monty suggests, keeping the scope on the lowest power when hunting will provide the largest field of view for quickly picking out the game. Unless departing the country at a run, you'll usually have a standing shot and the opportunity to adjust to a higher power once the animal is located. BDC's, brackets, mega multiple stadia crosshairs, circles and whatever, just tend to clutter up the view IMHO and practicing distance estimating with holdover when necessary is far more practical, again IMHO.
 

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I have needed ZERO magnification more often than I have truly needed 9X or more, while big game hunting. Consider that most shots are within 100 yards and 3X or 4X will cover those, with ease. Also, the higher magnification will make your wiggles more noticeable when you're trying to shoot. That can actually be a distraction. And finally, accurate shooting is a matter of form, not magnification. In fact, greater magnification will only serve to "magnify" problems with shooting form.

The scope on my 270 Winchester, a legitimate 350-yard deer gun, is a 2-7X...and that is plenty. I have shot sub-MOA out to almost 300 yards with it, at "only" 7 power magnification. I hunt with it set at 2X and have taken plenty of shots with it, at that setting. I would never put a 4-12X on a big-game rifle...although I would use one on a dedicated varmint rig. YMMV
 

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3x9 vs 4x12

Hi, SeeBee133,

Interesting comparison. If both scopes are the same make/model, and the price difference is only $10, I guess I'd opt for the 4x12. I know the purist big game hunters out there will cringe, but here is my reasoning. If you consider the actual magnification of both scopes, a clearer picture will emerge. Many 3x9s have an actual magnification of 3.6 or so by 8.7 or so. Many 4x12s follow suit with 4.2 or so by 11.6 or so. There's little difference between 3.6 and 4.2, and the eye can't really see it. But there's significant difference between 8.7 and 11.6! So if that elk is 500 yards away, the extra magnification will help. Compare the ACTUAL magnifications!

I rarely have had to shoot a big game animal offhand, so the jiggles when using high magnification do not matter to me. My scope is set for the lowest magnification when hunting, and zoomed up once I have time and a solid rest.

Lastly, I have a 3x9 on my .340 Weatherby, but a 5x15 on my .300 Weatherby. The .300 is primarily used for longer range shooting, especially hunting deer from a stand. It hasn't failed me on either end of the magnification spectrum!:)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all for your input and insights I just decided to get one of each and purchase a Bushnell Trophy XLT 6-18X40 to see what would work best on my rifles and if I don’t like something then there is Craigslist =) One or Two out of the three should fill my needs and if all three do then lucky me for hitting the tri-fact-a
 

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Let us know what you decide when receiving those scopes. I'd be curious on which ones you keep.
 

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Hello all I wish to thank first this Forum as a new member I have received lots of great advice and opinions on several topics and now I have another simple question at least I think it’s simple As someone just getting back into hunting how much more distance on my shot will I get on the 4-12x40 over the 3-9X40 I have a Savage 111 Long Range Hunter in 300 Win Mag which I purchased for Elk and larger game Both Scopes are Nikon if that helps too

Thank you for taking the time to respond
Check out the vortex diamond back for the money and especially the life time warranty. I also have a vortex on my Christensen 300 win mag and just got another one for my 30-06. Good luck
 

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8 year old thread, and he hasn't been on the forum in 7 years, FYI
 
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