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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I am new to this forum. I just bought a new Ruger M77 7MM Rem Mag. I am looking at Leupold vx-3 4-12X40 and Nikon Monarch 3-12x40 or Monarch 4.5-16x40. What do you guys recommend. I plan on deer hunting mostly around 50 to 100 yrd. and maybe elk and moose out west some day.
 

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Very honestly I think you're going for too much power. Might look cool but face it, you're gonna carry it a lot more than you're gonna shoot it. I bought a Winchester M70 in 7mm Rem Mag (push feed) when I moved to Colorado in the mid 80's. It was my mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and elk rifle. I mounted a Burris 1.75 - 5X on it. I hunted the black timber, open prairie and the woods. That scope was perfect. With it I took deer and elk ... no antelope. Shot two partridge one time ... on the wing. Took the head off one and totally ruined the other with a body shot. Some fast shooting. But the scope set on it's lowest power was like shooting birds with a shotgun.

My own personal feeling was I wanted LESS power, not more. And at 5X it was great for the 300 yard shot ... my own personal maximum. An elk or a big timber Mulie is a big animal. My closest shot, other than the partridge, was a mulie AND an elk at 25 yards. The elk, a young spike bull, was the lone elk traveling with a small herd of mulies. It was all over in a matter of 10 seconds. The scope made it possible.
 

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Guess it depends on whether you intend to hunt with the rifle or shoot it off the bench the bulk of the time. Anything can be pressed into service to hunt a weekend or two out of the year. More magnification can be helpful on the bench (to a point). Check your private messages, I might be able to help you out.
 

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My Ruger M77 (tang safety) 7mm RM normally has a Denver made Redfield Widefield Lo Profile 3x9 scope that was mounted when the rifle was bought new in 1972. It has been everywhere, shot elk, whitetail and mule deer, antelope and the occasional coyote.

The 3x9 scope is perfectly suited for this cartridge.
 

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If you had mentioned a pronghorn hunt or maybe a trip to the tundra for caribou, I'd say go with the 4-12X Leupold, but for a deer/elk gun, at the distances you listed, 3-9X would be great and 2-7X probably even better. IMHO, anything higher than 3-9X belongs on a varmint or "specialty" rig, like a dedicated target or speed goat rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your info guys. I hunt in PA, some places I hunt you have to have 4 points on one side of a deer rack. I need a scope that can zoom in on the rack so I can count the points. would a 2-7 zoom in that much so I can do so? I had trouble with my 3-9 scope this year at 100 yrds. although it was just a no name scope. Is there much differance between a 3-9 vs a 4-12? and why would you recommend a 2-7? I don't know too much about scopes. Thanks
 

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Thanks for your info guys. I hunt in PA, some places I hunt you have to have 4 points on one side of a deer rack. I need a scope that can zoom in on the rack so I can count the points. would a 2-7 zoom in that much so I can do so? I had trouble with my 3-9 scope this year at 100 yrds. although it was just a no name scope. Is there much differance between a 3-9 vs a 4-12? and why would you recommend a 2-7? I don't know too much about scopes. Thanks
There is magnification and then there's clarity; a whole bunch of the former, without the latter, is worse than useless, it's an impediment. If you zoom in at 9X or even 7X, with a good quality scope, the clarity will let you count points. If you still can't tell whether there are 4 points on a side, the deer is probably far enough out there that you might want to sneak a little closer or wait to see if he comes toward you. I acknowledge that the 7mm Rem Mag can reach out there and make things happen at 400 yards and more. If that's what you fancy doing, and will be setting yourself up for such shots, then you might want that 4-12X. Otherwise, a good hunting scope doesn't call for that kind of magnification.

The reason to carry a 2-7X at its lowest setting is to be ready when a buck jumps up 50 feet away, where 4X (or more) will make it difficult to see what you're aiming at. When you see a deer far away, you will almost always have time to crank up the power so you can tell if it's legal. When I was younger (hunting in CA) I would have my scope up on 9X, looking at the edges of clear cuts, waiting for deer to step out. More often than not, I saw them at less than 100 yards where a 3X setting would have been plenty. Even the wild hog I shot at ~250 yards was taken with a 6X setting, simply because I got too excited and never bothered to crank it up. I can honestly say I've lost more chances at deer due to my scope power being set too HIGH, than not having enough magnification, and I've left it at the lowest setting, or even turned down the magnification, more times than I've felt I needed to crank it up.

Now that I hunt in the Midwest, I use a 1-4X or 2-7X on most of my rifles. YMMV
 

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TomJ---Indeed what broom said. The Nikons and Leupolds have great clarity so you will see a big improvement over that no name scope for counting points on a deer antler... and for shooting at 100 yards. A 3-9 in either of those 2 brands should serve you well. Consider a Zeiss too.

As someone who does not know a lot about scopes and is jumping in to the water I would say the 3-9X by a good manufacturer is the best way to go. Every 3-9 by a good maker I ever bought I still own. Others especially in higher magnification I have sold off because they really are ONLY good for target shooting and NOT hunting... A similar thing can be said for cheap scopes. I don't have any on any of my rifles/shotguns anymore... they are worthless.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the info guys. Im leaning towards a 3-9 Leupold vx-3
 

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Scope Advice

If you're only shooting up to 150 yards or so then IMO you're looking at way too much scope. Nikon or Leupold are ok but you don't need any more than a 3-9X40 variable. I'm personally a Bushnell fan and would recommend either an Elite 3200 or a Banner depending on how much you want to spend. I use to have a 7MM and it had an Elite 3200 on it. A 3-9 is plenty for any hunting other than long range for predators or prairie dogs and the like in which case the higher power scopes are perfect. Hope this helps.
 

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Thanks for the info guys. Im leaning towards a 3-9 Leupold vx-3
That is a great scope. The Leupold VX-3 has great optics and clarity is excellent. I personally think the 3-9 is the most versatile, best all-around scope you can buy.

In regards to counting points, I recommend a good set of binculars. Use them for your spotting and point counting. I even bring mine when I bowhunt. Even at relatively close ranges, they help you pick out deer in cover. Allows to you spot an ear, tail or antler at much greater distnace than the naked eye, and helps you see into the brush, instead of just looking at the outside of a brush line.
 

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I luv the 7mm Mag, one of my favorite LONG range rifles. For the hunting you described, I think you're over guned and way over scoped. Even on 3x, in cover, you're will most likely hate how hard it's going to be to find your target at 50 yards, especially after you have a big buck or two walk off while you're still trying to find them in the scope.

As mentioned before, magnification is not the key, the quality (clarity) of the lens is a key point of what makes a good scope. Just the other day I was in a gun store and they had a used, Weaver 2.5X scope sitting on a shelf with a Japan Tasco 2.5-10x42 AO wide angle scope. I wanted the weaver for my granddaughters 22 and he sold me both for $15. I figured the Tasco would make a good scope to put on some cheap, beater gun. After all, the very first scope I ever bought was a Tasco 3-9x36 and it was a nice scope. I put this Tasco on a 22 just to play with it. This Tasco is absolutely the worst scope I have ever seen in my life. At 100yds on 10x, if you adjusted the eye focus so the cross hairs were clear, the target was almost totally fuzed out. If you adjusted it so you could see the target (no such thing a clear) then the cross hairs were so blurred, it looked like there's a half dozen of them. When it came to eye relief, there was none, it felt like my eye was no more than 2" from the scope. If this is what you get for a cheap scope, people need to start looking through a real scope and see what they are missing.
 

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" I hunt in PA, some places I hunt you have to have 4 points on one side of a deer rack. I need a scope that can zoom in on the rack so I can count the points."
Actually, you're describing a situation that would be better dealt with by a set of binoculars. A decent pair of binoculars will do a better job of evaluating the rack you're looking at.
I hunt in thick woods, too- just over the border to the north of you. I find a pair of binoculars constantly useful in the woods- though I know some folks don't think of binoculars for woods hunting. I can't tell you the number of times I've discovered a deer by studying something thru binoculars that looked 'just a little odd'. I've seen some hunters that way, too. And I thank God I was looking through binoculars and not a rifle scope at another hunter.
As to a scope, the advice you've already been given, I agree with.
 

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Thanks for the info guys. Im leaning towards a 3-9 Leupold vx-3
I'd suggest you also look at a 3-9x40 Zeiss Conquest as well. I own a LOT of Leupold scopes and they are fine scopes. I also own three Zeiss Conquest scopes and IMHO they are a better quality scope than Leupold provides in their VX3. If the 3-9x40 size fits you, than there is no better value than the 3-9x40 Zeiss Conquest at $400.
 

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I can't disagree with anything said so far. I am becoming more and more a fan of fixed power scopes. But for your PA now and out west later applications, a good 2x7 or 3x9 40mm variable would serve you well. I have a Leupold VX-II 3x9 on my 7 mag. It's a good solid scope. A VX-II, Bushnell Elite, VX-3, Nikon Monarch, Sightron S2, or the Conquest would all be good choices. The Burris Full Field 2 is as well if your on more of a budget. I actually prefer the 2x7, but they are harder to find for the same price sometimes.
 

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Thanks for the info guys. Im leaning towards a 3-9 Leupold vx-3
A wise choice. As a former Leupold employee, I know first hand the precision and quality control that goes into their products. Plus, they are made in the USA with a lifetime warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
thanks again guys. still interested in the VX-3 3-10X40 or would it be better to get the
50mm? I know that people say the 50mm is too far off the barrel. Also interested in a
VX 3L 3.5-10X50. I wanted a large scope because there is places on our land that I can shoot about 1000 yards. what brand has the 3-12? Burris?
 

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I would suggest a 2.5-10 X 50, best of all worlds better light transmission for low light situations and lowest power of the medium sized variables
 

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Discussion Starter #19
would it be smart to have a Parallax Adjustment built into my scope? what is Parallax?
 

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would it be smart to have a Parallax Adjustment built into my scope? what is Parallax?
In it's simplest terms, it's the slight movement of the crosshairs on the target that occurs if you move your head when looking through the scope. If you held your head in exactly the same position for every shot, there would be no parallax problems. For big game hunting purposes and with scopes of up to 10X, there is little to no concern as to the effects of parallax. For long range target applications or high magnification or varmint hunting at long ranges it can and does become an issue. So for your application, I'd say parallax adjustment (objective or side turn adjustment which adjusts the parallax in that scope to the exact range of the target) is not necessary.
 
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