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Reply with quote  #1 
Howdy Folks,

First off i'd like to say i have searched threads of similar topics to no avail; although, every ones similar predicament seems to usually be "different". I've ordered a Browning T-bold Varmint in 17hmr and I'm unsure what type of scope to dress it with. I've been considering a Leupold VX II 4-12x40 AO (~$715 CAD)and I'm unsure if i will need the adjustable magnification or the AO, or if the Leupold is even worth buying. I've read some threads on various forums where members express serious doubt and displeasure with Leupold quality within the last few years. I will likely be shooting anywhere between 50-150 yards perhaps reaching out to 200 or 300 once in a blue to test myself; and probably exclusively pop cans and targets (targets for the most part). Depending on where I'm shooting (back acre or range) it might be at different angles of depression/elevation at various yardages. My questions are: Do i really need adjustable magnification or is there a fixed scope to fit these criteria? Is parallax adjustment vital in these yardage ranges (I'm assuming angle of depression/elevation plays a role)? Is Leupold worth the money or should i investigate other options? My price range isn't in excess of the price of the aforementioned VX II.


Reply with quote  #2 
Welcome to the site, Wayne.

This is all my opinion.

I like variable power scopes, and I like Leupolds. For the 17 HMR, a 4 x 12 x 40 is good. 50 mm objectives need higher rings and move the scope further off the bore center. The trade-off is that they can be better light gatherers. I also like parallax adjustment on scopes over 9X. Rimfires may need to be focused at ranges down to 20 yds or sometimes less. Not so much for parallax, but for target sharpness. I like the Burris 3 x 9 x 40 with the ballistic-plex reticle. I had a Leupold 3 x 9 x 40 VX-II that was sharper than the Burris at close range (15 yds), but like the Burris ballistic-plex better than the plain duplex in the Leupold. The advantage the variable has is low power capability, which gives a bigger field of view, faster target location, and brighter picture in low light conditions, but high magnification for target identification and refined aiming.

Good shooting, Tom
Reply with quote  #3 
in my honest 2 cents worth,its still a rimfire.unless its a comp gun you dont need a high dollar scope.there are great scopes from $30-$150 that will do as good.BSA sweet 17 or contender,bushnell scopes over $60,or even cabelas pine ridge line.a 3-9x40 simmons prohunter for $120 is steal,iv got 1 on my 25-06 and its never lost a POA,even after a good beating last year.the 4-12x40 simmons prohunter has a side parallax nob.both are flashy scopes and are clear as a weaver or leupold.a burris is a great choice as a higher price with out getting to pricey.
Reply with quote  #4 
What are you using it for? If you plan on spending alot of time behind the scope, as when shooting gophers. I would spend as much as I could afford. The quality optics make a big difference in eye strain at the end of the day. It never ceases to amaze me that some people put a grand into a big game scope they shoot a couple time a year and a c-note on a rim fire they shoot weekly. If you can't see 'em, you can't hit 'em. I'm using a Ziess Conquest 6.5-20x50, Burris Black Diamonds 6-24 and 4-16 on my HMR's and Mach2's. After spending more than a couple days shooting sage rats I can honestly say I am not over scoped. If you go for a leupy check out the EFR's they focus very close. If you plan on shooting the HMR alot get good glass.IMHO
Good Shooting to you, I hope the T-bolt tears it up.
Reply with quote  #5 
I recently checked out the Simmons Pro Hunter 4 x 12 with side parallex adjustment. The reticle is a bit coarser than I would like, but the 40mm objective lens appears to transmit a sharp image. The price at the small shop was $189, but I would imagine that one of the larger online stores would offer this scope at a lower price.

I am an avid ground-squirrel shooter and have been looking for a scope in the 4 x 12-16 range. It is nice to purchase a better-quality scope for longer ranges, but for the shorter rimfire ranges, I see no reason to throw a lot of money at a scope, when a cheaper scope will do the job. I have used a Simmons 4 x 12 for several years with no problems. The only gripe is that squirrels often present themselves at 25-100 yards, requiring that the objective lens be frequently twisted to accomodate the varying ranges. A side-focus knob, such as on the new Pro Hunter, is a welcome improvement.

I had been using a huge heavy Tasco Custom Shop scope with a 30mm tube on another .22 rimfire. It has a 2 1/2" parallax knob with clear markings for different yardages, and is very easy to use for a rimfire. But the scope is really too heavy for the rifle and...well....who needs 40 power for targets under 100 yards? Maybe some people like this amount of power, but it is really wasted for shorter shots, IMO.

One advantage of buying a higher power scope is that if you sell your rimfire, you can always use the scope for your favorite centerfire at longer ranges. Cooper NV likes the Conquest, and if I wanted to buy a really nice scope for the rimfire, that would be the scope to look at. It kind of depends on how many shots you take, how many hunting days you shoot, the size of the varmint, the general ranges they present, etc.

I like the varmint reticle on the Leupold, but IIRC, the Conquest does not offer that particular reticle. I have been using the duplex on my Simmons with great effect. The crosshairs are used up to 50 yards, a point half-way between the bottom post and crosshair center are used for 75-yard shots, and the top of the bottom post is used for 100 yard shots. I don't bother with knob-twisting because I am too lazy, and have found that Kentucky windage works just fine at these shorter ranges...for me, that is. I don't shoot in heavy winds with the rimfire because I am not a good wind-doper.

Anyway, I don't think you can go wrong with a Simmons.

Reply with quote  #6 
Zeiss does offer a rectical similar to the Luepy VH. When I got the conquest they where considerable less expensive then they are now I use a mil-dot.

If one is going to sit behind glass all day, buy the best you can afford, period. Wayner86 has purchased a fine rifle and I would only advise not skimp on glass. I do alot of shooting with HMR's at the 125-150yr range, I need every bit of 18 power to get sight of juvenile ground squirrels.

The Zeiss was the first higher quality scope I bought. I had Simmons, Bushnell (low end), weaver and tasco. After spending hours behind them and the Zeiss I only have the Weaver left out of them. I'm also a fan of side focus so most of my varmint rigs sport Burris Black Diamonds or Pentax Lightseeker 30's. I like them a lot and can be found at reasonable prices.
Reply with quote  #7 
Cooper NV, which reticle on the Conquest do you recommend? I am wary of mil-dot reticle merely because they tend to cover up the targets (at least with my eyes) and seem to be more difficult to "read" than, say, a fine cross-hair reticle that Leupold offers in many of its scopes.

Maybe I am being too picky about dots for reticles, but I just seem to like lines better than dots. Perhaps I am just used to the non-dot reticles after having used them for years, and if I used mil-dots for a while, I would probably like mil-dots over the traditional reticle designs.

As you mention, I want to be able to pick out juveniles at over 100 yards without eye strain. I am able to do this with my Leupold target 6 x 20 variable, but I shy away from the price of another such scope for shorter ranges. Besides, this particular scope does not offer side-focus. Conquest does, but so does the Simmons. The Simmons 6 x 21 x 50 offers the mil-dot platform, however, and for less than $200. But, I have not had a chance to look through this scope and fear that if the Simmons mil-dots are as thick as their Tru-plex reticle, the dots might obscure longer-range small targets, such as juvenile ground squirrels.

Maybe it's a moot point up to 100 yards, unless as you say, one is eyeballing almost constantly. My shooting style allows me to keep my eye scoped only when I am planning my shots; otherwise, I raise up my head and merely scan the terrain for these small targets. Hence, I don't suffer from the eye strain you described.
Reply with quote  #8 
Goofycat, Zeiss offers a Rapid Z reticles.
I think for the currant price of a Conquest I would look at sightron SSIII, they have great reviews on this board and others.
I have a tough time seeing the squirrels unless they are standing up, most of the time they are taking cover in a dense forest of alfalfa. Once they stand up one only has seconds before they spot you!! You gotta be quick on the trigger to avoid the charging beasts! I choose to snipe them in their prone feeding position which can result in spectacular helicopter type acrobatics.
In honesty approximately 40 percent of the shots I on my made last trip where on squirrels in cover, be it alfalfa or sage brush. I needed the magnification. But by mid-day the mirage gets pretty bad so I had to drop down mid range magnification.
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