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#17847951 11/28/22
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Reorganizing my scope shelves a few days back and got to the 'Test Scopes' shelf.

How many have a known-good scope around and use it on a new/unknown rig? Or to sort out a possible scope issue? Or to do load work with it and then put a more appropriate hunting style scope on?

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I have a 10x SS I usually mount on a new rifle for load work or to check if I think a scopes gone bad. Been around for a long time now.


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Like Scott, I have a 10x SS that gets used for that purpose. Bought it on a big sale and can't seem to find a rig I like it better on than a 6x or something else.

Had a Sightron 6X 44 that I used as a test scope for years. Is a damn good scope that's stood up to a lot of abuse. If it had a measuring reticle, I'd still be toting it around.

I also have a very accurate 300 win mag that most new or troubled scopes go on to check function.

Side note: Some call a test scope a Mule; might not be PC these days due to the double entendre that some would consider pejorative.

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Like the others.....a 10x SWFA. It never stays on a rifle long though....but it's nice to have for load workup and verifying drops.

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I have a couple Weavers, either KT-15s or CKT-15s, one in Warne Maxima rings and one in Redfield turn-in rings that I use for load development.

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I use the same scope that I am going to mount on the rifle and hunt with.



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I used to do that but I never found where the best load with the working scope was any better if it was worked up with a more powerful scope. In other words if I work up a load with a target scope it might be a .250" group but when fired with the low power hunting scope it was a .500" and if I would have worked up with the low power scope to start with it would have been a .500" group so nothing was gained using a target scope.


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Originally Posted by erich
I used to do that but I never found where the best load with the working scope was any better if it was worked up with a more powerful scope. In other words if I work up a load with a target scope it might be a .250" group but when fired with the low power hunting scope it was a .500" and if I would have worked up with the low power scope to start with it would have been a .500" group so nothing was gained using a target scope.

I use the high magnification scopes because I perceive that doing so allows me to aim smaller, hit smaller, and the reticles tend to be finer than those of my hunting scopes. On a game rifle, I have come to prefer a reticle like the Leupold heavy duplex that is going to be visible under first/last light conditions and since I am much more likely to shoot something under 300 yards than over the portion of the animal covered by the thicker reticle is inconsequential.

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If you use a target that fits the reticle/magnification/distance combination you can do very well with a modest amount of magnification. For example, these groups were shot at 300 yards with a 1.5-4x20 scope whose max magnification is actually 3.9x if I recall correctly.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Last edited by mathman; 11/28/22.

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I used to just use a 10X SWFA for said purpose for years. As my eyes got worse and I finally needed glasses, I switched to an SWFA 5-20x50 SS HD for my scope against which all others were judged, all rifles were tested and load work-up was done or, more appropriately, as stated by Al above. I now have so many SWFA, Athlon Helos and LRTS/LRHS that I trust, it just doesn't get used as much any more.


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Originally Posted by mathman
If you use a target that fits the reticle/magnification/distance combination you can do very well with a modest amount of magnification. For example, these groups were shot at 300 yards with a 1.5-4x20 scope whose max magnification is actually 3.9x if I recall correctly.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Maybe so, but I'm old, pretty well set in my ways and am quite comfortable continuing to do what has worked for me for quite some years. It ain't broke and doesn't need an upgrade, so no need to change just to change. Or so it seems to me.

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Ha. I have a 10X SWFA that is often the the first scope mounted on a new rifle.


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10x SWFA here too.

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I just bought a 10x & 20x swfa for load development. Good timing on this thread.

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Originally Posted by mathman
If you use a target that fits the reticle/magnification/distance combination you can do very well with a modest amount of magnification. For example, these groups were shot at 300 yards with a 1.5-4x20 scope whose max magnification is actually 3.9x if I recall correctly.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


With the lack of precision of 3.9 power at 300 yards, how do you know group size isn’t effected by variations in hold?


Originally Posted by jwp475
I use the same scope that I am going to mount on the rifle and hunt with.

Me too


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The people wringing their hands over Trump's rhetoric don't know what time it is in America.
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Originally Posted by 260Remguy
Maybe so, but I'm old, pretty well set in my ways and am quite comfortable continuing to do what has worked for me for quite some years. It ain't broke and doesn't need an upgrade, so no need to change just to change. Or so it seems to me.

I was thinking along the lines of reassuring someone else reading the thread that their hunting scope they already have can do pretty good work if they don't have the inclination or finances to have a quality, high power scope around for such purposes.


"In the real world, think of the 6.5 Creedmoor as the modernized/standardized/optimized version of the 6.5x55/.260." John Barsness 2019
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Originally Posted by mathman
Originally Posted by 260Remguy
Maybe so, but I'm old, pretty well set in my ways and am quite comfortable continuing to do what has worked for me for quite some years. It ain't broke and doesn't need an upgrade, so no need to change just to change. Or so it seems to me.

I was thinking along the lines of reassuring someone else reading the thread that their hunting scope they already have can do pretty good work if they don't have the inclination or finances to have a quality, high power scope around for such purposes.

I never, ever, tell people that what I do is the best or only right way to do something, just that it is my way of doing things.

Come to think of it, I've used several other scopes to load development, Lyman 8x and 20x, Bushnell 3200 10x40, among others.

Last edited by 260Remguy; 11/28/22. Reason: Added comment
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Quote
With the lack of precision of 3.9 power at 300 yards, how do you know group size isn’t effected by variations in hold?

It may well be. I just wanted to show that modest magnification can provide more precision than is often assumed.


"In the real world, think of the 6.5 Creedmoor as the modernized/standardized/optimized version of the 6.5x55/.260." John Barsness 2019
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Maybe the groups would be half that size if shot with a scope on 20X

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Originally Posted by Bristoe
The people wringing their hands over Trump's rhetoric don't know what time it is in America.
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