Variable Power

I was looking at my rifles… and I noticed something that got me thinking.  All my rifles tend have scopes that are variable powered, but they are always left on the same power setting.   I never adjust the magnification power.  All the midrange scopes are all on the highest setting, the high powered scopes are all the midrange setting.   And I never move them… never change them.  That’s just how I shoot them.

Scopes are now had with 4, 5, or 6 power multipliers giving the customer a vast range of settings… allowing the shooter to fiddle with even more variables.   Most shooters don’t even know when to use a certain power setting as it is.   When to use a 14 power dialed to 12… or when to go from 6 power up to 10.  Too many rifle shooters just don’t spend enough time behind the scope to learn and appreciate what those power settings do.

It’s bad enough that I hear people all day long at work saying “I just set the parallax focus to infinity and leave it there.”   Yes, because putting the scope as far out of adjustment as possible is easier.  Especially when one only shoots at the 100 yard bench.  Doesn’t makes a lot of sense.   Just to help you out for you guys that do that… set it at 100.  That’s where you want to be for shooting at 100 yards.  Most scopes are factory preset with a 150 yard parallax focus. So if you don’t just sit at the bench, try setting your scope at 150 if you just want to park it.  Wringing it out to infinity pretty much just defeats the whole purpose of having any parallax focus at all.   Then again, most scopes, you don’t have any parallax issues until you go above 9 power anyways.  Or 12 power if you are using a real high quality optic like a Swarovski.    Now do you really need 24 power magnification at the 100 yard line?  Are you wanting a spotting scope or something to help you aim?

Then here I am…  I’ve come around the circle again.  I don’t want all that jazz any more.  I just want simplicity.  I also want strength and reliability… and of course clarity.   I think a simple 3-9 or even a fixed power is the way to go for most rifles.

2 thoughts on “Variable Power”

  1. I found that my 3-9x always ended up at about 3 to 4x in the field and 9X at the range with a desire for a tinge more. Now I am running a fixed 4x and fixed 10x on the field guns.

  2. Yep, I use a bunch of fixed power scopes in the 2.5x to 4x range: I live in an area where shots are rarely over 100m, never over 300m. The only variable power scope I have is on my 220 Swift varminter, a 6-14x or something along those lines (it’s junk and will be replaced some day with a much higher quality variable). If I ever get around to building a 1000m rifle, it’s getting a 10x fixed and that’s it.

    I find that too much scope actively hinders my shooting. I tend to shoot slower because I can tell that I’m not EXACTLY dead on target and I unconsciously correct my aim before shooting. With irons or a lower power scope I can’t tell I’m not perfectly aimed, and I make a solid hit anyway in half the time. If all I need to do is put my bullet in a 4″ to 6″ circle to make a clean kill, I don’t want to be worried about hitting that circle in the center.

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