Originally Posted by HuntingRookie
I am new to rifle hunting and recently purchased a Remington 700 SPS 300 Win. Mag. (I know its a big Cal.). my goal is to have a solid all around hunting rifle (deer, boar and black bear and if the opportunity presents Elk).
My frustration is choosing the right scope, There are so many out there. I have been told to get a scope that will take the recoil of the rifle, One that has a min. of 30 mm tube with a 50 mm lens, gas filled.
I have been looking at the Nikon Monarch 3 4-16x50 side focus BDC and the Leopold VX-R 12X50 and Vortex Viper PST 4-16X50 FFP. I feel like I am all over the place and getting more frustrated. My goal is to HUNT not Target shoot. I figure the majority of my shots will be in the 100 - 300 yard range.
I know in the end it comes down to what I like best bet any and all helpful input would be greatly appreciated.
First off, you've gotten some solid advice thus far. I have owned a good number of scopes over the years and still own a bunch. In my cabinets at this time are lots of Leupolds (several different models) and also several Nikon Monarchs. Although I've never owned a Vortex, I have read many good things about them. One comment I will make about some Vortex scopes is on ones I've studied, many do not have the eye relief numbers I look for, especially when scoping a rifle with significant recoil. It's my opinion, a .300 mag qualifies as significant recoil (I own three .300 mags at this time). Personally I'd want a scope with near 4" of eye relief minimum. I'd likely not go with one with under 4", but that's me. YMMV. You will understand the reasoning behind that should you purchase a scope with short eye relief.
I believe your well meaning Buddies has steered you a bit in the wrong direction as to how much magnification you need on a rifle like the one you purchased. You're not target shooting @ 500-1,000 yards and I see no reason to have a scope, used for hunting big game, of over 7-10X max. I also see no need for a 50mm objective either. An objective that large is only helpful in shooting in very low light at very high magnifications. At typical hunting ranges a 32, 33, 40 or 42mm objective on a quality scope
will give you plenty of light at powers up to 5, 6 or 7X.
My suggestions to you would be a couple of different scopes, then seeing which suits your needs and pocketbook. First I'd highly recommend either a 2-7x33 or 3-9x40 VX-R with Firedot Duplex reticle. I own two VX-Rs and they are nothing short of awesome
in low light for hunting. I'd also suggest Nikon Monarchs in 2-8x32 and 2.5-10x42 and Leupold VX3s in 2.5-8x36 or 3.5-10x. I can assure you that 7, 8, 9 or 10 power on the top end is plenty to shoot to 300 yards plus
on deer sized and bigger game. Honestly, until you have some experience under your belt, shooting at game at ranges over 200 yards is likely not a good thing.
These scopes will cost you from $300-$500 or thereabouts. I'd also suggest you stay away from anything but a straight duplex or firedot duplex reticle as the additional aiming points in "BDC" type scopes can be quite confusing for a new hunter and that confusion could also occur at exactly the wrong time as well. A very good Buddy of mine missed a huge Whitetail buck about 4 years ago when he used the wrong reference "dot" in his scope to shoot at it at about 150 yards on opening day. Result was a clean miss, over it's back!
In closing it might be interesting to note that a fella named Jack O'Connor (you may have heard of him!) used a straight 4X scope for most all his big game hunting, even at extended distances. He only replaced it with 2, 2.5X or 3X scopes as he saw fit when shorter ranges were expected.
Any of the scopes I've mentioned would serve you well and will also remain a quality aiming system for many years to come for you. Good Luck!!