PyramydAir The Airgun Experts Umarex USA Airguns Utah Airguns Nielson Specialty Ammo Nielson Specialty Ammo FX Airguns DonnyFL Airgun Archery Fun Saber Tactical New England Airguns Evanix Airguns at Airgun Pro Shop Sekhmet USA Freedom Targets AirgunWeb Old School Airgun Reviews Hajimoto Productions Airgun Angie - Backyard Shooting Air Tanks Plus Jefferson State Air Rifles PyramydAir The Airgun Experts Umarex USA Airguns Utah Airguns Nielson Specialty Ammo Nielson Specialty Ammo FX Airguns DonnyFL Airgun Archery Fun Saber Tactical New England Airguns Evanix Airguns at Airgun Pro Shop Sekhmet USA Freedom Targets AirgunWeb Old School Airgun Reviews Hajimoto Productions Airgun Angie - Backyard Shooting Air Tanks Plus Jefferson State Air Rifles PyramydAir The Airgun Experts Umarex USA Airguns Utah Airguns Nielson Specialty Ammo Nielson Specialty Ammo FX Airguns DonnyFL Airgun Archery Fun Saber Tactical New England Airguns Evanix Airguns at Airgun Pro Shop Sekhmet USA Freedom Targets AirgunWeb Old School Airgun Reviews Hajimoto Productions Airgun Angie - Backyard Shooting Air Tanks Plus Jefferson State Air Rifles PyramydAir The Airgun Experts Umarex USA Airguns Utah Airguns Nielson Specialty Ammo Nielson Specialty Ammo FX Airguns DonnyFL Airgun Archery Fun Saber Tactical New England Airguns Evanix Airguns at Airgun Pro Shop Sekhmet USA Freedom Targets AirgunWeb Old School Airgun Reviews Hajimoto Productions Airgun Angie - Backyard Shooting Air Tanks Plus Jefferson State Air Rifles


Author Topic: Variable Power Scopes??  (Read 288 times))

Offline Bill_in_TR

  • Sharp Shooter
  • ****
  • Posts: 565
  • yes
  • Real Name: Bill
Variable Power Scopes??
« on: November 24, 2021, 10:54:14 AM »
I was just thinking about the fact that the vast majority of us use variable power scopes on our air rifles. What got my curiosity going was wondering how many folks use that variability much at all. I tend to set mine to the highest magnification and it stays there most if not all of the time.

Now I don't have any scopes whose range includes any of the higher magnifications over 16x so maybe that is why I don't often feel the need to dial them down. About the only time I use lower magnifications at all is if I am shooting unsupported either standing or kneeling.

This kind of makes me curious if there are many fixed power scopes with AO above 8x.

Has anyone else out there had such weird thoughts or am I an oddball?
  • USA, South Carolina, Travelers Rest

Offline Roadworthy

  • Honorary GTA Moderator
  • GTA Senior Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 9081
  • yes
  • Real Name: Thomas
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2021, 12:04:27 PM »
You may or may not be an oddball - that's not for me to judge.  Most of my scopes are variable power and remain set in one place below the power ability of the scope.  I think most airgunners like having the variable power or manufacturers are convinced of that since those are the scopes you see regularly.  There don't seem to be many fixed power scopes from which to choose so they don't sell.  Since more variables are sold that seems to be where the values lie.  I enjoyed the flexibility of variable power when I first got into airgunning but if I found a good value on a fixed power scope of about sixteen power I'd probably jump on it for my next scope.  I like the ability to see the holes as they appear in the target.  I have found 24 power to be too picky on head placement.  Ten to sixteen power seems to suit me best.
  • Near the Southern Coast of Washington State
Real knowledge is knowing the extent of one's ignorance.

Offline Mark Davis

  • Plinker
  • **
  • Posts: 291
  • yes
  • Real Name: Mark
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2021, 12:49:53 PM »
I'm not a fan of variable power rifle scopes, changing power adds another variable to run through my little pea brain when I want to hit something
Most my scopes set at about half power.
  • Bozeman,  MT

Offline mobilehomer

  • Trained professional. Do not try this at home without adult supervision and trained medical staff on site.
  • GTA Senior Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 4465
  • yes
  • Real Name: Ken
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2021, 01:02:36 PM »
A decent 4 - 16X scope is in the $200 - $250 range. Imagine the quality that could be built into a $250 fixed power 16X! Better glass, parallax could be engineered to be exact, and strong enough to hold up under ANY recoil.

Offline Bill_in_TR

  • Sharp Shooter
  • ****
  • Posts: 565
  • yes
  • Real Name: Bill
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2021, 01:15:35 PM »
A decent 4 - 16X scope is in the $200 - $250 range. Imagine the quality that could be built into a $250 fixed power 16X! Better glass, parallax could be engineered to be exact, and strong enough to hold up under ANY recoil.

That is my thinking on the subject as well. It would seem that eliminating the variable power optics and mechanics would make for a more rugged scope with better optics for the same money or less than a variable with the equivalent max power.
  • USA, South Carolina, Travelers Rest

Offline Yogi

  • GTA Senior Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 5753
  • yes
  • Real Name: Yogi
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2021, 02:06:50 PM »
I'm not a fan of variable power rifle scopes, changing power adds another variable to run through my little pea brain when I want to hit something
Most my scopes set at about half power.

That is why "pea brains" such as you should get a First focal Plane scope. :D ;)

-Y

  • San Francisco, CA
Hatsan 95 Vortex, .22
RWS 6G, .177
RWS LP8 Magnum, .177
Diana 340 N-Tec, .22 Compact Lexus
HW 50S, .177, .20, and .22

Offline Yogi

  • GTA Senior Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 5753
  • yes
  • Real Name: Yogi
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2021, 02:11:02 PM »
  • San Francisco, CA
Hatsan 95 Vortex, .22
RWS 6G, .177
RWS LP8 Magnum, .177
Diana 340 N-Tec, .22 Compact Lexus
HW 50S, .177, .20, and .22

Offline Bill_in_TR

  • Sharp Shooter
  • ****
  • Posts: 565
  • yes
  • Real Name: Bill
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2021, 02:44:35 PM »
Well here you go:

https://www.opticsplanet.com/riflescopes.html?_iv_gridSize=240&_iv_parent-minimum-magnification=10-x&_iv_parent-maximum-magnification=10-x

I did not know that Hawke makes one... ::)

-Y

Hmmmmm. That link doesn't take me to what I expected it too. Nothing fixed power any way

  • USA, South Carolina, Travelers Rest

Offline Hoosier Daddy

  • GTA Moderator
  • GTA Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 19039
  • Start the day with the GTA!
  • Real Name: Scott
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2021, 03:16:27 PM »
Well here you go:

https://www.opticsplanet.com/riflescopes.html?_iv_gridSize=240&_iv_parent-minimum-magnification=10-x&_iv_parent-maximum-magnification=10-x

I did not know that Hawke makes one... ::)

-Y

Hmmmmm. That link doesn't take me to what I expected it too. Nothing fixed power any way

Scroll down...  the fixed 10X are listed at the bottom.
 That Vector 10x44mm SCOL-09 caught my attention.
In your life, expect some trouble.
But when you worry, you make it double.
Don't worry, be happy!


JimQwerty123 always said ...
"Shoot safe and have fun,"

Offline Bill_in_TR

  • Sharp Shooter
  • ****
  • Posts: 565
  • yes
  • Real Name: Bill
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2021, 03:28:09 PM »
Oops. My bad. Didn't scroll far enough. Didn't expect more product down there. Yeah that Vector looks interesting. So does the Valiant. I don't know anything about those brands though.
  • USA, South Carolina, Travelers Rest

Offline dan_house

  • Expert
  • *****
  • Posts: 1041
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2021, 03:55:11 PM »
Id be all over a fixed 45 or more power scope with a decent reticle that focused down to 9-10 yards and ranged accurately to 60 yards. Finding two of those parameters is easy, but finding all four has been the Holiest of Grails.

I tend to set my variable to the highest, or almost highest, and they stay there, cuz I like to see what Im aiming at, and impact (if I follow through correctly...)
  • Bozeman MT USofA
Thomas L .177
EdGun Leishly2 .177
CCA Tuned Diana54
Lukas Parsley Stocked TX200 .177
Marauder .177
Diana SkyHawk .22
AEA HP Varmint .25
AEA BackPacker semiauto .22
Daisy Red Ryder modded and tuned


The Lunatic Fringe of American Airgunning

Southwest Montana's Headquarters for Airgunning Supremacy

Proud sponsor of Team_subsonic

Founding Member of the Western Heretic Alliance

Offline Mark Davis

  • Plinker
  • **
  • Posts: 291
  • yes
  • Real Name: Mark
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2021, 04:00:01 PM »
I'm not a fan of variable power rifle scopes, changing power adds another variable to run through my little pea brain when I want to hit something
Most my scopes set at about half power.

That is why "pea brains" such as you should get a First focal Plane scope. :D ;)

-Y
Don't worry, got some.
  • Bozeman,  MT

Offline Deckard1973

  • Sharp Shooter
  • ****
  • Posts: 937
  • What are you looking at?
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2021, 04:09:45 PM »
For that very reason (re:  Shooting at the max power, like 99% of the time) I bought a 20x42 SWFA scope.
Also, I have only use an IR like, once. 
  • Central NY
Benjamin Marauder .22 Gen I
Hill Premium Regulated Matched Parts kit
Boyds Pro-Varmit stock
DuraCoat custom paint job
SWFA SS20x42
IOR Valdada 4x24M1

IZH 46M

Offline rsterne

  • Member 2000+fps Club
  • Bob and Lloyd
  • GTA Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 25254
  • GTA Forums Person of the Year 2017
  • Real Name: Bob
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2021, 08:10:14 PM »
There are quite a few 10X fixed scopes, as that is the standard magnification for MilDots.... You can find a few 20X, with 1/2 MilDot reticles.... One of the reasons you won't find very many fixed power scopes with high magnification is that they can get pretty dim in poor light.... The exit pupil is the objective lense diameter divided by the magnification.... If you have a 10 x 50 scope the exit pupil is 5 mm, which is great for everything but dusk and dawn shooting.... However, go to a 20 x 50 scope, and that drops to 2.5 mm, which is about the size of the pupil of your eye on a bright, sunny day.... An exit pupil smaller than that will suffer from dimming of the image, particularly if it's a cloudy day.... You eye simply wants more light than the scope can put out....

You can see this problem with spotting scopes.... Most have a 60mm objective, and many are 20-60X.... Crank them up over 30X, and even on a sunny day, the image starts to dim.... At 60X, with a 1 mm exit pupil, they are pretty poor, with a dim image and low contrast.... In addition, their field of view gets incredibly narrow.... High magnification doesn't do you much good if you can't find the target, and when you do you can't see it very well....

Bob
  • Coalmont, BC, Canada
Dominion Marksman Silver Shield - 5890 x 6000 in 1976, and downhill ever since!
Airsenal:
1750 CO2 Carbine, .177 Uber-Pumper, .22 Uber-Carbine, .25 Discovery, 2260 PCP 8-shot Carbine, 2260 HPA (37 FPE), 2560 HPA (52 FPE), XS-60c HPA in .30 cal (90 FPE), .22 cal QB79 HPA, Disco Doubles in .22, .25 & .30 cal, "Hayabusa" Custom PCP Project (Mk.I is .22 & .25 cal regulated; Mk.II is .224, .257, 7mm, .308 & .357; Mk.III is .410 shotgun and .458 cal), .257 "Monocoque" Benchrest PCP, .172/6mm Regulated PCP and .224/.257 Unregulated, Three regulated BRods in .25 cal (70 FPE), .30 cal (100 FPE) & .35 cal (145 FPE), .257 Condor (180 FPE).

Offline Bill_in_TR

  • Sharp Shooter
  • ****
  • Posts: 565
  • yes
  • Real Name: Bill
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2021, 09:02:15 PM »
Bob,

Yeah, learned those lessons a number of years ago, a couple of them the hard way. I don't use anything over 16x with my air rifles. And the vast majority of my shooting is in good light at paper targets. I understand why you don't see much fixed power at higher magnifications. I just was curious how many folks really used the variable powers much at all. Just an old guy thinking out loud.

I used to belong to a gun club that had an underground 100 yard range made using concrete pipe. The target area was brightly lit and you could see it well even with a 24x scope I was using. But finding the target was hard even at lower magnification. Then when I cranked it up to 24x if you even twitched the scope you lost the picture. It got aggravating some times.
  • USA, South Carolina, Travelers Rest

Offline Bayman

  • GTA Senior Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 3141
  • yes
  • Real Name: Ron
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2021, 09:19:48 PM »
I don't get why anyone with an airgun needs a 45x scope that focuses down to ten yards. What are you looking at? The grain in the target paper? Magnification that high you can pick up your heart beat. It can also induce purpose tremor and hurt accuracy. Most airguns have limited range and rainbow trajectories so I understand the use of mildot style reticles but I've shot 300+ yards with powder burners with 12 and 14 power scopes. Why people want anything more than a 12x on an airgun beats me. I regularly shoot soda cans and water bottles out to 100 yards with a springer and a straight 4x scope. If I was shooting groups I'd possibly wanna use my 4-12x40 with a finer reticle. Honestly with my low power springers I don't shoot groups past 50 yards. It's an exercise in futility. I do however a lot of 100/200 yard pb shooting and all but one of my guns don't have more than 14x. The one exception is a Varmint rifle which has 6-24, and I never run it higher than 18 because of reticle calibration and the image suffers. Good high magnification scopes start at $1000. Then again if you're plopping it on an airgun and shooting ten yards or even less than a hundred yards you not going need top tier glass. Anyway I'm done. Put as much glass on it as you like. I'd rather have a bright clear image with a wide fov than a dim unclear image and a narrow fov. But that's probably because of my propensity for practical hunting purposes.
Bob,

Yeah, learned those lessons a number of years ago, a couple of them the hard way. I don't use anything over 16x with my air rifles. And the vast majority of my shooting is in good light at paper targets. I understand why you don't see much fixed power at higher magnifications. I just was curious how many folks really used the variable powers much at all. Just an old guy thinking out loud.

I used to belong to a gun club that had an underground 100 yard range made using concrete pipe. The target area was brightly lit and you could see it well even with a 24x scope I was using. But finding the target was hard even at lower magnification. Then when I cranked it up to 24x if you even twitched the scope you lost the picture. It got aggravating some times.

Bill if all you shoot is paper then a fixed high power scope would be fine. The reason for variables is for hunting. You need the lower magnifications to get a wider fov which helps you initially acquire your target. Tunnel vision of a high magnification scope would cost you a lot of shot opportunities. I use all my airguns for shooting groups, spinners and silhouettes but my dedicated squirrel gun has a straight 4x32 mildot w/o AO because I get a bright clear picture, the mildot values are constant and I don't miss shot opportunities because I'm wasting time adjusting the power or the AO /SF.
  • USA,
Hw30- .177- Vortek PG2, Tech sights
Hw30 Laminate- .177- Vortek PG2, Hawke
Airmax 2-7x32 AO. 
Hw30-.177 Vortek PG3 steel, Hawke Vantage IR 2-7x32 AO
Hw50- .177- Vortek PG3, Hawke 4X non A/O
Hw95- .177- Vortek PG2, Hawke Airmax 3-9x40
Hw97SE (Green 77 Laminate stock)-.177 Vortek PG3, Hawke 4-12x40 Airmax
P1- 0.20 now .177
R1- 0.20 - Vortek Pg4, Hawke Airmax 3-9x40 AO
R9 SE (Blue Laminate stock) - 0.020- Vortek PG4, Hawke Airmax 3-9x40 AO

Offline Bill_in_TR

  • Sharp Shooter
  • ****
  • Posts: 565
  • yes
  • Real Name: Bill
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2021, 10:37:20 PM »
Ron,

Your eyes are apparently better than mine. I don't care for the really high magnifications and the factors they introduce either. But I do like something in the neighborhood of 12-16x as a top end.

Using a variable for hunting I have found that if you take advantage of the greater field of view at the lower magnification and then crank up the magnification for a better picture you often have to refind the target so the wide fov didn't really help. Even for hunting I tend to leave the magnification at a single setting.
  • USA, South Carolina, Travelers Rest

Offline Bayman

  • GTA Senior Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 3141
  • yes
  • Real Name: Ron
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2021, 12:26:36 AM »
Ron,

Your eyes are apparently better than mine. I don't care for the really high magnifications and the factors they introduce either. But I do like something in the neighborhood of 12-16x as a top end.

Using a variable for hunting I have found that if you take advantage of the greater field of view at the lower magnification and then crank up the magnification for a better picture you often have to refind the target so the wide fov didn't really help. Even for hunting I tend to leave the magnification at a single setting.
Increase the magnification as you're looking through the scope and you won't lose your target. High magnification isn't needed in most cases. I've had several times where targets appear almost under foot and couldn't find it in time because my scope was left on high power. Now I won't walk with a scope on high power and even should something appear more distant its still easier to find on 3 or 4 power. If need be you can increase the power as you're looking through it with your trigger hand. Most often 3 or 4 power is enough to identify and shoot targets at airgun ranges which is under a hundred yards, most cases well under 50 yards. I understand using a high power, fine reticle for shooting groups but that's with in reason. I just don't understand why airgunners think they need 1000 yard scopes to shoot under 50 in most cases. My Varmint gun only has the 6-24x50 on it because I intend to take out Prarie Dog's at 500 yds. Otherwise the 3.5-14x40 that was on it was fine out past 300.

Eye sight shouldn't be a reason for magnification. You can wear glasses to correct your eye sight or you can adjust the ocular for that. There's no reason for a blurry picture. Truth is most people don't know how to properly adjust the ocular. I've seen it a thousand times before at the range. Not saying it's your problem, I'm just saying increasing the size of a blurry image is a poor substitute for a clear sharp image.
  • USA,
Hw30- .177- Vortek PG2, Tech sights
Hw30 Laminate- .177- Vortek PG2, Hawke
Airmax 2-7x32 AO. 
Hw30-.177 Vortek PG3 steel, Hawke Vantage IR 2-7x32 AO
Hw50- .177- Vortek PG3, Hawke 4X non A/O
Hw95- .177- Vortek PG2, Hawke Airmax 3-9x40
Hw97SE (Green 77 Laminate stock)-.177 Vortek PG3, Hawke 4-12x40 Airmax
P1- 0.20 now .177
R1- 0.20 - Vortek Pg4, Hawke Airmax 3-9x40 AO
R9 SE (Blue Laminate stock) - 0.020- Vortek PG4, Hawke Airmax 3-9x40 AO

Offline Bill_in_TR

  • Sharp Shooter
  • ****
  • Posts: 565
  • yes
  • Real Name: Bill
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2021, 08:41:22 AM »
Ron,

It is not about the blur. It is about the old cliche "aim small, miss small". All my scopes are SFP so as I increase magnification my crosshairs cover less of the target. I can focus on a finer point on the target. It helps me to keep my groups tighter more consistently.

For hunting I find it easier to look over the top of the scope to locate my target then look through the scope to aim. I prefer not to adjust the magnification at that point. I guess I am not as steady as you when trying to do that. Different strokes for different folks. I also tend to use higher magnification hunting than you. But the scopes on my hunting rifles are almost all 3x-9x.

Maybe all those airgunners just LIKE having high magnification scopes. Maybe they are shooting fleas at 50 yards. If I had the money I might be tempted to put a 30x-40x scope on my HW30. I like getting a good look at those fleas. Us olde phartes like bigger images. Tiny stuff is harder to make out even if the image is sharp.

  • USA, South Carolina, Travelers Rest

Offline Bayman

  • GTA Senior Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 3141
  • yes
  • Real Name: Ron
Re: Variable Power Scopes??
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2021, 10:35:53 AM »
More power to you Bill. Just because I don't understand something doesn't mean it doesn't work you. To each their own. It's why they make vanilla and chocolate.
Have a great Thanksgiving
Ron
  • USA,
Hw30- .177- Vortek PG2, Tech sights
Hw30 Laminate- .177- Vortek PG2, Hawke
Airmax 2-7x32 AO. 
Hw30-.177 Vortek PG3 steel, Hawke Vantage IR 2-7x32 AO
Hw50- .177- Vortek PG3, Hawke 4X non A/O
Hw95- .177- Vortek PG2, Hawke Airmax 3-9x40
Hw97SE (Green 77 Laminate stock)-.177 Vortek PG3, Hawke 4-12x40 Airmax
P1- 0.20 now .177
R1- 0.20 - Vortek Pg4, Hawke Airmax 3-9x40 AO
R9 SE (Blue Laminate stock) - 0.020- Vortek PG4, Hawke Airmax 3-9x40 AO