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Scope ideas, ground squirrels
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I am now using a Leupold 3-9X. I am getting older and want more magnification. I have been looking but scopes sure have become convoluted!

I want a duplex or pain crosshair, High magnification say about 16X, Variable X OK, not illuminated, Exposed target elevation turret in MOA, and possibly a zero stop?

Mostly I am finding lots of useless and unfamiliar features like crazy cross hairs, lighted up, "mil rad", ??? Scopes now seem to be packed with gadget bloat.

It will go on a M-700 in 223. Any suggestions?
 
Posts: 486 | Registered: 20 January 2005Reply With Quote
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You might consider the Nightforce SHV .

It's a 5x-20x scope and can be had with a first or second focal plane reticle, and with or without an illuminated reticle. It does not have a zero-set but it can be indexed to zero.

But the reticle is more complex than you say you want. (UPDATE: Nightforce offers a reticle (the Forceplex) that looks like it would meet your preference.)

I like the reticle (UPDATE: the MOAR) better than the more conventional reticles of my older scopes.

I have the second FP model with a 56mm objective on my .204 Ruger. I love it for ground squirrel shooting.
 
Posts: 759 | Location: Grants Pass, OR | Registered: 24 September 2012Reply With Quote
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BL Oconnor what make is your .204 Ruger and how do you like it?
 
Posts: 3090 | Location: san angelo tx | Registered: 18 November 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by carpetman1:
BL Oconnor what make is your .204 Ruger and how do you like it?
It's a Savage FCV.

1) The Rifle. I put a cheap Choate stock on it and it's very, very accurate, especially with 39 grain Sierra BK bullets pushed by 27.5 Varget. I like the trigger and the SHV scope is very bright and clear. I like the 26 inch barrel and I can easily get 3800 fps out of it. And the price is certainly right. My shooting buddy has the same rig and it loves that load too.

The down side of my individual rifle was that it was cratering CCI primers with loads nowhere near max (less cratering with Tula and none with Federal Match). Because I'm anal about such things I had the firing pin hole bushed and the pin turned. Problem solved. Rifle shoots like a dream, but it is heavy overall and it is barrel-heavy. This is not a rig you want to spend a lot of time carrying around. Or at least I don't.

2) I love the .204 Ruger, though I guess the .204 Practical would be as good if you want to neck .223 brass down. I use my combo for ground squirrels and it is death and destruction out to 350 - 400 yards at least. I know the .204 is supposed to really shine with 32 grain bullets, but our squeaks are usually small (~6 inch body lengths) and the days can be windy. So I prefer a heavier bullet with a better BC.

FWIW. For squirrel shooting, I prize accuracy. I have 2 other Savage rifles (an LRP in .243 and an LRPV in .223) and both (especially the LRPV) are fiendishly accurate.
 
Posts: 759 | Location: Grants Pass, OR | Registered: 24 September 2012Reply With Quote
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BL O'Connor, thanks for the report. I like the CZ rifle because it is light weight. But the backwards safety has kept me away. I do like the idea of necking down .223 but not really into getting a wildcat. ( I guess the Practical is a wildcat).
 
Posts: 3090 | Location: san angelo tx | Registered: 18 November 2009Reply With Quote
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The Weaver T-series looks good to me. They are discontinued. I can only find the fixed 48X available. The lower magnifications would be my first choice. Will the fixed 48X be frustrating to use in the field?
 
Posts: 486 | Registered: 20 January 2005Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by Scota4570:
The Weaver T-series looks good to me. They are discontinued. I can only find the fixed 48X available. The lower magnifications would be my first choice. Will the fixed 48X be frustrating to use in the field?
I've never used a scope above 22X. But at even at 20X, on hot days I found I was frustrated by the mirage.

Also, as you increase the scope's magnification, you correspondingly magnify the movement of the cross hairs due to breathing, heart rate, ground tremors, etc. I'm not solid enough to control all that, so I find it frustrating.

I've found that when shooting squeaks on hot days, I don't use maximum magnification all that often. But that's just me.
 
Posts: 759 | Location: Grants Pass, OR | Registered: 24 September 2012Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by carpetman1:
BL O'Connor, thanks for the report. I like the CZ rifle because it is light weight. But the backwards safety has kept me away. I do like the idea of necking down .223 but not really into getting a wildcat. ( I guess the Practical is a wildcat).
First, I mis-spoke. I should have said the "20 Practical", not the .204 Practical. Sorry about that. I too didn't want a wildcat so went with the conventional .204 Ruger.

For a walk-around varmint rifle, I think a CZ would be a great choice.

I don't have a CF CZ, but I do have a CZ-452 and it too has a backwards safety. I've learned to live with it. Considering how much I like that little rifle, I figure it's worth adapting to that quirk. But again, that's just me.

Out of curiosity, what are you thinking of using a .204 for?
 
Posts: 759 | Location: Grants Pass, OR | Registered: 24 September 2012Reply With Quote
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Will the fixed 48X be frustrating to use in the field?

Not just frustrating, but virtually unusable due to the extremely narrow field of view. I swore off of a 24X for the same reason.

I know what you mean by the useless bells and whistles found on most currently-produced scopes.

I'd advise looking for a used Leupold 4.5-14X or 6-18X. Fourteen X is way plenty and 18X is the absolute maximum I'd try to use in the field. Either scope will provide a significant magnification boost compared to your current 3-9X Leupold, the actual top magnification of which is about 8.7X or so. Get the 40mm objective and not the unwieldy and too-tall mounted 50mm objective. After all, you don't shoot squirrels in the dark, so no need for extra "light gathering".

"Target" knob adjustments sound like a good idea, but I would advise against them. First of all, constantly fiddling with the adjustment will wear out the best of them sooner or later. Second, no one's adjustment is perfect and return to zero is only approximate. Third, it is much easier and faster to use hold-over for targets which pop up at varying ranges. If you first have to estimate (or range) the distance, then dial in the presumed setting on the scope's turret, then the target has likely gone back in its hole by that time. I've never hunted the Columbia Ground Squirrel, but years of prairie dog hunting has taught me that the time you spend on ranging and dialing is wasted time that you could be SHOOTING!
 
Posts: 12577 | Location: Henly, TX, USA | Registered: 04 April 2001Reply With Quote
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BL O'Connor. What am I planning to use the .204 for? I don't have a clue. I have .222 and .223 as well as 22-250 so I don't know what niche it would fill. I like .20 cal in air rifles and thought before the .204 came out a .20 cal centerfire would be neat.
 
Posts: 3090 | Location: san angelo tx | Registered: 18 November 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by carpetman1:
BL O'Connor. What am I planning to use the .204 for? I don't have a clue. I have .222 and .223 as well as 22-250 so I don't know what niche it would fill. I like .20 cal in air rifles and thought before the .204 came out a .20 cal centerfire would be neat.
I sure understand that. Wink
 
Posts: 759 | Location: Grants Pass, OR | Registered: 24 September 2012Reply With Quote
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I am an active ground squirrel shooter in western Colorado. I use several different rifles that are all capable of sub MOA (1/2") in calibers ranging from 17 Hornet to 6x45. I run variables up to 30 power, but seldom max them out. 20-24 power seems to work best for me. I back the scope down to 10X, locate the target, then zoom in and focus. I don't like busy reticles so I stick with fine crosshairs preferably with a dot.

I was out today and surpassed 4000 total ground squirrels taken this season. They will be going dormant soon and then I'll switch over to prairie dogs.
 
Posts: 3026 | Location: Western Slope Colorado, USA | Registered: 17 August 2001Reply With Quote
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The last thing I want in this high desert of Idaho is an scope power over 12 and my favorite is the 3x9 that you use presently..All 16 power buys you is cross hairs waving in the heat IMO, mirage is a killer, and not all varmints are shot at great distances, many are shot at under a 100 yards..pin heads at 200 show some difficulty..I can't tell you how many guys Ive taken out and a coyote or show up at 50 yards and they fumble around trying to find him in the scope and hair can be a foot or tail!! Its plumb comical..but just my take, and to each his own..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 36455 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Not knowing what you budget is I will stick with Leupold recs. Don't dismiss the 4.5-14's and they make a nice 6.5-20
VX-3i 6.5-20x50mm Side Focus CDS Target
VX-3i 6.5-20x40mm EFR CDS Target
VX-3i 4.5-14x40mm CDS-ZL (has a zero stop)
I find that the zero stop isn't a big deal with squirrel guns. 20x is more magnification than you typically need. A larger field of view is nice so often I am at 14-16x when shooting. If you are not dialing in for longer shots there are more options that will suit your needs. I dial more for rock chucks than squirrels as there is more time to range them and a lot fewer targets. JB
 
Posts: 41 | Registered: 26 March 2016Reply With Quote
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This mini Mauser with a 204 Ruger was my rifle that was posted on this site in 2010. It is about 8 lbs with the scope, Canjar single set trigger, and a Shilen 1/12 twist. This is my carrying rifle for field hunting on varmints. It will shoot 39 gr bullets into .300 at 100 yrs every time. I hope to use this some this fall when it cools down some here in Texas. I picked the Nikon 6 X 18 and it was priced about $325. Nikon has a App showing the drop out to 500 yrs. This 204 caliber is the flattest shooting of all calibers out to this range. I switched from the 17 Rem to the 204 Ruger.

 
Posts: 861 | Location: Texas | Registered: 19 May 2004Reply With Quote
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What Stonecreek said. tu2
 
Posts: 15265 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
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another old scope a K12 Weaver





This a special 20 cal. on the thick walled Martini action. I had to make the reamers and dies for this rifle. The 12 was OK , but was sold and changed to a 3X9 Leupold. Just something to play around and was hoping to get about 3600 fps with a 39 gr bullet. I reduced the load until it would extracts easy and now it needs to be put to use in the field.
 
Posts: 861 | Location: Texas | Registered: 19 May 2004Reply With Quote
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I use Leupold, 5 6X18 VX II, 2 6.5X20 VX III side focus varmint reticle, keep set on the highest power. Shoot mostly in eastern Oregon. Never have had a problem with mirage. Have shot PD's in MT, WY, ND, SD, CO, in Temp. from 80 to 107 degrees.
 
Posts: 55 | Registered: 15 December 2004Reply With Quote
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