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Scope Magnification

  • 19-10-2021 11:39am
    Registered Users Posts: 310 ✭✭

    Hi all,

    I have a query as to what magnification people use to shoot at 25yd, 50yd, 75yd, 100yd and upwards up to say maybe 500yd?

    Lets say you were shooting paper, would you be using your scope to see the bullet hole or would you use a separate spotting scope?

    I would only consider myself a novice in this area and I am trying to understand what magnification I should be using and for what distances using a 22LR and a 17HMR.



  • Registered Users Posts: 256 ✭✭keith s

    At 500 definitely using a spotting scope to see the holes. 

    In all reality, I would say paper target shooting with 22lr or.17 (most comps) would be from 10 - 100mtrs.

    Depending if you are doing gallery (with a semi auto) or 25mtr, 50mtr or 100mtr (with a bolt action), would probably dictate the scope type. 

    For gallery style, fast target acquisition is important and so lower magnification would be better (3-12 power). 

    For slower work with the bolt action, clarity and higher magnification would probably be better (6-24) (8-32).

    *The higher the magnification the more you will see shaking and wobble introduced, so until you are more used to it, you can lower the magnification for this type of shooting. 

    There are also plenty of different crosshair styles to choose from (mil-dot, duplex and more)  and turret adjustment increments (MOA, MRAD).

    Another consideration is paralex adjustment (sometimes this is referred to as focus) , this can be on the front of the scope or on the side (which can be easier to reach) Or in some (mostly hunting scopes) no paralex adjustment at all (paralex free).

    Scope selection is one of those things that you are really better off trying to get a look through as many different scopes as you can to help you decide. Along with knowing what the rifle + scope combo will be used for most often.

    All of the above is based on my own experience, and there is always room for another interpretation. 

    Post edited by keith s on

  • Registered Users Posts: 543 ✭✭✭JP22

    Common scope power for .22 Benchrest (heavy class) at 50/100 yds are in the range of 24x, 8-32x, 36x fixed, 45x fixed.

    Most BR scopes are second focal plane (thin/super fine cross hairs and usually a tiny target dot), first focal place crosshairs can obscute the tiny target even at 50 yds.

    Near impossible to consistently hit a 6mm ten ring with a low power scope.

  • Registered Users Posts: 872 ✭✭✭Wadi14

    it all depends what type of shooting your doing, if your shooting for precision at very small targets at 50 or 100 you want as much mag as you the shooter can handle. if your shooting steels at 200 then you don't need 36x you might think you do but you don't 15x is plenty.

    Keith and JP have gave you excellent info on the discipline's they shoot. something like 6x24x50 will cover most disciplines, low mag close in higher mag as you go out, and all the mag you can get for Benchrest.

    Try both low and high mag yourself and compare your groups, pick the mag that suits you, not what suits anyone else. I know shooters that use 4x at 25m and guys that use 24x at 25m.