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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Don't know which unit I will hunt, but I have been building a few points, will apply for a cow or spike hunt next year.

Bought a 338 WM rifle with a 20" barrel to keep it handy.

Deciding between the Leupold VX5 HD 2-10 or 3-15. The 15x would likely be must useful in looking for antlers.

Would the 10x be enough, or would you folks go with the bigger scope? 1 in longer, 2 oz heavier, 4mm larger objective, not a very big difference.

Thanks!

ETA the 2-10 does not have a focus knob, but the 3-15 does. I have a different scope with the focus adjustment and I am not sure I would like that on an elk rifle. The point-and-shoot aspect of the 2-10 appeals to me.

Does anybody here dislike having side focus or parallax adjustment?
 

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All of my adjustable scopes are Leupold 3-9X.
When I hunt I keep them on 6X.
I have never needed a bigger scope.
As far as checking for antlers , that is what binoculars are for.
You should already know what you are pointing your gun at before you bring it to your shoulder.
I would suggest a good pair of binoculars over a high powered scope.
During a hunt I will spend hours looking through a pair of binoculars and only a few minutes through a scope.
 

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I have to agree with the others about binoculars. Don't be pointing your rifle around for observing antlers, etc. A 10 power scope ought to be plenty to put on the shoulder/midsection of an elk out to a pretty good distance.
 

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Definitely get a decent pair of binoculars, my suggestion is Leica Ultravid 10x42 or similar by Swarovski or Zeiss. They are a big investment that will pay dividends for your entire hunting career and for general observations. Elk are big critters and you don't need 9x+ or higher. I've personally witnessed a hunter peel the skin off his nose into his forehead because he had his scope turned up to 14x and he couldn't find the elk 100+- yards away in his scope. When he did find it all he saw was hair. He was so hyped that he jerked the trigger and the 300 Win mag really ate him up. Knocked him out for a few seconds really. Bloody mess, of course the elk departed for the next county. Lastly, probably should have been first, never use a rifle scope for glassing. How would you feel if you looked thru your binos to see another "hunter" pointing his rifle at you!!! FWIW. JM
 

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Definitely go with good binoculars.

Something to consider, 12 x and above are harder to hand hold than lower magnification. 12 is the highest I would try to hand hold. Some people can, some can’t. If you’re going to use a rest like a trekking pole, then you can go with higher power. Go to the store and try the 12s, slowly scan the length of the store, several times without stopping. Then try and hold them on a single feature for a few seconds. Then do the same with a 10x.

on the scope, 3-15 is good. Unless you’re a 1000 yard hunter, You won’t need more, and probably will spend most of your time in the 4-5 range anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the replies. The 15x would be used when already on an elk, to verify the antlers (or lack thereof). Not for glassing. No different than looking at an elk through any other scope to be sure before shooting. I have an use decent Pentax binocs.

I think I'm going to go with the 2-10 because it is available without side focus, one less thing for me to have to deal with.

Thank you all again.
 

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I got a pair of 20 x 60 Pentex, Good Glasses for the money, best if used on a tripod, My hunt partner has a pair of Pentex 10 x 60, swears by them. Me, I use 12x 50, can hold them without any issues. For scopes, I use 4-16x 50, Good all around scopes, will allow you to shoot longer distance also.
 

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Which ever scope you put on you 338 Win Mag be sure you have at least 4" of eye relief at the highest magnification you'll be useing . You don't want to be like my friend with a 6" rip from the tip of your nose to the nicely shaped half moon cut on your eyebrow . JM
 

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Yep, Happens everyday at gun range by someone that did not ask for help, cause he knew all alredy, scarred for life now.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Both are ordinary, second-focal-plane. These are hunting scopes, not tactical scopes.
 

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Both are ordinary, second-focal-plane. These are hunting scopes, not tactical scopes.
You are always better off with a FFP. Its always true. SFP you need to be a max magnification in order to make and adjustment or have a calculator in your pocket.
I would also say that MRAD is a lot better than MOA cause MOA is too fine of an adjustment.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You are always better off with a FFP. Its always true. SFP you need to be a max magnification in order to make and adjustment or have a calculator in your pocket.
I would also say that MRAD is a lot better than MOA cause MOA is too fine of an adjustment.
I doubt I will shoot past 300 yds, and the barrel is only 20". The 15x is not for long-distance shooting, it would be for verifying my target as a cow, spike, or bull. I will get a regular duplex reticle.
 

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I doubt I will shoot past 300 yds, and the barrel is only 20". The 15x is not for long-distance shooting, it would be for verifying my target as a cow, spike, or bull. I will get a regular duplex reticle.
I have a Vortex Diamondback 4-16x42 EBR-C, MRAD FFP on my 3006 Patriot. a 15X is fine at 300 yards. Chances are you will never get past 12X anyway. If its Bull you can see that with a naked eye anyway
 
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