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View Full Version : variable power vs single power scopes...


ldivinag
12-15-2006, 8:27 PM
okay... need a couple for an OLL and the serbu .50.

any arguments for a single power for either one?

any stories of anyone switching from one to the other?

thanks...

Fjold
12-15-2006, 8:54 PM
For long range varmint hunting I use a variable. I tend to scan areas with low power and when I locate a squirrel I zoom in at max for the shot.

For my new M4gery build I'm just going to go with an EoTech and back up open sights.

xenophobe
12-15-2006, 9:14 PM
Single power scopes will generally have better optics for the money than a similarly priced variable scope.

Single power is good for specific ranges and lend themselves to being fairly accurate when used for shooting at specific distances, or having to compensate windage/elevation.

Fixed power scopes are also usually, but not always, more likely to have better light transmission due to the need for fewer lenses.

blkA4alb
12-15-2006, 9:20 PM
+1 to what Xeno said. Don't fall under the assumption that fixed power scopes will always be better than variable. If you drop enough cash there are VERY nice variable power scopes made by Leupold, Swarovski, Schmidt & Bender, Nightforce (I can attest to that), US Optics, etc.

maxicon
12-15-2006, 10:30 PM
I prefer variables over fixed because I like the flexibility. I like to buy used, and there are a lot more variables out there trading hands.

As for switching between the two, it'll depend on the mounts and rings. If you put on quick release rings, it'll be easier to switch around, but your zero will need to be reset each time. If the scope and rings are repeatable enough, you'll be able to make notes of the different settings and dial it in when you switch, but switching can still be a pain.

You'll also want to make sure the mounts match. True Picatinny spec mounts will let you switch with QR rings without having to adjust the rings each time, which is a very good thing, but many mounts aren't exactly Picatinny spec, so you have to watch for that.

I use Leupold QRW, because they're reasonably priced and reasonably sturdy. The downside is that the levers can get in the way, depending on the gun.

Even though I like to set up for easy switching, once I find a scope that works well on a particular gun and get it dialed in, I tend to leave it in place because of re-zeroing and such.

xenophobe
12-15-2006, 10:40 PM
+1 to what Xeno said. Don't fall under the assumption that fixed power scopes will always be better than variable. If you drop enough cash there are VERY nice variable power scopes made by Leupold, Swarovski, Schmidt & Bender, Nightforce (I can attest to that), US Optics, etc.

Of course, what I said above only matters in the low to medium price range... If you're looking at a >$800 scope, fixed vs variable isn't a quality issue, it becomes pure preference.

A fixed power scope is also much more durable.

I do prefer a variable scope, but generally only use one power setting anyways. :p