It's one of the most common questions ... " Thinking of starting HFT ... what scope should I buy? ".
ANY scope that's probably got the option of 7 to 12 mag in it's zoom range ( most will use 8 to 10 ... the odd shooter will go over 10 ) and a front end of 24 to 50mm ( most won't go over 40/44ish ) will do for HFT.
So will that scope do to get you started ... yes it will.
Ok so having said that. Most decent shooters will tell you to spend as much money as you can on decent glass. A lot of people spend several hundred quid ... even a couple of grand ... on a rifle and then spend peanuts on glass.
The spec of the scope can depend on how you want to shoot HFT and, more importantly, your eyes.
The ret ... it quickly became a trend to have as many marks on the scope as possible. Many years ago mil dots came in. Then multi aim point rets like the Christmas trees etc. Then half mil dots.
If you shoot 0.177 and have a zero around 35 yards you will actually only use a mark around half a mil dot high for targets around 25 yards and again about half a mil dot low ( @ 0.75 with medium mounts ) for targets at 45 yards. You will use 1 or maybe 2 dots down for very close ( under 10 yards ) targets.
So for actual aiming you won't need millions of dots.
People do use the dots to help rangefind by bracketing kill zones and faceplates. You may decide to range like that or you may get confused with all that and just range by eye and reference to other targets and objects on the way to the target. I've done it for a long time but it doesn't take long to get used to ranging by eye ( when walking the dog etc ). It soon becomes second nature to range by eye and then you don't need loads of dots/lines to bracket with. A lot of targets are becoming non standard re plates and kill sizes so bracketing gets more difficult.
You may want blur to help you range. In the old days people would typically have a 40mm ish front end and shoot on 9 or 10x and set the focus at 25 yards. This meant ( with a normal healthy eye ) that you had targets from about 13/14 yards in focus out to about 35 yards. At 40 yards the target was just going noticeably blurry. So you could tell if a target was 35 ( clear and in focus ) or 40 ( just out of focus ). At 45 yards the target would be quite blurry but you could still see the kill ok. So, again, you could tell if a target was 40 ( just going blurry ) or 45 ( very blurry ).
The close targets ( below 13 yards ) got more and more blurry. Very short ones you could hardly see the kill on a shot up target and you had to squint to see the kill.
Recently it's become popular to use a scope with a small objective/front lens. Some are 32mm and down to 24mm. Using 24mm and @ 8 or 9x and decent eyes you can probably get targets from 10 to 45 yards in focus. So you don't get the ranging by blur but you get to shoot at in focus targets.
So it can depend on how you want to shoot HFT and what method works best for you. Do you want blur to help range? Do you want lots of marks on the ret to help you bracket and range? Do you prefer very minimal ret so you get an uncomplicated picture? Do you want most of the targets in focus?
It's up to you.
The best advice as always is to keep your money in your pocket and go to a club with what you have. People will let you look through their scopes. Look through as many as you can. You will soon look through one that looks right to you. It may not be the most expensive.
I've looked through scopes that people are raving about ... and they've not looked great to me. I can't be doing with millions of lines all over the view. I don't use dots to range. Others are different.
I really wouldn't buy a scope that I hadn't looked through. It may only be 60 quid but if you get it and it doesn't suit your eyes then you will have to sell it. You may only get 30 quid for it or may not be able to sell it. You will have the inconvenience and time delay whilst you try and sell it to fund another scope.
If you don't have anything at the moment that you can go to a club with and start using whilst you look through other shooter's scopes and you are going to buy one without looking through it ... my advice would be to get a second hand scope that is popular. That way you will be able to sell it on quickly if it doesn't suit you and you will get your money back easily.
Those scopes include ...
MTC Connect ( any of the models ... I'm presuming you are shooting PCP ) ... they'll cost you about 150 to 190 quid s/h.
MTC Viper 10x44 ... s/h @ 100 to 120 quid.
Hawke Panorama ... any of the 3-9 or 4-12 Half Dots. Very bright and clear for the money. You should get a s/h one for 80 quid posted. Some are AO and some are fixed AO that you set at @ 25 yards.
Hawke Sidewinder 30 HFT Special 4.5-14x38mm ... there's one of these on the Airgun BBS at the moment for 130 quid s/h with the SR6 ret..
There will be others but that's just a start.
Some of those may be more than you want to spend so maybe you should try the Panoramas at @ 80 quid posted s/h.
The point is they are all tried and tested HFT scopes. If they don't suit you you WILL sell them on easily and get your money back.
If you have a scope at the moment just get to a club and people will queue up to show you their scopes.
Last edited by skires; 11th August 2015 at 11:54 AM.