Why Spring for a 30mm Scope?
Dr. John Woods 10.07.15
That’s a good question. I also wonder why people lay out the heavy cash for a Mercedes 450SL when a Ford Pinto will get you to the grocery just as well and attract a whole lot less attention.
By comparison I suppose a 30mm riflescope is probably the optical equivalent of the 450SL. The sticker prices are appreciably more than the vanilla one-inch tube scopes and even most of the upper crust provincial traditional tube scopes. So why bother?
I was a long time crossing over the bridge to finally using a scoped rifle. I learned to deer hunt with an open sighted Winchester Model 94 lever action in 30-30. Even in the 1970s there were very few hunting rifles in the woods using scopes. I broke the ice years later with a Remington 700 and a Wideview Redfield scope. It worked well enough.
Today all of my rifles regardless of their assigned purpose are topped with optical scopes, or some of the MSRs have electronic dot sights on them. I think I have one Ruger 10-22 still without a scope. I use scopes for all the obvious reasons, especially at an advanced age with dimming eyesight.
So, imagine even my surprise by the substantial increase in optical clarity by trying out for the first time a scope with the larger tube size going up from one inch (or 25.4mm) to 30mm. In many ways it is like going from dark to daylight. Actually it is like turning dark into a good fifteen minutes extra of available shooting light (where laws do not go by the clock time of the day regardless of remaining natural ambient sunlight at dusk or dawn).
Currently I am working with a Nightforce SHV, 3-10×42 scope. It is not cheap, and neither are the available mounting systems for most rifles. The SHV or Shooting, Hunting, and Varmint scope is one precision piece of work. It is big and fairly heavy, but it’s so well made you might be tempted to think it was constructed in the Mercedes factory.
The 30mm scope does capture considerably more light. That big objective lens and bigger tube funnels scant daylight right to the shooter’s eye. In daylight its clarity is awesome. If you want more from a riflescope, then spring for the 30mm and enjoy.