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Best Rifle Scope for Big Game

The Question

Dear Ken,

I recently purchased a Remington 700 XCR Tactical Long Range Bolt Action Rifle in .300 Win Mag. I’m now looking for an appropriate scope. I was checking out the Zeiss Conquest Rifle scope, but with the different reticles offered by Zeiss (the Rapid Z 600, 800, and 1000). Would you recommend any of these or possibly another brand with a certain power?

I plan on using this rifle for whitetails, mule deer, elk and moose, I want to load it with a 180-g bullet.

Sincerely,

Scott Matheson

The Answer

The 180-grain bullet is an ideal choice for the .300 Win. Mag. on the animals you’ll be hunting.

When looking for glass to put on your rig, rest assured that today’s manufacturing and design are better than we’ve ever seen before. All of the leading manufacturers make quality, reliable products these days. You generally get better quality with increased prices, but you can get functional, quality scopes at most budget levels.

The Zeiss Conquest is an excellent scope and those who’ve used, and practiced, with the Rapid Z reticle really appreciate what it can do for them. The 600, 800 and 1000 all work well, but you’re adding “busyness” to your reticle by going to the extended distance versions. Unless you think you’ll be shooting to beyond 600 yards—and I don’t believe anybody but the very best marksman should ever shoot big game at that distance—I really think the Rapid Z 600 would do everything you need.

Everyone has to decide for themselves, of course, but personally I don’t care for the large 50mm objective lenses on riflescopes for the game you’re hunting. I prefer something smaller, a 44mm or, often, a 40mm. If it were my rifle, I’d be going to the Conquest 3-9 x 40 or 3.5 – 10 x44 with the Rapid Z 600, but you’ll not go far wrong with any of the Conquest series.

Good hunting,

Ken Bailey
Hunting Editor

Ken Bailey

Ken Bailey

An all-around hunter, Ken Bailey enjoys pursuing waterfowl the most. Based in Edmonton, Outdoor Canada's longtime hunting editor Ken Bailey has hunted every major Canadian game animal, in every corner of the country. For many years, he’s shared his deep knowledge of game behaviour, and wide expertise with all manner of firearms with OC's readers. His work has been recognized numerous times by both the Outdoor Writers of Canada and the National Magazine Awards. Ken is a committed conservationist, dedicated to habitat preservation, sustainable harvests, and passing along our hunting heritage to the next generation. He's also an avid fly fisherman, and a pretty darn good game chef.

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