Scope Recommendations from the Bergara Custom Shop
When you consider which riflescope to buy, remember that each person having a custom rifle built in Bergara’s Custom Shop has his own
preferences. Luckily, there are a number of great riflescope manufacturers that produce high-quality riflescopes for every hunting situation.
Last week we talked about building a custom Bergara varmint/deer rifle possibly in a .243 caliber. Most hunters don’t want to shoot varmints at 800 to 1,000 yards. Most varmint hunters usually want to shoot varmints at 400 to 600 yards or less. Many varmint hunters will select a 27X or 3X riflescope. However, you are drastically shrinking your field of view with scopes of that size. On hot days, you’ll have some mirage in your scope, and you won’t have as clear a picture in your scope, as you can have with a rifle scope with less power. After a while, you’ll also get mirage in your scope from the heat generated from your barrel. I suggest that the person who wants to build the ultimate varmint/deer rifle may want to consider a riflescope with less magnification, possibly 3-18X. This is a really nice scope with a good field of view. You can shoot accurately with it at varmints or deer that are close or at extended ranges.
If people ask me for my recommendation, I tend to favor a medium-priced scope like a Swarovski. The Z5 Swarovski riflescope will cost about $1,600. To get a good scope with that type magnification, 3.5-18X is in the midrange for a high quality scope. You may even find this scope selling for less than that price at some sporting-goods dealers.
The scope I tend to recommend is 3.5-18×44 because it fits low to the gun. Some varmint/deer hunters might prefer a 56mm objective. This scope has great light-gathering capabilities and still provides a good field of view. However, when you have a riflescope with a big objective lens on its front, the scope has to be mounted higher on the rifle to give clearance between that 56 mm lens and the barrel. Remember, when you raise the scope up higher off the barrel, you’ll have to raise your head up off the stock to see through the scope. If you order your custom bolt action Bergara rifle and want a riflescope with a big objective lens like this, we strongly recommend that you order a stock with an adjustable cone and an adjustable cheek piece. Then if you adjust the cone height up, you can get a proper cheek piece weld to help you maintain accuracy. You don’t want to get a scope that causes you to have to raise your cheek up off the stock to look through the scope. Your accuracy will decrease, because your cheek isn’t connected to the stock.
This is another advantage to a custom rifle. In building a custom rifle, we suggest to our customers the best way to get maximum accuracy for whatever game they’re hunting and matching the component parts of the rifle. So, from the tip of the barrel to the tip of the stock, that gun is designed the way the customer wants with the component parts he wants without sacrificing accuracy. One of the big advantages with working with a custom rifle builder is you have many options to choose from to build the type rifle
you want for the kind of shooting you prefer and/or the specific type of game you want to hunt. We can help the consumer design and build what he/she believes to be the ultimate varmint/deer rifle and give him or her the advantages and/or disadvantages of each component that they’re considering. If Bergara builds a varmint/deer rifle to fit most people, I’d recommend the rifle that’s in our catalog – the Long Range Hunter.
By Eric Hendricks, Bergara’s Custom Rifle Shop sales coordinator
* Have you ever considered how the way your riflescope mounts to your rifle, and where your cheek is relates to your ability to shoot accurately?
* Do you have a see-through scope mount, so you can shoot with iron sights and then have to lift your head off the stock to look through your scope?