I'm heading for British Columbia to hunt elk and caribou. I have a new Winchester Model 70 Extreme Weather in .325 WSM and intend using Leopold Q/R mounts, but as yet am undecided as to which scope to attach to my outfit. My local gunshop is desperately trying to sell me a 4-14x50 Meopta Meostar 4-16x44, but I thought I'd ask your advice as I don't want to be overscoped. What size scope would you recommend for this rifle for big game?
– Nathan Minter
I own a rifle just like yours in .325 WSM and it wears a Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 which is as big as I want to go on a big game rifle; in fact I'd prefer a 2.5-8x. Over the course of a 10-day hunt, a rifle sheathed in a saddle scabbard is subjected to lot of hard licks and strains. And this is even if you draw a well behaved horse that doesn't try to rub the scabbard off against trees or fall down and roll on the rifle. I recommend a medium-range variable, one with a one-inch tube that cranks up to at least 6x. A 2-7x, 2.5-8x or at most a 3-9x is all you'll need. If you want to carry more scope, look at the Meopta Meopro 3.5- 10x44. Bear in mind, though, that the larger and longer the scope, the more it extends out beyond its support rings, The more overhang the more vulnerable the scope is and the more easily it can be bent and knocked out of zero, especially on horseback. Your gunshop wanted to sell you an expensive varmint scope, but they aren't alone in their lack of hunting experience, another reader told me another gunshop tried to talk him into fitting a 6-18x to his .30-30!