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I am just getting into rifle shooting. I am very proficient with pistols, and qual'ed with M16/M4 in the service, but couldn't pass up an offer that was too good to be true for a Remington 700 ss 5R milspec. So, my question is this. I don't have a "tactical" scope, just a Leupold Rifleman 3-9x40, which is good for the range at which I shoot (150ish yards, maybe a bit further). How far out will this scope be effective before I have to drop major buckage for a better mil-dot scope?
A 3-9x hunting style scope will be fine shooting until just past the maximum point-blank range of the rifle/cartridge, which for .308 is about 250 yards (max 2" POI over POA) using a 200-yard zero. At 300 yards you'd need to hold about 8" high. Any more elevation compensation than this using "Kentucky elevation" will be too imprecise to make hits on reasonably small targets. At that point, you want a field-usable elevation knob and/or reticle features appropriate for the task.
Here are some articles in which scope features and selection is discussed:
article | Practical Long-Range Rifle Shooting, Part II - Optics (http://demigodllc.com/articles/practical-long-range-rifle-shooting-optics/)
article | Introduction to High-End Long-Range Rifle Scopes ("Don't Skimp on the Scope!") (http://demigodllc.com/articles/intro-long-range-rifle-scopes/)
article | The State of Optics for Practical Long-Range Rifle Shooting  (http://demigodllc.com/articles/optics-for-long-range-rifle-shooting-2009-update)
article | The Hensoldt 4-16x56mm: How does it stack up? (abbreviated version) (http://demigodllc.com/articles/hensoldt-4-16x56-mm-scope-how-does-it-stack-up)
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