New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - 44mag optic - scope, dot, or reflex?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Check GunBroker.com for SWFA's No Reserve and No Minimum bid firearm auctions.

44mag optic - scope, dot, or reflex?

 Post Reply Post Reply   Topic Search Topic Search  Topic Options Topic Options
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/02/2018 at 21:01
gdpolk View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: May/05/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 78
I’m picking up a Performance Center S&W 629. I plan to use it as a primary weapon for hunting black bear, deer, and pigs in heavy timber and as a backup weapon when bow hunting in bear country. Ranges will vary from 10-40yds on average with long shots at being out to a maximum of 100-125yds for the more open areas on deer only. 

As a primary weapon I would like good light transmission so I can maximize my legal shooting light as much as possible. As a backup/defensive weapon I want speed and ease of use for pigs or bear as I’m walking in/out. The particular model 629 that I’m getting has some awesome fiber front sights but I’d like a bit more precision and I do a bit better with optics of some sort as light fades. I've put a photo of it below.  It comes with an optic rail that I can see through the open sights with when mounted should I want to do a QD setup.  My budget on this optic is $700 with quality rings/mounts so there are A LOT of options.  I don't necessarily feel like I need to spend the whole budget to be happy.  I do however want something that is of decent quality and that will fit my needs well.

What would you guys recommend for this application?

Right now the 3 options that I am considering are
  1. Leupold VX3 2.5-8x EER for precision and light transmission when hunting. Put it in QD rings and pull it off when bowhunting.  I've had the 2.5-8x36 VX3 and can easily see until dark thirty.  I like the idea of the low 2.5x with a larger diameter objective than some straight tube options for light gathering and the higher mags would certainly be nice at the range or a 3-4x for longer shots.
  2. Trijicon RMR Dual Illuminated for a light responsive reflex option.  The fiber optic gathering would basically allow it to adjust to ambient lighting conditions and always be an appropriate amount of light for woods use.  Also without electronics I feel like it may be a more durable option for a .44mag, although I have no reservations about a Trijicon lasting on a hunting rig given their track record.  I also like that these are offered in green which my eyes pick up really well and would contrast well with game animals.
  3. Aimpoint Micro for a tube style dot.  Again Aimpoint's track record and quality standards are great.  Their micro line seems like a good choice for a bulk/weight dot option.  The downside I see to this is it's not automatically adjusting with ambient lighting conditions which could be an annoyance in the first and last hour of light when game animals are moving most often.



Edited by gdpolk - November/02/2018 at 21:35
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/02/2018 at 21:53
urbaneruralite View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman


Joined: January/03/2008
Status: Offline
Points: 438
Handgun scopes are slow to bring on target. Red dots are much quicker. You may find the tube style helps you line up on the dot faster than the open reflex.

That is a heap big gun to pack as a backup. An iron sighted six-incher worn crossdraw is the most I ever found handy to tote. 

I find that a 4" gun with a reflex does just about all of what a handgun is good for on game. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/02/2018 at 22:10
gdpolk View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: May/05/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 78
Originally posted by urbaneruralite urbaneruralite wrote:

Handgun scopes are slow to bring on target. Red dots are much quicker. You may find the tube style helps you line up on the dot faster than the open reflex.

That is a heap big gun to pack as a backup. An iron sighted six-incher worn crossdraw is the most I ever found handy to tote. 

I find that a 4" gun with a reflex does just about all of what a handgun is good for on game. 


This is a heap of a gun but the areas that I pig hunt and bear hunt in are very short walks.  My main concern though is coming into a bait site at night with just a longbow into a potentially aggressive animal.  However, for a primary weapon when intentionally bowhunting, the weight isn't going to be an issue really as any way you slice it, its still smaller and lighter than even a modest rifle without an optic.  Some of those places are in kind of deep and the terrain of them varies from flatlands to mountains but where I would use it as a primary weapon is almost exclusively thick brushy areas with a few random holes in the cover where you might see a bit longer than normal.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/02/2018 at 22:24
supertool73 View Drop Down
Optics God
Optics God
Avatar
Superstool

Joined: January/03/2008
Location: Utah
Status: Offline
Points: 10844
Quick detach will likely need to be rezeroed every time you take it off.   Something to think about. Very few mount system are good enough to return to a perfect zero.

Years back i tried both a magnified optic and a red dot on a .454 casull. I like the redot better. It was faster and easier to get on target.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/02/2018 at 22:35
gdpolk View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: May/05/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 78
Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

Quick detach will likely need to be rezeroed every time you take it off.   Something to think about. Very few mount system are good enough to return to a perfect zero.

Years back i tried both a magnified optic and a red dot on a .454 casull. I like the redot better. It was faster and easier to get on target.


What dot are you using for hunting purposes? How well does it hold up in low light? I have had numerous low-mid grade dots over the years and all were quite dark. They were good enough for daytime but in fading light they were quite poor. I had to quit shooting with my dots well before my scopes failed me. This is my main concern with the dots/RMR as a hunter.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/02/2018 at 22:46
supertool73 View Drop Down
Optics God
Optics God
Avatar
Superstool

Joined: January/03/2008
Location: Utah
Status: Offline
Points: 10844
This was 15+ years ago. It was a cheaper dot. I think i spent $100ish on it. I don’t remember what brand it was. I took it elk hunting on season but never got an opportunity to shoot at one. Shot several rabbits with it though.

I have a trijicon MRO and a Holosun red dot currently and i have used then in low light for some training and they seemed good for me.

I have a burris fast fire on my shotgun and its pretty sweet.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2018 at 09:35
urbaneruralite View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman


Joined: January/03/2008
Status: Offline
Points: 438
The price of the dot does not relate directly to low light. Some of the more durable ones have tint that is actually worse than some middlin' priced examples. Red dot buying requires eyes-on testing. If you need to buy without testing, get a Leupold Deltapoint with the triangle dot.

A red dot compares well with fiber optics for low light use. Red dot goes a little longer if you can turn it down to night vision level. At 20 yards, you don't need to be able to see through the optic. You will hit a few inches off, but you can still hit lungs. Scopes are better, but not riflescope better. If you really need to kill it, take a rifle.

To add to the discussion, how well does an illuminated reticle work in a handgun scope for low light use? I never tried one.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2018 at 10:57
gdpolk View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: May/05/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 78
Originally posted by urbaneruralite urbaneruralite wrote:

The price of the dot does not relate directly to low light. Some of the more durable ones have tint that is actually worse than some middlin' priced examples. Red dot buying requires eyes-on testing. If you need to buy without testing, get a Leupold Deltapoint with the triangle dot.

A red dot compares well with fiber optics for low light use. Red dot goes a little longer if you can turn it down to night vision level. At 20 yards, you don't need to be able to see through the optic. You will hit a few inches off, but you can still hit lungs. Scopes are better, but not riflescope better. If you really need to kill it, take a rifle.

To add to the discussion, how well does an illuminated reticle work in a handgun scope for low light use? I never tried one.


I’ve not been overwhelmed by illuminated riflescopes for hunting. My experience with them in the field is that it’s an unnecessary feature. If the optical quality of the glass is good, I prefer a simple scope out to legal shooting time (+/-30 of dusk/dawn). Beyond legal shooting time your better off with either a light when hunting pigs/raccoon or a thermal optic for predators/pigs without a light. It always kind of seemed like a solution looking for a problem to me. Others measures may vary but I wouldn’t really be interested in an illuminated reticle pistol scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2018 at 18:13
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar
Resident Redneck

Joined: June/20/2005
Location: Iowa
Status: Offline
Points: 14332
I have some insight regarding scoped handguns. I have two encore pistols one in 45-70 which I have had a 1x Burris pistol scope (superb),  and a 2 moa Aimpoint 9000L (good )  on the other is a 44 mag with a Nikon 2.5-8, (acceptable but prefer the low fixed power) . I have also used a Burris 3-12 pistol scope (which was worthless over about 5x as there was not enough eye relief for heavy recoil).  With a red dot you have to turn it on.  In an emergency that is a huge problem.   I would select either a fixed 2x because they no longer make the fixed 1x or some type of red dot preferable something that either turns itself on with movement or uses tritium for its illumination. I would look real hard at Trijicon's products to see if something there will work for you. Do keep in mind that you can go open sights with illuminated tritium. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2018 at 19:54
gdpolk View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: May/05/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 78
A 1x pistol scope sounds awesome.  It's a close range endeavor anyway but that would let you utilize the last light and superimpose an aim point onto your target so you could see minor movements just before the shot broke as opposed to focusing on a front sight and possibly missing those minor movements in poor lighting conditions.  I may try to source one of those.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2018 at 19:59
supertool73 View Drop Down
Optics God
Optics God
Avatar
Superstool

Joined: January/03/2008
Location: Utah
Status: Offline
Points: 10844
With some red dots battery life is years so i don’t see how thats an issue. Just leave it on all the time and replace the battery once every year or two. Plus we are taking about a hunting pistol not a defensive weapon.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/04/2018 at 05:15
gdpolk View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: May/05/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 78
Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

With some red dots battery life is years so i don’t see how thats an issue. Just leave it on all the time and replace the battery once every year or two. Plus we are taking about a hunting pistol not a defensive weapon.


Agreed on the battery life issue. My two concerns with a dot are light transmission of the target and dot brightness. I do not want to give up part of that magic time at dusk/dawn from the sight going too dark on me if there is another sight that can allow me to hunt through that time. Nearly 1/3 of the deer that I’ve shot have been during the first/last 30 minutes of the day so statistically speaking that time of day is a very important time and I don’t want a product that blocks out part of these times. My other concern is that the dot itself may be too bright or dull as lighting changes in dusk/dawn. Because of this concern, I’m thinking that if I go with a dot/reflex something like the RMR dual illuminated might be very functional for the woods IF the lenses are bright enough to see through in very low light. The fiber optics would allow the dot to brighten/darken in response to ambient light all the time and for walking in during night in bear country it has tritium for backup when there is no light. This kind of makes sense to me. But, I don’t know if the lenses will be bright enough to harness those first/last few minutes. All of the videos I see show that the lenses are clearly tinted and they appear darker but they may not be that much darker in real life as compared to what I’m seeing on camera.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/04/2018 at 15:13
gdpolk View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: May/05/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 78
I went to several stores today and for my uses the dots and reflexes are out of the race.  None of them looked clear and bright to my eyes other than an EO Tech which was obnoxiously bulky. 

I'm going to go with a dedicated telescopic sight for hunting in some quality QD rings.  When I have the pistol as a backup for bowhunting, I'll just pop the scope off of the rail.  This should offer me good enough accuracy for dedicated handgun hunting and low/no bulk on the gun for backup. 

After I play with this a while I may choose to add another second .44mag to use as a backup when bowhunting to keep as an open sights gun and leave the scope permenantly mounted as a dedicated handgun primary hunting rig.

Thanks for all your help.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/04/2018 at 16:53
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar
Resident Redneck

Joined: June/20/2005
Location: Iowa
Status: Offline
Points: 14332
The search for high quality QD rings is elusive. I have not been happy with the ones from Leupold they simply wore out on a musket withing three years hard use.  I have had good results with LT 719 from La Rue but they are only 30mm not 1 inch they may have an adapter though.  I have been reasonably satisfied with Talley QD rings my overall experience with Talley has been very good and that is probably the path I would explore because I'm sure they make a 1 inch ring and most pistol scopes are 1 inch tube.   I am still thinking fixed 2X is your best choice. Note this is probably the only Burris product I recommend I absolutely hate their 3-12 pistol scope. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/04/2018 at 21:11
gdpolk View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: May/05/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 78
Originally posted by Urimaginaryfrnd Urimaginaryfrnd wrote:

The search for high quality QD rings is elusive. I have not been happy with the ones from Leupold they simply wore out on a musket withing three years hard use.  I have had good results with LT 719 from La Rue but they are only 30mm not 1 inch they may have an adapter though.  I have been reasonably satisfied with Talley QD rings my overall experience with Talley has been very good and that is probably the path I would explore because I'm sure they make a 1 inch ring and most pistol scopes are 1 inch tube.   I am still thinking fixed 2X is your best choice. Note this is probably the only Burris product I recommend I absolutely hate their 3-12 pistol scope. 



This is one of 8 pistol scopes that I held today and is currently what I'm planning on getting unless I can find a higher quality fixed 2x.  To my eyes the optical quality of the Leupolds seemed to be the best (highest resolution, contrast, and brightness) but they also had a significantly reduced field of view compared to all of the other pistol scopes (at similar optical powers) at all pricepoints and the eye relief of the Leupold handgun scopes were extremely critical.  To me these were deal breakers and of all the other pistol scopes that I saw the Burris was the best of what was left.  I was quite unpleasantly surprised by Leupold's offerings in particular.  Typically Leupold does a pretty good job of turning out decent hunting scopes in the $300-600 price range and at sizes and weights just a bit smaller than most comparable products.  However, their pistol scopes were really kind of unsatisfactory to me with the tiny field of view and really critical eye relief.

Burris's 3-12 is ridiculous for my needs.  I like the idea of their 2-7 offering me a wider range of magnification but it is also 2" longer and 6oz heavier.  When I rifle hunt I am using a Leupold VX3 1.75-6x in the areas where I will be taking the .44 revolver and to be honest I never turn it up above the bottom setting for animals under 60 yards.  When I do turn it up, it never goes above 3-4x unless I'm sighting in at the range.  So, to my mind I figure in a pistol I'd really probably never use anything other than 2-3x unless at the range anyway so there isn't a strong motivator for me to pay more to haul around more bulk and more weight that won't be used on a hunting rig anyway.  Sure the 7x would be handy at the range but there I can slow down and make perfect shots at perfect distances with perfect lighting, and perfect control; I don't need an ideal magnification to get the gun sighted in under these conditions.

I am still curious about some potentially higher end brands offering a low power, such as 1.5-2x, fixed magnification scope for me too but I'm not finding anything of any higher build quality than the Leupold VX3. I'll keep poking around online for a while but as of now that fixed 2x Burris looks like the winner for my .44.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2018 at 01:28
koshkin View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar
Dark Lord of Optics

Joined: June/15/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 12185
Noone really makes a truly high end handgun scope and with what is out there, I think less is more.  Leupold and Burris are your best bet.  Honestly, I would stick with a fixed power 2x or 2.5x model from one of these.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2018 at 11:17
Scrumbag View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master
Avatar

Joined: October/22/2013
Location: London, UK
Status: Offline
Points: 1483
I was impressed with the build on Burris's Fastfire reflex sight. Would you consider a Burris 2x20mm handgun scope? From my handgun shooting days, a 50yd shot with a revolver is quite a ways.

I find illumination helpful but that's just my 2c.

Scrummy
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2018 at 12:34
gdpolk View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: May/05/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 78
Originally posted by Scrumbag Scrumbag wrote:

I was impressed with the build on Burris's Fastfire reflex sight. Would you consider a Burris 2x20mm handgun scope? From my handgun shooting days, a 50yd shot with a revolver is quite a ways.

I find illumination helpful but that's just my 2c.

Scrummy


That’s the one I’m going to go with. A Burris fixed 2x.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2018 at 14:33
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
Optics Jedi Master
Avatar

Joined: January/19/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 8636
 What reflex sights did you look through?

There is much to be said for both-eyes-open reflex sighting, and on a handgun they do enhance precision, if you train with them.

A good red dot reflex would be my choice, having used several - and having never used a scoped pistol.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2018 at 16:44
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar
Resident Redneck

Joined: June/20/2005
Location: Iowa
Status: Offline
Points: 14332
I do also run an Aimpoint 9000L on an AR pistol with a 10.5 in barrel.   

One other thought Crimson Trace makes grips for N Frame I have one on my S&W 629PD that I carry hunting. Note some states will not allow a laser on the handgun for hunting but in total darkness nothing beats a  laser grip.


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - November/05/2018 at 16:51
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2018 at 16:49
gdpolk View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: May/05/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 78
Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

 What reflex sights did you look through?

There is much to be said for both-eyes-open reflex sighting, and on a handgun they do enhance precision, if you train with them.

A good red dot reflex would be my choice, having used several - and having never used a scoped pistol.


  • Burris Fastfire
  • RMR red dot
  • Two EO Techs
  • Leupold DeltaPoint
  • Vortex Viper
  • Bushnell something
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2018 at 16:58
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar
Resident Redneck

Joined: June/20/2005
Location: Iowa
Status: Offline
Points: 14332
• Picatinny-Style Sight Rail 


https://swfa.com/warne-maxima-quick-detach-1-rings-86.html

Warne Maxima Quick Detach 1" Rings

Warne Maxima Quick Detach 1" Rings

Matte, Medium

201LM2 656813000296


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - November/05/2018 at 17:09
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2018 at 20:51
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
Optics Jedi Master
Avatar

Joined: January/19/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 8636
I have a few fastfires a d like them. I ha e a few RMRs and it's a mixed bag - the triangle tritium reticles are very dim.

I really like the shield RMS, they are always on and easily cowitness standard sights, and battery life has been good for me.

I am staying away from Trijicon products, sometimes they stand behind their products, sometimes not. Gamble if you like.
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Similar Threads: "44mag optic - scope, dot, or reflex?"
Subject Author Forum Replies Last Post
There are no similar posts.


This page was generated in 0.191 seconds.