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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2008 at 00:11
KY Gun Geek View Drop Down
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Hello!

This is my first post here - been lurking for a month or so trying to nail down a scope choice.  Below is my current disconnected, rambling, hyperlinked thoughts on this.  Advice is appreciated...

My main use is for PDs, but I have this itch for trying to push pills to the 1K mark.  Guns are 22-250 and 223, maybe 308 for the 1K target work.

I already have a 6.5 - 20x50 Burris FFII with a ballistic mildot, but I need to purchase a second scope for the second rifle - was thinking the 8-32 on the 22-250, and move the  6.5-20 to the 223.

Not much talk here about the 8-32's.  Burris has a Black Diamond that is an 8-32x50, Bushnell has an 8-32x40.  Seems like the 50mm would make a huge difference at the higher magnification.   True?

I like the plex & mil-dot reticles, calibrated or not.  I really like the idea of the Shepherd scopes, but it seems that their overall quality just isn't there, specially for the price.  I've learned to map distances to drops, say on a mil-dot - leads to weird yardage figures, but you don't have get wound up over "calibration". 

Read a post here that cranking knobs over a PD town isn't too practical. +1 to that, found the same hunting deer.  Critters are never standing at yardage figures  with 0's on the end.  However, the plex and mildot reticles seem to be a bit on the thick side.  Seems like one solution is to dial up the magnification, so the reticle lines are smaller relative to the target - eh?

What do you guys think?  Is 32 over powering?

OK, I understand you guys really like the Bushnell Elites, and I'm considering them.  From what you say, the the 4200's are closer in optical quality to the Black Diamonds, but the price is closer to cost of a FFII. 

Alright, so I guess what I need is to nail down the features (reticle, power) then figure out which is the best deal.   Thanks again for your help - sorry for the long post!

Thanks again for your comments...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2008 at 18:11
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I can't help you with experince. I've been looking as well. Here are a couple of articles I found. One promotes more glass and the other two less. Note on the first link, it wants to print the article and then close it. Say no the print, and then no to letting it close your browser window.
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2008 at 06:56
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I would settle for a little less in power and go with a reticle more suited for the application, The IOR mp8 would be nice, the lines instead of dots is a huge advantage. Then there is the Monarch. BDC reticle.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2008 at 07:37
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i take anything chuck hawks writes with a grain of salt, some of his stuff isnt hardcore facts just stuff he wants you to believe.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2008 at 07:40
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Can you say Compensated Endorsements.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2008 at 07:41
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slightly
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2008 at 10:45
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Welcome, KY Gun Geek!
 
I burn a LOT of powder every year letting the air out of prairie poodles, so I think I have a pretty fair idea of what works.  8-32X is fine early in the morning and late in the evening, but trust me, during midday on a warm afternoon, heat mirage will make it difficult to use any magnification past about 12X!  A couple of my shooting buddies have the Burris 6-24X Signature Select and 8-32X Black Diamond, both w/ Ballistic Mil Dot, and these are decent scopes, but I think the BMD crosshairs are a little too thick for ultra precision shooting -- in my opinion.  But it is otherwise a fine scope for PD shooting; you just won't be able to effectively use half of its magnification range most of the time.  But, it's good to have the extra magnification available on an accurate varmint rifle for the times when the mirage settles down or you're target shooting.
 
As Cyborg said, the IOR MP8 reticle (in a second focal plane version) is EXCELLENT for shooting PD's, but there are several other excellent reticles for this use as well.  I would definitely recommend that you select the thinnest, SECOND FOCAL PLANE reticle possible, because sometimes you have very little to shoot at when they are hiding behind their mounds or playing peekaboo with you.  First focal plane reticle offer the advantage of being able to range your target at all magnifications, however, as you zoom in the power, the reticle also gets thicker, and you're aiming at very small targets.  I really like Nightforce scopes for a PD rifle -- excellent optics, and outstanding reticles, especially their Mil Dot and NP-R1 (and to a lesser degree, the NP-R2).  I also really like the Leupold Varmint Hunters reticle.  All of those are very thin, well-designed reticles for the application.  As long as you have some sort of ballistic compensating reticle that is thin and includes windage reference marks as well, it will work for PD shooting, and which design is better than the other is a personal preference thing.  One thing is for certain -- for PD shooting, which isn't typically done in low light, I would rather have a good reticle that meets these criteria than top level optical quality, given the choice of only one or the other.
 
What is your budget limit for a scope?  Given this, I can help you with your decision.


Edited by RifleDude - January/08/2008 at 10:49
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2008 at 11:26
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I have a REM 700 Sendero in 22-250 with a Bushnell Elite 4200 6x24x40 Mil Dot that I use to PD Hunt with. I really enjoy the combination of the two. The only thing that makes it tough is the heat. A friend has the 32X he seems to like it alot, but as someone stated you can only use them before the heat waves kick in........
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2008 at 15:12
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Originally posted by pyro6999 pyro6999 wrote:

i take anything chuck hawks writes with a grain of salt, some of his stuff isnt hardcore facts just stuff he wants you to believe.


I've never read a truer quote than that.....PERIOD! Chuck Hawks and Randy Wakeman have real agendas when they start recommending......


Focus
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2008 at 15:15
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Teds probably the one here with tons of long range small target shooting experience. Plus nightforce just makes a superb long range scope for any fine target application.

   Focus
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2008 at 21:25
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Thanks for the replies.

I went to a local Sportsman's Warehouse today and looked at scopes (I buy lots of high margin accessories from them so I don't feel bad Smile)

REALLY Like the Nightforce!  I don't even remember what I looked at, but they were cool, and $1500, so it won't happen this time.

I looked at a Black Diamond (6-24 I think) with a b-plex reticle.  It seems thinner than the b-mildot in my 6-25 ffII

Also looked at a Bushnell 4200, a Nikon Monarch, and a Leupold with an LRV reticle- mmmmm

Ok to answer Ted's question about budget.  I think $800 is the top I could go.

Thanks again for all the help...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2008 at 21:42
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Originally posted by Focus Focus wrote:

Teds probably the one here with tons of long range small target shooting experience. Plus nightforce just makes a superb long range scope for any fine target application.

   Focus
actually in my younger years 12-18 i spent a lot of time in the pdog towns with my four wheeler and my 218 bee with an m8-12x leupold and a lot of time hunting coyotes in the winter, which of course i used a 3x9 for coyotes but in the summer and even in wyoming where in the summer 80 is considered quite hot as you are at 7000ft above sea level you a lot closer to the sun there, even with a fixed 12 with a 6" sundshade on miraging was a factor you were ok when there was a little cloud cover but as soon as the clouds moved past the sun bam it was back again, even with my 22k hornet and a weaver k4 miraging was an issue at times, course i always carried my iron sighted 10/22 with me in case that became an issue.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2008 at 09:39
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Originally posted by pyro6999 pyro6999 wrote:

Originally posted by Focus Focus wrote:

Teds probably the one here with tons of long range small target shooting experience. Plus nightforce just makes a superb long range scope for any fine target application.

   Focus
... course i always carried my iron sighted 10/22 with me in case that became an issue.
 
Or if those buck toothed, plague infested, scurrying little b@$tards ever decided to mount an offensive, forcing you to have to fight your way out of a jam, right?
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2008 at 09:40
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no i had a four wheeler too
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2008 at 09:46
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Quote REALLY Like the Nightforce! I don't even remember what I looked at, but they were cool, and $1500, so it won't happen this time.


My feelings exactly, I believe they are one of the best for long range varminting. Especially if the varmints are on the small side, but it will still be awhile before I can afford one.

   Focus
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2008 at 09:52
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Originally posted by KY Gun Geek KY Gun Geek wrote:

I looked at a Black Diamond (6-24 I think) with a b-plex reticle.  It seems thinner than the b-mildot in my 6-25 ffII

Also looked at a Bushnell 4200, a Nikon Monarch, and a Leupold with an LRV reticle- mmmmm

Ok to answer Ted's question about budget.  I think $800 is the top I could go.

Thanks again for all the help...
 
Within that budget, I would go with either the Bushnell 4200 6-24X40 mil dot or the Leupold 6.5-20X40 LR with Varmint Hunters reticle.  The Burris would be my 3rd choice, but I would get the BMD over the B Plex because it has the windage mil dots.  I don't like this reticle nearly as much as the Leupy VH, though, as it's much thicker.  And, contrary to what some here feel, I think the Leupy VX-III glass is better than Burris.
 
I'm also very intrigued by the Meopta Meostar 4-16X44 A/O w/ Mil Dot, but I don't have any experience with Meopta and have never seen their version of the Mil Dot.  But, people who own Meopta scopes rave about their optics, and on paper, it looks like it would be an excellent varmint scope.  It also fits in your budget.  But I would have to look at the reticle first, because some mil dots are too large and cover up too much of the little critters at long range.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2008 at 11:17
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Originally posted by KY Gun Geek KY Gun Geek wrote:


Not much talk here about the 8-32's.  Burris has a Black Diamond that is an 8-32x50, Bushnell has an 8-32x40.  Seems like the 50mm would make a huge difference at the higher magnification.   True?


I have an IOR 3-18x-42 and the IOR 6-24x-50 and if I set them both on 18x I really can't see much difference in the brightness of the 50mm.  Obviously there has to be a little but at either point the exit pupil is smaller than 4mm which is what the average eye will be during the day.  So once you get to that point any scope will start to get darker even ones with really good glass.  And if you go with one that is 32x or 40x those are really going to be dark.  Now on a bright day you may be able to deal with that, but your loss in image quality is going to be dramatic.  My opinion is don't go above 24x.  I very seldom use my scopes above 14x just because of the mirage and heat waves and I like them to be bright and clear not darkened at all.  YMMV
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2008 at 23:32
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Supertool - your picture is pretty sick!!!

Ok, been working through the posts a couple of visits to the local shop, and a conversation with other shooters here locally.

I think I like the Leupold VX-III with the Varmint Hunter Reticle

Here's some prices, when I make a decision, I'll start looking for the best $$, but for now, these prices are for reference:

6.5 - 20 40mm AO $680
6.5 - 20 40mm SF $760
6.5 - 20 50mm SF $880

So, questions out of this - 1) is there a practical difference between the 50 and 40 mm objectives.  I couldn't see much difference in the store. 2)  I've never used a side focus - do you guys like them?

Thanks again...



 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2008 at 14:49
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Originally posted by KY Gun Geek KY Gun Geek wrote:

Supertool - your picture is pretty sick!!!

Ok, been working through the posts a couple of visits to the local shop, and a conversation with other shooters here locally.

I think I like the Leupold VX-III with the Varmint Hunter Reticle

Here's some prices, when I make a decision, I'll start looking for the best $$, but for now, these prices are for reference:

6.5 - 20 40mm AO $680
6.5 - 20 40mm SF $760
6.5 - 20 50mm SF $880

So, questions out of this - 1) is there a practical difference between the 50 and 40 mm objectives.  I couldn't see much difference in the store. 2)  I've never used a side focus - do you guys like them?

Thanks again...

 
The prices are reasonable, but might I suggest when you are ready to buy that you order from www.swfa.com.  After all, they own this site you're currently posting on, and they will give you a good price with prompt shipment.  Their prices are the same as those.  Chris Farris, the owner, posts on this site.  They are nice people to do business with.
 
I think any of those are excellent varmint scopes.  You would only see a difference between the 40mm and 50mm objective scopes in low light conditions.  The 50mm version also has target knobs.  However, if you don't plan on dialing in your firing solutions, then I would personally just get the 40mm.  In fact, I did -- I have the 40mm with side focus.  Truthfully, in the good light conditions you'll do most of your shooting in, you won't notice a difference, so my vote goes for saving the $ to buy more brass and bullets.
 
As for SF vs. AO, I prefer the side focus, but a member who goes by "Cheaptrick" on this forum prefers AO because he's left handed and finds the AO much easier to use than SF, which is on the wrong side for him.  I bring this up, because I think that's a very valid concern and I don't know if you're left or right handed.  To me, as a right handed person, I find it much more convenient to use the side focus while I'm looking through the scope ready to shoot.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2008 at 17:18
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

 
The prices are reasonable, but might I suggest when you are ready to buy that you order from www.swfa.com.  After all, they own this site you're currently posting on, and they will give you a good price with prompt shipment.  Their prices are the same as those.  Chris Farris, the owner, posts on this site.  They are nice people to do business with.


Absolutely!

Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

I think any of those are excellent varmint scopes.  You would only see a difference between the 40mm and 50mm objective scopes in low light conditions.  The 50mm version also has target knobs.  However, if you don't plan on dialing in your firing solutions, then I would personally just get the 40mm.  In fact, I did -- I have the 40mm with side focus.  Truthfully, in the good light conditions you'll do most of your shooting in, you won't notice a difference, so my vote goes for saving the $ to buy more brass and bullets.
 
As for SF vs. AO, I prefer the side focus, but a member who goes by "Cheaptrick" on this forum prefers AO because he's left handed and finds the AO much easier to use than SF, which is on the wrong side for him.  I bring this up, because I think that's a very valid concern and I don't know if you're left or right handed.  To me, as a right handed person, I find it much more convenient to use the side focus while I'm looking through the scope ready to shoot.
 


No dialing - that's point of varmint reticle! ;)

Good point re the SF - I am left handed (actually ambi, but I'm left eye dominant).  I use a mix of rifles (left and right), so I'll have to do a little thinking about the SF.

Any additional comments re SF?

As always, thanks for the help -
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2008 at 18:39
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Originally posted by KY Gun Geek KY Gun Geek wrote:


Any additional comments re SF?


 
There has been some comment on various sites that the Leupold SF mechanism had an excessive amount of backlash or looseness in it that prevented obtaining best focus unless you first turn it all the way to the infinity setting, then dial back in to focus, in order to take up this backlash.  Before buying mine, I emailed Leupold and they told me they have fixed this issue in current scopes.  All I know is I don't seem to have a problem with mine, nor does a shooting buddy who has the exact same scope... either that, or I'm just not smart enough or observant enough to recognize the telltale signs of the problem, because I don't do the "turn the dial all the way to infinity, then back to best focus" routine, I just focus as normal, and have been totally satisfied with the results.  I like the SF anytime I can get it on a varmint scope (though I DON'T like either SF or AO on a big game hunting scope, but that's another topic).
 
FWIW...
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I have a side focus and really like it. BUT my brother in law who is left handed HATES IT.................never thought about it until he tried it.....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2008 at 06:34
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I love the VH reticle, but the only problem with the 6.5-20X/8.5-25X is that the reticle subtensions are calibrated for only 15X or so. That means that at 20X the subtension is quite a bit shorter. The lower post is about 9.4 MOA @ the calibrated power, and at 20X it'll be about 25% smaller. That's not bad really, u just have to recal the reticle for the upper power, and then add clicks below the lower posts zero. That would work OK, i guess. I do like the excellent windage reference along the horizontal axis at the cal'd power (3-1.77 MOA vertical line stadia--basically .5 mil subtension). It's probably the best of the affordable reticles tho.
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