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AR-15 scope and 17 HMR scope, budget

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2010 at 20:49
mr_blasto View Drop Down
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I don't know if I am getting closer or further from a decision.  I am looking for a couple of scopes and was hoping you could point me in the right direction.  I am definitely on a somewhat tight budget.

First, I have an AR-15 that I am building with the intention of being a benchrest / prairie dog gun.  It will have a 24" barrel, and will only have a scope on it (no iron sights to get in the way).  I would love to develop my skills enough to take shots at 600 yards.  I am assuming I will need a fair amount of internal elevation adjustment to hit anything at 600 yards, so I am thinking the Nikon Monarch is 6x24 is out.  Because I intend to hit prairie dogs at distance, I think 16x is the lowest maximum magnification I would want.  I don't want to go stronger than 6x for the minimum magnification in case I want to shoot within 100 yards.  As far as reticles go, a standard duplex seems like it would work (I am worried that mildots would possibly obscure too much of the target at long range).  I don't plan on shooting in low light conditions, so an illuminated reticle is not needed.  The less money I have to spend, the better, but I want to be able to play with the windage and elevation adjustments reliably (not having the POI change, one interact with the other, etc.).  $400 or just over $400 is my upper limit for this scope, but if I could find something that meets my needs closer to $300, I would be really excited.  I have been considering the Sightron SII 6-24, the Weaver V24, Bushnell's elite 3500, etc.  I wouldn't be opposed to a vortex, but I am not too familiar with the different lines.

Second, I just got a 17 HMR.  Again, this is intended for varmints, but will be shot mostly from a bench or bipod.  Seeing the bullet holes at 200 yards would be a huge plus.  I know anything beyond 200 yards is pushing it for this round, but if I would love to be able to attempt small targets at as many as 300 yards.  The rifle was far less than the AR, so I am hoping to spend quite a bit less on the scope too.  I was looking at the Mueller APV (4.5-14), the Simmons Whitetail classic, and the Vortex crossfire 6x24x50 (are these in stock? would the mildots cover up a small target?).  I am just terrified of buying a cheap scope and using it as a paperweight because I hate it.  I am considering buying something for the AR first, and if I don't like it for that application, putting it on the 17 HMR.  If I could spend $100-$150 on the HMR scope, that would be fantastic, but I could spend as much as $250 if the scope is that much better.

In either case I am looking for the best "value," which I know is nebulous.  Duplex reticles are fine in either case, as some reticles with holdovers look too busy for me.  Could you please suggest 3 ordered picks for each application?  Thank you for your help.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2010 at 21:57
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http://swfa.com/Vortex-6-24x50-Crossfire-Rifle-Scope-P43585.aspx   for the 17 hmr

http://swfa.com/Bushnell-6-24x50-Elite-4200-30mm-Rifle-Scope-P8746.aspx for the AR

 
I know we are headed the wrong way on price but the alternative is to sacrifice some area of what you want it to do for example you could go wiht a 16x Super Sniper $299.95 but that is a fixed 16 power.  http://swfa.com/SWFA-SS-16x42-Tactical-Riflescope-P501.aspx
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/13/2010 at 07:19
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This vortex is arguably the best value out there right now for a "quality" scope
 
It would fit the 17 great like UF said.  It would also work well on the AR so I would get two and go from there.
 
Other than that for the AR (you requested 3 suggestions for each) i would look at the 3-9 SS. It is slightly over the budget but if you put the vortex on the 17 you could use the left over $ on it for the AR.  You will not be sorry.  Its not as high as power as you may want but the glass  is suppose to be tremendous and should be capable.  Another option would be this Vortex. Again a little over price range you said but the glass is a step up from the crossfire and it has been proven by mulitple members that the Viper is a good optic
Vortex 6.5-20x50 Viper 30mm Rifle Scope V-Plex Wide Vortex 6.5-20x50 Viper 30mm Rifle Scope
Stock # - VPRM06FP
  • Matte
  • V-Plex Wide
  • 30mm
  • Side Focus
$459.95 
Add Vortex 6.5-20x50 Viper 30mm Rifle Scope to Cart 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/13/2010 at 17:32
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DON'T BE AFRAID of mill dots !!! When pdoging they are very helpful. The last thing you want to do is lose your zero by forgetting how meney clicks up, left, or right did I turn it. ( personal exp. ) Use the dots for your hold over & windage. the dots work better than holding over thin air.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/13/2010 at 17:57
mr_blasto View Drop Down
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I have read about the reputation of the viper's, but was turned off by the price range.  What do I lose by going with the diamondback line?

I appreciate the feedback, and I know I can't get everything I want in a scope for my price range, but I am curious how close I can get to ideal within my price range.  Obviously the $600-$1000+ scopes are out for me.  The 6.5-20x50 viper is pushing it, but possibly do-able.

I guess I should go with that crossfire, and if that fits the bill for at least one of the rifles, I may have a little more to play with budget wise for the other.  I am still curious to hear about the sightron SII and possibly the weavers in my price range to hear where they come up short.  I know a lot of what you pay for is glass quality, and that becomes more of an issue with higher magnification, but I can't help but think that if the crossfire works at 24 that the others might too.

I checked out a lot of the stuff on opticsthoughts.com.  The thing that kills me in some reviews is when they will say for this price point, or not much more you can get a lot more scope, without specifying which.  I am not complaining though, reviews and opinions from people who have looked through a lot of glass is immensely helpful.

Thanks for the comments, keep them coming.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2010 at 11:32
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I had a burris fullfield II 2-7x with ballistic plex on an AR and it was a pretty nice setup.  Reasonably good magnification on high and low powers and it was a no brainer to hit targets out to 500 yards.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2010 at 13:30
mr_blasto View Drop Down
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Teddy, might I ask how big your targets were that you were hitting?  Could you hit a grapefruit or cantaloupe sized object at that distance?

I just ordered a the 6x24x50 crossfire, so I should be fine for the 17 HMR at least.  If it blows me away, I'll likely order another for the AR, but I suspect I will step it up a notch for the AR.

Keep the opinions coming. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2010 at 13:31
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For your AR this would be my recommendation:

and this is the alternative (although I prefer the Viper):

For the 17HMR, there is really nothing with the magnification you want that I can recommend in your price range.  The cheapest decent scope would be this:

but it sounds like that is more than you want to spend.

If you really want to stay within $200 on this, I suggest you go with a lower magnification scope.  Tight budgets and high magnification glass do not make a good mix.  Try this one:

I recently looked at a bunch of 3-9x40 scopes and really liked the Diamondback.

Also, you should occasionally scan through the SampleList for bargains.  In this case, I can heartily recommend this for your 17HMR:

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2010 at 15:23
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Originally posted by mr_blasto mr_blasto wrote:

Teddy, might I ask how big your targets were that you were hitting?  Could you hit a grapefruit or cantaloupe sized object at that distance?
 
In that setup that I had which was a DPMS Sweet 16 upper (stainless free floated bull barrel) and rock river two stage I was able to hit steel plates that weren't any bigger than 10" diameter at 500 yards.  I was using handloaded 69gr ammo that shot just over 1/2" at 100 yards.  The wind where I shoot is never very strong and I've only seen it past 10-15 mph a few times.  That rifle would also shoot pmc 223 55gr FMJ ammo right at 3/4" at 100, and just about every kind of brass cased ammo under 1".
 
As far as a grapfruit/softball, definately not a dead center hit, but on a cantaloupe you could get a chunk out of it.  When you start looking into serious long range shooting it's not that big of a deal to get hunting quality hits at 500 yards.  600 yards is where the men start to seperate from the boys in both skills and equipment capabilities.  For my purposes I just wanted a small, accurate rifle with the ability for a high rate of fire that could reach out at long distances in a very simple way.  Selling that rifle is one of the bigger regrets of my life and I'd like to replace it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2010 at 18:18
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Koshkin, I thought you were a vortex / bushnell / sightron guy.  I was somewhat surprised to see you recommend a weaver as an alternative.  I am assuming you did so because the big sky and the 4200 were out of my price range and you don't feel confident recommending the 3500 or the SII.  Is that an accurate read?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2010 at 18:27
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There are some great recommendations here. I will just add that seeing a .17 cal hole at 200 yds is a tall order, especially at the price point you are at. I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2010 at 19:05
koshkin View Drop Down
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Originally posted by mr_blasto mr_blasto wrote:

Koshkin, I thought you were a vortex / bushnell / sightron guy.  I was somewhat surprised to see you recommend a weaver as an alternative.  I am assuming you did so because the big sky and the 4200 were out of my price range and you don't feel confident recommending the 3500 or the SII.  Is that an accurate read?

I do not have any particular affiliation to any brand.  I tend to recommend whatever constitutes the best performance for the money at any given time.  Since manufacturers come out with new models all the time, my recommendations change accordingly.

You had a fairly specific price range in mind, so I worked with that.  

Sightron S2 Big Sky and Elite 4200 are out of your price range (presumably).  Vortex Viper is very close to them optically, but has a 3x erector ratio.  That is nor critical for the type of shooting you are likely to do and on top of the the Viper 6.5-20x44 has 68MOA of adjustment, which is plenty for your needs.

Weaver Grand Slam 6-20x40 is very nice scope for the money, but it is a little less user friendly for your needs since it only has 40MOA of adjustment available and the objective lens is a touch smaller.  Sightron S2 6-24x42 also has 40MOA of adjustment range, but it is a bit more expensive.  Optically, I think Viper in this configuration has an edge over the S2, with Grand Slam being between the two.

If you like Sightron, my favourite scope in the SII line-up is 4-16x42.  However, it still does not have all that much adjustment range: 50MOA, so I thought that the Viper with its 30mm tube was a better fit.

Elite 3200 is a well built scope, but it is not a viable competitor to the likes of Viper, Grand Slam, etc.  It is positioned to compete with slightly lower end scopes.

A couple more words on Weaver: I used to recommend Weaver scope a lot more in the past.  Then the brand changed hands a couple of times and I thought that the quality had dropped of a little.  Now that Weaver is owned by ATK again, I have a lot mroe confidence in their products and the quality control seems to be pretty good again.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2010 at 12:21
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Trigger, I agree.  I have a spotting scope, so it isn't critical to see the holes at 200.

Koshkin, thanks for the detailed response.  I was not implying that any company sponsors you, I have read enough of your comments to know that you tend to like those brands, but only because they represent a great scope from the dollar from where you stand; and I appreciate that.

I appreciate even more your detailed response.  Based on everyone's feedback, I am really leaning towards the viper.  It is kind of annoying that it only has a 3x erector ratio, like you mentioned.  The 4x erector ratio scopes just sound so versatile.  It seems you can't have it all at this price point though.  I'll have to mull this over just a bit more--and wait till the crossfire is delivered.  If it's killer I can get two, but even if it's adequate it saves me a bit and gives me more room to work with the other scope.  If it's garbage, I will have even less to spend on the AR scope.

It seems everything is hinging on the crossfire at this point (and of course they are back ordered).

Cannot express how helpful everyone's feedback has been.  THANK YOU.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2010 at 12:33
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Oh also, I have a lot of confidence in Sightron's and Vortex's warranty, but Bushnell seems a little questionable even on the elite 4200's because they have a one-year no questions asked warranty.  I want a lifetime no questions asked warranty, which is what sightron and vortex seem to offer.  Anyone familiar with reputation of the various warranties?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2010 at 17:41
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Bushnell's warranty is lifetime. It is just a one year return no questions asked.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2010 at 22:10
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Originally posted by mr_blasto mr_blasto wrote:

Trigger, I agree.  I have a spotting scope, so it isn't critical to see the holes at 200.

Koshkin, thanks for the detailed response.  I was not implying that any company sponsors you, I have read enough of your comments to know that you tend to like those brands, but only because they represent a great scope from the dollar from where you stand; and I appreciate that.

I appreciate even more your detailed response.  Based on everyone's feedback, I am really leaning towards the viper.  It is kind of annoying that it only has a 3x erector ratio, like you mentioned.  The 4x erector ratio scopes just sound so versatile.  It seems you can't have it all at this price point though.  I'll have to mull this over just a bit more--and wait till the crossfire is delivered.  If it's killer I can get two, but even if it's adequate it saves me a bit and gives me more room to work with the other scope.  If it's garbage, I will have even less to spend on the AR scope.

It seems everything is hinging on the crossfire at this point (and of course they are back ordered).

Cannot express how helpful everyone's feedback has been.  THANK YOU.

ive got a 2x7 viper on my .375H&H and im not one bit scared to shoot it. the viper is all they claim it to be, and the folks at vortex are all very nice people. ive spoke to several on the phone as well as the two or three reps who are members here. if for some reason you ever had a problem with a vortex optic it will get taken care of. they are a great company with a good product. the diamondback is in that nikon buckmaster burris fullfieldII class. they are nice too, but the viper is better.
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