New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Best Low-Light hunting scope?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

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

Best Low-Light hunting scope?

 Post Reply Post Reply   Topic Search Topic Search  Topic Options Topic Options Page  1 2>
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 15:22
jayleto View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: January/13/2011
Status: Offline
Points: 3
I deer hunt in Mississippi, and am looking to improve my optics for the upcoming year. Low-light visibility is extremely important, because that's when the deer are usually seen. Members of my club use Leupold's, Schmidt & Binder, Zeiss Conquest, Khale's, Trijicon etc.

I'm currently shooting a 300 Wby Mag, with a Leupold Vari X III 6.5-20x50mm. The scope was on the gun when I purchased it about 12 yrs ago, and has served me well. It just doesn't seem to be that bright in low-light conditions, even when turned all the way down. I'm wondering how many much longer I could see to identify and shoot a deer with better optics. Big deer were killed yesterday afternoon when I had packed up 15 minutes prior!

The bulk of my shots are in the 100-250yd range, but would like to start shooting further distances. I'd prefer something in the same magnification range that I currently have, but with a 56mm objective and 30mm if possible.

Any opinions of how much longer I could see with a better scope? What models should I be looking at? Would love to find something used if that's a viable option. I would like to be able to see much later. I'd like to know what the best is, and what is a great "bang for the buck".
 
I'm hoping to find something off "samplelist", or any kind of used or demo.  Price is important, and I want to make certain there will be alot to gain from my current scope.  I can not afford to spend over $2k on a scope.


Thanks,
Jay
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 15:43
supertool73 View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
Optics Jedi Master
Avatar
Superstool

Joined: January/03/2008
Location: Utah
Status: Offline
Points: 8234
I would probably look at a Swaro Z5.  http://swfa.com/Swarovski-Z5-Riflescopes-C1809.aspx

It will be significantly brighter than your Leupold.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 15:44
mike650 View Drop Down
Optics God
Optics God
Avatar

Joined: May/14/2006
Location: West of Rockies
Status: Offline
Points: 12182
Zeiss Conquest, same mag range, 1" tube. Do you feel that you need a 30mm tube?

http://www.samplelist.com/Zeiss-65-20x50-Conquest-Rifle-Scope-DEMO-B-P1534.aspx
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 15:45
Chris Farris II View Drop Down
TEAM SWFA - Staff
TEAM SWFA - Staff
Avatar
MODERATOR

Joined: August/13/2007
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 3006
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 15:48
Chris Farris II View Drop Down
TEAM SWFA - Staff
TEAM SWFA - Staff
Avatar
MODERATOR

Joined: August/13/2007
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 3006

What is the reason you are wanting a 30mm tube? It is a common misconception that it provides more light. A 30mm scope and a 1" tube scope in the same platform on the same magnification will provide the same amount of light. Going 1" will generally allow you to save some $$ and get better optics.



Edited by Chris Farris II - January/13/2011 at 16:02
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 15:55
bugsNbows View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Knight
Optics Jedi Knight
Avatar
bowsNbugs

Joined: March/10/2008
Location: Florida
Status: Offline
Points: 7132
Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

I would probably look at a Swaro Z5.  http://swfa.com/Swarovski-Z5-Riflescopes-C1809.aspx

It will be significantly brighter than your Leupold.


+1. I have three Swaros on my typically used deer rifles. ALL are great choices.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 16:00
Trigger slap View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: February/25/2010
Location: Kentucky
Status: Offline
Points: 122
   This is another good low light choice.  http://swfa.com/Trijicon-25-10x56-Accu-Point-30mm-Rifle-Scope-P12878.aspx
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 16:19
SVT_Tactical View Drop Down
Optics Retard
Optics Retard
Avatar
Chief Sackscratch

Joined: December/17/2009
Location: NorthCackalacky
Status: Offline
Points: 27707
Originally posted by Trigger slap Trigger slap wrote:

   This is another good low light choice.  http://swfa.com/Trijicon-25-10x56-Accu-Point-30mm-Rifle-Scope-P12878.aspx
Thats the one I am getting ready to order!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 16:20
jayleto View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: January/13/2011
Status: Offline
Points: 3
Thanks for the quick responses.  I'd be fine with a 1" tube.
 
Are there any side by side tests done on these scopes for low light conditions?
It's just a little overwhelming looking at them all.  Also, do I need a lighted reticle for hunting in low-light? 
 
I know Swaro, Zeiss, Trijicon, Schmidt are all great scopes.  Just not sure where they rank for low light hunting situations.
 
Jay
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 16:37
mike650 View Drop Down
Optics God
Optics God
Avatar

Joined: May/14/2006
Location: West of Rockies
Status: Offline
Points: 12182
Originally posted by jayleto jayleto wrote:

Thanks for the quick responses.  I'd be fine with a 1" tube.
 
Are there any side by side tests done on these scopes for low light conditions?
It's just a little overwhelming looking at them all.  Also, do I need a lighted reticle for hunting in low-light? 
 
I know Swaro, Zeiss, Trijicon, Schmidt are all great scopes.  Just not sure where they rank for low light hunting situations.
 
Jay


When you arrive at this point it's more of personal preference, options, and what you see through your eyes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 16:38
supertool73 View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
Optics Jedi Master
Avatar
Superstool

Joined: January/03/2008
Location: Utah
Status: Offline
Points: 8234
Having a Swaro and a Trijicon, I can say Swaro glass is better by quite a bit.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 16:41
Chris Farris II View Drop Down
TEAM SWFA - Staff
TEAM SWFA - Staff
Avatar
MODERATOR

Joined: August/13/2007
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 3006
At the same time the Trijicon is quite a bit better than the Leupold.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 16:52
mike650 View Drop Down
Optics God
Optics God
Avatar

Joined: May/14/2006
Location: West of Rockies
Status: Offline
Points: 12182
Preference wise, many love the way Trijicon addresses low light conditions.

I have to admit I do like the Swaro's though.  Wink





Edited by mike650 - January/13/2011 at 16:54
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 17:01
Johnny View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: December/23/2010
Location: Colorado
Status: Offline
Points: 99
If your shots are 150-200 yards, that 6-20 in any brand is not the scope you want. I think that 4 X 14 is too much power. I would go for a good 3-9 power at most. A 4-14 would be fine for antelope, but not deer in Miss. at 150-200 yards. IMHOBig GrinBig Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 17:52
RifleDude View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar

Joined: October/13/2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 12669
I agree with Johnny.  For typical woods hunting, where 300 yards is a long shot, I'd opt for a 1.5-6X42, 3-9X40, or 2.5-10X42 / 50.  They will provide all the magnification you need for twice that distance, and you'll save money as well.  Don't get too caught up in the "more is always better" magnification race.  Good optics trumps magnification in a general hunting scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 20:51
stickbow46 View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Avatar

Joined: January/07/2009
Location: Benton, Pa
Status: Offline
Points: 4411
I have just purchased a SwaroZ6I 1-6x24 off the SWFA sample list,all I can tell you is it is everything you will need for 200yd hunting.There is another on the list #SPL-12608.
 
The glass is very close to my Zeiss Victory FL & that is saying something.Looking forward to hunting with it.Ilya gave it a great write up,so what does that tell you?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 20:54
3_tens View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Knight
Optics Jedi Knight
Avatar

Joined: January/08/2007
Location: Oklahoma
Status: Offline
Points: 5990
The Conquest 3-9X50 with the German #4 Is very good for the money. It is a close second to the 3-10 X 50 Kahles CL. It is the best low light scope I own the Zeiss is only a small step down. That is because the contrast is better in the Kahles.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 21:10
ccoker View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master
Avatar

Joined: February/13/2008
Location: Austin, TX
Status: Offline
Points: 1918
I have done a lot of direct A/B low light testing on scopes
I can relate to what you are saying, but on the flip side of the equation

My brother and I hunt together, he used a VX2-3-9x40 with a standard reticle
I am ALWAYS out hunting 15 minutes past him, at least!
In fact he jokes about it, I don't quit until I can't see my finger in front of my face


For the money, the 3-9x40 Accupoint is arguably the best hunting scope around
great glass, great ill ret system, etc..

Like 3_Tens mentioned, I have a Kahles CL 3-10x50 with a reticle
GREAT low light scope, if there are any on the samplelist I would check into it
It will get you a few extra minutes or allow a little longer shot at last light over the 3-9 Accupoint

a good bold reticle like a #4 is a lot better than a simple duplex too..

I also agree with Rifledude, glass trumps magnification
I am using a 1.5-6x42 S&B as a primary hunting optic, and I can tell you that a deer or hog 200 yards out at last legal shooting light (and past!) doesn't stand a chance

I have usually gone with higher power scopes but the S&B glass is so good I do not feel hindered hunting out to 400 yards whatsoever

Most people (and I have done it) go for more power to "see better" when what they really need is better glass...





Edited by ccoker - January/13/2011 at 21:14
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 21:20
robbie View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: November/13/2007
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 132

"Like 3_Tens mentioned, I have a Kahles CL 3-10x50 with a reticle"

On SWFA page I only see Kahles CSX and K.  Where do I find CL?
Thanks
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2011 at 22:29
3_tens View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Knight
Optics Jedi Knight
Avatar

Joined: January/08/2007
Location: Oklahoma
Status: Offline
Points: 5990
The CSX is the same quality glass but with an Illuminated reticle. The all the Kahles are now 30 mm rather than 1" tube. After Swaro took over the prices doubled also. Watch the sample list or Ebay.  The CL line was closed out 2 years ago. Most people are like me, the Kahles is the last scope I would part with.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 03:49
seawolf View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: February/11/2008
Location: Norway
Status: Offline
Points: 109
One of the best scopes for low light is the Zeiss Victory Diavari in 3-12x56.
The Lotu Tec coating works great, and the lense quality, color retention, and contrast is top class!
 
Another good scope for such hunting is the Zeiss Victory Diavari in 2,5-10x50 with Lotu Tec.
A light scope with supreme qualities.
 
Also the S&B and Zeiss Classic in 1,5-6x42 are a good option which give you the best of both worlds; Low magnification in dense and dark woods, but still enough magnification to take game out to 250 - 300 yds.
 
The thing that can be tricky (if not used to it) is the reticle in the first focal plane (FFP) which get bigger as you cranck up the magnification.
But the point is that the reticle size is always constant to the size of the target.
On a non illuminated sight I would go for a #4 or #8 reticle for the sort of hunting you describe.
 
I have no personal experience with the Swarovski scopes, but people who use them here where I live, says they are just as good as Zeiss.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 04:15
jetwrnch View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: July/03/2006
Location: Knoxville, TN
Status: Offline
Points: 294
For the money it's hard to beat the Elite 4200 scopes right now. For a little more the Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 MC for $400 is a great deal.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 06:39
tman1965 View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master
Avatar

Joined: July/20/2010
Location: South Georgia
Status: Offline
Points: 1456
Given your budget, I would go with the swaro and never look back.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 08:40
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar
Resident Redneck

Joined: June/20/2005
Location: Iowa
Status: Offline
Points: 13212
SPL10478 Swarovski 2-12x50 Z6i Riflescope DEMO-A Click to view
59338, Matte, Illuminated 4A, 30mm
$2,099.99
SPL11999 Swarovski 2-12x50 Z6i Riflescope DEMO-A Click to view
59337, Matte, Illuminated Ballistic Reticle, 30mm
$2,199.95
To begin with I believe that you need to consider a lower power range than you are currently working with.  The reason is that the "exit eye pupil" amount of light reaching your eye is determined by dividing the size of the objective by the power you have the scope set at. Ex. 42mm divided by 6x gives a 7mm exit eye pupil which is as bright as a young man could use. As we age our eyes may not dialate to a full 7mm pupil size.  12x on the high end is not what you are used to but for hunting its still quite a bit and the value of having 2x on the low end may well get you onto a moving target or close target that a 6.5x would have difficulty finding.  The quality of the glass in the Z6i is bar non the best that can be had anywhere at any price there is  none better. When considering a 50 vx a 56 mm objective one also should consider cheekweld as most guys feel pretty comfortable with a 50mm on most hunting rifles. With 56mm you may need to add some type of cheek pad or adjustable cheek rest. Illuminated reticle scopes are a significant advantage in low light.  Most guys really like a #4 reticle due to its simple design and open viewing area in the top half of the scope. The balistic reticle is of value however in full light at extreme long range but would be used at the maximum magnification of the scope.  Considering that you are shooting mostly at 200 to 300 yds either would do but if you had opportunity to hunt other places where longer distances might be more common the balistic reticle would be my pick. If however you do any stalk and hunt in brush country the #4 is the ticket especially with illumination on 2x its like having a red dot scope so ideal in brush country.   Also remember that SWFA will take your current scope in trade toward the one you want.  http://www.samplelist.com/TradeInForm.aspx
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 09:29
ccoker View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master
Avatar

Joined: February/13/2008
Location: Austin, TX
Status: Offline
Points: 1918
Good advice above
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  1 2>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Similar Threads: "Best Low-Light hunting scope?"
Subject Author Forum Replies Last Post
Good cheap low light condition scope cbback Rifle Scopes 14
low light hunting scope duckhunter92 Rifle Scopes 21
8x42/43 for Hunting and Good Low Light Performance GunAround Binoculars 24
good turrets on lower end scopes urbaneruralite Rifle Scopes 3
Low Light Scope under/around $700 Havock Rifle Scopes 23
Low light Scope Mike52 Rifle Scopes 0
scope for low light zdub Rifle Scopes 9
Low/no light scope options for 30-06 oyster Rifle Scopes 24
Best low-light Scope kuntry_kid Rifle Scopes 31
Need good low light binoculars for less than $500 BigDad Binoculars 1


This page was generated in 0.328 seconds.