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Dangerous Game Rifle Scope

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2015 at 17:02
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I asked this question to several mods. One suggested that I also ask the collective hive. So here it is:

I need a dangerous game rifle scope for a .416 rifle. I will be traveling to Africa to hunt cape buffalo, hippo and possibly crocodile. A Professional hunter in Africa recommended the Leupold VX-3 1.5-5x20. He stated that it is a very popular hunting scope. More important is my ability to shoot the rifle. I visited the local store and conversed with the salesman who tried selling me the Leupold VX-6 1-6x24 over the VX-3. Claiming it was a much better deal. However, a once in a life time safari shouldn't be compromised, and the Schmidt & Bender Zenith 1.1-5x24 was the best. In fact the best scopes are the European because of the optics. What have you used on safari? Any suggestions? Thanks.

Charles

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2015 at 19:03
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Charles, welcome to OT.

There are several variants of .416, all with differing recoil characteristics.  Which is yours?  Below is not all the available calibers:                                             
                                                          
                                                                                 rifle weight   recoil energy recoil velocity 
416 Taylor (400 at 2350)10.047.817.5
.416 Rem. Mag. (400 at 2400)10.052.918.5
.416 Rigby (400 at 2400)10.058.119.3
.416 Dakota (400 at 2500)10.059.219.5
.416 Wby. Mag. (400 at 2700)10.2583.022.8
1st off, not a Leupold fan, bad experience long ago… I've never forgiven them.  When I was scoping my .458 Lott, I phoned Leupold in Oregon.  The CS person who spoke with me told me "we do not have a variable scope that we recommend for .458 Lott".  I DID admire his straightforward honesty.  So, I have a Zeiss Conquest fixed 4x on the Lott.  It is my "go to" deer rifle.  I'm told by users that the .416 WbyMag approaches the Lott in "moment of recoil".   If you have the Weatherby, I suggest a fixed power scope.  I have a Pentax Gameseeker that I've tried out on every heavy banger I have except .378 Weatherby Magnum… just never got around to it… and it is fine today.  Leupold has a 2.5x fixed that is highly recommended for the type of hunting you suggest.  You are not likely to encounter those game animals at very long ranges… 2x, 4x should be excellent.

As far as the VX-3 1.5-5… I believe it is a very good scope for DG hunting, widely used and respected.  I would own one.  The VX-6 is supposed to be superior, but I can only say that the ones I've looked through appear to have better glass.  SImilar in feel to the VX-3.  

S&B is a fine scope…  without a "random quality flaw" (unlikely in this caliber of scope) I seriously doubt it would fail you… definitely Alpha glass, great mechanicals. 
Zeiss makes a 1.1-4 DG scope Victory.  Miuch like the S&B quality, but PRICEY.  However, no one wants to skip when it comes to dangerous game.  

If money is no object, get one of the Alpha scopes, if you are looking at value, badly as I hate to say it, the Leupolds look pretty good.  A fixed power somewhere between 2x and 4x would be my personal choice for the animals you mentioned.  The ranges you are likely to encounter those animals… 4x is plenty.  2x to 2.5x has been touted as "all you ever need".  A charging cape buffalo isn't going to give you time to adjust down… just in case you somehow got bumped to a higher power.  
Sounds like a fun trip… Qapla' batlh je...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2015 at 19:24
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.416 Remington Magnum
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2015 at 19:41
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Nice caliber.  I wouldn't be afraid to use the Leupold.  As I said it is a well respected, much used DG scope.  It is a good value.  Not the best glass, better than moderate.  Leupold is what Leupold is…  
Would I prefer Zeiss or S&B… sure.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2015 at 19:46
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Looking at the Schmidt & Bender Stratos 1.1-5x24 and the Steiner Nighthunter Xtreme 1-5x24. I did not like the reticle of the Zeiss Victory HT 1.1-4x24. I gravitate towards the German #4 style.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2015 at 19:51
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Next week if I take a day off from work. I found a store that has the Leupold VX-6, Steiner Xtreme and one other in stock. If I tell them ahead they will hold it and let me compare them in the evening. Professional hunter informed me that I didn't need low light/night scope. This type of hunting will be done during daylight hours.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2015 at 20:00
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Originally posted by Whale Whale wrote:

Looking at the Schmidt & Bender Stratos 1.1-5x24 and the Steiner Nighthunter Xtreme 1-5x24. I did not like the reticle of the Zeiss Victory HT 1.1-4x24. I gravitate towards the German #4 style.


Yes, I can see leaning toward the #4, but the #40 Zeiss reticle is a #4 with an illuminated red dot....  I am actually more partial to the #1, but it is hard to find in a scope I like.  I have a Kahles ZF84 on my FNH FNAR.  

Personally, the ones you mention above, I would go with the S&B.  Steiner is good, though.  Just my preference.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2015 at 23:58
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Originally posted by Whale Whale wrote:

I asked this question to several mods. One suggested that I also ask the collective hive. So here it is:

I need a dangerous game rifle scope for a .416 rifle. I will be traveling to Africa to hunt cape buffalo, hippo and possibly crocodile. A Professional hunter in Africa recommended the Leupold VX-3 1.5-5x20. He stated that it is a very popular hunting scope. More important is my ability to shoot the rifle. I visited the local store and conversed with the salesman who tried selling me the Leupold VX-6 1-6x24 over the VX-3. Claiming it was a much better deal. However, a once in a life time safari shouldn't be compromised, and the Schmidt & Bender Zenith 1.1-5x24 was the best. In fact the best scopes are the European because of the optics. What have you used on safari? Any suggestions? Thanks.

Charles


I actually used an el cheapo 4X Simmons believe it or not.  It worked on a 300 Win Mag..
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2015 at 07:53
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I still think the Trijicon 1-4 Accupoint would make a good DG scope...... super quick to pick up the reticle.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2015 at 09:24
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I have the 1.5-5x20 as a back up in Talley QD's for my .375 H&H. It is a fine scope. My primary is a Kahles 1.1-4x24 with a 4A. It is a fantastic scope.
You can't go wrong with the Zenith, use one on a 30.06 Cooper in 1.5-6x42 with #7 reticle. Great optics and reticle.............
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2015 at 10:09
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Originally posted by SVT_Tactical SVT_Tactical wrote:


I still think the Trijicon 1-4 Accupoint would make a good DG scope...... super quick to pick up the reticle.


Great scopes and i love mine. But may be a bit short on eye relief for the bigger kickers.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2015 at 12:24
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Originally posted by Whale Whale wrote:

I asked this question to several mods. One suggested that I also ask the collective hive. 

What a brilliant Moderator. Dare I say... jeenious. Big Grin
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2015 at 12:29
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......it takes a village.....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2015 at 12:30
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Originally posted by tahqua tahqua wrote:

I have the 1.5-5x20 as a back up in Talley QD's for my .375 H&H. 


An excellent comment. Don't forget the rings. Talley's are tits. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2015 at 12:42
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( How about open sights for Dangerous Game?....)        
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2015 at 12:44
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Thanks Cheaptrick for your advice. Also, thank you to all of the other moderators and forum members for your suggestions.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2015 at 12:54
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Your welcome. 

I was sure the forum members could help you as they have done MANY times, for many people before you. 
Optics Talk is a very unique place. I'm honored to be associated with it.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2015 at 16:57
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Originally posted by Son of Ed Son of Ed wrote:

......it takes a village.....
 
 
Smile  Yes it does!!!!  
 
My question is why do we always seem to end up with the run-aways.....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2015 at 17:31
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I have a Nikon 2-7 X 32 on my DG Kimber Squirrel rifle. Works great!
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I like iron sights on big guns… I have a few that are still "scopeless"
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2015 at 00:10
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This sorta comes down to how much money you want to spend.

Many European scopes are very good because they are built to a higher price point.  By and large, simply being made in Europe does not make them better or worse.
ILya  AKA  Koshkin replied:

Ultimately, it comes down to your budget and application.

416 and dangerous game mean that you want to have very good performance at low magnification first and foremost along with long and flexible eyerelief.

For that, I would be looking at, in order of increasing price:

Leupold VX-6 1-6x24 
Vortex Razor Gen 2 1-6x24
Kahles K15i 1-5x24
Steiner Nighthunter 1-5x24
Kahles K16i 1-6x24

Trijicon Accupoint 1-6x24 also looks very promising, but I do not have any significant time with it.

Good luck with your choice.
ILya
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RifleDude wrote:

Hi, Charles --

Yes indeed, the S&B Zenith 1.1-4X24 is optically better than Leupold VX-6 16X24. No doubt. The same goes for the S&B Zenith 1-8X24, Swarovski Z6 & Z6i 1-6X24 and Zeiss Victory HT 1.1-4X24. All of those are very close. They are all unquestionably better than the Leupold VX-6. But they're also between 2-4 times more expensive, so they'd better be. Though better in an absolute sense, when you buy these premium scopes, you're paying a premium price for marginal performance improvements. The performance difference won't be proportional to the increase in price. That's just the way it works with optics. Beyond a certain point (above the upper mid range), slight increases in performance comes with a significant increase in price. The question then becomes how much are you willing to pay and at what level of performance is "good enough" for you?

The Leupold VX-6 series is very good. I doubt you'd be disappointed in it at all. For that matter, the VX-3 series scopes aren't shabby either. It's pretty easy to make an optically superb scope at such low power anyway.

What is way more important, especially on a heavy recoiling rifle, is mechanical integrity. If a scope doesn't withstand heavy recoil punishment and maintain zero, having the best optics in the world is useless, as a scope is first and foremost an aiming device. S&B scopes have a reputation for being mechanically tough and handling heavy recoil. I don't know if the Zenith is really any better in that regard than the other scopes mentioned, and I have no way of really knowing. I just know that you seldom ever hear of a S&B failing mechanically.

Although I don't have those exact models, I do have a Zenith, a couple of Zeiss Victory scopes, and a Swarovski Z6i, among other premium scopes. I don't have a Leupold VX-6, but have spent trigger time behind one. All of those scopes are very very good, and you won't make a mistake in selecting any of them. 

Only you can determine whether the marginal improvement in optical performance is worth $1K - $2K more.

Ted
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RE: Dangerous Game Scope
Schmidt & Bender 1.1-4x24 Zenith 30mm Riflescope #7 Schmidt & Bender 1.1-4x24 Zenith 30mm Riflescope
Stock # - 9767Z
  • Matte
  • #7
  • 30mm
  • Dangerous Game
$1,499.95 < id=ctl00_wpm_CategoryGrid_ctl04_ProductList_ctl07_Price_VS value=pUsUb7qo91RXH1NdszrFwyGfu69Xo67lzoF2cN5qg9SJnEUTtc0dy5pSo6LS/yIH = name=ctl00$wpm$CategoryGrid$ctl04$ProductList$ctl07$Price$VS>
This is pretty hard to beat.  There are some other considerations you have to take into account when purchasing a dangerous game scope one has to realize the rifle action is longer than most common hunting calibers therefore a scope that offers some flexibility as far as distance between rings is important. The problem one can encounter is that some scopes that are not straight tube simply dont allow enough distance between rings to mount the optic.  One of the things I will suggest is that La Rue Tactical offers quick detach rings  LT107 I believe and they will return to zero.
you might also want to think about having either an illumiated aimpoint  as a back up optic.   Illumination is nice for things that hunt you at night a friend of mine has a lioness in his den that came into camp at night after them. You might also ask Rancid Coolaid he has hunted Africa recently.
Aimpoint 9000L 30mm Red Dot Sight 2 MOA Dot Aimpoint 9000L 30mm Red Dot Sight
Stock # - AIM11419
  • Matte
  • 2 MOA Dot
  • 30mm
  • Free Aimpoint Bikini Lens Cover w/ Purchase
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2015 at 08:47
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I have an Aimpoint Hunter on my .375 H&H.  Love it.  Zeroed at 300 yards.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2015 at 22:02
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Taqua,

I didn't see the Kahles 1.1-4x24 with a 4A reticle. Is it a discontinued model? I found the Kahles K15i 1-5x24 and the Kahles Helia 1-5x24.

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