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Help decide...Zeiss Conquest HD /Vortex Viper PST

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/15/2014 at 22:55
Trailblazer View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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I'm a new poster on this forum, and I appologize in advance for so many questions about topics that may have been covered before.  I've done a lot of searching and reading, but still can't quite decide which scope to buy. For a while now, I've wanted to purchase a Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14 with a Rapid Z 1000 reticle, which is no longer made.  Now my only option for the Rapid Z 1000 is the Conquest HD 5-25 (in the $1K price range).  With the current sale going on, I was thinking about "biting the bullet", but I'm being tempted by the Vortex Viper PST 6-24 with the EBR-2.

The scope will be for my Rem. 700 26" Heavy barrel .308 Win.  It will be mostly for "tactical" target shooting, but may occassionally be used for medium-long range hunting.  As such, low light performance as well as shooting into shady or darker areas will be a factor.  I would like the ability to shoot targets out to 1000 yards, but most shooting will probably be in the 200-700 yard range.

Here are my concerns/questions.  Any help with one, two, or all of them, would be appreciated. Don't feel like you need to answer them all, but have at it if you can!

- Is the Rapid Z 1000 reticle truly a viable option for accurate holdovers with match ammo and/or hunting bullets with similar ballisitics?  In other words, does it really work, or is it more of a gimmick? Can it be used to take ethical shoots in hunting situations without making turret adjustments?

-The ballistic calculator for my load is showing a suggested magnification setting of 23.5x for the Rapid Z.  Is this too much for target shooting at closer ranges (200-500 yds)? (16X is the highest power scope I've ever owned) 

-If I need to shoot at 100 or 200 yards, do I still need to be on 23.5x, or can I be on 5x? The subtensions for ranges 100-400 are above the center crosshair, so my fear is that they are only accurate on the suggested power???

-Which would be better for low light...the Zeiss with the better glass and lower 5X lowest setting, or the Viper with the illuminated reticle?  My instincts are that if I can't see the target, then I can't shoot it, making the Zeiss the better option.  But then again, if i can't see my reticle, I can't shoot either.

-When I looked through the Viper it seems to get grainy at high power. The Zeiss was definitely better at high power, but the difference was less at lower powers (although the Zeiss was still better) I only looked through them inside a large building, so how do they compare outside?  How much better are the Zeiss optics, and is there enough difference that the Zeiss will perform better (more accurately) at longer ranges?

-Does the FFP EBR-2 reticle on the Viper get too big at high power for target shooting?

-The Zeiss I looked through was a Rapid Z 800, which appeared to be a bit too heavy for my liking.  Does the RZ-1000 have the same thickness lines, or are they finer?

-Are there any quality issues with either scope?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/17/2014 at 09:03
billyburl2 View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
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Second focal plane scopes with Christmas tree reticles have never made any sense to me at all. The having to pick a mag from a dial that may or may not be accurate, to have the bullet land where you want it to, not for me!
The glass will be better on the Zeiss, especially in low light. But the feature of the Vortex give it the edge as a target scope.
My opinion idea colored by the fact that I dial elevation and hold for wind. As the type of shooting I do is seldom at square ranges and I trust my knobs more than my eyeball.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/17/2014 at 09:40
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Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks for the reply! These are some of my same concerns, but having never used one, I'm trying to gather opinions.

What is appealing to me is that the Zeiss reticle is specifically made for .308 Match ammo.  The big question is, how accurate is it.  I'm not looking for target shooting precision.  But if it's accurate enough to quickly engage 18" steel plates all the way to 1000 yards without making click adjustments, I think it's something I would be interested in.  I can always resort to dialing in adjustments if I want to, and the only disadvantage I would have by doing that is dealing with the extra clutter of the reticle.

One thing I was reading about that I didn't consider is that some people dial the scopes back to use the center crosshair for a 100 or 200 yard zero at any power, and then they can dial it back up to "active" the reticle.

Even with hours of researching forums and reviews, I still cannot get a firm idea of how accurate the reticle is.  I read the word "ballpark" a lot, but that means different things to different people.  All I'm looking for is if "in the ballpark" would mean what I stated above, which is the ability to hit an 18" target at all of the ranges, or at least up to 800 or 900 yards, by using the holdovers (assuming I'm doing my part, the gun is doing it's part, and conditions are ideal)



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/17/2014 at 22:02
billyburl2 View Drop Down
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The thing that gets me about ballistic reticles is the fact that they are only going to accurate in the ballpark sense, and thatis only at one muzzle velocity and atmospheric pressure. Most adjustment knobs are graduatedi in either .1 mils(my personal choice), or 1/4 MOA. Both are going to be more accurate than eyeballing the correction through the reticle. Which by the way, if it is a hunting situation with a second focal plane reticle, and your mag got turned down, its way off!
Go use Ziess' ballistic calculator, and just change the temp and humidity for how much it changes in your area, and see how much it changes the point of impact... Now imagine if you change the altitude as well, it is not a cure all.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2014 at 14:40
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Optics GrassHopper
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Understood.  These are all good points.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2014 at 14:49
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Optics GrassHopper
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I also wonder how the ballistic calculator factors in scope height.  There is nowhere to enter that data.  Wonder what their default setting is.
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