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How high on low will you go?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2010 at 21:26
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 For a true tactical use what is the highest low side of magnification you would be comfortable running? 

 As I debate various optics the spread ( say a 3-9 vs a 5-25 ) of magnification is one thing but there's no free lunch.  How much on the low end can you justify to get something on the high side to be versatile. 

 As I use a rifle in multiple roles, say I wanna play a little bench rest one weekend, shoot an egg at 300 but not change anything to slip it back into the bag and into the trunk. 

 This is more to bring up thoughts than to shop scopes.

 Anyone?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2010 at 22:10
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I would go no higher than 4x on the low end. That's just me, and I'm more a hunter than a tactical shooter. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2010 at 22:18
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Personally if im running tactical situations (ie CQC) i want a true 1x or a scope like the nightforce NXS 1-4 for medium length shooting.

Obviously there are different types of tactical situations but i'm guessing you are referring to the CQC type and therefor i really want little to no magnification myself.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2010 at 23:00
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Depends on the application but I can't see going over 5X. A 3-15X handles a lot of range. I'd go as low and compact as possible.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2010 at 02:16
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Agree with jono. But there is no free lunch. To enjoy the "benchrest" and egg shooting I would prefer something up to 20X. I shoot at non-moving targets quite OK with an 8X, but would hate to try it with moving targets inside 100m.
Some people suggest that shooting at non-moving targets up close that more magnification is better. See what magnification airrifle guys use. Forget the story about you shake more with bigger magnification. You shake the same, you just see how much you shake with the bigger magnification.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2010 at 08:06
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I'll add: There are some scopes with some pretty impressive ranges: 1-8X (which, just speaking for myself, I'd find good from 10-400 yards. Or 2-12 (IOR), 3-15 (Premier, NF)  3.2-17 (USO), 3-20 (S&B), 3.8-22 (USO), 4-16 (Vortex, Hensoldt). Depending on the objective size (for low-light shooting) a scope with 3 on the low end and an erector of 5 or more would be quite versatile out to ranges of 700-1000 yards, depending on conditions.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2010 at 09:00
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I can get by with 4x for CQB but it's not my first pick. 2x is about as low as you can go and still keep both eyes open for CQB without screwing with your vision and sight picture. I think 1.5x is an excellent option as it doesn't blurr really close targets and still gives a little magnification for close and mid-range targets for rapid sight pictures. That said, I did try a 2-7x 40 Redfield scope for a tactical scope, but it just didn't seem to work for me and I can't tell you why, could be eyes didn't do well on 2x, now I use that scope for squirrels and usually on 3x.
That's my .02. Gotta go.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2010 at 09:14
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USO SN3 1.8-10X is about as close to perfect for "all around" as I can find at the moment.

If you will never be needing the gun for close-up shooting (close range, multiple targets), I'd say a good 3-15 would be about perfect. At 3X, I am comfortable with moving targets inside 100 yards, and 15X can get you out past 1,000 yards if needed.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2010 at 10:26
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 Let me clarify a bit here.  The thoughts are not saying CQB.  I have an AR and a Shotty for that task. 
 It's my 700 in .308 that may serve as my dedicated precision gun.  That said we know the average length of shot the L.E. Sniper takes is under 100 years.  I have a 2.5 - 10 IOR on the 5R right now and it works well for my perception of the L.E. work.  Now when I get out and play around with longer stuff like above I am not feeling the x10 is quite enough.

 Like before this is not intended to be a scope debate in itself, more of a discussion of the pros and cons of the magnification.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2010 at 10:40
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For an "all around" shooter (not multiple targets at close range), it's hard to beat a good 3-15 or 3-12.  A 3-9X would work great on anything inside 600 yards (and the SS3-9X is a great deal) but if shots beyond 600 might be made, I'd say go more for 12X to 15X on the top end, at least for me.

S&B is coming out with a 3-20 which would be great (assuming a good FOV on the low end - which might not be a good assumption) but be ready to pay out the a$$ for it.


When I am in similar circumstances, i look to 3-12s or 3-15s, they do many, many things well.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2010 at 12:16
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I agree with Rancid.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2010 at 16:24
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Originally posted by opeagle opeagle wrote:

...this is not intended to be a scope debate in itself, more of a discussion of the pros and cons of the magnification.


I don't think anyone's pushing one scope or type over another. It's just hard to talk about why one would choose a particular low end without considering purpose and target ranges. And that brings in particular magnification ranges and scopes because a scope's low end is tethered to its high end by the erector ratio. Even though there are a few examples of scopes using a 6X or greater erector, mostly you gotta decide what distance range will be most likely and get a scope that does best at that range.

For a .308 it's hard to go wrong with anything in the 3-12/15 range. And if you can't afford what's good in that range, I also will say the SS 3-9 is a great scope for the price.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2010 at 17:34
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Now, let's talk budget, that's where it gets real interesting.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2010 at 17:54
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I use different scopes for different applications and different calibers.  I use a 1.5x and a 3x compact ACOG and an aimpoint COMP M4s for up close and I tend to use 3-9, 3.5-10, and fixed 10 x for most of my several hundred yard shots.  Im still looking for something with more magnification and really like the 4-16 range but I believe I could live with a 6-20.  As for the 8.5-25 I have one and it doesnt go low enough but I  run some fixed 6x scopes and they are a good mid range optic as I can get onto targets pretty good from about 50 yds to 600 yds.   One thing you can do is run a second optic like a small red dot rideing piggyback or run a laser for up close.

Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - July/21/2010 at 17:57
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2010 at 20:43
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 So between what's posted 3 or 4 is low end most think is good for a tactical non CQB precision rifle in .308.  In my somewhat limited experience I agree that 5 or 6 may hamper my ability for the L.E. end use of this 5R .308. 
 
 Where I am having a hard time with the 10 on top is getting enough for small benchrest type stuff out in the 300 yard range.  Maybe I am asking too much but I really want to play with only one system.  Easy enough to get higher magnification, but I don't want to take the low end beyond 3 or 4 and negate the ability to use it on movers or close in work.

 As usual good thoughts and Jono and Rancid may have said it best.  3-15 or so is hard to beat.

 I'm not shopping, rather pondering.  3-20, wouldn't that be spiffy? 
 Interesting how as the cash outlay follows the erector travel.

  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/22/2010 at 02:15
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From my own experience the following:

We are required to engage targets from 38m to 350m in field competions. No moving targets but a time limit. Mostly 8-12 targets next to one another, with each target numbered for shooters 1-8 or 1-12 etc. In other words you must shoot on only your target. So field of view plays a role, specially inside 100m. Then we have gongs out to 350m , only one hanging. Again I have seen shooters struggle to find it in the time limit. Again a field of view issue on the higher magnification.
This all said and done, I personally prefer the highest possible magnification, shooting the whole field on 25X, except inside 50m, where I bring it down to 8,5X, mainly for field of view as we have to shoot 5 shots in 45 sec.
For precision shooting magnification (with good glass) is the name of the game for me.
If the wind blows for example, I aim left edge of the gong, inside left edge etc, something I cannot do on a 10X magnification etc.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/22/2010 at 09:00
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I am just the opposite of 8shots.  I don't care to use anything over 10 to 12x out to 600 to 700 yards.  I don't care for the shake in my scope and the tiny exit pupil that degrads my nice bright image at higher powers.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/22/2010 at 11:42
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I personally see no use for anything past a 20 at most on the top end. I am not a fan of the graying effect that happens once you start upwards of 15X. And that's in bright daylight too.
Then there is the eye box that starts getting very picky as well. It's not a big deal at the ranges. But put into a real life situation, where you have allowed yourself to become dependent upon magnification, and it can get hairy fast. Naturally a larger objective end helps, but that also adds weight. For these reasons I just don't see a need for a truly Tactical scope to get higher than 20 on the top end.
If you can make kill shots all day long with iron sights at 100 yards you don't need anything over a 10X for 1000 yards. 
Remember we are talking Tactical here. So forget what the range queens and tacticool better than you are types are using. Pay for better glass, better construction, and lowest useable maginification range.
You won't find anything less than around 300 dollars or more that is going to fit the bill.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/22/2010 at 12:04
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Originally posted by cyborg cyborg wrote:

I personally see no use for anything past a 20 at most on the top end. I am not a fan of the graying effect that happens once you start upwards of 15X. And that's in bright daylight too.
Then there is the eye box that starts getting very picky as well. It's not a big deal at the ranges. But put into a real life situation, where you have allowed yourself to become dependent upon magnification, and it can get hairy fast. Naturally a larger objective end helps, but that also adds weight. For these reasons I just don't see a need for a truly Tactical scope to get higher than 20 on the top end.
If you can make kill shots all day long with iron sights at 100 yards you don't need anything over a 10X for 1000 yards. 
Remember we are talking Tactical here. So forget what the range queens and tacticool better than you are types are using. Pay for better glass, better construction, and lowest useable maginification range.
You won't find anything less than around 300 dollars or more that is going to fit the bill.


Absolutely spot on. Well said sir. Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2010 at 11:05
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I'm in the same boat.  I was going to try to do this by research only without asking any (probably dumb) questions, but I give.
 
I'd like something for an AR platform that will let me see 5.56 holes at 100 yards, take hunting shots at no more than 200, and function (or at least not get in the way) as a HD optic.  I went from a (military) trigger puller to a chairborne warrior not long after the Aimpoint influx, so I have zero experience with magnified optics.
 
I was leaning towards just getting two different medium quality scopes, ponying up for good QD mounts, and swapping as needed.  When I started adding up the cost (4200 3x9 + Larue), plus a yet-to-be-determined 1x4 (or fixed 1.5-2?) + Larue, I was bumping up against an uncomfortable figure.  If I'm spending $800-$1000 and something like a TR20 will do it all, am I better off with one scope?  10 years ago I'd be fine with iron sights, but my eyes aren't getting better with age, and if somebody else has to use the weapon (wife), they don't have the muscle memory I do.  I'd really like an illuminated optic (or laser?) + the 4200 for target/hunting.  I don't really want to spend over $1000, and would much prefer to spend half that.  I'm a casual (3 or so times/year) hunter, and the odds of me needing a HD carbine are low low low.  I just believe in insurance.Big Smile  With no scope experience, I might be just as happy with a $100 hunting scope with a decent mount, re-zero as needed, and the Leatherwood CMR.  Too many choices.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2010 at 12:38
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AR's are tough on scopes. Don't ever skimp when the rifle is an AR type. Get the best scope you can afford. Get the best glass you can, and forget about the added magnification. A well built scope, with good to great resolution is the best way to go. 12X on the top side should allow you to see bullet holes @ 100 yards if you great resolution. 15, or 20 if you have good resolution.
On my AR, I use a Nikon Monarch X 2.5-10X 44, that allows me to see .308 bullet holes at 150 yards. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2010 at 12:42
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Oh yeah.... Welcome to Optics Talk.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2010 at 13:04
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good glass will trump magnification when it comes to seeing those bullet holes like you want
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2010 at 13:07
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Exactly. Good magnification (useable determinate upon vision), and good to great resolution will get the results he wants.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2010 at 13:15
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Originally posted by Flats Flats wrote:

I'm in the same boat.  I was going to try to do this by research only without asking any (probably dumb) questions, but I give.
 
I'd like something for an AR platform that will let me see 5.56 holes at 100 yards, take hunting shots at no more than 200, and function (or at least not get in the way) as a HD optic.  I went from a (military) trigger puller to a chairborne warrior not long after the Aimpoint influx, so I have zero experience with magnified optics.
 
I was leaning towards just getting two different medium quality scopes, ponying up for good QD mounts, and swapping as needed.  When I started adding up the cost (4200 3x9 + Larue), plus a yet-to-be-determined 1x4 (or fixed 1.5-2?) + Larue, I was bumping up against an uncomfortable figure.  If I'm spending $800-$1000 and something like a TR20 will do it all, am I better off with one scope?  10 years ago I'd be fine with iron sights, but my eyes aren't getting better with age, and if somebody else has to use the weapon (wife), they don't have the muscle memory I do.  I'd really like an illuminated optic (or laser?) + the 4200 for target/hunting.  I don't really want to spend over $1000, and would much prefer to spend half that.  I'm a casual (3 or so times/year) hunter, and the odds of me needing a HD carbine are low low low.  I just believe in insurance.Big Smile  With no scope experience, I might be just as happy with a $100 hunting scope with a decent mount, re-zero as needed, and the Leatherwood CMR.  Too many choices.

I would suggest you look at Trijicon Accupoint 3-9x40.  It will do most of what you need:

If you really feel compelled to have a red dot on it, you can try to add a small red dot to it over time either in separate QD mount or mounted onto the Accupoint.

There are a multiple nice options.  For example, you could try Warne's new mount that allows for mounting both primary and secondary sights:

Then you can add a small reddot like an Aimpoint Micro or any other decent miniature sight (with Burris Fastfire probably being the cheapest decent one).

Nice thing about multi-piece setup like this is that you do not have to buy it all at the same time.

You do not have to buy top of the line stuff, but it is usually better to buy decent optics even if it takes longer.

That having been said, you can go with a cheaper primary scope than the Aimpoint.  If you want an illuminated reticle, the cheapest good quality option is this (it is heavily discounted right now; it used to be over $300):

Everything else can be the same, except you would need a 30mm mount.  If you go with this approach, you can have the following:

Hawke Endurance 30 3-9x42: $179
Warne 30mm MultiSight mount:  $199
Aimpoint Micro H-1: $564

With this you stay within $1000 for the whole thing.  You can go with a less expensive red-dot sight to stay within lower budget as well.

ILya
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