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Illminated scopes reliability--Your experience

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2011 at 22:35
moeman View Drop Down
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Trying to pick a new scope (my first illuminated)... I read on the net (here and elsewhere) that Burris and Leupold have spotty reliability records.The most experienced shooter I know who used to sell scopes and other shooting supplies for years (now retired and sold his business) states that the only scopes he thinks have reliable illumination are Trijicon (he owns many awesome scopes from Zeiss, Leupold ans Swarovski--most not illuminated).

 
I wonder if his info is dated since he's been retired for a few years now.
 
What are your experiences with $250-1000 illuminated scopes in 1-4x, 1.5-6x and similar re; reliability? Going on an AR.
 
 Also, I have read that many scopes are not daylight visible--a secondary concern. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2011 at 22:44
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I don't know how they are made , but I would think it's something else to seal against things getting in and out.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2011 at 22:50
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Just sent my Burris Signature 3-9x40 back to get the electro-dot fixed, I think it was the switch the way it quit. Have another like it,  no issues yet.
Daylight capability of the ill. dot is not a factor for me.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2011 at 00:26
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I've had no issues with Aimpoint.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2011 at 00:49
moeman View Drop Down
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I'm sure Aimpoints are rock solid... The Swedes make the best red dot, no question.
 
But i'm looking for a variable scope not a red dot. For a fixed scope, I'd buy an ACOG and be done with it...
 
But i want 1-4x or 1.5-?X mybe even 2x-?x but not an 3-?X
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2011 at 03:52
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I had a Bushnell Elite 4200 1.25-4 with illum dot and #4 reticle.  The illum was completely reliable for the year or so I had it on a 5.56 AR.  They're nice scopes and can be had at good prices right now.  I sold it to help offset the cost of another Accupoint, which I prefer.
 
I also have a Bushnell 2.5-10 with similar reticle which has been completely reliable.
 
Neither of the illum dots are much help in bright daylight, but the #4 reticles are bold and easy to pick up.  The dots are great for night hunting, though.
 
I have three different models of Accupoints, and I prefer them over the battery illum.  Red or green triangle reticles are highly visible and easy to pick up.  The dots are as well, but they're smaller.  I've had no troubles with the Accupoints' illum. 
 
The only other illum reticle I've had was on a Nitrex;  you can read my earlier posts about the problems I've had with it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2011 at 06:49
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Trijicon accupoint 1-4 if you don't wanna hassle with batteries. If you want one that does wait for the new SS 1-4 it will be awesome! and as the others are tough as nails!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2011 at 10:03
ccoker View Drop Down
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Burris has not been reliable for me, pass

Trijicon has been 100% reliable and they have it RIGHT

I have one of the new Leupold Firedot 2-7s coming, I really, really hope they hold up
only time will tell for them


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2011 at 10:31
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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Day illumination is more important if the recticle is very fine, and you are moving between outdoors and buildings. Another factor is how the illumination "flashes" going from a  bright outdoor source to a dark room. A good system will blend well, giving a good "black"reticle in bright areas then when sweeping into a dark area, the red illumination will not cause either a wash out, or make your eye dilate to compensate. Reticles that have a lot of hash marks for hold over are sometimes worse as there is more red area to be lit up and the chances of washout are higher (why are there 600 and 800 yd hold overs in 4x scopes? beats me). Dot scopes regardless of brand with no reticle back up will wash on snow and sometimes red brick. Some of the newer stuff like the firedot were built to address some of these problems. Both the 1x4 and 2.5x10 nf work well but are a little more than your budget, the spr leo works well. As far as durability goes, the slamming, and rough use goes on even while the illumination is turned off. Acog while a good unit, is neither a variable or has the eye relief
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2011 at 11:24
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I've not had any reliability issues since I started buying a few lit reticle scopes about 5 years ago.  However, all my illuminated scopes are in the Trijicon Accupoint price bracket and above, so I don't have firsthand experience with the lower priced illuminated scopes. 
 
As a general rule, if you want lots of bells and whistles on a scope AND low price, you're kinda inviting problems.  The lower priced the scope, the better off you are selecting a more basic vanilla scope with fewer extra features.  There's no way a manufacturer can incorporate stuff like illumination, fancy reticles, side focus, high magnification, target / tactical turrets, etc. and still sell at a low retail price without cutting some serious corners elsewhere.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2011 at 11:40
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I have  a Hensoldt, best scope I own, best scope I've used, it is on its way back to Germany now for an illumination issue.

Anything mechanical or electronic can fail.  Some are much better than others, but even the very best can have issues.

(Hensoldt's Customer Service has been good thus far. First time used.)

Trijicons are all but bomb-proof, for 11 years, that is; then they need recharging.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2011 at 12:59
moeman View Drop Down
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I'm told that a Trijicon tritium replacement is about $450 (info from gunshop)...  Can anyone verify this?
 
 
I've replaced tritium night sights (w/in 10 years and someday will have to do the same on my Luminox watch in acouple of years (6 years and its fine but definity dimmer)...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2011 at 13:55
ccoker View Drop Down
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I would call Trijicon directly and ask


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2011 at 14:40
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Keep in mind that even when the tritium "burns out" in an Accupoint, the fiber optics picking up ambient light will still power the reticle well into late afternoon/ early evening.  You just won't have illumination after dark.  That fact may make it not worth having the tritium replaced to some.
 
I have a hard time believing it's that expensive to replace the tritium, but maybe it is.  If so, that might sway me from having it done, as that's half the price of a 2.5-10X56!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/27/2011 at 05:45
jetwrnch View Drop Down
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11 years would be the half life of the Tritium, so more like 20 years. Either way I've not found the Tritium to be of much use unless you're in a cave. The fiber optics are plenty. I'm not in an area that allows night hunting though. The Tritium vial is under the plastic cover with the fiber optics. It's the bump in the fiber optic covered in heat shrink. Two screws and you're there. I can't imagine it would cost much to replace.

Edited by jetwrnch - January/27/2011 at 05:46
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/27/2011 at 06:01
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I just found the Tritium vials for $11 shipped in your choice of color. This makes it a DIY job if you're handy with heat shrink.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/27/2011 at 06:42
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Originally posted by jetwrnch jetwrnch wrote:

I just found the Tritium vials for $11 shipped in your choice of color. This makes it a DIY job if you're handy with heat shrink.
Where?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/27/2011 at 17:11
jetwrnch View Drop Down
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I'll have to send a PM. Not sure if I can't list the seller here even though they are not competing with SWFA. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/27/2011 at 18:00
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Only issue I have had with illumination is my burris. Works fine, just sucks batteries down super fast. My Aimpoint never has a problem. The tritium sights I have and have seen are great. Finally had the ones on my first Springfield go out. Need to get new ones.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/27/2011 at 19:59
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I've had wonderful luck with Trijicon. Acceptable performance with Leupold Mk4.  Wonderful luck with Aimpoint.  less than satisfactory performance with Bushnell illumination.  It's been around long enough to where they are starting to be pretty consistent but the Trijicon tritium plus fiber optic cant be beat.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2011 at 08:35
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I would wait to see how people like Vortex PST before I made any decisions. At least thats what i'm doing.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2011 at 08:57
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Something that may fit the bill for you is the just announced 1.5-6x42 ill reticle Meopta
should retail for under a grand

We will have one of the first ones to hit the US to evaluate.
Supposed to be arriving in April for sale and we were told we would get a sample before that.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2011 at 11:09
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

I have  a Hensoldt, best scope I own, best scope I've used, it is on its way back to Germany now for an illumination issue.

Anything mechanical or electronic can fail.  Some are much better than others, but even the very best can have issues.

(Hensoldt's Customer Service has been good thus far. First time used.)

Trijicons are all but bomb-proof, for 11 years, that is; then they need recharging.
 
Rancid Coolaid,
 

I am interested in your experience with Zeiss/Hensoldt customer service as there is on in my future.  I have been following the experiences of one of our club members’ who has been using one for a couple of seasons and has not experienced any problems with his.  I also know that the turnaround time is dependent on having enough items to justify the import/export license. 

 

Also what model scope do you use (If you don’t mind saying) and did your problems with the scope electronics cause any other problems?  Like lose parts inside, broken reticle ect.

 

Thanks,

dsr

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2011 at 12:58
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The scope is a 3-12x56 SFP.  It is an exceptional scope, my favorite by a slight margin (over Premier - its closest competitor, in my opinion.)

I had problems with the illumination system almost from the beginning; however, as the rifle wasn't used in low light for awhile, it was a non-issue.  Once I began using the rifle in failing light, the problems became more a hinderance.  Also, as you might imagine, I am reluctant to side-line such a great rifle for any significant period of time.  My best scope rides on my best rifle, it is the "go-to" gun. For now, it limps along with a Premier 3-15 (humor!)

As to performance of other components, everything has been exceptional: glass is great, turrets are good, ease of sight picture is something that must be seen to believe - I couldn't be happier with the scope, except for the illumination.

I have dealt with Zeiss CS before (on a turret swap for a Conquest) and was very pleased.  This is Hensoldt, it doesn't go through Zeiss, it goes through Hudisco, so this is my first experience with them.

As another anecdotal data point, Mike (aka "Tactical" on the Hide) has the same scope and his illumination went out also.  I have no other first-hand knowledge of any 3-12 SFPs so do not know if this is coincidental to our 2 scopes or is a larger problem.

Even with this issue, I'd buy another Hensoldt without hesitation, it is as good as rifle optics get - at least in my experience.

I have played with the new 6-24 Victory FL and was impressed with the glass.  I didn't find the eye box as good and really didn't like the new locking exposed turrets (but maybe they'd grow on me if I used them more.)  Also, the one I used had the "christmas tree" reticle, which I don't like at all.

Depending on  what you need it to do, Hensoldt is the hands-down top of the heap in tactical optics (opinion); and Zeiss Victory is arguably among the absolute best in non-tactical optics.  It'd be hard to go wrong with anything from Hensoldt or Zeiss.

(If Paul from Premier finds his way to this thread, a clarification: the glass in my Premier 3-15 is exceptional, no question.  I favor the Hensoldt purely due to ease of acquiring a good sight picture.  I prefer Premier's turrets, illumination (obviously - never a problem with 2+ years of hard use), and its bomb-proofedness.  Had I never handled a Hensoldt, Premier would be my "go to" optic - and the margin twixt the 2 is ever so slight. I will own more Premiers.)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2011 at 13:13
ccoker View Drop Down
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Do you have much experience with S&Bs
That "ease of sight picture" is one of the reasons I love the S&B 1.5-6x42 I have on T&E

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