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Illuminated Scope or Not for Ultimate Deer scope?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2012 at 14:52
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Optics GrassHopper
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I am considering getting a really top notch riflescope for deer hunting in TX.  Probably it will be mounted to a bolt action .270, 30'06, or 7mmRem Mag (I haven't decided yet).  Most shots will probably be about 100 yards but I want the capability to stretch it to 300+ yards for the occasional long shot.
 
I have other AR rifles I use for Hog hunting in low light/night so I think this system will be used mostly in legal hunting hours 30 minutes prior and after sunset.  Do you think illumination is worth it just for deer hunting in legal hunting hours?  Does anyone have incidents about that big one that got away because you coulding see him in legal hunting hours?
 
My goal is about $1000 for the riflescope.
 
For non-illuminated riflescopes, I find it hard to beat the
 
Swarovski 3-9x40 Z3
 
If I needed an illuminated riflescope, I might consider the Zeis Conquest Duralyte 2-8x42?
Any others to consider?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2012 at 15:31
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if you want to stretch it out with the non-illuminated scopes, look at the Z3 4-12x50 with Ballistic Turret.  There are two on the Sample List for less than a grand. 

Haven't looked at the Duralyt yet, but the have looked through the Swarovski PHs and Zeiss Diavari/Victory.  Great scopes but a bit out of the range you're looking at. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2012 at 15:45
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Optics GrassHopper
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Leuphold now makes the VX-6 line with illumination.  From reports I have gathered, the optical quality is comparable to the VX-3 line and thus slighly inferior to the Zeiss Conquest.
 
But the illumated VX-6 models are in the budget.
 
Yes the Swarovski Z6 illuminated and high end Zeiss Victory would be the answer if I wanted to spend 2-3 times my budget.
 
I want to avoid 50 mm objective riflescopes and stick with the lower 40-44 objective size for weight, balance, and height reasons on this hunting rifle. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2012 at 16:40
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Spend the money on a non illuminated and get the best optics for your grand, I have a S&B with the Flashdot 7 and have yet to use the illuminated function during day time hunting. I used it to shoot a Kudu but that was way past last light, and used it on a couple of night hunts. Its a nice to have but I would only opt for it if I wasn't working in a budget. Chances are you will never need it, and a lot of the recticles are bold enough to see at night anyway.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2012 at 17:11
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Deer hunting in texas, a good bolt 243 and a 3x9 with 4- plex reticle is basic and will do the job, never cared for clutter in a scope view, 300 yard shots in Texas would be rare and basically unnecessary.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2012 at 19:57
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You might also want to check out the Trijicon accu point ,very good glass & about the best illum. in the business.Best of all they are just under $1k.......
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2012 at 21:02
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I am considering the 3-9 Swaro Z3 myself, but I have read from some people that the reticle is hard to see in low light. Do a search on the 3-9 it has been recently that that was brought up.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2012 at 21:55
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When I hunted Texas it was always with a 30-06 with a 3-9x42 or a 30-30 with open sights.
I happen to like illumination a lot and I believe that Trijicon Accupoint scopes offer the best illumination because it is tritium and fiber optic so there is no battery and it is always on. I have one of thier 1-4x scopes with a red post that I like a lot. I have one of their 5-20x50 scopes that I also like a lot for longer distances. I have had the 3-9x40 also and it would be a fine choice for the average deer rifle but the 2.5-10x56 I like even better than the 3-9 because I really notice the difference between 2.5x asd 3x with the wider field of view of the 2.5x also the 56mm objective though large makes the scope very bright in low light.  I think the glass is very nice on the Trijicon. You really need to select power depending on how you hunt. If you hunt from a blind over a feeder you can get away with using higher power scopes and if you are stalking or driving around in brush country you might really like the 1-4x with a red post the color draws the eye on target very quickly.
I find the reticle on the Swarovski to be a bit thin for my taste and prefer the Kahles or a Zeiss instead.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2012 at 06:07
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another vote for the Trijicon Accupoint love mine
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2012 at 11:56
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Trijicon Accupoint 2.5-10 with reticle and illum of your choice ... no battery required ...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/09/2012 at 16:19
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In my opinion deer hunting in low light does not require illumination and I take deer here in Alabama so dark you can see the fire fly from the barrel with a heavy #4 reticle.However there is absolutely nothing wrong with a good quality lit reticle such as the Trijicon Accupoint.I like the one post with a green triangle version.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/09/2012 at 16:53
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Optics GrassHopper
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I have a Trijicon 1-4x 24 accupoint 30 mm tube riflescope (Red Triangle) for my AR 6.8 which I used to take down a hog at over 200 yards with a clean head shot.
 
Earlier that morning, I completely missed another hog at over 300 yards with that same gun.  I am sure it was a combination of long distance, low top magnification (4X), poor caliber choice (difficult shot for the 6.8mm), and large reticle which nearly covered up the target.  I would have gotten closer if I could but there was a large overflowing seemly impassable creek full of water between me and the target at the time.
 
I think the Trijicon Triangle reticles are nice for sub 200 yard shots but their large size make shots at longer distances a bit more imprecise.  I never thought I would have the opportunity to shoot at Hogs at distance in broad daylight since they are mostly noctural creatures but heavy rains that day must have altered their normal behavior...not to mention softening the ground so they could root much easier bringing them out into the open fields for shooting opportunities.
 
I have not used the other illuminated reticles choices from Trijicon which resembles nearly every companies illuminated reticle with just the center dot that glows.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/09/2012 at 20:44
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Within a sub-$1K budget, I would either opt for an upper mid level non-illuminated scope in the 3-9X or 2.5-10X42 class or, if you really want a lit reticle, the Trijicon 3-9X40.  From my experience, it's difficult to find a good scope that has both very good low light performance and a really well designed lit reticle system (a topic in itself) for less than $1K.  The Accupoint 3-9X40 is the exception.  I'm a fan of a good illuminated scope, but I mainly use illumination for predator and hog hunting in really low light or on a moonlit night -- situations when it's not legal to hunt deer.  You don't need a lit reticle scope for any legal deer hunting I can think of.  Just pick a bold reticle such as a heavy duplex, #4, #1 or similar reticle with thick outer posts so it will contrast better during first and last light.  Given the choice, I'd much rather have really good optics that provide that little extra light transmission, resolution, and contrast in low light than a lit reticle.  A lit reticle doesn't do you much good if you can't resolve what's behind it very well.

On the Accupoint triangle, it's commonly believed that you can't make precision shots at longish range with that reticle, largely because most shooters are accustomed to traditional crosshairs.  If you aim with the sharp point of the triangle rather than trying to center the entire triangle on your intended point of impact, you can "aim small."  I've been able to shoot sub-MOA groups out to 300 yards or so with rifles topped with BAC triangle Accupoints without too much difficulty.  It just requires a rethinking of how you aim -- don't aim the same way when you have time to make deliberate shots as you would on quick CQ shots.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/10/2012 at 12:41
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I hunted for several years with an NF 2.5-10X32 and never used illumination to take a shot. Now, light tends to linger in northern latitudes more (even in November) so while it gets dark sooner, sunsets still go on for a while. So I can see where conditions may be different in the south. Still, with regs that give you only 30 minutes on either side of daylight, there's not much need for an illuminated reticle. There's always a benefit to having good glass though.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/11/2012 at 15:59
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I don't use an illuminated reticle for deer hunting here in Texas
I do for hogs though
 
good glass and a good reticle
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/18/2014 at 23:01
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i have so much to learn.  have you guys found out that you've really only learned these lessons from actual hunting experiences or were you able to avoid some expensive testing by reading these forums?  

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2014 at 07:28
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Trijicon makes a great hunting scope.  I can sit way past legal with mine, throw in some moonlight and hogs don't stand a chance.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2014 at 07:30
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get great optics with the right reticle. I would get a Leica with the no. 1 3 post reticle.  If you have great optics illuminations is probably not needed. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2014 at 11:53
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Originally posted by anweis anweis wrote:

get great optics with the right reticle. I would get a Leica with the no. 1 3 post reticle.  If you have great optics illuminations is probably not needed. 

this is exactly what i've been wondering...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2014 at 12:56
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A few comments:

Leupold VX-6 is better optically than VX-3 and if you can stretch your budget to $1100 or so, a 2-12x42 VX-6 is a very good general purpose hunting scope.


Trijicon Accupoint 3-9x40 is a very nice compact design, but its been around for a while and VX-6 while more expensive is a newer better optic.

Whether you need an illuminated reticle or not is arguable, but for low contrast targets at night, it is a pretty good idea.

ILya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/20/2014 at 07:50
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Black hogs at Night (anything at night) or in planted pines (dense canopy makes it dark earlier) at dark 30

Yeah it helps
It has to be dim though to not wash out your night vision

Flashdot is perfect

Edited by 308WIN - December/20/2014 at 08:12
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/20/2014 at 10:47
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I have gone back and forth on this and tried a LOT of optics out in the field hunting.
For deer, it is not a hard requirement in my opinion (at least not Texas whitetails)

If I have good glass and a bolt reticle I could take a clean shot well past legal shooting time.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/20/2014 at 16:42
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The Trijicon is hard to beat if you want illumination without hassle. I have the 3-9 with green post on my AR and it is the perfect scope for my use. If I were looking at an illuminated scope with battery power it would be the Kahles KXi as the 4A reticle works well durring legal shooting hours should the battery fail. I have a non illuminated 3.5-10x50 Kahles with 4A on one of my rifles and it is excellent to and beyond the 30 Minute mark. If you are willing to forgo the illumination look at the 3-9x42 MeoPro with #4 reticle. Glass is plenty good for any legal shooting hours for deer and that is a heavy dark reticle that is highly visible in low light. While it may not say Swarovski on it, its a damn good scope that gives the Z3 a run for its money and has a better #4 reticle.
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