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Is what I think I want what I need?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/22/2009 at 21:41
opeagle View Drop Down
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 Hello:

 I am in the process of putting together a 700 XCR in 308 for a few purposes.  First and foremost will be to take a precision rifle class with.  The class will go 400 yards and my local practice range is 500 yards.  However I plan on taking it out to 800 - 1000 eventually.  Now, the other role this rifle may possibly serve will be to bounce around in the patrol car.

 Here is what I think I want in an optic.
 Mil / Mill with either Mil Dot or a Mil Hash
 Enough Clicks to get it to 1000 yards with either a 0 or 20 degree base
 First Focal Plane
 3 or 4 on the low end 10 to 12 on the high end, but this is somewhat subjective
 Zero Stop
 Illuminated Reticle


 Let's look at it a few ways.

 What's the best value here?

 What is the least expensive way to get there?

 Should I reconsider any of the above options?


 Please educate me.

 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/22/2009 at 21:52
hawkman View Drop Down
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Have you checked out the Super Sniper scopes? I have the 10HD and love it. Very fine piece of equipment. There are others like the 3x9,10,16,20 in the super sniper. Any of these will fit you perfectly.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/22/2009 at 22:09
opeagle View Drop Down
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 Yes, I have look at them.  I see the 3-9 HD get's good press and I do like it.

 Unless I missed something I do not see zero stops or illuminated reticle listed for the SS.  Or are you saying I don't need them?  Please provide your thinking.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 04:36
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Zero stop is a great feature, but not essential. If you think you will be running your elevation knob all over the place and particularly past one turn, especially if under time pressure, then you may want to consider a scope that has it. But that one thing will likely double your cost right there. As for illumination, most of the time you'd never need it but there may be an occasion where you'd miss it.

I'd look at it this way: Those features are nice but pale in comparison to getting a scope that is FFP, has a good reticle, very reliable tracking, is durable and has a decent magnification range - all for $600. Also, the weight and size are quite reasonable. You might consider one or two of the IORs (2-12 or 3-18 FFP) which should hold up okay on a .308 but otherwise, there's only the SFP NF 2.5-10x32 in the sub-$2000 range before you have to get into a Premier, Vortex HD or NF F1. And the Premier requires 34mm rings and the Vortex 35mm rings so you get to pay more for that too. (The F1 comes with  free 30 mm rings). In other words, there ain't much between $600 and $2400. I bought a Premier recently but I would never say that it's four times a better scope than a SS 3-9. As with most optics, money only buys you incremental gains or better performance under certain conditions.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 08:07
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Zero stop is a great feature, but not essential. If you think you will be running your elevation knob all over the place and particularly past one turn, especially if under time pressure, then you may want to consider a scope that has it. But that one thing will likely double your cost right there. As for illumination, most of the time you'd never need it but there may be an occasion where you'd miss it.

( Sorry for the theft!! I thought it would instantly hi-light if I copied and pasted,MY BAD!)

Plus with mil adjustments it is only a little over two complete turns to 1000 yards, (5 mils per turn) from a 100 yard zero. With most .308's being 10-12 depending on the load.


Edited by billyburl2 - November/23/2009 at 08:10
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 08:35
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Opeagle,

The scope you describe is a $2000+ scope; what is your budget?  You mentioned "best value" and some have better value than others.

If your budget is less than $2000, please prioritize your feature list.

As said above, zero stop is nice but not essential, illumination is nice but not essential.  The 3-9FFP SS is a nice scope and will get you to 500 yards no problem.  It can do 1,000 but I prefer a little more magnification past 800, this is highly subjective.  Don't make the mistake of cheap glass and lots of magnification.  Lower magnification with good glass is far better than huge magnification with not-great glass. 

Be advised: there are pure crap scopes out there for $500 that have exactly the features you list, they are garbage, DO NOT buy one and anticipate completing a reputable precision rifle class with it. Among these are SEAL, Countersniper, anything Barska or BSA Tactical. (Not bogging those who bought these, but anyone who knows what happens in a precision rifle course knows none of these are up to the task.  If your gun sees the range/field/ deer blind twice a year and you have one of the scopes listed, all is probably fine.)

If your budget does not accommodate a $2000 purchase, I too would get the 3-9SS and save up for the dream optic (and when you make that purchase, look at Premier, USO, Hensoldt, and Nightforce F1, all are $2000+ and all offer your list and more.)

If your goal is to increase your proficiency with a long gun, nothing beats time on the range.  If the budget is $2000 for a scope with no money left for ammo and range fees, spend $600 on the SS and the rest on good ammo and range time.  No scope can make you a better shooter.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 11:33
opeagle View Drop Down
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 Thanks for the replies thus far.  

 I may go beyond the 2k for the optic but all in all the more I can save the more I get to shoot.  
 So, my order I think would be....
 Mil / Mil
 FFP
 3ish to 10 or 12ish
 Illuminated 
 Zero Stop

 It's gotta be good glass and tough especially if it's to eventually serve as longer range patrol rifle.  2k to 2.5k will get that dream glass, but can I get close maybe giving up the zero stop for less?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 11:54
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Dump the last 2 and the "best value" is the 3-9 SS.

Add the last 2 and the "best value" is probably a Nightforce F1 or used Premier or USO.

IOR is a good option but is a risk due to hit-n-miss" quality.

There is a Premier 3-15 on the sample list (www.samplelist.com) for $2059, it is a great scope (I have one and love it), it meets all your requirements.  You will need rings.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 11:58
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milling errors usually run 3 to 5% of the range milled. if you get a less expensive scope you can get a rangefinder. Shots under 500 yds, don't need to be dialed in so unless your doing a lot of stuff at +800 yds, a zero stop doesn't mean much. Also at ranges below 500 ffp won't make that much difference unless  you plan on shooting movers at the lower power settings.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 12:16
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You might consider something like the IOR 2-5-10x42 (I'm not sure this is the latest and greatest version, so you might check): http://swfa.com/IOR-25-10x42-Tactical-30mm-Rifle-Scope-P6493.aspx.
That is, if you don't mind giving up the zero stop but really want illumination. I don't see that buying you that much better a scope than the SS though. If you want mil/mil/FFP, a good-to-great magnification range, reliability and good-to-great glass it's either $600 or $2000+. The rest of the features/specs you need to decide if you really have to have.

If you decide to go high dollar, I don't think there's much that can beat the Premier 3-15. The NF is not as thoughtfully designed nor does it have as good specs. The Vortex HD's low-end is not low enough IMO and the S&B 3-12 or Hensoldt 3-12s or 4-16s don't offer as much or at least (w/the Hensoldts) charge enough more to really make most people's hearts skip a beat.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 12:47
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IOR is having a new version of the 2.5-10x FFP out any day now to.  It is suppose to upgrade all the old unwanted features from the current version.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 12:49
opeagle View Drop Down
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 I see a trend thus far.  Either stay under 1k and live without a few things or be prepared to go 2,500.


 Here is another question that may help guide me.

 Glass quality / clarity of the optics mentioned.
 Super Sniper 3x9
 IOR
 Nightforce
 Vortex
 Premier
 USO

 I am aware that is a broad question and not really comparing apples to apples but let's hear it anyway.


 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 13:29
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Glass quality is something that each person sees differently, and here is my appraisal.

I haven't seen the Vortex yet so cannot say anything about glass.
As I own/have owned all the others, I'd rank my glass thusly:

Premier
IOR
 Nightforce / SS3-9 / USO

The only tactical glass I've seen that is better than my Premier is Hensoldt - and it wasn't much better (not $2,000 more better.)
IOR has great glass but, again, you gotta deal with the IOR baggage - which means yours might be great and it might break - and if it breaks, it might 6 months to get it replaced.
USO isn't known for their glass, they are known for their features.  Their glass is definitely functional and as good as it needs to be, but it ain't Premier.
Nightforce and SS3-9 appear to me to be very, very comperable in glass quality.  Nightforce has a few "bells and whistles" the 3-9SS doesn't; however, it costs at least 2.5X and, to get all the bells 'n whistles is over $2000.


I'd say get the 3-9 and spent lots of time on the range.  If you decide in a year or so to go to something more expensive, you can sell the 3-9, they hold their value well.

For 1000-yard shots, I like a little more magnification.  But, from someone who has been shooting long range for a long time, I take few 1,000 yard shots; set the gun up to do what it will need to do most often and best.  Why set up a 1,000 yard gun that will shoot 500-yards weekly and 1,000 yards only once or twice a year?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 14:40
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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But, from someone who has been shooting long range for a long time, I take few 1,000 yard shots; set the gun up to do what it will need to do most often and best.  Why set up a 1,000 yard gun that will shoot 500-yards weekly and 1,000 yards only once or twice a year?
right on the mark-- lot of difference between a "patrol rifle" and a full set up tactical rifle. patrol rifle doesn't vary much from a hunting rifle. after taking the class you will have better handle on what you really need. One question that may guide your direction, will you be needing to make head shots at 500 yds?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 16:19
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Nothing to add, just listening and learning from people I respect.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 16:24
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Police typically shoot most shots well under 100 yds.  Occasionally police shoot out to about 200 yds and on rare occasions further.  A few days ago I was on the range while Des Moines Metro Star snipers were working and they stayed at 100, 200 & 300 yds.  When I asked TAC OPS what scope they recommended they said Leupold Mk4 4.5-14 (popular choice).  When I asked GAPrecision what scope they recommended they said U.S. Optics SN3 (good choice).  You have already gotten some excellent advice from some of our best rifle shots here regarding what scopes should be considered.   I would like to ask is if you have already purchased the rifle because if you have not already bought it I would buy the Remmington R5 Mil Spec which has the 11.25 twist barrel in .308 same as the M24 and ideal  for the 168, 175 and 190 gr bullets best for long range.  since I am not fond of a shiny barrel for tactical I had a Smith Vortex flash suppressor installed and had Walter Birdsong apply finish to the rifle base & rings which makes it virtually rust proof forever.  Their finishes come in Green T,  Tan T,  Black T, and Brown T.  I went with the green probably should have gone black, I have other guns with the tan T. 
Anyway if you can afford to buy a Premier or a Henisoldt just buy it and dont look back. If you cant afford that and need to get something less expensive the fully equipped Nightforce is not really that much less.  Although nobody has mentioned the Trijicon Accupoint I believe it bears consideration as the glass is good the controls have a good feel the illumination is tritium plus fiber optic and does not need to be turned or and does not need batteries.  The down side is it only has 50 moa of internal adjustment and so with a plus 20 moa base may still not be a true 1000 yd optic but I doubt you need to go past 600 which this will do all day long.
Trijicon 5-20x50 Accu-Point 30mm Rifle Scope Mil-Dot Crosshair w/ Amber Dot Trijicon 5-20x50 Accu-Point 30mm Rifle Scope
Stock # - TR232
  • Matte
  • Mil-Dot Crosshair w/ Amber Dot
  • 30mm
  • Free Sun Shade w/ Purchase
$1,019.95 
Add Trijicon 5-20x50 Accu-Point 30mm Rifle Scope to Cart
Trijicon 5-20x50 Accu-Point 30mm Rifle Scope Red Triangle Trijicon 5-20x50 Accu-Point 30mm Rifle Scope
Stock # - TR23R
  • Matte
  • Red Triangle
  • 30mm
  • Free Sun Shade w/ Purchase
$1,019.95 
Add Trijicon 5-20x50 Accu-Point 30mm Rifle Scope to Cart
If however you can live without illumination the absolute only logical choice below Nightforce is the 3-9x42 FFP Super Sniper  and I have two of them and one of the HD models as well as two Leupold Mk 4 scopes one of which is the 3.5-10x40 FFP the other has illumination and is an 8.5-25 which is too much power on the low end where 5 or even 6x would be useable.
SWFA SS 3-9x42 Tactical Riflescope Mil-Dot SWFA SS 3-9x42 Tactical Riflescope
Stock # - SS39X42
  • Matte
  • First Focal Plane Mil-Dot
  • 30mm
  • OK for .50 cal
  • 0.1 MRAD
$599.95 
Add SWFA SS 3-9x42 Tactical Riflescope to Cart 
I would go U.S Optics long before I went Nightforce because you can get the EREK knob in 1/10 mil and you can get illumination and a GAP reticle the illumination on a Nightforce is a bit funky.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 16:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 16:30
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Originally posted by Urimaginaryfrnd Urimaginaryfrnd wrote:

Police typically shoot most shots well under 100 yds.  Occasionally police shoot out to about 200 yds and on rare occasions further.  A few days ago I was on the range while Des Moines Metro Star snipers were working and they stayed at 100, 200 & 300 yds.  When I asked TAC OPS what scope they recommended they said Leupold Mk4 4.5-14 (popular choice).  When I asked GAPrecision what scope they recommended they said U.S. Optics SN3 (good choice).  You have already gotten some excellent advice from some of our best rifle shots here regarding what scopes should be considered.   I would like to ask is if you have already purchased the rifle because if you have not already bought it I would buy the Remmington R5 Mil Spec which has the 11.25 twist barrel in .308 same as the M24 and ideal  for the 168, 175 and 190 gr bullets best for long range.  since I am not fond of a shiny barrel for tactical I had a Smith Vortex flash suppressor installed and had Walter Birdsong apply finish to the rifle base & rings which makes it virtually rust proof forever.  Their finishes come in Green T,  Tan T,  Black T, and Brown T.  I went with the green probably should have gone black, I have other guns with the tan T. 
Anyway if you can afford to buy a Premier or a Henisoldt just buy it and dont look back. If you cant afford that and need to get something less expensive the fully equipped Nightforce is not really that much less.  Although nobody has mentioned the Trijicon Accupoint I believe it bears consideration as the glass is good the controls have a good feel the illumination is tritium plus fiber optic and does not need to be turned or and does not need batteries.  The down side is it only has 50 moa of internal adjustment and so with a plus 20 moa base may still not be a true 1000 yd optic but I doubt you need to go past 600 which this will do all day long.
Trijicon 5-20x50 Accu-Point 30mm Rifle Scope Mil-Dot Crosshair w/ Amber Dot Trijicon 5-20x50 Accu-Point 30mm Rifle Scope
Stock # - TR232
  • Matte
  • Mil-Dot Crosshair w/ Amber Dot
  • 30mm
  • Free Sun Shade w/ Purchase
$1,019.95 
Add Trijicon 5-20x50 Accu-Point 30mm Rifle Scope to Cart
Trijicon 5-20x50 Accu-Point 30mm Rifle Scope Red Triangle Trijicon 5-20x50 Accu-Point 30mm Rifle Scope
Stock # - TR23R
  • Matte
  • Red Triangle
  • 30mm
  • Free Sun Shade w/ Purchase
$1,019.95 
Add Trijicon 5-20x50 Accu-Point 30mm Rifle Scope to Cart
If however you can live without illumination the absolute only logical choice below Nightforce is the 3-9x42 FFP Super Sniper  and I have two of them and one of the HD models as well as two Leupold Mk 4 scopes one of which is the 3.5-10x40 FFP the other has illumination and is an 8.5-25 which is too much power on the low end where 5 or even 6x would be useable.
SWFA SS 3-9x42 Tactical Riflescope Mil-Dot SWFA SS 3-9x42 Tactical Riflescope
Stock # - SS39X42
  • Matte
  • First Focal Plane Mil-Dot
  • 30mm
  • OK for .50 cal
  • 0.1 MRAD
$599.95 
Add SWFA SS 3-9x42 Tactical Riflescope to Cart 
I would go U.S Optics long before I went Nightforce because you can get the EREK knob in 1/10 mil and you can get illumination and a GAP reticle the illumination on a Nightforce is a bit funky.



All good advice.

I haven't played with the Trijicon 5-20, but I do own (and very much like) the 3-9 and 2.5-10, both with post reticles.

USO makes a great scope, and the EREK knob is the best in the business.


I never needed to use illumination in full light, so set my NF illumination to be just visible in failing light.  It is a pain to set, but once set where you need it, easy to engage (some might say too easy.)

I too would say if you don;t want to spend $2000, get the 3-9SS and enjoy the precision class, the scope will do far better than many other students' scopes - especially if there are Leupolds in the class.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 16:41
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I recommended the 3-9x SS to a buddy who got a .308 5r rifle not to long ago.  He didn't want to spend a lot but wanted a good scope.

He took it to a 4 day precision rifle course at Front Sight a couple weeks ago.  The class is mostly getting data out to 600 yards.  Plus a little bit of time out to 1100 yards or so.  He said the SS worked perfectly.  It passed the box test just fine and tracked and always returned to zero all weekend.  He said everyone that tried his scope was impressed with it, both the appearance and the glass quality. 

He also said he felt no handicap at all out to the 600 yards.  He said the few shots he shot at 1100 yards 9x worked just fine and he still made some good hits, but he would have liked a little more. 

I agree with him, I like to shoot between 6 to 10x out to about 600 yards depending upon mirage.  But the little bit I have shot out to 1000 and 1200 I rarely felt the need to go over 12x as the mirage has usually been to much for me to use more. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 16:45
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I have to say i was really flustered when Trijicon wanted my 5-20x50 back I liked everything except how the post would look a bit odd under certain conditions which had no actual effect on the red triangle.  I really think that for a gunfight gun the Trijicon post is the way to go, but snipers usually have more time to set up their shot.  I showed the Metro Star guys my TA442 and they said that the compact acog is all they use now on their entry guns because it is so fast.  I have to say I have really liked both my 1.5x  amber triangle and the new 3x red crosshair which is on the AR that I carry for a patrol rifle.   20x   about 150 yds  ding dong - avon calling Sharp Shooter


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - November/23/2009 at 16:51
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5x


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - November/23/2009 at 17:02
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 16:58
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 17:09
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By the way, it appears the reticle does have a clear, plastic post supporting the triangle.  The way light from my laser designator reflects and refracts, it is definitely a solid post.
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10931 Zeiss 3-12x56 Tactical Hensoldt 3302989001, Matte finish, Illuminated Mil Dot reticle, 2nd focal plane, 34mm tube, fast focus eye piece, side focus, 0.1 MRAD adjustments, light ring marks, close to new condition $3,580.00 $2,699.95
 
Police
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2009 at 17:18
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 I have looked through Trijicon glass before and I though it looked real good, however I do not have a good frame of reference beyond Leupold.  I have TA 47-2 and TA 47-6 on a couple of AR's and I really like them.

 Are all Trijicon Accupoints MOA knobs?  I think they are.

 Great suggestions.
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