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Leupy 2.5-8x36mm MR/T vs Nightforce 2.5-10 x32 NXS

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/03/2012 at 18:17
Barnacle Bill View Drop Down
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Excuse the long post, but I tend to think the details will help my kindly responders to better understand what I'm looking for.
 
I have this semi-auto M16A2 clone made by CMMG, and I'm looking at options to put a new complete flat-top upper on it set up for precision (match barrel, free-float hand guards, etc...).  The subject scopes are two potential candidates for the optic part of the project, although I'd consider other options if somebody suggested good ones that fit the bill.
 
I'm not considering a caliber change, and in all honesty I'll do almost all my shooting on a square range where 600 yards is the limit.  I'm neither a military shooter or a cop, but my inspiration for the project are the various military AR-based SDM/DRM/SPR type setups.  I'll probably take some sort of precision shooting class just for fun.  It's not completely out of the question that I'll take up coyote hunting, as this seems popular these days and my wife recently saw one hanging out at night on the golf course next door (not that I'd shoot one there because the neighbors would call the cops, but the point is they are around here, and a guy I know got tracked by a group of them coming back from turkey hunting).  I don't anticipate any sort of competative shooting with this rig.
 
I'm speccing the rifle upper to keep it light (fluted barrel, lightweight forearm) so I don't want to go with a Hubble clone for a scope - an objective 40mm or larger seems big for the application, and one that meets or exceeds 50mm is definately Hubble territory to me.  Also, I won't be changing the lower at all initially, so the optic can't get too high for a good cheek weld on the plane Jane A2 stock (experience with 1X optics on AR's tells me that a setup as high as a lower 1/3 co-witness on the FSB iron sight isn't too high for a good cheek weld, and I assume at 2.5X a scope mounted that high won't have the FSB in the sight picture through the scope).  I might eventually gussy up the lower with a fancy stock & match trigger, but for now I'm sticking with how it is.
 
I think with 600 yards as my maximum distance, anything above 10x on the top end is overkill, but I'd want the top end to be at least 6X.  2.5x seems like the highest I'd want to go for the bottom end magnification, and I would gladly go lower if I don't have to give up anything else.   However, I do want a ranging reticle of some sort, so one of the 1-4x/6X20-something_mm objective "CQB" scopes is not what I have in mind (I already own a Meopta 1-4X28mm K-dot that I'd use if it was).  I'd  (strongly) preferably an illuminated reticle, though. 
 
I'm open to persuasion, but that's my going in position, and what I was thinking when I identified these two  candidates.
 
The Nightforce is probably pushing my envelope for price, and something that came in under the Leupold would be nice if it still has quality glass and otherwise meets the spec.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/03/2012 at 18:25
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IOR Valdada 1.5-8x26.If you are tight on the coin,SWFA has one on the used list.I have one on my RR ar15 & the glass is excellent & it has a ranging reticle set up for .223 & a great Illum.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/03/2012 at 20:04
Barnacle Bill View Drop Down
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Originally posted by stickbow46 stickbow46 wrote:

IOR Valdada 1.5-8x26.If you are tight on the coin,SWFA has one on the used list.I have one on my RR ar15 & the glass is excellent & it has a ranging reticle set up for .223 & a great Illum.
 
That's an interesting option, but by "ranging reticle" I meant mildot or similar that is set up to estimate the range so you can adjust your elevation dial or hold-over accordingly.  The scope you mention has a BDC reticle calibrated for 62gr 5.56mm/.223.  That's a cool concept in theory, but not as flexible in practice as a mildot or similar for multiple loads of various bullet weights.  I change what I want to shoot pretty often, not being constrained by what our uncle chooses.
 
What I see in the SWFA used list is actually an IOR Valdada 2.5-10x42.  One of my sources for the project is a blog article about 5.56mm AR-based DMR-type rifles posted by a guy who went to Iraq as a precision shooter with a commercial varmint upper on an M4 lower, and one of those scopes.  He was singing the scope's praises generally, and was also pretty convincing that 2.5x isn't too high for CQB (I would have said "under 2x" before reading that).  That scope does have a ranging reticle in the sense that I mean, and is available illuminated although the one on the SWFA used list doesn't appear to be.  It's a bit cheaper than the Leupy I'm looking at, and is a contender if I can get a suitable mount (I like Larue one-piece mounts, and it needs to clear the rear flip-up BUIS without being too high for a proper nose-to-charging-handle cheek weld on a standard A2 stock)
 
BTW, you're avatar looks like a 3" revolver - love the breed - probably the optimum for all-around handiness.  Obviously a man of taste & distinction Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/04/2012 at 17:49
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I have the Nightforce 2.5-10 and really like it, hell for strong..so far my SCAR 17 has not been able to kill it.
Never even seen the Leupold so no comment.
Mil-Mil is a known quantity and i-phone apps are easy to find..you can with some practice move to different calibers.
Art
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2012 at 21:36
Barnacle Bill View Drop Down
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Originally posted by gulf1263 gulf1263 wrote:

I have the Nightforce 2.5-10 and really like it, hell for strong..so far my SCAR 17 has not been able to kill it.
Never even seen the Leupold so no comment.
Mil-Mil is a known quantity and i-phone apps are easy to find..you can with some practice move to different calibers.
 
Unfortunately the mil-mil with zero stop is the most expensive flavor.  Sounds like you think it was worth the money, though. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/06/2012 at 05:59
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The Meopta ZD 1-4x22 tactical riflescope features a daylight-illumination ballistic reticle calibrated for NATO 5,56 ammunition.  It is an evolved version of the MeoStar R1 1-4x22, so it maintains a true 1x on the low end.  The NATO 5,56 ammo is also comparable to 7.62x39mm and 186-233 Remington.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/06/2012 at 18:15
koshkin View Drop Down
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It sounds like what you are looking for is one of the variety of 1-6x24 or thereabouts scopes that were recently introduced and are in the process of getting to the market.

If you opt for one with an FFP reticle, you will be able to range and holdover at any magnification.

SWFA SS 1-6x24 is coming shortly
Bushnell Elite Tactical 1-6.5x24FFP is around, I think
GRSC 1-6x24 is available as well.

If you are OK with an SFP reticle, the new Vortex Razor HD 1-6x24 has a lot to offer as well.

If you want more magnification and are willing to wait a little longer, Weaver has a 2-10x36FFP coming and Vortex has a PST 2.5-10x32FFP coming as well.

If you decide to rescind your objective lens limitation, SWFA SS 3-9x42 is a very good option as well.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/06/2012 at 23:09
gulf1263 View Drop Down
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Hello Ilya:
Don't forget the new VX-6 1-6 scope, it is pretty nice and made in the USA.
I have no way of checking the SWFA 1-6 or the others listed so can't comment.
Thanks
Art
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/07/2012 at 00:03
koshkin View Drop Down
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Originally posted by gulf1263 gulf1263 wrote:

Hello Ilya:
Don't forget the new VX-6 1-6 scope, it is pretty nice and made in the USA.
I have no way of checking the SWFA 1-6 or the others listed so can't comment.
Thanks
Art

The VX-6 is an excellent scope and easily my favourite Leupold (of the ones I have seen so far).

It is a SFP design, so it competes against the new 1-6x24 Razor HD.  The other scopes I mentioned are all FFP.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/07/2012 at 00:04
koshkin View Drop Down
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Forgot to add: it is built in the US, but the glass comes from Japan or Korea (not sure which it is for the VX-6).  In many ways, it is not any more US-made than Conquest or Meopro or Minox which are also assembled here.

I suppose, the biggest difference is that Leupold's tubes are also machined here.

That is probably it for the whole US-made bit.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/07/2012 at 09:32
Barnacle Bill View Drop Down
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Originally posted by MeoptaSurujh MeoptaSurujh wrote:

The Meopta ZD 1-4x22 tactical riflescope features a daylight-illumination ballistic reticle calibrated for NATO 5,56 ammunition.  It is an evolved version of the MeoStar R1 1-4x22, so it maintains a true 1x on the low end.  The NATO 5,56 ammo is also comparable to 7.62x39mm and 186-233 Remington.
 
I have the MeoStar R1 1-4x22 k-dot now.  I'm looking for more magnification on the high end, though, and a ranging reticle.  Ballistic reticles I think make the most sense if you are military or LE and have a fixed load you have to use, and the reticle is calibrated to that load.  I honestly don't know what load I'm going to shoot, and could conceivably have different "standard" ones for different purposes.  A lot will depend on what results I see when I shoot different loads and see what the rifle likes, balanced against the suitability of the projectile for various uses, cost and availability.  I think in my situation a ranging reticle and developing the "dope" for various ranges with whatever load I'm using will be more flexible.  No problem with Meopta quality, though.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/07/2012 at 09:53
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Being relatively new to this, on FFP vs SFP I don't have a strong feeling one way or the other.  I can probably learn either one.
 
Not terribly concerned with where it's made except as it relates to quality.
 
Sounds like there are a number of good options "coming soon", so it might be a good idea to wait a bit.  One option is to go ahead & get the upper and and just use my existing Meopta 1-4x22 k-dot at first. 
 
Listing these suggestions just in the order they appear above...
 
SWFA SS 1-6x24
Bushnell Elite Tactical 1-6.5x24FFP
GRSC 1-6x24
Vortex Razor HD 1-6x24
Weaver 2-10x36FFP
Vortex PST 2.5-10x32FFP
SWFA SS 3-9x42
Leupold VX-6 1-6x24
 
Setting price aside, and judging the "coming soon" stuff by experience with their existing products, what's the ranking on quality?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/07/2012 at 22:54
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I think you had a good base to begin with for your intended application.  I really like that NF 2.5-10 as it's a hell of a scope with what it does.  The glass is good, and the adjustments are very good.

The Leupold you mentioned would be a distant choice for me personally, as it doesn't really do much well and it's actual magnification range is too close to a 1-6x and not that much more of a benefit.  (for me)

Don't forget the Leupold VX-R Patrol 3-9x40 if you want illumination.  The SS is a slightly better scope for features, but the Leupold is not far off and has illumination, which you said you highly prefer.

As for the 1-6x variants, don't forget to think about the reticle.  I don't think the reticle being in the first or second focal plane matters depending on reticle design.  That's where it is more important to put your hands on one and see how you do or don't like it yourself. 

But, for your intended purpose of building a DMR/SPR style AR, I'd recommend the NF you have been thinking about as it fills all of those roles.  You can find them regularly used around $1000-1300 depending on features.  There was one on arf that sold for $1000 a few weeks back with all the bells and whistles...I should have bought that one, oh well. 

ILya is a great reference, and he knows a hell of a lot more than me about optics.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/08/2012 at 16:00
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Originally posted by 33shooter 33shooter wrote:

The Leupold you mentioned would be a distant choice for me personally, as it doesn't really do much well and it's actual magnification range is too close to a 1-6x and not that much more of a benefit.  (for me)
 
Can you elaborate on "doesn't really do much well"?

Originally posted by 33shooter 33shooter wrote:

Don't forget the Leupold VX-R Patrol 3-9x40 if you want illumination.  The SS is a slightly better scope for features, but the Leupold is not far off and has illumination, which you said you highly prefer.
 
That would be a contender if I decided 3x was low enough, but I'm not quite there yet.

Originally posted by 33shooter 33shooter wrote:

As for the 1-6x variants, don't forget to think about the reticle.  I don't think the reticle being in the first or second focal plane matters depending on reticle design.  That's where it is more important to put your hands on one and see how you do or don't like it yourself. 
 
 
Unfortunately unlikely, as the local shops don't carry a lot.

Originally posted by 33shooter 33shooter wrote:

But, for your intended purpose of building a DMR/SPR style AR, I'd recommend the NF you have been thinking about as it fills all of those roles.  You can find them regularly used around $1000-1300 depending on features. 
 
I'll start keeping an eye out then.
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The Leuplds actual magnification is less than advertised, and that to me limits what it can do or at least what you get. The glass leaves a little to be desired. The reticle does not match the adjustments. But, it's light weight, and has a great warranty.

It's not a terrible scope, but in MY opinion there are better options.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2012 at 00:48
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I would seriously check out the Nightforce 2.5x10 x32mm, yes it will stretch your budget but it is good glass (not Zeiss, S&B or Swaro), hell for strong, great CS and you can order one in mil/mil.
It is a "nimble" scope, one that is not to large, easy to mount and has a low enough mag to use close in and high enough to reach out.
To get anything with better glass and with that mag range, quality construction and toughness is going to cost a lot more.
I have looked at the new Zeiss Conquest Duralyt and was disappointed..the glass did not appear to me to be as good as the regular Conquest, they were big and clunky and the illumination was poorly done.
I have looked at the Swaro's in that mag range, much pricier and they are not (at least to my knowledge) available in mil/mil.
I wish Zeiss/Hensoldt and S&B would catch up with Swaro and offer a 6X, say 2.5-15 or a 2-12 with a smallish objective, would be very pricey though I am sure.
Good luck with what ever you choose...so many choices and decisions.
Art
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2012 at 11:40
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Originally posted by Barnacle Bill Barnacle Bill wrote:

Originally posted by gulf1263 gulf1263 wrote:

I have the Nightforce 2.5-10 and really like it, hell for strong..so far my SCAR 17 has not been able to kill it.
Never even seen the Leupold so no comment.
Mil-Mil is a known quantity and i-phone apps are easy to find..you can with some practice move to different calibers.
 
Unfortunately the mil-mil with zero stop is the most expensive flavor.  Sounds like you think it was worth the money, though. 


I like my Nightforce scopes. And of the scopes listed it would be my first choice. The adjustments are excellent. I never have any doubts if I am returning to zero after dialing in a correction. I would look at the version without zero stop and just reset the knobs to zero after you have zeroed your rifle. That will save you just under $200.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/10/2012 at 15:00
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I guess I can resurect my own old thread...
 
OK, pulled the trigger on this project.  Ended up ordering this upper...
 
 
Now I see that the Weaver 2-10x36 is out, but apparently so recently that there isn't much written about it yet.  The Vortex PST 2.5-10x32FFP seems to have been cancelled.
 
I've also discovered that there isn't much weight difference between the IOR 2.5-10x42 and the Nightforce 2.5-10x32, although the IOR's over an inch longer.  The NF is 19 oz & 12", the IOR either 18 oz (according to SWFA) or 21 oz (according to IOR).  As I noted above, one of my inspirations for the project was an article by a guy who served in Iraq as an SDM/sniper and used (and liked) a private-purchase IOR 2.5-10x42 during his tour.  It still kind of looks like the Hubble in the photo with that article. 
 
I guess what I really care about is weight rather than appearance, though, so I guess that makes the IOR a contender, and thus within reason means relaxing my original upper limit on objective size in favor of a weight limit on the scope.  My Meopta 1-4x24 weighs 19oz and it's OK on a 16" carbine, but I wouldn't want to go much over that.
 
That would make the SS 3-9x at 19 oz OK on weight, but I'm still concerned about 3x for up close (maybe I'll test that by setting the Meopta at 3x and try blasting plastic water bottles on the "plinking" range).
 
I guess that would put the Vortex 2.5-10x44 on the table, too, at 18.4 oz.  SFP, but illuminated.
 
The 1-6x24 types usually don't seem to come with a mildot-type reticle, but rather something intended to replace a red do and/or a ballistic reticle (usually calibrated for military ball ammo, while I'm currently thinking 75-77gr OTM loads for this rifle). 
 
With the change in spec, anything else I should look at?  The NF still seems to fit what I want perfectly except its so pricey, but maybe you get what you pay for.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/30/2012 at 18:45
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Originally posted by Barnacle Bill Barnacle Bill wrote:

The 1-6x24 types usually don't seem to come with a mildot-type reticle, but rather something intended to replace a red do and/or a ballistic reticle (usually calibrated for military ball ammo, while I'm currently thinking 75-77gr OTM loads for this rifle).

But in the case of the 1-6X24 SS HD, it does.  It really is excellent and I feel it would serve you well.

However, I'm also of the school of thought that unless you're really doing a lot of really close range stuff (3-gun, carbine classes, home defense, etc) the simple utility of a 3-9X40 is hard to deny, especially if used in low light conditions beyond a couple hundred yards.  It's really hard to beat the SS 3-9 for such uses, especially for the price.
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