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Looking for better optics than the Leupold VX-II

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 00:06
fireroad View Drop Down
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Looking to replace a 4-12x40 AO VX-II on a target/hunting rifle.  I have been a long time fan of Luepold for their ruggedness and warranty, but there optics are just not best in class. What I'm looking for is a 4-16x40-44 scope with mil dot reticle. I shoot in both full daylight and low light conditions. I am looking for better clarity, light transmission, and color trueness. I will be shooting at a distance of up to 600 yards.  Weight is also a big consideration as I hike alot and the gun is already overweight  by my standards.
 
I was pretty set on the Nikon Monarch 4-16x42SF then I started to read some comments on Sightron and there great clarity.  Most of the reviews where on the SIII, and I am interested in the SII or SII big sky if it's worth the $250 upgrade. BTW, I did consider Bushnell but the eye relif was a big drawback.
 
So, how do the Sightrons compare to the Monarch's?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 00:33
Oldtrader3 View Drop Down
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Actually, my major complaint especially with the Vari-X II was ruggedness more than optical properties.  Most of these scopes that I owned would loss the ability to hold focus within a few years of hard use and knocking around in 4-wheel drives.  I assume maybe the VX-II is a more robust scope mechanically?  I only have a 2-7x33 VX-II now and it is on a Model 63 Winchester.

Edited by Oldtrader3 - August/11/2009 at 00:34
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 06:31
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What is your budget, fireroad?  There are quite a few scope options offering better optics than the VX-II.  If you want to stay with Leupold, the VX-3 series scopes are much better. 

I don't have any experience with Sightron, but Nikon Monarch, Bushnell Elite 4200 and 6500, Zeiss Conquest, and Trijicon Accupoint are all roughly in the same class optically with VX-3 IMO.  I think Conquest is a little better than Monarch, with the other three series maybe somewhere in between.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 06:33
fireroad View Drop Down
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I baby my guns and have never owned a vari-x model, but I have some friends who have beaten up their equipment pretty good and most of the Leupold's have held up.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 06:40
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Be sure not to confuse the new "VX" scopes with the older "Vari-X" scopes.  The new VX-3 (as opposed to "VX-III" or "Vari-X III"... confusing, I know...) is an improvement over the previous generations both optically and mechanically.  Supposedly, they have improved the erector springs to make it more durable, and optically, it is a tad better than the previous VX-III series.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 06:47
fireroad View Drop Down
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My original budget was $500, but could go up to $600 if I wait another month.  I looked through a VX-3 4-14x40 LR and was not impressed for the price ($680). Plus, I would have to spend  an additional $190 sending it back to the custom shop for mil dot reticle.

The Zeiss would be nice, but they want $850 for their 4.5-14x44 mil dot side focus and I haven't heard anyone say they where worth that kind of money.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 07:19
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My Conquest 4.5-14x44 with Z plex was $550.  Better deals to be had on the VX3 than the price you quoted as well.  I'd put the Monarch on the bottom of your list from my experience with them.  Mechanically they are good but optically they are a step below the VX3/Conquest/4200 IMO.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 07:34
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I'd look real hard at the Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5x16x42 mildot.  I'm thinking real hard about one of those for myself.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 08:20
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IMHO- The Bushnell 4200 or 6500 would be very hard to beat.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 08:49
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Rifledude, I am aware that Leupold made mechanical changes to the VX-II line.  My VX-II is on a .22 LR and probably won't ever break down.  I have not given it the Escalante mountains, jeep road mountain climb, elk hunting torture test in Utah yet and probably won't so it is safe.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 10:03
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The Sightron 4.5-14 w/mil-dot reticle might be a good option: http://swfa.com/Sightron-45-14x44-SII-Big-Sky-Riflescope-P11096.aspx. They have a 4-16, but with 1/8MOA adjustments.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 11:47
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Originally posted by Horsemany Horsemany wrote:

My Conquest 4.5-14x44 with Z plex was $550.  Better deals to be had on the VX3 than the price you quoted as well.  I'd put the Monarch on the bottom of your list from my experience with them.  Mechanically they are good but optically they are a step below the VX3/Conquest/4200 IMO.
 
Don't know about the 4200 but I do agree with you on the Nikon to a point.  Both of mine were high power scopes and up through 14x they looked pretty good in comparision to the Zeiss and VX-3.  Beyond 16x is where the clarity started to drop off and beyond 20x it's fuzzy in comaprision.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 14:58
fireroad View Drop Down
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JonoMT -I am looking real hard at the sightron, but can find anyone that has had that particular model.
 
Suprised to hear noone in support of the Monarch, I haveheard from others that it is a vast improvement over the VX-11.
 
I know the Bushnell 4200 line is hard to beat, they are a little heavy, shot of eye relief, and only a one year warranty. In the configuration I am looking for I would have to bump up to the 6500, and the 2.5 -16x42 looks to be just the ticket...but cost as much as similiar VX-3.
 
So...who has the best glass in the $400 range? $650 range?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 15:54
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I have a Sightron SII Big Sky 4.5x14x42 HHR I am very impressed by it.I  used  to have a vari x III and the Sightron has way better optics.It is  also better than the Nikons and Burris
black diamond I have had.Plus it adjustments are great
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 16:10
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Originally posted by fireroad fireroad wrote:

JonoMT 
I know the Bushnell 4200 line is hard to beat, they are a little heavy, shot of eye relief, and only a one year warranty.


A clarification:  Bushnell's warranty is lifetime; however, there is a one-year, "no questions asked" refund warranty too (which I took advantage of and was very pleased with.)
From Bushnell's site:


  • Elite® Bullet-Proof Warranty
  • "No Questions Asked" one- year replacement (U.S. only)*

*Elite Only. This offer is limited to one original purchase refund per address.
For additional information about this offer, please contact Customer Service.



As for glass, I am not a Leupold fan so can't intelligently discuss their glass, but the Sightron S3 glass is far better than the 4200 6-24X I owned (and sent back for a full refund.)

I breifly had a Monaarch (not the new ones) and was not impressed.  I hear the glass is better now.


Best "bang-for-buck" is 4200; above that, I'd put Conquest and Sightron.  Beyond that, you get into Swaro American (about $900) then the stratospheric after that.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 17:21
Oldtrader3 View Drop Down
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Nobody is even counting the Zeiss Conquest, which in the cheaper models may be one of the best price to performance ratio scopes on the market.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 18:06
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Originally posted by Oldtrader3 Oldtrader3 wrote:

Nobody is even counting the Zeiss Conquest, which in the cheaper models may be one of the best price to performance ratio scopes on the market.
 
I certainly agree with that.  It and the Bushnell Elite series are hard to beat for price:performance ratio.  The Conquest series is perhaps my favorite mid-priced scope line overall.
 
All of the scopes mentioned in this thread, including the Monarch, are better than VX-II.  Again, I cannot comment on Sightron, as I've never used one, but many who have say they are very good for the price.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 21:40
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It doesn't seem with the Conquests that you can get a mil-dot reticule AND target turrets until you get to the $950 4.5-14x44. While a lot of the Conquests do fall in the mid-priced range, that's stretching it. By then you're moving into IOR and almost Nightforce territory. The Sightron is $575 w/a $50 rebate. (I don't own one nor any other Sightron...just saying take a hard look at your options 'cause there's a lot of choices out there. Bushnell and Nikon were two others I looked at closely in that range).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 21:42
fireroad View Drop Down
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Well, I think it's down to the Sightron SII BS SS 4-16x40 or the Falcon Menace 4-14x40 FFP. I technically need to buy two scopes (one at a time) so I may try both.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 21:43
fireroad View Drop Down
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JonoMT -Who has the Sightron for $575...best price I found was $625..looking for the 4.5-14x44 side focus model.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 22:31
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I believe jonoMT meant $575 after the $50 rebate.  That would be from SWFA.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2009 at 23:21
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Originally posted by helo18 helo18 wrote:

I believe jonoMT meant $575 after the $50 rebate.  That would be from SWFA.


That is what I meant...shoulda been more clear about it.

I thought Vortex was going to come out with a ranging reticle/target turret scope, but haven't seen it yet.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2009 at 00:30
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I think for your needs there are two scopes that should be at the top of the list:

Sightron S2 Big Sky 4.5-14x44 with MilDot and Side Focus
Hawke Frontier SF 4-16x42 wtih MilDot and Side Focus

I think Sightron is a bit better opticsally, but Hawke is pretty good as well (I did a review on it a little while back; you can find it in the Members' Reviews section).

ILya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2009 at 09:30
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I'm very happy with the Sightron scopes I own.When comparing the S2 to the VX-III I feel that the S2 is better.In my opinion the S2 Big Sky is in a different category a notch above the VX-III. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2009 at 10:34
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+1 for the Sightron...

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