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Low Light Scope under/around $700

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2014 at 03:06
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Hello everyone, I'm new to the forums here. I was browsing some of the older posts today, and was wondering if someone could give me advice regarding low light scopes/features I should be looking for in my price range.

I suppose I should list what I'm looking for/at...

Note: The scope will be used at night for predator hunting with a red LED. I would like it to be
as bright as possible for its size, with a decent field of view. I realize 50mm objectives may allow a considerably greater amount of light to enter the scope, but I would really prefer to keep it closer to 40mm.

Desired Specifications:

1. Clearest glass possible

2. An illuminated reticle (dot)

3. I would prefer a 40-44mm objective as I find 50's a little too bulky for me.

4. I'm looking at magnification in the range of 3-9 or 4-16.

5. The scope will not be used for shots more than 500 yards, with the majority being under 200.

6. I would like the scope to be somewhat light and very durable, as I hike a lot while hunting.

That being said, I have been looking here and there for information regarding scopes that would meet these requirements.

I don't really have a list of scopes I have tried in person, but certain names/brands keep popping up.

These include:

Trijicon Accupoint 3-9x40 with green mildot reticle (fiber optic/tritium intrigues me.)

Leupold VXr 3-9x40

Meopta Meopro Series

Zeiss Conquest

 


I would appreciate if anyone who has used these scopes/models (hopefully atleast a couple) could help me compare their quality/pros/cons to help me make my decision. I would also appreciate the mention of any other scopes I should be looking at in this price bracket. Yet again I would like to emphasize I am mostly concerned with the scopes performance in very low light conditions.

Thankyou for your consideration,

Havock
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2014 at 07:39
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In your budget Meopta will probably offer the best lens coatings. I have stayed away from the Conquest due to very poor reviews all though Zeiss DL series are my first choice among all brands. But they are triple + your budget One you may consider that has held its own for the past 5yrs is the Nikon Prostaff 3-9X40. I know its one of those cheap scopes but for the money its lens quality and clarity is very good. It won't have the  illuminated reticle option so you'll have to decide if its a deal breaker. Can't offer any experience with others on your list but the guys here should be able to help.

Good Luck in you search.

Welcome to the OT!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2014 at 12:49
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2014 at 14:41
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So Meopta's have better coatings than the accupoint series in this price range?
Also, I was advised to stay away from Steiners after they switched hands.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2014 at 14:55
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Originally posted by Havock Havock wrote:

So Meopta's have better coatings than the accupoint series in this price range?
Also, I was advised to stay away from Steiners after they switched hands.

Steiner has always done a good job marketing their products. But as for the ones I've had hands on I have been disappointed. They are pretty good compared to midlevel scopes but not for what they cost. 

Meopta has held up very well. I don't know of anyone who has been disappointed with them. Whether they will do what you need I can't say. But for general early morning and late evening hunting the guys I know who have  them are satisfied. But I will mention that they are not in the class of Zeiss Victory DL, IOR, US Optics, S&B and some other high dollar scopes. As usual you get what you pay for.

Koshkin may have some idea on what coatings accupoint uses. I have not researched their components. But from my general knowledge I am willing to speculate that Meopta coatings are a better fit for your intended use.



Edited by Sgt. D - June/24/2014 at 15:01
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2014 at 15:00
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I have an Accupoint, a Leupold VXR Patrol, and a Meopta Artemis. (this was their lower priced line a few years back.  It seems to have been replaced with the Meopro)  For low light hunting I would pic the Trijicon.  The illumination is amazing in those.  The VXR illumination is fantastic as well, but requires a battery.  But I would not let that stop me, it is a great setup they have.  Glass wise the Accupoint and Meopta are better than the Leupold IMO. 

I don't own a conquest so I really have no opinion of them. 

You also have a couple in the Swaro Z3 series that would be close to your price range. 

I have had 8 or 9 IORs over the years.  I still have one, a 4x it has been fantastic.  But overall I was not that impressed with the variables I had.  I had to send several of them back multiple times for problems.  Glass wise they are quite good though.  


Edited by supertool73 - June/24/2014 at 15:06
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2014 at 16:02
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It's good to hear that the Accupoints hold their own. I really like the idea of not having to check/stock up on batteries for hunts. So from what I've gathered, the meopro line is a little clearer and heavier while the trijicon's are comparable in performance while being smaller in size/weight. How much am I sacrificing in terms of performance by sticking with a smaller objective. Would the difference be noticeable between the meopta/trijicon? I imagine the 3-9x40 Accupoint would probably work alright up to 5x zoom or so in very low light. Would it be similar in the 3-9x42 meopro? And how well do the reticles compare?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2014 at 16:09
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Optically they will be similar.  I don't think there will be a noticeable difference.  But I do think the reticle on the Trijicon easily makes it the winner for your needs. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2014 at 21:43
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Do the accupoints have any quirks I should know about? Like Issues with glare?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/25/2014 at 09:04
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I have never had an issue with glare on mine.  I have used it early mornings, daylight, and evenings.

What rifle and caliber are you putting this on?  The 3-9x has a variable eye relief and on high power it is a bit short.  So if you are putting this on a rifle that kicks hard, it may cause you an issue. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/25/2014 at 18:40
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It'll be swapped around a bit. Probably the highest caliber rifle it will be placed on will be a 30-06.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2014 at 22:47
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If you watch carefully, you can occasionally find a used Zeiss 6x42 Diatal in your price range.  Absolutely the brightest scope I have eve looked through…

John
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/28/2014 at 00:24
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The new Conquest Terra scopes are the ones getting bad reviews.  On the contrary, the Zeiss HD5 Conquests with *Tessar glass are very capable scopes and they make a 3-15x42 with several reticles for your price area.  I have (2) of the Zeiss HD5 Conquest 3-15x42 scopes and they are great scopes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/28/2014 at 09:52
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I would either get the Meopta 3.5-10x44 Meopro w/ lit 4C Koshkin recommended or the Trijicon AP 3-9. Optically, the Meopta will have the edge, and the illuminated 4C reticle is VERY nice. I own a 3-9 Trijicon, and I'm very happy with it. I use mine for low light hog hunting quite a bit, and it gets the job done.

Either are nice scopes with good illumination systems. It all boils down to what's most important to you. If optical performance is more important than light weight, and you like the 4c reticle, get the Meopta. If saving 5 oz and having battery-free illumination is more important to you than having a bit better optics, get the Trijicon.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/30/2014 at 13:27
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I do like the difference in weight/lack of batteries.

Do you believe 3-9 magnification would be good enough out to 300 yards for a fox sized target?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/30/2014 at 14:03
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The diff between a 9x and 10x?  At 300 yards on 10x the fox would look to be 30 yards away.  The 9x would look like 33 yards away.  Not much of a difference
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/30/2014 at 22:42
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I like the trijicons I have and I prefer the post to the dot reticle. Not sure what rifle you have selected but try to match the scope to the rifle as in big clunky scopes sure make an AR a big clunky set up where an ACOG or a  1-4 seems to work well. With bolt guns i think one can get away with larger heavier optics like the 2.5-10x56 and 5-20x50.  There again not sure what preditors you are after if its coyotes then you might be able to get some longer shots but if you are likely to call in something dangerous you may not want to have a real high magnification optic on the rifle.  I find that the 1-4 Trijicon with red post is my choice or the 3x compact ACOG with red crosshair but I tend to keep shots under 300 yds.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2014 at 08:49
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get the meopta
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2014 at 14:04
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Welcome to Optics Talk. 

Not to persuade, or dissuade you from the excellent recommendations provided by The OT Collective, but I just have to say that the battery life issue on the VX-R is ALMOST a moot point. (It DOES use a battery.)

I have had the same battery in my VX-R 3-9x since I purchased it 2 years ago, and it's not showed ANY signs of needing replaced. It has a motion detector shut off gizmo that greatly increases the life of the battery, when it's not being used. The glass quality on the VX-R is probably less than some of the other recommendations, I concede, but I wouldn't the fact that the VX-R uses a battery determine if got it or not.
It's a really GOOD, (maybe not great) system for low light hunting.  

      
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2014 at 20:49
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Plus, if the battery does die, the worst thing that happens is you have a conventional non-illuminated reticle that's still usable, just like any other scope without illumination. Your hunt won't have to end.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2014 at 22:22
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If you are going to hunt at night, I would suggest the Trijicon or the Meopta for their optic quality in low light.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/14/2014 at 08:34
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I've got the 3.5-10x44 4C Meopro.

I use it in all light conditions to very very lowlight and moonlight. I do get some flare back from the illumination but only when you've got it dialled up to much for the conditions.I use it on the lowest setting a fare bit. I have no complaints about the illumination. its fast on target. I won't be worried about having battery, they last for ages, its not like they die every 2nd or 3rd hunt. I'm still on my first battery and routinely forget to turn my illum off after a hunt, pick it up next time and think oh no , look through and yep still going strong.

They're not night vision , sometimes dark is just dark, saying that in those last few mintues of fading light you can still see into those dark shadows hundreds of yards away. Moonlight I can see no worries.

Got the 44mm mounted in lows. Not too bulky and weight is ok.

The other two I was looking at were the trijicon accupoint or VR-X, I'm sure any of these three would do the job.

goog luck with your purchase.

Oyster.   

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/15/2014 at 02:39
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if you decide you can live with a 50mill....the weaver tac..3-15 is a good low light robust rifle scopeExcellent ..best a luck
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2014 at 15:36
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I had the Accupoint (Green Dot) and during the day the reticle would turn silverish, at night with a light source the tritruim would wash out, and the reticle would disappear against dark backgrounds.

I have a VXR which works nicely since the reticle is etched and bold. I can see it well enough that I don't even use the LED illumination.

Eagle

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