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Mid priced long range hunting scope

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2009 at 18:41
bookworm View Drop Down
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Hi all.  First post here....been lurking a short time and have found some great info here.
 
I'm getting a rifle set up for long range NA big game (mostly elk at 600 - 800yds), and I need new glass.  My ultimate purpose is hunting, but of course I will actually shoot it more in practice than in the field.  I will be mounting it on a .300 win mag.
 
Right or wrong my search criteria is something like this:
- Optic clarity should be very good (I know this is a personal thing, but a good combination of brightness and resolution tend to be what my eye likes)
- Vertical adjustment range (prefer 80+ moa)
- Good customer service
- Good turrets (good markings, good "feel", possibly covered to avoid accidental changes from scabbard/brush/etc.)
- Mil-dot reticle
- Middle range magnification (12x minimum, more is a bonus and would be useful under certain conditions, but not a requirement)
- Side paralax focus

The scopes that have my interest right now are:
- Sightron SII Big Sky 4.5-14x44
- Sightron SIII 6-24x50 (in a practical sense what does the 30mm tube and 50mm objective buy me over the scope above?)
- Leupold Mark 4 4.5-14x40 (at the top end of my budget...over if you ask my wife)
- Vortex Viper 6.5-20x50 (I hear they will have a mil-dot in new 09 version)
 
I do have some concern that the 6x or 6.5x is not quite low enough for a hunting rifle.  I'm still grappling with that one a little bit.  In the mean time the Vortex and SII stay on the list.
 
My price range is $500 - $800 with the preference to stay toward the lower end of that unless the extra $$ really buy me good utility for what I'm using the scope for.
 
What are your thoughts on the 4 scopes I have listed above?
 
What other scopes should I be looking at that meet my criteria that may be "better" than the ones on my list?
 
Thanks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2009 at 19:17
trigger29 View Drop Down
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I think SII big sky out of those four. About the right power range for long range hunting with the .300.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2009 at 19:28
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Originally posted by trigger29 trigger29 wrote:

I think SII big sky out of those four. About the right power range for long range hunting with the .300.
 
+1
 
I've got a 4.5-14x40 on my .300 wm and that's plenty.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2009 at 19:51
trigger29 View Drop Down
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X = 180 Y = 90 (X+Pyro)+(Y-Pyro) = ?

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I forgot to mention that there are other choices here, depending on what type of terrain you are in, how you hunt and how far you really want to push the budget. There are several ballistic reticles available too that work well. I just chose from the ones that you listed, as they were in your  budget, and I assume you have a reticle choice in mind.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2009 at 20:22
bookworm View Drop Down
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The reticle I have in mind is mil-dot.  I'm open to other reticles but would prefer to stay with a standard and consistent measure.  I've considered the BDC reticles but would rather stay with a more standard measure from scope to scope.  I probably have flaws in my logic here, but this is what I have in my head for now.

I'm interested to hear about the other scope choices you think I should consider.
 
Thanks for the input.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2009 at 21:04
Kickboxer View Drop Down
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I believe you are correct in your assessment of the reticle issue.  The mil-dot requires, generally, more effort to learn to use effectively than some of the BDC's available (which have their own learning curve), but is more robust in utility.  Know your rifle, ammunition, optics.  If you know how to use a mil-dot, there is no sense in confusing yourself with other BDC's, unless you really want one.  
However, you do have to take into consideration that BDC scopes combined with a laser rangefinder are faster to target than the mil-dot (without a LOT of regular practice and consistent shooting, ranging, estimating holdover with the mil-dot, range cards, etc).
Your type of shooting, your comfort level with the mil-dot,  and desire to change, or not, should be the determinants.  Then, if you still want a BDC reticle scope, there are a number of very good options.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2009 at 21:59
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+2 on the Sightron. That is what I was going to get for my tactical stick. I have the new SIII 6-24x50 on my bench gun and love it. The only reason I didn't get it is that Bushnell upgraded me to a Elite 4200 6-24x50 Tactical since my TRS1 that I sent back for warranty was backordered for so long. Was going to sell the TRS1 when I got it back and upgrade my self to that exact Big Sky for my all around tactical/hunting rifle. Now it's hard to justify swapping the elite. I wanted the lower power on this other rifle for hunting reasons. 14x will still do long range. I think that unless Varmint/target, 4.5-14 is ideal.  I will probably just throw my Bushnell trophy on it for the once a year hunting trip. Most of my shooting is at the range anyway. 
 
If you are undecided about the power, look at the field of view on the different scopes at min power and see what you think.
 
Mike
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/02/2009 at 01:38
koshkin View Drop Down
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I would add Sightron S3 3.5-10x44 with Mil-Dot to your list. For hitting something fairly big, even at substantial range, 10x top end is plenty, especially if the glass is good.

Alternatively, if you would really rather have more magnification, I would go with Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16x42 with Mil-Dot.  This is probably the most versatile choice.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/02/2009 at 03:06
trigger29 View Drop Down
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X = 180 Y = 90 (X+Pyro)+(Y-Pyro) = ?

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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

I would add Sightron S3 3.5-10x44 with Mil-Dot to your list. For hitting something fairly big, even at substantial range, 10x top end is plenty, especially if the glass is good.

Alternatively, if you would really rather have more magnification, I would go with Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16x42 with Mil-Dot.  This is probably the most versatile choice.

ILya
 
Good points Ilya. I should hav probably made both of them. I guess I'm getting lazy. Most of my longer ranges are shot at about 10x also. The 6500 looks like it would be about perfect. I haven't checked the price.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/02/2009 at 09:58
bookworm View Drop Down
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At one point in time the Elite 6500 was at the top of my list.  On paper it is about perfect for what I want.  However, after I went to a local store to play with one I dropped it off my list. 
 
The only thing I didn't like about it was the turrets.  There were no horizontal markings and the reset feature was a little too easy to change (seems like it would be easy to accidentally pull the knob up and get your zero messed up).
 
I have also read in another forum that the 6500 was having some problems holding zero.  This came from multiple people, but it's hard to know if it is true or not (and I don't want to spread any rumors here).  At any rate, it seems like there are enough other good scopes in this price range that I turned my attention elsewhere.
 
Have you heard anything about the 6500 having quality/zero issues?
 
Do you know if you can get decent aftermarket turrets on this model of Bushnell...and do you think they might address my complaints with the current set-up?
 
Thanks again for the input - very much appreciate it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/02/2009 at 14:24
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I have heard some anecdotal evidence of a few Elite 6500 scopes breaking, but they were mostly from the same two people who kept on posting their opinion again and again everywhere on the internet.

I think some more time needs to pass with these scopes in the field to determine how durable these are.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/08/2009 at 22:43
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I have  a  2.5 - 16 x 50 6500 on my 7mm WSM I use for long range deer hunting. I put this scope on my bush hunting rifle for a few months and really put it through it's paces during the roar here in New Zealand. Ive had no problems with it. The pop up return to zero is very positive on mine and I have never lost my zero. At 10 power the glass is great. The only negative coment I would have is that the Mil dot reticle could have been a little finer.

Darrin.

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