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More important for low light

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2009 at 11:29
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: November/05/2009
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Been a lurker and appreciate all the good information provided here.  Now I need some help.

I am putting together a bolt action rifle for whitetail deer hunting.  I hunt both out of stands and still hunt, so shots can be offhand and fast or across a field from a rest, however nothing beyond max point blank range of the cartridge (ie, I don't have need for a ballistic compensating reticle).  I am planning on a 7mm-08 in a about a 6.5 lb rifle and do not want to over power the rifle with too large of a scope.  I want a final package that is light enough to carry comfortably, but not looking at specialized lightweight rifles.

The last time I put together a centerfire scope and rifle combo was about 30 years ago (Ruger M77 30-06, w/ a Redfield 2-7).  Choices seemed more basic, Weaver, Redfield or Leupold in 2-7 or 3-9 pretty much covered things.  I always felt I had more use for 2 than 9 and 2-7 was generally lighter and less costly so it was a no brainer.  One of the things I have noticed is that the weight savings for the 2-7 models over 3-9 seems less than what little I recall from years ago.

I have read a lot in this forum and looked at the scopes available on SWFA in these two power ranges and have come to some conclusions.  I don't want to go over 40 mm objective, I would like to keep the weight of the scope around or better yet under 13 oz and I think I can get enough scope to satisfy my needs for $300 or less.  And as usual, a scope that hits the absolute sweet spot for all of my criteria doesn't seem to exist.

As is typical with whitetail hunting shots often come early or late in the day.  I do not want a specialized low light scope, but rather prefer to have a scope in the power and size range that I am looking at the maximizes that characteristic when compared to its peers.

I understand that as in most things there are trade offs and few absolutes, but my basic question in regard to low light is, am I better off with a reticle that is designed for low light or better quality glass?

For example, I really like the combination of features that the Burris Fullfield II 2-7X35 with the German 3P#4 reticle provides, but at low light would I be better off with a Bushnell 4200 3-9X40 with, I presume, better glass but a standard plex type reticle?  Another scope that is interesting to me is the Vortex Viper 2-7X32, but it is unclear to me if the reticle options are particularly good for low light.

Finally, the Weaver 2-10X38 is intriguing due to its weight, but would I be significantly be sacrificing low light performance compared to the other options above?

Thanks for reading all of this and I appreciate any and all feed back.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2009 at 11:50
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Optics God
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Joined: January/27/2008
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  For the features your asking for in a scope and for what your able to spend,the 4200 3-9x40 can't be beat.  It puts you in a catagory of scopes that are above the others in it's price range. Glass/coatings equal to scopes costing much more,VERY durable,and a hvy enough reticle to be seen in low light.
  Oh,and by the way,WELCOME to OT!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2009 at 13:44
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Optics Apprentice
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I have a Burris Signature 4-16X44mm scope on my AR-15 And a SWFA SS 10X42mm scope on my 300 win mag and both handle low light very well, burris is well known for having great glass I've been hunting early in the morning and could barely see and when I looked through the scope I could see very clearly It is great for gathering light. That scope is priced higher than you want to spend but the SS scope is in that price range and I've been able to see late in the evening. It does have a mil-dot reticle and large turrents so you may not like it.  I have some friends that use the Fullfield scope and they are pleased with their scopes
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2009 at 13:50
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Optics Master
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I'ts a coatings thing... The Bushnell 3x9x40 4200 is a favorite.  The Zeiss Conquest 25.-8x40 would also be in the range you are looking at.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2009 at 14:03
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Dark Lord of Optics

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Bushnell Elite 4200 3-9x40
Vortex Viper 3-9x40 with BDC reticle
Sightron S2 Big Sky 3-9x42 with HHR reticle
Weaver Grand Slam 3-10x40

All of these will work fine.  Sightron's  HHR reticle is a little thicker than the other ones here, so ti will work better in low light.

Personally, I would probably move up in price a little and consider Bushnell Elite 4200 2.5-10x40 with Firefly reticle or Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 with #4 reticle.  Both are very competent low light scopes with very visible reticles.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2009 at 14:17
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Optics God
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+1 for the Zeiss Conquest. If your looking for a low light scope, I think the Zeiss would be hard to beat in that range.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2009 at 15:36
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Optics Master Extraordinaire
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Take any decent 3-9x40 or 42, dial it down to 6X or less (should be fine for getting out to 300 yards) and you will have all the light you need. Since you are at least 31 years old Big Smile, your eyes are not going to be able to use all the light anyway. You might find you can dial to 7X and see just as much light and get that extra bit of magnification for 200-300 yards.

Edited by jonoMT - November/05/2009 at 15:36
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2009 at 15:39
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Optics Apprentice
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3-9x40
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2009 at 16:19
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Steiner Junkie

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The 4200 fits all your requirements.......very good glass, under 300 bucks, 13 oz. and they are very durable scopes to boot. I'm not familiar with the other scopes folks are talking about.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2009 at 16:25
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Optics God
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  I've got a Weaver 3-10x40 GS and although it's a VERY NICE low light scope I would like a bit heavier reticle.  I guess the hvy plex in my VXIII has me spoiled.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2009 at 09:55
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Optics Journeyman
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For what you want the Zeiss Conquest 2.5x8x32 is ideal if it is not our of your price range.  I have one on an X-Bolt in .308 which is also a light handy little rifle.
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