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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2009 at 11:50
chadofjesus View Drop Down
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While having been researching and getting much helpful advice in learning scope technology along with scope comparisons I'd like to start a topic where I can ask several remaining questions I have. I am considering two(or three?) price categories still, but I think when I get a better grasp on technology and features in a practical sense, that is how they actually benefit me, then I hope to narrow it further. Nonetheless, I am after a quality scope. 

I am trying to get the best all-purpose scope in the price range I decide is most worth buying(still in question). Scope will be mounted on a .308 Savage(16FLHSS) weather warrior w/ accutrigger & accustock. I am left-handed and plan to keep this set-up for the long haul. While I would likely be very satisfied with a 3-9 power I'm very much hopeful to benefit from increased magnification range scopes(3-12, 2.5-16, ?) for flexibility in hunting and/or possible target shooting in the future. Still, I may or may not go for the added magnification range.
 
To this point I've been looking at some of the hold over reticles for the models below, but have been hearing more and more that may alter my decision. I am beginning to understand some of the reasoning behind this, in that the reticle can be in the front(FFP) or second(SFP) focal plane thus affecting accuracy and the benefit of these hold over points because target and reticle are not increasing/decreasing in size together. Maybe more experienced feedback(s) will prove helpful. I would like to hear more on this to make sure I understand if and how hold over may or may not be the best thing. With that said, I also would like to know how I can find out which models, if any, utilize the FFP holdover, or even Mil Dot reticles if the same applies to them also, that could give me the most effective reticle tool possible in the real world. I've never noticed any manufacturer list SFP/FFP in their specs. Reticles being considered at this point are Sightron's Duplex vs HHR, Vortex's BDC, Bushnell's Mil Dot vs DOA, Zeiss Conquest's #4 vs Rapid Z-600, and possibly still in an illuminated reticle Trijicon's Illuminated Mil Dot. Depending on feedback I'm hoping to know with confidence if I should throw out any or all of my "hold over" possibilities for various low-light/long-range hunting scenarios. I know these are all tools that manufacturers develop to assist the shooter, many times under-practiced shooter, perform consistent shots in varying situations.
 
Lastly, I know the question will be asked, and so I'll mention that while most of my hunting/shooting will not require shots beyond 200-300 yds, at least right now, I want to consider this higher magnificatin range as a possibility for longer range shooting on this set up.
 
Below are the scopes in the lower-priced category. Vortex & Sightron seem to offer huge bang-for-buck, and are also running $50 rebates thru December - an unbeatable value. All combinations in this category I've priced are within $50-$100/$140 of each other.
 
Vortex Viper 3-9X40, BDC
Sightron SII Big Sky 3-9X42, Duplex/HHR or 3-12X42 *priced between the two categories
Weaver Grand Slam 3-10X40, Ballistic-X
 
Those in the higher-priced category are pretty much twice the previous(except SIIB 3-12X40HHR  which is a "tweener" in price point) scopes, and am evaluating price vs benefit once I get a good handle on things. The scopes I've priced below are within $50 of each other. They include:
 
Zeiss Conquest 3-9X40, #4/Z-600
Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16X40/50?, Mil Dot/DOA
Trijicon Accupoint 3-9X40, Illum. Mil Dot
 
I also am not experienced with using side focus adjustments for paralax and really need to know what to expect from the side focus Bushnell 6500. I've heard that it's not good to have to worry about paralax adjustments when hunting, and for obvious reasons, but will this be a managable function to use in the field or is it just not worth getting the 6500 with its adjustable paralax? I just don't grasp how much I will need to use it? How critical is it to adjust for paralax and at what yardage points? Also, does being left-handed make adjusting side focus easier or more difficult??
 
I realize that the Trijicon is not an equal comparison feature-for-feature with the others in its category. In fact each scope in either category has unique combinations of qualities. The Zeiss and Trijicon are the higher priced choices with 3-9X40 while the Bushnell offers 2.5-16X40/50. That being said this might help to narrow the field by eliminating choices along the way. I just wanted to put the illuminated Trijicon in, that came by recommendation, for the part of me that is still considering how valuable an illuminated reticle could be to me. Thanks for you input gentlemen.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2009 at 12:01
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My thoughts on the matter, if you are not expecting shots beyond 200 to 300 yards with an occasional longer shot I would go with the 3-9x, 2.5-10x, or 3-12x scopes.  Lighter is better IMO on a hunting gun.  There is just no need for power much beyond that for those kinds of shots. 

Nothing wrong at all with a BDC of some sort, even if you can only use it on 9x chances are for a long shot where you actually need to use it you will be on 9x anyway.  Once you get your actual ballistics and data figured it would be a great tool.

All the scopes you listed are good scopes I would just pick the one that has more of the features you want and go with it. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2009 at 15:04
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I would go with a Weaver Grand Slam.  I hunted with a friend Sun. who hardly every gets to hunt or shoot (less than 7 days a year hunting and probably 2-3 shooting prior to season).  His rigs stay in the cabinet.  He has Weaver Grand Slam 4.5x14x40.  The numbers on both power and objective rings are faded as to be unreadable in anthing but the best light.  This in just a few years use.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2009 at 15:12
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Still believe the 3x9 conquest offers alot of scope for the money.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2009 at 15:13
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Originally posted by lucytuma lucytuma wrote:

Still believe the 3x9 conquest offers alot of scope for the money.

if it had loutec on its lenses i dont think i would buy any other scope again.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2009 at 16:29
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Originally posted by magshooter1 magshooter1 wrote:

...He has Weaver Grand Slam 4.5x14x40.  The numbers on both power and objective rings are faded as to be unreadable in anthing but the best light.  This in just a few years use.
 
 
Is this your way of impressing me by how well the Weavers hold up?Roll on Floor Laughing 
Maybe I misunderstood the statement. Forgive me if that's the case Magshooter1
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2009 at 16:36
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I would ask if you have a gun club near by? and just go look through a few, I've let guys look thru my SS and my 6500 at the club you would be surprised by all the people that love talking shop at the range. The more time I spend at the range, the less i spend in yard work on the weekends.   Hurt me! (and if my wife reads this, one of you knucklehead stole my password)


Edited:
here's my 6500
http://swfa.com/Bushnell-25-16x42-Elite-6500-30mm-Rifle-Scope-P13139.aspx

price has dropped also.


Edited by Steelbenz - December/08/2009 at 16:44
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2009 at 17:00
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Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

Nothing wrong at all with a BDC of some sort, even if you can only use it on 9x chances are for a long shot where you actually need to use it you will be on 9x anyway. 
 
 
Point well taken. Most of shots in need of bullet drop compensation will be at mid -to-upper magnification ranges.
 
What do y'all think of the different reticles: Duplex, Ballistic, or Mil Dot taking all factors into consideration like visibility in dark and light conditions, etc? I need some real life comparisons of the reticles that I've mentioned: Sightron, Vortex, Weaver, Zeiss, Bushnell, Trijicon? Zeiss's Rapid Z-600 is maybe the most atypical one I've seen. Do all of the dashed lines, etc help or hurt? It seems it may make low-light or dark images hard to find it?
 
Anybody know if any of these scopes have a FFP reticle? Anybody know if Leupold's CDS bullet drop dial is anything more than a marketing thing. Afterall, you'd have to have it made to specs of only one specific ammo cartidge. Or would it be "close enough" with similar .308 cartidges for different brands of ammo or for use in different size/velocity bullets? It sounds like it may benefit only if you stick to one choice of ammo.
 
Keep 'em coming guys, and thanks!
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2009 at 17:09
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All the BDC reticles unless specifically calibrated for a certain bullet, velocity, alitutde etc will pretty much work very similar.  They are not really set hold over makes.  You have to figure them out by chonoing your load and using a ballistics calculator or actually shooting all the distances and figuring it out for your self.  You may zero at 100 yards and with your bullet the second mark may hit right on at something like 245 yards.  They third one might be 323 yards and so on.  To many people think that the first line is 200 yards the second is 300 and so on and so on.  They just don't work that way.

The Leupold knobs would actually work very well.  But first you need to chrono your load and get all the ballistic and eviornmental data in which you will be shooting.  They you send your scope to Leupold and they will custom taylor a knob to your load.  The catch is if you change bullets or velocity it will not be right on anymore.  So you would be best off picking a bullet and sticking with it.  Nice thing about the Leupold knob is they will work an any power because it is not a reticle thing but an actual movement of the errector.

None of the scope you listed are FFP, they are all SFP scopes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2009 at 17:35
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In the case of the Rapid-Z reticle, I use one on my beanfield rifle, (Actually the Z-800)and have found it to be very useful. The reticle is busy, but not so obstructive that it makes target aquisition hard. The dashed lined on the outside are good for range estimation, but are not very visible in very low light, so don't depend on them for last light shots. The rest of the reticle is designed for low light, and works well in a hunting situation. Zeiss's caclulator on their website is very useful, and will get you pretty close for your given load. I've used one for whitetail and mule deer hunting, and am planning on using it for an upcoming elk hunt. It has helped me to make shots on game that I normally wouldn't have considered taking. All this is after practicing at these ranges of course. The only other ballistic reticle I own is the Nikon, and it works too, but I don't find it as accurate, or quite as easy to make out in low light as the Zeiss.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2009 at 18:24
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Mil-dot in the FFP variety. Very easy to range. I am not fond of ballistic reticles unless it something like the BSA Sweet 22 or 223.....this is not because of any love I have for BSA, but because before I actually (reluctantly) bought one, I thought they were crap. After mounting and shooting for quite some time off of my savage110 I feel like it is the best for the money. ANYWAY that was a bit of a wild rant.........BACK to yor Q. I think you should follow the advise of STEELBENZ so that you may at the very lest feel the weight of each glass and look through it and compare light gathering capabilities and clarity in the sight picture.....as for the reticule.....that is all together a different best to conquer.....but I myself choose glass that is Mil-dott FFP......and obviously something milspec...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2009 at 18:59
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Thanks for the response 0311GRUNT,  but won't help me gain any understanding unless you elaborate on why. I don't care as much about what one's opinion is as I do how or why they came to that opinion. Please tell what you don't like about Ballistic, what you did like about the BSA, and why Mil Dot is easy to range. Unfortunately the gun club is not my best option, and that is why I am here, but thanks for the advice. I'll remember that the next time I'm at a range, etc. I'm still hoping to better grasp logic behind reticles if we can put our heads together. Experiences of the masses are crucial to this, but we do have the privilege of having access to much experience on such a place as this forum. No?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2009 at 20:19
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We have conversed a fair bit via PMs, so you know my opinion on this.

Holdover reticles:  if you want to use a reticle for holdover, learn to use MilDot reticle for it.  Holdover ability is about the same (if set up correctly), but there is a lot more versatility.  For example, with a 165gr Accubond flying at ~2800fps, you can hold dead on up to 200 yards and the successive mildots will give you aiming points at 300, 400, 500 and 600 yards.  In practical terms, I would not want to use reticle holdover beyond 400 yards.  For longer ranges, get a scope with easily adjustable knobs.

MilDot is not particularly easy to range with, but you get better with practice.  It is hell of a lot easier to range with MilDot than with BDC reticles of all sorts.

If you want maximum versatility, go with Elite 6500 2.5-16x42 with MilDot (I told the same thing to Steelbenz a while back and he seems to be happy with the scope).  If you plan to keep your scope for along time, the initial price almost makes no difference.  You will spend far more on ammo and training.

ILya
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Thanks Ilya,
 
I've wondered if MilDot had some benefits over BDCs if in no other area than with dots for windage and also for some mathematical reasons with the MilDot system. Unfortunately I have no experience and understanding of the system except the little I've read on it. It sounds like it's time to learn. I always liked math!
 
 Do we still have similar issues with SFP reticles on the MilDot as with the BDC? In other words, is there something I should know or look for(in the specs) that would create the best Mil Dot between manufacturers or individual scopes? I've heard some pros and cons given in the past when folks compared Mil Dots too. FFP vs SFP, or maybe true Mil Dot vs. ?? It was over my head at the time. Do any of these scopes have the better of the two, or is this as crucial in Mil Dot as it is in Ballistic BDCs? If FFP reticles are only available in the over $1,000 scopes, for example, then I don't need it, but I'd like to know the limitations of what I'm considering.
 
By the way, the Tactical model of the 6500 is a bit of a price jump for "larger knobs". I think the low profile hunter knobs would be better for my purposes because of size, but what added benefit are the tactical knobs...finer adjustment, easier to grab, easier to see?
 
I haven't heard anything about the side focus paralax adjustment. Pros, cons, difficulties for hunting or lefties??? Is it something that could cause buyer remorse, or is it something to learn to use and then appreciate? Thanks, this is the kind of detail that's making the difference, and everyone's replies help contribute here. I'm trying not to be swayed with every response since each of the scopes are strong in their own ways.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2009 at 21:12
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Originally posted by koshkinwith a 165gr Accubond flying at ~2800fps, you can hold dead on up to 200 yards and the successive mildots will give you aiming points at 300, 400, 500 and 600 yards.  [/QUOTE koshkinwith a 165gr Accubond flying at ~2800fps, you can hold dead on up to 200 yards and the successive mildots will give you aiming points at 300, 400, 500 and 600 yards.  [/QUOTE wrote:



Not sure exactly where you got your data ILya, but so not to confuse the OP.   You will not be right on at those distances.  It will be more like at 300 yards you


Not sure exactly where you got your data ILya, but so not to confuse the OP.   You will not be right on at those distances.  It will be more like at 300 yards you would need .7 mils and at 400 yards 1.5 mils and 500 yards 2.3 mils and 600 yards 3.3 mils.  I see what you are saying that they will be close and they may be close enough for some things but not right on each successive mil.  None of these systems are that easy except for maybe the Leupold Knobs once you have them build for your load.

I agree that mils would probably be the easiest to use for holdover though.  Better yet get a scope so you can dial in each shot. 

Realistically for typical hunting distances none of this stuff is needed. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2009 at 21:55
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Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

Originally posted by koshkinwith a 165gr Accubond flying at ~2800fps, you can hold dead on up to 200 yards and the successive mildots will give you aiming points at 300, 400, 500 and 600 yards. </td></tr></table><br><br>Not sure exactly where you got your data ILya, but so not to confuse the OP.   You will not be right on at those distances.  It will be more like at 300 yards you would need .7 mils and at 400 yards 1.5 mils and 500 yards 2.3 mils and 600 yards 3.3 mils.  I see what you are saying that they will be close and they may be close enough for some things but not right on each successive mil.  None of these systems are that easy except for maybe the Leupold Knobs once you have them build for your load. <br><br>I agree that mils would probably be the easiest to use for holdover though.  Better yet get a scope so you can dial in each shot.  <br><br>Realistically for typical hunting distances none of this stuff is needed.  <br>[/QUOTE koshkinwith a 165gr Accubond flying at ~2800fps, you can hold dead on up to 200 yards and the successive mildots will give you aiming points at 300, 400, 500 and 600 yards. 


Not sure exactly where you got your data ILya, but so not to confuse the OP.   You will not be right on at those distances.  It will be more like at 300 yards you would need .7 mils and at 400 yards 1.5 mils and 500 yards 2.3 mils and 600 yards 3.3 mils.  I see what you are saying that they will be close and they may be close enough for some things but not right on each successive mil.  None of these systems are that easy except for maybe the Leupold Knobs once you have them build for your load.

I agree that mils would probably be the easiest to use for holdover though.  Better yet get a scope so you can dial in each shot. 

Realistically for typical hunting distances none of this stuff is needed. 
[/QUOTE wrote:


I quickly ran the numbers using JBM online ballistics calculator.  

Either way, you have to go and figure out exactly how this works for you rifle, i.e. actually try it on targets at known distances. 

ILya

I quickly ran the numbers using JBM online ballistics calculator.  

Either way, you have to go and figure out exactly how this works for you rifle, i.e. actually try it on targets at known distances. 

ILya
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Chad,
 ILya did a very good review of the 6500 awhile back and yes I bought mine on the versatility of shooting targets and hunting.  I'm very pleased with the scope. I shoot at 300, 385, 440 and 500 yards in our precision match and reduced target F-class match. I still say go kick the tires so to speak just for your own peace of mind.  
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Originally posted by chadofjesus chadofjesus wrote:

Thanks Ilya,
 
I've wondered if MilDot had some benefits over BDCs if in no other area than with dots for windage and also for some mathematical reasons with the MilDot system. Unfortunately I have no experience and understanding of the system except the little I've read on it. It sounds like it's time to learn. I always liked math!
 
 Do we still have similar issues with SFP reticles on the MilDot as with the BDC? In other words, is there something I should know or look for(in the specs) that would create the best Mil Dot between manufacturers or individual scopes? I've heard some pros and cons given in the past when folks compared Mil Dots too. FFP vs SFP, or maybe true Mil Dot vs. ?? It was over my head at the time. Do any of these scopes have the better of the two, or is this as crucial in Mil Dot as it is in Ballistic BDCs? If FFP reticles are only available in the over $1,000 scopes, for example, then I don't need it, but I'd like to know the limitations of what I'm considering.
 
By the way, the Tactical model of the 6500 is a bit of a price jump for "larger knobs". I think the low profile hunter knobs would be better for my purposes because of size, but what added benefit are the tactical knobs...finer adjustment, easier to grab, easier to see?
 
I haven't heard anything about the side focus paralax adjustment. Pros, cons, difficulties for hunting or lefties??? Is it something that could cause buyer remorse, or is it something to learn to use and then appreciate? Thanks, this is the kind of detail that's making the difference, and everyone's replies help contribute here. I'm trying not to be swayed with every response since each of the scopes are strong in their own ways.

For a lefty side-focus parallax adjustment is not as easy to reach as it is for a righty, but people do it.  For hunting, you do not really need to mess with it a whole lot.  You are likely to keep the scope on low magnification most of the time and there the parallax knob does not get in the way.  Once you dial up the magnification you may need to mess with it a bit, but then you are likely making a more deliberate shot so you have more time.

Tactical knobs are easier to grab and see, so for long range when you click a lot they are useful.  

On the other hand if you really want to use the reticle for ranging and holdover at different magnification, plus need taller knobs for long shots, then you should simply go get SWFA Super Sniper 3-9x42:

ILya
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BTW I too am in my right mind. LOL!
you get use to reaching over the top at the range, but as stated, hunting you don't really need it that much. I'm never about 6X in the field anyway.
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So is the FFP unnecessary, or are there other reasonbly priced scopes with it too? I noticed the SS is listed as "First focal plane MilDot." I just don't see the need for me to have tall knobs.
 
Steelbenz, do you know what magnification the 6500 has to be set at for ranging with MilDot? Did I read 10X somewhere?
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Yes you are correct. You must be on 10X to range.
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Originally posted by chadofjesus chadofjesus wrote:

Originally posted by magshooter1 magshooter1 wrote:

...He has Weaver Grand Slam 4.5x14x40.  The numbers on both power and objective rings are faded as to be unreadable in anthing but the best light.  This in just a few years use.
 
 
Is this your way of impressing me by how well the Weavers hold up?Roll on Floor Laughing 
Maybe I misunderstood the statement. Forgive me if that's the case Magshooter1
 
OOOPs!  Should have been "wouldn't" my poor typing skills got the better of me.  Thinking one thing and typing another.  And for some reason I can't edit my post.  It shut my browser down when I try.
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OK guys, let me start off by saying this. I probably have failed to mention previously that my primary purpose of discussing Ballistic and Mil Dots are for holdover purposes since I will primarily rely on my rangefinder for ranging distances. I kinda got wrapped up in the conversations, but no loss because having a back-up plan is always good. If this changes things, then by all means now's the time to speak.
 
I did get a chance to put my hands on a few of these scopes today at a local shop that are similar, though not exact, to the models discussed. They had a Vortex, Zeiss, and Trijicon, but out of the Bushnell 6500s and haven't found a Sightron yet to see. Conditions in the store are not ideal for determining much, especially during daylight. Besides I'm trusting comparison testing of more trained eyes to glass quality anyway. You guys gave me the itch to touch and see them for myself. One thing I couldn't believe is just how small Trijicon's illuminated dot is at the cross hairs. I may have noticed the slightly greater eye relief in the Zeiss, but could be biased by specs too. Also the Trijicon he had was the 1-4X24mm illumanted #4. I think I'd like good eye relief(or at least more a "constant" relief), but obviously not the greatest factor.
 
If Mil Dot in your experiences are the truly better way to go, and that's pretty much what I'm hearing so far, then I'd like to hear some further analyses from experienced-based comparisons on the previously mentioned scopes as well as others that you think need to be included. I'm still listing non-Mil Dot scopes for those that aren't ready to say that Mil Dot is the way to go, especially since I use a rangefinder. If you think there is little to no benefit one(Mil Dot-to-Mil Dot or Mil Dot-to-Ballistic) has in function over the other I would also like to hear your thoughts on each's reticle weight, visibility in varying lighting conditions(w/ and w/out illumination), and thus ease of aquiring targets. Those in mind still from varying price ranges, magnification ranges(3-9, 3-12, 2.5-16), and illumination possibilities are from least expensive on up:
 
Vortex Viper 3-9X40, BDC                                      Lowest priced 
Sightron SII Big Sky 3-12X42, HHR                        + $140)
Zeiss Conquest 3-9X40 Z-plex, #4, or Rapid Z600  +~ $125-$200)
Bushnell Eilte 6500 2.5-16X42, Mil Dot or DOA       +~ $250)
Trijicon Accupoint 3-9X40, Illuminated Mil Dot        +~ $250)
 
I hope to hear from those that have commented as well as others of you who would like to contribute too. Many thanks, gentlemen.
 
Chad
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/10/2009 at 01:56
chadofjesus View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: November/28/2009
Location: N. Georgia
Status: Offline
Points: 14
...Since I couldn't edit my previous post I wanted to add Sightron's Mil Dot reticle to the list for consideration and comments too.
 
Chad
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