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Need help picking low light scope

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/30/2008 at 13:51
SouthTXBowhunter View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Joined: November/30/2008
Location: Sabinal, TX
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I do a lot of Hog hunting at night, WITHOUT using suplemental light- we use moolight only. I've been using a Burris 3-10x50 LRS with an illuminated reticle, and it works pretty well. However, if it worked just a HAIR better (in terms of light gathering) I could shoot a WHOLE lot more often- about 60% of the time I can see the hog clearly with my Leupold 10x42 Pinnacle binocs but the hog JUST isn't QUITE clear enough to guarantee a good shot. So, I'm looking for a new scope. I'm considering scopes like Leupold's Vx-III, VL & Mark 4 series' and Nightforce scopes. Of course, I'd rather not spend any more than I have to; so, if I can find a cheaper one that'll do the trick, that'd be great.

What I'm wondering is, what characteristics will give me the most bang for my buck when it comes to light gathering- objective lens size, tube diameter & lens coatings? For example, are the Leupold coatings so superior to Burris' that simply switching to a comparable Leupold scope will give me significantly better low-light capability?

Will switching to a 30mm tube really make a significant difference in a scope's light gathering ability? How much so- say percentage-wise?

Is there a SIGNIFICANT difference between a 50mm & a 55mm objective lens, for my purposes? How about when compared to a combination of better coatings AND jumping to the larger 30mm tube? The physical size of a 56mm objective lens worrys me because of how high they ride on a rifle- especially on a AR-15.

I'd love to hear some expert advice on these questions AND some recommendations on different scopes! My AR is specially built (by LaRue) for long range accuracy, ski also need a scope that'll be good for some daytime shooting at 600-800 yards; and I definately want an illuminated reticle- preferably a German #4 dot!

Thanks, in advance, for your help!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/30/2008 at 14:04
pyro6999 View Drop Down
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OT TITAN

Joined: December/22/2006
Location: North Dakota
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how much money do you "want" to spend??
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/30/2008 at 17:51
Yak View Drop Down
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Trijicon AccuPoint (and ACOGs Wink ) optics are always a solid choice.  Pick a power level and your good to go.  Using a bigger tube size (30mm vs 25mm) for the most part just gives you more adjustments as far as W/E go.  Also, having a bigger objective is no sure thing for better night time use.
 
As Pyro already asked; how much money do you want to spend?  And what distance have you/do you tend to hunt at?
     
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2008 at 07:33
jetwrnch View Drop Down
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What distances are you shooting? The larger objective only makes a difference at higher magnification and only to the level your pupil can open. As you get older the larger objective gives less of an advantage. What's more relevant, IMHO, is glass and lens coatings. Clarity and contrast are also important. You may even wish, gulp, to consider the Leupolds with the filters.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2008 at 08:22
SGT_Shooter View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Having hunted hogs in Germany at night with no supplemental light I can tell you that there is a big difference in optics choices here. I have taken many different rigs into the woods only to be let down. My experience is that Zeiss (not conquest, but the German stuff) is the brightest in true twilight hours. I also appreciate the Lighted reticles as they only illumonate a dot not a cross hair making it easier to retain necessary night vision to still see your target.
 
Keep in mind that there are only a select few days each month that will have enough moon to hunt by, because reguardless of what glass you have, dark is dark.
 
I would also reccomend packing in an ATN night vision monocular so you can truly scan you area and determine which little goes to your table.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2008 at 08:27
SGT_Shooter View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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5217479956 $2,199.95
 
This one is my personal favorite, I like the 56mm objective for its FOV. very necessary when hunting at night as it does become more difficult in all areas.
 
This scope currently sits on top of 2 of my hunting rigs.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2008 at 18:56
SouthTXBowhunter View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Joined: November/30/2008
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Excellent  Thanks for the replies fellas!

Pyro6999-   I'm looking to spend no more than $1300-$1400 but I'd prefer to slide in under $1000.

Yak-   I thought that the size of the tube also effects how much light can travel through the scope to your eye?  Is that not true?  I didn't realize that the tube size effects the amount of W/E adjustment.

jetwrnch-   I'm not sure what you mean about the Leupold scopes with the filters?  I didn't know that they offered scopes with filters.  Are they part of the VX-III, VL or Mark 4 series?  Can you give me a little info/insight into these scopes and why you said, "Gulp?"

I am shooting anywhere from 20 yards to 600 yards with my AR but for nightime hunting I'm not shooting more than 150 yards, usually.  I bowhunt them all the time and can stalk really close (10-40 yards) a lot of the time if I want to; but when I'm rifle hunting them at night, I usually close the distance to within 100-150 yards which eliminates the liklihood of them spotting me.  So, I need a scope that'll let me pick out a hog at 150 yards.

Sgt. Shooter- My mother is from Germany and my whole family hunts over there. We have 3 "Jagdts" in the Sauerland and I grew up hunting hogs, rhebock, hirsch and all sorts of other game over there.  It's a blast hunting the monster european boars over there, isn't it? I wish I could afford to buy one of the Zeiss scopes on the 2 rifles I inherited from my Grandfather over there! Unfortunately those guns live in Germany and I'm not about to have those scopes taken off and sent to me here to put on my AR!

I DO like those big objective lenses but on my AR they'll ride so high that I'm afraid it'll be a lot harder to use than a lower-sitting 42 or 50MM lens.  I have a collapsable stock and the cheek weld is pretty low compared to a traditional rifle stock. But this is a ranch rifle that rides in the truck with me all the time so I need a compact rifle.


I don't have any trouble seeing the hogs with my Leupold Pinnacle 10x42 binoculars at the distance and in the conditions where I want to be able to shoot. So, what I'm looking for is a scope that'll give me at least THAT much lowlight capability.  Am I asking for too much? Is it easier to see in low light with binoculars because there are 2 lenses?  I would think that with one lens for each eye there wouldnt be any sort of cumulative effect.  If there ISN'T, then I would think that a Leupold Mark 4 or VX-III (same company as my binoculars, so same glass right?) would give me AT LEAST as much light transmission if I went up to the 50mm objective?  Am I all wrong?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2008 at 19:04
pyro6999 View Drop Down
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Joined: December/22/2006
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binos generally give you better low light performance than your scope will because you get to use both eyes among other things. if i were you i would buy the best glass you can afford in a 40-50mm objective the tube size really isnt a big factor for light gathering as much as it is for strength of the scope. look at swaro or zeiss or kahles for that kind of money
take a look at this especially the later pages it may help


Edited by pyro6999 - December/02/2008 at 19:17
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2008 at 21:33
SGT_Shooter View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Joined: November/25/2008
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If we are putting this on a collapsible AR then the under a grand answer for low light and ease of 150 yards is simple, we get an ACOG by trijicon and dont worry about the rest of the options.
 
Army, and Marine designated marksmen as well as the Army marksmanship unit and SOCOM seem to feel this is the best distance option and nobody has the amount of time behind a collapsible stock M4 as a Soldier.
 
And yes hunting in Europe was a blast. Archery in France and Rifle and shotgun in Germany and Czech republic.
 
Totally different than I saw growing up in mid TN.
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