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Need REALLY low light scope for night hog hunts...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2010 at 20:21
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Optics Apprentice
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First post here.  I've been reading as much as I can, but I guess it's better just to state what I'm looking for, and wait for some expert replies.  I'll try to keep it brief.

I like hunting hogs at night here in Texas.  Most of the hunting is done in near-complete darkness, with maybe just the moon & stars, and/or a very dim LED feeder light available.  More often than not, I'll be sitting in a blind...about 50-70 yards from the feeders, but sometimes up to ~100 yards or so.

I plan on putting a new scope setup on my Marlin XS7 7mm-08.  I have more expensive rifles in a variety of calibers, but I'm really confident in this new Marlin I bought and I think the 7mm-08 caliber is the sweet spot for what I want to do.

This rifle is going to be my "go-to" rifle for hog hunting at night.  I want the entire setup to be durable, rugged, and unafraid of getting banged up a little going to/from blinds or stalking up to the feeders.  Looks aren't important to me; killing hogs is what matters.  I definitely want flip-up style scope covers.  (I learned this lesson the hard way last weekend on a hog hunt when muddy water got splashed up into the fore end of my scope.)

I don't have the cash for a night vision setup, and I cannot afford a AR style rig.  My budget is roughly $500 to $1,000 for the scope and rings.  I'd like to keep it toward the lower end of the budget, but I'll stretch for the right setup.

I've been looking at the Bushnell Elite 4200 Firefly 2.5-10x50 and the Trijicon AccuPoint 2.5-10x56 with the illuminated green dot.  I've also been looking at LED and laser light kits that will mount to the scope and provide a little more illumination, but I don't want anything that's going to spook the hogs.  It would be really cool if I could find a setup that has a pressure switch that could be mounted on the stock of the rifle.

Any recommendations?

I posted on TexasBoars.com and I've received some good responses, but it can't hurt to get some more advice from the optics pros over here!

Thanks & happy hunting!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2010 at 21:33
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Optics Master Extraordinaire
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Both are great choices, albeit a bit over powered for ranges up to 100yd.s
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2010 at 21:56
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I am in the same position.  I have a place an hr from Austin we hunt hogs at night under the feeder.  We have also added the 8" green fishing light to the feeder and it makes a world of difference at night, just take a 12v battery with you and recharge before you go out.  I still find it difficult to see the crosshairs against the hogs even with the green light and am considering the 3x9x40mm Burris Fulfield II tac 30 with illuminated reticle.  The $400 price still leave enough $ for the 30mm rings.  I have a number of 30mm scopes and defintely see a difference compared to the 1".  I am not sold on teh firefly yet, can;t find any literature on how long the charge last on the crosshairs, 10 min or 2 hrs??????
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2010 at 22:14
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Originally posted by RTW RTW wrote:

  I am not sold on teh firefly yet, can;t find any literature on how long the charge last on the crosshairs, 10 min or 2 hrs??????


That's one of my concerns, too, and it's one of the reasons why I'm leaning toward the Trijicon AccuPoint...but the Trijicon is just really pricey for my needs.  Then again, if it's the only tool that'll get the job done, I'll go for it.

I also want to maintain a lightweight package....as much as possible.  Within reason, of course.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2010 at 00:30
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I don't do night hunting but I just picked up a Swarovski at a steep discount and the optics are really good.  After I got mine I took it outside on a moon lit night and compared to my Zeiss Conquest.  The Swarovski was the brighter of the two, albeit they were both good.  Be sure to choose your reticle wisley.
 
HTH,
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2010 at 00:59
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Resident Redneck

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http://swfa.com/Laser-Genetics-ND-3-Laser-Designator-P41090.aspx
The reviews should tell the whole story.
If using the green laser you may want a contrasting color for illumination like the amber.
The Trijicon products are very nice.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2010 at 07:17
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Vic, I have an Elite 4200 2.5-10x50, 4A illuminated red dot reticle, 30mm tube that is an extra scope to me that I need to send down the road. Has light ring marks but the matte finish is not broken. I can tell you the thickness of the reticle and the red dot adjustability are both ideal for night time hogs, and the optics are very good, no scratches or wear on the lenses... It is currently sitting in my safe in the box. $325 and $10 shipping will take it. PM me if your interested.
 
Even if you choose a new scope, I would take a close look at this model scope. I have used mine for the same hog hunt scenario and it worked good. The red dot will adjust way down in intensity, and really shows up nice against the ear of a black piggie. I bought the scope from SWFA a couple of years ago, but my upgrade program has reached this scope.


Edited by Texas - January/19/2010 at 07:20
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2010 at 07:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2010 at 09:34
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Originally posted by Texas Texas wrote:

Vic, I have an Elite 4200 2.5-10x50, 4A illuminated red dot reticle, 30mm tube that is an extra scope to me that I need to send down the road. Has light ring marks but the matte finish is not broken. I can tell you the thickness of the reticle and the red dot adjustability are both ideal for night time hogs, and the optics are very good, no scratches or wear on the lenses... It is currently sitting in my safe in the box. $325 and $10 shipping will take it. PM me if your interested.
 
 
PM sent.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2010 at 11:11
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These here are some REAL low light hunting scopes:
 
 
 
 
The MEOPTA Meostar R1 RD 7X56 is in your price range.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2010 at 13:44
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Trijicon
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2010 at 09:58
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Thanks for everyone's input.  Here's what I've decided to do....
 
For my Marlin XS7 7mm-08 do-everything "beater" gun, I'm going to mount a Simmons AETEC 2.8-10x44 Master Series matte w/ the illuminated Truplex reticle.  (These come  highly recommended by Bill Wilson for a solid performing "value" scope.)  This will allow a very lightweight package that will be perfect for those long walks to the feeders.
 
My new Savage Model 10 Precision Carbine .223 will get the Trijicon Accupoint 2.5-10x56 with standard crosshairs and a green illuminated dot.  This will be my varmit setup and I think that scope will be the perfect fit for zinging a few coyotes and bobcats.
 
I'm also about to order a new Savage Model 10 Precision Carbine .308 and I've purchased the above mentioned Bushnell Elite 4200 2.5-10x50 #4 illuminated reticle scope from "Texas" for that gun.
 
I just figured I would follow up and let you guys know what I decided to do.  Thanks for all of the excellent suggestions!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2010 at 10:04
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Sounds like you will have a nice 3some there.  Congrats and good hunting.
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