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New Guy, Old shooter, Best Scope Question

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2015 at 21:25
burfurd View Drop Down
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Lots of great info from you guys...I've been reading a lot. Want to build skills as a rifleman, after years of hunting and non-dedicated shooting.  I'm looking toward getting a good quality scope for general use that will last me as I get to know it inside-out. I'll be shooting most at 200-900 meters with ability for CQB. I've been taking classes on both bolt and mag-fed rifles.  Want to be the best I can be.  Lots more experience over the last 50 years with pistols. Not looking to compete tho'. This will live on an HK91 or other DMR type, and possibly be switched to a compact bolt gun at times (maybe).

Must-haves; FFP, illumination, ranging reticle, rugged, bright and clear glass for old eyes, max price range is <$1000, great low light ability.
Likes/Wants; forgiving eye-box, minimal tunnel effect, compactness, quick handling characteristics

The candidates so far; Burris XTRII 2-10x36 and the 3-15x50; Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10x32; Weaver Tactical 3-15x50 (no illum); and Super Sniper 3-9x42 HD, and SS 3-15x42 Classic.

I'm partial to 2x on the low end for close range stuff, and certainly no more than 3x, for the all-around nature of this.  I think with great glass, even 9x would be good at 800-900 yds, so don't see that any more than 15x on the top end is important.

I've got a passle of vanilla hunting scopes; Bushy 4200, Lupy VX3, etc. etc. Something more flexible and tougher with 'tactical' aspects may be the ticket.

Please tell me if my thinking is off, and if I'm overlooking anything important.  I respect the knowledge you guys bring to the table. Thanks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2015 at 23:16
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The SS 3-9x HD is hard to beat for a do all scope and the optical quality is really excellent and above the price point.  I also have the SS 3-15x and Weaver 3-15x Tactical scopes, both of which are excellent but at the cost of size and weight. At the upper end of your budget you should also look at the Swarovski Z3 and Leupold VX 3 lines if size and weight are considerations.
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I have the SS 3-15X42. For the money I am not sure it could be beat within your specifications. Only thing it does not have is the illumination. It is the rare occasion that the need for it has come up for me. The reticle on the SS is bold enough to stand out even in low light. The SS 1-6 HD is at the top of your price range. This scope will have the illumination and better glass. I have this on a LAR-8 Predator and with the improved clarity taking shots at 800 yards is not out of the question. It would be weakness by the shooter or the rifle, before either of these optics let you down.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2015 at 07:18
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Welcome to Optics Talk. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2015 at 10:41
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Thanks for the replies. So, you are feeling that the optical quality of the SS 3-9 HD or the 3-15 are the equal of the new Burris XTR II line??

Has anyone compared these two lines of scopes (XTR II v. SS)? 

Hello, Ilya?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2015 at 15:38
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I have not tested the XTR II yet.  Let me ping my Burris contact and ask him to send me one.

Out of the scopes I have tested, for this application, I would be leaning toward a combination of SS 3-15x42 and miniature red dot in a 45 degree mount.  With the red dots, i am a big fan of the new Meopta Meostight III with a 3MOA dot.

The red dot takes care of CQB and the scope takes care of the "out to 900 yard" requirement.  That way, you do not need to worry about illumination in the scope.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2015 at 17:55
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Something such as this, O Dark One??


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2015 at 20:06
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Exactly.

I've got a 10x42HD set up that way making it into a pretty effective 1x/10x setup.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2015 at 21:58
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Good food for thought! I'm leaning toward the SS's but still question the idea of having an illuminated reticle for dark days, close fast movers, and generally extending shooting possibilities in the dark...
BUT, I've never had an illum. reticle before and am not sure of it's best applications. Where might it fit between PVS 14, Flir, and my Glocks set up with RMR's?  Would the illum reticle be used for accurate shots in the 100 to 300 yard envelope? Or, for night "accuracy" would my Aimpoint M4s be it? (that doesn't seem workable to me at present)
Thanks for your replies...they are valuable!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2015 at 00:19
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Ilya, your left handed rifle looks like the dot is set up for a right handed shooter?  The Weaver Tactical 3-15x is available with illuminated reticle but the illumination is not visible in full daylight.  It is comparable to the SS 3-15, a bit larger and heavier but it also has locking turret caps which could be an advantage on a hunting scope.  Optically there isn't a significant difference between these two scopes.  Add in the SS 3-9x with HD glass and it has the optical edge to my eye except for top end magnification.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2015 at 06:17
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Originally posted by Rainman Rainman wrote:

Ilya, your left handed rifle looks like the dot is set up for a right handed shooter? 

It's mine. I set the Aimpoint up so that I could merely close my left eye and look through the red dot with my right eye and not lose cheek weld. 
Your right though. Most of these set ups are with the red dot on the dominant eye. Good catch!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2015 at 09:30
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Possibly dumb question: you run Glocks with RMRs, you run M4-type rifles with Aimpoints, you are scoping an HK91, and you have pretty high demands of the scope: why the $1,000 ceiling?

You are running really good stuff elsewhere, you are buying a not inexpensive rifle, why go with a mid-range scope?

If it is of necessity, I get that; if it is because more expensive scopes are seen to have fewer benefits as the price point rises, I get that too.  But you are listing the exact characteristics for which higher end scopes excel ( better eye box, usable illumination, good glass.)

True, the SS 3-9 and 3-15 are very good scopes for the money, but you have a "must have" of illumination.  I agree that an offset red dot is great option, especially on a non-illum SS scope.

From your last post, illumination is not needed for dark days, nor will illumination assist much with fast-movers up close with a 3X scope - there will be no time to turn it on and get it set.  And no illumination in a scope anywhere near your pricerange will look or function anything like PVS14 or flir.

I might recommend, were it my setup, a rifle that costs a bit less, is a bit more user-friendly, and spend what is left on either a scope/red dot combo or a scope that does it all better.  The HKs are great guns, but unless one wants it simply for pride in ownership, there are better options in the 308 gas gun area, now more than ever.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2015 at 10:32
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Rancid, you make excellent points. I'll try to explain my thoughts and see if the explanation holds up to scrutiny--this is the type of discussion I was hoping for. All good thoughts so far.Excellent
My feeling on the illumination was this; in a patrolling class you have just what you have. The situation may call for a longer shot (I envision the 800-900 yd max). It may call for sudden up-close engagement (so walking with w/ no more than 2x or 3x on the scope is required--it's good to hear you say illum wouldn't be needed for dark days in the bush--how about night patrol tho'?). The offset red dot is an idea, if the thing was small enough that it didn't get hung up on brush.  I think the Aimpoint Micro is way too big to hang off of a scope. The RMR size dot is as big as I'd consider, but it is an idea.  I just thought that the illuminated reticle would be a good idea especially at low power, and would allow the scope to handle both situations.

In an FFP scope on low power, the illumination would really help to quickly see the crosshairs that are pretty small at that point. For very close situations, the pistol may be the preferred way to deal with things, but I'd give up the power of the rifle and I think the right scope in the dark would be great for quick engagement even out to 1-200 yds, depending.

I'd be comfortable with the SS 3-9 HD or the 3-15, just wish it had illum.  I think those scopes in that power range would handle the max yardage easily. But my original question was to consider the new Burris XTR II that shares the features of the SS's but with illum too. Just wanted to know if the glass was as good as SS and if they were as rugged. Don't think I need a larger, more powerful scope for this. Am I overlooking some advantages I'm not seeing? Whacko  As to the HK, I'm just committed to the platform at this point (aside from bolts). It's no slouch either...just over 1" with ball ammo. What are you thinking...German glass on a German rifle??Big Grin


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2015 at 12:31
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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There is no question the HK91 is cool as hell.  For a gun that will see hard use, it wouldn't be my first choice: it is heavy,  parts are not readily available, and guys to work on it will not be frequent - or cheap.

All that said, it is cool - and capable.

Next, illumination gets really tricky depending on the conversation: are we talking about running illum at the bottom end of an FFP scope to make the reticle usable in decent to low light, or are we talking about using the illumination in low light at mid magnification?  Simply stated, a scope at 9X will be darker than the same scope at 3X, so low light means low/lower power.  Then again, at 200 yards in the dark, reticle illumination won't do anything for target identification, forget that scenario.  (If you need to make that shot, get a helmet mounted PVS14 and an IR laser, it works awesome.  And if you need to transition to the side arm, the glock with RMR is there and ready for NVG use.)

If you need 0 yards to 800 or so, your best bet is an offset red dot on a 3-15 or 3-9.  Not having an illuminated reticle is only really going to be an issue for 2-3 minutes at very first or very last light, that is really all illumination gets you - making many assumptions.

And I too think the aimpoint is too big for a gasser.  I have 2 low light setup, one a 308 AR with PEC-15 and a 2.5-10x42 NF NXC compact, the other is a 223 with 18" barrel, and it runs a 3-9SS with an offset RMR or Burris fastfire (same footprint.) NF is illuminated but the scope isn't great at close up, but the laser is great for that application.  On the 223, the 3-9 isn't great for close, but the offset is perfect.

On your budget, the fastfire/SS3-9 or 2-35 would be my choice.  I like the glass and turrets on the 3-9 more, but the 15X on the top would be good for the longer pokes.

I know nothing of the Burris so cannot comment on that.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2015 at 14:28
burfurd View Drop Down
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On illumination for the scope-I'd only consider using it on Lowest power setting up to maybe 4x or 6x depending on reticle and situation--and only on a dim setting. Mainly, I'd use illum on the FFP scope only at low power to easily see the aiming point Quickly at low/lowest power.

Having said that, I've been inspired to rethink things thanks to all your comments. Thank you. I've ordered a
new StrikeEagle 1-6x from SWFA.  That will take care of a lot. I'm also thinking of getting the SS 1-4x as well. This frees me up to consider what you clearly recommend--a higher power scope to really address the longer range applications without illumination.

Then, there is only one prime consideration; the quality of the glass and reliability.

I'm comfortable with this!  This is going to put the emphasis on the 300-1000 envelope that I really have not addressed very well. That changes the question entirely.

So am I now considering the range of scopes in flavors of Meopta, Zeiss, Swaro, and a bit higher power? Thanks for your expertise on this.Yippee
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2015 at 20:45
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Actually, no, I am not recommending more power. My gas guns wear 3-9 or 2.5-10, I don't care for more on such a platform. I often tell people to set the gun up for the shot most often taken, not for the exception. Don't build a 1000 yard gun if it will mostly be 200-500 yard shots.

And on the vortex, it is new, it might be awesome, but it is a significant departure from anything previously discussed. It has a reticle calibrated to a 223 round - or the one I have seen does, it is SFP, and the reticle will be a challenge at 1X in any light, from the look of it.

Let us know how it goes.

These are out sometime this summer, right?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2015 at 21:27
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Yes, I think they said July-August. Long story so I won't go into it, but I've been reminded that I have a Trijicon 3x9 with illum. mildot. That may take care of some of this too.  Still may want another precision scope tho'. Thanks for your reply.
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