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Opinions on illuminated crosshairs

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/27/2010 at 15:53
rquack View Drop Down
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I'm looking for opinions on using scopes with illuminated crosshairs.

My Experience: About 12-14 years go I purchased a 4-12 Swift scope with illuminated crosshairs for use hunting whitetail deer. The concept seemed to make sense; however when put to the test it failed miserably. When I viewed a deer through the scope at twilight I could only see the crosshairs and nothing beyond them due to the "over-illumination" of the center reticle, even when adjusted to its lowest level of illumination. I also acknowledge that a Swift scope is not exactly a top quality instrument so my experience may not be directly applicable to better quality scopes. This scope has not been used since that date, in fact, after this experience I immediately switched to my backup rifle for the duration of the hunt.

My Question: Is it worth purchasing a better quality scope with an illuminated reticle, e.g., Swarovski, Zeiss, Kahles? Do they too suffer from the over-illmination problem? Or is this just a good sounding sales concept that fails the execution test?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/27/2010 at 16:29
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Get a Trijicon.  They are about the best ill you can get and have pretty nice glass.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/27/2010 at 16:42
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Illuminated reticles have come a long way in 12-14 years.  Most of the mid-high end IR scopes have significantly "toned down" the illumination on the lower ends of the adjustment scale while making them bright enough on the high ends to be useful in full light, if desired.  Many of the lower end scopes still have problems with illumination being too bright at any illumination setting.  The best way to "figure it out" is to get the scope you are thinking of using in hand and try out the IR features in something near the conditions you expect to use it.  Many factors here, what kind of reticle, your vision level, external brightness.  If you have heavy cloud conditions, an IR can be quite useful in deep woods.  Has been for me.  Most hunters really don't encounter conditions where they NEED IR.  But, if you want it, there are scope makers who have listened to the "public" and made it a useful tool for the proper conditions.  Opinions of "should" or "shouldn't" abound... they are as plentiful as air, and, generally, not nearly as useful...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/27/2010 at 16:56
tahqua View Drop Down
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Have You Driven A Ford Lately?

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I have a Kahles 1.1-4x24 CSX with a C-Dot. The illumination dials down to a very low level that does not interfere with the target. The great thing about the CSX is when it is turned back on it is at the last saved setting. I don't need the illumination during day light. Before sunrise or after sunset is when I turn it on. It is perfect for use in low light.



On the other hand, I have had other scopes that were of recent manufacture that were terrible. A 6X Leapers Bug Buster flared out the target no matter what it was set on.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/27/2010 at 18:11
Sapper524 View Drop Down
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I have found that unless the optic is built to be "night vision compatible" where on the lowest setting you can't see it with the naked eye ... don't bother.  With the Night Vision usable optic on setting 2 or 3 at low light is joy to use.  The flip side is that optics that are of this quality are spendy.  The only optics I own with Illum are USO and they work well.  If that is above what you want to spend ... the recommendation of Trijicon is a solid one.  I use a Accupoint with there Fiber Optic illum system and it works well and isn't illegal for those states that don't allow battery or electronic optics for hunting.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/27/2010 at 18:44
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yep, experienced the same thing as you on lots of scopes

basically agree with the others

now, I will say that on tan colored deer, and great glass and a bold reticle, they aren't really needed as much as they are for hogs (black) at night

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/27/2010 at 19:51
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Higher end scopes do a better job with illumination. Some, like Premier, only illuminate the center crosshair, which is small. I've had a couple low light situations prior to owning illuminated scopes but never since...figures, huh? Just to amuse myself while hiking out as it gets dark I've turned the illum on just to see what it will do. In my estimation, it would give me about 10-15 minutes extra hunting time at most. That's taking into account the hard limit of the official sunrise/sunset tables and any immediate environmental conditions - overcast, a dark, shaded hillside, etc.

In other words, if you live in a place where regulations limit hunting to say 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset, illumination will rarely be useful.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/27/2010 at 20:06
tahqua View Drop Down
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Have You Driven A Ford Lately?

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The problem I've had in MI, where it is 1/2 before/after, is when it is overcast. Most reticles disappear. An illuminated has become useful in the dense cedars and pines, also.
Of course a heavy reticle like a 4A is good in this regard too.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/27/2010 at 20:11
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Trijicon -- Dont leave home without one.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/27/2010 at 23:05
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 I hunt hog in some pretty low light conditions, and sometimes at night. I have a Burris and a Mueller, both with the electro dot, and they work very nicely. the trijicon is awesome, and I have found most of the lower end models that light up the whole reticle are next to useless.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 09:57
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You haven't mentioned the use, and most of the responses are from a hunting point. Usually when IR is needed the ranges have shrunk dramatically, and an occasional long shot. IR on short range tactical is almost a necessity. IR on low power optics say 1x or 1x4 is an absolute necessity as far as I'm concerned. Going from almost complete dark of a hallway to open sunlight, while your pupil is spasming trying to adjust. Hitting a 300 yd mover in an over cast raining, with a thin etched NF reticle absolutely. Hunting is not as specific and the need would vary more by the hunter. But the biggest reason to get it-- after spending 2k on a high end scope whats another 100 or so to get illumination.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 10:09
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Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

...while your pupil is spasming trying to adjust.
Why did that make me think of Inspector Dreyfus in the Pink Panther movies?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 11:56
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Ya, but he also had a sugar problem.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 11:58
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wait something has a hold of my leg-- jeez its a commercial.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 19:36
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I have 2 Burris Signature Selects 3-9x40 with the electro-dot and a Bushnell Elite 4200 2.5-10x40 with the firefly and I find them useful at 1/2 hour before/after sunrise/sunset. Especially in dark timber and thick woods. The small red dot in the Burris is ideal.
One plus with using these scopes for hunting is that even without enabling the illumination features, the crosshairs are thicker than the standard types. the posts are very thick and are much like a #4 reticle. This alone makes them more desirable to me.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 23:57
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Originally posted by tahqua tahqua wrote:

The problem I've had in MI, where it is 1/2 before/after, is when it is overcast. Most reticles disappear. An illuminated has become useful in the dense cedars and pines, also.

+1
I tried a Burris illuminated scope over the past few days and liked the illumination a lot. We were driving in around 4:30am with a 1/2 moon and overcast skies, having to walk abt 90 minutes before getting ready for -1/2hr. The illumination was working really well, definitely usable with a glove, and was really useful through about 7:30. When looking at very dark copses (oaks + brush, some pine stands) it was also quite useful.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/29/2010 at 10:07
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Well I see there is much praise for the Trijicon.

However, anybody have an opinion on the Vortex Viper PST in 1-4x24mm with the TMCQ MIL Reticle or Viper PST 2.5-10x44mm with the

EBR-1 Mil Reticle. You can also get both scopes in MOA reticle personal preference I guess.

Thanks Danny

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/29/2010 at 10:14
supertool73 View Drop Down
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no one has seen the PSTs yet, so there is no real data on them.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/29/2010 at 15:50
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My Zeiss Victory 3-12x56 with IR reticle # 60 , has seen three seasons use as my low light / night time scope.
The variable power on the dot works very good, and I usually have it on low power.
Just a tiny red spec (but very clear and defined)
 
For me, low light hunting took on a new dimention with this scope.
For daylight hunting, I have no experience with IR, and see no need for one eighter.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/29/2010 at 21:44
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Optics GrassHopper
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I used the bushnell firefly for the first time hunting thanksgiving weekend and it worked surprisingly well.  I could have easily taken an ethical shot after legal hours  (not that I would; just testing the scope).  This was in a 100 yard food plot surrounded by forest.   (50mm objective set at 2.5 mag.)  This is a reasonably priced scope and requires a flashlight and no batteries.  

I also own the Zeiss 3x12x56 illum.  No problems with the brightness of the illumination.  Expensive; worth it? yes if it fits your budget.  (I would agree with seawolf's comments)

I have not field tested the trijicon but have looked threw them in the daylight.  It is a very nice scope and fits (price wise) between the afore mentioned suggestions.
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