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Optics for an Armalite AR-30 (.338 Lapua)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/06/2006 at 18:26
JohnAz View Drop Down
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Hello,

 

I apologize if this topic has been beaten to death but I would like some real knowledgeable advice.

 

My name is John and I'm in the process of putting together a long range rifle.    I'm basing this rifle on the AR-30 platform in .338 Lapua caliber.  I am having a difficult time in picking out a good optic for this rifle though.  Muzzle blast is considered severe on the .338 Lapua do to the muzzle brake on the AR-30.  Survivability is the paramount factor in this purchase. 

 

My criteria are as follows in order of importance

 

             Survive the muzzle blast of the AR-30 repeatedly without losing zero

 

Ability to remove and replace the optic and have exact (or as close as possible) zero when re-attached to the weapon

 

Sufficient magnification to allow consistent hits to 1,000 yards (Or more…) 

 

Mil-dot based reticle (Illuminated would be nice but not a must)

 

Price should be less than $1,000

 

Side focus controls are nice

 

Thus far I have come across four scopes that look promising that meet most of my requirements on the SWFA website:

 

Stock #201911              The Burris 3-12x50 Extreme Tactical XTR 30mm rifle scope

 

Stock#201931               Burris 6-24x50 Xtreme Tactical XTR 30mm Rifle Scope

 

Stock#SS10X42M     Super Sniper 10x42 30mm Rifle Scope

 

Stock# SS20X42         Super Sniper 20x42 30mm Rifle Scope

 

I am not sure what types of rings to get.

 

I do not claim to be any type of expert when it comes to optics and rings so suggestions are welcome.  I want to order this weapon within the next two weeks and would like to get the optics for it around the same time.  If there are better deals for the price listed I am all ears. 

 

Don’t know if this helps but I am a quirky shooter:  Right handed but left eye dominant do to an eye injury when younger so if you see me shoot a rifle you’d swear I was a lefty; if you see me shoot a handgun you’d swear I was nuts (right hand grip, left eye aim).

 

Thanks in advance

 

John

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/14/2006 at 16:14
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Well this forum is not proving to be very useful .  I also called SWFA directly but they sounded annoyed and irrated at my questions and I got "the sigh" a few times to drive the point home: there went that sale.  Oh well, I ended up contacting George at Brenzovich arms and got my setup ordered and on the way. 

AR-30 in .338 Lapua with a Shepherd scope mounted and sighted in.  All in a nice hardcase with extra mags, cleaning kit, and a sample of the millcomm products he sells.  He is VERY knowledgeable of Armalite firearms and the Shepherd optics, and doesn't mind taking the time to answer questions and talk shop.

I have been reading up on the shepherd scopes for years and decided to give one a try.  I voiced concern about a couple bad reviews I've heard about Shepherd and George assured me that these are probably from  armchair experts with little or no experience in long range shooting.  To many "experts" on the internet who don't know a muzzle from a buttstock at the range; his impression anyway.  He has Shepherds on all of his range guns and reports nothing but success despite constant use and tactical training; and yes he says the one round zero trick does work.  Well, I'm calling in the bet and I'm going to see for myself just how good this setup is. 

Anyway, thats the setup I'm going with and hope to have it in my hands hopefully within a month (or whenever Armalite gets their backorders filled). 

Happy shooting

John
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/14/2006 at 16:26
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Well, welcome to The OT.

Sorry we didn't respond quickly enough for you.

Seriously, I didn't even see your thread.

 

Now, Sheperd scopes do NOT have a very good rep in most circles. Great concept, poor application.

Sorry to disappoint you.

Anybody that would recommend a Sheperd scope for serious precision LR shooting would be considered questionable in my book.   

But, I'm a "armchair expert" at best..........

 

I do wish you luck with your optic and let us know how you like it. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/14/2006 at 17:31
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I think your post just got lost in the Tactical section, it does not get as much traffic.

 

We really try to catch post and answer them as timely as we can but some slip through.....sorry.  I am more concerned with how you were allegedly treated on the phone.  Did you happen to get a name?  Was the person male or female?  I hope none of our sale staff would come across as being annoyed by doing their job.  In fact I took a picture of this sign at our local fast food Chicken place a few weeks ago for everyone that works here to read.  Looks like someone will be reading it again and again and again.

 

 

Sorry we did not get to it timely so that we could have gotten you into a quality scope that fits your requirement.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/14/2006 at 19:48
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The person on the phone sounded like he was waiting to go home, sorry didn't get a name. 

When I called Brenzovich I knew right away the person I was talking to used and believed in the products he was selling, and was positive I would love what I got based on his recomendations.

I can compare numbers all day and guess what, 99% of the optics out there look like they can do the job based on specs.  So I research and narrow my selections to the actual choices that can hopefully perform.  Then I turn to the experts to help me with my choices.  The person that believes in themselves the most and comes across as the most professional is the one I will buy from when it comes to long range optics.  I'm not price shopping for socks.  

Back to the original topic:  I am looking for a robust scope to place on top of the AR-30 in .338 Lapua.  Big muzzle brake or not I know the optic is going to be taking a good amount of abuse. 

Regarding the Shepherd scope, I have heard the good and the bad and both sides say they are right.  So I am going to see for myself, besides the the reticles look so cool I just have to try it. 

It would be interesting to run an SS scope against a Shepherd and see who holds the AR-30 under control better and put the "loser" on my M1A.  The SS scopes do look like good bargins.  This will depend on the final total for rifle and optics package I have ordered though. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/14/2006 at 23:30
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Hello,

 

I picked up a Sako 338 LM back in February and while I was waiting on delivery, I started to look for reloading components on Ebay.  I found a guy who was selling off some 338 LM stuff and who shot the AR-30 quite a bit out on the NRA range near Las Cruces, NM.  This is evidently a 1700 yd range and this guy was holding MOA out to 1300 yds from what he told me.  He seemed to be quite knowledgeable about long range shooting from what I could gather. 

 

He evidently gave the rifle to a buddy along with 1000 rds, who is over in Iraq, from what he told me and gave me a great deal 100 loaded rounds and some 300 SMK tips.  He offered me a couple of Horus Vision scoes with P-25 reticles (?) that he was having good luck with on the AR-30.  I went with a S&B PMII on mine, but that's out of your pricepoint.

 

The dealer in Missouri, Cott Firearms, that I got my Sako from sells Leupolds, Nightforce and now S&B and he told me that he damaged some Leuy variables on his Sako, so be careful of what you buy and mount on the AR-30.  He had no problems with the Nightforce scopes once they were mounted.

 

Take care, Chris

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/15/2006 at 00:19
JohnAz View Drop Down
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Yeah, nightforce scopes were my first impulse until I saw the prices.  I've never seen the Horus Vision scopes, very cool reticle design; wouldn't mind taking one of those for a spin. 

Gonna read up on the Horus vision scopes, thanks for the info. 

How did those 300 SMK tips work for you?  I've also heard Hornady has some new offerings in .338 that are getting noticed. 


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/15/2006 at 11:26
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John,

I wouldn't be at all concerned with recoil or blast damage from an ar30.  It's a real pussycat of a rifle, the scope will take no abuse from the gun.

Regarding the shepard, man did you get taken .  There's just no way a "knowledgeble" sales guy could listen to your job description for the rifle and then recemmend a shepard. What happened is that he saw you comming at took advantage of you by selling you what he had, not what you needed.  You've just transformed a 1 moa 2000 yard rifle into a 10moa 1000 yard rifle by mounting that optic.

Of the scopes on your list, stick to the SS line, but think 16x as max.  20x at distance obscures the target from both crosshair size and mirage washout.

I didn't catch what you were doing for mounts but Bagder is the deal.  Repeatability in the real world is going to be +/- 1/4 moa
for mount/dismount/remount but on a long range precision rifle the scope is installed properly and left in place.


That's just my 2 cents but it's 2 cents worth of advice from the part owner of a 300 million dollar sales organization with a reputation for honesty  and integrity, and 30 year veteran of long range shooting, as well as being from a guy with alot of hard earned knowledge of the  extreme range  precision capabilities of the cartridge you intend shooting.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/15/2006 at 13:34
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Hello again,

 

I have about 220 down the pipe in 3 visits, so not too much.  The fellow I got the loaded ammo and 300 SMK tips from, used a pet load of Lapua brass, something like 93.5 or 94.5gr Retumbo, CCI MilSpec #34 LR primers (which are ballistically magnum primers) and the 300gr SMKs that he moly coated himself.   He told me that these were holding steady in his AR30 out to 1300 yds and a bit spotty around the 1500 yd mark for his particular rifle. 

 

The AR30 has a faster 1:10 than my 1:12 Sako, so it can handle the heavier 300s, where in preliminary testing, my Sako prefers 250s (mostly SMKs and Hornady Interlock 250s).  I shot 20 of the fellow's loaded rounds on the first day and they were a bit spread out, but I have 80 of them left to fiddle with as well as a bunch of his 300 gr tips, some I've de-mollied.

 

I've been buying a bunch of Lapua 308 tips and a few 250 Scenars for the Sako, but they're expensive and harder to find than the 250/300 SMKs, which seem to shoot well in my rifle.

I can only shoot 100 yds, so this whole project is kind of superfluous if you know what I mean?  With a muzzle break, my Sako kicks less than my 7 rem mag Sendero, so maybe Mike is right about the AR30, however I'm not a physiscist.  I made my comments based on what Sako dealer told me.  He pulled the Nightforce scope off a McMillian 50 and had no problems with it on the 338, which didnt' seem to be the case with the Leupold Varis that he had used and destroyed.

 

For what it's worth, (competitor)USA.com is running a special in regular Lapua Scenar 250s at $47/100. SMKs are roughly $44 for 2x50.  It seems like Retumbo and H4831sc are the two, I'm trying out some VV170/VV165 now.  Obviously with brass now up to $180/100 and using close to 90gr of powder, one has to be a bit judicious with choices, as we're not playing with 223/308 size carts here.

 

Anyhow, scour Ebay like I do and you can find some stuff.  This deal was 20 new Norma cases, 100 (60new/401x in slip cases) Lapua cases loaded with 100 300gr SMKs/Retumbo and an additional 175 mollied 300 SMKs all for $100 delivered, so patience can pay off.

 

Take care, Chris

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2006 at 12:04
JohnAz View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Mike McDonald Mike McDonald wrote:

John,


Regarding the shepard, man did you get taken .  There's just no way a "knowledgeble" sales guy could listen to your job description for the rifle and then recemmend a shepard. What happened is that he saw you comming at took advantage of you by selling you what he had, not what you needed.  You've just transformed a 1 moa 2000 yard rifle into a 10moa 1000 yard rifle by mounting that optic.




A number of friends and family members are paying close attention to this purchase so if that Shepherd proves to be a dud the word will get out for sure and follow up purchases will reflect that.  I'm also a gun show regular and people tend to buy what I say is worth the money (and I go with lots of people). 

I have no brand loyalty, I'm just curious to see what works best for me.  Comparing the Shepherd and the SS optics (without having any experience with them) my first impression is that the Shephard will be the faster scope for jumping from different ranges (this is a big priority because I like shooting competitions that grade on speed as well as accuracy) and the SS to be more accurate when I decide to count dots:  again, no experience, just judging based on specs and design. 

Light gathering, durability, and user friendliness may end up deciding which is the better option.  Well, I'm doing my best to talk myself into a side by side comparison.  As soon as I get final pricing and the exact model Shepherd agreed upon I think I will pick up an SS scope and put it head to head.  I'm not getting the impression that the SS will be outclassed in any way so it looks like a fair fight. 

I'm really liking the Horus optics from what I'm seeing on their website (next big purchase may be one of these instead of another rifle). 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2006 at 14:24
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JOhn,

I wish you all the best with your rig.

From experience I'm confident that the Shepard scope will allow you to miss faster than any other product on the market. 

Did the guy tell you that the reticle is target size,  b.c. and velocity dependant?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2006 at 18:34
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I am aware that the reticle is size dependent.  My primary interest in the Shepherd is speed of acquisition, not lining up shots for 2 minutes and drilling 3-shot groups.  I'm thinking for competition were man-sized targets pop up at random distances throughout the range and you have to engage them within a couple of seconds before they go back down and motorized tracked targets that go diagonal forcing you to compensate horizontal and vertical simultaneously on the fly.  The shepherd system looks like it might be well suited to this type of competition. 

The SS scopes look to be well suited for static targets and for competition without time constraint.  I'll find out soon enough were the real worth lies.




Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2006 at 20:13
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John,

About all I can say is that I help run many  competitions of the type you're contemplating and have offered my best scientific, fact and experienced based advice.
Best of luck in your endevour.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2006 at 21:16
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Thanks for your input Mike, I really do appreciate it.  I'll take you up on your advice and get the SS in 16X.  Ouch, those badger mounts are a bit up there, of course I'm sure they are worth it.

The rifle is on back order but I don't see why I couldn't mount the SS on another rifle while I'm waiting for the AR-30 and a good feel for the optic.  This might even help level the playing field when the AR-30 comes in as the Shepherd will already be mounted and sighted in when the rifle is delivered. 

Allright, I'm going to go check out my M1A and see if I want to change my current mount out or not.  How far do you think a stock barrel will push it with an SS scope? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2006 at 22:06
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The M1A is a 2moa battle rifle.  In stock config you can  make the bullet go as far as you want, but putting it where you want when it gets there is another matter.

With a decently tuned rifle 1000 yards becomes a reality assuming that 2moa standard is workable for the application.  You could possibly place in the money in a  1000 yard service rifle comp if  too many ar's didn't show up.

Depending on mount, the SS is going to have 50 to 70 moa remaining from a 100 yard zero  and even with 118LR ammo you'll only require about 42.5 moa to reach 1000 yards.

For your 338 laupua with a 22.25 moa come up from 100 yard zero to 1000 yard point of aim you're going to have the potential to be  shooting way past your ability to hit targets until you understand wind, mirage, terrain and the subtle things terrain  induced change does to you.

If you use the shepard all you'll be doing is spending very expensive barrel life, and that 2moa is going to be a dream.
It offers neither the optical clarity required nor the ability to refine point of aim consistantly.
That's something to think about on a platform with a 1500 round barrel life, which is going to diminish rapidly if you get caught doing the speed drills you talk about.
At our last comp we had 3 guys destroy their 260 and 300 win mag rifles during a single 25 shot 3 minute drill.  This type drill is not uncommon in a tactical comp.

Something like that will kill the 338 right then and there.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2006 at 22:52
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I'm not quite thinking of 25 shots in 3 min, more like 5 shots in 2 min. at varying ranges (600-1200yds).  I agree 25 in row on a .338 would be unhealthy for the weapon in that timeframe.  

I'd feel more comfortable with a gas operated .308 for 25 round drills (An AR-10 is high on the drool list).

I haven't really had to deal with mirage as my current setups don't shoot far enough to make it a problem. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2007 at 21:23
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Guess this thread ain't still active but I wanted a little more input.

 

First of all, I'm concerned that this guy goes to gun shows, recommends products, and people listen to him.  I know the type: was told once by a guy at a gun show that I shouldn't buy a Beretta 92 because someone can take the slide off in a gunfight (because he saw it in a movie) and that a 1911 was a very good gun because Steven Segal always carried a 1911 (he didn't know it was a "1911", just called it a colt.)  in short, I see many experts at the range, give lots of instruction, and can't hit sand if falling off a camel.  And how is a guy who drops $$ on an M1A and an AR30 doesn't want to spring for Badger mounts?  I recall something about putting a $10 saddle on a $5 horse; but maybe it's just me.

 

Finally,  What has everyone against Shepherd?  A friend just got one and it seemed OK to me.  The "single shot zero" is a gimmick, I'd admit, but the optics didn't seem piss-poor, the reitcle, if understood, could be useful - assuming your round fits neatly with the points on the 2nd reticle, and the scope didn't seem total crap.

 

The parallex on the objective is old, the zeroing isn't great, and the thing is only 1"; other than that, what about it sucks?

 

Any actual experience with a Shepherd would be greatly appreciated.  Good, bad, ugly, whatever; I'd like specifics.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2007 at 23:28
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Rancid Coolaid? That's cool................
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2007 at 17:35
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I have a friend who is quite knowledgable about rifles but not really into sniper type rifles mostly garands etc and he has a sheppard on one 300 Win Mag hunting rifle that he took an elk with and he likes the scope. I have never owned a sheppard but the reticle is useful for determining range and compensating provided you match the caliber - balistics and the circle size to the game you are hunting. My thought is that it is an acceptable hunting scope, but it is NOT a tactical scope. I really question whether it would hold up to extreme recoil of a 338 Lapua. The Super Sniper on the other hand is a true tactical scope and would be a fine choice. I have two of the 10x,  one   is a  M and I have had a 20x. I would recommend the 10x but if you are shooting in daylight the 20 or the 16x might also be a consideration.  Fixed power scopes tend to be tougher and able to suffer more abuse than scopes with more moving parts. S&B or U.S. Optics would probably be the best but they are spendy. Nightforce and Leupold might be a consideration. The Burris and the Nikon tacticals have not been around very long and with something that has that kind of recoil I would want a fixed power scope but if you really want the no BS low down call GA Precision and ask George then call Tac Ops and ask Mike then compare the answers.

I do have to agree that the guy that sold you a sheppard as a tacitcal scope took advantage of you. The .338 is probably not the right cartridge if you dont have adequate time for the barrel to cool down between shots.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/11/2008 at 17:44
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Hi John,
 
I'm now about where you were 2 years ago.
 
What can you tell me about Sheppard scope results on your .338?
 
Sincerely,
 
Rick Watts
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/11/2008 at 17:53
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John has not logged in since August of 06.  So I think you are out of luck Rick
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/11/2008 at 18:06
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Thanks for the very quick reply!

interesting conversation for me because I have very little invested into a tasco

scope from the 80s with a bdc elevation dial that I don't know if it is rugged enough

for a 10 lb p17 enfield in 30:06.

The now defunct gun shop didn't charge me much but I got just what I paid for in mounting

drilling errors and poor rings and bases.  
 
It is hard to know where to begin but a very competent

rifles only gun smith asked me "Have you considered putting iron sights back on?"

and I said "Yes"

Rick

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I have a Shepherd P2 mounted on a Benelli R1 in 30-06.  Sighted in at 200 using the one shot method as advertised.  Tested it on paper and put two shots that could be covered with a nickel.  I think it is a very good scope!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2010 at 19:39
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And it had been twenty years since I had been shooting. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2010 at 11:21
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Wow, this is an old thread to resurrect.

I read through it, saw my post (from 3 years ago) and couldn't beleive I left it like that.

Since posting, I worked with a group that considered buying Shepherd, I know the optic pretty well and would not recommend it.  The glass is "OK" at best, the scope isn't particularly recoil-proof, and I noticed that, with the 2 reticles, one moves under recoil - and it is the important one!

I would not recommend Shepherd for any application.

Glad you like your P2, designem, hope it holds up well. 
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