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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2009 at 19:47
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Hey guys, total newB, first post, so please forgive any transgressions.

I'm looking for some input concerning scope choice for an AR platform rifle. Basically a RRA Predator Pursuit, it was built for a type of competition held on a private range here.
The competition consists of finding, ranging, and engaging thirty randomly placed targets at ranges of 50~600yds. Your score is comprised of total time plus penalties for missed, doubled, or unengaged targets, as well as extra rounds.  As you can see, a scope which allows you to range, calculate bullet drop, and get off a shot quickly is a plus.

So far the most likely candidates are the Leatherwood ART Camputer 2.5-10x44,  Millett TRS 4-16x50, Barska Benchmark 4-16x50, and the Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 wRapid Z 600 reticle.  The first three all have mil-dot reticles, the Leatherwood compensates as you range with it, the Barska is FFP, and they run $300-$350.  The Zeiss runs $500 locally and is the limit of the funds I can allocate to this project.

I'm open to other suitable choices and would appreciate any info or opinions that will assist me in getting an appropriate scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2009 at 23:46
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http://swfa.com/SWFA-SS-Scopes-C1719.aspx
Super Sniper
 
Mil-Dot Master
Stock # - MD1
Slide Rule
$29.95 
Add Mil-Dot Master to Cart 


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - July/20/2009 at 01:48
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2009 at 01:29
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The best choice for what you need to do is the variable Super Sniper 3-9x42.  It is a FFP scope with a Mil-Dot.

Of the scopes you listed, I would suggest you stay away from Leatherwood and Barska.  Barska is absolute crap, and Leatherwood needs work.   Millet is serviceable, but I have heard a lot of recent complaints about quality control.  Besides, for rapidly ranging targets, i would really recommend a FFP scope.

Zeiss Conquest is a very nice scope, but Rapid-Z reticle provides for holdover more so than for ranging.

I would just get the Vairable SUper Sniper and learn to use the MilDOt reticle.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2009 at 06:23
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 Are all the targets a known size?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2009 at 09:31
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If ever the perfect scope existed for a certain application, it is yours and the SS 3-9 FFP (and a mil dot master.)

The SS is FFP, so you can range at any power - and that is a good thing, given your target spread.
The SS is mil dot, get a mil dot master and, so long as you know the dimensions of the target and can accurately call fractions of a mil, you are good to go on the ranging.

The turrets on the SS are in mil (corresponding to the reticle) so changes can be made easily at the turret or on the reticle.


The scope is on the upper limit of your spending (maybe just a  hair above) but it is worth the money.  As Koshkin said, Barska is terrible, Leatherwood isn't the best bet, Millett is serviceable, but the SS will win matches - if you do your part.

FOr what you require, at any price under $1,000, I don't think you could pick a better fit than the SS 3-9FFP.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2009 at 03:37
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Thanks for the feedback guys.  While looking around this forum I've seen a lot of positive comments about the SS Variable, it just seemed out of my reach for this project.  Perhaps I just have to accept the price of admission is higher than I would like.  I see a lot of Leupy Mark 4's, Swaros, S&B, and Nightforce scopes at these meets, as well as a smattering of "offbrands" including the Leatherwood.

I wondered what the story with Barska was; nice looking factory turning out crap... I should've known better, also the Millett looked functional but I've since read about the quality control problems concerning inconsistant reticle adjustment.  Any end in sight to those? Or is the TRS doomed to be relegated to the $#!*pile?

If I may ask, what are the problems with the Leatherwood?  This scope seemed attractive from the aspect of it compensating for trajectory as you ranged with it.   Also the rings and mount are integral to it saving the expense of rings.  I used one of these about 30 years ago (seems much longer!) and I remember it working relatively well, you just zoomed the scope 'til an 18" or 36" target filled the appropriate box and the cam had dialed in the drop. I believe the factory was in the US then, not the PRMC.  Is it the glass, or build quality that's lacking?

As for the Zeiss, it seems to have really great glass and there are hashmarks surrounding the reticle to allow for ranging, but you have to crank the power all the way up to 9x each time, a bit extreme for a 50yd target, but it occurs to me that with a 200yd zero a .223 is point blank out to about 300yds, so you could save the ranging for the more distant plates...oh, btw Ronk, the targets are all 12" circular steel plates and some are in defilade . From each shooting position you can only see 10~12 targets, then you have to relocate about 75yds away to each new shooting position (3x's).  The range extends the courtesy of painting the plates white to aid in detection, but plans to camo them are afoot.

RC,Urfrnd, and Koshkin, thanks for the concensus. I'll have to give the SS a closer look and see if I can swing the cash.  With a FFP, as I understand it, the reticle changes size with the power ring so you can range at any power setting that gives you a clear view of the target.  Is that correct?  Then you crunch the numbers to get range and use the mil-dot markings as holdover points (once you dope them out)?

Am I even in the right power range here?  Is 9 or 10x going to get me out to 600yds?  That should be like looking over iron sights at 60yds on a 12" plate, no?

I'm sorry to be so wordy, but frankly I'm disappointed that the Leatherwood earned such a dubious rating, it seemed like a novel approach that would make quick time on this course, without having to consult charts or tables for each shot. Well maybe I'm expecting too much from any scope at this price-point. Thank you again for your frank opinions.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2009 at 09:11
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With a mil dot master, so long as you know the target size, the ranging is fast and accurate (but it will take some practice.)

You are correct: FFP allows you to range at any power setting, since the increase in size of the target image is proportional to the increase in the size of the reticle.

Leatherwood has had some decent ideas, but they've never spent the time or money to turn out a consistent or high-quality scope.  I agree, it is disappointing.

Barska is, like many other chinese-made very low-ed scopes, not really going for quality or precision, they want the masses - who want cheap and think glass is mostly glass.

In the end, you get what you pay for (sometimes a little more - as in the SS - and sometimes a little less - as in Barska.

Also, the hashs on the Conquest reticle are not for ranging, they are aiming points.

http://www.zeiss.de/c1256bcf0020be5f/Contents-Frame/3dc0003746ab21148525726200057786

You "could" range with it, but it'd take time on the range and time with a calculator.

Sorry there is no cheap and easy choice.  As you said, you see many S&B, Nightforce, Swao and Leupolds.  The SS is less expensive than those and competes suprisingly well. 

Let us know what you get.

I have the 3-9SS and it is a great scope, especially for the price




Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2009 at 13:25
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If all the targets are 12", simply make yourself a cheat sheet like so:

Mils Range
1.50 220
1.40 240
1.30 260
1.20 280
1.10 300
1.00 330
0.95 350
0.90 370
0.85 390
0.80 420
0.75 440
0.70 480
0.65 510
0.60 560
0.55 610


And tape it to the stock or scope where you can see it quickly.   Then you can quickly range with the SS on any power without having to do any math or even think (good for pressure/competition situations).

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2009 at 13:46
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R C that really looks like a great set up with that mount, I am going to think of something I can sell and get one of those, thanks for the picture.

Duce Big Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2009 at 15:24
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Taking it back to the range tomorrow, will take more pictures of the setup and its results.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2009 at 15:44
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Good idea Jon A! I was wondering though, is your Mil chart upside down. It seems like your mil adjustments for elevation get smaller as the range increases. Shouldn't this be the other way around, or am I missing something.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2009 at 15:52
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No, as the target gets farther away it will appear smaller and will take up less space on the reticle.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2009 at 15:59
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Ok, I understand now Bucky.
 
Now all he has to do is get his bullet drop for that range. Right?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2009 at 16:00
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Beltfed that chart is not made for how much adjustment is needed at each yardage. It is based of how much a 12" target will cover up at each yardage in mils. In other words for ranging not holding over.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2009 at 16:02
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Correct. Lol sorry I was typing that as you submitted yours. The template he posted is universal if the target is 12" the bullet drop obviously would be caliber/bullet specific. That chart is a very good starting point for someone to begin with though and a great refrence point for even the experienced mil user.

Edited by Chris Farris II - July/23/2009 at 16:03
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2009 at 16:12
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Yeaup, yeaup, I understands now.Bucky I was having a blonde moment.
Now all he has to do is find out how much bullet drop he has at the different ranges, and he could add that to the chart. Much better than any bullet drop compensator.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/25/2009 at 18:39
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When I set up my reticles for rangefinding and downrange zeroing i put both in Butler Creek scope cap covers. The ocular gets the drop chart and a BC Blizzard objective cover (the clear one) gets disassembled and the rangefinding goes into it so i can reference it when it pops up, then reassembled. This way everything is referenced quickly/efficiently without having to get out of position for the shot. The system is very fast.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/26/2009 at 03:52
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R.C. and Jon A...thanks for the useful info.

Concerning that table of size vs. range, does a FFP 9x scope have enough magnification to discern whether a target at 500~600yds is subtending .6 or.7 of a mil?  Or is it really just a judgement call, recognizing that you're only going to be off by 20yds or so and will probably still hit the target?

R.C., concerning the Zeiss Rapid Z, the hashmarks I was referring to are at the extreme outer edge of the reticle,outside the heavy stadia lines.  They are oriented to the four compass points and the largest section of them is on the upper vertical, (North, if you will).  If you go to the link you sent me   http://www.zeiss.de/c1256bcf0020be5f/Contents-Frame/3dc0003746ab21148525726200057786  and click on "Rapid Z Reticles in Action", then click the "Ranging" tab, it shows how to use these marks to range a target and apply that info to the compensating/holdover portion of the reticle.  Of course this all happens at full power, but I guess zooming the scope and having the holdover grid is better than trying to dial elevation changes at the turrets.

Which is bringing me around to appreciate the features of the SS, as you've described them, even more.  If I can range at any power setting then it would seem a lower setting would be in order, counting on a maximum point blank range out to 300yds, and requiring me to only zoom the scope on targets at a greater distance. This is , after all, a competition, and speed counts!

Again, Thank you for your advice in this matter, it's appreciated more than you know!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/26/2009 at 10:42
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Originally posted by 2Tonic 2Tonic wrote:



R.C., concerning the Zeiss Rapid Z, the hashmarks I was referring to are at the extreme outer edge of the reticle,outside the heavy stadia lines.  They are oriented to the four compass points and the largest section of them is on the upper vertical, (North, if you will).  If you go to the link you sent me   http://www.zeiss.de/c1256bcf0020be5f/Contents-Frame/3dc0003746ab21148525726200057786  and click on "Rapid Z Reticles in Action", then click the "Ranging" tab, it shows how to use these marks to range a target and apply that info to the compensating/holdover portion of the reticle.  Of course this all happens at full power, but I guess zooming the scope and having the holdover grid is better than trying to dial elevation changes at the turrets.





Yea, I see that now, I guess I haven't spent enough time playing with that reticle.

As for hold-over vs. turret, it comes down to preference. 

Let us know what you decide.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/27/2009 at 01:03
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That's an excellent system of rangefinding, probably the most accurate of all...if it's applied properly. If i were using that reticle i would apply the mil-ranging formula using a subtension unit of 0.5 IPHY. This way u could break up the 0.5" subtension units into tenths and it should give u more accuracy than anyone else has out there. I.e. suppose the 12" target brackets 1 of the entire 2 IPHY units and 1/2 of the next .5" unit. Here's the equation (using a subtension unit of .5")--
 
12x100/0.5/4.5=533 yds.
 
see how it works? 1-2" unit is actually 4-.5" units. This should give u the most accurate and fastest system of rangefinding with that reticle, because it allows u to break up each 0.5" subtension unit into tenths.
 
Now for point blank rangefinding u could set the gap as the unknown in the equation-
 
1200/0.5/X=300
 
X=8
 
Now , that means that if the 12" target subtends 2 of the 2" gaps or is bigger then it's within point blank range.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/27/2009 at 01:12
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Now if u wanna' get super-accurate with it subtract the thickness of the line stadia to develop an even more accurate unit of subtension. Darrell Holland is starting to teach this in his long-range shooting classes, since most people tend to bracket between line stadia instead of from the center of the line to the center of the next line. Your 0.5" subtension unit would them be probably something like 0.45 or whatever Zeiss uses for a line thickness. May seem like splitting hairs but it doesn't take any more time to range with 0.5 or 0.45 once the simplified system is established.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/27/2009 at 01:52
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Sorry i can't edit here--bad computer i guess.

My AR that i use for coyotes is an ISSI .223 AI with a 9 twist Hart. I run 65 JLK Low Drags (BC=0.4) out of it at 3050 mv, and it SHOOTS with that bullet. What i did was i got ahold of an old DPMS VLD magazine that allows me to shoot the VLD's (and LD's) with a 0.25" longer seating depth. It really is a cool little gizmo. But if u try to get 1 u'll also need to get the VLD bolt stop and change them out. That 65 Low Drag at that velocity oughtta' be fairly close to the 75 A-Max out to 500-600 yds. or so, and will be a bit flatter at the closer ranges. As far as i can tell it give the best bang for the buck to about 500 yds. or so.

 
What is your load 2T?
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any type of reticle ranging will give you an error spread about 5% x the distance ranged. Since your target is 12" the cone of fire for the 223 about 5" will be inside that. Also I take it that you are not dealing with movers, so the biggest devil will be the wind past 300 yds. Also I am assuming you are shooting against the clock and not par time (given amt. of shots in stated time). If you choose a ffp it will allow you the same windage lead at any power if you choose a z6 or z8 reticle it has the windage built into the reticle and since your choosing an sfp in the lower range, the poi shift with change in magnification will be very small. The ballistic curve for 223  will give you about 10 moa or 2.8-3 mils at 500 yds. It is unlikely that the zeiss computer program will give the hold overs in even numbers at 9 power more likely somethinglike 7.5. as it is unlikely the distances will be at even numbers, which means you will either have to dial with either system or use hold over. Most of this is discussing the differences, the important part here is if you know how to shoot a spotter. If your not limited to the number of shots you chould shoot a spotter for each distance, and with an ar it can be done far faster than corrections can be dialed in. A best "gammer" plan would be to laser range the two longest targets and adjust accordingly, if the shoot involves money or a prize table somebody has already beat you to it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/27/2009 at 14:32
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Originally posted by 2Tonic 2Tonic wrote:

Concerning that table of size vs. range, does a FFP 9x scope have enough magnification to discern whether a target at 500~600yds is subtending .6 or.7 of a mil?  Or is it really just a judgement call, recognizing that you're only going to be off by 20yds or so and will probably still hit the target?

With enough practice, yes.  But it's certainly not going to be as accurate as can be done with a higher power scope.  I also feel reticles with 1/2 Mil hashmarks are helpful but with practice you can make due with the standard Mildot.  Now down to .05 Mil....that's getting pretty tough with a 9X, especially when you're on the clock. 

The good thing for you is the target is pretty large relative to the distance so for most of them a "judgement call" will be enough.  Without taking any time to actually "mil" the targets you'll just visually see the close ones as being between 1 and 2 mils and you'll just "know" how far they are--well enough to hit them, anyway.  Once they're noticably less than a mil you'll want to take more time and try and be precise.  But even then with a standard mildot you'll sort of be "eyeballing" how much space the target takes up between dots--1/2 way?  60%?  3/4?  Some get very good at that with practice and actually find it somewhat simpler/easier/faster than trying to worry about hash marks.  I haven't seen this reticle yet but assuming the dots are .2 mil diameter, remember that can give you very precise breakdown from 1.2 to .8, then .7 is 1/2 a dot away from one, .6 is 1/2 a dot away from both it's between, etc. 

If there's any way to set plates up at various distances and practice before the match it would be very helpful.  Even if you need to take the scope off the rifle so you can do it in populated areas, put the scope on a tripod.

As for holding or dialing, you might want to do both.  It's pretty silly to be dialing for 200 or 300 yd shots, that will just slow you down.  It will depend upon your load, but it should be easy to dial the turret to somewhere around 300 yds, then you'd hold about 1 mil low for the 200 yd shots, right on for the 300 yd and around a mil high for the 400 yd shots, fudging in between ranges.  Again, the actual amount will depend upon your load.  But the target size relative to distance gives you some wiggle room so it doesn't need to be perfectly exact.  That would allow you to take care of all targets out to that distance without even moving from the shooting position or taking your eye out of the scope.

For the 500-600 yd shots, you'll want to be more exact.  First in ranging them, and then in firing.  With a 223, even with a heavy, high BC bullet, wind drift gets pretty substantial at those ranges.  It's difficult to hold both elevation and a large amount of windage precisely with a standard Mildot with the target hanging out in space.  This is where a ballistic reticle with lines has an advantage.  For this reason alone (unless you had a nice windless day!) I'd be inclined to dial elevation for the far shots so you can accurately hold wind while keeping your elevation cutting the target in half.

For that last reason a reticle with lines can have an advantage in shooting speed.  The problem is finding one in your pricerange that matches your load well enough, then figuring out how to range with it (which certainly can be done) and you're pretty much stuck with one power.  All those problems can be delt with, it just takes some effort.  The chances of messing up under pressure (using the reticle on the wrong power, etc) are probably higher.  The FFP Mildot is more versatile as it will work with any load, distance, target size, on any power, etc, but if you got everything worked out with one of the rapid reticles and didn't mind shooting the whole match on one power it could certainly be fast.  The JP reticle in my ACOG is fantastic for stuff like this shooting speed-wise, but I'm stuck with 4X and I haven't even tried ranging anything with it...but I definately see how both styles could work.
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When i set up a reticle for downrange zeroing i employ the same method Jon has done above for mil-dot rangefinding. If i were using that reticle i would find out what the stadia points all subtend (Zeiss should be able to send that info to u) at the optics highest power. I'd then calculate a conservative point blank range zero for a 9" tgt. (3/4ths of actual tgt. size maximum). I'd then calculate my zeros in 25 or 50-yd. intervals, BEYOND MPBR. I.e. if bullet drop is 13 MOA at some given distance, and say the 3rd stadia line is 10 MOA and 4th stadia line is 14 MOA, then the hold for 13 MOA is 3.8 (3rd stadia and 8 tenths down to the 4th stadia line). Since there are 4 MOA between that stadia to stadia gap, then 3/4=0.8 rounded off. Same with 10 mph windage for the horizontal stadia points. This way a grid system is calculated for the reticle. Once tested, and troubleshot, it then all goes into a sticker and placed in the Butler Creek scope cap cover, just like this--
 
425-2.4-0.9
 
...obviously range, elevation and windage, always in that order, no headers needed. The system is exactly this, no deviations. I don't worry if the reticle is intuitive or not as the Butler Creek reference system is almost as fast as the intuitive system anyway. Fact is, I may not even know what a particular stadia point's zero actually is in the field, as IMO the stadia r only there to calculate interpolation and test trajectory vs. subtension. 
 
The only problem with using the system Zeiss computes by changing the magnification is that u now have to keep adjusting power back and forth for rangefinding and downrange zeroing, and that's probably not gonna work. Rangefinding is plotted the same as Jon posted above for a subtension unit of 0.5 IPHY placed in the Butler Creek Blizzard-style scope cap cover noted above in 1 of my previous posts, but it only starts beyond the MPBR rangefinding system noted above. It's not necessary for closer ranges. A range sticker should always follow the "conservation of information" concept to minimize confusion.
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Affordable long range scope options Mouse Rifle Scopes 5
LONG RANGE SCOPE RECOMMENDATION KIMBER8400AT Rifle Scopes 37
Scope for mid range AR15 cmarz01 Tactical Scopes 10


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