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Recommendations: Scopes up to $500

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/12/2010 at 09:25
krshunter View Drop Down
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Looking for some recommendations.  First the uses.  Potentially looking for two scopes.  One can be a 3x-9x.  It will be mounted on a .300WSM, 24" barreled rifle and the primary use will be elk hunting.  It will be carried a lot, used in the mountains (timber) and in some open country.  Shots can be made out to about 300yds but won't be the norm.  Being in timber some brightness will be important.  Not too worried about hold over reticles but won't discount them either.  Good eye relief is important.  One at the top of the list is the Zeiss Conquest, another is perhaps a Leupold VXIII or 3 and I would probably take the time to find the best price on one through the Sample List.
 
The second should be a little higher in magnification.  Probably no more that 14x on the high end.  It will be put on a 6.5 x 284 NORMA, 26" barrel, and used for antelope and mule deer.  Almost all of this use will be in the open and shots to 350yds. are routine with rare shots to 500yds.  Something very clear is important with good edge to edge clarity, good eye relief and won't tire your eye looking through it waiting for a good shot.  Some sort of hold over reticle would be more appropriate here or target turrets.  Again some early considerations are the Zeiss and Leupold if looking at the Sample List.  I'd like to get the most I can for the money.
 
In neither case will these scopes be used as spotting tools.  One I don't like holding down on something unless I intend to shoot it.  Second I carry binos and a spotting scope.  Optical quality and durability are primary concerns.  Temperature and moisture extremes will be encountered, crawling through brush and a lot of dust.  I'd prefer to be looking in the$300-$500 range and not consider items under that $300 mark.  If I've left anything out let me know. 
 
Thanks
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/12/2010 at 09:29
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The Zeiss Conquest scopes are great.  The 3-9 is in your bracket and there are a few 4.5-14's on the samplelist that are only slightly over your budget.  I am assuming that your budget is 3-5 for each and not combined.  The money you don't use on teh 3-9 could be added to get the 4.5-14 and youd have two awesome scopes. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/12/2010 at 09:55
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 +1 !!!!!!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/12/2010 at 11:00
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+2!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/12/2010 at 11:10
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+3! check out the rapid z600 reticle, very sexy.  if you wanna save some cash the plex is nice too.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/12/2010 at 12:00
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/12/2010 at 19:44
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krshunter,
 
YOu said, "up to $500."  I purchased a 2 1/-16X Bushnell 6500 for $512 delivered.  You can get either a 42mm objective or a 50mm.  They come with a one year return for a full refund guarentee.  Can't beat that wsith a stick.  It has a wider field of view on 2 1/2X than almost any 3X and way more on the top end.  I can see individual blades of grass beyond the 200 yard bank at the shooting range.  I don't think you could do that with a 9X, but perhaps with a good 14X.
 
The eye relief is 4" at all magnification settings.  You can get them with mill dots if you want.  That's what I have on mine.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2010 at 11:40
krshunter View Drop Down
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I think I've made up my mind to go with the Leupold VX-3's.  I had a chance to look through both them and the Conquest in several magnification ranges.  I like the Rapid Z reticle just a little better in the Conquest although both will work fine.  While the Conquest was perhaps just a touch sharper for me I found the eye reliefe to be more of an issue.  I don't know if critical eye relief is the right wording but I could get behind the Leupold much easier and left/right, up/down, backward/forward movement didn't make the sight picture immediately disappear like the Conquest.  I have this same problem with my current Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16x42 which is why I am going to sell it.  Optics are very good as are features but I move the slightest and the picture goes black for me.  If I pull the scope up quick I have to fidget just a little with the Zeiss and Bushnell and didn't with the Leupold. 
 
The VX-3's seem better optically than I remember past vari-x and VX-III models.  Hopefully they hold up as well as some of the earlier models on which they built their reputation. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2010 at 11:45
WestOfPecos View Drop Down
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Hi KRS-

I really like the VX3 form factor and usability, and there definitely better glass on it than the VX-III. But - be aware that, to me, when I change the mag, the eye relief changes significantly, and I sometimes have to change my head position. Since you mentioned that you are very sensitive to the eyebox, you might want to double check specifically the mag change impact in a store before making the purchase:-)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2010 at 11:50
krshunter View Drop Down
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Yes I did notice that the amount of relief did change with magnification.  Good point.  But at any magnification I still had more latitude with the Leupold than the Zeiss or my current 6500.  This is something I have a big problem with in a lot of scopes and I don't know if it's just my eyes or what.  I am very sensetive when it comes to my eyes and I have similar problems with binoculars. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2010 at 17:24
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krshunter, I don't have any specific recommendations but I think you've nailed your requirements down very well.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2010 at 17:37
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If you get the opportunity, take a look through some Sightron Big Sky models.  While I only have hte 1.5-5x, I find the eye placement very forgiving and the eye relief quite even through out the power range.  The optics IMO are in the Vortex Viper, Bushnell 4200/6500. VX3 class. 

http://swfa.com/Sightron-SII-Big-Sky-Riflescopes-C174.aspx
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2010 at 20:10
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Originally posted by krshunter krshunter wrote:

  I have this same problem with my current Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16x42 which is why I am going to sell it.  
 
ATTENTION RICH COYLE!! Maybe he will trade you that overpriced Swaro for that nice 6500!!Cool
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2010 at 20:44
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The Leupold is a good choice with excellent reliability. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2010 at 21:11
krshunter View Drop Down
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Originally posted by trigger29 trigger29 wrote:

Originally posted by krshunter krshunter wrote:

  I have this same problem with my current Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16x42 which is why I am going to sell it.  
 
ATTENTION RICH COYLE!! Maybe he will trade you that overpriced Swaro for that nice 6500!!Cool
 
I'd give it some consderation anyway.  He might have to throw a little something extra in to sweeten the deal......Big Grin
 
Actually I'd advertise it on here but don't have enough posts yet to do so. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/25/2010 at 00:09
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I don't think you can go wrong with a VX3 Leupold, for the money.  In my opinion the low-power eyebox on them is just huge and that's a good thing.
 
I don't like how the eye relief shortens so much, though, as you crank them up.
 
For me the way the Conquest 3-9 works, is better for my eye.  The eyebox and eye relief are a bit less/shorter than a comparable Leup at LOW power, but as you turn it up the Leup pulls away from you, big time, and the Conq does not.  At higher powers the Conq kills the Leup- IMHO.   I find the low power EB and ER to be completely adequate on a rifle that fits me. 
 
But I have bought several Leupold scopes just because I really like that low-power eye box, and I'll buy them again for that reason.
 
If you get a chance to actually mount the scopes on a dummy stock give them a run at all power settings.  Nothing wrong with the Leup but just make sure you are really getting the whole picture here.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/25/2010 at 01:13
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Just my two cents, but have you thought about a Kahles?  A small step up in optics (IMO) from a conquest, eyebox is forgiving for me.  3-9 AH's can be found under $500 and some have the TDS reticle.  Good luck.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/25/2010 at 09:33
Rich Coyle View Drop Down
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Blind as a bat

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Originally posted by trigger29 trigger29 wrote:

Originally posted by krshunter krshunter wrote:

  I have this same problem with my current Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16x42 which is why I am going to sell it.  
 
ATTENTION RICH COYLE!! Maybe he will trade you that overpriced Swaro for that nice 6500!!Cool
 
I returned it already.  I will try again in the spring when those in this run are purchased and gone.  That was mighty kind of you to think of it.Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/27/2010 at 22:05
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I am looking for the same thing an optic for a Tikka T3 300wsm. I have an awesome Kahles CL 4-12x52mm with MultiZero. However, I hunt in Georgia where my longest shot is 100yrds and average is less than 50yrds. I just feel like it’s a waste of a great optic. The most important to me is eye relief and FOV. Any suggestions? I am looking to sale my Kahles. PM if interested.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 07:50
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I hunt in 1 to 2 decade old southern clearcuts; more like rabbit hunting than what most people think of as eastern tree stand deer hunting much less open country.  We still and drive hunt over mixed stands of briars, new growth and blue line old growth trees.

I have the UCC version of this:

http://swfa.com/Nikon-1-4x20-Monarch-African-Riflescope-P42349.aspx

and have used an earlier generation one of these for over a decade:

http://swfa.com/Leupold-15-5x20-VX-3-Riflescope-P12631.aspx

We had two hunters arrive this year with 1) 4.5-14 VX3 Leupold and 2) a 4.5-14 Buckmasters, both on bolt guns.  Neither gun went to field more than a day;  both were ditched in favor of lever guns (30-30, 45-70) with 2-7 optics on them.

So, 2x would be my recommendation at the max for low end magnification.


Edited by Palehorse - November/28/2010 at 07:53
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 14:44
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Originally posted by WestOfPecos WestOfPecos wrote:

Hi KRS-

I really like the VX3 form factor and usability, and there definitely better glass on it than the VX-III. But - be aware that, to me, when I change the mag, the eye relief changes significantly, and I sometimes have to change my head position.
 
Same here, but I'm not sure I would say "significantly", but enough.  
Good scope, but that little bit of head positioning movement, bugged me.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 17:46
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I agree Palehorse no more than 2x on low end. How do you like Monarch-African? The Plex looks really thick.
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