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Reticle/Scope Choices

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/19/2007 at 22:55
okeefe View Drop Down
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I am new to the forum and have seen a lot of discussion regarding scope choices, (optics quality, value etc.) but not too much about the different reticle pros & cons.
So maybe some of you could weigh in on my dilema.

I have Kimber Longmaster in 22-250. I would like to top it with a scope in the 6x-20x variable range. The rifle will be used for prairie dogs, hopefully out to 500yds.
So I got that much figured out. Based on my research I like the following scopes for the reasons stated

Leupold VX-III Target (Varmit Reticle, Choice of accesories, i.e screw on flip up scope covers etc)
Zeiss Conquest (Optical Clarity)
Nikon (Optics Quality & Value)

So here is my problem.

I like the Zeiss, as I already have a 4x-14x, I don't like the reticle choices and no flip up lens covers. Seems like the only reticle of value for PD's in this model is the
mil-dot, Z-Plex seems a bit fat for PD shooting

I like the Leupold because I can get the varmit reticle and ease of obtaining accesories that fit the scope

The Nikon is tempting because of the price but the BDC Reticle seems to big for PD's and like the Zeiss has no windage hash marks.

I know that Zeiss is coming out with the Rapid Z reticle which is similar to the Leupold Varmit reticle. But that seems a ways off.

Sorry for the rambling thoughts but I would like to hear from the prarie dog hunters on what scope/reticle combination you use and why. If you use a simple cross
hair do you laser range, and dial in for windage and elevation, do you use a mill-dot, BDC etc. I have only been PD hunting twice so I am new to this (as if you couldn't
tell) Price is not necessarily an issue for me, but I do believe you can really start throwing money away for some minor benefits.

Thanks
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2007 at 07:54
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Im new too.  Myself, I went with the Leupold for the reticle and reasonable price.  I think a silver Zeiss with black caps would look awesome on my gun, but the reticle selection didn't cut it for me.  I haven't sen the Rapid Z yet though, have you found images?

 

I figure next year I can always see what's new and upgrade if necessary. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2007 at 08:46
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I do a LOT of prairie dog shooting every year.  I started out dialing in my firing solutions, but I abandoned that because on a good prairie dog town there's just too much knob cranking involved, and they don't cooperate and all line up at the same distance for you.  On a good sized PD town or two, I'll burn up 1500- 2500 rounds in one weekend of shooting!  Therefore, I want a good range compensating reticle -- the heck with knob cranking!

 

My current scope lineup for PD shooting is as follows: a Nightforce NXS 3.5-15X50 with mil dot reticle, a Swarovski 6-24X50 PH w/ TDS 4 reticle, a Leupold VX-III 6.5- 20X40 LR w/ Varmint Hunter's reticle, and an IOR 4-14X50 30mm Tactical w/ MP8 reticle.  All are outstanding scopes optically and mechanically!  Despite the advantages of a first focal plane reticle, for PDs, target shooting, and other shooting situations where you want to maintain the finest aim point possible, I believe a second plane reticle works best for this particular application.  I also have found the thinnest reticle designs possible work best for such small targets at potentially long distances.  Of those reticles mentioned, I believe I'm going to like the IOR MP8 best, because it has plenty of aimpoints on a mil system and very thin lines, but I just bought that scope and haven't used it on PDs yet.  My next favorite is probably the Leupold Varmint hunter because it has the calibrated wind hold points, the "prairie dog gauge," and really thin lines.  The other scopes are a little better optically than the Leupold, but the VH reticle kicks rodent @ss!  Close behind it is the Nightforce version of the mil dot, because it too has very thin lines and the dots are open.  I'm also intrigued by the Nightforce NP-R1, which looks a lot like the IOR MP8.  Nightforce has a very good selection of reticles overall for varmint shooting.  I prefer side focus, but I at least want A/O in a PD scope, since the shot distances can vary greatly from very close to very far and the targets are small.  Despite what you'd think, too much magnification can work against you in the middle of the day when the heat mirage is swimming around, so I seldom use more than about 12X except for early in the day and later in the afternoon, when the mirage isn't bad.  Another aspect of too much magnification is when the action slows down, it can be difficult to locate a PD in your sight picture in open, largely featureless terrain due to the limited FOV in the scope.

 

Hope this helps.  Good luck with your quest!



Edited by RifleDude
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2007 at 11:05
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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Shooting pd is a good example of statistical shooting and a multiple gun event (10 gun event). Even on a good day if you hit > 70% of your shoots it will be a day to remember. Of course if your rifledude this still amts. to alot of splash. I usually start with a 22 hand gun, and work out to 25 to 50 yds, then switch to either a 22 long gun, or a T/C in fireball or similar. At 100-300 yds AR-15 and sporters, then when they get hot and dirty (sounds sexy doesn't it) switch to 22-250 and 6 mm. -- sometimes 308. Usually anything in the visual periphery is dead and its time to clean the guns and move down a couple of miles. Take lots of doughnets, and favorite brew, (changes with weather conditions). While nice, extreme accuracy is not necessary, and any min. of pickup hood gun will work. The less amt. of powder you use, the less the gun will heat up and your 22-250 will go fast.

almost forgot--reticles-- Nikon's 1/8" cross hair is great, Zeiss doesn't make a good crosshair, (although when there new ones come out I'll first in line.) leo's varmit is the current best, but the over all scope isn't as good as the Nikon 6.5x20. My favorite is nightforces np-r2 (the one with the crazy circles in it) on a 8x32-  Usually mirage comes in two varieties barrel and horizon. Your 22-250 will show barrel in the first 10 rounds on a cold morning and you may want to consider a mirage tube, (extended sunshade) or use 2-3 leos sunshades screwed to gether. horizon mirage can be lessened by increasing the cosine of the shot. Try to get above the shot. Use a good pair of binoc for spotting to reduce eye fatique. While having too much magnification can be a problem, not having enough is always a problem. Use several guns with different range scopes, and "dialed" in at various ranges.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2007 at 13:16
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Dale's advice is sound.  Forgot to mention the mirage tube.  Yes, 70% hit ratio would be a great day.  I do prefer as much accuracy as I can get, though.

 

Have fun!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2007 at 14:38
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Originally posted by TD-Max TD-Max wrote:

 I haven't sen the Rapid Z yet though, have you found images?

 

 

The new Rapid Z reticle images are on the Zeiss website

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2007 at 15:25
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Thanks! This has been very enlighting. Seems the Leupold optics quality is not all that it's cracked up to be. Seems that it may be more of a perception created through marketing, but I don't really have any way to compare. I live in the communist state of California so gun shops are few and far between, and they certainly don't carry a large scope selection. I guess if I lived in a PD hunting state I would have as many rifles as you guys. But I can only transport 2 on an airplane. My other rifle is a Sako Varmit in .223. I bought it used and it had a VX-II 4X-12X. Not crazy about the scope and I will probably replace it at some point.

 

I didn't see any comments on the Nikon BDC reticle. Are the circles to big for PD hunting. Also the Zeiss Mil-Dot, to big for PD hunting also? Neither have windage marks but I suppose you could dial it in.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2007 at 16:01
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Am I the only one who is continually disappointed with the quality of the graphics most of these companies use for their reticle samples?

 

The RapdZ Varmint looks NICE. 

 

How long till they release?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2007 at 16:04
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Don't get the wrong idea here.  There's nothing wrong with the Leupold's optics.  It's just not quite as good as the other scopes mentioned.  Of course it doesn't cost anywhere near as much either.  Again, I actually think Leu's VH reticle is one of the best reticles available for PD shooting, and I bought mine mainly BECAUSE of the reticle.

 

I don't particularly care for the Nikon BDC because it doesn't have any windage compensation marks and again, I don't like knob cranking while PD shooting.  I think the Zeiss Mil Dots are too large, but that's just my opinion.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2007 at 16:13
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Originally posted by TD-Max TD-Max wrote:

Am I the only one who is continually disappointed with the quality of the graphics most of these companies use for their reticle samples?

 

The RapdZ Varmint looks NICE. 

 

How long till they release?

 

I totally agree.  Some pics of the Leupold Varmint Hunter reticle don't show the windage marks, for instance.

 

The Rapid Z does look nice, about like the Swaro TDS, but I still like the Leu VH better for dedicated PD shooting.

 

Time will tell, but my absolute favorite reticle for PD shooting may very well become the IOR second focal plane MP8.



Edited by RifleDude
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2007 at 23:46
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 I am also new to this forum. I have a savage 12 VLP in 204. I am looking to ugrade to a higher end scope. Has any one had any experience with the new Leupold VXL 6.5 - 20 x 56 with the varmint hunters reticle. I really like the reticle on the Leupold but don't know enough about the new VXL design. It will be used mostly for prarie doggin and bench shooting and a bit of yote shooting. I can get it locally here in Alberta for $1600.00. (Scope prices are outrageous here).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2007 at 23:53
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I also used to do a lot of pr. dog shooting in years past, but mostly coyotes these days. I am using a Rapid Reticle on my AR, and love it. The guys that designed these reticles designed the Rapid Z's for Zeiss-- Mickey Fowler, and John Pride of PFI Inc. @ www.rapidreticle.com

 

I would like any reticle that has a more direct windage system for pr. dogs such as the new Zeiss Rapid Z's. That's the big advantage to these reticles. My 70 y.o. mother went out shooting with me today to test the reticle on my AR at long-range, and she shot a 2" 3-shot gp. off the bench @ 425 yds. using the 3-9X 32mm 22 LR Rapid Reticle adapted to the trajectory of my AR to 600 yds. in a 5mph wind. It was easy for her to reference each shot precisely since the reticle has such a nice direct windage reference along the horizontal stadia.



Edited by sscoyote
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/21/2007 at 09:50
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iF THE new Xotic has Tubb's windage  adjustment in it, the market for used scopes will be flooded.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/21/2007 at 10:52
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Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

iF THE new Xotic has Tubb's windage  adjustment in it, the market for used scopes will be flooded.

 

Looks nice, but with all the secrecy BS...

 

What is Tubb's windage adjustment for those of us less informed?



Edited by TD-Max
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/21/2007 at 16:09
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The scopes are a great deal, but I just don't like any of Nikon's reticles for prairie doggin'.  Their mil dot reticle is thicker than I like, and their BDC has no wind compensating marks.



Edited by cyborg - August/29/2008 at 13:10
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2007 at 07:06
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   Heres the link and all the info you need on the new Ziess Rapid Z.

 

http://www.opticstalk.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=6132&PN=1

 

 

If this rapid Z works out, I think it will out sale Leuy and swaro, I love the way it looks, Cant wait to put my hands on one of these !!!!!!!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2007 at 10:00
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Quote Zeiss riflescopes with the Rapid-Z reticle will need to be set to specific magnification settings to perform the range-finding and holdover functions. An online ballistic calculator will be available on Zeissí website for reticle power/caliber calculation. The various Rapid-Z reticle formats can be used in conjunction with over 200 common rifle calibers and bullet weights.



Wouldn't the average Joe be better off with the simplicity of having the crosshairs in the first plane?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2007 at 12:15
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I think the argument for first focal plane reticles is strong. Often something I wonder about, What is the point of second
focal plane reticles in a variable power scope. it essentially limits the range finding or ballistic compensation abilities of
the scope to a specific power. Making the higher or lower power setting useless with a second focal plane reticle. I know
that a 2nd focal plane reticle will appear smaller against the target at higher magnifications, which is probably what you
want for long range target shooting, or for a simple cross hair, however it seems to me that any range finding or ballistic
compensation reticle should be in the 1st focal plane. Am I wrong. And by the way this is one of the things I strugle with
in selecting a scope/reticle combination. Now I don't know how much of a prarie dog would be covered up by the S&B
1st focal plane reticle, but I have to think that it is small enough to hit a prarie dog. Maybe it is not the best for precision
shooting, but hitting a PD at 600 yds is pretty darn precise.

So what are my choices in 1st focal plane reticles ? and why are they so much more rare and expensive then most others.
In my first post I wrote that price was not neccesarily an issue...but I didn't say that Price was no object. I guess if I went
with leupold I could move into the tactical scopes and find a 1st focal plane reticle. It is about half the proce of the S&B.
And I was also hoping for a little more magnification than the 16X S&B
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2007 at 17:21
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okeefe--no offense man but ready your post is like hunting pd with a 1st focal plane-- headache---

the new zeiss will be 2nd fp (i'm sure someone will correct me if I wrong). S$B's new 34 5x25 uses and extremely fine center to make up for the thick cross hair problem. the only advantage to FFP is when the scope is used as a ranging device such as a sniper would use in determing distance. and that is why Mil-dot was invented (and its not a very good one at that). The FFP allows the same distance reading to be made at any power,  woopee the same thing can be done on a SFP by simply recalibrating-- snipers don't want to make things to complaicated so the tout the FFP when was the last time someone shot by a LE sniper in the USA. or another way look at it what is the ratio of no-shoots not shot to pd shot.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2007 at 18:01
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Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

okeefe--no offense man but ready your post is like hunting pd with a 1st focal plane-- headache---




None taken. I am using an Apple computer and apparently it is not posting my text as I formatted it. Sometimes I run into a
web site that doesn't work so well with the Mac Computer. Guess this is one of them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2007 at 18:05
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Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

The FFP allows the same distance reading to be made at any power,† woopee the same thing can be done on a SFP by
simply recalibrating



Dale, this is a short post so you shouldn't need the Advil. What do you mean by recalibrating?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2007 at 22:57
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At 600 yds, the dots subtend 2".  Not too bad, but I prefer reticles with even less subtension for precision varmint shooting.


Edited by cyborg - August/29/2008 at 02:48
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/26/2007 at 00:01
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is the reticle calibrated for the .22-250, or do you have to specify caliber when ordering?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/26/2007 at 00:43
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O'Keefe, when Dale talks about recalibrating a 2nd FP reticle for reticle applications other than the power the reticle is calibrated for he means that the subtension (measurement) of the stadia spacing is different. I learned this the hard way years ago when i tried to zero my 6-24X Ballistic Mil-Dot at the highest dot @ 24X. Couple days later I missed a called coyote about 2 ft. low when the power was set on 6. Any reticle can be used for downrange zeroing on any scope once u match the subtension to the trajectory. It may not be even 100 yd. intervals, but it can be easily calcd. I'm using a 22 LR BDC reticle on my AR that shoots the .397 BC 65 gr. JLK Low Drag @ 3055 mv, and i love it for mid-range coyotes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/26/2007 at 08:37
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Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:


bullsh*t



Exactly.

This thread is about scopes for PD shooting.  As one who does a lot of PD shooting, I can tell you for absolute certain that SFP reticles are superior to FFP reticles for this pursuit, just like target shooting.  PDs at long range make small targets, and when they play peekaboo with you with only the tops of their heads showing from their mounds, I want the ability to aim at their eyeballs.  I think most folks here understand that the reticle in a FFP scope doesn't grow with relation to the target, but still, a reticle that actually covers less of the target as magnification increases provides more precise aiming.  Yes, FFP reticles offer advantages in certain situations, namely the ability to range at any power setting and theoretically better POI stability at varying magnifications.  For big game hunting and low light performance, the FFP reticle is superior.  So what if a SFP BC reticle is calibrated for only 1 power?  The math is simple for use at other powers.  With some types of shooting like target and small varmints, aiming precision is more important than ranging without conversion at all power settings, so both FFP and SFP reticles have their place.

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