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S&B Zenith 1.5-6X42 Flashdot

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/20/2007 at 15:44
RifleDude View Drop Down
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Well, folks, I just did something I thought I would never do – ante up Schmidt & Bender type money for a big game hunting scope.  On rare occasions, I’ve spent more than I really planned on scopes for varmint rifles if they had certain features I really wanted, but I shoot my varmint rifles waaaaay more than I do my deer rifles, so I could sorta justify it.

 

This time, I just wanted a “no compromises” low-magnification scope that would excel in dawn and dusk low light conditions and for feral hog hunting by moonlight, so I was willing to up the bar a little… cough, cough… o.k., a lot.  I also wanted a first-class scope to complement a rifle that had been occupying a corner of my safe for 10 years that was begging to come out and play.   So, I’m now the proud owner of a Schmidt & Bender 1.5-6X42 Zenith with #9 FlashDot reticle.  Here are my thoughts:

 

WOW!

 

…I mean, what can you say when reviewing an S&B scope?  It’s impressive, superb, awesome, and any other complimentary adjective one can think of – exactly what you’d expect from a scope in this price bracket! 

 

Not only is it ridiculously great in every respect optically, but it has some other very nice, unique features.  I especially like the FlashDot illumination system.  Unlike other illuminated reticles, the FlashDot is a small red dot that is projected onto the center of the reticle, rather than being a lit part of the reticle itself.  When the FlashDot is turned off, there is no same-size black dot remaining at the center of the crosshairs.  This preserves the thin center lines of the #9 reticle for precise aiming, yet in low light when the FlashDot is turned on, the dot’s apparent size can be reduced or increased for best contrast in low light, since it is in the first focal plane with the reticle.  The lowest illumination settings provide what I consider the perfect brightness level for twilight conditions, and this in addition to the small size of the dot and the FFP reticle, avoids the problem of over-illumination.  In a word, it’s perfect -- exactly what a hunting illuminated reticle should be.  In addition, the highest settings provide good reticle contrast in daylight and should work well for quick, snap shooting on moving game.  I also like the reticle position indicators on the turrets, a handy feature for knowing how far from center of adjustments the erector assembly is.  All adjustments are smooth and very positive.  The scope screams quality in every respect and its smooth, radiused lines has visual curb appeal as well.  I detest huge, super high magnification scopes on a big game rifle, so I consider the magnification range, objective diameter, and length of this scope to be ideal for the type of rifle it’s mounted on.

 

The only negatives I can think of besides the hefty price tag are its mounting length and range of adjustments.  The center tube section is relatively short, so with some long action setups, one would have to use offset rings.  The adjustment range is small by typical “American style” scope standards, so mount selection and mounting technique is critical.  It is best to use mounts that offer windage (and in some cases, elevation) adjustments so only minor scope adjustments are required to zero the rifle.  This is where the reticle position indicators are a tremendous asset.

 

This is my first and only S&B scope, and to say I’m extremely impressed is an understatement.  It certainly ranks up there with the finest scopes I’ve ever seen, much less owned, but is it worth the price, and is it proportionally twice as good as an $800 scope?  I don’t know, and given the price tag, I’m not sure I’ll ever buy another.  However, I’m very proud to own this one.

 

I mounted this scope on a Browning “Safari Grade” bolt-action rifle, chambered in .308, manufactured in 1974. The rifle is still in brand-new condition.  During the time period when these rifles were manufactured, Browning first used all F.N. Mauser actions for their bolt action rifle.   This rifle has a barreled action made by Sako, made in Finland.  It is essentially an A-Series 2-lug Sako, the predecessor to the M75.  Beginning in 1964, Browning’s short action bolt rifles used Sako barreled actions, the long action versions were still based on F.N. Mausers.  These rifles are easily characterized by the “stepped” barrel profile and featured superb metal polish and bluin

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/20/2007 at 17:20
tahqua View Drop Down
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Simply outstanding, RD. The scope, the mounts, the rifle and the caliber.

I have been a Talley fan for years but the Conetrols look beautiful. How they machine the dovetail and get the fit on that ring is very impressive.

You are right about the wood, very nice, indeed. What's on the end of the buttstock BTW? Nylon, skeletonized steel, maybe?

I bet that cycles as smooth as cream and the .308 is just boringly efficient. I think I could hunt just about anywhere with that rig.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/20/2007 at 17:45
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BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Well done, my friend!!

 

The addition of the Conetrol rings was a classy touch with that rifle/scope combo too.

I love Conetrol rings.

 

Thanks for sharing, RD.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/20/2007 at 19:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/20/2007 at 19:40
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I knew Trinidad would be around for this one. RD, you should see the sticks he has with S&B's.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/20/2007 at 19:53
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If it looks like a Sako--shoots like a sako it must be aaa-----Browning!!! Nice set up.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/20/2007 at 19:56
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Originally posted by tahqua tahqua wrote:

What's on the end of the buttstock BTW? Nylon, skeletonized steel, maybe?

 

A black hard plastic plate, same as used on Browning .22s and mild kicking rifles during that era.  Despite how that sounds, it is tasteful looking.  I wouldn't want that kind of buttplate on anything much harder kicking than the .308, though.

 

Thanks for the complements!  I'm very pleased with the rig.  I'll just have to be extra careful not to get it beat up in the field.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2008 at 08:25
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Hi RifleDude and everybody,

I'm considering to buy the same scope than yours, the S&B Zenith 1.5-6x42, and I'd like to know how big elevation and windage adjustments this scope has. Could you please tell how many clicks (and what kind of clicks: MOA, milradians or some other) you can turn the elevation and vindage turrets or screws? I haven't got this information anywhere.
 
Thanks for anybody who could help meSmile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2008 at 09:14
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Ted,

Nice rig.  When setting up my hog gun, I went the route of less money and now regret that decision (anyone in the market for a Millett DMS - barely used)?

IN the near future, I'll be upgrading, maybe to the S&B, maybe to the USO.  I am glad to hear you are still pleased with your purchase, nothing worse than buyers-remorse after getting it, mounting it, and deciding it was not a wise investment.

That is a beautiful rifle.

And, just curious: have you been charged by a hog yet or you hunt from vehicles or stands?  I've had a few hog guns over the years and have now settled on a SOCOM II.  Yea, the precision rifle is nice to have, but having seen a few charges and run a few hogs now, I am convinced that 20 rounds of .308 on tap is a good thing.

Post a pic when this set-up takes its first pig.

Congratulations.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2008 at 09:36
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Ted,
Great write up and just a beautiful package.  I think I will always regret letting my S&B go.  Certainly don't have anything of that quality sitting on a rifle right now.  REALLY nice.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2008 at 10:24
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Originally posted by mamannon mamannon wrote:

Hi RifleDude and everybody,

I'm considering to buy the same scope than yours, the S&B Zenith 1.5-6x42, and I'd like to know how big elevation and windage adjustments this scope has. Could you please tell how many clicks (and what kind of clicks: MOA, milradians or some other) you can turn the elevation and vindage turrets or screws? I haven't got this information anywhere.
 
Thanks for anybody who could help meSmile
 
Hi, mamannon, and welcome to OT!  The w/e click values for this scope is 1 click = 10mm @ 100m / 0.36" @ 100 yds.  The total w/e adjustment range is 80 cm (29") in both directions (160cm / 58" total range).  I had no problems zeroing the rifle while keeping the reticle very close to center due to the windage adjustment capability of the Conetrol mounts.  I like the fact that S&B scopes have a reticle position indicator on the turrets to show you how far from center the reticle is after adjustment.
 
Despite the relatively small adjustment range, this is an incredible scope, as good as it gets optically!  The resolution and low light performance is remarkable!  I absolutely love the Flashdot illumination too!  For me, with the #9 reticle, it combines the best of everything in a hunting reticle -- when illumination is off, it has very thin center lines for aiming precision in good light.  The dot on the FD illumination disappears when it's turned off.  When turned on, the FD can be set to a bright daytime setting for quick shots at moving game or a dim settings that won't overpower the target image in low light.  It has a large range of illumination intensity from very dim to very bright.  I'm glad I got mine before the recent price increase! 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2008 at 10:45
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

Ted,

Nice rig.  When setting up my hog gun, I went the route of less money and now regret that decision (anyone in the market for a Millett DMS - barely used)?

IN the near future, I'll be upgrading, maybe to the S&B, maybe to the USO.  I am glad to hear you are still pleased with your purchase, nothing worse than buyers-remorse after getting it, mounting it, and deciding it was not a wise investment.

That is a beautiful rifle.

And, just curious: have you been charged by a hog yet or you hunt from vehicles or stands?  I've had a few hog guns over the years and have now settled on a SOCOM II.  Yea, the precision rifle is nice to have, but having seen a few charges and run a few hogs now, I am convinced that 20 rounds of .308 on tap is a good thing.

Post a pic when this set-up takes its first pig.

Congratulations.
 
Thanks RC!  I posted that review a year ago, so it has taken quite a few pigs since then.  There is one in SWFA's photo archive where I spared the collective OT fraternity the angst of seeing my face by cropping my head out of the pic.
 
Yes, I am still very pleased with it.  It is perhaps the finest scope I own.  It has a short W/E adjustment range (which wasn't an issue with my setup), it's much heavier than almost all other 1.5-6X42 scopes (which is a non-issue with this rifle and a tradeoff I'm willing to accept for the quality), and it's expensive.  But, to me, it has been worth every penny!
 
I have indeed been charged by a hog one time last fall while walking back from my stand in the dark when deer hunting.  I had enough light to take the shot, and that hog paid for his foolish bravado with his life.  Most of the time, I hog hunt from stands and blinds, but I do occasionally enjoy spot and stalk hog hunting.  The place I hunt is so infested with hogs, I see plenty of them from my deer stands.
 
I hunt hogs with several rifles besides this one -- pretty much the same rifles I hunt deer with.  I don't have a dedicated hog gun per se, but I prefer using my rifles topped with lit reticle scopes for hogs since they are more active at night.  Your SOCOM II would make an AWESOME pig gun! 
 
Keep us posted when/if you upgrade your scope and if so, what you decided on.  The Zeiss Victory illuminated/Varipoint scopes and the Kahles C/CSX/CBX are all extremely good as well.  I have a 2.5-10X50 Victory with lit #8 (now discontinued) that is at least the equal to this S&B in low light, but I think I like the S&B's image quality a tad better, and I definitely like the reticle, illumination system, and aesthetics of the S&B better.  I also have a Kahles 2.5-10X50 CB and it's pretty much the equal of the Zeiss, but again, I like the S&B a little better for the reasons mentioned.
 
If you ever decide to take a leisurely drive north toward the D/FW area, let me know.  I'd like to meet you.


Edited by RifleDude - July/11/2008 at 14:51
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2008 at 10:49
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Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:

Ted,
Great write up and just a beautiful package.  I think I will always regret letting my S&B go.  Certainly don't have anything of that quality sitting on a rifle right now.  REALLY nice.
 
 
 
Thanks, buddy!  Don't know why / how my apostrophes got substituted with question marks in that post, but it's probably due to forum software change.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2008 at 14:58
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What a beautiful package Ted. That's been my dream scope for awhile but every time I start getting close (on the savings) something else gets in the way. Oh well, one day. Congrats on a wonderful weapon.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2008 at 15:03
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Thanks a bunch, Ric!  It is indeed a wonderful scope, and once you get one, it will be worth the wait.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2008 at 11:52
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Gotta tell ya ...I like a cool looking stainless camo'd up rig as much as any wonder finish hungry feller, but that sure is a nice looking rilfe/scope combo....Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/13/2008 at 13:27
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Interesting that this thread came back to the top. I forgot how beautiful that set up is.
When a thread like this comes back to the top I start clicking http://www.swfa.com/c-18-schmidt-bender-riflescopes.aspx

Darn you guys!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/13/2008 at 13:37
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What a beautiful rifle!! Great choices there Ted!! Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/15/2008 at 12:39
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Thanks, Ted.
 
That information was really important to me. Now I know the adjustment ranges are more than enough.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/15/2008 at 14:25
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No problem, friend.  We like pics here at OT, so once you get your rifle and scope put together, don't forget to post some!Big%20Grin
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/15/2008 at 17:31
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Great review!  I'm jealous!  I have never been able to justify the big bucks on a S&B but I'm sure they are worth every penny.
 
One things for sure when you buy a S&B.....you don't need to worry you need to upgrade again.  You have reached the top of the optics mountain with that scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2014 at 19:17
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Rifledude or anyone else, you,still,running this scooe? How do you like it still?

Edited by 308WIN - December/05/2014 at 19:31
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