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Scope for Savage .308

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2012 at 14:35
penguin6 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
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Have a new FLCP-K at the gunsmith having the barrel shortened to 18 inches and a suppressor mount attached.  I'm looking for a scope to put on it when it comes out.

Budget:  Up to 3K for something clearly worth it, but so far I haven't spent over $1000 on a scope.

Use:  General purpose, primarily hunting.  Would like to learn more about longer distance shooting, but I can't imagine being interested in going past 600yds.  I'd rather get consistent at 300 and below.

Eye relief:  No special requirements, anything 3ish inches or more. 

Reticle/Knobs:  I strongly prefer illumination.  It needs to work well and have a dim low end, needs to be good for night, not just for low light, and needs to be reliable in a wide range of temperatures.   A simple dot or a non-busy, simple BDC type reticle that is effective within a few inches out to 600 yds.  I prefer capped turrets if there's an effective BDC available,  but I'm okay with exposed turrets coupled with a simple reticle as long as they're not the huge towers and not easily moved accidentally. 

Focal plane:  I can work with either depending on the reticle.  I know the concern for a BDC only being useful at max mag range or exact fractions of max mag range for SFP, but I don't see the problem there for hunting.  For typical hunting distances, the trajectory of a .308 is not that difficult to learn and work with.  If I were to be using a BDC reticle for longer distances, I would be on max power unless I couldn't see at the top end due to conditions, e.g., low light and small exit pupil.  I am certainly open to advice on that subject, though.

Size/Weight:  Of course, smaller and lighter is better as long as durability is there.  I don't see walking long distances with it, but I don't want to add a 3-lb scope to an 8-lb rifle and head out through the bushes, either.

Magnification:  I like magnification.  Anything up to 20ish is good, but not less than 9 or 10 on the top end.  I know a lot of people here have a thing against high magnification, but I don't share those views.  I can always turn it down.  I would give up mag for a good reason, e.g., totality of features in a specific model, but my preference is for higher.

Other:  I'd like a hydrophobic coating.  I realize that cuts my options dramatically, so it's not a deal-breaker, but I've developed a strong preference for it.  Although I can't say with complete certainty that Rainguard allowed shots that otherwise wouldn't have been possible, I think it's made it easier on a couple of occasions.  I think this would narrow things to Zeiss, Bushnell, Sightron, Leica, and Burris IIRC.  Anyone know of others? If I can't get both hydrophobic and illum, I'd probably go with illum.  Open for discussion and experience on this subject, too.

What makes extra money worth it:  Something clearly better, e.g., new materials that are stronger yet lighter, tritium vs battery illum,  protective coatings that make glass more durable, more stable internals, etc.  I'm not willing to spend 3K as opposed to 1K (or even $500) for the prestige of a name or for tiny increments of better visibility or clarity that don't make a functional difference.

Thoughts, suggestions?  I'm willing to wait for some of the new stuff coming out if necessary.  Advice on rings/mounts (has a Picatinny rail)?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2012 at 15:10
bugsNbows View Drop Down
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bowsNbugs

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Zeiss Diavari 2-10 X 50. Illuminated, 15.9 ozs. and with LotuTec. You may need to explore different reticles. It's shown here for  about $2200.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2012 at 18:43
jjrgr21 View Drop Down
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the SS 5-20 will fit the bill nicely.

and once you go to 600, 1k will follow shortly, and so on.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2012 at 02:14
penguin6 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
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Thanks for the replies, fellas.  The Zeiss and the SS are both are the short list.  I'm going with another set of JonA's Aadmounts unless someone has a better suggestion. 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2012 at 03:42
lightwind View Drop Down
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Choosing Jon A's mounts shows you know your game.  The mounts are the best made.   As for your rifle, the choices are wide open right now.   It is end of the year and you can get demo scopes that are nicely reduced if you look at the sample list or other demo lists.   Take a look at the Swarovskis.   Take a look at the Zeisses.   Look at Premier and Schmidt and Bender.    This is the time of year to get a great scope at a lower price.   Check the sample list regularly.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2012 at 02:23
penguin6 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
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Sounds like good advice.  I'll keep my eyes on the sample list.  What other demo lists are there?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2012 at 20:55
lightwind View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Sorry, this is the SWFA list so I don't think we are allowed to mention other demo lists that might be out there.   That is one of the rules for the list.   It is such a useful list that I don't particularly want to get kicked off. <G>
 
My Savage .308 is the Model 10 FCP-K.  I have a Zeiss Victory FL T* 6-24X56 with the illuminated Rapid Z-1000 reticle mounted on it with an Aadmount base on a Badger rail.   The setup is about as rugged as you will find.  I did get the target turrets with it (you have to ask for them).    Otherwise you will get the hunting turrets (nothing wrong with them except they are not as convenient).    There was no extra charge for specifying the turrets.  
 
I also have a Swarovski Z-6 3-18X50 BT Plex that I have mounted on my FN-SCAR-17s.    I have to say that I love both scopes.   I can't say anything bad about either of them.  As far as clarity and image quality they are both better than my eyes or glasses and much better than my other scopes.  These two are definately in the "alpha" range.    The differences in mechanical parts and glass are not visible.  Both are precise and crystal clear.
 
The place where they differ is where you can start getting into real issues (not one better than the other but definately different).   Let me start with the reticles and turrets.
 
The Swarovski can be purchased with a ballistic reticle (hold-over) or a ballistic turret (rapid dial to a distance).    I went the direction of the ballistic turret (BT).    What is not clear unless you read the manual on-line and have a few e-mail conversations with the folks at the plant is that with the BT you are limited to one revolution and then it locks.    That means that you only get 53 clicks up even though the scope has more travel than that.   I got it anyway because it is for the SCAR-17s in .308.   With the 16" barrel I will not be shooting much more than 600 yards and I can set the BT out to about 750 yards.   I really  like their BT setup and with the 3X low end and 18X high end, it gives me an ideal scope for a heavy battle rifle.
 
For the Zeiss I went the other way.   I got the Rapid-Z-1000 for holdover.   They have a computer program that can tell you where each holdover will have its point of impact.   They also have windage holdovers.   With the combination of the Savage and the 6-24X56, I can shoot from 50 yards to 1000 yards without touching the turret.    It turns out that the Z-1000 uses the .308 as its reference round.   Again, they have a computer program (doesn't everyone now?).    The computer program can give you alternate distances for each of the hold-over bars under different conditions or using different ammo. 
 
Having said all of that, I like them both for the two different reasons I got them.    I matched them to what I wanted to do with the rifles.   Both are much faster than my other rifles for getting on target.   I like the Swarovski BT because I can quickly dial to the known distance on the turret and then adjust with clicks up or down, knowing that I don't have many clicks to count.   With the Rapid Z-1000 I just put the right section of the reticle on the target and squeeze.
 
Both of these scopes have spoiled me.   I will, probably, never purchase a scope for less than $2000 again.   Both have great eye-boxes, are great light gatherers, and have proven rugged so far.   Having watched the lists for about a year now, I have seen complaints about a lot of scope manufacturers and customer support, but none from the likes of Zeiss, Swarovski, US Optical, Schmidt and Bender, and other top tier scopes.    I expect to be able to bequeath these two scopes to my son upon my demise (but don't tell him or I might not make it very long) <G> and he will get decades of use out of them.
 
Good luck and let us know what you decided.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2012 at 04:40
penguin6 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
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Will do.  And thanks for the info on your scopes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2012 at 06:46
penguin6 View Drop Down
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If you had to choose one or the other, which one would you take, the Swaro or the Zeiss with Z-1000.  How close do the range marks correspond in general to the loads you're shooting after you customize it on the computer program?  How easy is the reticle to use? 
 
Thanks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2012 at 13:05
lightwind View Drop Down
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Originally posted by penguin6 penguin6 wrote:

If you had to choose one or the other, which one would you take, the Swaro or the Zeiss with Z-1000.  How close do the range marks correspond in general to the loads you're shooting after you customize it on the computer program?  How easy is the reticle to use? 
 
Thanks.
 
They are for two different rifles/scopes under two different sets of circumstances.   Having said that, if I was sure I would not be shooting more than 700 yards I would take the Swarovski (because of the single turn limit).   If I were shooting longer than 700 yards I would take the Zeiss.
 
However, remember, I can also get the Swarovski in a BR configuration instead of a BT configuration.    They also make BT turrets for the Zeiss.
 
One more issue is that the Zeiss only has a 4X erector while the Swarovski has a 6X erector.  You can go through either web site and find a configuration that is right for your particular activity.
 
I used these two as my examples because they are my highest level scopes and they are relatively light.   If you go to the high end "tactical" scopes they pick up about a pound over these.   The reason for the extra weight is absolute reliability in combat.   If you are really going to be using the scope to bash open a tank you would want to consider US Optics, Schmidt and Bender, Premier, and Zeiss/Hensoldt.   The Swarovski and Zeiss are about a pound lighter than those in full size (although the Premier Light Tactical and the Premier Hunter have lost weight from their big brothers). 
 
The other wild card comes out next week when the Shot show starts.   We know there will be a lot of changes in scopes and I am very interested in what Swarovski and Zeiss are doing.   It will also be good to see if Ilya tests some of the new Leupolds with 6X and 8X erectors.
 
Now that I have rambled all over the thread, my favorite combination is the FN-SCAR 17s with the Swarovski Z6 3-18X50 Plex BT.    It is just a great rifle/scope to pack and shoot. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2012 at 13:13
lightwind View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Originally posted by penguin6 penguin6 wrote:

If you had to choose one or the other, which one would you take, the Swaro or the Zeiss with Z-1000.  How close do the range marks correspond in general to the loads you're shooting after you customize it on the computer program?  How easy is the reticle to use? 
 
Thanks.
I got too long winded and forgot to answer your question about how close the range marks correspond to the POI and how easy the reticle is to use.    In my Savage the range marks for the Federal Match 168 gr BTHP seem to be the same cartridge they made the marks for.    They are pretty much right on and I can clang steel out to 800 without a second thought.   If I deviate from that cartridge I have to use the computer program and chrono my rounds.   Then the marks correspond to numbers that are not marked off in 100 yard segments.   In that case you have to print up a range table.   Once you have the range table the reticle is easy to use.   The software lets you select a size of the section of the target you want to hit and it also gives you a range that each reticle mark corresponds to.   If you are going to try to mix-and-match ammo on a hunt it will be easy to use but also easy to get confused as to which table to use (altitude, load, angle...).    There is no magic involved so there will always be some work.   For ease of use I find the BT to be easier than the BR.   However, you have to make sure you have the right ammo in the rifle for either of them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2012 at 01:55
penguin6 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
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Exactly the kind of info I was looking for.  I greatly appreciate what you call "rambling."  Thanks.
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