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    Posted: July/11/2019 at 21:52
Looking for opinions for a scope for a friend of mine that wants it for browning BLR 308. He wants the best glass he can get up to around$1500. Not wanting to max out the budget (but willing) so cheaper options are welcome just as long as its quality and up to the task. No fancy reticles or any thing complicated like target turrets or parallax adjustments. Most shots will be under 100 yds but he does have a powerline across his property where he can shoot upwards of 300 yds. Number one requirement is low light capability as we can legally harvest deer 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise. Something 3x9x40mm up to 50mm. Opinions please and much appreciated. Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scrumbag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2019 at 02:05
I often think something in the 3-12x50 range is perhaps the most versatile hunting scope option there is and I'd have thought with his budget he could get something German / Austrian in that range.

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Leica Visus 2.5-10x42 #4 illuminated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote South Pender Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2019 at 13:37
Does your friend have preferences regarding size and weight?  If these factors matter, a Swarovski Z3-series scope might be a good choice.  These are all 1"-tube scopes and quite light.  The Z5s are also 1"-tube scopes and larger/heavier than the Z3s.  All of these provide good optical quality.

The Browning BLR rifles are short, handy, lightweight rifles, running around 6½ lbs. If it were me, I'd pass on the larger, heavier 30 mm. scopes that will make the rig top-heavy, and be looking for a scope with 1" tube, objective lens of 42 mm. or less, length not greater than 12.75", and weight less than 15 oz.  I realize that low-light performance is a prime consideration, but I think a scope with these measurements and great glass could probably fill the bill.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lockjaw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2019 at 15:13
I have a 2-8x42 Zeiss Duralyt 30mm scope on a ruger 308 carbine, it replaced a Burris 3x9 and I don't notice any issues with it being top heavy. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Urimaginaryfrnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2019 at 15:26


I would probably pick one of Trijicons accupoint scopes  I have a 1-4 with the red post that I like a lot but a 1-6 would be nice also.  In low light you will probably be 4x or under and even though these have a 24 mm objective they are very bright under 4x they are not very bulky they are extremely fast on target and I often use the 1-4 from up close out to about 300 yds knowing the trajectory of the caliber that the scope is on. Having the reticle be tritium illuminated is a great thing in low light and will get you on target rapidly.  There have been several times I have hunted  with higher power scopes only to find that a deer at 50 to 75 yds was too close to find rapidly at 9x where anything 6x or below seems to have a wide enough field of view to get onto the target right now.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2019 at 15:46
Given the application, neither one of those Trijicons makes any sense.

With low light being important, I would be looking for something with illuminated reticle, but Trijicon currently does not make any hunting scopes that are competitive in the $1500 range.

For any hunting scope above $1k, I have more or less stopped recommending anything that does not have reticle illumintion (except for some states where you can't have electronice for hunting).

Leica Visus mentioned above would be a great choice if you can stretch your budget just a touch.  It is listed on SWFA website at $1550.

If that is out of the question, I would be looking at Meopta Meostar R2 in either 1.7-10x42 or 2-12x50 configuration.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckbandit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2019 at 16:06
Originally posted by South Pender South Pender wrote:

Does your friend have preferences regarding size and weight?  If these factors matter, a Swarovski Z3-series scope might be a good choice.  These are all 1"-tube scopes and quite light.  The Z5s are also 1"-tube scopes and larger/heavier than the Z3s.  All of these provide good optical quality.

The Browning BLR rifles are short, handy, lightweight rifles, running around 6½ lbs. If it were me, I'd pass on the larger, heavier 30 mm. scopes that will make the rig top-heavy, and be looking for a scope with 1" tube, objective lens of 42 mm. or less, length not greater than 12.75", and weight less than 15 oz.  I realize that low-light performance is a prime consideration, but I think a scope with these measurements and great glass could probably fill the bill.

He dont care about size or weight and really doesn't matter since mostly will be sitting in a shooting house. I  have tried to get him to stay somewhat compact and light but he wants lowlight performance and like alot of people thinks that a 30mm tube is magical and makes a big difference in low light. I had to explain its mostly about glass quality and coatings and tube size doesnt make that much difference if any. However I think he does lean more toward 30 mm just because he always been told it's better. But let's dont make it about tube size just give me suggestions you think is best. I'm just not up to par with what's out there like I would have been in the past when I spent alot of time on this forum. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2019 at 16:09
Tube diameter does not matter, but objective diameter does.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckbandit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/14/2019 at 13:21
Leica looks like a solid choice. I would have never thought of leica so glad I asked for some help. Little searching around and I cant find a bad review. He is coming over today to look around and discuss some scopes. This looks to be my number one recommendation. So we will see what he thinks. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Urimaginaryfrnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/14/2019 at 15:25
Because the Browning BLR is a lever action rifle relative light nimble hunting rilfe I still think the Trijicon 1-4 or 1-6 makes a lot of sense. Trijicon makes a 2.5-10x56 which is a true low light scope because the 56mm objective makes the scope gives a 7mm exit eye pupil up to 8x super bright in low light for hunting. https://www.swfa.com/trijicon-2-5-10x56-accupoint-30mm-rifle-scope-3.html  the down side is its really big an bulky for a lever action rifle. A lot of people don't realize that as the sun goes down simply dialing down the power gives a brighter looking image.

Trijicon's 1-6x24  and their 1-4x24 will have a 7mm exit eye pupil at 3.4 power or lower so while any of these three Trijicon scopes will have a bright low light image at 3.4 power or lower there is a huge difference in the feel of the rifle with a 2.5-10x56 big bulky scope vs the feel of the rifle with a lighter smaller 1-6x24 scope on top of it.  If most shots are under 200 yds with an occasional shot out to 300 yds I really think that scopes like a 1-6x or a 2-7 are very practical for a nimble lever action .308 where a heavy barrel bolt action .308 R5 Mil Spec Remington  would be better served by a different type optic.   This 3-9x36  would be bright up to 5x in low light and still not a huge bulky scope so a good match for a browning  lever action  Swarovski 3-9x36 Z3 Riflescope

Obviously there are other companies that make a 1-6x24 still bright at 3.4x or lower power also a good match of the lever action gun  https://www.swfa.com/vortex-1-6x24-razor-hd-gen-ii-e-30mm-rifle-scope-178745.html?___SID=U

The trade off between a smaller diameter objective/ smaller more compact hunting scope on a lever action rifle  VS a larger diameter objective / more bulky but brighter at higher  powers is a decision you have to make.  But realizing the relationship between what magnification the scope is set at and the size of the objective should help you make the right choice even if the right scope for you is a 56mm objective at least you are making the educated decision and understand the trade off between light nimble scope on light nimble rifle VS big bulky scope brighter at higher powers on light nimble rifle.


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - July/14/2019 at 15:49

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/14/2019 at 17:15
A given scope is not necessarily at peak low light performance when magnification setting chosen yields a 7mm exit pupil, and you generally do not gain in low light performance by turning power down as long as EP is somewhere in the 4-5mm range. Greater “brightness” isn’t the only factor in enhancing low light performance, it is the best compromise between reasonably large EP diameter and increased detail brought about by moderately high magnification. Increased magnification gives the brain an increased “perceived brightness” despite a loss of EP diameter due to more detail, more information provided to the brain. At some point of course, increasing magnification does decrease low light performance once EP gets small enough that there isn’t enough light reaching the eye, but on a variable scope, 7mm EP isn’t peak low light performance unless that occurs at the highest magnification. In the example above with the Trijicon 2.5-10x56, 8x isn’t peak performance. The scope is at its best in low light at 10x, because the extra detail offsets the loss in EP diameter. 10x still yields a 5.6mm EP, which is still transmitting more than sufficient light to support the greater magnification. Turning down magnification more often than not decreases rather than improves low light performance unless the initial magnification has caused the EP to be well below 4mm or so. A lot depends on the image quality and light transmission characteristics of the optic.

Folks need to dispense with this idea that exit pupil is the be all, end all of determining peak low light performance. Best performance actually occurs more in the 5mm EP range rather than 6-7mm because both “brightness” and detail are important to target resolution in poor light conditions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/15/2019 at 19:38
Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

A given scope is not necessarily at peak low light performance when magnification setting chosen yields a 7mm exit pupil, and you generally do not gain in low light performance by turning power down as long as EP is somewhere in the 4-5mm range. Greater “brightness” isn’t the only factor in enhancing low light performance, it is the best compromise between reasonably large EP diameter and increased detail brought about by moderately high magnification. Increased magnification gives the brain an increased “perceived brightness” despite a loss of EP diameter due to more detail, more information provided to the brain. At some point of course, increasing magnification does decrease low light performance once EP gets small enough that there isn’t enough light reaching the eye, but on a variable scope, 7mm EP isn’t peak low light performance unless that occurs at the highest magnification. In the example above with the Trijicon 2.5-10x56, 8x isn’t peak performance. The scope is at its best in low light at 10x, because the extra detail offsets the loss in EP diameter. 10x still yields a 5.6mm EP, which is still transmitting more than sufficient light to support the greater magnification. Turning down magnification more often than not decreases rather than improves low light performance unless the initial magnification has caused the EP to be well below 4mm or so. A lot depends on the image quality and light transmission characteristics of the optic.

Folks need to dispense with this idea that exit pupil is the be all, end all of determining peak low light performance. Best performance actually occurs more in the 5mm EP range rather than 6-7mm because both “brightness” and detail are important to target resolution in poor light conditions.

Excellent information.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/15/2019 at 21:23
Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

A given scope is not necessarily at peak low light performance when magnification setting chosen yields a 7mm exit pupil, and you generally do not gain in low light performance by turning power down as long as EP is somewhere in the 4-5mm range. Greater “brightness” isn’t the only factor in enhancing low light performance, it is the best compromise between reasonably large EP diameter and increased detail brought about by moderately high magnification. Increased magnification gives the brain an increased “perceived brightness” despite a loss of EP diameter due to more detail, more information provided to the brain. At some point of course, increasing magnification does decrease low light performance once EP gets small enough that there isn’t enough light reaching the eye, but on a variable scope, 7mm EP isn’t peak low light performance unless that occurs at the highest magnification. In the example above with the Trijicon 2.5-10x56, 8x isn’t peak performance. The scope is at its best in low light at 10x, because the extra detail offsets the loss in EP diameter. 10x still yields a 5.6mm EP, which is still transmitting more than sufficient light to support the greater magnification. Turning down magnification more often than not decreases rather than improves low light performance unless the initial magnification has caused the EP to be well below 4mm or so. A lot depends on the image quality and light transmission characteristics of the optic.

Folks need to dispense with this idea that exit pupil is the be all, end all of determining peak low light performance. Best performance actually occurs more in the 5mm EP range rather than 6-7mm because both “brightness” and detail are important to target resolution in poor light conditions.

I am mostly on board with this, but there are a few additional quirks.

For prolonged observation, you should err on the side of a slightly larger exit pupil to give your eye the ability to scan and to increase depth of field a little.

How much every person's eye dilates at night really varies, so there is no cooker cutter solution to this.  You kinda have to experiment a little, which is why a good quality variable with 42-50mm objective is usually a safe recommendation for most people.

For a low light specialist rifle, bigger is better simply because it gives you more flexibility to select the magnification level that works for you.

Honestly, the way to do this is to dial the magnification to whatever looks appropriate and not pay attention to what the actual magnification setting is.  If you run out of magnification (i.e. you really want to use higher mag, but it does not look right), that's a cue to get a larger scope.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/16/2019 at 06:54
Right. The concept was attempted to be conveyed by the "twilight factor" calculation (square root of mag X obj dia), though the term has become largely meaningless unless comparing two optics of very close optical properties, within reasonable limits. Twilight factor fails to take into account the quality of coatings, the optical design used, and the TF number infinitely increases with increases in magnification without concern for EP. We all know that at some point you eventually run out of light transmission with a continual increase in magnification. In that way, "twilight factor" is a lot like the "sectional density" calculation with bullets... though the number itself is of limited use because you're often comparing "apples to oranges," the concept the calculation is attempting to explain is valid. 

The point being, you cannot make valid generalizations of comparative low light performance based on exit pupil alone.

In short, the largest exit pupil and the most "brightness" alone isn't the determining factor of where you obtain the best low light performance in an optic. "Brightness" alone doesn't optimize the ability to see details in dim light, and turning down magnification on a variable scope in many cases reduces low light performance even as the exit pupil diameter is increased because as you turn down magnification, you see less detail and contrast is often reduced. The "sweet spot" between large enough exit pupil and high enough magnification is where you get peak low light performance because both increased detail and "brightness" are critical. Of course, there are always limits.

I think Zeiss does a good job of explaining the relationship between magnification and objective diameter in their optical dictionary found here:

Although the explanation below pertains to binoculars, the same concept applies to all optics (emphasis added):

"The twilight factor makes it possible to compare the performance of binoculars in low -light conditions. It is calculated by first multiplying the magnification by the objective lens diameter and then finding the square root of the result. In a 7x42 binocular, the twilight factor is therefore 17.2 - the minimum for sufficient detail recognition in twilight - and an 8x56 binocular has a twilight factor of 21.2. A comparison: An 8x30 binocular, on the other hand, has a twilight factor of 15.5 and is therefore less suitable for viewing in very low light conditions.

Note: The twilight factor is only one parameter among many, it does not say anything about the image quality which is a determining factor in detail recognition in twilight (twilight performance)! Twilight performance is mainly determined by as high a transmission as possible in the right spectral range, as low a straylight portion as possible, as high contrast as possible and as high a resolution as possible. Only if all these requirements are met at the same time - and only then - can the twilight factor be used a measure of the twilight performance in binocular viewing."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/16/2019 at 10:02
An analogy:

Think of a large EP diameter as akin to having a flashlight during twilight hours, with a larger EP akin to a higher lumen flashlight.

AND

More magnification akin to being able to walk closer to an object.

In low light conditions as in all lighting conditions, you can see greater detail of an object if you walk closer to it. You can see even more detail on an object if you can walk up close to it AND turn on a bright flashlight.

BUT...

In dim lighting conditions, more often than not you see more detail of an object if you walk closer to it with a low lumen flashlight vs shining a higher lumen flashlight at the same object at twice the distance from it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckbandit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/16/2019 at 10:44
I'm close to ordering this leica  visus 2.5 x10x42. Only concern is warranty which I cant seem to find info on. Anyone know what warranty it has especially with illumination feature? Customer service ok?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/16/2019 at 12:43
Unless something has recently changed, Leica USA provides a lifetime warranty on all sports optics except:
1. The warranty isn’t transferable, meaning it applies to original purchase only.
2. It doesn’t apply to electronic components of an optic, which have a much shorter warranty duration. I believe the warranty on electronics is 2 years, but I could be mistaken.
3. Lifetime warranty only applies if you buy the product new from an authorized dealer in the US.

Leica’s customer service has gotten mixed reviews over the years. I’ve heard that they’ve made improvements to their CS in recent years. My lone experience with their lifetime warranty and CS was positive. I damaged my binocular when I dropped it, sent it in to them, it was repaired at no charge and sent back to me in a reasonable amount of time.

I would recommend you call Leica USA to clarify warranty details, as terms are subject to change over time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mike650 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/16/2019 at 13:32
If your worried about customer service then Leica can start off like rolling the dice. Something simple like sending in binos for repair shouldn't be an issue. If it involves a technical question be prepared to be given the number of one of their two field specialist who are in fact in the field. Immediate response may not be immediate, if it's a new product these two guys may not be up to speed. I've already been through this and it's a completely different trip than the one you get from Swarovski. In the end I was taken care of  only after it went up the ladder to the Director for Leica USA. It was a pain in the a$$ but once it got to him, I was taken care of immediately.  Once confirmed I received a defective rangefinder (Bluetooth was DOA), he next day air'ed me a new one.

I absolutely love their products, binos, rifle scopes and rangefinders but extremely leery of their customer support.


Edited by mike650 - July/16/2019 at 13:54
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