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Scoping a 6.5 Creedmoor for hunting -- HD5, vx6, ?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/02/2014 at 17:14
Maverick2 View Drop Down
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Great forum you have here -- I've been shopping for a new rifle and pondering the right scope at the same time, and seems like this forum is where most of my useful optics info has come from, so thought I'd come back and lay out my situation, logic (or lack thereof), and current conclusions regarding the scope, and see if any of you have any additional insight or suggestions... I found the rifle I was looking for (TC Icon Precision Hunter in a 6.5 Creedmoor; in my hot little hands as of Tuesday) and need to start getting serious about the glass. I'd like to set this rifle up for hunting first, and paper punching second. Will be used for quick-and-close deer and wolves in the timber, medium range (400-700 yds) coyotes across the rolling fields of the Palouse, and long range (700+ yds) varmints and targets. I'll log a lot of miles on foot with this combo, so my goals for the scope are:
•     Magnification range -- would like a minimum of 3 on the lower end (for quick shooting in the brush) and a high enough upper end that will allow me to play on paper out to 1000 yds. (Having never shot above 700 yds, I'm looking for advice on what that upper end should be...)
•     Relatively compact and sleek -- rifle will spend some time in a horse scabbard, so would like to keep the objective below 45 mm. No 50 mm objectives and no tall turrets.
•     Low light capable -- I spend a lot of time in dark, timbered canyons at daybreak and dusk.
•     Moderate weight -- 24oz or less.
•     Durable -- horse scabbards and ugly terrain aren't very kind to my rifles...
•     Reticles -- I prefer reticles that utilize holdover points rather than turret twisting for the hunting applications
•     Price -- $1500 range

I've already concluded that one scope for both hunting and punching paper will require some compromises, and after my initial round of research, found myself looking most at the Zeiss HD5 3-15x42 w/ the Rapid Z800 reticle, or the Leupold VX6 w/ the fine duplex. Just when I was content with choosing between those 2, a buddy suggested the Nightforce NXS 2.5-10X42 w/MOAR reticle, and after looking at that, am back to the "pondering" stage (hence my call for help here...) Here are my specific likes regarding the three scopes, and my question marks and/or dislikes for each to give you a better idea where I'm coming from:

Zeiss HD5 3-15x42 w/ Rapid-Z 800 (I've looked thru a couple of these now)
Likes:
•     Mag range seems perfect
•     Size and weight seem good
•     In the sample scopes I've looked thru, glass was awesome -- loved the clarity.
•     Z800 reticle matches the ballistics of the 6.5CM VERY well out to 800 yds. I own a Rapid Z reticle on another scope/rifle and am familiar with and like this system for hunting.
•     Best price of the 3.

Questions/dislikes:
•     Eye positioning seems a bit finicky for quick shouldering and shooting.
•     Reticle thickness of the Z800 is probably a limiting factor if I want to do much paper punching.

Leupold VX6 3-15x44 w/ fine Duplex (I've looked thru 1 side-by-side with the Zeiss)

Likes:
•     Mag range seems perfect
•     Size and weight seem good
•     Glass clarity was awesome -- seemed no different than the Zeiss.
•     Very user friendly eye positioning -- requires little/no adjustment upon shouldering.
•     Fine duplex would be great for paper punching.

Questions/dislikes:
•     Lack of holdover points is a big negative for me. I don't want to rely on twisting turrets for longer range hunting.
•     All my other rifles use 1" tubes -- the 30 mm tube makes rifle-to-rifle scope swaps a bit more costly.
•     Cost -- represents the mid-priced option of the 3, but may represent the worst value of the 3 (for me) based on reticle offerings

Nightforce NX3 2.5-10x42 w/ MOAR reticle (I've not looked thru one yet, and know the least about this scope of the 3)

Likes:
•     Nightforce reputation for quality
•     Nightforce reputation for durability
•     Size and weight seem good
•     MOAR reticle may be perfect for my use -- MOA based holdover points are easy for me to use for hunting, and crosshair thickness should work well for targets

Questions/dislikes:
•     Is a max power of 10 high enough for 800-1000 yds?
•     Having not looked thru one, I don't know how the glass quality compares with the HD5 or the VX6
•     All my other rifles use 1" tubes -- the 30 mm tube makes rifle-to-rifle scope swaps a bit more costly.
•     Cost -- most expensive of the 3, but may represent the best reticle for my varied applications???

I'd greatly appreciate your insights and suggestions, particularly if you think my logic is a bit messed up. Happy New Year out there to you all, and thanks in advance for any feedback!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2014 at 10:15
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I have experience with all 3 and am currently testing the NXS 2.5-10x42 MilR which is a VERY nice optic.

It is hard to have perfection that works perfectly for ALL possible intended uses.

Given everything you articulated above I would say the HD5.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2014 at 10:15
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two other options:

Swarovksi with a BRH reticle
Leica with IBS reticle
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2014 at 12:42
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? . If you can spring for a 1,500$ scope, a set of rings isn't much more money. And a custom rifle scabbord isn't a bad idea. Some of the guys on LRH forum that hunt from horses have built some very good scabords for LR and Tac rifles.
With how much things change with internal and external ballistics I would think being able to dial in your lr shot solution would work best. But
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2014 at 14:21
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Originally posted by ccoker ccoker wrote:

I have experience with all 3 and am currently testing the NXS 2.5-10x42 MilR which is a VERY nice optic.

It is hard to have perfection that works perfectly for ALL possible intended uses.

Given everything you articulated above I would say the HD5.

two other options:
Swarovksi with a BRH reticle
Leica with IBS reticle


Thanks. How would you rate the clarity of the NXS compared to the Zeiss HD5? If I had to pick one right now, I'd probably go with the HD5, as it gives me the holdover marks I like for hunting, and still gives me the option to twist turrets for long range targets. Only downside is the reticle is heavier/thicker than I would like for targets, which is the attraction of the NXS. Of all the reticles I've looked at, I really like Nightforce's MOAR, as it would appear to represent the best of all worlds for my needs.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2014 at 14:31
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haven't done a direct side by side but I have compared the NXS to Leica in and even in low light it works very well.  I hunted with it for 4 days and I was very impressed with it.  They must have improved their glass/coatings..  the illuminated reticle works great as well.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2014 at 15:08
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Originally posted by Cold Trigger Finger Cold Trigger Finger wrote:

? . If you can spring for a 1,500$ scope, a set of rings isn't much more money. And a custom rifle scabbord isn't a bad idea. Some of the guys on LRH forum that hunt from horses have built some very good scabords for LR and Tac rifles.
With how much things change with internal and external ballistics I would think being able to dial in your lr shot solution would work best. But


Thanks for the feedback. I probably didn't articulate my statement regarding tube size very well -- the cost of a second set of rings is much less the issue than the convenience. We're not in a real metro area, so that puts me in a position of ordering rings and waiting a couple days whenever I'm doing the swaps (unless I get rings in advance and have them sitting there waiting for every likely scope/rifle combo I'm likely to try). No big deal (and definitely not a show stopper) but there's a lot to be said for convenience.

Not sure where you're going with scabbard suggestion, as I've got a pretty good scabbard I'm comfortable with...

I'm happy to dial in shots at the range, but I'm really reluctant to buy a scope that doesn't assist me in "holdovers" while hunting. I've hunted that way for a long time and it's a personal preference on my part, but buying a scope that is best utilized by twisting turrets for any shot over ___ yds probably isn't as attractive to me as one using holdover marks. (I got very proficient at taking coyotes out to 600 yds with a .25-06 and a mil dot scope, and really like the simplicity of holdover reticles.)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2014 at 15:19
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Originally posted by ccoker ccoker wrote:

haven't done a direct side by side but I have compared the NXS to Leica in and even in low light it works very well.  I hunted with it for 4 days and I was very impressed with it.  They must have improved their glass/coatings..  the illuminated reticle works great as well.




Cool -- thanks. By the way, your Leica suggestion may be a good fit as well. I'm not sure about the IBS reticle, but the Ballistic reticle in their ER 3.5-14x42 looks clean and simple at first glance, and along the lines of what I have in mind. Will do some deeper digging on that reticle -- do you know if its MOA/MOA, mil/MOA, or ??? My knowledge of Leica is practically nil -- is there a general consensus on their durability???
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2014 at 17:31
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Thought I'd close the loop on this one. Since posting last, I added a dark horse to the race in the form of a Meopta Meostar R1 4-16x44 w/ McWhorter Reticle (which looks to me like an "improved" version of Zeiss' Z800). After digging up everything I could on the Meopta, and talking to a few folks familiar with both Zeiss Rapid Z reticles and Meopta's McWhorter reticle, etc., I think the "dark horse" is my winner... (Sounds like the Meopta glass is a little more oriented to low light hunting than the Zeiss, and the thickness of the Meopta reticle affords a better balance of hunting and target work than the Zeiss.) The ballistic calculator works equally well for both mfrs on my caliber, and price is a wash between the two, so that's the route I think I'll go. Thanks for all your feedback!

-- Mark
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2014 at 17:50
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Meopta is a good choice… I have the R1 3-12x56 on 300WM and love it.  A delightful combination...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2014 at 06:50
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Awesome
Meopta makes damned nice scopes with outstanding glass.
If the reticle works out for you go for it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2014 at 07:53
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i saw that meopta 4-16 with mcwhorter reticle being used on the brush country monsters show. next rifle i get that scope is going on it. love meopta glass and that mcwhorter reticle looks great
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2014 at 08:11
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Originally posted by Robster80 Robster80 wrote:

i saw that meopta 4-16 with mcwhorter reticle being used on the brush country monsters show. next rifle i get that scope is going on it. love meopta glass and that mcwhorter reticle looks great


Interestingly enough, I was having a tough time finding any details about the McWhorter reticle, started calling dealers, reps, etc... Nobody had any details, but kept getting new names and phone numbers, and finally ended up talking to one of the McWhorter guys on Brush Country Monsters. Cool guy to talk to, and EXTREMELY helpful. That reticle, plus the low light emphasis of the Meopta, is what sold me on the scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2014 at 08:13
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Just to keep things interesting, Meopta has just now announced the MeoPro 6-18x50 with McWhorter reticle for the USA market;
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2014 at 10:46
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Looks like it is time for me to give Meopta another try.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2014 at 10:49
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Additionally, I had a 260 Remington, very similar to the 6.5 Creedmore, they are quite fun to shoot.  With my limited experience, I'd say be sure you get bullets suited well to the task.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2014 at 14:43
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Originally posted by ccoker ccoker wrote:

two other options:

Swarovksi with a BRH reticle
Leica with IBS reticle
 
I have to agree with the leica and the IBS reticle as a contingency. Excellent suggestion!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2014 at 23:43
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Originally posted by MeoptaSurujh MeoptaSurujh wrote:


Just to keep things interesting, Meopta has just now announced the MeoPro 6-18x50 with McWhorter reticle for the USA market;
 


Surujh;

Thanks a ton for the info on the scope and reticle you provided! It gave me all the detailed info on the reticle that I was looking for.

Any idea if the new R2 series of scopes will offer the McWhorter reticles at some point? The side focus and hydrophobic coating is a pretty attractive addition to Meopta's line of scopes. (The 56 mm objective is a detraction for me in the 2.5-15 mag range, but I may be in the minority for the market for this scope.)

-- Mark
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2014 at 23:51
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

Additionally, I had a 260 Remington, very similar to the 6.5 Creedmore, they are quite fun to shoot.  With my limited experience, I'd say be sure you get bullets suited well to the task.
 

 


Was your .260 set up with a 1:8 twist, and did you hunt with your .260, or mainly punch paper? If hunting, which bullets did you like for the different applications? I'm new to the 6.5 CM, but in reading, a lot of people are using the 140 gr AMAX for targets AND as their go-to bullet for deer...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2014 at 03:09
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The complete lineup of R2 scopes to be launched in 2014 (throughout the year) are;
1-6x24
2.5-15x56
1.7-10x42
2-12x50
 
At this time, none are planned with side-focus parallax.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2014 at 06:16
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are there any additions to the meopro line of scopes this year? aside from the mcwhorter reticle in the 6-18x50
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/24/2014 at 20:51
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For Leica and Swaro, I would recommend watching the sample list on a regular basis. Expect to save $300 or so for a like new scope.
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