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Scoping new Cooper M56 (grad present)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2014 at 10:11
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I'd first like to thank all the members of this forum.  I've been reading for almost a year now and the quality of information on this site, as well as some info referenced on this site, and the lack of ego/showoff/bias/etc., has cemented this site as the go to site for my research needs.  I like the participation of the moderators and the effort they put into keeping the arguing under control.

So, I'm middle class and house poor (don't let the Cooper fool you).  I put myself through college by paying as I went and even joined the Air Force (nuke troop) to finish.  I used the GI Bill (greatest deal in the world) to get my MBA and finally (11 years after starting college), I've finished.  My family, as well as my wife's family, all pooled together and bought me a Cooper M56 in .300 Win Mag. as a grad present!



I've decided to put a worthy scope on this wonderful gun even though I can't really afford it.  My intended use is long range shooting and hunting (1000 yds max, 500 more often).  After coming to grips several times with my $ limit, my absolute ceiling is $2500.  Through reading, searching, and obsessing, I've decided what matters most to me is glass quality and illumination (more for low light hunting).  I let the tactical repeat-ability go as a sacrifice for alpha glass.  I started out thinking the ATACR is the way to go but there are few comparisons of it vs anything besides the NSX.  I then decided (firmly) on the Premier LT.  Then, they got bought out.

My current way of thinking has me settled on either the Leica ERi or the Kahles KXi.

- Does anyone believe there is a better combo of glass quality, illuminated reticle, and decent mag (10 min (another sacrifice)) scope than these two - and under the $2500 ceiling?
- Does anyone know of anyone or anyplace in NC or SC that has either of these I could look through?  That's an incredible amount of money to spend without handling first.

Below is my homework (the scores are a work in progress):

MANUFACTURER MODEL Score (lower better) PRICE GLASS ZOOM (10 min) OBJ. DIA (mm) ILLUM EYE RELIEF WEIGHT (oz) FOCAL PLANE ZERO STOP WARRANTY FOV
KAHLES KXI 13 $1,488 2 3-10 50 YES 3.54 16.5 SFP NO ? 36.7 - 13.1 FT
LEICA ERI 14 $1,600 2 2.5-10 42 YES 4 18.3 SFP YES ? 12FT
ZEISS VICTORY
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2014 at 10:15
ballshrinker View Drop Down
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Oh, and I am aware that I have FFP and SFP in the list and post but that doesn't matter to me.  I understand they are apples and oranges and intended for different things but I don't care.  FFP's are normally more expensive and I'll give that up for better glass.  Just trying to save someone the time from explaining all of that.  Thanks!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2014 at 12:15
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Just bought the new made in Germany Minox  Z5EI 2-10 x50 with 4A illum.[$1600]This scope looks as good as my S&B zenith side by side with the low end going to the Minox.Minox also has as good as you can get warrenty.There CS is as good as it gets..............
 
You might also look at some of the Meota Meostars RD2 but they won't be out till next month!Very reasonably priced & terrific glass.........
 
Congrats on your accomplishment & a well deserved graduation gift.Very Purdy long gun,good luck hunting with her.Let us know what you name her....Ernie
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2014 at 12:17
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Forgot to mention Welcome to the OT!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2014 at 13:18
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Welcome ballshrinker! Congrats on your achievement(s) and that beautiful Cooper. Love the roll-over! Hopefully, it will shoot as good as it looks (most likely it will)... I am on my second Cooper now.

As you can easily tell, there are a great many great choices out there. Most alpha scopes are awesome optic wise. It may come down to personal choices such as reticle, physical dimension / weight, repeatability histories, or just plain personal preference. I have owned many on your list... they were all good, but some just had some less-than-desirable features. For example, I had a S&B Summit. It was great ... except the reticle did not do it for me in low light. I had a Leica ER. It was great also except I thought it seemed bulky and heavy for the application for which I was using. I do like to match the scope to the rifle and to the in-field needs. Another example... my Cooper 54 Custom Classic in "the Bob" wears a repro steel tube 4X Weaver... and it's perfect!

Based on what you have uncovered, I'd say the Leica would be a winner. However, lets see what some of our experts have to say. BTW,Ernie's (above) suggestion of Meopta would also merit investigation. They have some awesome scopes. Good luck.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2014 at 14:52
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The best general purpose hunting rifle scope I have ever tested is Leica ER. I am a huge fan of the 3.5-14x42 as a general configuration, but for low light and longish distances, perhaps 50mm objective is the way to go.
 
ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2014 at 14:59
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Congrats on your accomplishment and welcome to the OT



What part of NC are you in?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2014 at 19:10
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Thanks for the warm welcome everyone.  Ilya, your comparisons tests were some of the most compact bundles of helpfulness I've found on this journey.  Your words on the Leica strengthen my tendency to lean that way. 

I did go look through a few today (my only alpha 1st hand experience).  I looked through the Conquest HD5, Victory HT, and the Swaro Z5.  I wasn't impressed with the Conquest (not in same class I know).  It was very hard to get behind and I could see more than just the view go in and out/black.  There appeared to be extra rings inside I could see when I moved out of line of sight.  I then held the Z5....WOW!  Now that is more what I'd expect from alpha glass.  I made a long trip today to compare a Victory HT with another Z5.  The Victory was much better than the Conquest but still far behind the Z5 IMHO (but who am I?).

I was so impressed with the Z5, I started wondering if I should give up the lights and just go with a Z6 (even though it's still almost $1k more than my Leica).

But, with Ilya's comments, I'm back to the Leica.  I just wish I could handle one first because most seem to love the Victories but I would be willing to pay more for the Swaro...oh, and the Victory was about $400 more than the Z5 I handled!

SVT, I am in Monroe, east of Charlotte.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2014 at 19:12
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And, I will try to find a Minox and Meostar to look through but it's really hard to find these non-leupold/nikon scopes around here.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2014 at 19:24
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My rep friend that i hunted Kansas with the last two years just picked up Leica line for the southeast territory so I think you will find the Leica line well represented down there very soon.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2014 at 21:48
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Peddler, can't wait.  I hope it isn't a real long time.  I plan on buying this spring.  Also, I love your sig!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2014 at 04:20
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Originally posted by ballshrinker ballshrinker wrote:

Peddler, can't wait.  I hope it isn't a real long time.  I plan on buying this spring.  Also, I love your sig!


Thanks bs, I can't lay claim to it but it sure stood out wherever I read it.

Big Grin
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I'd like to offer congrats on your accomplishments also.   You showed lots of discipline sticking it out to achieve your goal.  I'll only offer a couple of minor suggestions.  The Leica scopes have fantastic glass...as good as it gets, but there are lots of factors that make up a good hunting scope.  The Leica reticles can be too thin, so watch out for that.  The biggest problem with them, IMO, is  if you are getting the ballistic turrets on that Leica, they twist way, way, way too easily. They can easily be inadvertently moved. 

I wouldn't buy anything before I laid eyes on the upcoming Meopta R2 personally.  Good luck with it. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2014 at 10:54
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Thanks for the recommendation and caution.  I've never heard Meopta ranked with the likes of Swaro, S&B, Zeiss, etc.  Do they really rank up there or is it that they are very good for their price point?

Oh, and any idea when the R2 will come out?

Oh, and does anyone know of a high end dealer in NC/SC where I could see some of these scopes in person?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2014 at 11:53
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Great looking rifle!!   ( stock is made of wood, too! )  Smile    
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/10/2014 at 09:37
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Have you considered looking in the sample list to see if you could pick up a z6 with illumination for under your 2500 limit. The sample list is a great way to get scopes with all the features you want for less.

I have a z6 and a march and the glass is amazing in both. Not sure which I like better. I love the Leica glass in my binoculars and their scopes are great other than compared to my z6 and march the edges of the leica scope is fuzzy to me. The center sweet spot though is hard to beat. Cant go wrong with any of the alpha glass. It is all nit picking really.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/10/2014 at 12:51
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

I'd like to offer congrats on your accomplishments also.   You showed lots of discipline sticking it out to achieve your goal.  I'll only offer a couple of minor suggestions.  The Leica scopes have fantastic glass...as good as it gets, but there are lots of factors that make up a good hunting scope.  The Leica reticles can be too thin, so watch out for that.  The biggest problem with them, IMO, is  if you are getting the ballistic turrets on that Leica, they twist way, way, way too easily. They can easily be inadvertently moved. 

I wouldn't buy anything before I laid eyes on the upcoming Meopta R2 personally.  Good luck with it. 

The new Leica scopes offer a locking elevation turret, so moving it inadvertently would be difficult.  I had a chat with them about reticles and some reticles they offer are quite good in low light.

Meopta R2 looked very good when I glanced at it at SHOT.  I'll need to review one some time this year.  I just need to decide which configuration I want.  I like Meopta's #4 and 4C reticles.


ILya
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Welcome to OT, ballshrinker!

I won't add anything to the good advice you've already received on the scope, except to advise you to keep an eye on the SWFA Sample List ( www.samplelist.com ), where you can frequently find some good deals on demo and "like new" scopes.

I just wanted to say thank you for your service... and man, what a beautiful rifle!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/10/2014 at 14:00
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Originally posted by ballshrinker ballshrinker wrote:

Thanks for the warm welcome everyone.  Ilya, your comparisons tests were some of the most compact bundles of helpfulness I've found on this journey.  Your words on the Leica strengthen my tendency to lean that way. 

I did go look through a few today (my only alpha 1st hand experience).  I looked through the Conquest HD5, Victory HT, and the Swaro Z5.  I wasn't impressed with the Conquest (not in same class I know).  It was very hard to get behind and I could see more than just the view go in and out/black.  There appeared to be extra rings inside I could see when I moved out of line of sight.  I then held the Z5....WOW!  Now that is more what I'd expect from alpha glass.  I made a long trip today to compare a Victory HT with another Z5.  The Victory was much better than the Conquest but still far behind the Z5 IMHO (but who am I?).

I was so impressed with the Z5, I started wondering if I should give up the lights and just go with a Z6 (even though it's still almost $1k more than my Leica).

But, with Ilya's comments, I'm back to the Leica.  I just wish I could handle one first because most seem to love the Victories but I would be willing to pay more for the Swaro...oh, and the Victory was about $400 more than the Z5 I handled!

SVT, I am in Monroe, east of Charlotte.

Mr Ballshrinker,

To be honest, I think that with the number of excellent scope out there, basing everything on purely image quality may be a little short-sighted.  Intended application drives the features you need in the scopes and I bet that once you zero-in on what features you want, pickign a scope with the image quality you want is not that difficult.  That having been said, everyone's eyes are different, so knowing what your eyes like is worthwhile.

Based on on you not liking Victory HT as much as the Swaro suggests that your eyes prefer contrast over resolution, so looking at Swarovski, Leica, Kahles and Meopta should be at the top of your list.

Looking over your requirements a little more carefully, can narrow down your options a fair bit.

First of all, if you plan to shoot out to 1000yards with your rifle, you need to be twisting turrets.  Some reticle out there are suitable for shooting out to 1000 yards, but using the turrets for that is still  more common and often more practical.

I do not know which load you will end up using, but realistically, a decent 300WM load with a 200gr bullet, has about 7.5-8mrad of drop at 100 yards (I am assuming 2950fps or so).

That is god news since any 10 mrad per turn turret out there will get you to 1000 yards in reasonable comfort.

Now, out to 500 yards, with reasonably flat shooting calibers using the reticle is a good option especially since all you need is a bit more than 2.5 mrad of drop.

Another thing to note is that if you plan to shoot a bit further out and at varying distances, you should be looking at a scope with some means of parallax compensation.

What that means is that the only Leica scope that would be a decent match for your needs is the 3.5-14x42.  I have one of these with the G7 IBS reticle and it works quite well.

The first somewhat high magnification Meopta R2 scope that is coming out is the 2.5-15x56.  It doe snot have parallax compensation, so I would not go that route.

Swarovski Z6i 2.5-15x44 or 2-12x50 with a Ballistic Turret sounds just about right, but I do not remember how much compensation that BT gives you and if it can take you to 1000 yards.  That is something to look up, but I suspect it can not quite take you out that far.

All that brings you back to tactical style scopes if you are serious about pushing the range of your shots.

I will continue with this a little later.  I need to step out for a bit.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/10/2014 at 14:03
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Good for Leica improving the turrets....it needed it.  The only reticles I've personally seen from Leica is the duplex, and it is way to thin for me.  I anxiously await the 1.7-10x42 R2, and the 4C really is nice.  

Oh, and I think the OP really needs to look at the Leupold VX6 3-18x44.  The VX6 is very impressive. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/10/2014 at 18:36
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I have started religiously following the sample list, thanks.  Very cool offering by SWFA.  Rifle Dude, as far as thanking me for my service, once I was in, I always felt like I should have done more.  I never saw combat...probably good for all of us given my m.o....

Ilya, you really threw a wrench in my plans - in a good way!  So, Leica offers parallax control in 42 obj with 10x mag but not 50 with 12x mag...odd.

As far as Kahles, they have two versions (that I can find) that are lit - the Kxi and the K624i.  The Kxi is only 10x and I'm not sure why the are so much cheaper (what I'm giving up) vs their other scopes.  They are also 1"which would limit travel.  The K624i is $1k more and 56mm...I really don't want to go over 50mm.

Well...back to the drawing board.  Any recommendations for following requirements:

- alpha glass
- illum reticle
- 10x min mag (preferably more)
- parallax adjustment
- 50mm max obj
- $2,500 limit

From my homework, looks like the S&B Classic, Zeiss Victory, or compromise on the size of the ATACR.  By the way, is  the ATACR in the same class as the big dogs, glass wise?
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Originally posted by ballshrinker ballshrinker wrote:

Well...back to the drawing board.  Any recommendations for following requirements:

- alpha glass
- illum reticle
- 10x min mag (preferably more)
- parallax adjustment
- 50mm max obj
- $2,500 limit

From my homework, looks like the S&B Classic, Zeiss Victory, or compromise on the size of the ATACR.  By the way, is  the ATACR in the same class as the big dogs, glass wise?


I think you really ought to consider the 3-18x44 VX6, given your criteria.  It has a killer illumination system, side focus, great glass, etc.  The CDS works well also. 
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I appreciate that and I will consider it but I just never hear them mentioned in the top glass discussions.  What's another brand the VX-6 is on par with?  Currently, my two nicest scopes are the VX-3, Accupoint, and an ACOG.  If I am going to pay ~$2k, I just thought I wanted the nicest glass I can get.

The two biggest ways I think I'll feel good about spending that kind of money are to see much better in low light than I can with the first two scopes above and to be able to see clearer farther than with these other scopes.

Oh, and sorry about completely ignoring the point above about my adjustment required sending me back into the tactical scope market...I did get that just failed to type it.  I'm not sure I can get alpha glass in a tactical scope with my mag and illumination requirements...

I guess I am more willing to give up on travel than glass quality...
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If you should decide to go the tacticle route it would be  hard  to beat the Hensoldt.I have a 4-16x56 & to my eyes it's the best scope to get behind,glass is as good as it gets & it's made to machanical mil specs.It is a little more than you want to spend so keep an eye open on the SWFA list,somtimes they pop up for around $2500 used!
 
If you can't go that route look for a Heritage Premier light tactical,they are blowing them out as the company was just sold but the great news is the Canadian company that bought Premier is backing the scope line 100% for as long as they hold the rights to Premier.I have owned 2 of them & I can't say enough good things about the glass.
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

Good for Leica improving the turrets....it needed it.  The only reticles I've personally seen from Leica is the duplex, and it is way to thin for me.  I anxiously await the 1.7-10x42 R2, and the 4C really is nice.  

Oh, and I think the OP really needs to look at the Leupold VX6 3-18x44.  The VX6 is very impressive. 

I have two Leica scopes, one with their Ballistic reticle and another with the IBS.  THe Ballistic reticle is too thin for low light, but the IBS reticle is surprisingly respectable.

Ted has a 2.5-10x42 from them with the #1 which is as good as it gets for low light.

The VX-6 is an excellent scope for the money, but the original poster is looking for the best glass money can buy if I understand him correctly and VX-6 is not it.

ILya
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