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Sightron Big Sky Impressions

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2007 at 15:34
Wally View Drop Down
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I just got back from zeroing and using a new Sightron Big Sky 1.25-5x20 on my 30-06 this morning.  I was also using a couple of other scopes at the range, and did a little comparison.

 

I was using a Redfield type sight-in target at 100 yds.  I was also shooting my Dad's 9.3x62 with a 2.5x8 Conquest, and his Marlin 45-70 with a 6x Burris FFII mounted on it for load development purposes. 

 

The first thing I noticed was how precise the tracking was on the Sightron.  I've heard good things about these scopes in this regard, and this one did nothing to disappoint me.  In fact, this was one of the primary reasons I was drawn to this brand of scope.  The tracking and adjustments worked very well.

 

I was very impressed with the optics.  While the rifles were cooling, I set both the Conquest and the Sightron on 5x, and looked at the details (bullet holes, grid marks, etc) on my target.  TO MY UNTRAINED EYE, I could not tell any difference between the two scopes.  Even when I moved the target to the edge of the veiw, I could not detect any distortion.  I had the rifles held steady in my shooting rest when I did these comparisons.  The Burris was not quite as good as the previously mentioned scopes, but actually did look very well in the comparison.  The Burris is a good buy if anyone is in the market for a reasonably priced fixed 6x.

 

One other thing I noticed, I shot some of the best groups I have ever shot with this rifle.  I have had more powerful scopes on this rifle, including the above mentioned Zeiss, but none shot groups as small as it did with this scope.  Now I realize this last observation probably won't mean a lot to those who don't know me, or how I shoot.  But to me, this says volumes about this scope, as well as some of the experiences I've had with the many different scopes I've used in the last several years.  When I say my eye is untrained, I mean I don't have the formal optics training to do valid scientific comparisons between different scopes and/or binoculars.  On the other hand, I have used a BUNCH of different scopes over my 35 years of shooting experience, and this little scope ranks very high in my book.  So far, I'm very pleased.

 

I also spoke with a rep at the Sightron main office today.  He asked me to tell everyone to buy this model  scope.  It seems to be his favorite model, and he wants good sales so the company will keep selling it.  I know I want to buy more........so........come everybody..........especially SWFA!

 

FWIW,

Steve

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2007 at 16:17
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Thanks for the review, Wally.

I know The Dark Lord will be checking this thread as soon as he sees it.

The tracking reliability has always been held in high regard concerning the Sightron's.

 

And the glass is comparable to a Conquest? Say's alot.

 

How is the eye relief?

 

Am I correct in thinking that only the SII's are offered in The Big Sky versions?

 

What reticle did you go with, Brother?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2007 at 16:46
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Actually, I've been corresponding with The Dark Lord through pm's concerning this scope.  He is the one who encouraged me to make the post.

 

The eye relief is on par with Conquest and Leupold.  Sightron's spec sheet lists it at 4.0" to 3.8".  I didn't bother to actually measure it myself, but my impression is those are valid measurements.  I did not feel uncomfortably close to the scope, and wouldn't hesitate to put it on my 375 or 458. 

 

In fact, before I mounted the scope, I compared it to an early Vari-X III, which was also not mounted.  Eye relief seemed to be very similar.  I also noticed that there was very minimal "donut effect" with the Sightron scope.  In fact, it compared very favorably with both the Conquest and Leupold in this regard.

 

As far as I know, only the SII Sightrons are available in the Big Sky version.  They are listed as "SIIB".

 

My scope has a normal duplex type reticle.  The thick portion of the cross hair is listed in the Sightron spec sheet as 6.6" at low power, and 2.6" at high power.  The thin portion is 1.8" at low power, and .45 at high power.  The window opening is 96.6" and low power, and 24.2" at high power.  My impression is the thick portion is not as thick as the Conquest, the thin portion is about the same, and the window is a good bit wider than the Conquest.  While I was doing some low light comparisons, I noticed I had no problem seeing the cross hairs well after legal shooting hours.  But, as you know when it comes to optics........YMMV.

 

Steve

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2007 at 16:55
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Interesting observations and great review, Wally. I would not expect a FFII to compete with the Conquest but it is great to read your observations regarding the Big Sky comparison to it. I haven't heard the SII as being as good optically as a Conquest so this is very good news.

How is that 9.3x62 to shoot? It is not very common over here.

Thanks for the review.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2007 at 17:09
cheaptrick View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Wally Wally wrote:

Actually, I've been corresponding with The Dark Lord through pm's concerning this scope.  He is the one who encouraged me to make the post.

 

  Ah yes.

 

My Nikon Fu senses felt a disturbance in The Optics Force when I read this post. 

The Dark Lord's evil presence abounding. 

(I thought it was just some bad Thai food until I saw your thread.)

 

Well done, Wally. I'd like to get my hands on one too.

 



Edited by cheaptrick
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2007 at 17:15
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tahqua,

 

The 9.3 is nice to shoot for a medium bore.  If you're interested in stepping up to a cartridge to punch big holes, and not kick your head off, I would give this one a try.  My Dad, who is turning 69 y.o. this month, insisted on having his own larger caliber rifle.  After much research, I selected this rifle for him.  It is a CZ 550 American.  Although he hasn't shot it yet, I believe it will do the trick for him.  In fact, I would recommend this rifle to anyone who is interested in learning to shoot a larger bore rifle, as well as for someone like me who has shot plenty of hard kickers, and likes the idea of a milder recoiling medium bore.

 

I'm safely getting 2650 fps with 250 Accubonds.  A 338 magnum pushes a 250 gr. bullet from 2700 to 2750 fps, depending on which manual you use.  There are published loads that show the 9.3 shoving a 286 gr. bullet to almost 2500 fps.  Again, depending on the reloading manual, a 375 gets 2500 to almost 2600 with a 300 gr. bullet.  The 9.3 has less recoil than either a 338 or a 375.  What's not to like?   

 

Steve



Edited by Wally
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2007 at 17:21
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Thanks Cheaptrick.  I hesitated to post my impressions.  On some forums this post would start a HUGE pi$$ing match...........if you know what I mean! 

 

Steve

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2007 at 17:25
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Originally posted by Wally Wally wrote:

 

Thanks Cheaptrick.  I hesitated to post my impressions.  On some forums this post would start a HUGE pi$$ing match...........if you know what I mean! 

 

Steve

 

Well, "lesser" forums might buck, but not this one.

YOU are Optics Talk!! 

 

We just ask that you post threads in a respectful manner, which you've done very well.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2007 at 17:43
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I see my name has been mentioned in vain again and by no other but our nikonitis afflicted friend, cheaptrick.

Well, for once I am not the only person here saying nice things about SIghtron.  As I mentioned before, I plan to buy the same scope when SWFA gets it in and do a review.  We'll see how it fares, but I've never been disappointed with a SIghtron other than the lack of reticle choices.

ILya


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/01/2007 at 09:11
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i too am interested in the new sightron line - is there a 1.5-6x42 in the bigsky line?

i may have to take the plunge, if so.

 

i think all scope companies should be required, by law,  to produce #4 reticles. 

It may be a good thing that they don't though, because there are 5 or 6 scopes i would put on a CC

if they were available w/ #4 reticles.

 

Great post - great review.

 

J

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/01/2007 at 13:08
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Koshkin, when you get your Big Sky, please post your impressions as compared to the standard SII models please.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/05/2007 at 18:52
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They have a 1.5x5x20 compact big sky but nothing else below 3x9 except a fixed 6X. I have a big sky coming by big brown later this week, will compare to conquest, leupold vari x lll, and 4200 elite once here. Both people I've seen compare them to conquests have felt they were pretty much on an equal footing optics wise.

 

   focus

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/08/2007 at 17:26
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Just got my big sky today....4x16x42 target, very unusual optics that look crisp and blur within seconds of looking thru them. Had three other people look thru it and all agreed it made your eye feel weird and strained and you had to keep looking away to relax it before looking thru again. Parallax was present at all settings on the adjustable objective and at 100yds it had to be set on 170yds to have the smallest amount...about 1/2". Much shorter than the conquest that was on the gun and required an offset base to mount on a std length action, after changing to offset it had 1/16" adjustment movement (did I say it was kinda short?). More critical eye position than the conquests, leupolds, and 4200 elite, at above 12 power you had very little leeway in eye position without blacking out the sight picture. I either got the mother of all lemons due to a new product or lenses not in correct position or I'm expecting what my other scopes of this $ range provide and not getting it. Never went any further, one day old, time to return to optics dealer and upgrade to a scope brand I'll be happy with. Not saying they're not good scopes in general....this is the one and only sightron I've ever tried.....I'm just saying this one wasn't good for me.

   focus 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/08/2007 at 17:57
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Exchange it.  You got a dud.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/10/2007 at 12:36
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I agree I must have got a dud......however I had a while to look at the scope and handle it as well as examine its optics. Yes the focus would go on you if you stared thru it too long and yes it had some parallax, I'm sure these two conditions would be cleared up with repair or replacement. But........the scope won't get any longer and for my use its way short (won't even go where the previous scope was without changing to off set bases, and even then it has a measured 3/16" of fore and aft movement. If it wasn't 4" of eye relief it wouldn't work at all on my long action). Second the reticle will always be too thin....... again for my particular use in very low light conditions. Third they advertise a "new replacement warranty".......... I just read about it in their new catalog and its always been a part of their advertisements.... when I open the new big sky scope the warranty page says they now replace or repair the scope at their discretion. I realize that thats the same as all the other scope makers warranties in their class.......but........thats not what they advertise and say in their catalog. They say "a superior scope deserves a superior warranty and all scopes are replaced if problems arise". Guess I didn't care too much for seeing them change their level of stated warranty and not mention it till I owned one of their scopes.

I decided they are very similiar in most respects to a 4200 elite with 1/2" more eye relief, and yet priced over $100 more in the 4x16's case. I believe I will upgrade to a different brand for now, as one of the guys looking at it said up the gunshop....I'm just not that impressed with it.

     focus 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/10/2007 at 12:58
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No question you got a dud.  My Sightron SII is flawless and one of my favorite scope.  But, it took quite awhile before it got mounted on a rifle, because everytime it got slated for one rifle, it did not fit, as it was too short and I needed a scope on that particular rifle and something else went on.  I usually keep a handfull on scopes on hand.  Finally, after getting tired of not mounting it on multipe rifles, I had just purchased a Wby. Vanguard synthetic in a 300 Wby. for an upcoming bear hunt and did not have time to order extended length bases and took it to a local gunshop and had them mount it, since I was going to have to purchase the hardware from them.  First time I have ever seen a shop do it right, even though I do not lap my rings they did, as the fellow said, it is not his scope or rifle and he was going to do everything right.  Although, I think the reticle is slightly canted.  They also sighted it in.  I have warned others about that problem and this was I believe a 4x12 power scope and all the rifles had relatively long actions.  Even thought I keep a fair amount of hardware on hand, I probably need to stock some extended length bases for a variety of rifles that I like.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/10/2007 at 15:45
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Yes as was said in another thread somewhere on here.......we have to choose and decide based on what our particular needs and wants are. This scope just don't fit my needs enough to make me keep it, I'm sure they are the ticket for others but with the nighttime coyote hunting and dusk varmint calling I do, the reticle won't be that good and the extended base hangs back over the action cut-out and looks kinda poor. No arguement it needs fixin' but it won't fit my needs very well afterwards. The scope I got coming will fit without extended bases and the reticle is my favorite....I feel it has better resolution also.Thats the big problem when you live rural and can't see a scope before you buy it, no real idea what you're into until you get hands on.

     focus
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/10/2007 at 16:04
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Which scope are you switching to?

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/11/2007 at 05:26
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Conquest

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/12/2007 at 20:49
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Focus-I am curious if you contacted Sightron yet?  Just curious to know what their position on the warranty was and if they will be replacing the unit you had trouble with.  I am wanting to get a Big Sky but am curious to see if yours gets replaced and if so, what results you will have with the next scope.  Just wanted to know if the one you got was a dud or not.  Thanks, look forward to seeing more on this post concerning the "Big Sky".
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/13/2007 at 11:15
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My 6-24x42 is wonderful.
Shorter and Lighter than the elite 4200.  The objective housing does not rotate, making it easier for flip-up dust covers.
The optics are damn clear and bright. 

The reticle is focused at the factory.  I changed the focus for my eyes.  Before, the eyes would strain themselves to focus the reticle and the sight picture at the same time.  This seems to me to be your problem with your scope, Focus.

The eyepiece threads are very, very fine and a couple twists in either direction doesn't do much of anything.  It might take ten or more threads to fix it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/14/2007 at 07:58
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Well Mike I know how to adjust a scope for my eyes, first thing I did. There was no point in the ocular focus that the scope would stay focused for my eyes or anyone else there looking thru it and trying to adjust it, one was a local benchrest shooter.. Yes it was a dud with no point of zero parallax either. Sightron said send it back with $7.50 and we'll correct it (the warranty with the scope now states they can repair or replace the scopes....no more new replacement warranty as stated in their advertising and catalog), I knew the scope wouldn't get any longer, the critical eye position at higher powers wouldn't improve, and the reticle would still be too fine for my taste.


Wish I had lived where I could have touched and seen one before buying....they don't have a stocking dealer in my state. I sent it back to the optics dealer that sold it to me and upgraded to a conquest scope.....it is bright, resolute,  focuses perfect, has the reticle I like, is much more forgiving for eye position at higher powers, and is long enough to go back to std bases and not the off set one that hung back over the action cut-out. I'm happy and all is well in my optics world . I'm sure many will love the new sightron.....just not me....for all reasons above.

    focus 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/14/2007 at 14:20
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I am glad you found a scope.


But I just don't see how an image can change focus by itself....must have been a bad lens indeed.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/14/2007 at 20:13
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I don't think the scope changed focus by itself, I believe it was in a permanent slightly out of focus condition and when your eye couldn't keep correcting it would loose focus. The reason all involved felt eye strain after a spell of looking thru it. Thanks for the suggestions however, I'm sure it wasn't normal for these normally excellant scopes.

     focus
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