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Tactical Scopes 101?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/15/2012 at 18:18
Slugger3 View Drop Down
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Life long hunter, but newbie to owning a tactical scope.
Started doing some 800 yard shooting with my .300 Mag which has a Leupold VX3 4.5-14X CDS scope on it. When dialing the scope back to "0" after shooting, the scope never actually goes back to "0". So now I'm in the market for a tactical scope. If I'm going to spend $2000 on a scope I want the opinions of people who own them and use them on a regular basis. Which of the following scopes has the best glass, durability and will reset to "0" when I turn the dials back to "0". What do I need to look for in a great tactical scope?
These are the scopes I'm interested in after doing some research.
Night Force 5.5-22
SWFA SS 5-20
Zeiss Z5 5-25 with turret

Thanks for your time!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/15/2012 at 19:01
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Do you mean Swarovski z5?
 
I don't know about the Z5 (I have a z3).  I have spent a lot of time with the nightforce you mention and it tracks dead nuts.  People that are in the know have tested the tracking of the SS and say it is good to go.  I have been  debating a similar scope for my 300 RUM and have finally decided to save for the SS.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/15/2012 at 19:17
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Originally posted by Slugger3 Slugger3 wrote:

Life long hunter, but newbie to owning a tactical scope.
Started doing some 800 yard shooting with my .300 Mag which has a Leupold VX3 4.5-14X CDS scope on it. When dialing the scope back to "0" after shooting, the scope never actually goes back to "0".


These are the scopes I'm interested in after doing some research.
Night Force 5.5-22
SWFA SS 5-20
Zeiss Z5 5-25 with turret

Thanks for your time!


Maybe a mounting issue which is causing it not to return to zero. You might also talk with Leupold about it.

I think the Swaro Z5 will have a little better glass than the other two. I own several NF scopes and I am very happy with them. I never have a concern about returning to zero with them. I am how ever looking at a SS or possibly an USOptics as well as another NF for a new rifle.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/15/2012 at 19:26
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I agree with Matt, NF tracking is sold without a doubt. I shoot with some guys running some Z5' s as you mentioned and seem to love them, glass better quality that the Z3's from what I can tell. There are a lot of guys on here that really like the SS for sure. What exactly do you mean by Tactical Scope?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/15/2012 at 20:46
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If you want the tactical scope with the best glass, repeatability, and function....You should probably be looking at Schmidt Bender Police Marksman....NF, SS, Swaro are all great scopes and all are a step below a S&B.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/15/2012 at 21:02
Slugger3 View Drop Down
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Yes, I meant the Swaro, sorry. By saying Tactical, I'm looking at a durable scope with alot of adjustment for elevation, it has to re-zero when I turn the turrets back to "0" and it has to have adjusting turrets for shooting out to 1000 yards. The gun is actually a hunting rifle, and I had no idea that it would be as accurate as it is out to 800 yards. I was amazed. I'd just assume spend the money for a great scope, right off the bat. I'm not saying a guy has to spend $2000 to get a good scope, but it seems that alot of the posts you guys have put up, mention the types of scopes I have listed here. And what I've read about them in various articles leads me to believe that one of these scopes is the one I probably want/need. I'm asking you guys, because I'm looking for real world usage. I want to buy the right scope, the first time. It's cheaper that way. Thanks
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/15/2012 at 21:20
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$2k is alot of money for a scope.I don't think you can go wrong with any scope in that price range!I have a Premier LT [light tactical] that is serving me very well.You might also want to take a look at the Zeiss FL line of scopes,their glass is about as good as it gets.
 
  Good luck with your search for the perfect scope,I'm sure you will have a fun trip finding it as we all do.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2012 at 00:36
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Originally posted by Slugger3 Slugger3 wrote:

Life long hunter, but newbie to owning a tactical scope.
Started doing some 800 yard shooting with my .300 Mag which has a Leupold VX3 4.5-14X CDS scope on it. When dialing the scope back to "0" after shooting, the scope never actually goes back to "0". So now I'm in the market for a tactical scope. If I'm going to spend $2000 on a scope I want the opinions of people who own them and use them on a regular basis. Which of the following scopes has the best glass, durability and will reset to "0" when I turn the dials back to "0". What do I need to look for in a great tactical scope?
These are the scopes I'm interested in after doing some research.
Night Force 5.5-22
SWFA SS 5-20
Zeiss Z5 5-25 with turret

Thanks for your time!
 
Im a fan of US Optics, but if your looking for a SFP scope disregard.  If you want zero stops, cross the SS off your list.  Nightforce makes a great scope, the whole eyepiece turning with the mag ring annoys me and for $2000 plus ... Im picky about details.  Can't speak to Zeiss ... haven't ever used one.  One scope I didn't see on your list is Sightron.  They have Mil and Moa models and for the money not a bad scope.  I did a review of one I recently used on a 338 Edge.  Check the link.
 
 
My general ramblings on optics in general ...
 
 
For my thoughts on US Optics, not specifically a long range model, but I own a SN3 in 3.8-22x44 that performs just as well.  Have shot to 1320 with it no problem.
 
 
I would say go USO or Nightforce if your willing to drop $2500.  If you wanna stay below $2000 go with the SS.  If you wanna stay below $1000 go Sightron.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2012 at 08:25
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I hadn't heard about SWFA until I started looikng for a tactical scope. (Living under a rock, I know) Does SWFA makes their own glass/scopes? Or does another manufacturer make them, and SWFA puts their name on the scope? Just curious.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2012 at 08:40
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As will most all optics companies the glass is contracted out.  The best glass normally is from japan or germany.  SWFA has a specific criteria that the manufacture has to build their designs too, very strict tolorances and only the highest quality is acceptable to Chris.    Under 2K and even some above that, the SS will have the best glass, and adjustments are true, IMO, you'd have to spend considerable more to justify the extra $ over the SS to get something like a Henny or S&B.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2012 at 11:29
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tactical scopes in use currently:
USO 
2-IOR
Zeiss
S&B
3-NF
Razor
 
most of which were obtained prior to the release of the SWFA's  5x20-- if done again today 1/2 of them would be the SWFA 5x20 if nothing less than to standarize at an affordable level.  SWFA avoids the middle man and in essence your getting an equivalent $2000 scope for their curret asking. Its comparitive value is higher than that. You won't have to "upgrade" later.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2012 at 12:14
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Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

tactical scopes in use currently:

2-IOR
 

DALE CLIFFORD!! I'm going wash your key board off with soap for typing that!!  Bubble Bath 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2012 at 13:10
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your to late-- I've already been taken to the cleaners by too many other scope makers.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2012 at 17:34
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I found that I really don't like scopes with a low end over 3X. I also don't need to go over 15X. The best scope all around that I've found for my shooting (a .308 Win used for target shooting out to 1000 yards and game out to 400), the Premier 3-15 LT has been just great. The glass is second to none and it tracks/operates just as well as any scope I've used. I had a NF 2.5-10X32, which was a great, compact scope, but the glass quality was nothing like the Premier, even in broad daylight @ 10X. When I sold off two rifles to build a single custom rig, I kept the Premier.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2012 at 18:12
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I have two of the Super Sniper 5-20x50 scopes they are great glass reliable scopes. NF glass not as good but very good mechanicals. U.S Optics is also good to go. Top of the line is Heinsoldt and Premier.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2012 at 18:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2012 at 21:07
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Originally posted by Urimaginaryfrnd Urimaginaryfrnd wrote:



I have two of the Super Sniper 5-20x50 scopes they are great glass reliable scopes. NF glass not as good but very good mechanicals. U.S Optics is also good to go. Top of the line is Heinsoldt and Premier.
I read the article (Thank you) and I can see how the scopes are broken into 2 different classes. From what I've read and heard from you guys so far the SWFA is the scope to go with. Next question here is: During dawn/dusk hunting, does the illuminated reticle really help out that much? I've never had a Illum. scope. Is it worth the extra $200 on the SWFA? I read a post by another fella (can't remember who) and he posted pics of the Illum. SWFA SS and it looked awesome! But in real world hunting situations, can a guy utilize it enough to justify the cost? Thanks
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2012 at 22:51
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Originally posted by Slugger3 Slugger3 wrote:

 Next question here is: During dawn/dusk hunting, does the illuminated reticle really help out that much? I've never had a Illum. scope. Is it worth the extra $200 on the SWFA? I read a post by another fella (can't remember who) and he posted pics of the Illum. SWFA SS and it looked awesome! But in real world hunting situations, can a guy utilize it enough to justify the cost? Thanks
 
A quality illuminated reticle can make all the difference in a lowlight shot.  When your in serious fading light, a setting that isn't even visible during the day is just the ticket.  The reticle will almost look like your battery is almost dead when you have it on the right setting.  A lot of the cheap scopes that have illum don't have a setting thats low enough for real low light shooting.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/17/2012 at 14:40
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If getting the 5-20, get illuminated.  The reticle can be quite small at the bottom end (where you would be taking low light shots) and without illumination, you will lose the it in background,


Voice of experience.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/17/2012 at 15:35
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

If getting the 5-20, get illuminated.  The reticle can be quite small at the bottom end (where you would be taking low light shots) and without illumination, you will lose the it in background,

Voice of experience.
 
very good point!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2012 at 17:25
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When comparing SFP vs FFP scopes, the main question I have is how wide is the SS 5-20 reticle at 500 yards vs. a scope like the NF 5.5-22 at 500 yards. The only scopes I've ever owned have been SFP. So I don't know any different. To me, the crosshairs in a FFP scope look like they are quite a bit wider than a SFP reticle on 20x at the same distance. Any idea where a guy can find specs to compare the two types of reticle thicknesses?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2012 at 23:09
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Not sure what reticle you are talking about on the NF scope, as they offer several. The reticle on the SS is  .05 mils now matter what power it is on. At 500 yards  I believe that is about .9"...
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