Location: Western Wyoming
I have a dilemma. I really wanted to buy the SS 3-9X, but it doesn't quite have the upper end magnification I want. To be honest, I really don't want a tactical scope for tactical reasons. I want one in order to learn how to use a mil-dot reticule. The SS 3-9X appealed to me because the FFP and the mil/mil setup reduce the odds of a stupid math mistake. I wish I had the patience to wait for the rumored higher-magnification SWFA variable.
I'm going to scope my AR-15 for predator and varmint hunting and those little 6" prairie dogs are awfully small at 3-400 yards. I think I want something closer to 12-14X on the top end. 3-4X on the bottom end will give a good field of view for watching coyotes come in.
Two scopes have caught my eye as alternatives:
1. The Bushnell 2.5-16X42 Elite 6500
ILya gave it great reviews on his optics thoughts web site. OTOH, it is a pretty standard moa/mil, SFP scope that will be just a bit more complicated to learn. I'm also 53 years old and my eyes are more particular than they used to be. Will a 16X view through a 42mm objective be bright enough for say, coyote hunting on an overcast, gray winter day when contrast is low?
2. The Bushnell 3-12X44 Elite 4200
It has the mil/mil calibration and FFP reticule that I am looking for, but it's more expensive than I want. (I don't need the illuminated reticule). I'm also concerned that the optical quality isn't quite as good as the other scope, even though it's more expensive. OTOH, the slightly larger objective might be a little brighter.
Any comments, suggestions, alternatives?