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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2018 at 06:57
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:


With external adjustments like with the March scopes that this thread is about or with Elcan scopes that I like quite a bit, it is a more interesting argument.

I grew in a country that basically turned to a sea of mud about four months of every year (and is frozen stiff for another four moths or so), so I originally viewed any adjustments exposed to the elements with great suspicion.  I have to admit though, that despite some serious efforts, the external adjustments on my Elcan Specter OS never skipped a beat.

ILya

I've had a look at the Elcan scopes and find their outlook interesting, too. While March is most concerned with loss of optical integrity when constantly centred reticles (and the fields of view) are wound to extreme distances from the vertex, Elcan appears most concerned with weatherproofing.

I agree with both concerns but must admit Koshkin has a point in saying that external adjustments may be more susceptible to freezing conditions than adjustments protected at least by a turret cap. Perhaps the old European reticle-movement practice of putting the lateral adjustments in the mounts but the elevation in the scope is the best compromise. With luck, further adjustment to windage can be avoided in the field and elevation can be left to stadia, at least in extremely cold conditions. If not, at least the reticle spring in such a scope would be less likely to break because it is only required to flex in or out. When double turrets are used, any adjustment brings some twisting tension on the spring because it is not diametrically opposite either screw.

My main concern with the Elcan is shared with many other tactical scopes. Being fat, they sit quite high yet have the shortest mount separation in modern practice. A decent bump from the front or back will have twice the effect on zero of that on a short conventional scope with mounts that are four inches apart.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2018 at 16:04
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Originally posted by sambarman338 sambarman338 wrote:


Well, ILya, I wonder why you're so defensive if the market is as cut and dried as you say. The reason I did not specify the favorite brand was because I did not wish to single it out for criticism. As I've said, they just got caught up in the simplistic marketing BS of the 1950s and '60s, as did the Germans and Austrians eventually, though the Continentals at least let the patents run out first.

So, for my edification, which are the largest brands in the sporting-optics world?

Much as you assert there is no problem with image-movement scopes for smaller-calibre hunting rifles, the forums seem filled with complaints about them failing to hold zero. The flip-side to this is the number of people so impressed with makers' generous warranties. One man I recall found a nice lurk buying old scopes from pawn shops and, if anything internal was wrong with them, send them back to the maker to be replaced with new ones.

To my mind this is just the most convenient way to cope with a design that is intrinsically dodgy. Casual users won't shoot enough to have it affect them and an increased percentage of spare scopes takes care of those that do. Then, instead of people getting angry, they get a warm fuzzy from the great service.

The real problem comes when you're on that hunt of a lifetime. And despite your waving it aside as irrelevant, cheap air travel has led to more and more hunters aspiring to African safaris. The dangerous game may less often be elephants but few clients hunt buffalo with a much-smaller rifle. Many such hunters use scopes on their heavy and medium rifles - and there's the rub.

If your scope goes off in the middle of Tanzania, is that warranty going to help you in time?

That all the research is going into illumination and 'digital integration' does not do it for me. This stuff might be good and fine for pest destruction but if recreational hunting is to continue to have any element of sport, we owe it to our quarry to maintain standards of fair chase. Electronics in hunting would be a clear place to draw a line in the sand.

The most sporting aspect of illumination is probably the chance that it might break down on you once you've become totally addicted to it - just when the beast of your dreams appears. I could fill a chapter with this discussion but hopefully you've got the idea.

If we do not single out companies for criticism, they have no motivation to get better.  Leupold has had a long history of week internals and they seem to be finally rectifying that.

Whether you like the direction of the current R&D or not is not really critical since it is driven by the market, i.e. customers.  Basically, what you are complaining about is such a miniscule niche that no manufacturer seems to care about it in the slightest.

Hunting in Africa is still mostly for the well-heeled and it is not going to change any time soon.  There are comparatively few parts of the shooting sports that are growing and African hunting is not it.

All that aside, I am not at all convinced your technical argument has merit.  You are comparing what were effectively hand-built and optically simple riflescopes of the 50x and 60s, with far more complicated, less expensive and mass produced products of today.

I need to see if there are official statistics on this, but my best guess is that the number of riflescopes sold last year is at least 2-3 magnitudes higher than that sold in 1960.  If you draw a comparison to typical wages, a good quality scope from 1960s cost about $2k or more in today's dollars.

If you get someone to build you a simple fixed power scope at $2k pricetag today, with minimal weight limitations, I suspect it will be absolutely bulletproof whether you make it with internal, external or any other adjustments.

In other words, in your nostalgic view of the riflescope world, you are missing on basic statistics of mass production and not comparing apples to apples.

The product that would be a real comparable to the hand built Zeiss from 1960 simply does not exist today, largely because there is no market for it.

The closest in the grand scheme of things is probably one of the fixed power March target scopes that are effectively hand built.  I have not used them much, but I know they have put them onto 50cal rifles backwards and forwards for many shots with no ill effect. 

The only really fancy fixed power scope around 4x in the $2k range I can think of is Nightforce's 4.5x24 Competition  I have no idea if anyone has tried it on a boomer. 

ILya 
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I hear tell, IOR is coming out with a 5-50 10x erector mil/mil any one else caught wind of that?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2018 at 16:39
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Originally posted by Steelbenz Steelbenz wrote:

I hear tell, IOR is coming out with a 5-50 10x erector mil/mil any one else caught wind of that?

Is it IOR or Valdada?

Valdada's Recon G2 is a LOW scope.  A version of the same basic 4.5-30x56 design that several people use.

LOW also makes a 5-50x56 SFP scope.  It was first used by Delta, but now Trijicon is using it as well.  I ahve the Delta version and it is quite good.

It would not surprise me if Val is going to market a version of that scope as well.

If it is an IOR, though, that would mean made in Romania and that I have not heard about.

ILya
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Roger that, I will hit my buddy up for clarification.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2018 at 23:26
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:


If we do not single out companies for criticism, they have no motivation to get better.  Leupold has had a long history of week internals and they seem to be finally rectifying that.

Whether you like the direction of the current R&D or not is not really critical since it is driven by the market, i.e. customers.  Basically, what you are complaining about is such a miniscule niche that no manufacturer seems to care about it in the slightest.

Hunting in Africa is still mostly for the well-heeled and it is not going to change any time soon.  There are comparatively few parts of the shooting sports that are growing and African hunting is not it.

All that aside, I am not at all convinced your technical argument has merit.  You are comparing what were effectively hand-built and optically simple riflescopes of the 50x and 60s, with far more complicated, less expensive and mass produced products of today.

I need to see if there are official statistics on this, but my best guess is that the number of riflescopes sold last year is at least 2-3 magnitudes higher than that sold in 1960.  If you draw a comparison to typical wages, a good quality scope from 1960s cost about $2k or more in today's dollars.

If you get someone to build you a simple fixed power scope at $2k pricetag today, with minimal weight limitations, I suspect it will be absolutely bulletproof whether you make it with internal, external or any other adjustments.

In other words, in your nostalgic view of the riflescope world, you are missing on basic statistics of mass production and not comparing apples to apples.

The product that would be a real comparable to the hand built Zeiss from 1960 simply does not exist today, largely because there is no market for it.

The closest in the grand scheme of things is probably one of the fixed power March target scopes that are effectively hand built.  I have not used them much, but I know they have put them onto 50cal rifles backwards and forwards for many shots with no ill effect. 

The only really fancy fixed power scope around 4x in the $2k range I can think of is Nightforce's 4.5x24 Competition  I have no idea if anyone has tried it on a boomer. 

ILya 

OK, ILya, it was Leupold but I know that many hunters think they are righteous dudes. My pilgrimage is to persuade the market that some parts of it should care about stuff like this.

I am certainly not well-heeled but have hunted in Africa and know a number of other average earners who have as well. The anti-hunters' pressure on African governments is not helping this trend, though, and canned hunting was a mistaken approach that has had a cost.

You are probably right in asserting that modern scopes are more mass-produced - most things are these days. Image-movement lends itself to mass production, too, because the erector set, complete with reticle, can be inserted more easily from the ocular end than was positioning the bits in the old system. (Was? It may be that Valdada still makes tactical scopes with reticle-movement, for reliability.) 

That said, we had cheap scopes in the '60s, of both types, but those who knew saved up and bought the better brands. The first centrefire I ordered (as a student) was a .270 Husqvarna 4000, which was to cost $140 in 1968. The scope I hoped to put on it was to be a Pecar 3-7x36, cost $130 IIRC. (No rifle could be found, so that didn't happen.) Later, when even poorer, I bought the same model scope s/h for $67 to put on a $50 FN Mauser .30-06.  On the way I'd passed up a new Nickel Marburg at  $50 after discovering it was a small-bell 6x, rather than the 4x I was looking for. In 1980/81 I paid $400 for a new .338 Sako and put a $300 Kahles Helia Super 27 on it. I bought other, cheaper scopes but most finished up in the bin; the Pecar and Kahles reticle-movement scopes just kept going and I still have the Kahles in working condition. 

Old gunwriters used to tell us to worry more about the quality of the scope than the rifle, and I'm not sure they were wrong. If you look at the cost of modern Sako rifles and pay three-quarters of that price for a scope, that is no small sum - and yet many scopes today cost much more.

The market is largely driven by what is available and what the makers tell us we should want. Reviews in shooting magazines with ads for the same products adjacent are dead give aways there'll be little critical content; and an evening of commercial TV tempts me to ask the Linnean Society to rename our species Homo notsosapiens.

You talk of $2k scopes today being absolutely bulletproof but I know that even the Swarovski z6 scopes, chosen by many hunters going to Africa, sometimes break down. (I am well aware that Swaro knows the danger of recoil to scopes. They claim this is the reason for their use of four helical springs behind the erector tube, though I suspect removing the chatter/distortion of flat springs is their real intent.)

No market for reticle-movement scopes? Well, I collect them and the initially expensive railed models are affordable because finding mounts can be a pain. I suspect there is also a market for good, old scopes to put on rifles, though, otherwise the clean-barrel ones that sell for a premium would be a lot cheaper. 









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I wrote a long, long post, deleted it, and will bulletpoint a few highlights:

1.  I don't choose my drill bit based on the price of my drill, I choose based on the task the bit needs to do well.

2.  I always wanted a '69 Camaro, but never because it is superior to modern vehicles.

3. That Leupold is known for frequent breakages is accurate, that all modern scopes are known for breakages is not.  You keep naming Leupold, indicating you understand they are, at the very least, an outlier in the field.

4.  There have been times in my life where the gun had to work or my life - or, more importantly, the life of someone important to me - would be lost.  And in those moments, never ever did I reach for a 50 year old scope in fear that a Nightforce couldn't do the job exceptionally well.

5.  Newer isn't always better, with that I wholly concur (M14 battle rifle vs M16A1 is a great example); but I see no one - other than you - arguing that scopes today are not, by huge margins, better than they were back when people were still getting polio. Maybe I am just looking in the wrong place.

6.  The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."  If you are certain of the superiority of a design, at least as durability goes, please provide the data on which that certainty rests.
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Well, Rancid Coolaid, your apposite appellation and work history make me reluctant to open my mouth further, but here goes.

Your point about drill bits I suppose refers to my mention of old rifle and scope prices in respect to ILya's assertion that old, reticle-movement scopes were prohibitively expensive and would be hard to make competitively today. Economic conditions have certainly eroded prices at the lower end of the market but my comparisons show cost relationships in the respected brands have not changed that much. Maybe, if we're into analogy, its like oak verses Ikea furniture. The latter might furnish your first flat but I know which I'd rather have. 

I am persuaded by you and other skilled riflemen that Nightforce, at least, has succeeded in making scopes you are willing to rely on. How they have done it, other than by employing super-tumbled springs and something akin to Posi-Lock, I'm not sure. I know their erector tubes are as big and brassy-looking as anyone elses.

However, I do know that multiple makers have struggled to make image-movement reliable over six decades. Redfield's vacillating over spring types and their efforts to improve the hinge mechanism (before gimbals took over); their tribulations with SFP reticles moving zero between magnifications; Weaver's carbide balls to reduce wear on the erector-tube bearing points; Swarovski, Nightforce and Leupold's use of special new springs to solve  inadequately explained problems (probably to do with difficult arc engagements at adjustment extremes); Vortex's efforts to cut wear on the erector tube/turret-screw engagements by adding hardened-steel pads and tube band (adding to inertia mass and possibly predicating an even fatter outer tube), are a few I can think of at 12.15am.

I am not a statistician, but do recall Mark Twain's words about lies and statistics. My contention is simple and it comes down to a simple physics understanding that the more stuff that rocks around inside a scope under recoil, the greater chance it will eventually cause trouble.

As I have said many times, image-movement is dodgy in its basic concept, which requires for the pathetic purpose of making scope mounting idiot-proof, the mass of moving parts subject to recoil inertia to be increased roughly tenfold, at least if the preferred brass alloys are used. If you have 'data' to contradict that, please let me know.

  
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 I am not an engineer, but I hear it said if one had to explain the flight of a honey bee, he/she would say the bee could not fly. Likewise, you are free to regale me with tales of sorrow and woe concerning a thing presented as so fraught with flaw as to be basically unusable - or not for long.

And I've heard the Twain quote a few times, used it a few more; but understand that it is meant to explain manipulation of data, not to justify the absence thereof.  As for data that contradicts the basic premise of your hatred for erector tubes (the basic concept is "dodgy", the end result is a fragile and unnecessarily complex problem), it is in every tactical event winner's circle, in the field with every precision rifle in every developed country's military the world over, and is represented quite nicely in my gun safe.

I've mounted hundreds of scopes, I've fired countless rounds, spun countless turrets (some spun completely off the scope, but that was Leupold), and have run a few scopes to catastrophic failure; but I have not - with about 30 years on precision rifles and optics - seen a better solution emerge.  (Digital imaging is making a strong case, but that is another thread entirely.)

It may be entirely true that scopes are over-engineered to deal with a problem one way that you claim could be solved another, I don't know; but I do know that present scopes are quite common that handle recoil well, I know this for certain, I've used them, I own them.

As for the drill and bit part: buying a scope based on how much you spent on the rifle seems like a less-than-stellar way to go.  A tool is, in my experience, chosen for its effectiveness at a task, not for what anything involved costs.  I have rifles that fit nicely into your paradigm, and several that do not - it is all about the task. A great is example is Tikka rifles.  I love Tikka rifles, and can think of only one (of several) Tikkas in the safe that fits your profile.  My favorite precision rifle is a T3 action chambered in 243AI, it is an absolute laser, and wears a scope that cost 3X the rifle, because the scope is what allows me to reliably pop 2" steel gongs at 400 yards at my local range, which I do find enjoyable.

No one here will argue your likes or your experiences, but many will push back when you claim a thing we all know fairly well doesn't work.  That a scope fails doesn't lend credibility to some other design, those variables are independent.  If you claim one technology is superior to another, I will ask for quantitative measures rather than qualitative, especially when it is on a topic for which I have much, MUCH quantitative data.  

Somewhere out there is an old VW beatle that can beat a brand new Porsche 911 Turbo in a 1/4 mile straight run; but I wouldn't extrapolate too far.


Edited by Rancid Coolaid - July/31/2018 at 15:52
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Edited by supertool73 - July/31/2018 at 14:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2018 at 13:20
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 It was random conjecture, good to know it was verifiably accurate.

But, again, it should not be extrapolated.
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I used to watch street outlaws all the time, so I had seen it happen.  LOL
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That was an excellent post RC.  Outstanding actually.  Poor ol' Sambar has tried on 3 forums now to try  and find someone  who will agree with him, and has officially struck out.   Formidilosis over on the other big board, a rifle/optics/bullet tester for the US DOD who sees hundreds  of thousands of rounds....PER YEAR, has told him he's clueless as well. 
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I don't doubt the absolute domination of target shooting by image-movement, Rancid, since the shooters really don't have much choice now, unless they sacrifice modern advances in magnifications, lens quality and coatings, buy the March bag or, as I've seen reported elsewhere, disable the erector-tube movements in their scopes. 

And yes, the bench-rest groups are getting smaller, so small I wonder if the sport will disappear up its own verinculum once all the bullets go in one hole, slightly smaller than the bullet diameter. But there may be other factors involved, such as better barrels, bedding and bullets, and increasing precision in reloading.

Your returning to scope cost has me a little baffled. My comments were in regard to a previous post and my purpose was to say that though some things cost more, if you believe in what they represent, you'll save up and pay the money. 

I too have a Tikka and, as with its big brother the 38-year-old Sako, am amazed how good it is. Furthermore, I believe that had American rifles of the 1950s had their barrels and scope-mount provisions as well aligned, Kollmorgen/Redfield and Weaver might have found much less interest in their constantly centred reticles.

I'm a bit disapointed you haven't trotted out some data on the weight of erector tubes verses the little rings used to hold reticles in the old system. I was bracing for a come-uppance, proof positive that size does not matter and mass can never be a factor in recoil inertia.

The analogy with cars is interesting but could take all day. Suffice to say the surge here in SUVs without dual ranges or even AWD, in a country with no snow in most areas - like the attraction of image-movement Ouch - makes little sense to me.

Et tu, JG? Since you know everything, could you tell them what it's all about? I could do with some advertising and understand there's no such thing as bad publicity.




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Hey Sambar, I have a very fine 8 track tape player for sale I'll make you a helluva deal on. Until today, I was having a devil of a time finding a buyer, as it seems the avant garde audiophile favors the notoriously dodgy digital music media, but I can tell you're a discriminating consumer with a keen appreciation for state of the art gear.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2018 at 09:58
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 The USMC announced on Monday they have gone to a Nightforce scope for their new 300WM platform, I'm sure by Thursday they will have seen the obvious error of their ways and gone to this:



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Originally posted by sambarman338 sambarman338 wrote:

I don't doubt the absolute domination of target shooting by image-movement, Rancid, since the shooters really don't have much choice now, unless they sacrifice modern advances in magnifications, lens quality and coatings, buy the March bag or, as I've seen reported elsewhere, disable the erector-tube movements in their scopes. 

And yes, the bench-rest groups are getting smaller, so small I wonder if the sport will disappear up its own verinculum once all the bullets go in one hole, slightly smaller than the bullet diameter. But there may be other factors involved, such as better barrels, bedding and bullets, and increasing precision in reloading.

Your returning to scope cost has me a little baffled. My comments were in regard to a previous post and my purpose was to say that though some things cost more, if you believe in what they represent, you'll save up and pay the money. 

I too have a Tikka and, as with its big brother the 38-year-old Sako, am amazed how good it is. Furthermore, I believe that had American rifles of the 1950s had their barrels and scope-mount provisions as well aligned, Kollmorgen/Redfield and Weaver might have found much less interest in their constantly centred reticles.

I'm a bit disapointed you haven't trotted out some data on the weight of erector tubes verses the little rings used to hold reticles in the old system. I was bracing for a come-uppance, proof positive that size does not matter and mass can never be a factor in recoil inertia.

The analogy with cars is interesting but could take all day. Suffice to say the surge here in SUVs without dual ranges or even AWD, in a country with no snow in most areas - like the attraction of image-movement Ouch - makes little sense to me.

Et tu, JG? Since you know everything, could you tell them what it's all about? I could do with some advertising and understand there's no such thing as bad publicity.





Sambarman, for my dayjob, I am building an optical system that is roughly the size of a minivan and weighing in at several thousand pounds.  It is ruggedized to survive significant shock (train crash type stuff) and still remain in one piece and aligned.

Ruggedizing heavy things is quite doable...

ILya
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 As an aside, I do have an Elcan DR and love it, great optic.  They have external adjustments and I have, thus far, had no issues with them.  And I don't baby my gear.
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Hey Sambar, I have a very fine 8 track tape player for sale I'll make you a helluva deal on. Until today, I was having a devil of a time finding a buyer, as it seems the avant garde audiophile favors the notoriously dodgy digital music media, but I can tell you're a discriminating consumer with a keen appreciation for state of the art gear.

Thanks guys.
Your analogy with audio stuff is not without a precedent of my own, RifleDude, but I think each subject needs to be looked at on its merits. As I wrote elsewhere (I'm waiting for JGRaider to tell us where), I once heard a radio interview with the man behind Living Stereo, after the renewed interest in vinyl began. The presenter asked him if he also thought Living Stereo gave better sound than CDs, to which he answered:
"You've got to be kidding!"

I do think, however, that Beta video-tapes were better than the reverse-engineered whoppers that followed and beat them commercially. Also, for dangerous-game hunting, control-round-feed/controlled-extraction actions like the 98 Mauser and pre-64 Winchester 70 may be safer than the push-feed rifles that largely supplanted them. I certainly don't think waffle-iron chequering was a great move forward, though the modern machine-cut stuff is often not bad.

Sorry, I'm too stupid to remember how to get from this post back to catch the name of the next well-wisher, but thank you for your reasoned contribution.

Thanks again, Rancid Coolaid. Can you tell me whether Unertl ever did make any image-movement scopes? If not, I'm impressed with the length of time they managed to keep the custom of the US military, up to four or five decades after the cataracts were removed from the eyes of sensible shooters.

I'm glad to hear Nightforce has got that new contract. As touched on earlier, I'm also impressed by such optical success from someone I hear is an Adelaide fang farrier.


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Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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They did. They had the USMC day scope contract when I was in, awesome scope for early 90s.
By today’s standards, it is serviceable, but not worth what you’d pay to get one. This is another great example of something having value much more for perceived rather than tangible reasons. If you have $10,000 to spend on one, get it and see what I mean.

I think my part in this thread is done - maybe more than done.

Carry on.
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I LOVE my Hensoldt 6-24x72... but find it limited.  There are some limits due to being able to related the centerline of the scope to the centerline of the bore, it is HEAVY, for some reason it is limited in adjustability.  I've solved the final issue with an IVEY mount, but now it is heavier.  I can still shoot it freehand, but have much less time to stay on target.  However, with a 60x scope, I would probably like a 72mm objective.  The 56mm objective is OK with me, but at low light it will be limiting.  Exit pupil is not a "deciding factor" for me, but it is a factor.  I seldom go with anything that has an exit pupil below 1.0... which this scope would have.  However, March has been, for my eyes, overall good enough that this is not an eliminating factor.  
I like the idea idea of this scope, I hope to get one in hand soon.  If it sucks, I'll let you know.  
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

They did. They had the USMC day scope contract when I was in, awesome scope for early 90s.
By today’s standards, it is serviceable, but not worth what you’d pay to get one. This is another great example of something having value much more for perceived rather than tangible reasons. If you have $10,000 to spend on one, get it and see what I mean.

I think my part in this thread is done - maybe more than done.

Carry on.

Thanks Rancid, I guess that kind of does it then, though I'm tempted to say, like the Black Knight ye wot of: "We'll call it a draw."

As an Aussie, I'm happy to hear you have such a high opinion of Nightforce. Perhaps it is like the superiority of the old Mannlicher Schoenauer sporters over those from Mauser, a victory of fine materials and manufacturing precision over design.

If they ever decide to make a small, straight 2.5x or 1-3 variable with a #1 reticle or #4 with the bars almost touching, and a good, stout third screw at 7.30, I'll buy one if there's not too much tunnel vision. I don't actually need such a thing as I've got plenty to go on with, but I'd get another big-bore just to justify it.

Cheers
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