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Viper HS "hunting" scopes: a huge disappointment

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I just called Vortex to get some direct information and came out extraordinarily disappointed. I find the new Viper HS "hunting" line to be really a line of tactical scopes, adapted for hunting, but not suited to it.

I have always found the Vortex Viper line to be the sweet spot for me. I did not find the lower level lines (Crossfire, Diamondback) good enough, and the Razors were a little too expensive for my "regular" scope purchases. I really liked the Viper scopes because they had good optical qualities, repeatable mechanicals that did not lose zero, and because they were light and compact - an essential attribute in a hunting rifle if you are going to walk & stalk. They were a perfect combination in the sweet spot for me, and I own many of them.

As we all know, Vortex is in the process of obsoleting their 1" line of Viper scopes, and is replacing them in the line-up by the Viper HS scopes. The HS scopes come in the same sizes as the PST scopes, but with hunting turrets. We are all eagerly awaiting the PST scopes - but they are heavy compared to the old style Vipers. That is fine for a tactical scope - but not for a hunting scope.

How heavy? The 1-4x24 is very compact at 9.7" but heavy - 16 oz, more than most of my hunting scopes even with high magnifications.  The next model up is a 2.5-10x42, still fairly compact at 12", but weighing 18.4 oz. The next one up is the 4-16x44, and its weight is unknown so far, but I am sure that it will be higher than 18.4 oz. The next model up, 4-16x50, has a 50mm bell, very cumbersome in the field, a size of 13.7" and a weight of 22 oz.

For me, unless it is to hunt hogs at night, I do not use 50mm bells on my hunting rifles (too bulky to walk around with), meaning that I have 3 choices for hunting scopes in the new Viper "hunting" line. These choices are both very heavy compared to pretty much all my hunting scopes. As a comparison, looking at a few of my scopes:
  • Kahles 2-7x36 ->11.9 oz
  • Kahles 3-9x42 ->14.1 oz
  • Leupold VX-II 3-9x33 Ultralight ->11 oz
  • Leupold VX3 2.5-8x36 ->11.5 oz
  • Minox ZA5 3-15x42 ->13.7 oz
  • Nikon Monarch 2.5-8x28 Scout ->10.9 oz
  • Vortex Viper 2-7x32 ->14 oz
  • Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 ->15 oz (I find it heavy and bulky, although with excellent glass
  • Just to compare to a large fixed mag: Sightron SIIB 24x44 ->15.6 oz for 24x!
The new Vortex HS line brings in tactical format and, I am sure, excellent quality (I am a Vortex fan based on my many Vortex scopes), but, imho, it does not provide choice and features that are supportive of walking hunters.

I am planning on loading up on the obsoleted 1" line models (particularly the sweet 2-7x32). While I definitely plan on purchasing some PSTs for target shooting, I figure that the bulk of my new hunting scope purchases in the next couple of years will probably be Minox ZA5, Nikon Monarch, Leupold VX3 and Sightron SII Big Sky. I was hoping for an exciting new hunting line from Vortex in 2011, but I am very disappointed.


Edited by WestOfPecos - January/07/2011 at 14:20
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I'd hold off casting judgement until you see all that they have planned.  Its still to early to say there is "disappointment". 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2011 at 12:49
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They told me yesterday that several of the older configurations were going to come back because of high demand.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2011 at 13:30
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Yeah I would say you are jumping the gun a little.
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I think price might be the factor here and not weight (at least in my case).  My heavy barrel savage + the viper + harris bipod make a pretty heavy outfit...but then again, I'm not going to be lugging it around on my shoulder.  A couple more ounces of scope weight would make little difference to me...but a couple hundred bucks might.  That said, maybe the HS is tilted too much to the tactical side???  I hope Vortex keeps up with the nice selection of mid price range high quality stuff they have been putting out.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2011 at 15:58
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in all fairness, if half a pound is a huge deal breaker.. then i really have no other rational explanation to counter your post with.  if you've made up your mind that half a pound is of the upmost importance then, i wish you all the best.
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I tend to set up my shots around 200 yds but I often see deer closer and further away. With a 50 cal musket there is a huge drop in trajectory and having a scope that I can dial in correction with is a welcome addition to their line.  The long range version is similar to tactical versions but without illumination and with a different hunting type reticle and the knobs are designed to be large enough to dial in correction without being huge tactical knobs.  Meanwhile back at the ranch we are getting some huge bargains on the ones that they are discontinueing which has allowed some of us to try them out and develope a taste for more Vortex products.  They will bring back the products that people want.  But there has been a lack of scopes that were both good and affordable in the 4-16 power range so I for one am glad to see these.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2011 at 19:16
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WOP that's a nice stable of hunting scopes you own!I don't think a few ounces is going to be a deal braker esspecially considering you will be getting a 30mm tube which will give you a little more flexability in both windage & elevation.
 
Myself I'm hoping they will come out with an illumination option.As you said you are a Vortex fan so give them the benefit of doubt & be patient.
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These scopes have EXACTLY the features I am looking for in a hunting scope on my heavy/long range hunting rig, and the reticle matches the turrets, in that the Vortex BDC is calibrated in MOA.  Illumination is something I did not want in my hunting scope.

I am stoked about these.

A lightweight "tweener" would be a fine addition to the line, however.
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The 2-7x32 Viper @ 14oz is sweet but the 3-9x40 Conquest @ 15 oz  is heavy?
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Originally posted by WYcoyote WYcoyote wrote:

The 2-7x32 Viper @ 14oz is sweet but the 3-9x40 Conquest @ 15 oz  is heavy?

kinda what i was thinking, whats 1 ounce???Loco
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Originally posted by grimreaper21 grimreaper21 wrote:

in all fairness, if half a pound is a huge deal breaker.. then i really have no other rational explanation to counter your post with.  if you've made up your mind that half a pound is of the upmost importance then, i wish you all the best.
Half a pound isn't a lot? Go grab 8 oz of lead fishing weights and tell me 1/2 a lb isn't a  big deal to the overall weight and balance of a gun.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2011 at 12:09
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Originally posted by pyro6999 pyro6999 wrote:

Originally posted by WYcoyote WYcoyote wrote:

The 2-7x32 Viper @ 14oz is sweet but the 3-9x40 Conquest @ 15 oz  is heavy?

kinda what i was thinking, whats 1 ounce???Loco

Pyro, I thought that I would not have to spell things out for you. But since you want the detail, here goes.

There is a big difference between the two. The Viper is extremely compact at 11.3", while the Conquest is very long at 13.5". The Conquest is only slightly heavier at 15 oz vs 14 oz for the Viper. But the Viper's much shorter length and the way the weight is distributed make the Viper comfortable to add to my stalking rifles, and keeps them well balanced, while the Conquest changes their balance in a very uncomfortable way.

This is actually true on all my rifles, from the lightest to the heaviest, although, obviously, less noticeable on the heavier rifles. I own a pretty good sample of rifles, including most big brands except for Remington and Tikka. So I believe that my generalization for the scopes that I own is pretty accurate as far as they regard myself and the friends and family I hunt with.

Weight and balance are particularly critical for stalking rifles. We typically cover 12 to 15 miles, often quite a bit more, in a hunting day. If you are out for several days camping in the bush the impact is cumulative:-) For most hunters, hunting from stands or staying a few hundred yards from a road are the norm. But, to me, real hunting involves being as far in the wild as I can:-)

If you are a target shooter or a stand hunter - i.e. part of the majority of firearms owners,- you never have to handle your rifle for long periods of time. So balance and weight are not critical. But, if you have to carry your rifle for 14 hours in a day, every day in a week, it will quickly become very important to you! I have no problems putting a PST on a rifle for target shooting, or on a heavy varminter. But putting one on a regular hunting rifle is very different.

I am very careful about what opinions I give out. I try to make sure that mine are always backed by data that I have developed, or experiences that I have had myself: I do not use internet rumors in my posts. I am also respectful of other people's opinions - we can all have different takes on the same facts. At the same time, quite frankly, only somebody who has never stalked game would say, as some have mentioned above, that, everything else being equal, an 18 oz scope (the weight of the mid-line HS) is as good as a 12 oz one (average weight for my scopes)... The statement is either very ignorant or very foolish.

 A scope's weight and its balance, to me, and I believe to any discerning stalking hunter, are as important as its glass quality, the repeatability of its mechanicals, or the criticality of its eyebox. And, in this domain, despite all the forum's hype, the Conquest, despite its very good glass, does not score well. I have listed above some of the scopes that I have right now, and for which I can provide direct, first hand, comparative experience. I believe that if people used their own experience and data more often, rather than repeating other people's posts like sheep or lemming,  there would be less hype and more reality in gear evaluations:-)




Edited by WestOfPecos - January/08/2011 at 12:18
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Originally posted by BigGameBalls BigGameBalls wrote:

Originally posted by grimreaper21 grimreaper21 wrote:

in all fairness, if half a pound is a huge deal breaker.. then i really have no other rational explanation to counter your post with.  if you've made up your mind that half a pound is of the upmost importance then, i wish you all the best.
Half a pound isn't a lot? Go grab 8 oz of lead fishing weights and tell me 1/2 a lb isn't a  big deal to the overall weight and balance of a gun.
I don't know about everyone else but my body has muscles, that are pretty helpful in counteracting weight.  Go curl 40 pounds an arm 100 times and eventually, you wont notice a difference.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2011 at 12:33
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Originally posted by stickbow46 stickbow46 wrote:

WOP that's a nice stable of hunting scopes you own!I don't think a few ounces is going to be a deal braker esspecially considering you will be getting a 30mm tube which will give you a little more flexability in both windage & elevation.
 
Myself I'm hoping they will come out with an illumination option.As you said you are a Vortex fan so give them the benefit of doubt & be patient.

I definitely agree that the extra flexibility is good - you never have enough adjustments in elevation:-) Although I am not a good enough shooter to be able to use windage much... But it is not a big enough thing for me to want to give up 6 oz.  I mount all my rifles with 15 moa mounts, just so that I can get a little bit extra when I need it:-)

The PST line does come with illumination. Since they come with zero stop, they might be usable in the field. I have sometimes used small strips of black electrical tape to use target turrets in the brush. Unfortunately, the 4-16x44, which is the new Viper format that I am most attracted to, does not have an equivalent in the PST line, which goes straight to a 50mm bell - it is only found in the HS line.
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Michel,

I have a Remington Model 7 7-08 that is my backpack hunting rifle.  I used it this season with a Conquest 3-9X40.  I just swapped the Conquest for my Viper 2-7X32.  I prefer how the Viper looks on the compact model 7.  After reading your post, I just pulled out my model 7 and swapped the scopes, holding the rifle and testing for weight and balance.  I honestly could not tell a difference, whatsoever, in having the two scopes on the rifle.  Holding the two scopes in hand, it was hard to feel the 1 ounce difference.  I don't understand how the conquest would change the balance in such an "uncomfortable" way.

The Conquest is longer, and doesn't look as trim as the Viper, but it does allow for more mounting latitude.

I understand what you are saying about keeping your weights down for backpacking, and I am always looking for ways to shave my pack weight, but I have found that certain performance advantages are worth a few extra ounces.  I could make do with a 3 lb. REI or Gregory backpack, but the features of my hunt-specific 6 lb Eberlestock are well worth the extra 3 lbs.  For Heaven's sake, I packed my Razor 85HD into some of the craziest terrain in the Lower 48 this year, but it saved me a lot of scrambling to get a closer look.

The new Viper HS series is just the ticket for the "long range" hunting rifles that are so popular now.  I will be putting one on a Remington Sendero, mainly for hunting elk from horseback.

While, like you, my favorite type of hunting involves a backpack and many rugged miles of backcountry, "real" hunting is simply the ethical pursuit of game animals, and passing on the traditions, regardless of method.

Smile
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Hey Matt-

you did mention in some posts a while back that you are packing your large format spotting scope - I was quite impressed. I am actually hesitating right now between a 50, a 60, a 62 (Minox) and a 65 to go backpacking with as well. I am not ready to schlep an 85mm - maybe I am older:-)

It is interesting that you actually made that experiment with your Remington 7 - I don't have any Remingtons, as mentioned above - not by religion or taste, just has not happened so far (although the 7mm-08 is my favorite caliber for brush hunting here in WI, my fave is a M77RSI stainless in 7mm-08, on which I typically mount a Kahles 2-7). But I have tried the same substitution among others, on several Win 70, a Browning BLR, several Ruger M77 Hawkeye and M77RSI of different calibers, Sako 85, and CZ. The CZ had the least difference. In fact, of all my shorter mag scopes, the Conquest is the one I like least for balance/ weight along. I also tried hunting with my SS 3-9x40 FFP (19 oz, 13.5") but that one did not cut it when I could pick another instead. My favorite backpack rifle is a Win 70 Stainless Featherweight with a lightweight stock, on which the difference, to me, is very significant. Although I now typically use the Minox ZA5 3-15x42 on it - it's my favorite combo, light and very versatile, usable at up to roughly 500-600 yards if I had or wanted to.

As you mention, the PST/HS, imho, are well matched to heavy long range rifles, and I think it would pair perfectly with a Sendero, particularly if you have a horse to carry it for you:-)  I also agree with you that a few extra ounces sometimes bring in significant value - for instance, I typically use a 15 moa picatinny mount on all my rifles, which costs me 2-3 ounces compared to a lighter 2-piece mount. It gives me extra elevation and the full ability to mount any scope on any rifle, which I sub often.

At this time, though, I do not believe that I am getting enough back for the extra 6-8 oz of the mid line HS scopes ( I am thinking 4-16x44 as I write in terms of weight, thinking that the elevation advantage of a 30mm tube is only worth it if you are going to go longer range) for a stalking rifle. Range - yes. Long range heavy rifle - yes. Heavy varminter - yes. Stand hunting - yes. Backpack or stalking rifle, which is what I do - no.

Of course this is my own opinion for what works for me:-) I'd love to do that elk hunt on horseback you talked about - it sounds like great fun, you'll have to share some of your stories there!


Edited by WestOfPecos - January/08/2011 at 13:23
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Originally posted by WestOfPecos WestOfPecos wrote:


 I'd love to do that elk hunt on horseback you talked about - it sounds like great fun, you'll have to share some of your stories there!


Hunting elk on horseback, during the late season/migration is the absolute pinnacle of western hunting.  Put it on your bucket list.  I think I may share a story or two here on the OT about elk hunting.

Don't write off Vortex yet, they seem to have stuff in the works all the time.  Maybe there is something to suit your needs coming as well.
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Originally posted by WestOfPecos WestOfPecos wrote:


I am very careful about what opinions I give out. I try to make sure that mine are always backed by data that I have developed, or experiences that I have had myself: I do not use internet rumors in my posts.
Then with all due respect, perhaps you should have waited to hold one of the new HS scopes in your hand before coming on here, a very popular riflescope forum seen by thousands, and making a blanket statement like "Viper HS scopes a huge disappointment".  If i was a vortex employee i'd want your head Whacko

Edited by grimreaper21 - January/08/2011 at 15:05
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Pecos,
Forgive me for doubting your opinion a little, because I do not have a 3-15x42 Minox to put side by side with my 3-9x40 Conquest to make a comparison.
I am just wondering how the Conquest can be so unacceptable in weight and bulk and the Minox is light and handy enough to earn a spot on your favorite lightweight carry rifle.
The difference (from SWFA scope specs) in weight is .6 oz and .71" in length. The objective OD must be fairly comparable since the Minox is 2mm bigger in diameter.
Admittedly the Minox is a very desirable scope with it's power range and relative size but I just can't see why you dislike it so much when the differences are so small.
If it's that dramatic of a difference do I need to sell my Conquest in favor of the Minox?
 
 
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Originally posted by WestOfPecos WestOfPecos wrote:

Originally posted by pyro6999 pyro6999 wrote:

Originally posted by WYcoyote WYcoyote wrote:

The 2-7x32 Viper @ 14oz is sweet but the 3-9x40 Conquest @ 15 oz  is heavy?

kinda what i was thinking, whats 1 ounce???Loco

Pyro, I thought that I would not have to spell things out for you. But since you want the detail, here goes.

There is a big difference between the two. The Viper is extremely compact at 11.3", while the Conquest is very long at 13.5". The Conquest is only slightly heavier at 15 oz vs 14 oz for the Viper. But the Viper's much shorter length and the way the weight is distributed make the Viper comfortable to add to my stalking rifles, and keeps them well balanced, while the Conquest changes their balance in a very uncomfortable way.

This is actually true on all my rifles, from the lightest to the heaviest, although, obviously, less noticeable on the heavier rifles. I own a pretty good sample of rifles, including most big brands except for Remington and Tikka. So I believe that my generalization for the scopes that I own is pretty accurate as far as they regard myself and the friends and family I hunt with.

Weight and balance are particularly critical for stalking rifles. We typically cover 12 to 15 miles, often quite a bit more, in a hunting day. If you are out for several days camping in the bush the impact is cumulative:-) For most hunters, hunting from stands or staying a few hundred yards from a road are the norm. But, to me, real hunting involves being as far in the wild as I can:-)

If you are a target shooter or a stand hunter - i.e. part of the majority of firearms owners,- you never have to handle your rifle for long periods of time. So balance and weight are not critical. But, if you have to carry your rifle for 14 hours in a day, every day in a week, it will quickly become very important to you! I have no problems putting a PST on a rifle for target shooting, or on a heavy varminter. But putting one on a regular hunting rifle is very different.

I am very careful about what opinions I give out. I try to make sure that mine are always backed by data that I have developed, or experiences that I have had myself: I do not use internet rumors in my posts. I am also respectful of other people's opinions - we can all have different takes on the same facts. At the same time, quite frankly, only somebody who has never stalked game would say, as some have mentioned above, that, everything else being equal, an 18 oz scope (the weight of the mid-line HS) is as good as a 12 oz one (average weight for my scopes)... The statement is either very ignorant or very foolish.

 A scope's weight and its balance, to me, and I believe to any discerning stalking hunter, are as important as its glass quality, the repeatability of its mechanicals, or the criticality of its eyebox. And, in this domain, despite all the forum's hype, the Conquest, despite its very good glass, does not score well. I have listed above some of the scopes that I have right now, and for which I can provide direct, first hand, comparative experience. I believe that if people used their own experience and data more often, rather than repeating other people's posts like sheep or lemming,  there would be less hype and more reality in gear evaluations:-)



well let me be the first to tell you that i wasnt born yesterday. i too, know what im doing. i was born and raised in the mountains of western wyoming, i know what hunting above 9000ft is like. i too have spent days and weeks at a time walking mile after mile day after day. your not telling me anything i havent experienced myself. people get so hung up on weight, so when i read what you wrote i thought oh here we go about ounces of weight making a huge difference. if what your referring to is about balance say so. i dont use other peoples info unless it agrees with what ive seen personally, because i may see something one way and you may see the exact opposite. i like the conquest, and i like the viper. ive used the 3x9 conquest a fair amount, and while i dont own one i do own a 2x7 vortex viper. its a great scope, and its tough as nails.


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Originally posted by pyro6999 pyro6999 wrote:


well let me be the first to tell you that i wasnt born yesterday.

Pyro, there was no disrespect intended in my response to you - despite the fact that there was some in your earlier one. Since you discounted my statements, I explained as clearly as I could why I felt that my comparison of scopes was on the money, imho. This is based on my personal evaluations and my personal experiences. Feel free to disagree.

Besides, the point of my post is focused on the new Vortex HS line, not on the Conquest. I like the Conquest and I have one. I think the glass is excellent. I think the mechanicals are not as good as the Leupold VX3 internals. I think the weight is high and the size long *when compared to others in its class*. Altogether, it is a very good scope - although by no means is it superior in every category, as some always seem to imply.

Take care -
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Originally posted by WYcoyote WYcoyote wrote:

Pecos,
Forgive me for doubting your opinion a little, because I do not have a 3-15x42 Minox to put side by side with my 3-9x40 Conquest to make a comparison.
I am just wondering how the Conquest can be so unacceptable in weight and bulk and the Minox is light and handy enough to earn a spot on your favorite lightweight carry rifle.
The difference (from SWFA scope specs) in weight is .6 oz and .71" in length. The objective OD must be fairly comparable since the Minox is 2mm bigger in diameter.
Admittedly the Minox is a very desirable scope with it's power range and relative size but I just can't see why you dislike it so much when the differences are so small.
If it's that dramatic of a difference do I need to sell my Conquest in favor of the Minox?
 

Wyoming Coyote-

When comparing the Conquest to my other tweeners and related, I find the Conquest bigger, bulkier, and less comfortable to handle, particularly with gloves. I do like the glass (although I like my 2 Kahles better) - and, despite the fact that I don't find the mechanicals as good as some others, they are repeatable and the scope holds zero well.

Now, the Minox is a different class of scope - I can do some long range work with it due to the 5x erector, which I cannot do as well with my other tweeners. I find that the Minox glass is as good as the Zeiss Conquest (although different - better in some things, worse in others). But what I find pretty amazing is that I get to 15x mag in a package that is smaller and lighter than the Conquest, in fact, almost as small and as light as most of my smaller tweeners.

The reason I like the Minox on my Win 70 backpacker is for the versatility. I can take a 350 yard shot or more very comfortably, assuming I know my ballistics for the bullet I use. In fact, I probably could take a 600 yard shot very comfortably with it. With my other tweeners, I can take longer shots, but they are limited by their magnification. Of course, one can shoot to 1,000 yards with a 6x - but there is no doubt that, in many cases, magnification can help, in particular when you have aging eyes like mine. Remember, this is coming from somebody who likes smaller tweeners, so I typically go for smaller size against larger mag. When I go somewhere where I have no idea what type of a shot I'll get, I like the Minox with me. If I am going to be in the WI forest, I am quite fine with the Viper 2-7 or the Kahles 2-7.

I totally don't think that you should drop your Conquest. But, if you bought a new scope today, I'd say you might be better off with a Minox ZA5: as good glass (we can have a 2 hour discussion on what is better and what is worse), smaller, lighter, good ergonomics, slighter better mechanicals (or maybe equal), holds zero well, repeatable, and a great 3x15 mag range. The caveat: while the warranty is excellent and the CS top notch, this is only the 2nd year of production and there are still some lemons coming out from time to time, I think, based on threads I have seen and my discussions with their CS (they are claiming a very low 1% return rate). All of this, of course, is imho - your mileage may vary.


Edited by WestOfPecos - January/08/2011 at 18:32
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robbie View Drop Down
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Fantastic thread......
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2011 at 19:05
Jon A View Drop Down
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Originally posted by WestOfPecos WestOfPecos wrote:

A scope's weight and its balance, to me, and I believe to any discerning stalking hunter, are as important as its glass quality, the repeatability of its mechanicals, or the criticality of its eyebox. And, in this domain, despite all the forum's hype, the Conquest, despite its very good glass, does not score well.

Can't argue with any of that, because it's your opinion and what's important to you.  You can't be wrong.  That your scopes average 12 oz means you really like very small, very light scopes.  There's nothing wrong with that.
Quote If you are a target shooter or a stand hunter - i.e. part of the majority of firearms owners,- you never have to handle your rifle for long periods of time. So balance and weight are not critical. But, if you have to carry your rifle for 14 hours in a day, every day in a week, it will quickly become very important to you!

This is where you go wrong--the belief that anybody who doesn't share your exact opinion or preferences can't do anything but sit on his butt all day.  Like many with NULA-type rifles who think anybody with a rifle heavier than what they deem appropriate must only sit in some elevated stand somewhere.   Actually carry a 7lb rifle?  Oh, the horror!  You know, back in the old days there was no such thing as 4lb, 5lb, etc, rifles.  Even their "regular hunting rifles" with small fixed power scopes were heavy by today's standards.  I guess that means they didn't ever get off their butts and hunt?  We only discovered how to do that after Kevlar stocks were invented!

OK, back to scopes.  Of course the truth is the weight just isn't quite as important to some people as it is to others.  Others may have other priorities upon which they place more importance.  You really want the glass and reliability of a S&B?  If you want it you get it and learn to carry it.  You really want the best low light performance you can get?  You get something with a 56mm objective and you learn to shoot with your eye that terrible 0.3" higher.  These are only insurmountable obstacles if you allow them to be--which means you probably didn't want those other things that bad in the first place.  You really want lightweight performance?  You get the light scope and deal with the compromises in other areas.

For those who want the ability to reach WAAAAAY out there with precision and certainty, light scopes generally don't perform this function as well as some heavier choices.   If you want that tool at your disposal, you pick an appropriate scope and you learn to carry it.  If that's what you want to do, you just do it.

Everything is relative.  In my particular case, I wanted a "light" scope on my rifle for my grueling elk hunt last year.  Of course my idea of "heavy" is the 38 oz Premier I had been packing around for the last couple seasons.  So I did compromise and used a scope weighing in the high 20's for that hunt which was an inferior scope in every other way but "good enough" for that hunt I hoped.  Man, my rifle was light!  While I got tired of carrying a lot of things (water, food, emergency gear, binoculars, spotting scope, tripod, etc) carrying the rifle was the least of my worries.

Deer hunting later I used a PST weighing in the low 20's on an even lighter rifle much of the time.  It felt like a toy! 

Weight does matter to me, but there are other things that matter as well so a compromise is struck.  I'm thrilled that March is finally making my dream scope (3-24X42 FFP) that is so good in every way about the only compromise it causes is the hole in my wallet it'll make.  At 22 oz I consider it a lightweight!  I'm happy to hear about the new Premiers that should offer most of what I liked so much with mine but weigh a pound less.  Had I started with their light tactical in the first place, I likely never would have felt the need to replace it.

Like I said, everything is relative.  After reading the above, as you may imagine, the notion to me than an 18 oz scope could only be used by stand hunters is downright silly.   While weight may be so important to you these Viper HS scopes are not interesting to you, that's fine.  That's your choice.  But with good reticles, lots of travel, accurate tracking, etc, and modest weights at an excellent price they will be attractive to many people.  Do you have any idea how many people use Leupold MKIV's and Nightforces for hunting?

So they're too heavy for you.  They don't interest you.  That's fine.  That's what you like and you're 100% correct about what is right for you.

But your notion that they're too heavy for anybody else who doesn't sit in a stand all day is demonstrably wrong.


Edited by Jon A - January/08/2011 at 19:16
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