Here is a PM that I received from the originator of this thread. He kindly gave me permission to copy it here so that I could reply in an open forum:
The guy who runs the range that I shoot at swears by them and can
get me pretty good prices. I currently have a Millett TRS-1 that I
bought for my 300wm. It is in for warranty repair as the elevation
turrent stopped functioning. With the Bushnell buy out and no stock to
replace it, I am unsure if and when I will get it back. Even then, I am
considering selling it. If I do I will need two scopes. If not then
just one. I now have second rifle, so I have to put good glass on both.
The millet as stated may get reused on one or sold as new and replaced.
I have looked at the Falcon Mence but don't like the warranty and
wonder if it would be a step up from the TRS-1 or sideways. I also have
looked at the Vortex viper series and wonder how it compares to the SII
Big Sky. It is a little cheaper, but I think the Big sky has better
glass and turrents. I am also curious how the Glass differs from the
Big Sky line to the new SIII scopes. It looks like they have the same
coatings, but is the glass better in the SIII scopes, or is the price
difference just the feature set?
The two guns I need to outfit are as follows. I would like to get
your recommendation on zoom range for the different scopes for each
intended use. I welcome any advice you can offer and appreciate your
1) savage 112bvss in 300wm. This is a factory gun with the
laminate stock and 26" fluted barrel. It has a Ken Farrel base and 30mm
rings. This is what the TRS-1 was on. It mostly sees range use and my
range goes out to 1000 which I would like to shoot this rifle at. It is
a little heavy for field use so only sees bench or maybe prone duty. I
have a bipod and front rest that I use with it. I am looking at either
the SII BS in 6x20-50 (60moa) or the SIII 6-24x50(100moa) should I also
be looking at the 8-32x56 or this rig or is this overkill?
2) savage short action in a Stockade Woodchuck stock. This
currently has a .308 sporter barrel on it for hunting season but will
see a different barrel on it for range use. This will be my switch
barrel gun. It has a simmons scope to go hunting next week but that is
coming off. I have no base or rings for the new setup so clean slate
here. I want to keep the gun light for use with the .308 sporter for
hunting, but need something with decent magnification for the other
calibers(either .260 or straight .284). I was looking at the SII BS
4-14x44 (80moa) or the SII BS 6-20x50(60moa) for this. I will shoot
offhand or bipod with this rifle. It may see some 1000 yrd work as well
when not equipped with the .308.
Since I won't be shooting long range with the .308 sporter, and
since the other calibers fly pretty flat, what MOA is necessary for the
short action? The 112bvss will always be equiped with a long range
caliber like the 300wm.
I know these are a lot of questions but what the heck. You don't know uless you ask.
First of all, I do not have any real experience with Falcon scopes, so I do not really know enough to recommend or not recommend them. Based on feedback from other people, I think it would be a slight improvement on TRS, but then again, everything that I have read about Falcon did not exactly compel me to buy one.
On Vortex Viper and Sightron S2 Big Sky. I have a Vortex Viper 4-12x40. I also have a smaller S2 Big Sky scope, but I have played with a few other varieties of S2 Big Sky line. Both are very good scopes that I would be very comfortable using.
1)For a gun that is strictly used off the bench, I would go for something with 20x or more magnification on the top end, so either 6.5-20x or 6-24x or 8-32x would work just fine. Optically, I think the new S2 Big Sky scopes have a slight advantage over the Viper. Newly redesigned S3 scopes are a bit better still. Here you have to make some decisions:
- How much money do you want to spend? The scopes in question range from $500 to $900 or so.
- do you care about eye relief? Sightron has a fair bit more eye-relief, I think.
- What kind of a reticle do you want? If you are primarily occupied with shooting itty bitty group, if yes then a thin duplex or dot reticle is a good way to go. If you want to holdover using the reticle, then either a BDC reticle or Mil-Dot is the way to go.
- For parallax adjustment, do you prefer AO or side-focus. If you are a lefty AO may be easier. Most righties prefer side-focus.
- 1" or 30mm main tube?
- If you plan to use the knobs for long range shooting, do you want taller knobs? How about clicks: 1/4" or 1/8"?
Answering these question should help you narrow down your choices. Personally, I think a rifle used mostly off the bench is one of the few situations where a large objective lens is a good tradeoff, so I would go with 50mm or larger. Top end magnification is probably not too critical since most atmospheric conditions will not allow you to use magnification much higher than 16x or so. Still, on especially clear days, it is nice to be able to crank up the magnification a bit. 300WM has some kick, but since we are talking about a pretty heavy rifle, eye-relief is probably not a major consideration. Holdover: personally, I think 1000 yards is a bit too far for using reticle based range compensation, so I would use the knobs. 1/8" clicks are too fine for long range shooting, in my opinion, so I would stick with 1/4" clicks. All of this narrows the choice down to (from cheapest to most expensive):
- Vortex Viper 6.5-20x50 with either Wide-plex or Target Dot,
- Sightron S2B 6.5-20x50 with either Dot reticle or Mil-Dot,
- Sightron S3 6-24x50 with either Dot reticle or Mil-Dot and
- Sightron S3 8-32x56 with a Dot reticle.
Ultimately, with optics more money gives you better performance. Whether the performance difference is worth the money to you is a personal choice. Figure out how much you want to spend and that will help you pick from the scopes above.
Now, onto your second question:
If you want a versatile gun, I would not overscope it. Truth is that with 10x magnification and good optics you can shoot very far out, if you know what you are doing. If you want this gun to serve double duty, go with about 3x to 4x on low end and 9x to 12x on the high end. Try to keep the scope reasonably trim and light as well.
Probably the most versatil choice of what is currently available is Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16x42 with Mil-Dot. It is not a super light scope, but it is not a hugely oversize one either. It does have a flexible magnification range that works well for many uses.
Another good choice is a Vortex Viper 4-12x40 like the one I have. With its good glass and 12x magnificaiton I feel perfectly comfortable shooting steel plates out to 700 yards.
Or you could just go with one of the many excellent 3-9x42 scopes available like Sightron S2 Big Sky 3-9x42. Once again this all comes down to money. If you can afford it I would higly recommend the Elite 6500. I think its versatility is unmatched in the under a grand price range.
P.S. I have to run, but