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VX-R vs 4200 illum

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/16/2011 at 22:38
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Optics GrassHopper
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I've been looking for a good low light scope for night hunting hogs down here in Texas. My stable of rifle selection had various 40 and 50 mm scopes that left a lot to be desired when the lights were poor or when hunting by moonlight only.  Reticles get lost on black pigs.  That makes it very difficult to make one shot, minimal tracking kills. Bullet placement on hogs is critical...just like on all other game animals.
 
I decided I needed an illuminated scope.  I read everything I could find about hunting with illuminated reticles and the Bushnell 4200 seemed like they had one of the better (dark night) illum systems for the price.  I've got some other 4200s and they compare well with and sometimes better than my older Leupold vari x III scopes.  So I made an online purchase of  an Elite 4200 2.5 X 10 X 50 with their 4A illuminated dot.  I was sorely disappointed when this version of a 4A reticle looked like 2 X 12 lumber instead of crosshairs.  On the lowest settings the outside portion of the reticle will cover a deer body at 50 yards and beyond.  You must set the power at the maximum 10X to get a relative proportional reticle and then only 6 to 8 inches of a deer body is covered by the outer edges of the reticle at 100 yards.  The fine portion of the reticle still covers about  2 to 3 MOA at 100 yards.  Way too course for my liking. The illuminated dot on the otherhand covers about 1 MOA or a bit less when set on it's lowest setting.  I can live with that on a short range hog scope.
 
Not turning on the illuminated dot and using moonlight only I have to admit I could still see the reticle in most circumstances (needed if the battery runs out  :-)) So I guess I can see why some folks desire heavy reticles for low light.  But it will take a lot of getting used to for me to use it during daylight hunts.  I have an acceptable night time hog scope.
 
Being disappointed about the reticle on the 4200  (knowing I could return the 4200 to Bushnell for a refund) and seeing the VX-R was now available, I ordered the 4 X 12 X50 (with the much less intrusive to my eyes) ballistic firedot dot reticle.  This scope was delivered a couple of days ago and I've been comparing them both in my backyard. 
 
In my initial observation, the VX-R is a couple of inches shorter than the 4200 and as with  many of the other leupolds, will require a set of extension rings and/or bases to mount on my rifle.  The reticle, though a little bit more cluttered than I'm used to with the circle and the ballistic hash marks is not near as obnoxious as the 4200's 4Ai. I like the illumination system on both.  The illuminated dot is a bit smaller on the VX-R, about .5 MOA at 100yrds. I'm sure I can get used to the automatic shutoff/motion sensor switch on the VX-R, but with the much finer reticle (which I prefer) I will be SOL if the switch malfunctions or the battery dies because you loose the reticle under moonlight conditions on black targets.  So there is another tradeoff...but I prefer the finer reticle for daylight hunting, so this scope will get fulltime duty instead of night time only.
 
I was able to compare both side by side in bright daylight, low light, cloudy no light and bright moonlight.  Conclusions.  At the same approximate magnification the 4200 is a tad brighter.   The VX-R had slightly better resolution and contrast (Not sure of the technical terms...but I could see detail  better black and white as well as color definition with the VX-R) even though it was a  shade darker.  This carried through in all light conditions. I cranked the power level up to max (12X) on the VX-R and the image trumped the 4200 on 10X, more detail, better color distinction.
 
It this point I see the VX-R is a more versatile scope for my needs and has less of an obnoxious factor with the finer reticle.  If the 4200 had a normal plex size reticle with the illuminated dot, it would serve me well.  Especially since you can get the 4200 for about $400 on closeout specials now vs the VX-R for about $200 more.
 
If you  can deal with the overly large reticle on the 4200 it is a better deal with the current market prices.  Both will serve you well.  The illumination system on both gets dim enough to be used in full dark conditions.
 
A quick look thru a vari X III 2.5 X 10 X 40  scope showed the newer VX-R had a better, clearer, brighter image so I focused my time on the comparing it with the 4200.
 
Hope this helps anyone looking for an illuminated scope.  The VX-R has found a home on my Weatherby 25-06 which is my go to rifle...and probably now my preferred hog rifle.  :-)
 
 
Scott
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/16/2011 at 23:58
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
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Trijicon 1-4x24 Accu-Point 30mm Rifle Scope German #4 Crosshair w/ Green Dot Trijicon 1-4x24 Accu-Point 30mm Rifle Scope
Stock # - TR243G
  • Matte
  • German #4 Crosshair w/ Green Dot
  • 30mm
$844.95
Trijicon 2.5-10x56 Accu-Point 30mm Rifle Scope Mil-Dot Crosshair w/ Green Dot Trijicon 2.5-10x56 Accu-Point 30mm Rifle Scope
Stock # - TR222G
  • Matte
  • Mil-Dot Crosshair w/ Green Dot
  • 30mm
$870.95
Trijicon 5-20x50 Accu-Point 30mm Rifle Scope Mil-Dot Crosshair w/ Green Dot Trijicon 5-20x50 Accu-Point 30mm Rifle Scope
Stock # - TR232G
  • Matte
  • Mil-Dot Crosshair w/ Green Dot
  • 30mm
  • Free Sun Shade w/ Purchase
$1,082.95
I really want to pick up another one of these TR232G scopes right now they are out of stock the other two should be in stock however.

Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - March/17/2011 at 00:01
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/17/2011 at 03:28
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I don't know if Bushnell has changed their 4A reticle and you have a little different look to yours, but I have a 2.5-10x50 illum of theirs also, and it was great for low-light and night hog hunting.  I killed 6 or 7 hogs at 100 and 120 yds under feeders at night with that scope on a .223, all neck shots, all dropped in place, no problem with not being able to see where I wanted the bullet to go.  The outer portion of the reticle is pretty thick, and I think it might make things a little hard to sort out on a moving shot, but I suck at those anyway and don't try them.  YMMV.  I don't know anything about the Leupold Firedots other than what's been posted here, but Bill Wilson (1911man on this forum) had good things to say about his.  If you want a thinner reticle with the ability to clearly see an aiming point on a dark hog at night and very little chance of illum failure, the Trijicon Accupoint is a great way to go.  A lot of people like the 2.5-10x50, and I bought that one first, but the 3-9x40 has done everything it did just as well, and is lighter and smaller.  Good luck with your hunting.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/17/2011 at 08:28
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Optics GrassHopper
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I'm not sure if Bushnell changed the reticle on my scope, but if you look at the trijicon 4A example posted in the message above yours, take the extremely "thick" portion and lengthen it to about twice what the trijicon is and make the "fine" portion of the reticle twice as thick, you have the Bushnell version of the #4A reticle when set on the lowest powers.  If I change the power to it's 10 X max, the proportions are closer to what I expect from a "heavy 4A".  It makes an otherwise good set up appear right at home with much cheaper scopes.
 
I originally hadn't planned to spend $900 for my hog rifle scope....thus the familiar 4200 glass with what i was told was a very good illumination system was what i was expecting. at half the price of the trijicon.
 
Scott
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/17/2011 at 10:10
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One thing I found on the 2 x 4200 illuminated scopes I have had (4-12x50 and 1.25-4) was both (to my eyes) suffered from a too bright of a reticle, even set to minimum.

The Trijicons and the Firedots do not exhibit that issue.

I may be in the minority here, but I personally have not been that impressed with the few Bushnell optics I have tried.

Perhaps it's just my eyes "preference"
But it includes the above mentioned scopes as well as a 6500 1.2-8 and the Fusion 1600 Range Finding binos.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/17/2011 at 10:36
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I too had a Bushnell 4200 2.5-10x50 with the Illuminated reticle.  I found the crosshair issue to be annoying and the illumination was  poor for such a range on the illumination dial.  I returned it for a refund from Bushnell.
 
Fortunately, I was able to find some demo Kahles and trade for a Swaro with illuminated reticles.  LOVE 'EM!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/17/2011 at 11:21
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Brodeur272
 
Empty out your PM mailbox so you can recieve PMs.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/17/2011 at 11:27
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Optics GrassHopper
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The VX-R illuminated dot is  both smaller and a bit dimmer than that on the Bushnell on the lowest settings.  I didn't find the 4200 too overpowering with my limited backyard use.  I would have been able to use either scope on the raccons I had moving thru the yard under the moonlight at about 70 yards.  I still haven't had either of these scopes out in the field under actual hunting conditions.

Scott
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/17/2011 at 12:14
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I own a Bushnell 4200 #4 illuminated 2.5-10x50.  It's a great scope, but I agree with you that the #4 reticle is REALLY heavy...a tad heavy for my tastes and certainly not ideal for any sort of day time hunting behind maybe 100 yards at the most...but I really like the scope for night time hog hunting.  I have killed several hogs here in Texas at night with it.  All shots were dead on the money.   I particularly like the finer precision of the illuminated dot.  It's perfect at night.  The last hog I shot (in January) was about 70 yards away.  It was a few hours after sunset but I could see him clearly.  I put the red dot on his ear...and the bullet entered right through his ear hole and dropped him dead in his tracks.  It's hard to argue with results like that.
 
I also recently bought (and returned) a Leupold VX-R 3-9x50 with the Firedot reticle.  Don't get me wrong, it wasn't BAD and overall I liked it okay, but I didn't think it was worth the price tag.  I like the thinner reticle with the illuminated dot combo, but the illuminated dot appeared rather fuzzy to me.  The scope would've been great for daytime AND nighttime hunting as long as the battery isn't dead (as you pointed out).  But I've never had a battery die on me, so I'm not too worried about that.  Just change them out periodically.
 
In place of the Leupold, I picked up the Burris Fullfield II 3-9x40 with the ElectroDot reticle...and I'm glad I did.  The Burris is a very nice quality scope with clear glass.  Plus, it's hard to beat the $200 closeout price on them.  I like it so much that I'm thinking about buying one or two more of them just to have for other projects.  To me, the Burris is on par with the Leupold VX-R but less than half the cost.  The only downside I can see to the Burris is that the entire occular piece rotates while adjusting the magnification, which sucks if you like to use flip-up lens covers.  Nonetheless, for the price I can live with that.  The Burris is almost identical in size to the Leupold (much smaller than the Bushnell) and it came with two batteries.  Basically, the Burris is virtually identical to the Leupold in size, features, and performance.  I'm just a novice when it comes to optics, but I know what looks good and I know what works for me in the field.  I have absolutely no doubt that I'll kill just as many hogs with this Burris as I ever would with the Leupold.
 
One other thought:  I like the rheostat style variable intensity knob on the Bushnell better than the tap-tap-tap method of adjusting the Leupold and the Burris.  That's just my personal preference, though.
 
BTW, send me a pm if you ever need a hog hunting buddy here in Texas.  I usually go about once every other month.


Edited by AstroVic - March/17/2011 at 12:58
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/17/2011 at 14:30
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Optics GrassHopper
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So is the illuminated dot on the Burris dimmer than the Bushnell?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/17/2011 at 15:32
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Originally posted by Sled2live Sled2live wrote:

So is the illuminated dot on the Burris dimmer than the Bushnell?
 
To my eyes, the Bushnell is like a precision pin-head dot whereas the Leaupold VX-R and Bushnell appear to be very similar to one another - more of a fuzzy pixelized "dot," not as precise as the Bushnell.  The Bushnell has the variable adjustment and the Leupold/Burris have the push-button click-up, click-down adjustment.  I don't think one is necessarily dimmer or brighter than the others, but to me it looks like the Bushnell dot is smaller in size than the illuminated dot in the Leupold/Burris scopes.
 
I also have a Trijicon Accupoint on my 6.8SPC and it's awesome...but a lot more money.


Edited by AstroVic - March/17/2011 at 15:35
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/18/2011 at 19:22
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I need to revise my comments on my post above.

The Burris illuminated dot is much more precise (to my eyes) than the Leupold VX-R.  It is larger in diameter than the Bushnell illuminated dot and about the same overall diameter as the Leupold dot...but the Burris has a more rounded, defined shape than the Leupold.  The Burris dot is not fuzzy or pixelized like I said in the previous post.  I had a chance to look at it some more and I realized that I described it wrong in my post above.

My apologies.
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