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What to buy. Help and Hello

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/19/2016 at 19:05
Gggnat View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Joined: March/19/2016
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Hello I am new. Read alot but decided to log on and get some help.

I can't decide which the following to buy for my hunting AR.

1. Leupold VX 3i brand new for $399 3.5 - 10 40mm

2. Swarovski Nova 26 years old but in great condition for $425 2.2 - 9 42mm

Thank for the help and opinions.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/19/2016 at 21:28
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Optics Jedi Knight
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Scopes have come a long way in the past 5-6 years. 26 years would be almost Flintstones era, even for Swarovski. Lets get started with What type of hunting, the caliber of the AR you are going to be hunting with? Will you be dialing in longer shots, Wanting a BDC reticle, or set and forget. Sorry for grilling you before welcoming you to the OT. I am sure the best setup can be found With a $425 budget. Howdy
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/19/2016 at 21:49
Gggnat View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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No worries. I do most my hunting from a stand for both deer and pigs. I would say 250 yards is the longest shot I would see and that is rare. Most are within 150 yards.

6.8 spc with 20 inch barrel

I have had BDC on all scopes in the past and never used it. (plus the caliber makes it tricky to get good data) I was leaning towards a standard duplex reticle. It is pretty easy to aim a few inches high or low when targeting an animal at distances.

I also shoot at range for fun but nothing over 100 yards mainly because I don't have access to more distance. If I did I would probably would want a BDC reticle. In the past this was why I always paid up for BDC but to date it has been a waist of money.



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/19/2016 at 22:51
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The big problem with a BDC reticle is it's marks represent something different at each different power.  So on a 3.5-10 scope with a BDC reticle in the second focal plane it is really designed to use the BDC only at 10X.  If you dial down to 6x to make the image look brighter in low light the marks on the reticle do not represent the same amount of drop that they would have at 10x.  There should be information from the manufacturer what the marks represent and one should be able to use free balistic software on the internet to determine the drop at known distances for the specific cartridge they choose to use no matter what caliber.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2016 at 07:18
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Optics Jedi Master
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If u get the Leupold you could get a custom cds dial that you could taylor to your 6.8 load. That would be much better than a bdc reticle. Make for a neat setup
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2016 at 12:15
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Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks for the ideas. I have decided to go with a Nikon Monarch with BDC. The Nikon spot on app has all three of the loads I use and lots of good reviews on the 6.8 forms.

Other guys said good things about the custom turrets but that would be another $160 for the three loads and it doesn't factor in weather.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2016 at 14:11
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Avoid custom turrets, they are right once and infinitely wrong.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/21/2016 at 16:26
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Optics Apprentice
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

Avoid custom turrets, they are right once and infinitely wrong.

I couldn't agree more.  I had one scope with BDC reticle and it was never quite right.  I had another scope with a custom elevation cap and it was only good for one of my hand loads.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/21/2016 at 16:37
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Optics GrassHopper
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After going back and forth a few times I actually went with the Leupold VX 3i.  They have a great sale going on right now and I was able to get into a scope class I would not normally be able to afford.

Here is what I found out on BDC and 6.8 SPC:

Nikon and Vortex have free calculators with factory loads that show BDC points based on scope at varying magnifications.  This looked cool but only useful past 300 yards for 6.8 SPC.  I would not feel great about shooting at game past 300 anyway so was not worth it for my applications.

6.8 SPC is a very flat shooting round.  A 200 zero keeps me basically within a few inches of aim point out to 250 yards.  At 300 I am only a 10 inch drop so cross hairs on shoulder of animal and I am golden.

Thanks for all of the help.  I will follow up with review of the new 3i.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/21/2016 at 17:37
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Optics Jedi Master
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Originally posted by SEMO Shooter SEMO Shooter wrote:


I couldn't agree more.  I had one scope with BDC reticle and it was never quite right.  I had another scope with a custom elevation cap and it was only good for one of my hand loads.


CDS dials are not the same as a bdc reticle.  You create your load get your data for that load and send it to Leupold and they will mark a custom elevation turret for your scope.  You can buy multiples for different loads etc. 

Or you can just buy the regular marked dials in MOA or Mil depending upon the scope.  They are neat because you have so many options with them.   

Leupold marks your caliber, bullet weight, elevation, temp etc on them. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/22/2016 at 19:49
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Optics Apprentice
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I have had scopes with CDS dial and BDC reticle.

The BDC was a Zeiss 4.5-14 with a rapid Z-1000 reticle.  My intended purpose for it was shooting steel out to 1000 yards on my 308.  The scope had to be at a specific power for the BDC to work with Federal match ammo.  After 600 yards the BDC really wasn't that close to actual bullet drop.  I ended up trading it on a Nightforce.

The custom dial I had was on a Leupold 6-18 Mark AR.  The custom elevation cap worked reasonably well with the load it was built for, but I was limited to that one load.  The eye relief was so finicky on this scope I ended up selling it.  Of all of the scopes I have owned it was my least favorite.

Both CDS and BDC have their place.  For me a laminated dope card attached to the scope or the stock is more effective.
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