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Which scope?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2013 at 22:24
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Optics GrassHopper
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Picked up a Ruger#1 in 45-70 with great wood and want to put a really great scope on it.  It'll be used for whitetails on a highly managed lease where shots won't exceed 200 yds.  Since the lease is highly managed I want to be sure that the buck I see at first or last light is the one I want to shoot, hence, the need for excellent low light characteristics.
  
I've narrowed it down to a  Meopta Meostar 3x10x50 R-1, Zeiss 2.5x10x50 Victory HT or a Swarovski Z6i 2-12x50.  The best scope I currently have is a 2 yr old Leupold 3.5x14x50 with a 1 inch tube.  All of the above are 30mm.

Here are my questions:
1)  Will I see a tremendous difference with the above scopes than my Leupold in low light?
2) After months of shopping, reading, etc the adage: "you get what you pay for" still applies.  If that's correct, I buy the Swaro.  But do you get that much of a better scope or are you paying for the name? 
3) I'm reading that the Zeiss has the best low light characteristics but the Meostar is great also at a significantly lower price.

I don't mind spending the extra $ for the Zeiss or Swarovski but I do want to make an intelligent purchase. and intend on visiting SWFA to see which of the three fits me best.
Thanks


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2013 at 06:56
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IMO, all of the three mentioned will get the job done. The alpha scopes listed (Swaros, Zeiss etc) will definitely blow away the Leupy, but only you can determine what price range suits your needs. The Meopta is a great scope at a great value, but it may not trip your trigger. Definitely go by SWFA for a hands on evaluation. CF2 and / or Skylar can assist you in your selection. If possible, I'd recommend that you bring in the rifle also. Scoping #1's sometimes gets a little challenging, and with that caliber, eye relief and reticle choice needs to be considered. If 200 yards is your max distance, you may not need such a high top end power. Something like a Zeiss Victory HT or Varipoint in 1.5-6 X 42 or a Swaro 1-6 X 24 Z6 would be my choice. Good luck and welcome to the OT Forums.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2013 at 07:35
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12 power seems a bit much for a 45-70 .. All excellent scopes you are considering , but ( and maybe that's just me ) I'd top out at around 9x
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2013 at 22:07
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Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks for the input but I really like the higher magnifications (just turned 58) and yeah I know I'll get the best light with the power turned down.  I also plan on using removable mounts so I can use the scope on other rifles.  But what's interesting nobody has said "go for the Swarovski, it's well worth the money"  And I will bring the rifle with me.  I live in Nashville, TN so it'll be TSA fun and games
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2013 at 06:47
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I totally understand what you are saying. My eyes have also worsened as of late. Rest assured, the folks at SWFA are very helpful and will take care of you. They will soon be moving into a new, larger, beautiful building a few miles away from the current Red Oak location. Good luck.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2013 at 08:39
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Personally for a 45/70, I think the 50mm objective is just too big and gets the rifle off balance by making it top heavy.  I have a Swaro Z6 and love it.  I think for what you are doing if you want high mag, look at maybe a Z6 1.7-10x42
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2013 at 09:26
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3000fps, where do you shoot in the Nashville area? My brother is new to Nashville, and is having trouble finding places to shoot, especially rifles.
On your questions, Zeiss scopes are worth the money over the Leupolds IMO. I can stay behind my Zeiss all day long, but my Leupold tires me out. I don't have a lot of experience with Swaros but from what I have seen, they are as good and maybe better than Zeiss. It just depends on what you want and how much you want it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/08/2013 at 00:01
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Optics GrassHopper
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Getting a 50mm scope is one of my concerns that's why I'm going to take the rifle with me to SWFA to see how the scope fits the rifle.  But won't I be sacrificing some some of the "light gathering capabilities" with a 42mm objective?

Places to shoot around Nashville?  TWRA (TN Wildlife Resource Agency) has a great range SE of Nashville, Stones River Shooting Range.  It's nice but highly regulated, have you brother give it a try.  I have a Zeiss Conquest 3x9x40 on a 6mm, it's Ok but I am looking forward to see what a Victory HT has to offer.  I'm trying to keep an open mind but I'm afraid once I look through the Swarovski it'll be a done deal.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/10/2013 at 13:26
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I just wanna know how a guy with the handle "3000fps" ends up with a .45/70...Big Grin
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/10/2013 at 13:58
RifleDude View Drop Down
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Originally posted by 3000fps 3000fps wrote:

...won't I be sacrificing some some of the "light gathering capabilities" with a 42mm objective?



In an absolute sense, yes, but that depends on how much magnification you have the scope dialed up to. I have several 42mm scopes, including the 1.7-10X42 Z6 Helo mentions, that provide plenty good enough low light performance for legal deer hunting shooting hours.

We've covered exit pupil tons of times on this site, so I won't rehash. In short, a larger objective lens allows you to have the same or greater exit pupil diameter when using a greater magnification than a scope with smaller objective lens size. At the limits of legal shooting light, you're not going to be able to identify or evaluate a game animal very far away from you and any potential shot opportunities will likely come at very short range, where you don't need high magnification. What you gain in detail by turning up the power is offset by a reduction in FOV, also hampering your ability to acquire your target animal in low light. As you turn up magnification, your exit pupil size reduces, so image "brightness" dims. Beyond a certain point -- about 5 - 7mm exit pupil diameter, depending on your individual eyesight -- you don't gain any additional low light performance by increasing objective lens diameter, unless you also use a corresponding increase in magnification. I find that the low light "sweet spot" is somewhere around 6X. A scope with a 42mm effective objective lens dia still provides a 7mm exit pupil when set on 6X. Going to a 50mm objective basically gives you the ability to use 1X more power for roughly the same exit pupil size as the same power setting on a 42mm scope. This, of course, assumes a comparison of scopes of the same optical quality and light transmission characteristics.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/10/2013 at 14:30
RifleDude View Drop Down
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Originally posted by 3000fps 3000fps wrote:

Here are my questions:
1)  Will I see a tremendous difference with the above scopes than my Leupold in low light?
2) After months of shopping, reading, etc the adage: "you get what you pay for" still applies.  If that's correct, I buy the Swaro.  But do you get that much of a better scope or are you paying for the name? 
3) I'm reading that the Zeiss has the best low light characteristics but the Meostar is great also at a significantly lower price.



1. Leupold doesn't make a 3.5-14X50. I assume you meant the VX-3 4.5-14X50. This is a good scope, but you should see a noticeable improvement in low light performance with any of the 3 scopes you're considering, though it may not be a "tremendous" improvement. The law of diminishing returns applies here. Spending 2X more doesn't give you 2X better optical / low light performance.
2.  You do frequently get a better scope by spending more, but you don't always "get what you pay for." Some scopes are overpriced. Although the Zeiss and Swaro are very expensive, you are getting top of the line quality in exchange. You are in a way "paying for the name" with either the Zeiss or Swaro in the sense that those brands have such a good reputation, they can charge top dollar for their products and get it. But, they earned their reputations. One of the big reasons they both cost much more than the Meopta is due to the fact it's more expensive to build stuff in Germany and Austria than it is in Czechoslovakia. I don't know if the Meopta is fully the equal of the Zeiss and Swaro optically, but it will compete very favorably with them, especially considering the price.

The Swaro Z6i costs more than the Zeiss HT in large part due to the fact it has 6:1 zoom ratio vs. the Zeiss's 4:1, and it has one of the most advanced illumination systems available, with a costlier design. Considering everything, the Z6i probably has the best reticle illumination system I've seen in a hunting scope. In terms of image quality and low light performance, you'll undoubtedly hear differences of opinion, but I don't think one has any advantage over the other there. On low magnification, the Swaro has less "tunnel vision" than the Zeiss, which shows a slight tendency to tunnel below about 3.5X.

3.  I haven't used any of the HT scopes yet; I'm basing my comments on the "non-HT" Victory 2.5-10X50, which I own. Zeiss claims a light transmission improvement with the HT versions. If that's true, then it may have a slight low light performance edge over the Z6, but I'm betting it would be very slight. You get a lot of performance for the $ with the Meopta for sure.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/13/2013 at 21:33
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Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks for the input.  Ref the 3000fps handle and asking about a 45/70. A long time ago I read (maybe Jim Carmichael) said that anytime you get a .30 caliber round doing 3000fps or better, it'll take anything on this continent.  I thought that was pretty neat and it sorta stuck in my head for the last 40-50 years.

Also, I've been in a running argument/discussion with my hunting buddies that a large and slow round does a better job on putting an animal down than something going the speed of heat.  The last couple of deer I've shot (.270, 30-06 and 6mm Remington) have gone a ways before stopping.  I've always wanted a 45/70 (I like the classic calibers) and it's fun to shoot.  So when my buddies are slobbering about their .280 Ackleys and such I'll see what this old buffalo round can do and probably in better fashion.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2013 at 08:02
Robster80 View Drop Down
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if the victory ht is better in lowlight than a diavari it cant be by much. those diavaris are amazing scopes. dont own yet myself but ive looked thro em and nearly bought one before getting a meopta
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