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cfusionpm
11-29-2011, 5:17 PM
Gonna be picking up a Remington 700 SPS Tactical .308 at Turner's thanks to the Holiday sale and am looking for opinions on what to top it with. Being a photographer, I know the value of good glass and the mindset of buy once cry once. I am mostly looking at paper punching and steel pinging as far as I can. Local range goes out to 300y, range up by my buddy's place has steel out to 600y, and I have a nice BLM spot about 2 hrs away. I might take it hunting at some point if my friend drags me out, but looking mostly at target shooting.

So far, I have narrowed it down to the Leupold Mark 4 ER/T 6.5-20x50mm with TMR reticle and the NightForce 5.5-22 x 50 NXS with NP-R1 reticle. But this is pretty much just based off of owning a Leupold MK AR 3x9 and spending time on internets and youtube, so I'm open to suggestions too. Would like to keep it around $1500 or less, but am flexible. Would also love to handle either of these (or any other high end scope) in person, but no local shops seem to carry them.

m1match
11-29-2011, 8:10 PM
In your price range I'd also consider the Vortex PST in either the 4-16x50 or 6-24x50, the SWFA 5-20x50 SS. The Vortex and SWFA and the Leupold ER/T are first focal plane reticles which means that the reticle changes size with changing magnification- this lets you use the reticle for ranging at any magnification, but for some people the reticle line width gets too big at top magnification or too small at low magnification. The NXS is a second focal plane reticle which means that the reticle size stays the same no matter the magnification, but the mil dot spacing only works for ranging at one magnification, usually the top magnification. Also, I'd highly recommend getting a scope with milradian (MIL) reticle and MIL turret adjustments. I prefer first focal plane and mil/mil scopes because of the advantage of being able to range at any magnification and because if I'm shooting with someone else and they have the same mil/mil scope setup they can accurately spot and call corrections to me in mils and I can use the mil dot reticle to hold off for the correction, or dial the adjustments in before the next shot. If you have a mildot reticle with moa turrets, you have to do the math to convert back and forth.

If you show up at the Pala range on practice and long range match days, you'll get to see and look through different scopes if you ask the people there, especially on the long range match days, but the next long range match is in January. Go to www.ncsapala.com for the calendar. Discount Guns may carry the Leupold ER/T, and Creedmoor Sports in Oceanside may have the NXS, I'd call both to see if you can look through them.

UserM4
11-29-2011, 8:35 PM
NF NXS glass and durability>Leupold MK4 and this is coming from experience. Imo, NF glass is very vivid and sharp with a touch too much contrast. My MK4 glass was just junk compared to the NF. Very soft. If you're looking into high magnification optics like in the 18x+ range, I'd definitely go NF or better. There's other brands that are in the similar ball park as NF with slightly better glass at the cost of QC and durability. Anything that has both better glass and comparable ruggedness is going to cost quite a bit more ie. USO or S&B.

Imo, NF glass is good enough and quite a bit better than most Leupold. I also have a Vortex PST and although it's almost as sharp, contrast is a bit more pronounced and quality isn't as refined. Not bad in anyway but there'a tangible difference. If money was tight, I'd go this route or possibly a SWFA SS, depending on your needs in the reticle, turrets, and overall internal travel of elevation. All of these brands have reputable tracking performances.

neal0124
11-29-2011, 8:46 PM
I just got a new nightforce for my 308ar from Mike a cstactical. I was set on getting a 5.5-22, but after talking about it for a while with Mike he convinced me that it was too much scope for a .308. After mounting a 3.5-15x50 nxs with an NP-R1 reticle on my rifle I understand exactly why he was steering me away from the higher magnification. The narrow field of view with a high mag scope and the recoil of a .308 will have you searching for the target after the shot unless you run it on the lower range of its magnification. x15 is plenty for a .308. My buddy has a SS 3-9 and a 20"x18" target at 1000 yards is pretty easy to spot with either scope.

My vote is for a 3.5-15 Nightforce and the NP-R1 reticle, try to spend a little more though and get one with zero stops.

cfusionpm
11-29-2011, 9:27 PM
Hmm.... lots to think about. That SWFA looks nice, too. http://swfa.com/SWFA-SS-5-20x50-Tactical-30mm-Riflescope-P51642.aspx

Edit: however, reading this:

NF NXS glass and durability>Leupold MK4 and this is coming from experience. Imo, NF glass is very vivid and sharp with a touch too much contrast. My MK4 glass was just junk compared to the NF. Very soft. If you're looking into high magnification optics like in the 18x+ range, I'd definitely go NF or better.

I think I'd just bite the bullet and get a NF. I am a total sucker for nice, rich, clear glass. These are some of my other toys (shot the pics of them too :) ).

http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/2876/geartopost2.jpg

UserM4
11-29-2011, 9:40 PM
Hmm.... lots to think about. That SWFA looks nice, too. http://swfa.com/SWFA-SS-5-20x50-Tactical-30mm-Riflescope-P51642.aspx

Edit: however, reading this:



I think I'd just bite the bullet and get a NF. I am a total sucker for nice, rich, clear glass. These are some of my other toys (shot the pics of them too :) ). That fat one in the middle set me back $2,500..... So I guess a chunk of change on a nice scope doesn't sound THAT bad...... :online2long:

http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/2876/geartopost2.jpg

Is that a 10-22 and a 17-55? :drool5:
Sorry, no full frame love. :p

rksimple
11-29-2011, 9:40 PM
Go mil/mil.

The 3.5-15 or 5.5-22 Nightforce will be perfect. Don't even contemplate the Leupold. For the target shooting you describe, second focal plane scopes are just fine, and even preferred. For tactical/precision match shooting FFP has the edge.

cfusionpm
11-29-2011, 9:52 PM
Is that a 10-22 and a 17-55? :drool5:
Sorry, no full frame love. :p

It's really the perfect combo for crop! Would love a full frame, but I couldnt afford a 1Ds and the 5DII has mediocre AF. New 1DX looks amazing, but I don't shoot enough to justify the ridiculous price. I don't shoot professionally; its just another hobby with small side gigs. Actually recently sold the 50D and just have the 7D now. I don't shoot nearly as much as I used to... I spend all my free time shooting guns now :P

Juice5610
11-29-2011, 9:58 PM
Friends don't let friends buy leupold. What kind of shooting are you going to be doing? 5.5-22 NF NXS with matching turrets and reticle (moa/moa or mil/mil) will set you straight. If you plan on competing buy the Vortex Razor HD it is front focal plane and has one of the best reticles out there. If you decide to go with the Vortex HD send me a PM I will direct you in the right direction.

Hoop
11-29-2011, 10:07 PM
I am a total sucker for nice, rich, clear glass.

I like my IOR's glass a lot, I would say that it is marginally better than NF (more contrasty). You can get a 4-16 FFP IOR for 1450. They are a bit on the hefty side and build quality not up to par with NF though.

NF I would say 3-15, look around for a used one every now and then they come up 1200-1300. Sightron S3 models are sub 1k and built very well. They have several new models out that are mil mil or moa moa.

m1match
11-29-2011, 10:17 PM
Since this is your first precision rifle, I'd say the NF, SWFA, or Vortex PST would be best for you and your budget. In fairness to Leupold, they have been making what seems like a good effort to regain lost ground in the tactical scope area and reports are that recent production tactical scopes are better than before. However, they're mil/mil products are late to market compared to the competition and in particular NF has an excellent reputation for durability and repeatability. As your skills improve and you know enough to develop preferences for reticles and other scope features, then you can think of something else. NF, SWFA, and Vortex have excellent reputations for customer service. As some others have said 3-15 will be sufficient magnification. I like a little more, but 15X will do just fine on a 308. As to country of origin, some of the NF scopes are made in USA, but 3-15 and 5-22 NXS I believe are of Japanese origin. The SWFA scopes are from Japan, and I believe the Vortex is from the Phillipines.

cfusionpm
11-29-2011, 10:24 PM
Also, pardon my ignorance, but why would one use mil over moa? As long as the reticle and turrets match, what difference would it make? The only reason I ask is I am used to thinking in MOA and have never delt with mils before.

freonr22
11-29-2011, 10:29 PM
Also, pardon my ignorance, but why would one use mil over moa? As long as the reticle and turrets match, what difference would it make? The only reason I ask is I am used to thinking in MOA and have never delt with mils before.

I don't know if this helps

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=263710&highlight=Scope

Juice5610
11-29-2011, 10:31 PM
Also, pardon my ignorance, but why would one use mil over moa? As long as the reticle and turrets match, what difference would it make? The only reason I ask is I am used to thinking in MOA and have never delt with mils before.

User preference. Go with what you know. I was taught mils so I use mils also 90% of the people I shoot/compete with use mils but there's still always that wtf moment when a spotter is correcting your shot in moa and your a mils guy or vice versa lol

Mute
11-29-2011, 10:52 PM
Also, pardon my ignorance, but why would one use mil over moa? As long as the reticle and turrets match, what difference would it make? The only reason I ask is I am used to thinking in MOA and have never delt with mils before.

It's a matter of preference. I find MOA too fine for my taste, but you may like it. As for thinking in MOA or Mil, don't over-analyze it. You'll learn to use whichever one you choose. Keep in mind however, that if you ever decide to take any kind of precision rifle class in the future, the instruction will almost always be done in Mils.

X-NewYawker
11-29-2011, 11:29 PM
In no particular order:

Nightforce

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p54/Fasanoland/Rifles/_MG_6395.jpg

US Optics

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p54/Fasanoland/Rifles/LMT308MWS.jpg

Leupold Mark IV

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p54/Fasanoland/Rifles/P1000672.jpg


Pick the one you like/can afford. You cannot go wrong with one of these.

UserM4
11-29-2011, 11:36 PM
Some guys say that their rifles shoot sub-MOA. I can proudly say that my rifles shoot sub-MIL. :p

cfusionpm
11-30-2011, 12:04 AM
For now, I think my strongest contender is the NF 3.5-15x56 with NP-R1 reticle and 1/4MOA turrets. For me, it's just easy to think 1MOA = 1" for each 100yds. Anyway, I can grab one with 3% cash back on my Amazon card through Amazon.com for $1,527. I'll make some calls around here to see if any shops have one to look at. If any local calgunners have one as well, any chance I could check it out in person (San Diego)?

freonr22
11-30-2011, 12:10 AM
For now, I think my strongest contender is the NF 3.5-15x56 with NP-R1 reticle and 1/4MOA turrets. For me, it's just easy to think 1MOA = 1" for each 100yds. Anyway, I can grab one with 3% cash back on my Amazon card through Amazon.com for $1,527. I'll make some calls around here to see if any shops have one to look at. If any local calgunners have one as well, any chance I could check it out in person (San Diego)?

just a thought


http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=505057
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shooting4life
11-30-2011, 12:15 AM
The best glass in your price point is ior, it is mildly better than nightforce. It is the best class in your price point. Plus you can get ffp scope with them compared to NF under your budget. I have a 3.5-18x50 that has a 35mm scope tube. They are big though, I would give scott at liberty optics a call, he is one of the best optics dealers and sells lots of high scopes including ior.

jgraham15
11-30-2011, 3:45 AM
The best glass in your price point is ior, it is mildly better than nightforce. It is the best class in your price point. Plus you can get ffp scope with them compared to NF under your budget. I have a 3.5-18x50 that has a 35mm scope tube. They are big though, I would give scott at liberty optics a call, he is one of the best optics dealers and sells lots of high scopes including ior.

A big +1 for Scott at Liberty Optics! Great guy and great customer service!!!

http://www.libertyoptics.com/

Also spend a little time hear - http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=19&page=1 for some great info on optics.

Black Majik
11-30-2011, 8:30 AM
Glass quality wise, my experience have been slightly different than UserM4's, however that just goes to show everyone's eyes are different. I have both the Leupold Mark 4 6.5-20x and NF NXS 5.5-22x, I find that while the NXS resolves better at both low and high end magnification, the Leupold shows better contrast. I've found NF's glass to be a bit dull in contrast, so images don't POP! like other higher end glass do. Both exhibit quite a lot of chromatic abberation at the higher magnification.

Since the SS 5.5-20x was brought up, glass wise that one was significantly better in resolving and contrast than the Leupold and NF. It does also show chromatic abberation at higher magnification as well.

Durability wise, shooting at a square range all three will be sufficient. I've had both the Mk4 and NXS fall out of my truck onto the optics, it still held zero and tracked fine through the rest of the day. I do find the NF to have a forgiving eyebox, being easier to get behind especially at higher magnification than the Leupold. FOV is also significantly better at matching magnification. Other features I prefer on the NF over the Leupold would be more distinct turret adjustments. Every Leupold scope I've had the turrets become mushy from use.

Depending if you want to go MIL or MOA, I noticed you have chosen a MIL reticle for the Leupold and a MOA reticle for the NF. The MLR will be NF's MIL reticle similar to the NRP-1. Make sure the turrets match your reticle. People like to bash Leupolds, get what you prefer. It's really a Nikon vs. Canon type of debate. Both should do you well, some just like one brand over the other.

Good luck and have fun.

Hoop
11-30-2011, 8:47 AM
For now, I think my strongest contender is the NF 3.5-15x56 with NP-R1 reticle and 1/4MOA turrets. For me, it's just easy to think 1MOA = 1" for each 100yds. Anyway, I can grab one with 3% cash back on my Amazon card through Amazon.com for $1,527. I'll make some calls around here to see if any shops have one to look at. If any local calgunners have one as well, any chance I could check it out in person (San Diego)?

If that is what you want I would call around to cstactical, sportoptics, europtic, get quotes over the phone.

rksimple
11-30-2011, 10:00 AM
For now, I think my strongest contender is the NF 3.5-15x56 with NP-R1 reticle and 1/4MOA turrets. For me, it's just easy to think 1MOA = 1" for each 100yds. Anyway, I can grab one with 3% cash back on my Amazon card through Amazon.com for $1,527. I'll make some calls around here to see if any shops have one to look at. If any local calgunners have one as well, any chance I could check it out in person (San Diego)?

If you're leaning MOA (which soon after really learning the scope and adjustments, you will forget about inches ALL together; they simply don't matter in long range shooting), look used on SH. I got 2 of those exact same scopes for 1200 bucks a couple years ago used. They work well and I won a lot of stuff with them, but MOA is too fine for most practical precision stuff and I found myself getting lost more easily with the npr1 reticle on movers and multiple target holdover stages where 6 or more moa were being held...especially when in an unstable shooting position on targets with a busy background. If you plan on single targets from prone or the bench, it won't matter one way or the other.

nimoZ
11-30-2011, 11:14 AM
Here are some reading on the topic that may be helpful, or just add to the confusion :)

My pick is mil/mil, but I was born metric. :D
- I also prefer FFP, but that depends what you are used to and what you are going to use it for. Zero stop is nice when you have few mils per turn.

High End Tactical Scopes: Part II (http://opticsthoughts.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=81:high-end-tactical-scopes-part-ii&catid=4:rifle-scope-reviews&Itemid=4)

High End Tactical, Part III: New Kids on the Block (http://opticsthoughts.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=98:high-end-tactical-scopes-part-3&catid=4:rifle-scope-reviews&Itemid=4)

High End Tactical scopes: “East vs West” (http://opticsthoughts.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=72:high-end-tactical-scopes-east-vs-west&catid=4:rifle-scope-reviews&Itemid=4)


hensoldt-4-16x56-mm-scope-how-does-it-stack-up (http://demigodllc.com/articles/hensoldt-4-16x56-mm-scope-how-does-it-stack-up)


optics-for-long-range-rifle-shooting-2009-update (http://demigodllc.com/articles/optics-for-long-range-rifle-shooting-2009-update)

RugerNo1
11-30-2011, 11:26 AM
High End Tactical Scopes: Part II (http://opticsthoughts.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=81:high-end-tactical-scopes-part-ii&catid=4:rifle-scope-reviews&Itemid=4)

High End Tactical, Part III: New Kids on the Block (http://opticsthoughts.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=98:high-end-tactical-scopes-part-3&catid=4:rifle-scope-reviews&Itemid=4)

High End Tactical scopes: “East vs West” (http://opticsthoughts.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=72:high-end-tactical-scopes-east-vs-west&catid=4:rifle-scope-reviews&Itemid=4)


hensoldt-4-16x56-mm-scope-how-does-it-stack-up (http://demigodllc.com/articles/hensoldt-4-16x56-mm-scope-how-does-it-stack-up)


optics-for-long-range-rifle-shooting-2009-update (http://demigodllc.com/articles/optics-for-long-range-rifle-shooting-2009-update)

Ilya Koshkin's optics reviews are some of the best I have ever read (sometimes twice). I guess I am from more of the European side of optics selection because I would rather have the best optic I could afford over the most perfect rifle...:o

cfusionpm
11-30-2011, 6:30 PM
Just mocked this up real quick in photoshop to show distance differences. I think 15x should be sufficient for me... but that 22x does give some nice extra reach. On the left is a photo I took through a scope I have on my M1A. Under each is a properly scaled image of the silohuette target I use most of the time when shooting so I could get an idea of what it would look like at different ranges. Images were scaled using the dots and ticks in the reticle. I only did out to 300 yards because that's how far my local range goes out to, and serves a great personal reference. Unless something really sweeps me off my feet though, I'm pretty sold on the NF 3.5-15x.

http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/7467/scopedistance.jpg

In response to stuff here:

-I'll be sure to use the Calguns Amazon link! Thanks for the heads up, I buy a lot of stuff there!

-I'll definitely go give those places a call, but I'll let them know up front about the price I can get through Amazon (which processes and ships via Optics Planet). If they can offer me something comperable or win me over service-wise, I'll be sure to give them my business.

-I skimmed those articles, will give them a good read through when I have time later in the week. Looks like good stuff!

-Doesn't matter which I go with between MOA/Mil but I like, and am familiar with MOA, so that's what I'll probably be buying. As far as I know, I'll be shooting static targets from a table or prone. Also, something I didn't think about untill seeing a CSTACTICAL video about picking scopes, I don't want a FFP because I want thin, thin, thin crosshair lines. Zoomed in crosshairs would be thicker and obscure targets, right? I shot a Leupold VXR in 3-9, and the thick duplex crosshair completely covered my 1" orange circle sticker at 200y, so I don't want a think or zooming crosshair. I'm OK with only being able to range and hold over at max zoom.

-I don't want to upgrade the stock, trigger, etc. until I can consistantly shoot .75 MOA or better with this setup. Although I've shot bolt actions from time to time, this will be the first that I've owned. Wanna take time to learn to shoot what I have before messing with it.

Lastly, thanks for all the help!

rksimple
11-30-2011, 9:10 PM
FFP reticles will obscure the same amount of the target at all magnifications. Think about it.

As far as a thin, thin reticle, it gets lost easily in low light and is hard to see against busy backgrounds. This is especially a consideration when holding off for wind and/or elevation.

killshot44
11-30-2011, 10:24 PM
The whole FFP vs. SFP can be broken down thusly:
If you're shooting at 100% known distances you don't need a ranging reticle or the FFP.
The NF NP2DD reticle is super clean. used a lot in Benchrest and F-Class.

Mute
11-30-2011, 10:50 PM
I'd say, based on cfusionpm's breakdown on how he'll doing most of his shooting, an SFP reticle isn't necessarily a wrong choice.

DirtyDave
11-30-2011, 10:56 PM
US Optics might be a bit out of your price range, but they are in SoCal (Brea) and you can stop by there if you want to physically fondle a few scopes. The options they offer on their scopes is insane. You can order your scope as Trick or as Simple as you want (or can afford)
Made in the USA!

cfusionpm
11-30-2011, 11:30 PM
The whole FFP vs. SFP can be broken down thusly:
If you're shooting at 100% known distances you don't need a ranging reticle or the FFP.
The NF NP2DD reticle is super clean. used a lot in Benchrest and F-Class.

Actually looked at that reticle, but I figured if I'm spending the better part of 2 grand on a scope, I want it to have multiple functions. The NP2 looks cool, but I want the availability to range things for when I shoot on BLM land (don't own a laser range finder).

rksimple
12-01-2011, 6:26 AM
Ranging targets is one of the least useful functions of a graduated reticle. Holding off for lead, wind, and elevation is a far more useful function. If you don't have an LRF, get one. You'll never learn long range shooting without being able to precisely remove the variable of distance.

AM9000
12-01-2011, 9:19 AM
Snipers hide px is going to be your best bet. You will find a lot of good deals on there.
I picked mil / mil adjusted optics because it's an easier system to convert. If you can figure out your exact velocity with a given load you can make a range card that would allow you to adjust for any range while having to do zero math. You can do the same with an Moa adjusted scope but for ranging you would need to do some conversion (math). For simple target shooting and steel at known distance, either system or even a mil/Moa optic would be fine.

AM9000
12-01-2011, 10:47 AM
Ranging targets is one of the least useful functions of a graduated reticle. Holding off for lead, wind, and elevation is a far more useful function. If you don't have an LRF, get one. You'll never learn long range shooting without being able to precisely remove the variable of distance.

Excellent advise.
While milling targets is useful fieldcraft, getting going in long range will be difficult without an accurate ranging tool.