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B!ngo
05-22-2012, 5:16 PM
So, I finally broke down and ordered a Tikka T3 Sportster in .308. I've wanted a bolt/.308 for some time and this one was calling my name.
Now I need to figure out which optic to purchase and was looking for some guidance. It's for mid-range range use, to learn how to shoot a rifle at distance. But potentially also for varmint and plinking at a good distance as well.
I'm going to be kind to myself and get a pretty high-quality optic ('cause life is too short to look through bad glass), but was wondering what magnification range (min/max) you all recommend, and what size ocular is likely best.
Any particular brand references are welcomed too, but is the parameters of the scope that are interest here.
Thanks,
B

Whitefang
05-22-2012, 6:20 PM
Vortex pst 4-16x50 or 6-24x50, us optics 1.8-10x37 or 44mm. Nightforce is good too Schmitt and Bender or IOR.

Short Action Precision
05-22-2012, 6:59 PM
What is your idea as far as dollar amount for a High Priced Optic?

jink122
05-22-2012, 7:08 PM
Super Low Range:
Walmart Centerpoint $70

Low Range:
Millett TRS $300-450

Mid Range:
Viper Vortex PST $650-950

High Range:
Nightforce $1500+

Higher Range:
Schmitt and Bender $2500+

winxp_man
05-22-2012, 10:03 PM
Nice deal on SWFA 1-6 and 5-20 SS HD scopes now going on.

Hamstur
05-22-2012, 10:28 PM
How much you're willing to spend? And what do you consider 'pretty high-quality?'

Also, you mention mid-range use, target, plinking and varmint at good distance -- those uses are all over the map. Regardless, I recommend staying in the 3-12 or 4-16 ranges. 4-16 reaches 1100+ yards easily for 'practical' shooting.

If the sky's the limit and you want a do-it-all scope, the Zeiss Hensoldt FF mildot is my pick. Simple & thicker reticles are more intuitive, easier to transition and acquire moving targets with. If you're leaning toward a thin reticle, I like the Schmidt & Bender P4f. I'm throwing out what I like and what I shoot cause there's not much info to work with...

The best advise I can provide is define your budget and intended use for the rifle. If you know the rifle will only end up at the firing range, I would find it hard to recommend more than a fixed 10x, 12x or 16x SWFA Super Sniper for $300 even if you're willing to spend over $2500 -- cause imho, those are pretty high-quality optics to shoot for groups with at a 300 yard firing range -- and that's a huge contrast to my recommendation in the last paragraph.

B!ngo
05-22-2012, 11:31 PM
I was thinking no more than $1500, and might try to find a pre-owned one that listed new at that price range if possible. So that leaves out the Schmidt and some types of Zeiss I suppose.
Thanks for the comments so far. Please keep them coming.
BTW, how do you think the glass in a Zeiss or Leica compares to a Vortex?
B

What is your idea as far as dollar amount for a High Priced Optic?

Hamstur
05-23-2012, 12:07 AM
If it were my $1500, my ranked list for a used scope would look like:

(1) $1100: Bushnell DMR 3.5-21
(2) $1500: NF NXS 3.5-15 with zero stop ... wouldn't bet on high speed
(3) $1000-1200: SWFA SS 5-20 (price range based on non-illum vs illum)
(4) $800: Vortex Viper PST FFP

scotty99
05-23-2012, 12:56 AM
Vortex makes several different lines of scopes, but their mid tier and higher end stuff is very good. I have a Zeiss Conquest 3.5-10 that I have been very happy with, and they can be had in the $700-800 range. I prefer the versatility of a variable power scope, even though being a professional photographer I understand the trade offs and agree that a fixed provides somewhat better optical quality.

I personally wouldn't spend over $1000 on a scope for the rifle you're using, and there are multiple options in the $500 range (Nikon, Leupold) that I'm sure you will be very happy with and will be great learning tools.

Whitefang
05-23-2012, 8:50 AM
^ I'd have to disagree with the last part, a scope is something you can switch from gun to gun I'd go with the Buy once cry once rule.

r8dr rider
05-23-2012, 9:06 AM
Leapers hands down

Short Action Precision
05-23-2012, 9:16 AM
....though being a professional photographer I understand the trade offs and agree that a fixed provides somewhat better optical quality.

I personally wouldn't spend over $1000 on a scope for the rifle you're using, and there are multiple options in the $500 range (Nikon, Leupold) that I'm sure you will be very happy with and will be great learning tools.

Being a professional Photographer then you would understand the importance of glass. That rifle is a great rifle. As much as I love the Vortex PST, there are way better options out there if you can afford them. If you have $1500 to spend on glass then I would either go with a used NightForce or a New Bushnell HDMR. Might be able to find a used Vortex Razor for that price as well. Best thing to do is to get out and look through as many different scopes as you can and see what you like.

LRShooter
05-23-2012, 9:24 AM
I've got a Leupold 8.5x-25x on my .308. I'm thinking of switching to a 4-14x scope. I seldom use anything over 15x, and with the desert heat and mirage 20x-25x isn't very useful. 8.5x on the low end is too much as well and stil doesn't have a wide field of view. -- I use the 8.5x setting when shooting steel at 7-800yds so I can spot my own shots.

I'd recommend a 30mm tube. More elvation adjustments if need.

I've used $500 dollar Leupolds and Nikons, but my $900 Leupold is a definite improvement over that price range.

ACRfan
05-23-2012, 9:32 AM
I have a zeiss on my armalite ar-30 in 338lapua it's a 6.5-20 I think and that is some clear glass!! I shoot out to 600yrds regularly and that scope can make sure you see everything..

huckberry668
05-23-2012, 10:22 AM
I totally agree with the 'buy once cry once' philosophy. I have a bunch of cheap broken Simmon, Bushnell crap laying around I don't know what to do with.

You have a nice capable rifle there. Get something solid and made for long range shooting and hard use. Most of the suggested scopes are good so I'll suggest features I found useful.

1. Adjustable magnification. You can go as high as you can find but the lowest magnification shouldn't be more than 6x. You need low setting to find your target. higher the mag smaller the field of view.

2. Objective lens size, larger the better. It allows for more light to come thru so you can see targets in low light conditions and more clearly in any light condition. My personal preference for a long range scope is no less than 50mm.

3. large tube, no less than 30mm.

4. Parallax adjustable - must have.

5. range estimate reticle - you need some measurement reference on the reticle to help estimate target size and most importantly 'hold over'. Hold over makes for fast target requisition without having to turn the turrets all the time.

6. target turrets - MOA or MIL but get one that gives you finer adjustments like 1/4MOA or 1/10MIL per click. You'll be able to fine tune the POI for a more precise shot.

7. with a good scope, you'll need a set of good rings and base. go with steel. TPS rings are excellent and much more affordable than others. Burris Signature Z-rings are great too but I feel they are a little 'thin' for field use.

Hamstur
05-23-2012, 1:17 PM
Sounds like 'Short Action Precision' and I are on the same page!

I'm replying again cause as 3 people already said, I disagree completely disagree with Scotty99 re: skimping on the scope.

I'm a huge fan of Sako quality, and that Tikka Sportster is one hell of a rifle. Don't put junk on it.

cfusionpm
05-23-2012, 7:30 PM
I've looked through a bunch of Leupolds and a few Nightforces. I wanted to look through more, but local stores don't have very wide selections of high(er) end scopes. Was disappointed with the Leupold mark 4's. Image clarity was OK, but the exit pupil making the sight picture was tiny and the eye relief was tight. The Nightforce I ended up with had a huge, bright, clear sight picture with minimal-to-no distortion (just a bit on the outside edges) good color and contrast, and excellent sharpness. Being a photographer myself, I was impressed. Would have loved to look through some higher end scopes, but I am thoroughly satisfied with my NF NXS 3.5-15x50 NP-R1. The glass is clear enough to see my impact holes on orange paper at 300 yards.

scotty99
05-23-2012, 8:33 PM
Sounds like 'Short Action Precision' and I are on the same page!

I'm replying again cause as 3 people already said, I disagree completely disagree with Scotty99 re: skimping on the scope.

I'm a huge fan of Sako quality, and that Tikka Sportster is one hell of a rifle. Don't put junk on it.

$1000 is skimping on the scope? I think the vast majority of people would disagree with that statement.

cfusionpm
05-23-2012, 8:37 PM
I spent $2500 on my 70-200 lens. $1500 on a scope was a bargain by comparison.

http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/8651/46425610100979225041994.jpg

Tackman11
05-23-2012, 8:52 PM
With $1500 I suggest you look at the NF, Vortex and the New Bushnell HDMR.

Good luck hunting

rksimple
05-23-2012, 8:57 PM
$1000 is skimping on the scope? I think the vast majority of people would disagree with that statement.

In the long range precision rifle world...yes. $1k is skimping. The vast majority of people don't know what they're talking about.

The Bushnell HDMR is changing the game though for that price point. But NF is still a very safe bet.

scotty99
05-23-2012, 10:36 PM
In the long range precision rifle world...yes. $1k is skimping. The vast majority of people don't know what they're talking about.

The Bushnell HDMR is changing the game though for that price point. But NF is still a very safe bet.

The most expensive is generally a safe bet. I just think its overkill for someone wanting to learn to shoot a rifle at mid ranges, and starting out with "the best" sort of ruins you for anything else. To this day I wish I'd never looked through a pair of Swarovski binoculars.

jmatt511
05-23-2012, 10:46 PM
It all really depends on what you want to do and how far you want to go out. Under 600 yards, you can get decent accuracy from a Leupold Mrk 4. Out to 1200 yards, which is at the upper extreme for a .308/7.62, Nightforce or US Optics is a great choice. I just put down a nice piece of change for a Schmidt & Bender PMII (H37 reticle) with a LaRue mount. With a ballastic computer I can switch the scope between my 700, 308 AR and the AI .338 I have on order one, once I have the zero calculated for each weapon. Many guys buy a quality rifle and put cheap glass on top. You can hit only what you can see accurately. Buy once and buy it right. Ortherwise you may be buying several times over.

rksimple
05-23-2012, 10:49 PM
The problem is...spending more does not necessarily get you more. I've had 3 S&Bs that haven't held zero as well as my Bushnell HDMR. I've watched USO's fall apart at more than a few matches. My SFP NFs have won me more 1st places than any high end European optics. Pay your money, take your chances.

Hamstur
05-23-2012, 11:00 PM
$1000 is skimping on the scope? I think the vast majority of people would disagree with that statement.

Yes and no -- depends on the perspective & use.

In my first reply, I recommended a $300 SWFA fixed power as a great scope if the intended use is punching paper at the range. It's fairly clear OP wants maximum flexibility, as he isn't exactly sure where he will end up using the rifle.

My #4 recommendation is the Viper PST ($600 SFP/$800 FFP) because it's loaded with features that let the shooter learn what matters and doesn't, but I haven't met a single person with disposable income that kept one as their go-to because glass quality is mediocre.

When I first started shooting & practicing in practical settings only, every consideration changed. Suddenly it became clear (pun intended) why factors like eye relief, eyebox, FOV, DOV, variable zoom, low-end tunneling, clarity, FFP, usable elevation, etc matter.

A lot of folk always say "if you can't see the target, you can't hit it." When I started shooting with a LR practical squad, I learned very quickly "if you can't see where you hit the target, you can't hit it again" and "if you can't see your miss, you can't follow-up." Quality glass is just as much about being able to spot than just shoot -- for yourself and buddies. Our nemesis is a 6" pepper popper with a 3" head plopped ~700 yards. If the COF is center shot with follow up head shot, being able to see a left-edge hit on center results in quick communication for a right-edge holdover on the head to have a chance at impact.

As rksimple says, the Bushnell DMR is a game-changer at $1100 used/$1200 new. Good glass quality, FFP, reliability, good reticle, etc. That's why I recommended it above as #1 followed by the more expensive NF 3.5-15x SFP.

Of course, I can't emphasize enough -- if OP only foresees the 200-300 yard range shooting paper, stick to a $300 fixed mag scope. And if the progression is toward F-class style at known distance targets further away in a controled environment, stick to higher mag SFP scopes like a NF 5.5-22. Comes back to my 1st post where I said best advise is figure out what the intended use is. Yeah, a Hensoldt 4-16 is an amazing 'practical' scope, but it would be the biggest POS on a dedicated F-class rig where I'd rather have a $500 Weaver T-series.

If flexibilty and potential 'practical' use is desired, then imho, spending $800 for a Viper PST is skimping. And if this is the inteded use, $1700 for a Tikka sporter + $800 for a Viper PST would have been WAY better as $800 for a Tikka Scout and $1800 for a Nightforce F1.

Short Action Precision
05-24-2012, 8:09 AM
Well put. What he said! ^

h0use
05-24-2012, 8:44 AM
nightforce

cwin
05-24-2012, 8:52 AM
For around $1500 I'd probably go nightforce.