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View Full Version : ACOG Questions (Valdada vs Leupold?)


Sig226
06-11-2007, 9:40 AM
So, I'm looking to add some glass to a POF/DPMS 20" .308 build.

The rifle is being built for 150-500m shooting, mostly from a bench, or prone.

I'm thinking about the TA55A to match with this rifle, however I haven't heard much about them.

with 5x magnification it seems to be the way to go for longer shots, however I wanted to hear any opinions on a better match, or even why NOT to go with this model.

Finally, where should I look for the best price---At just short of $2k I could use any savings there is to be had!

so, let me know what you think, know RE this model and pricing. (Or if you would recommend going with something COMPLETELY different for this rifle.)

Dave

Sig226
06-11-2007, 9:48 AM
ETA- The cheapest place I have found one---that looks to have this model in stock is OpticsPLanet.com for $1,421.20.

bwiese
06-11-2007, 9:53 AM
I believe the TA55 ACOGs are actually 5.5X magnification, though.

You should be able to find them for around $1200ish - check SWFA (http://www.riflescopes.com) and other online vendors.

Like all ACOGs, they're built like tanks.

However, I'm not sure they're that great a deal - as they're bigger/bulkier than their 4X and 3.5X ACOG brethren, and that's a lot to pay for a fixed power scope all the same. And for shooting at longer ranges you might want higher power, dunno.

I think you could step up to 6X and be very happy with an IOR Valdada SuperM2 6X scope w/illum. reticle. It comes with 5.56 or 308 reticle/BDC adjustment. It will run you quite a bit less than half price ($500ish) - and it comes with its own 35mm rings.

For less than the price of the TA55 you could get a Valdada 2-8X scope as well.

For other alternative, there are good 3-9X or 3-10X adjustable tac scopes out there from Leupold, Nikon, IOR (even Burris scopes are quite good) that will save you $$.

If you are still particularly hot for this type of scope, great - and then do look at the similar Elcan HiMag scope in 6X (around same price range).

Sig226
06-11-2007, 3:40 PM
Hrm, the Valdada models look rather interesting!

I haven't used one of these before, but I have read a few raves about them. (Didn't think to check them out for this for some reason.)

In all honesty the only reason I chose the ACOG is because I have used the TA-11 on a FAL and enjoyed the heck out of it. But, I plan on shooting my AP4 farther out than that FAL. (I wasn't nuts about non-adjustable zoom, but the clarity really had me sold on the ACOG.)

So with regards to Valdada---can I expect the same, or better, light xfer and clarity?

I was looking at http://www.valdada.com/vn/ior/03o as an option. 4-14x 50mm Illuminated around the same weight, but larger. And for a slightly cheaper price.

Seems tempting.

Or there is a slightly smaller 40mm http://www.valdada.com/vn/ior/03m that does 2.5x10.

Hrm, the choices....

Sig226
06-11-2007, 8:27 PM
Alright--- Hoping to get one more round of comments if possible from anyone with direct knowledge/use of either of these scopes.


I've narrowed it down to two--- ACOG is out... (Thanks Bill for taking tunnel vision away sorta speak...)


First is the Mark 4 4.5-14x50mm LR/T M1 Illum. Reticle. (Here (http://www.leupold.com/tactical/products/scopes/mark-4-lrt-riflescopes/mark-4-4-5-14x50mm-lrt-m1-illum-reticle/)


Or the Valdada 4-14x50 Tactical Scope, 30mm tube, illuminated MP8 reticle (Here) (http://www.valdada.com/vn/ior/03o)

The variable magnifications are very close---within .5x. (and in the range I want)

The valdada is 2.2" longer and 3oz heavier. (Not really a major concern.)

The field of view is similar, however the valdada does have a bit wider FOV 34@4x vs 19@4.5x on the Leupold.

And Eye relief is almost the same with the Valdada beating out the leupold by .15" @ 3.75".

Leupold is $1110.51 @ Scoptics vs $984.95 for the Valdada from NightVisionSales.


SO, here are my questions..

What can I expect in terms of quality/life expectancy from both?

What can I expect the difference in clarity/light transfer between the two?

And finally, I didn't see any mention of warranty with the Valdada---any ideas on that front?

So price aside (since they are so close...) which would "you" choose, and why?

In any event I'm ordering one or the other tomorrow since I wanna play with the new tool this weekend. :-)

Thanks for taking the time, and for any comments.

Dave

maxicon
06-14-2007, 11:32 AM
And Eye relief is almost the same with the Valdada beating out the leupold by .15" @ 3.75".

I can't help much with your questions - expensive scopes are outside my turf - but eye relief specs can be a bit misleading, so I'll sound off on that a bit. The easily bored should move along...

There are 2 aspects to eye relief - the optimal spot for eye relief at a given magnification (this is what's usually spec'd by the vendor), and the window where you can get useful eye relief, often referred to as the "eyebox" (and rarely spec'd). The vendor's spec for optimal eye relief is often calculated, not measured, and some vendors give the distance from the lens surface, not from the end of the scope body. It can be hard to compare across vendors unless you know what they mean.

One of Leupold's great strengths is they have a generous eyebox - you can get good eye relief at a decent-sized window around the optimal eye relief point, which means you can get quick target aquisition when you bring the rifle up quickly because eye position isn't as critical. Some other scope makers are good at this too, but it takes trying them out to find out.

Also, note that the eye relief (both optimal and eyebox) changes with magnification, and willl be different as you zoom the scope. Generally, eye relief gets closer and the eyebox gets smaller as you zoom in. Some vendors (like Leupold) are starting to spec the optimal eye relief at the zoom limits.

Some scopes have a decent optimal eye relief distance, but a small eyebox at high magnifications, which means you have to hunt for a good field of view or have a very repeatable cheekweld at a given magnification. Repeatable cheekweld is a great thing, but flexibility in eye position means flexibility in fast action shooting.

For instance, the optimal eye relief for the Leupold scope you mention changes by 0.9" going from min to max zoom, so having a generous eyebox is critical to getting good eye relief at various zooms, even (or especially) when you have a repeatable cheekweld.

For comparing expensive scopes like these, it's a good bet to try them out side by side if at all possible.

Sig226
06-14-2007, 1:57 PM
maxicon,

Thanks for that! It was truly educational.

So based on the fact that you are aware Leupold is both conscious and consistent in their "facts/specs" then that gives me a warm feeling about going with that model over the Valada.


I would LOVE to try one, either, or both out in a shop, or on someone else's rifle....However I can't find a local store than has either!

Anyone know of a shop in SoCal/LAX/SouthBay area that has one of these scopes on display?

Dave

Jicko
06-14-2007, 2:20 PM
+1 for Leupold

PM kicker72 and see what kind of prices can he get you, he sell Leupolds in incredible prices.

maxicon
06-14-2007, 2:33 PM
maxicon,

Thanks for that! It was truly educational.

So based on the fact that you are aware Leupold is both conscious and consistent in their "facts/specs" then that gives me a warm feeling about going with that model over the Valada.

No prob - happy to help.

I don't really know much about the Valdada - lots of people like them. I'm a Leupold guy (mostly inexpensive ones), and have had good luck with them, but I do like that they're at the forefront of giving detailed, accurate specs. For instance, they'll now tell you that the 4.5-14 scope is really a 4.8-14.3, and nobody ever used to give that kind of detail.

Also, they have an impeccable reputation for customer service, and they're right up in Oregon, which gives them a quick turnaround time if you need it. It's the old IBM story updated for optics - no one ever got fired for buying Leupold!

I can't say if they're better than Valdada or not, but it's hard to go wrong with them.

DJDace
06-14-2007, 3:26 PM
This is quite the coincidence, as this is almost exactly the same decision I am making right now. The only difference is that I don't want the illuminated reticle :)

I know that Valada has superior glass, but Leupold has outstanding customer service.

I have an offer to buy a Mark 4 6.5-20x50 with TMR reticle for about $1000 brand new that I think I am gonna jump at. I really like what I have read about Valada scopes, but I think I am going to stick with the choice that I have heard the most positive 1st hand experience about.

Sig226
06-14-2007, 3:34 PM
This is quite the coincidence, as this is almost exactly the same decision I am making right now. The only difference is that I don't want the illuminated reticle :)


Out of curiosity--- and lack of knowledge--- I assumed that the reticle would be "normal" if the illumination was not on. Or is it illuminated or nothing?

I didn't expect this scope to perform like a EOTech, or Aimpoint--- but I also expected the illumination to be similar when turned on.

So can the scope be used without illumination turned on?

Thanks for all the info/opinions---it is helping me "pull the trigger" sort of speak on this purchase. (I don't normally purchase high-end glass)

Dave

DJDace
06-14-2007, 10:56 PM
Out of curiosity--- and lack of knowledge--- I assumed that the reticle would be "normal" if the illumination was not on. Or is it illuminated or nothing?

I didn't expect this scope to perform like a EOTech, or Aimpoint--- but I also expected the illumination to be similar when turned on.

So can the scope be used without illumination turned on?

Thanks for all the info/opinions---it is helping me "pull the trigger" sort of speak on this purchase. (I don't normally purchase high-end glass)

Dave

You can turn the illumination on and off. I just don't need it at all and would like to save myself a few hundred dollars extra.

I was just at my buddies house tonight looking at his gun collection. He has 2 Leupold Mark 4-14x50 scopes with Mil-Dot Reticles. The glass is very clear and the reticle is nice. Finding the right eye relief took a few seconds but once you get the sweet spot I was able to hold it even when holding it shouldered.

yellowsulphur
06-15-2007, 2:47 AM
If you still have interest in a fixed power scope I would recommend this one (http://www.swfa.com/pc-10198-292-ior-6x42-tactical-30mm-rifle-scope.aspx) from IOR. It's a 6x42, which gives you 7mm of exit pupil (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exit_pupil), has 1/4 MOA clicks, uses Zeiss quality glass, and has the MP-8 reticule. On the con side it uses a steel body therefore elements might be a concern, doesn't have the durability of an ACOG, and the reticule is not illuminated. I've had a chance to look through one and it's very bright and crisp. I have my eye on this one for a future project.

xenophobe
06-21-2007, 3:42 PM
First is the Mark 4 4.5-14x50mm LR/T M1 Illum. Reticle. (Here (http://www.leupold.com/tactical/products/scopes/mark-4-lrt-riflescopes/mark-4-4-5-14x50mm-lrt-m1-illum-reticle/)


Or the Valdada 4-14x50 Tactical Scope, 30mm tube, illuminated MP8 reticle (Here) (http://www.valdada.com/vn/ior/03o)

Don't get the 50mm. The difference between that and the 40mm is not worth having to mount the scope higher (and raise your cheek weld off your stock, which is horrible for consistency).

The difference between 50mm and 40mm out in the field in most shooting conditions isn't noticable. At 14x it will result in a slightly brighter (which is not necessarily better) image, and a slightly bigger exit pupil (which is better), but the cons are that the scope sits higher off the vertical plane of the bore, which is worse for accuracy, and it makes your cheek weld higher (unless you're using a PRS type stock or something with adj cheekpiece)... which makes holding the rifle consistently, and affecting your consistency on paper as well.

50mm will only provide you a little benefit at dawn/dusk in overcast conditions. At night it will help you resolve targets a tad quicker. However any object you cannot see in a 40mm objective will not be visible with a 50mm objective.

Objective size is not very important when choosing optics. With magnified optics, as long as you're passing the 32-35mm objective size, any further increase is cancelled out with having your scope mounted as close to the bore line of the particular rifle.

And yes, I've done numerous tests with optics to come to these conclusions, my eyes are very sensitive and I am a closet optics snob, but those are my conclusions and ymmv.