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Optics, Mounts, Rails and Sights If it aims your firearm, post about it here.

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  #1  
Old 04-23-2013, 9:46 AM
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Default Need Help 1-4X SCOPE

Shooters-

Time to ditch my old and cheap chinese made scope. It looked cool, was good for a range, but never could hold its zero for sustained periods.

My budget: up to $600

Scopes:
Burris: MTAC
Vortex: Viper PST
Leupold: AR and patrol ( anyone know the pros and cons between the AR and patrol platforms?) Why is the patrol 200$ more expensive?

Only interested in a 1-4X scope. Will use a quick release mount with it. The purpose will be for hunting/home defense/range. ( in that order) Up to 350yards. Will concentrate on fast moving targets around 100-150yards. That's my intent. I will hunt HOG, Yotes, and maybe the occasional jack rabbit. Ohh and of course, let's not forget the ZOMBIES..but then again, those are slow moving and not fast movers lol

Please help me out.
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Last edited by thegreyman2013; 04-23-2013 at 10:01 AM..
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:23 AM
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http://www.riflescopes.webyshops.com...icle-200433-FF
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  #3  
Old 04-23-2013, 10:36 AM
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Burris has "I'm staring into the sun" illumination available on the reticule, but relatively large markings. Definitely a minute of man/hog at larger ranges. Close to true 1x

Vortex has really fine lines (I have moa/moa), and at 4x mag the central dot is only 1MOA giving you the option for a bit more precision. The illumination isn't really daytime visible, though it is great for shooting into shadows or at dusk. Closest to true 1x of the bunch

Leupold AR has really nice glass, and slightly better feeling turrets, but is 1.25x (actually 1.5 according to detailed specs page) instead of 1x at the low end. Also you only get illuminated dot in the middle of the crosshairs, no lighted "donut". 20mm objective means slightly less low light performance (probably not noticeable unless you're under 40) and 1inch rings (harder to find AR style mounts in 1inch)

Leupold Patrol has 1.30x magnification, 30mm objective, same reticle, but the illumination has a fancy motion activation. Turn on the light and it will go to standy after 5 minutes of stillness -- comes back on when you move the rifle.

Last edited by SilentPea; 04-23-2013 at 10:39 AM..
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  #4  
Old 04-23-2013, 10:43 AM
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The Burris TAC30 and MTAC are hard to beat in that range. Good glass, BDC, visible reticle. Illumination will wash out in bright sunlight but the reticle is large enough that it doesn't matter.
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  #5  
Old 04-23-2013, 10:53 AM
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Take a close look at a used SWFA 1-4x with Donut Reticle. It's the cats meow of 1-4. With a switchview, you go from red dot to mil scope.

It's so well done, and the glass is HD.

Only reason I got rid of mine was to pick up their new 1-6x version.
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Old 04-23-2013, 6:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentPea View Post
Burris has "I'm staring into the sun" illumination available on the reticule, but relatively large markings. Definitely a minute of man/hog at larger ranges. Close to true 1x

Vortex has really fine lines (I have moa/moa), and at 4x mag the central dot is only 1MOA giving you the option for a bit more precision. The illumination isn't really daytime visible, though it is great for shooting into shadows or at dusk. Closest to true 1x of the bunch

Leupold AR has really nice glass, and slightly better feeling turrets, but is 1.25x (actually 1.5 according to detailed specs page) instead of 1x at the low end. Also you only get illuminated dot in the middle of the crosshairs, no lighted "donut". 20mm objective means slightly less low light performance (probably not noticeable unless you're under 40) and 1inch rings (harder to find AR style mounts in 1inch)

Leupold Patrol has 1.30x magnification, 30mm objective, same reticle, but the illumination has a fancy motion activation. Turn on the light and it will go to standy after 5 minutes of stillness -- comes back on when you move the rifle.
Wow. Great overview. Thank you. It's really a tough call now. I guess they are all good and I will need to find a place that stocks them so I can see them in person.

I live on the central coast- pretty sparse here. Headed to SD/OC next week. Can anyone recommend a good gun shop that has plenty of scopes?
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  #7  
Old 04-23-2013, 6:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HK Dave View Post
Take a close look at a used SWFA 1-4x with Donut Reticle. It's the cats meow of 1-4. With a switchview, you go from red dot to mil scope.

It's so well done, and the glass is HD.

Only reason I got rid of mine was to pick up their new 1-6x version.
Cool, will check this out as well
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Old 04-24-2013, 8:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegreyman2013 View Post
I live on the central coast- pretty sparse here. Headed to SD/OC next week. Can anyone recommend a good gun shop that has plenty of scopes?
Last time I was at turners in Oxnard they had both of the leupolds out on display (they mount them to plastic half-rifles) and the Vortex behind the counter.
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  #9  
Old 04-24-2013, 9:50 AM
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for just a little bit more, like $700-800 you can pick up a Trijicon TR24 series, super clear glass and great for point and shoot if you don't need all the mil dot and ranging features (it can be done, not as straight forward)
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Old 04-24-2013, 1:24 PM
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looked at the Nikon M or P series?
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  #11  
Old 04-24-2013, 1:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HK Dave View Post
Take a close look at a used SWFA 1-4x with Donut Reticle. It's the cats meow of 1-4. With a switchview, you go from red dot to mil scope.

It's so well done, and the glass is HD.

Only reason I got rid of mine was to pick up their new 1-6x version.
Then you don't have a scope if you sold your 1-4. SWFA has really pissed people off by not delivering. They've been promising the 1-6 for something like 2 years now.

Also $800 (1-4x) to $1,000 (1-6x) is far above the OP's budget.
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  #12  
Old 04-25-2013, 1:45 PM
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? I received my swfa 1-6 a while ago. I love it!

I've seen used 1-4s go $600

Btw they promised the 1-6 less that 10 months ago. . sure I wasn't happy about the wait, but it was worth it.

Shoot ok at 2 years on my wait for my Jae 700 stock.
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  #13  
Old 04-25-2013, 2:53 PM
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Originally Posted by k1dude View Post
Then you don't have a scope if you sold your 1-4. SWFA has really pissed people off by not delivering. They've been promising the 1-6 for something like 2 years now.

Also $800 (1-4x) to $1,000 (1-6x) is far above the OP's budget.

For what it’s worth... the SWFA 1-6x FFP was well worth the 11 month wait from order placement to delivery...

And it was a pre-order so a wait was expected, even with the delays, it was worth it, it’s probably one of the best scopes I own. If the 1-4x SWFA is anything like it I would give it serious consideration. The glass is considerably better on the SWFA optic (Vs Vortex PST 1-4x), very close to what my ACOG is delivering.

I also have a Vortex PST 1-4x… out of all the scopes the OP listed, the Vortex PST gets my pick.

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Old 04-25-2013, 3:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentPea View Post
Vortex has really fine lines (I have moa/moa), and at 4x mag the central dot is only 1MOA giving you the option for a bit more precision. The illumination isn't really daytime visible, though it is great for shooting into shadows or at dusk. Closest to true 1x of the bunch
I find that to be the case as well, my experiences mirror yours in regards to reticle traits and illumination. Vortex on max brightness was at best usable on a gloomy or overcast day. Brightness was one of my biggest gripes with the optic… It made the optic much harder to use during the day for fast action shooting when you don’t have the red quad circle to help draw the eye into the center.

On the plus side…. The Vortex turrets are fantastic, well rounded scope ,with great glass for its price point. Its advertised at a true 1x scope and I found that to be the case when shooting with both eyes open.

Just a note, if you do like to use holdovers when shooting, at distance it’s a little difficult to quickly pick up the MOA markers vs looking at the center and dialing in drop. Being such a fine reticle I found it little harder to use. I would consider the MIL/MIL version if I had to do it again.

I wasn’t a fan of BDC reticles in 1-4x scopes so I passed on the Burris options.
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Old 04-25-2013, 9:05 PM
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For what it’s worth... the SWFA 1-6x FFP was well worth the 11 month wait from order placement to delivery...

And it was a pre-order so a wait was expected, even with the delays, it was worth it, it’s probably one of the best scopes I own. If the 1-4x SWFA is anything like it I would give it serious consideration. The glass is considerably better on the SWFA optic (Vs Vortex PST 1-4x), very close to what my ACOG is delivering.

I also have a Vortex PST 1-4x… out of all the scopes the OP listed, the Vortex PST gets my pick.


I am still in research phase, but leaning towards VORTEX mainly cause the warranty. For biggest bang for buck the Burris MTAC is hard to beat, but damn man, that VORTEX warranty is hard to pass up
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Old 04-25-2013, 9:21 PM
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Warranty should not be a primary driving force behind which optic you buy… At least it’s the wrong reason IMO to pick one scope over the other.

More importantly you should pick a scope based on your needs and shooting style. The Vortex PST and Burris MTAC are two very different scopes even thought they are both 1-4x low power variables.

For me reticle design plays a pretty big role.

The MTAC is a hole over reticle, its designed to be faster with pre-selected hold over points based on whatever average of barrel, ammo loading, and ballistic properties Burris used to design it. With that said, it’s probably not perfect when it comes to hold overs as its setup based on whatever ballistic data Burris used.

Vortex uses a more traditional target reticle… there are no preset hold over points and it’s a little more universal since it’s not designed or setup around any specific caliber or load. It’s up to the user to understand the rifles/ammo dope and hold over or dial in correction accordingly.

Personally I picked the Vortex because I preferred a traditional reticle over a hold over reticle, that’s a preference thing. I also tend to move scopes around every once in a while on rifles, and since I got my 1-6x the Vortex PST is sitting on my 10/22. Not having a reticle tied into a specific load is advantageous to me.



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Old 04-25-2013, 9:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExtremeX View Post
Warranty should not be a primary driving force behind which optic you buy… At least it’s the wrong reason IMO to pick one scope over the other.

More importantly you should pick a scope based on your needs and shooting style. The Vortex PST and Burris MTAC are two very different scopes even thought they are both 1-4x low power variables.

For me reticle design plays a pretty big role.

The MTAC is a hole over reticle, its designed to be faster with pre-selected hold over points based on whatever average of barrel, ammo loading, and ballistic properties Burris used to design it. With that said, it’s probably not perfect when it comes to hold overs as its setup based on whatever ballistic data Burris used.

Vortex uses a more traditional target reticle… there are no preset hold over points and it’s a little more universal since it’s not designed or setup around any specific caliber or load. It’s up to the user to understand the rifles/ammo dope and hold over or dial in correction accordingly.

Personally I picked the Vortex because I preferred a traditional reticle over a hold over reticle, that’s a preference thing. I also tend to move scopes around every once in a while on rifles, and since I got my 1-6x the Vortex PST is sitting on my 10/22. Not having a reticle tied into a specific load is advantageous to me.




You have made some REAL SOLID points. I have lots to consider, never thought picking an optic would so hard
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Old 04-26-2013, 8:36 PM
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? I received my swfa 1-6 a while ago. I love it!

I've seen used 1-4s go $600

Btw they promised the 1-6 less that 10 months ago. . sure I wasn't happy about the wait, but it was worth it.

Shoot ok at 2 years on my wait for my Jae 700 stock.
I stand corrected. I didn't realize they actually started delivering. The first promises for the 1-6 was much more than a year ago. I had pre-ordered the 5-20x50 and the pre-order for the 1-6 came out a couple months after. So it's been a loooong time. I waited and waited and waited, and finally broke down and bought their 1-4x24 about a year ago. I probably waited a year for the 1-6 before I broke down and bought the 1-4.

They make great stuff, but they need to keep quiet about their future products until they can actually deliver.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:25 PM
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I stand corrected. I didn't realize they actually started delivering. The first promises for the 1-6 was much more than a year ago. I had pre-ordered the 5-20x50 and the pre-order for the 1-6 came out a couple months after. So it's been a loooong time. I waited and waited and waited, and finally broke down and bought their 1-4x24 about a year ago. I probably waited a year for the 1-6 before I broke down and bought the 1-4.

They make great stuff, but they need to keep quiet about their future products until they can actually deliver.
Frankly I think the 1-4 is superior to the 1-6 at 1x. Obviously the 1-6 is superior in the high end in terms of sharpness and reticle... but at 1x, I remember the 1-4 having very little fish eye effect... and it almost felt like i was looking through an empty tube. The 1-6 does not feel that way.... def has some fish eye, but it's still nice considering it's got a 6x HD top end.
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Old 04-29-2013, 2:57 PM
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I bought the Vortex Viper PST 1-4X a while back, largely due to some of the points ExtremeX makes above, (Thanks again Extreme) and I am VERY happy with it.

I was actually out playing with it yesterday which sadly, was the first time since I bought it that I've been able to shoot it at any kind of real distance. I was very pleased with my ability to see and hit targets both close and (for me) far away.

When I was shopping for this I was really trying to talk myself into the Burris, 'cuz it would have saved me $100, but the Vortex just seemed to have a clearer, crisper, "Hi-Def" picture and I like the reticle better.

If I had it to do over again, I'd still go for the Vortex.
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Old 04-29-2013, 3:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HK Dave View Post
Frankly I think the 1-4 is superior to the 1-6 at 1x. Obviously the 1-6 is superior in the high end in terms of sharpness and reticle... but at 1x, I remember the 1-4 having very little fish eye effect... and it almost felt like i was looking through an empty tube. The 1-6 does not feel that way.... def has some fish eye, but it's still nice considering it's got a 6x HD top end.
I never used the 1-4x SWFA scope, but I think I know what you are talking about...

I found the Vortex PST at 1x performance better than the 1x performance on the SWFA 1-6x scope. Still completely usable, but to the eye its not a perfect seamless empty tube effect on the 1-6 SWFA... still has some type of optical effect which plays with the eye a little. Good thing I spend more time on the top end otherwise it would probably bother me more.

The Vortex PST did deliver on the true 1x "empty tube" performance... I just wish the illumination was brighter for use outdoors. I guess there is still reason to buy a SWFA 1-4x besides just saving a few bucks over the 1-6.

From what I read its very difficult to design low power variables with true 1x performance when you start to stretch the top end. I would love to get my hands on a USO 1-8x to see how they did.
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Old 04-29-2013, 4:08 PM
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I remember reading some technical journal on why it's literally impossible... something to do with how it would look different depending on the distance of the objects or whatnot.

But for what it is... SWFA did an excellent job.
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Old 04-29-2013, 4:20 PM
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I get that it is the current trend but I am not really sure if higher and higher magnifications at the top end is all that useful. Low power variables are perfect for rifles used for short to medium range situations. If one needs more power isn't it better to just use your precision rifle.
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Old 04-29-2013, 4:36 PM
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You are right... there comes a point where you need to just move into a different magnification bracket like the 2.5-10x or change up the rifle for longer distance work.

I got into these low power variable because I didn't like RDS units that much for the type of shooting I like to do. My 1-6x is sitting on a "RECCE" style 16" AR with a stainless barrel. It was built more like a short barrel target gun than a typical carbine or run & gun setup. I personally enjoy target shooting and banging steel at a distance but I still wanted to maintain some level of short distance performance with a nice field of view without having to be stuck with a RDS.

As long as the weight remains reasonable I wouldn't mind a higher top end for this type of application.

Makes for a nice jack of all trades setup and its pretty versatile, but not specialized in any one area.
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Old 04-29-2013, 4:57 PM
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How heavy is your RECCE? You'd be surprised at how heavy the run & gun setups can get.

I see what you mean about RDS. Unless you throw up a magnifier, I don't really favor them for anything longer than 300-400 yards with most of its work coming in below 200 yards and more realistically 75 yards or much less.
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Old 04-29-2013, 5:24 PM
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I just threw it on the bathroom scale...

That setup weights 9.2lb with rifle, 1-6x optic, and mount. (no bipod or mag)

SWFA 1-6x optic is about 1.33 lb of that weight.

Vortex PST 1-4x came in at around 1lb.
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Old 04-29-2013, 7:15 PM
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9.2lb is a nice weight.

My SPR probably comes in at 13-14 pounds. :P
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  #28  
Old 05-02-2013, 11:13 AM
gunboat682000 gunboat682000 is offline
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Default Leatherwoood CMR 1-4x Scope Rocks

I bought a Leatherwoood CMR 1-4x Scope three months back for the same reasons posted; close to medium range shooting & true 1x power for run and gun shooting. This scope ROCKS! It is also illuminated in either red or green. I payed $330 for the scope and $68 for the Burris PEPR mount.
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  #29  
Old 05-03-2013, 9:09 AM
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Any thoughts on this?

Primary Arms 1-4X 24 Illuminated Scope PA14X

https://www.primaryarms.com/Primary_...4X_p/pa14x.htm
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Old 05-03-2013, 9:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piratebike View Post
Any thoughts on this?

Primary Arms 1-4X 24 Illuminated Scope PA14X

https://www.primaryarms.com/Primary_...4X_p/pa14x.htm
I'm sure its a viable option for someone on a very strict optics budget... PA has built themselves a reputation for budget glass which isn't total crap and typically a good value for the money. Generally a safer bet than the Barska or NcStar options IMO.

I haven't personally used their 1-4x, but I seriously doubt its going to compete with any of the options listed in the OPs first post.

In the world of optics, you really do get what you pay for.
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Old 07-15-2013, 1:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piratebike View Post
Any thoughts on this?

Primary Arms 1-4X 24 Illuminated Scope PA14X

https://www.primaryarms.com/Primary_...4X_p/pa14x.htm
I have 1. Its awesome! A little bit on the heavy side, but the glass is ridiculously clear and I like the simple reticle design.
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Old 07-15-2013, 1:34 PM
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I have had this for a while and really like it:http://www.leupold.com/tactical/scop...5-4x20mm-30mm/

Fairly compact (9.4 inches) and lightweight (11.5oz) almost as quick as my T1 Aimpoint. I think Turners in Oxnard might have them within their display. Bought mine via the internet for $524 at the time on sale. I see them for around $580 or so now. Good Luck.
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Old 07-15-2013, 7:30 PM
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Might want to check out our 1-6 ACSS soon to be out.


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  #34  
Old 07-16-2013, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunboat682000 View Post
I bought a Leatherwoood CMR 1-4x Scope three months back for the same reasons posted; close to medium range shooting & true 1x power for run and gun shooting. This scope ROCKS! It is also illuminated in either red or green. I payed $330 for the scope and $68 for the Burris PEPR mount.

I run a 1-4X CMR on a RECCE style build, I've been pretty impressed with the performace of this scope too. Like most low power variables though, it is a compromise between close range and medium to long range performance. I think they designed the CMR more with medium to long range performance in mind than CQB. I've used mine for shooting steel at various distances out to 650 yards, I've found the reticle design to excel at engaging multiple targets at varying distances. The BDC points are not exactly spot on, but are close enough to get you on target out to at least 650 yards with a 5.56.

My one complaint with the CMR, and one that I've heard from many others is that the reticle illumination needs to be bright enough to see in daylight. The green illumination on mine is bright enough for use on overcast days, but in sunlight you still just see the black reticle. The reticle itself, while optimal for use at a distance, is too fine for fast, close range work, especially in environments with cluttered backgrounds like brush or rocks. Brighter illumination would definitely help the thin reticle stand out a bit better. Having said that, I do like that on the low to mid range of the illumination, it's perfect for shooting in low light. Coupled with the exceptionally clear glass and light transmission of this scope, the dim illumination allows for shooting in near dark conditions.
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  #35  
Old 07-16-2013, 4:01 PM
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OP, another option to consider would be the Weaver Tactical 1-5x24 seen here: http://weaveroptics.com/optics/tactical/

It's at the top of your price range, but Optics Planet has them for around $600 with a CALGUN coupon code. http://www.opticsplanet.com/weaver-t...pe-800364.html

I've got one and I'm happy with it. Good illuminaiton, very nice glass, and since it is FFP the reticle scales down nicely at 1x for quick pickup.

Here's the reticle.

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  #36  
Old 07-16-2013, 4:34 PM
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I run a Swarovski z6i for 3Gun

but other than spending a months mortgage payment on a scope I would say Vortex PST, Burris MTAC or Burris TAC30

reticle preference is what makes the decision for me when I buy a scope
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  #37  
Old 07-16-2013, 7:41 PM
problemchild problemchild is offline
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There is a thread on an other forum that reviews EVERY 1x4 made (like 100 of them). Its an invaluable thread for buying a scope.
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  #38  
Old 07-16-2013, 8:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1dude View Post
SWFA has really pissed people off by not delivering. They've been promising the 1-6 for something like 2 years now.
It wasn't even close to two years... but it was a longer than expected. Product announcement was January 2012, pre-orders almost two months later, first shipments delivered were January 2013.

Chris Farris' explanation of the delays below, 12th post (The main issues were with the original reticle vendor, then customs).

http://www.opticstalk.com/swfa-16x24...730_page5.html

BTW, all SWFA SS scopes that are HD models have better glass than their classic models, BUT the HD does NOT mean what you think.. high definition (optics), think of it as meaning heavy duty. Doubt me please call SWFA and confirm for yourself.
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Last edited by zio707; 07-17-2013 at 2:23 PM..
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zio707 View Post
It wasn't even close to two years... but it was a longer than expected. Product announcement was January 2012, pre-orders almost two months later, first shipments delivered were January 2013.

Chris Farris' explanation of the delays below, 12th post (The main issues were with the original reticle vendor, then customs).

http://www.opticstalk.com/swfa-16x24...730_page5.html

BTW, all SWFA SS scopes that are HD models have better glass than their classic models, BUT the HD does NOT mean what you think.. high definition (optics), think of it as meaning heavy duty. Doubt me please call SWFA and confirm for yourself.
I seemed to recall HD as meaning 'high density', when referring to optics. Granted, I do think they mislead with the nomenclature, as most people will think of the display resolution (720P, 1080P/i, 2K, 4K, etc).

Anyway, this guy seems to back it up. Starts chatting specifically about the different lens types at around the 14 minutes mark...

http://youtu.be/GCISX9id86I

Also, where the lenses are manufactured may or may not influence a purchase decision. Typically, the manufacture location infers a certain level of quality control. Since I'm interested in SWFA currently, I've learned that their glass comes from Japan. Personally, that's a big selling point. I know that a lot of Zeiss glass comes from Japan also (with Zeiss engineers overseeing QC). However, their cinema lenses are still made in Germany.

Good luck.
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  #40  
Old 07-21-2013, 4:00 PM
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integr8d, I agree when I hear HD and optics I generally think high definition as well. I tried with to find the post from Chris where he said to think of HD as heavy duty when it came to the SS HD line but couldn't; I did find one from him that mentioned HD as a dual meaning "heavy duty and high definition", that's good enough for me and stand corrected.

5th post down

http://www.opticstalk.com/topic17793.html


Absolutely good stuff coming out of Japan, Kowa comes to mind.
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