Firstly, just reiterating we are talking ELR here, beyond 1000 yards. I have no need for an illuminated scope for ELR. When it gets that dark I might think about reticle illumination Iíll be struggling to see the animal clearly through any reasonable optics anyway, and Iím not interested in shooting. Even at a gong or a rock, I need to be able to see the bullet trace and where the bullet hits. When it gets to the point you canít see even the thinnest reticle, it is too dark for ELR in my opinion. I have tested many scopes with illuminated reticles in field conditions, and have pretty much decided for me anyway I have no use for them. At any range, the issue is the contrast between a bright reticle and a dark image of your animal/target. I have found that as it gets darker, the target and the reticle get harder to see together, and if you then illuminate the reticle even slightly, it makes the animal even harder to see due to the changing contrast. Your eye cannot handle both the bright reticle and still try and define the dark target. Maybe with the very finest reticle like Marchís MTR-1, a very small amount of illumination may be usable. To illustrate this, my son and I have just come back from a wilderness hunting trip where he shot a Red stag right on dark. It was only 450 yards away, but when I set the rifle up, I could only just distinguish the stag through the scope, and also only just distinguish the MTR-1 reticle. The tiniest bit of illumination and I lost the stag altogether. Willieís younger eye when he got behind the rifle was able to distinguish both long enough to get the shot away and kill the stag, but he also found any illumination counterproductive. With my favourite NXS NP-R1 reticle, the crosshair is thick enough I certainly donít feel the need for any illumination.
No FFPís or MIL adjustments and reticles for me either, 2nd FP and MOA is what my mind works in and is easiest to visualise at any range I feel. Who can visualise a MIL or tenth of a MIL at 1200 yards for example? And I live in a metric country? MOA and inches/feet are so easy to visualise and are meaningful increments. A clever reticle like Marchís FFP in their 3-24x that doesnít get too thick and has windage hash marks that remain constant has merit, but Iíve yet to see one in a serious ELR scope. And then theyíre a MIL reticle anyway.
Iím also with TrueBlue who said donít make it bigger and heavier! The 32oz now is plenty as we hunt with our rifles, often carrying them for quite some distance. With any of our ELR chamberings, the 100 MOA of the 5.5-22x56 NXS is plenty with a 25MOA base for our purposes, and will get us to 2900 yards at sea level, further at altitude. We donít hunt that far, but realise some will want to bust rocks/gongs further. You can then use the bottom hash on the reticle to get out to well over 3000 yards anyway.
Yes, to a little more magnification, but donít need 32x or more. I feel 28x is max from our experience in the field, and probably 25x sufficient. We have 8-32x NXSís that live on 22xÖso that tells you something! The zero stop is great, but I still actually prefer the old 10 MOA per rev turrets. They are so positive and easy to read in the field, so long as you have a zero stop so you donít lose track. If youíre going to 20 MOA or even more per rev, then the turret diameter needs to be much larger, so the graduations donít get too close together.
Better optics/light transmission is always an advantage, and even further negates the need for illuminated reticles for us. We are not shooting at something that might shoot back if we donít kill them! Those guys can have the Beast, just give us an ATACR with an NP-R1 reticle and not too much more weight!