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Mk 4 6.5-20 Vs 8.5-25?

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Unread 07-11-2012, 08:51 PM
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Re: Mk 4 6.5-20 Vs 8.5-25?

I have used both and prefer the 6.5x20 for hunting. While I use the 25x for competition, I have found the difference between 20x and 25x when hunting to be slight, if noticable at all when shooting big game and coyotes. My bigger issue is the 8.5x low end. For low light, off hand, or heavy brush, which is always a possibility when hunting I find 8.5 too much power and a disadvantage. Also, the 25x Mark 4 has a very noticeable difference in eye relief change over the power range. I think this is a design flaw of the 8.5x25 M4. It's just me, but I personally don't think the FFP option is worth the extra $$$$ for hunting purposes.

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Unread 07-11-2012, 11:41 PM
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Re: Mk 4 6.5-20 Vs 8.5-25?

Originally Posted by EXPRESS View Post
I am tossing up between the 6.5-20x and 8.5-25x but before the long string of people chime in saying that 6.5-20 is plenty, I prefer higher magnification. It makes me feel more precise.

What I want to find out about the eventual differences in the scopes has more to do with their clarity in marginal conditions.

For example on one rifle I have a NF 8-32x and I find that as with ll scopes, on the highest setting you get diminishing returns. However, on a 32x scope, when you set it at 20x, or 25x, you tend to get better clarity, less distortion and a greater FOV than you would with a scope that maxes out at the same 20x.

In fact I don't often use the 8-32 on 32x, but tend to use it around the 25 mark quite often, just by looking through it and turning up the magnification until it starts suffer, then back down.

Can I assume with these two Leupolds that the FOV should be pretty much identical at 20x and 8.5x?

Will the 8.5-25 give me better resolution at 20 than the 6.5-20, or is this just an impression I have?

One more consideration is that with a front focal plane reticle; the higher magnification will impose a reticle that appears to be and in the case of the TMR I have chosen, that will allow you to see more through the gap in the middle of the junction of the crosshairs, so I wonder if that will be distracting or take away from the more precise feel I get from a fine second plane reticle at high magnification?
I have both, love both, and see no real advantage to the 25x over the 20x other than magnification. Of course the higher the magnification is dialed up the more light required to give you a good image.

I like the higher power for really judging racks but other than that out to 1,000yds there's really no need for more than 20x.

As for the reticles I have both the TMR and Mil dot and very much like them both. I'd suggest trying to borrow a scope with the TMR reticle and shooting it some before deciding as for some people it's just "too much clutter" but I really like it particularly for spotting misses and making precise adjustments on the fly without having to dial. Just see the spot of the impact on the grid and place that spot on target for your follow up shot and it's a done deal.
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