I just got back from a High country Mule Deer Hunt in WY. Took my new 270Wby Mag that had just been rebarreled by Kirby with a Rock Creek Deep fluted barrel. I put a Bell & Carlson Medalist stock on it and bedded it myself. Rifle shoots consistent 3/8" groups at 100 yards. I put the fixed 16X Super Sniper scope on it. This scope works great for targets. Great turrets, excellent repeatability and fairly clear. Very adequate for shooting paper in daylight.
However, when I was in the field, conditions got nasty. I had a blizzard hit on opening day and temps in base camp were 28 deg. Up at spike camp it might have been colder. For sure I was cold with completely wet feet and clothing.
Trying to view deer thru the scope was difficult under the conditions. Scope would fog or fill with snow. Glass was wet and had to dry it with damp toilet paper. As soon as I would dry it, snow would fly in again as I was putting the toilet paper away (yes I did have scope caps, but as soon as you open them snow flies in). Regardless of the obstacles, I managed to de-virginize the rifle with a poor shot and bagged my deer.
However, I found the fixed power on the scope completely unacceptable for real world hunting situations. If I was closer than 200 yards it was difficult to locate deer in the scope. I'm sure it's easier to see a deer that's on an open hillside, but in thick timber with only little patch of deer showing its difficult. A lower power is a must in the field. A higher power is nice to have if your quarry is 400+ yards off and you have time to build the perfect rest, but nothing ever seems to be perfect in the field.
So as soon as I got home I called Don at Long Range Supply http://www.longrangesupply.com/store/
and ordered the new IOR 3-18x42 tactical scope. The reason I chose this over all others was: 1. IOR has received excellent reviews on this board for clarity. 2. It had a wide magnification range, 3-18 as well as largest field of view. 3. It was only 13.625" long. 4. It weighed only 22 oz.
Below are pics of the IOR 3-18x42mm scope compared to a Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14x44mm and the Tasco Super Sniper in fixed 16x42mm.
The image above shows the Zeiss 4.5-14x44 and IOR 3-18x42 to be about the same length, 13.625"
This pic shows the Tasco 16x Super Sniper along the other two
Image showing Oculars
IOR with turret caps off and SS
The thing that I don't care for is the Illuminated reticle. Personally I don't have a need for it or see an advantage,It's just another thing to bust off in the field, but they don't come without one so I had no option there.
I have not received my bases yet so I havn't had a chance to mount the scope on a rifle yet, but just looking thru it tells me that it is one clear piece of glass. The Zeiss Conquest is also one great piece of glass as well. If you were to ask me which would I rather have on a lightweight hunting rifle, I would say the Zeiss hands down. It's smaller and lighter and that means a lot if your busting your hump hiking steep rugged country with brush that's constantly catching on your rifle.
My Conquest sits on a .300Wby Ultralight weight rifle that weighs in at 8.5 lbs with scope and Burris rings that are adjusted so that when the reticle is at the lowest end of travel it hits 1.25" high at 100 yards. That gives me 45 MOA Elevation. The IOR has 55 to 60 MOA Elevation. Zeiss weighs 17.5 oz and the IOR weighs 22 oz (but feels heavier, maybe because of the huge 35mm main tube). The 270Wby weighs approx 11 lbs with SS scope. I know, it doesn't seem that much heavier, but believe me, when your up at 10,000 feet and you look up and see nothing but near vertical slope, it's heavy!
Can't wait to mount the scope and shoot it on the .270Wby. I guess I will just have to hunt those muley's in the sage next year.
More reports to come on boots and binoculars, as time permits.