Searched on the forum alot and could not find the exact information I was looking for so here we go. I just sold my go to long range hunting rig which was a Remington Sendero SF II chambered in .300 Ultra Magnum and bought a new Savage Model 111 LRH chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum. The scope I currently have on hand is off of the Sendero, it is an proven older model Leupold 6.5-20x50mm Vari-X III LRT. It has side focus knob, target style windage and elevation turrets with dust caps, and a mil-dot reticle in matte finish. My two biggest complaints with this scope is the mil-dot reticle and target turrets.
I am considering sending this scope into Leupold for some upgrades and wanted to see what your opinions were and if I am on the right track.
Potential upgrades to be performed to my old scope:
Remove mil-dot reticle replace with varmint hunter reticle or Boone and Crockett reticle. (Good out to 500 yards) $69.99
Remove old target style target knobs and dust caps and replace with M1 style ballistic dials. (According to Leupold represenative these dials should give me enough to get to 1500 yards with the Lapua) $149.98
Any advice or experiences that can be given good or bad with these reticles and dials would be greatly appreciated. If I had the funds, which I don't I would just buy one of the Nightforce velocity reticle scopes and be done with it, however this is not an option for me currently.
1) Anything you want to do with a "Varmint Hunter" or other type of holdover reticle you can do better with Mil Radian/Mil Dot reticle and a ballistics software application. With Mil dots you can range very simply if you RF is down or weather is hampering it, Fog killing your RF, use mil-dots. Most of all you may adjust for environmental conditions easier by carrying multiple ballistic cards or a handheld device. Print one for your range at 1000 ft and 60 degrees another for your current hunt at 5500 ft and 40 degrees including all enviormentals for a much more versatile and accurate system. Once you learn the MIL system or the MOA system for that matter it translates to all your rifles, no gimmicky reticles.
2) You are not going to get any "Farther" range with M1 dials they are still 1/4 MOA dials just as the target turrets are (unless this is some new upgrade I don't know about).There are advantages and disadvantages to each. The M1s are easier to see and faster but they are also easier to knock around and lose zero on a hunting rifle, I have missed a close shot because of bumped dials. I keep tape on my exposed dials now.
Bottom line, you have a good scope with a great reticle! Learn to use it and you will probably stick with the system. As for the knobs that's really a judgment call.
Thanks for the reply Dig, I will definitley consider what you said. Please keep the replies / opinions coming as I would like to get this thing sent off to Leupold this week. I have been doing more research and came across the (TMR) tactical milling reticle, looks good and not "gimmicky" like the holdover reticles. If anyone has any information to share on the tmr vs. mil-dot reticle I would appreciate it as well.
I have and use the TMR, I like it a bit better than Mildot, with the 1/2 mil increments its slightly easier to use. Either will take a little long range practice to get proficient. If between the two I would stick with what you have for now and practice a bit, you can get good with traditional mildots our snipers do. I tend to use Mils for anything inside of 500 or if I need to shoot quickly. Dials if a lot of time or airing it out.
Yes as Dig said the TMR IS A MIL reticle, Just picture your reticle w/small hash in between mildots. For cost and gain I would change zero, save money for a cosine gauge or scope level,or nice bipod etc. If you do want to use reticle for holds ,THEN yes tmr,this gives you difined aiming point at mid .Here is how it works on my TMR FOR A RIFLE OF MINE 200 zero, then in half mildown,275,350,412,475,537,600,663,712,825@ 5mil post
my recommendation would be to not sink any money into that scope. if it's the older vx-111 model it's not worth putting money into. if it were one of the newer vx-3 scopes, then i would say go for it. those older models have a bad reputation for function. most specifically the turrets and repeating.
Hmmm... interesting on the bad scope model, never heard that before. I must of got a good one it tracks great, will still pass a box test and has been very reliable for me for quite a few years. (Taken alot of game with it). So it sounds like the general concensus on the reticle is to leave it alone for now and possibly upgrade to TMR later, sounds like a decent plan.
In regards to the ballistic dials, it sounds like this too would be a waste of time and money since I plan to reload in a couple different bullets for this caliber. Is this correct?
In regards to the M1 turrets over my target turrets, personal preference I guess right?