Scope clarity is in the eye of the beholder. Both scopes are good at clarity to my eye, but the nightforce is not 500 dollars better to me.
One thing for sure is that there are hunting scopes and there are Benchrest scopes and they are not the same. The NF's currently don't have a long range hunting scope in their line-up. NF are heavy, bulky, and awkward. If you like abuse on the mountain, pack one of those 5.5-22x56 around for a day. You'll be cussing it all the way. Get a Leupold vxIII 6.5-20x40 long range and you'll have energy to go further up the hill. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
I owned a Tactical Vari-XIII 4.5X14X50 with mildot mounted on my 300 Win Mag and it served me will without a hitched. So when I build my 308, the choice was academic. Leupold it was. Here's the Mark 4 16X Longrange Mil-dot.
To achieve the maximum possible accuracy, all variables must be remove or at least minimize.
I put one of the MK4, 4.5-14x50 LR/T on my 300 RUM. I also looked through a NF, but they are about 400 bux more, plus I could not really tell the difference in clarity. They are both super clear scopes. They are both built really solid as well. Like others have stated, the NF seems to weight a ton more. Not literally, but you can really tell the difference. Like GG said, I dont think the extra price tag justifies the NF for a hunting rifle anyways. JMO.
thanks for the replys guys, so it sounds like the aluminum will hold up to the 300 RUM, not terribly worried about the price diff.
the weight thing is an issue, I would really like a nightforce, and if they weighed the same this would be a no brainer. I guess it comes down to weight, I'll see what I can figure out, I think the differance is 9oz, don't know if I could tell the diff or not...but this thing will be packed around alot. sounds like I just need to build a hunting rifle and a heavy shooter.
anyone out there packing nightforces up and down high elevation elk country? I was hunting 10-12,000ft this fall, and stuff gets heavy fast when you are climbing from camp at 9,900 to the top at 12,300! but not sure if I will do that very often??
Hi; Badger makes aluminum mounts too...not sure about the weight?? If you buy the 50mm objective you may get by with their lowest mount, I think .823" Anyway it sounds like you want to have a Nightforce in your collection. You can always buy one and just use one of your other lighter scopes for that extra hard climbing hunt. These good scopes can be dialed in from one gun to another, just take good written notes so you can return to zero when switching back.
Sounds like the consensus is, both are great scopes you can't go wrong either way.
As far as packing a NF in steep country......Yes, I pack mine for elk and mule deer. Total rifle weight is 18+lbs. In really rough or extended hunts I go with a different rifle that weights in at 12+lbs. I use a Kifaru "gun bearer system" that takes the weight off my shoulder and puts it on my hips.
Talking about how heavy of a gun is too heavy is about like starting a thread on shooting SMKs for game [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] Everyone has thier own opinion and most are pretty adamant about it!
As for me, ALL of my other gear on a hunt is selected with weight in mind. I would rather trim 4,5,6 or more pounds out of my gear and carry my heavy rifle.
I don't think a lot of guys consider how much that extra jacket weighs or that flashlight, etc. I don't go into the mountains unprepared, but I chose my gear carefully. In some cases we spend a lot of money on hunts, rifles and optics but skimp in other areas. Lightweight gear is generally more expensive, but you will not think about the extra $$ at 12,000 feet!
Lightweight layering clothes from Patagonia and others are very warm and weigh next to nothing. Cabelas XPG rain gear is almost weightless, not very tough, but good as a backup, etc. The difference between one (empty) pack and another can be 3 or 4 lbs. Some guys don't think twice about loading up a 64 or 96 oz hydration pack or two quart Nalgene bottles with water. You are talking 4 to 7 lbs there. If there is water in the area I carry only a quart at most and my MIOX water purifier which only weighs about 4 oz.
I could go on with weight savings through careful gear selection, but I think your question was about scopes! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
Just think of your rifle (and scope) as part of your gear.........then work on your gear to get the TOTAL weight to something you are comfortable packing around.