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Optic Dillema

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Unread 02-12-2012, 08:41 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 17
Optic Dillema

Sorry, "dillema" should be "dilemma." I hate fat-fingering.

So, I've recently purchased an Armalite AR-30 in .300 Win Mag and have spent two days so far researching optics. I'd like to keep it around $1000ish ($800-$1200), and these are what I'm looking at so far.

Leupold VX-3 6.5-20x50
Leupold LR/T M5 Mark 4 4.5-14x50
Zeiss Conquest 6.5-20x50
Swarovski Z3 4-12x50

I have access to a 1000 yard range, so you can bet I'll be doing plenty of that. What I'm interested in is bang-for-the-buck. For example, is the Mark 4 worth the cost over a VX-3? Is there another optic I should be looking at? (other than a $1600 Nightforce).

A few people have told me I should look at the Vortex Viper. Any thoughts on that? Also, multiple people have told me the Zeiss is the best glass for under $1000.

I'd particularly love to hear from someone who has an AR-30 and what they're running.

Appreciate the help. Thank you!
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Unread 02-12-2012, 03:16 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 4
Re: Optic Dillema

I have a Zeiss Conquest 3-12x56 and I'd like to compare it to a Z3 Swaro. I've compared it to a Swarovski Habicht 3-12x50 and my Zeiss won hands down for light gathering and they were pretty even on clarity. Now, that I've decided I want to stretch out my shooting past 400 yards, I have to find out if Zeiss will install target turrets for my particular type of scope.

Anyway out of what you listed, I don't have much experience with Leupold, you'll be happy with the Zeiss or Swarovski.
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Unread 02-12-2012, 04:43 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 870
Re: Optic Dillema

I have been considering the same sort of problem. I have decided I am just going to get a used NF and they can be found around the $1200 range, I bought two for under that. They usually get treated pretty well and the warrenty is good so I am going that route. I am not sure if your into going used or not but that is the path I am chosing.
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Unread 02-13-2012, 05:03 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 194
Re: Optic Dillema

I presume that though you plan to do 1,000 yard shooting you'll also want to shoot at some closer targets. Assuming that is correct:

1. Some type of ranging reticle would be nice such as a mil dot, TMR, etc. I don't think you'll get that in a Leupold VX-3.

2. You'll also want the scope to track well and have target or tactical turrets.

I don't think you'll get that stuff in your price range if you're going for Zeiss or Swarovski.

I have a Swarovski, a couple of Nightforce scopes, a Zeiss Conquest scope and multiple Leupold Mark 4 scopes so I guess you can tell where my bias lies. A big advantage to the Leupolds aside from the fact that they're nice is that you get service in the U.S.A. if it's needed and it's pretty prompt. I've bought all of my Leupold scopes well within your price range. Since the Leupold warranty is good even if you buy used, I buy used Leupolds most of the time.
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