I seek advice on a scope for a light weight long range hunting rig.
As a newbe getting/building my first long range hunting rifle outfit, I seek advice from forum members on what you recommend.
The rifle will be a custom build (probably on a Rem 700) or one of the specialist rifle makers. I am thinking of a HS Precision CHR as an alternative to custom.
I have set a weight limit for the outfit (rifle, scope & mounts, and bipod) of 8.5 lbs or lighter. Given that the HS precision weighs (as per thier catalogue) 7.15 lbs, that leave only a little over 1 pound for the rest.
I was thinking of a Leupold (have Leupolds on all my rifles) Mark 4 6.5-20x50mm ER/T M5 but this weighs 22 oz (too heavy) and I am now thinking of Mark 4 4.5-14x40mm LR/T Target at 16 oz in Leupold 2 piece tactical bases (which I understand provide 20MOA) and Leupold Mark 4 aluminim rings (though the Leupold website does not give a weight for the bases or rings).
In this part of the world most the long range hunting means climbing high, hence the weight restriction and I plan to do some occasional long range target shooting too (bench rest and F class).
Only accurate rifles are interesting
A light weight scope in the 4-16power range with a 40mm objective sounds good for a lightweight LR rifle build.
However like many other newbies here try, you cannot cram 3 vastly different task into one rifle. There is no way you will be competitive in f-class or BR with an 8.5lb rifle, unless there is some really specialized class at your local shoots for custom hunting rifles. Not to mention rapid strings of fire through thin barrels is horrible for barrel life.
What caliber are you thinking about? 7WSM, 7-300WSM, and 6.5-284 come to mind if i were to build one like this. Should be a great rifle, make sure you get a good trigger, as shooting light rifles at long range can be tricky, especially with a excessively heavy trigger.
"Out of range" is a theoretical concept as far as I'm concerned. Send it!
Magnum, Im pushing 50 and I still do 2-3000 verticle up. My 338 Norma w/26'' is 7-2oz, ready to hunt 8-12 oz, that is w/ mark 4 6-20x50. My leupold rings where 4 oz. if I REMEBER right,M4 alum. My rail is a steel pinned oversized screws. I think some of my other rails where close to 4 oz. 2 pcs and talley will save weight. I have shot several 1'' to under 2'' at 400 yrds. I shot 3 in 6 1/4 at 1003. I was shooting at 1200 and myself and a friend had bullets inside 20 inch w/ some wind, several shots where very close in group, the light rifles will shoot , they may take more practice but it can be done. my leupold vari 3 4-14x40 is 13 oz.
i opted for the nightforce 2.5-10x32, 1/4moa turrets, and zero stop, for my lightweight long range rig. you can quarter a clay pigeon at 1000 yards at 10x, so the magnification is enough.
i just can't bring myself to trust a leupold any more after having some issues with them holding zero. i still have 6-7 of them, but after starting to use nightforce 5-6years ago it's hard to use anything else.
i really wanted to use a leupold 4.5-14x40 with just the elevation turret installed along with a custom reticle for wind holds. they are very light, but in the end i settled on the nightforce(19oz, a little heavier than a leupold) for the peace of mind. now if i fall and bang my gun i'm not worried about if it got "bumped off of zero"
With your weight of 8.5 lbs you have a lot of options. I would opt for aluminum picatinny and aluminum rings, Talley started making or even EGW in the "practical" line. I went through this and chose a Leupy 4.5x14x 40 1 inch with target knobs and mil dot. Weight is just over 13 oz for a very good quality scope with pleanty of adjustment on the 15 MOA EGW base. Love the Zeiss and Night force but weight and bulk is significantly more.
now that the vx-3's have been out a while they've shown where they aren't very tuff. they break with heavy kicking guns, won't hold zero. get a nightforce if you really want a good scope or if weight is "the main thing" the swarovski 3-10 is about 13 oz. and that's a way better scope than leupold.
I have no doubt the NF AND Swaros are better scopes. My 9 yr old Leupold has lived on a 340 WM shooting 225 grainers and a compressed load, plus it flipped off my shoulder in some cliffs and did cartwheels down the mountain, cost was $660 new, I STILL trust it and use it, also survived a broken stock and I fell on it hard and broke the saftey bar.