On Target. you'd be at home with a load of the guys and gals i work with at the space agency, some very professional star gazers here. We often nip down to the Starkenburg Observatory to have a butchers at the stars.
I'll go through the points of your last post,
First i'll state again, i certainly don't look down on anyone who doesn't use a S&B.. S&B are classed as a cheaper, less "in" (certrainly pre zenith) scope here in Germany, the Germans are very pro zeiss and swarovski.
I sometimes am left with from Pete that if you don't own S&B your rollling the dice from a reliability perspective.
well. from my past experience that would seem to be true, but them maybe ive been unlucky with scopes. I also know for a fact that scopes coming back through my mates shop, over a period of say 10 years, S&B where the lowest rate of warranty returns.
Maybe i'm going over kill, maybe i'm biased and maybe i expect to much. But i want to be able to rely on my kit.
Pete thanks for posting, you made some really good points and you have a tremendous amount of hunting experience. I have a couple of questions I would PM you, but your answers will benefit all. First, how in the world does your wife allow you to hunt 10 months out of the year? Do many of your hunts involve being a paid hunting guide or do you strictly hunt for your personal pleasure in your free time only? Are most of your hunts local with an occasional hunt further away that doesnt allow you to be home. Your wife has to be the most understanding woman on the face of the earth or you know something I think alot of people would like to be in on.
Well my wife is very understanding, infact she is great, she gets time to take trips with her sister, she paints, and has other interests, I hunt and build rifles, she is happy about that, she is for keeps, if she said give up your hunting tommorow, i would.
I work shifts at the space agency. I work 6 days, get 5 off. ( last 3 years it was work 4-5 get 5-7 off) ive got my own patch of land rented from the state. I can hunt there every day of the year from May 1st to 28th Feb. during a 6 day shift cycle in past years ive hunted 5 days. its a 15 min drive from work to hunt, and i have, on several occasions, taken my 2 hour meal break and gone hunting. I take part in several organised driven hunts per year, usualy have 1 to 2 trips per year to other countries to hunt, travel to hunt with friends in Germany (and other countries) in several areas, i'm also a member ( the longest) of the Garrison Hunting club (we hunt the training areas) and am a member of the village hunting club. I can leave the house and hunt deer within 800m. we can see deer from my boys bed room window (unfortunately on neighbours ground).
I have more opertunities to hunt than time to do it in even though i get 6 annual weeks vacation, plus 1 weeks veterans vacation. plus time of in leu for overtime.
I have, over the last 10 years done some guideing work, but my rifle business has realy done away with the time to do that.
The one thing ive learned about relationships is that if you put in more than you take out, things tend to work.
The way the rifle business is goung, my hunting is suffering, but i'm probably going to go more for quality rather than quantity in the future.
"specifically" the other brands and models that have given you problems and what the specific problems were and how they happened?
From Personal Use.
Schmidt & bender, i had a 2.5-10x56, the adjustment only adjusted after tapping scope or making a shot particularly in cold weather, old scope,internal lubricant was replaced and the problem disapeared.
Leupold.variouse types. 6.5-20x40 VX III EFR.tracking problems and magnification ring siezed 6.5-20x50 Long Range tracking problems, 3.5-10x50,VXIII lense splintered inside scope 4.5-14x50. , tracking problems, inside coating of tube flaking off, i had 1 fogged, cant remember which. 1 broken reticle in VXII, rounded off grub screws in elevation turret, (soft) on a couple.
never had problem with a M3, but the glass isn't as good as European stuff.
Doctor Optic 2.5-10x48, tracking problems, inside coating coming adrift, failed lense cement. ( had same scope with Frankonia markings on it and had no problems at all)
Swarovski, ,6x42 Broken reticle, 6-24x50PVS wandering zero, tracking problems. rubber ring on magnification came unstuck,
US Optics, turrets froze, shifting zero.
Springfield Armoury,, wandering zero, adjustment not matching actual movement on target, magnification adjustment seized.
Hakko, same as above (same factory) but inability to hold a zero.
Nikko Sterling, broken reticle. tracking problems.
Nightforce NXS, wandering zero through magnification changes, tracking problems. and i hate that the whole of the rear end turns when you up and down the X's but thats not actualy a failure,
Tasco, tube came apart, wandering zero, adjustment not matching actual movement. bent tube after a fat assed labrador jumped on it in the back of a landrover, beats me how that happened.
Micro Dot, reticle illumination failure, wandering zero through magnification range.
Weaver, internals came loose and rattled, same happened on a Redfield.
Luger, internals rattled.
Burris, wandering zero through mag range.
Bushnell wandering zero through mag range.
Thats all from personal use and is by no means complete, coming through my mates shop, we saw a fair few reticle illumination problems, most of the problems where inconsistent adjustments and wandering zero, occasional loose internals. scopes from many types, expensive and cheap suffered from failure in one degree or another.
Scopes i consider reliable, from my own personal use.
Kahles. Nikkon, from limited experience IOR. Hensold. S&B.
I'd use an NXS for target and match work.
with regards to the S&B line of scopes.
The PH, Long Range, Varmint etc is basicaly all the same scope, but has a name, that varies form country to country depending on features.
The Classic line is the line of hunting scopes that have been produced now for over 10 years, and are pre zenith.
the zenith line is the newest lkine of scopes and have that distinctibe wine bottle shape, newer coating technology and are probably one of the most excellent hunting scopes on the market,.
The PMII's,. Police / Marksman / Military.
Id suggest the need for a PMII if you want extra tough reliability, large, single turn adjustment range, rock solid performance, the best tactical range of scopes available today IMHO. A Sniper scope, is the ultimate in hunting scopes and lets not forget which board we are on here,, www.longrangehunting.com
and pushing the envelope is the name of the game, we aren't talking shooting a deer with Grandads 30-30 in the top 40 acre field, we are talking, precision long range marksmanship, many of the guys on here have custom precision rifles,several in specialised calibers, and in my opinion, why would one not want to top those rifles with the best long range optics money can buy.
For general hunting purposes, i'd be happy with any S&B scope. The new zenith line has slightly better coatings and optical performance. A real bargain is the Hungarian manufactured range, unfortunately all still fixed power, i could possible see the classic line moving to hungarian production, but that is only a personal thought and ive no indication of it happening, it would just make sense to me.
give me a 1.5-6x42 Zenith flash dot (add mildots and adjustable turrets) and a 4-16x50 PMII and i have 2 scopes i can hunt anything with, man or beast any where in the world in any situation,
By the way, if I were you I would be a little bent out of shape if S&B billed me for a reticle change, being the S&B advocate that you are. Maybe you should forward this thread to them, because even though they make excellent scopes from a business standpoint in my opinion they are being 'penny wise and pound foolish' as your probably one of their strongest advocates and frankly for what they charge for their scopes they need all the help they can get.
I agree with you 100% on that comment mate.
but ref the last sentence,shopping around for optics tends to find bargains.
Hope ive answered your questions,