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What to look for when choosing Optics

 
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  #1  
Old 06-16-2013, 11:28 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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What to look for when choosing Optics

I'm new to long range shooting and looking for help on what Scope & range finder to go with. I'm shooting a 338 Lapua Mag. 1000 yards is what I'm setting as my benchmark but would like to ba able to push the limits later down the road. What are some key points to look at when selecting optics.

Any and all info would be helpful and appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 06-16-2013, 01:50 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Eastern NC
Posts: 50
Re: What to look for when choosing Optics

Determine your budget first. Then decide what you want out of the scope. Will it just be for shooting steel/targets? Do you plan on hunting with it as well? For that distance you definitely need turrets on your scope which allow you to "dial" to your correct elevatoin. Different people will tell you different things as far as what is the most important features of a scope. I don't want cheap optics. I want to get the best glass I can possibly afford whether thats a scope, binos, or rangefinder. I save as much as I can and at times sell off other guns, bows, scopes, etc. that are collecting dust. Probably the number one thing that you will hear is reliability/durability when it comes to the most important feature of an optic. My thoughts are that the optics that I am interested in are at a price point where that shouldn't be an issue. With that said, I don't have a "Target" rifle. I hunt with all of my rifles and because of that, the number one thing I look for is good glass. I am always the last one out of a deer stand because big bucks like to come out at last light when most guys are getting out of their deer stands. I bought a Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x56 NPR2 with Zero Stop and High Speed Turrets and it was a great scope for shooting steel at long range but the glass was average at best for hunting in low light conditions. Even with the power turned down I was dissapointed. I have since sold the NF and bought a Steiner 5-25x56.
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  #3  
Old 06-16-2013, 02:36 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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Re: What to look for when choosing Optics

Hunting is definitely the plan. As soon as I'm proficient enough. $2000 is the neighborhood I was thinking. I've looked at Nightforce NXS, Leupold, Zeiss, Vortex.
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  #4  
Old 06-16-2013, 03:47 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Alabama
Posts: 6,320
Re: What to look for when choosing Optics

The NF scopes are excellent, and in your pricerange.

If you will be hunting 300+ (and no less) I would look into the 8-32x56, over the 5.5-22x56, but that is simply my opinon. The 5.5-22 will work just fine, but I like the higher magnification for load development and range shooting. If I can zoom in on the bull REALLY close, I can see where my shots are traveling and how they're flying and hitting the target. It's nice to not always have to have your spotting scope when sighting in or load development.

I have never heard anyone having issues with the NF scopes in low light, including professional snipers, sharp-shooters, pros, and comp shooters.

However, everyone's eyes are different, so with his eyes, he could have very well had issues. I have looked through $3,000 Schmitt & Benders that looked as cloudy as a $75 BSA scope. However, that could have just been my individual eyes...

Go to a good store that has good high-end optics. Ask the salesman if he can bring the scopes outside for you to look through b/c you can't tell how good they'll look inside. Look through as many as you can, and pick which one you like best.
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"I'm just a peckerwood who lives in the hills with too many guns..." - Bob Lee Swagger

"Give me a minute...I'm good. Give me an hour...I'm great. Give me 6 months...And I'm unbeatable." - Col. Hannibal Smith

Ignore everything I say, because I have a reading comprehension and memory problem...

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  #5  
Old 06-16-2013, 07:36 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Montana
Posts: 391
Re: What to look for when choosing Optics

Optical quality is a major factor in choosing a scope for any type of shooting. Precision of adjustments is also vitally important. Cost of the optic is probably one of the biggest concerns. I would determine the absolute most you could afford to spend and then look at the scopes that fall within this category.

Several people will tell you that precision of the adjustments is more important than optical clarity and resolution. I would rate these the same, precision of the adjustments is equal in importance to the optics. I've had very high dollar scopes that couldn't resolve deer antlers at 500 yards, but the adjustments were perfect. The lack of optical quality made a potential shot useless because I was unable to determine the quality of the deer. Therefore, I put as much emphasis in optics as I do in the adjustments. If you can't determine what you are taking as shot at, what does it matter if the adjustments are perfect? Likewise, if the adjustments are not perfect but you can see extremely well, will you still take the shot? Maybe if you use elevation and wind holds with the reticle exclusively, the optics may be the biggest concern.

Rule to live by with rifle shooting: Don't skimp on the optics (scope).

Geb
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  #6  
Old 06-17-2013, 09:57 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Eastern NC
Posts: 50
Re: What to look for when choosing Optics

Zen Ray - CameraLand NY


Zeiss - Camera Land NY


Zeiss - Camera Land NY


Kahles Rifle Scope - Kahles K624 TT Rifle Scope Mil1 Reticle 10502


Check: Euro Optic, Sport Optics, Camara Land NY, CS Tactical, Liberty Optics, SWFA, and Mile High Shooting. I sold my Nightforce and bought a $2500 5-25x56 Steiner. Camera Land has a demo that is cheaper than that. I think that is the best deal out there as the steiner has better glass than the Nightforce.
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  #7  
Old 06-17-2013, 10:06 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Alabama
Posts: 6,320
Re: What to look for when choosing Optics

Quote:
Originally Posted by EasternNChunter View Post
Zen Ray - CameraLand NY


Zeiss - Camera Land NY


Zeiss - Camera Land NY


Kahles Rifle Scope - Kahles K624 TT Rifle Scope Mil1 Reticle 10502


Check: Euro Optic, Sport Optics, Camara Land NY, CS Tactical, Liberty Optics, SWFA, and Mile High Shooting. I sold my Nightforce and bought a $2500 5-25x56 Steiner. Camera Land has a demo that is cheaper than that. I think that is the best deal out there as the steiner has better glass than the Nightforce.
This ^^^^^^ is simply a matter of opinion. Everyone's eyes are different. And while the higher-end Steiner scopes are very nice, I wouldn't say they were better than the NF. They might be close, but it would take one hell of a scope to beat out a NF in glass quality, lens coating, and flawless repeatable function. I'm not saying NF is the best of the best, b/c there are higher quality optics out there. But for their price range, I think the NF is about top dog in its category.
__________________
"I'm just a peckerwood who lives in the hills with too many guns..." - Bob Lee Swagger

"Give me a minute...I'm good. Give me an hour...I'm great. Give me 6 months...And I'm unbeatable." - Col. Hannibal Smith

Ignore everything I say, because I have a reading comprehension and memory problem...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildRose View Post
The 284 is to the STW what a tricycle is to a Ninja.
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