Hello all, I have read a lot through these forums from various links, and it seems as there are quite a few of knowledgeable people out here, I have archery hunted my entire life with the exception of a couple rifle hunts, as far as shooting goes, I have handled big bores quite a bit and familiar with recoil and such, I recently picked up the Leupold VX-6 2x12x42 with illumination, for my 375H&H, I based this decision of warranty and features, and did some low lights tests before I mounted it, and am quite happy with it so far, now I have another rifle I am building-(just received my Bullberry barrel yesterday).
I have narrowed the optics down to the Zeiss Conquest HD5 2x10x42, I have looked through it and am impressed, and really like the set up feature they have on there website for telling optimum magnification for longer shots with the Rapid Z600, In fact I really want to buy it, BUT and a big BUT, I love the Swarovski Z3 3x10x42, I always try to compare features and it looks like the Zeiss might have the edge here, but these are just in store comparisons, the guy at the counter isnt really any help, he kept pushing Vortex to me, Not that it's bad, but its not one of my choices, anyhow I thought I'd come ask some of the experts and real life users if you guys have compaired or used and what your opinions are, This will be my last rifle I'm doing so its a either or thing, but would like the best between the two, weight is not a issue.
My set up is the TC pro hunter encore, Bullberry 35 whelen 26" barrel
2630 FPS- with the Barnes TSX 225's
I like the advantage I guess mostly with the Rapid z to sneek one in at 400 yards being it drops around 28" (and I'm not a dial turner) but don't want to be left out if Swarovski is the better choice.
Sorry if its long winded or missed the point, but you guys are the pros and I'm lost.
It will depend on the features you want, the zeiss hd5 glass is not great in my opinion. The Z3 glass is exceptional so it comes down to how important the glass is and if a particular scope has the features you want. Not really a wrong decision both are nice scopes.
I'd go the Z3 with the BT and 4w reticle and here is why:
1. The zeiss weighs in @ 17.5oz vs the z3 @ 12ish. I don't know why Zeiss made the new HD5 scopes so heavy, but that has been a deal breaker for me personally.
2. I prefer the ballistic turret over the/any velocity reticle because I don't want to me married to a certain power for the reticle to be true. With the BT system you can do one of two things. Set the scope up using the color coded rings provided. This allows the shooter to set a zero and then three more zeros/references after that in any increment YOU choose. So if I want to move in 25,50,100 yard increments I can do so. The second way to use the way you can use the system is to have Swarovski make a collet that is marked in yardage increments from your zero moving in 50 yard increments.
Optically I think your would be hard pressed to say one is definitely better than the other. I just prefer the weight/length as well as the the bt system that swaro offers.
I have two Swaro Z5's that I really like. I have no hands-on experience with the Z3, but have heard the glass is just as good as the Z5, just a smaller magnification range.
Like Marinetowgunner, I'm a big fan of the ballistic turret. Since I see you are not a dial turner, take a look at their BRX reticle. I'm not sure how it compares to the rapid Z 600, but the concept is the same. Swaro has a ballistics calculator on their website that gives the corresponding subtensions for range/load (sounds similar to what you describe for Zeiss).
I am not by any means anti-zeiss, I just don't have experience with them. From what I read, you can't make a bad decision based on your options...
I don't own any Swaro scopes, but have shot through many. I am a big Zeiss fan, and highly recommend their products.
If you're looking for a lightweight scope with incredible glass, look into the Kahles Helia KXi scopes. I have the older version Helia KX (non-illuminated) 3-10x50 and it is like looking through an HD TV. Honestly, the best glass I've ever looked through.
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