I have been shooting for a while with a Tikka .243 Hunter with a Burris 6-18x optic. This scope is good but it doesn't have external turrets and just a basic cross hair. My main hunting has been vermin (pig/fox/rabbit etc here in Australia) within 50-150m allowing me to simply pointa and shoot but I have been interested in a while to shoot longer. Upon obtaining a range finder and doing reading, I just wanted some straight answers for some (rookie) questions that I have. I like to buy good gear and hopefully only once, so I have decided the NXS 5.5-22
I understand the NP-R1 is in MOA measurements, however, I have seen alot of guys saying they dial instead of using the reticles measurements. Wouldn't it be easier to engage a target say for example:
My zero is 100 yards, the target is 350 yards and my drop chart says it's 5.22MOA from that zero for this 100gr Winchester round - despite the accuracy of knowing the physical change of the turrets (as opposed to guessing between MOA lines) and the target being in the middle of the scope, would I still be able to go down to the just below fifth MOA line and engage if I didn't manually dial in?
Also, how does the NP-R1 reticle fair at night with just artificial light? I hardly ever hunt during the day.
Thanks for your time. If I am way off base, or the answers are already somewhere please direct me to them.
I guess I will take a run at this. I've had two different NP-R1 scopes to date (one in 50mm & one in 56mm). It is still my favorite reticle for a NXS.
Holdover using the stadia/reticle would definitely work and certainly be quicker at the 500 yds you are talking about. But dialing up is always more precise than holdover, especially when you get into the 800 - 1,200+ range. Holdover (elevation) just isn't good enough. Since repetition is how we learn (and shoot), dialing up becomes second nature for us, regardless of the distance.
Interestingly enough, when it comes to holdoff (windage), I don't dial. I hold off using the windage stadia. For me, that's where the NP-R1 reticle shines. The newer MOAR also does well in this area, but I just can't get comfortable with the floating crosshair.
***Maybe Len could start another pole here on LRH to see how many of us holdoff vs. dial for our windage correction.***
Regarding your question on illumination, I cannot give a qualified response. Hunting at night is not allowed in AZ, except for certain predators (legalized within the last year). Unfortunately, the rig that my NXS is on is decidedly too big for varmints and predators. I suspect even the lowest illumination setting might be too much for a dark night, but would fair better under full/half moon conditions. Just speculation.
Thanks for the reply. I also checked out the MOAR reticle, and although I hadn't used it, I did wonder about the floating cross hair - sort of looked like it'd _feel_ (obviously not) a little less accurate even though it doesn't really effect any of the holdovers.
Looking at my drop chart for my particular ammo, especially for distances of up to 500 yards, it does make sense (especially with Zero Stop) just to dial up and down the few MOA that is necessary to keep the crosshair at zero. Using the G7 ballistic info as a guide, I will tweak my own drop chart to about 500 yards...I can't see myself taking a shot confidentially as of yet any further then that.
Is there any other advice you can give or point me in the right direction to in these matters? I am reading and learning more, but am always happy to take on advice specific to long range hunting.
Off topic, would you guys advise purchasing new rings with the NF (like a unibase or something similar) or a case of my Burris rings are fine, so if it ain't broke...? It is after all a ute gun, so it does move around alot but I haven't had any zero problems with my current setup.
Finally, I saw in a video of setting up Zero Stop, that a few guys have put the zero actaully a few clicks under and then dialing back suggesting this is better for the scope to not be resting completely on the zero point - is there any truth in this?
I'm the "if it ain't broke....." kinda guy. Unless there is some real, specific advantage with a piece of equipment, I won't buy it. Having said that, there are times when something better is out there. An example would be binoculars. I was satisfied with what I had - didn't feel anything was broke. But I finally upgraded to some Swarovski 10x42 EL's. For the first two hunting seasons after that, I would cuss myself under my breath for not having bought them years before. Nowadays, I do tend to listen more to the opinions of some of the more seasoned shooters on this board who "have been there and done that". If they collectively recommend something, I am foolish not to take a hard look at it.
With my big boomers, I like reaching way out there. I try to get as much dial up as I can, so I zero my rifle at 300 yds. With the dial on the zero, I am dead on at 300. However, I set my stop for 200 yds (usually about 1.75 MOA less). That way, if something comes in close I use the stop knowing I will be a little over 1.4" high at 100 yds and dead on at 200 yds). The extra 1.75 MOA really doesn't buy me much in terms of additional yardage (maybe 50 yds), but I like having the extra marginal movement. Scopes tend to not track as accurately near the top and bottom of their travel. Even though this is a Nightforce, the extra 1.75 MOA gives me some piece of mind and costs me nothing.
I have a NF 5.5-22x56 with the MOAR. While it is clearly a personal preference thing, I really like the floating crosshair. If you have the chance to actually look through both reticles before you buy that is the way to go - see what your eye likes best. Also note that the MOAR is thicker than the NP-R1. This might give you some real benefit at night if i am reading correctly and you are spotlight hunting.
Also, I would guess that on your .243 your Burris rings will be fine (I don't know them well), just keep in mind the NXS is a monster of a scope - I would guess it weighs a bunch more than your current glass. That extra mass can create considerable force under recoil - if you step up to a higher-recoiling caliber you may need to look at going to premium rings and bases.
AZ - I'm with you, dial elevation and hold-over windage!
varmintH8R brings up several good points. The thicker crosshair for one. The other being the weight of the NXS. I had a 3-15x50 NXS on my 6.5-06 rifle. Although the rifle weighed nearly nine pouinds, the NXS still made it feel top heavy and destroyed the balance or feel of the rifle for me. I ended up selling it and going with a Sightron III. Balance was restored, along with harmony in the universe. :-D
I assume your current Burris rings are 30mm. I can't remember what I read previously.
Just looked on Optics Planet - apparently the NXS is 31oz, and my current Burris is only 19oz so there is a bit of difference. Hopefully won't be too bad. The current rings are 30mm and it fits the 50mm Burris nicely, so I'll order the 50mm NF as well (heard there wasn't much in viewing difference between the 50 and 56mm models).
Here in Australia, alot of the gun shops don't stock the high end scopes to be able to compare - they are mainly ordered in. I had an order ready from Optics Planet for the NP-R1 with sunshade/Butler caps etc. but will leave the base for when I get the scope put on because even though it may only be .243, I don't want to spend $2k on an optic and cheap out on the rings to have something happen whether it's damage or even a moving zero!!
This optic will hopefully last a fair while because I'll eventually move it from this Tikka T3 to hopefully something a little more capable in a bigger calibre (either .308 or .300 Win) - whether it's a TRG or something similar out of the box or a custom job I don't know but atleast the quality optic will be there. I don't see the Tikka having a problem shooting out to 500 yards though.
I do wonder why Zero Stop isn't inherited in other brands? It seems to be such a standard yet brilliant idea to just dial back to 0 and be home again.