An Optics Conundrum: What would you do?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Infinity, May 11, 2014.

  1. Infinity

    Infinity Member

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    Hi All,

    I've been reading up on here for quite some time now. I hunt primarily deer with my 20" .308 build. I just started extending my range with the rifle... have been shooting steel to 1000 yards for about a month (can you say new addiction...) and just figured out we can go as far as a mile (my buddy's .338 LM can, I obviously won't with the .308).

    My hunting/shooting buddy has asked me to help him invest 5k into optics for his .308 build and around the type of hunting/shooting we do. I am also upgrading from my Nightforce NXS 3.5-15x50...too heavy and would like a little bit lower bottom end magnification for the majority of my deer hunting. If I could shave a pound off the NXS and 1x off the bottom end, I would have damn near my perfect rifle/optic combo.

    So far, this is what I'm leaning toward recommending (with alternatives and questions for y'all listed where I've done some research):

    Rangefinder: Leica 1600. Which model? (b, crf, etc., he does bow hunt also if that affects the decision) $800

    Rifle Optic:

    Can I get away with a bulletproof, low-magnification NXS (10x top end) on deer at 800 yards (steel @ 1000 yards) with very good eyes, a good spotter and spotting scope? Please feel free to elaborate on your answer here, I know it is a loaded question.

    Nightforce NXS Compact 2.5-10x42 (20 oz) $1900.
    March 2.5-25x42 SFP(19 oz) $2600 (Does anyone know what magnification the reticle is intended for ranging at? haven't been able to find that)
    March 3-24x42 FFP similar specs and price (not sure about the reticle at low power, please let me know if you have experience hunting with either)

    Other robust, light (~20oz), mechanically-reliable suggestions with a low end of 3x or preferably less and enough magnification/glass quality/resolution to reach out?

    Spotting Scope: Vortex Razor HD 20-60x85 (straight or angled? does it matter?) $1600

    Binoculars? (I left these until last because I've never hunted with them until recently). I recently got to look through a pair of Swarovskis (not sure which model) and was stunned. Do they ever pop up used with a decent discount?

    Soooo...What would you do? (and why...not set on this part if you just want to hit and run with awesome options). Thanks everyone,

    Adam
     
  2. Infinity

    Infinity Member

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    ...just read that the March SFP Mil scopes are intended for ranging at 10x. Can anyone confirm this?
     

  3. jrock

    jrock Well-Known Member

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    Can't speak for any of the equipment but I'll pass my thoughts on as to the scope power. If shooting at coyote or antelope, at 600 yards, I find a 16 power is too low. Deer it's probably fine. Then again, I like the high end powers. I worry more about the low end and VOF than high power.
     
  4. Infinity

    Infinity Member

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    Thank you for contributing jrock.

    I do realize that I definitely prefer less magnification than most since I grew up shooting irons for so long. That said, I think I'm going to stay with the 3.5-15 x 50 NXS. I can deal with the bottom end and the weight.

    I think we decided Leica 1600-B CRF for the rangefinder...unless anyone is willing to push me to the Swaro... Buddy isn't in a rush for the scope...

    Still open to any input . Thanks all...
     
  5. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    I have killed an antelope over 1,000 yards with a 3.5-15 NXS-It worked just fine.
    Scope was more than adequate for big game at that distance.
     
  6. jrock

    jrock Well-Known Member

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    Good to know
     
  7. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    I would add, back in the day I took a muley buck at 700 yards with a 4x Leupold.
    This one and the one using the NXS were both single-shot specialty pistols.
    You can do a lot with less:D
    That being said, I use the 6.5-20/6-24 the most.
    I have been known to shoot further than 1K on occassion.
    I do have a 4-16 on one of my primary LR rigs though.
     
  8. Infinity

    Infinity Member

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    Ernie, thank you for sharing your experience. If I find the 3.5-15 too heavy this year, I can always swap for the 2.5-10.

    So far, going to recommend trying both the Swarovski EL swarovision and zeiss victory ht in 8x42.

    What is your preferred spotting scope? I've read many other threads...but I'm particularly interested in current LRH opinions. Looking for light, optically excellent, and bullet proof... should be easy... ;D...
     
  9. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    I don't have what I really want yet in a spotting scope.

    Vortex Razor HD (The largest one) has a optional 30x wide angle eyepiece. You get the scope with a variable eyepiece. I wish you could buy it with the eyepiece of your choice. You can get the 30x WA with either a MOA or MIL reticle.

    The eyepiece works on the mid-sized Razor HD, but the subtensions are not right, so it is not a viable option. Also they are NOT going to make an eyepiece for the midsized Razor spotting scope that subtends correctly.
    The one thing I don't like about it is that the eyepiece is not a LER eyepiece. You cannot see a full FOV with shooting glasses or prescription glasses on.
    I wear prescription glasses.

    The US Optics LER spotting scope With reticle in FFP just flat out stinks. Eye relief is way too long (Like looking through a straw) and the attachment piece to the tri-pod is too long as well. They probably speced something for the military and they needed to be able to see through it using goggles or something like that.
    Not practical at all for LR field shooting or LR hunting.


    For Field shooting I have been using a Kowa with a 25x LER eyepiece ( I purchased it for F-Class @ 1K. Awesome glass, but no reticle and it is a fairly big scope.

    For years I used Leupold's 12-40 Gold Ring, then the HD when it came out.
    They do have a MOA reticle now in FFP, and I am going to get one of those soon.
    The Leupold has good glass, lightweight, awesome FOV and has all the eye relief a guy would need-The journey continues
     
  10. Infinity

    Infinity Member

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    Thought I had thanked you a while ago Ernie for that post. I had not...Thank you again.

    Just checking in...I am finding the rifle a bit too unbalanced with the 3-15. Will eventually swap for 2.5-10 on this rifle.
     
  11. scf

    scf Well-Known Member

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    I have a March 2.5-25x42 with the MTR 4 reticle. It has one minute tick marks at 20 power and 2 moa at 10 power. At the top of 25x, marks are 0.8 moa.
     
  12. Infinity

    Infinity Member

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    Good info, thank you.

    Is there anything you don't like about that scope? Is it "unusable" at any of the higher magnifications (eyebox question)? They look amazing and I want one but I'm having a tough time getting over the lack of long term warranty.
     
  13. scf

    scf Well-Known Member

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    I use the scope more on 25x than any other setting. If the eye box is tight I must have adapted to it. I would prefer more than 10 marks on the vertical crosshairs if one elected to hold over rather than dial but that is the only thing I would change. Other have more marks than the MTR 4.